The Daily Astorian | http://www.dailyastorian.com The Daily Astorian Tue, 25 Apr 2017 01:40:48 -0400 en http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/staticimage/images/rss-logo.jpg The Daily Astorian | http://www.dailyastorian.com AP Top News at 4:36 a.m. EDT http://www.dailyastorian.com/ap-top-news-at-436-am-edt-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world68abd13ca25632e200a43845ec17c727 http://www.dailyastorian.com/ap-top-news-at-436-am-edt-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world68abd13ca25632e200a43845ec17c727#Comments Tue, 25 Apr 2017 01:40:15 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017304259932 Seoul: North Korea holds drill to mark military anniversaryOvercoming Opioids: Special schools help teens stay cleanTough court on immigration serves as model for Trump plansTrump's 100-days promises: Fewer than half carried outWells Fargo to face irritated shareholders at annual meetingTrailblazing Colorado abortion law marks 50th anniversaryFaye Dunaway speaks on Oscar's best picture fiasco]]> Trump asked to work for release of 2 jailed by Iran http://www.dailyastorian.com/trump-asked-to-work-for-release-of-2-jailed-by-iran-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world6c4ecc3d9d4e447794403e379ed0daa0 http://www.dailyastorian.com/trump-asked-to-work-for-release-of-2-jailed-by-iran-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world6c4ecc3d9d4e447794403e379ed0daa0#Comments Tue, 25 Apr 2017 01:30:15 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017304259871 VIENNA (AP) — A relative and supporters of two Iranian-American citizens imprisoned in Iran are turning to U.S. President Donald Trump and a U.N. panel in efforts to secure their release.

Siamak Namazi and his father, Baquer Namazi, are both serving 10-year prison sentences on convictions of "collusion with an enemy state" — the United States. Their supporters deny the charges and say the two are being held as pawns to exert leverage on the U.S.

A petition to the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention submitted Tuesday asks for "urgent action" to secure the release of the Namazis. It was filed by the Washington-based Freedom Now human rights group.

At the same time, Babak Namazi says his father and brother are suffering "rapidly declining health" and he urged Trump to "act urgently."

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AP Top International News at 4:29 a.m. EDT http://www.dailyastorian.com/ap-top-international-news-at-429-am-edt-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world3a488e4b2e0b2b24f9fbdb8abc7b687f http://www.dailyastorian.com/ap-top-international-news-at-429-am-edt-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world3a488e4b2e0b2b24f9fbdb8abc7b687f#Comments Tue, 25 Apr 2017 01:31:29 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017304259908 Researchers: Russia-linked hackers targeted Macron campaignTurkey hits Kurdish areas in Iraq's Sinjar, northeast SyriaUN hosts aid-pledging conference for beleaguered YemenGerman FM: Netanyahu cancelation would be regrettable]]> Turkey hits Kurdish areas in Iraq's Sinjar, northeast Syria http://www.dailyastorian.com/turkey-hits-kurdish-areas-in-iraqs-sinjar-northeast-syria-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world4e4743b9cab1404b8b5464302982d63f http://www.dailyastorian.com/turkey-hits-kurdish-areas-in-iraqs-sinjar-northeast-syria-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world4e4743b9cab1404b8b5464302982d63f#Comments Tue, 25 Apr 2017 01:20:37 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017304259906 ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish warplanes carried out airstrikes on Tuesday against suspected Kurdish rebel positions in northern Iraq and in northeastern Syria, the military said, in a bid to prevent militants from smuggling fighters and weapons into Turkey.

A Syrian Kurdish militia force said the strikes hit a media center, a local radio station, a communication headquarters and some military posts, killing an undetermined number of fighters in Syria's northeastern Hassakeh province.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the Syrian war, also reported the strikes on the media and military targets in Karachok, adding that an airstrike killed three members of the Syrian Kurdish militia known as the People's Protection Units, or YPG.

