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AP Top News at 1:41 a.m. EDT

A short-term health deal by senators _ but Trump a question
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. The president, at first, spoke approvingly of the deal, but as conservatives rebelled, the White House insisted Trump actually opposed the plan as a bailout of insurance companies. 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.


Senate moves ahead on GOP budget that's key to taxes
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate is moving ahead on a Republican budget plan, a critical step in President Donald Trump and the party's politically imperative drive to cut taxes and simplify the IRS code. The nonbinding budget plan would permit Republicans to pass follow-up tax cuts later this year that would cost up to $1.5 trillion over the coming decade. The plan cleared a procedural hurdle in the Senate on a party-line vote of 50-47. The plan breaks with longstanding promises by top Republicans like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan that the upcoming tax drive won't add to the nation's $20 trillion debt.


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.


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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's been walking around in a daze. Firefighters gained more control Tuesday of the massive wine country wildfires, even as other blazes erupted in mountains near Los Angeles and Santa Cruz.


Xi urges stronger Chinese stand against "grim" challenges
BEIJING (AP) - Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday urged a reinvigorated Communist Party to take on a more forceful role in society and economic development to better address "grim" challenges facing the country as he opened a twice-a-decade national congress. Speaking in the massive Great Hall of the People near Tiananmen Square, Xi laid out his vision of a ruling party that serves as the vanguard on everything from defending national security to providing moral guidance to ordinary Chinese. He struck a nationalistic line throughout his speech, calling for the party not only to safeguard China's sovereignty but also to revitalize Chinese culture, oppose "erroneous" ideology and promote religion that is "Chinese in origin." "The great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is no walk in the park or mere drum-beating and gong-clanging.


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 The Associated Press found relatives of two soldiers who died overseas during Trump's presidency who said they never received a call or a letter from him, as well as relatives of a third who did not get a call from him.


Puerto Rico youth stranded with school still out from storm
HATILLO, Puerto Rico (AP) - Alanys Arroyo and her little brothers have been cooped up in a school for weeks, but they aren't in class. They've been living in a campus-turned-shelter in western Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria flooded their home and destroyed their belongings, trying to pass the time while their family waits for help to replace the apartment it lost in the storm. Fifteen-year-old Arroyo reads or helps her mother clean the classroom where they sleep. The boys kick around a soccer ball and run through the hallways. They are bored and increasingly frustrated, a combination widely felt by young people across Puerto Rico as the island remains stuck in place nearly a month after the hurricane.


Twitter vows new crackdown on hateful, abusive tweets
MENLO PARK, Calif. (AP) - Twitter vowed to crack down further on hate speech and sexual harassment, days after CEO Jack Dorsey said in a tweet-storm that the company was "still" not doing enough to protect its users. The policy changes were specifically aimed at protecting women who unknowingly or unwillingly had nude pictures of themselves distributed online or were subject to unwanted sexual advances. They would also aim to shield groups subject to hateful imagery, symbols and threats of violence. In an email Twitter shared with The Associated Press Tuesday, Twitter's head of safety policy outlined the new guidelines to the company's Trust and Safety Council, a group of outside organizations that advises the company on its policies against abuse.


Former hostage says his American wife was rushed to hospital
SMITHS FALLS, Ontario (AP) - Joshua Boyle, a Canadian who was rescued with his family last week by Pakistani troops, said Tuesday that his wife had to be rushed to the hospital and remains there. Boyle told The Associated Press in an email that his wife, Caitlan Boyle, was admitted Monday. His email did not specify why she was taken to the hospital. "My wife has been through hell, and she has to be my first priority right now," Boyle wrote. Boyle, his American wife and their three children were rescued Wednesday, five years after the couple was abducted in Afghanistan on a backpacking trip.


Dodgers close in on World Series with 6-1 win over Cubs
CHICAGO (AP) - The Los Angeles Dodgers have a tough lineup, a talented pitching staff and a manager making all the right moves. Yup, it's beginning to look a lot like 1988. Yu Darvish pitched sparkling ball into the seventh inning, Chris Taylor homered again and the Dodgers beat the Chicago Cubs 6-1 on Tuesday night to open a 3-0 lead in the NL Championship Series. Andre Ethier also went deep and Taylor added an RBI triple in the fifth as Los Angeles improved to 6-0 in this postseason, setting a franchise record for consecutive playoff wins. Yasiel Puig had two more hits in another entertaining performance that included an impressive bat flip - on a long foul ball in the first inning.