A short-term health deal by senators _ with Trump's blessing WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican and Democratic senators joined in announcing a plan Tuesday aimed at stabilizing America's health insurance markets in the wake of President Donald Trump's order to terminate "Obamacare" subsidies. Trump himself spoke approvingly of the deal, but some conservatives denounced it as an insurance company bailout, making its future uncertain. The agreement followed weeks of negotiations between Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington that sought to address health insurance markets that have been in limbo following GOP failures to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The talks took on added urgency when Trump announced last week that he would end monthly "cost sharing reduction" payments the government makes to help insurance companies reduce costs for lower-income people.
Californians head back home to altered lives, communities PETALUMA, Calif. (AP) - Some have lost loved ones. Many have survived near-death experiences. Others have lost their homes and a lifetime of possessions. A week after fleeing raging wildfires, tens of thousands of emotionally ravaged Californians have drifted back home to find their lives and their communities dramatically altered. At a Red Cross shelter in Petaluma on Tuesday, 69-year-old Sue Wortman recalled the words that raced through her mind when she fled the flames near her home in Sonoma. "We're all going up in smoke," she thought at the time. Since then, she has been walking around in a daze.
10 Things to Know for Wednesday Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday: 1. KEY SENATORS REACH DEAL ON HEALTH INSURER FUNDING Republican Lamar Alexander and Democrat Patty Murray forge a plan to resume federal payments to health insurers that were blocked by President Trump. 2. U.S.-BACKED SYRIAN FORCES RECAPTURE ISLAMIC STATE 'CAPITAL' The fall of Raqqa marks a new chapter in the fight against the militant group, whose once-vast territory has been reduced to a handful of towns in Syria and Iraq. 3. WHAT FEDERAL JUDGE SAYS ABOUT LATEST TRAVEL BAN A U.S. district judge blocks the Trump administration's most recent ban, ruling that it "plainly discriminates based on nationality." 4.
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Politics and the fallen: Trump hasn't called all families WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump has pulled bereaved military families into a painful political fight of his own making, going so far Tuesday as to cite the death of his chief of staff's son in Afghanistan to question whether Barack Obama and other presidents did enough to honor the military dead. He's boasted that "I think I've called every family of someone who's died," though AP found relatives of two soldiers who died overseas during Trump's presidency who said they never received a call or a letter from him. The White House said he did telephone on Tuesday the families of four soldiers who were killed in Niger nearly two weeks ago, the issue that had spawned the controversy this week.
Judge halts newest Trump travel ban, saying it has same woes HONOLULU (AP) - A federal judge in Hawaii blocked most of President Donald Trump's latest travel ban Tuesday, just hours before it was set to take effect, saying the revised order "suffers from precisely the same maladies as its predecessor." It was the third set of travel restrictions issued by the president to be thwarted, in whole or in part, by the courts. U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson issued the ruling after the ban on a set of mostly Muslim countries was challenged by the state of Hawaii, which warned that the restrictions would separate families and undermine the recruiting of diverse college students.
US-backed forces celebrate fall of IS 'capital' of Raqqa BEIRUT (AP) - U.S.-backed Syrian forces celebrated in the devastated streets of Raqqa on Tuesday after gaining control of the northern city that once was the heart of the Islamic State's self-styled caliphate, dealing a major defeat to the extremist group that has seen its territory shrink ever smaller since summer. Militants took over the vibrant metropolis on the Euphrates River in 2014, transforming it into the epicenter of their brutal rule, where opponents were beheaded and terror plots hatched. It took thousands of bombs dropped by the U.S.-led coalition and more than four months of grueling house-to-house battles for the Syrian Democratic Forces to recapture Raqqa, marking a new chapter in the fight against the group whose once vast territory has been reduced to a handful of towns in Syria and Iraq.
Me Too: Alyssa Milano elevates Harvey Weinstein conversation NEW YORK (AP) - Alyssa Milano was in bed with her two young children when a friend of a friend on Facebook suggested something that struck her as a great way to elevate the Harvey Weinstein conversation. She took the idea to Twitter, posting: ``If you've been sexually harassed or assaulted write `me too' as a reply to this tweet.'' That was Sunday night. By Monday night, more than 53,000 people had left comments and thousands of women had declared ``Me Too,'' sharing their stories of rape, sexual assault and harassment across social media, including some for the first time.
Kurds pull out abruptly from disputed Iraqi areas BAGHDAD (AP) - Kurdish fighters pulled out of disputed areas across northern and eastern Iraq on Tuesday, one day after giving up the vital oil city of Kirkuk - a dramatic redeployment of forces that opened the way for government troops to move into energy-rich and other strategically important territories. The vastly outnumbered Kurdish forces, known as the peshmerga, appeared to have bowed to demands from the central government that they hand over areas outside the Kurds' autonomous region, including territory seized from the Islamic State group in recent years. The evacuations exposed a Kurdish leadership in turmoil in the wake of last month's vote for independence as Iraq's central government shores up its hand for negotiations over resource-sharing with the country's self-ruling minority.
Passenger says Delta crew stopped her from singing anthem SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) - A Georgia physician said her plan to honor a fallen soldier by singing the U.S. national anthem aboard a Delta Air Lines plane carrying the soldier's casket was stopped by a flight attendant who told her it would violate company policy. Dr. Pamela Gaudry of Savannah said she and fellow passengers were told "to stay quietly in our seats" as an honor guard escorted the casket from the plane Saturday at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. A flight attendant told her that singing "The Star Spangled Banner" would make passengers from other countries uncomfortable, she said. "I couldn't put up with that," Gaudry told The Associated Press in an interview Monday.
Weinstein's film academy ouster raises concerns about others LOS ANGELES (AP) - Harvey Weinstein has been kicked out of the group that awards the Oscars and his producers guild expulsion is a formality at this point, but now questions are being raised about what to do with other bad seeds who remain card-carrying members of the entertainment industry's most prestigious organizations. Before Saturday, only one person is said to have had their Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science membership revoked, and that was for loaning out awards screeners. And before Monday, the only people to have lost their Producers Guild of America standing were those who had failed to pay their dues.