Ankara says members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, are finding sanctuaries in neighboring Iraq and Syria, among those countries' own Kurdish minorities.

A Turkish military statement said the pre-dawn strikes hit targets on the Sinjar Mountain in northern Iraq and also in a mountainous region in Syria. It said the operations were conducted to prevent infiltration of Kurdish rebels, weapons, ammunition and explosives from those areas into Turkey.

A Turkish security official, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with Turkish government protocol, said the airstrikes are believed to have killed around 200 Kurdish militants, including some senior commanders. The claim could not be independently confirmed.

Although Turkey regularly carries out airstrikes against PKK targets in northern Iraq, this was the first time it has struck the Sinjar region. Turkey has long claimed that the area was becoming a hotbed for PKK rebels.

Last year, Turkey sent troops into Syria to back Syrian opposition fighters in the battle against the Islamic State group and also to curb what is perceives as the territorial expansion of U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish forces, which it claims are affiliated with the PKK. The Kurdish group, which has led an insurgency in southeast Turkey since 1984, is considered a terror organization by Turkey and its allies.

In its statement, the military vowed to press ahead with operations against the PKK both inside Turkey and across its borders until the "last terrorist is eliminated."

The Syrian Kurdish forces denounced Tuesday's strikes on their positions as "treacherous," accusing Turkey of undermining the anti-terrorism fight.

Aside from aspirations for autonomy, the Kurdish group in Syria is part of the U.S.-led international coalition against the Islamic State militants who seized large swaths of Syria and Iraq in 2014. Since then, the IS has suffered major setbacks at the hands of the coalition, losing large chunks of the territory the Sunni militant group once held. The Syrian Kurdish forces, backed by the U.S.-led coalition, are closing in on IS de facto capital, the city of Raqqa.

"By this attack, Turkey is trying to undermine Raqqa operation, give (IS) time to reorganize and put in danger lives of thousands of" displaced, the YPG said on its Twitter account.

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Associated Press Writer Sarah El Deeb in Beirut contributed to this report.

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UK's Labour pledges new Brexit strategy if it wins election http://www.dailyastorian.com/uks-labour-pledges-new-brexit-strategy-if-it-wins-election-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-worlded0dbba08d7141a08fd52b0c56134865 http://www.dailyastorian.com/uks-labour-pledges-new-brexit-strategy-if-it-wins-election-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-worlded0dbba08d7141a08fd52b0c56134865#Comments Tue, 25 Apr 2017 01:20:39 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017304259872 LONDON (AP) — Britain's opposition Labour Party says it will tear up the government's negotiating plan for Brexit and guarantee all European Union citizens in the U.K. the right to stay if it wins the June 8 national election.

Prime Minister Theresa May says giving her Conservatives a bigger majority will strengthen Britain's hand in EU divorce talks.

But Labour says May has weakened Britain's position by ruling out remaining in the EU single market.

The party's Brexit spokesman, Keir Starmer, says a Labour government would seek to retain the benefits of single-market membership. And he says it's "shameful" that Britain has not guaranteed that the 3 million EU citizens living in the U.K. will be able to stay.

Starmer said Tuesday that a Labour government will make that guarantee "on day one."

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LVMH to consolidate hold on Dior in multibillion-euro deal http://www.dailyastorian.com/lvmh-to-consolidate-hold-on-dior-in-multibillion-euro-deal-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world985c03be63b946c7abd41b45170ac919 http://www.dailyastorian.com/lvmh-to-consolidate-hold-on-dior-in-multibillion-euro-deal-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world985c03be63b946c7abd41b45170ac919#Comments Tue, 25 Apr 2017 01:10:21 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017304259873 PARIS (AP) — The magnate behind the LVMH luxury empire is seeking to strengthen control over Christian Dior in a multibillion-dollar deal combining the fashion industry heavyweights.

Shares in both companies jumped Tuesday after Christian Dior, LVMH Moet Hennessy - Louis Vuitton and the Arnault Family Group announced a series of transactions consolidating their activities.

