Senate GOP unveils 'Obamacare' overhaul, but not all aboard WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Republicans launched their plan for shriveling Barack Obama's health care law Thursday, edging a step closer to their dream of repeal with a bill that would slice and reshape Medicaid for the poor, relax rules on insurers and end tax increases on higher earners that have helped finance expanded coverage for millions. Four conservative GOP senators quickly announced initial opposition to the measure and others were evasive, raising the specter of a jarring rejection by the Republican-controlled body. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., indicated he was open to discussion and seemed determined to muscle the measure through his chamber next week.
Qatar's neighbors issue steep list of demands to end crisis WASHINGTON (AP) - Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries that have cut ties to Qatar issued a steep list of demands Thursday to end the crisis, insisting that their Persian Gulf neighbor shutter Al-Jazeera, cut back diplomatic ties to Iran and close down a Turkish military base in Qatar. In a 13-point list - presented to the Qataris by Kuwait, which is helping mediate the crisis - the countries also demand that Qatar sever all ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and with other groups including Hezbollah, al-Qaida and the Islamic State group. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the list in Arabic from one of the countries involved in the dispute.
10 Things to Know for Friday Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday: 1. SENATE GOP LAUNCHES PLAN TO OVERHAUL "OBAMACARE" Four conservative GOP senators announce initial opposition to the measure but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seems determined to muscle it through his chamber next week. 2. NO COMEY TAPES: TRUMP ENDS GUESSING GAME The president declares he never made and doesn't have recordings of his private conversations with the ousted former FBI Director. 3. WHAT BRITAIN'S PRIME MINISTER PROMISES EU CITIZENS Theresa May say EU citizens will not be immediately kicked out of Britain when it leaves the union and says their fate will be a top priority in Brexit negotiations.
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No tapes after all: Trump says he didn't record Comey talks WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump declared Thursday he never made and doesn't have recordings of his private conversations with ousted former FBI Director James Comey, ending a month-long guessing game that he started with a cryptic tweet and that ensnared his administration in yet more controversy. "With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information," Trump said in his latest tweets, he has "no idea" whether there are "tapes" or recordings of the two men's conversations. But he proclaimed he "did not make, and do not have, any such recordings." That left open the possibility that recordings were made without his knowledge or by someone else.
Inside Yemen's secret prisons: 'We could hear the screams' MUKALLA, Yemen (AP) - They call it the "grill": The victim is tied to a spit like a roast and spun furiously within a circle of fire. It is just one of the terrors inflicted by interrogators on detainees in Yemen who are routinely beaten with wires, kept in filthy shipping containers, and blindfolded for months - all by one of America's closest counterterrorism allies. Abuse and torture are routine in a network of secret prisons across southern Yemen where hundreds are detained in the hunt for al-Qaida militants, an Associated Press investigation has found. The network is run by the United Arab Emirates and by Yemeni forces it created, with at least 18 lock-ups hidden away in military bases, air and seaports, the basements of private villas and even a nightclub, according to accounts from former detainees, families of prisoners, civil rights lawyers and Yemeni military officials.
Brexit: May offers hope for EU citizens, wins guarded praise BRUSSELS (AP) - British Prime Minister Theresa May promised Thursday that EU citizens will not be immediately kicked out of Britain when it leaves the union and says their fate will be a top priority in Brexit negotiations - prompting guarded praise from other EU leaders at a tense time for the continent. May's proposals at an EU summit were a carefully timed gesture days after talks began on Britain's departure. German Chancellor Angela Merkel called them "a good start." May laid out benchmarks for the rights of 3 million EU citizens living legally in Britain and how they should be shielded from excessive harm because of the divorce.
76ers take Fultz, Lakers grab Ball to start NBA draft NEW YORK (AP) - Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball and the future of the NBA arrived Thursday night. Jimmy Butler and Tom Thibodeau hope to rekindle their past. Fultz and Ball led a record-setting run of one-and-dones in the NBA draft, which received a jolt early in the first round when the Chicago Bulls traded Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Philadelphia 76ers took Fultz with the No. 1 pick and the Lakers followed by taking Ball, with the point guards from the Pac-12 Conference beginning a run of seven straight freshmen. Nine of the first 10 selections played just one season of college ball.
Detroit judge halts deportation of Iraqi Christians DETROIT (AP) - A judge on Thursday temporarily halted the deportation of more than 100 Iraqi Christians living in the Detroit area who fear torture and possible death if sent back to Iraq. U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith said in a written order that deportation is halted for 14 days while he decides if his court has jurisdiction to hear their plight. The Justice Department had argued that the detainees, including many who were recently rounded up after decades in the U.S., must go to immigration court to try to remain in the U.S., not U.S. District Court. But the American Civil Liberties Union said they might be deported before an immigration judge can consider their requests to stay.
Pelosi defends leadership following special election loss WASHINGTON (AP) - Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi defended her leadership, and her job, on Thursday in the face of needling from President Donald Trump and grumbling from fellow House Democrats exasperated after a high-profile special election loss. "So you want me to sing my praises, is that what you're saying?" the California Democrat remarked dismissively to reporters when asked why she should stay on as leader. "Well, I'm a master legislator. I'm a strategic, politically astute leader. My leadership is recognized by many around the country." "That is why I'm able to attract the support that I do, which is essential to our elections, sad to say," Pelosi added, in a reference to her unparalleled fundraising hauls.
Judges: 'Making a Murderer' confession improperly obtained MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The confession of a Wisconsin inmate featured in the Netflix series "Making a Murderer" was improperly obtained and he should be retried or released from prison, a three-judge federal appeals panel ruled Thursday. Brendan Dassey was sentenced to life in prison in 2007 in photographer Teresa Halbach's death on Halloween two years earlier. Dassey told detectives he helped his uncle, Steven Avery, rape and kill Halbach in the Avery family's Manitowoc County salvage yard. Avery was sentenced to life in a separate trial. A federal magistrate judge ruled in August that investigators coerced Dassey, who was 16 years old at the time and suffered from cognitive problems, into confessing and overturned his conviction.