5 GOP senators now oppose health care bill as written WASHINGTON (AP) - Nevada Republican Dean Heller became the fifth GOP senator to declare his opposition to the party's banner legislation to scuttle much of Barack Obama's health care overhaul on Friday, more than enough to sink the measure and deliver a stinging rebuke to President Donald Trump unless some of them can be brought aboard. Echoing the other four, Heller said he opposes the measure "in this form" but does not rule out backing a version that is changed to his liking. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said he's willing to alter the measure to attract support, and next week promises plenty of back-room bargaining as he tries pushing a final package through his chamber.
Over 120 people buried by massive southwest China landslide BEIJING (AP) - More than 120 people were buried by a landslide that caused huge rocks and a mass of earth to come crashing into their homes in a mountain village in southwestern China early Saturday, officials said. The landslide, which came from a mountain, engulfed a cluster of 62 homes and a hotel in the village of Xinmo in Mao County at about 6 a.m., the Sichuan provincial government said. Officials said 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) of road were buried in the disaster. "It's the biggest landslide to hit this area since the Wenchuan earthquake," Wang Yongbo, an official leading one of the rescue efforts, told state broadcaster China Central Television.
Suicide bomber blows himself up as Saudis foil Mecca plot RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) - A suicide bomber blew himself up near the Grand Mosque in Mecca as police disrupted a plot to target the holiest site in Islam just as the fasting month of Ramadan ends, Saudi security forces said Saturday. The Interior Ministry said it launched a raid around Jiddah, as well as two areas in Mecca itself, including the Ajyad Al-Masafi neighborhood, located near the Grand Mosque. There, police said they engaged in a shootout at a three-story house with a suicide bomber, who blew himself up and caused the building to collapse. He was killed, while the blast wounded six foreigners and five members of security forces, according to the Interior Ministry's statement.
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Clue to Gorsuch's ideology seen in pairings with Thomas WASHINGTON (AP) - To see where Justice Neil Gorsuch might fit on the Supreme Court, watch the company he keeps. Gorsuch has already paired up four times with Justice Clarence Thomas - the court's most conservative member - in separate opinions that dissent from or take issue with the court's majority rulings. While the sample size is small, the results show Gorsuch's commitment to follow the strict text of the law and a willingness to join Thomas in pushing the envelope further than the court's other conservatives. Gorsuch was picked by President Donald Trump to be a reliable conservative in the mold of the late Antonin Scalia.
Mueller and Comey not as close as Trump and others suggest WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump and his associates are trying to draw attention to the relationship between special counsel Robert Mueller and former FBI Director James Comey. It appears that Trump's description of the two as "very, very good friends" isn't rooted in reality. Mueller and Comey served together in the Justice Department during the George W. Bush administration. They're not known to be especially close friends. A former federal prosecutor, David Kelley, says Mueller and Comey haven't visited each other's homes and rarely shared a meal together. Legal experts say whatever connection they do have doesn't come close to meriting Mueller's removal as special counsel.
AP sources: Military to seek delay on transgender enlistees WASHINGTON (AP) - Military chiefs will seek a six-month delay before letting transgender people enlist in their services, officials said Friday. After meetings this week, the service leaders hammered out an agreement that rejected Army and Air Force requests for a two-year wait and reflected broader concerns that a longer delay would trigger criticism on Capitol Hill, officials familiar with the talks told The Associated Press. The new request for a delay will go to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis for a final decision, said the officials, who weren't authorized to discuss the internal deliberations publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Death toll from Pakistan attacks climbs to 73 PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) - The death toll from twin blasts in the northwestern town of Parachinar climbed to 55 overnight, bringing the overall death toll from three separate attacks in Pakistan on Friday to 73, with several others in critical condition, officials said. Shahid Khan, a government official in Parachinar, confirmed the toll Saturday, saying residents who had been preparing to celebrate the end of Ramadan were now in mourning. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a Sunni extremist group, claimed the twin bombings at a crowded market in the Shiite-dominated town, linking them to sectarian fighting in Syria. Dr. Sabir Hussain, an official at a government-run hospital in Parachinar, said they had received 261 victims of the twin blasts, with 62 listed in critical condition.
California governor stops parole for Charles Manson follower LOS ANGELES (AP) - California Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday night blocked parole for Charles Manson follower and convicted killer Bruce Davis. Brown's rejection issued late Friday night is the fifth time Davis has been recommended for parole by a state panel only to see it blocked by a governor, and continues Brown's unflinching pattern of refusing to allow anyone from Manson's "family" to be freed. On Feb. 1, the parole panel recommended release for the 74-year-old Davis, who is serving a life sentence for the 1969 slayings of musician Gary Hinman and stuntman Donald "Shorty" Shea. Davis was not involved in the more notorious killings of actress Sharon Tate and six others by Manson's group.
Jordan to cancel 'marry the victim' clause shielding rapists AMMAN, Jordan (AP) - A pregnant 15-year-old who had been raped by a brother-in-law decided to marry her attacker, hoping this would shield her from other male relatives who might kill her in the name of "family honor." A young woman was taken into protective custody after being stabbed 17 times by a brother who accused her of bringing "shame" to the family for running away from an abusive husband. Jail, forced marriage or the risk of getting killed by family members - these are some of the harsh choices still faced by victims of abuse or sexual violence in Jordan.
Huge, homely mastiff named Martha wins world's ugliest dog PETALUMA, Calif. (AP) - Martha is big, ugly, lazy and gassy. And a world champion. In a competition annually dominated by the old, the tiny, and the hairless, the 3-year-old, 125-pound Neapolitan Mastiff used her lollygagging youth to win the 29th annual World's Ugliest Dog Contest. She was a favorite of the Northern California crowd from the start, often plopping down on her side on stage with her droopy face spread across the ground when she was supposed to be showing off. The judges didn't even need to hear her signature snore to give her the award. "Do you know you just won the World's Ugliest Dog Contest?" asked Kerry Sanders of NBC News, one of three judges who gave Martha the crown.