The announcement said LVMH, which already owned Christian Dior cosmetics and perfumes, would buy Christian Dior Couture for 6.5 billion euros ($7.1 billion). In addition, the Arnault Family Group is making a public offer for the Christian Dior shares it doesn't currently hold.

The statement says the boards of both companies approve of the transactions.

The announcement is the latest large deal for businessman Bernard Arnault, whose LVMH empire already includes many leading names in fashion and luxury.

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UN hosts aid-pledging conference for beleaguered Yemen http://www.dailyastorian.com/un-hosts-aid-pledging-conference-for-beleaguered-yemen-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world790f64baa70248539e6b4abb2d659a29 http://www.dailyastorian.com/un-hosts-aid-pledging-conference-for-beleaguered-yemen-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world790f64baa70248539e6b4abb2d659a29#Comments Tue, 25 Apr 2017 01:10:22 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017304259903 GENEVA (AP) — The United Nations secretary-general and high-ranking government officials from dozens of countries were meeting Tuesday in Geneva to drum up funds for war-torn Yemen, considered one of the world's greatest humanitarian crises.

Antonio Guterres and top diplomats from Switzerland and Sweden are co-hosting a pledging conference in the Swiss city that's aimed at helping raise $2.1 billion in a U.N. relief appeal that was launched this year.

The U.N.'s humanitarian aid coordinator, OCHA, has pointed to "an alarming 18.8 million people in need of humanitarian or protection assistance" in Yemen.

Yemen's war has killed more than 10,000 civilians and pushed the Arab world's poorest nation to the brink of famine. Humanitarian aid groups have sought greater access to people in need, a halt to airstrikes by a Saudi-led, Western-backed coalition fighting Yemen's Shiite rebels, and greater respect for international humanitarian law.

The war pits the coalition of mostly Arab Sunni countries against the Shiite rebels known as Houthis, who seized Yemen's capital and some other areas in 2014 and forced the internationally-recognized government to flee the country.

In a dramatic joint appeal, the U.N. children's agency and the World Food Program said 7 million people in Yemen don't know where their next meal will come from and are in desperate need of food assistance.

Nearly 2.2 million children are malnourished, including half a million who are severely malnourished and at imminent risk of death if they do not receive urgent care and specialized treatment, UNICEF and WFP said in a statement released Tuesday.

"Without further action from parties to the conflict and the international community, Yemen is at a serious risk of plunging into famine - with even more children's lives hanging in the balance," said Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF's director for Mideast and North Africa.

"We are in a race against time," he added.

Since 2015, about 3.3 million people have been forced to flee their homes, though nearly 1.3 million of the displaced have returned to their home regions, according to the U.N.'s International Organization for Migration. The IOM is seeking $76.3 million in the overall relief appeal.

IOM said Tuesday that it has the highest coverage of any U.N. organization in Yemen, with more than 600 staffers involved in operations in 20 of the country's 22 governorates.

U.N. officials have warned of the prospect of a total collapse of Yemen's agricultural sector and health system, compounded by poverty, environmental decline, and violations of human rights amid the conflict.

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Philippines: Malaysian, 3 Indonesians among slain militants http://www.dailyastorian.com/philippines-malaysian-3-indonesians-among-slain-militants-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world7c247eaea40849818b64e01cae3ba711 http://www.dailyastorian.com/philippines-malaysian-3-indonesians-among-slain-militants-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world7c247eaea40849818b64e01cae3ba711#Comments Tue, 25 Apr 2017 01:00:15 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017304259874 MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines' military chief says three Indonesians and a Malaysian are among 37 militants who were killed in an assault that captured the extremists' southern jungle camp.

Gen. Eduardo Ano says 14 of the dead have been identified so far from a series of clashes in southern Lanao del Sur province.

Officials said an army general raised the Philippine flag in the camp belonging to the Maute armed group, which is allied with Islamic State militants, a few hours after troops seized it on Monday.

Ano says mopping-up operations are ongoing and troops are trying to locate Filipino militant leader Isnilon Hapilon.

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A budget deficit challenge for Trump's tax plan http://www.dailyastorian.com/a-budget-deficit-challenge-for-trumps-tax-plan-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world3f21e7fceb39414f96f69af5e9f5a206 http://www.dailyastorian.com/a-budget-deficit-challenge-for-trumps-tax-plan-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world3f21e7fceb39414f96f69af5e9f5a206#Comments Tue, 25 Apr 2017 00:50:32 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017304259875 WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump plans to stick with his campaign pledge to slash the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent, but the dramatic cut raises a problematic question for the White House: How can the president deliver the "massive" tax cut he promised without also blowing a massive hole in the budget?

A senior administration official confirmed the planned reduction to corporate rates, speaking on condition of anonymity in order discuss details of the plan the president is expected to unveil Wednesday.

Most outside economic analyses say the type of tax cuts being promoted by Trump would likely fuel even larger deficits for a federal government already projected to see its debt steadily rise. The lowered tax rates are also unlikely to generate Trump's ambitious promised growth rate of 3 percent a year, roughly double the 1.6 percent growth achieved last year. These two factors are related because the Trump administration is counting on faster economic growth to produce additional tax revenues that could then close the deficit. The concept was popularized as "trickle-down" economics during the Reagan years.

The problem is that the economy can't grow quickly enough to cover the likely hole in the deficit.

"There's no pure tax cut that pays for itself," said Alan Cole, an economist at the right-leaning Tax Foundation.

Trump has promised to release the outlines of his tax plan Wednesday and has said the plan would give Americans a tax cut bigger than "any tax cut ever." During the campaign, he backed cutting the corporate tax rate — and the personal income tax rate to 33 percent from a top marginal rate of 39.6 percent.

Although he did not disclose details, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday the lower tax rates would generate so much economic growth that it would hold the deficit in check.

"The tax reform will pay for itself with economic growth," Mnuchin said at the White House news briefing, adding that the overhaul would ideally let someone file taxes on a "large postcard."

By running the risk of higher deficits, the Trump plan could damage the credibility of Republican lawmakers who spent years railing against the rising national debt under former President Barack Obama. Trump could also make it harder to pass lasting tax reform, since any policy that increases the debt above its baseline either requires Democratic support or — if passed by a slim majority of Republicans in the Senate — would expire in a decade. The House Republican tax blueprint tried to offset the lower rates by introducing a new tax system that applies to imports.

Mnuchin and White House economic adviser Gary Cohn are scheduled to meet with congressional leaders Tuesday evening to talk about the president's tax plan. They are expected to meet with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas.

Hatch and Brady will be key players in Congress as lawmakers try to tackle a tax overhaul.

Trump's announcement Friday that he would unveil a tax plan this week caught lawmakers by surprise, despite regular conversations among Mnuchin, Cohn and congressional leaders, said a congressional aide. The aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity, was not authorized to speak publicly about the issue.

Without a proposal on the table, the White House has been vague about the president's support for ideas circulating in Congress.

It's unclear whether the president favors the House Republican blueprint's border adjustment tax system, which would lower corporate rates to 20 percent by essentially taxing imports and excluding U.S. exports.

Trump told Fox Business News that he prefers a "reciprocal" tax in which any tariffs, duties or taxes would match what trading partners charge.

Most economists say it's unlikely that tax cuts can generate enough gains to avoid swelling the government's red-ink problem — estimated to total $559 billion this year. They also have recent real-world examples to make their case: Tax cuts in Kansas made by Gov. Sam Brownback failed to deliver the expected boost, forcing the state into years of grueling budget battles and harsh spending cuts to make up the gap.

The benefits of the tax cuts could also be limited by economic forces beyond Trump's immediate control.

The Federal Reserve could raise short-term interest rates, investors might charge the government higher borrowing costs and a stronger dollar could temper growth through exports, said Mark Doms, a senior economist at the bank Nomura.

"Doing some kind of tax cut might boost growth a bit, but there are forces that would counteract the tax cut," Doms said.

Tax reform would likely have a modest effect on growth, almost surely not enough to match the administration's 3 percent growth target, said Mark Mazur, director of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center and a former assistant treasury secretary for tax policy in the Obama administration. Major tax cuts might also provide a short-term boost, but they would likely produce additional debt that would dampen growth in the future.

"The laws of arithmetic kind of catch up to you," Mazur said.

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Study: Trump's hardball tactic on health care may backfire http://www.dailyastorian.com/study-trumps-hardball-tactic-on-health-care-may-backfire-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world4f98d41c9e9b49cfad3cece185a4d37f http://www.dailyastorian.com/study-trumps-hardball-tactic-on-health-care-may-backfire-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world4f98d41c9e9b49cfad3cece185a4d37f#Comments Tue, 25 Apr 2017 00:50:42 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017304259876 WASHINGTON (AP) — Going into this week's federal budget battle, the White House toyed with a hardball tactic to force congressional Democrats to negotiate on President Donald Trump's priorities.

They just might eliminate billions of dollars in disputed "Obamacare" subsidies.

But a study out Tuesday from a nonpartisan group suggests that could backfire. Stopping the Affordable Care Act payments at issue may actually wind up costing the federal government billions more than it would save.

The Kaiser Family Foundation found that taxpayers would end up paying 23 percent more than the potential savings from eliminating the health law's "cost-sharing" subsidies, which help low-income people with insurance deductibles and copayments.

It adds up to an estimated $2.3 billion more in 2018, or an additional $31 billion over 10 years.

How's that possible? The short answer is that insurers would still be free to raise premiums, driving federal spending even higher on a separate subsidy provided under the program. "You end up with a counter-intuitive result," said Larry Levitt, one of the study's authors.

Former Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a Republican economist, reviewed the Kaiser study for The Associated Press and concurred. "I think this may even be a conservative estimate," he said. "It says what's at stake: double-digit premium increases and more money out of the Treasury, not less."

A separate study from Covered California, the health insurance marketplace in the nation's most populous state, earlier reached similar conclusions.

The cost-sharing subsidies amount to about $7 billion this year. Provided to low-income customers who buy a silver-level plan, the assistance can reduce deductibles of several thousand dollars to just a couple of hundred. About 3 in 5 consumers on HealthCare.gov and state marketplaces qualify. The cost-sharing help is provided directly by insurers, who are reimbursed by the government.

But the money is under a legal cloud after a federal judge's ruling in a lawsuit by House Republicans against the Obama administration.

The judge agreed with GOP lawmakers that the health law lacked a specific congressional appropriation for the subsidies, making it unconstitutional for the government to spend the money. All parties have agreed to put the ruling on hold.

Congress could clear up the issue by appropriating the money in the pending budget bill to keep the government running.

Or the Trump administration could appeal the district judge's ruling, as the Obama administration had planned.

But with no resolution, the situation has only compounded uncertainty over the ultimate fate of "Obamacare."

Trump has suggested the cost-sharing subsidies could be a bargaining chip to bring Democrats to the table on health care. And White House budget director Mick Mulvaney has suggested the health care payments could be tied to Democratic support for financing the president's wall on the Mexican border.

On top of that, Trump and GOP lawmakers still say they want to repeal Obama's health law, which provides coverage for some 20 million people through subsidized private coverage and expanded Medicaid.

Insurers, doctors, hospitals, consumer groups and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have urged lawmakers to preserve the cost-sharing subsidies, warning that insurance markets could unravel without the money, jeopardizing coverage for millions.

By law, insurers are obligated to provide the assistance even if government repayment isn't guaranteed. Without the money, insurers might just bail out of the program altogether. But the Kaiser study modeled what might happen if companies stayed in the market even without government reimbursement for their cost-sharing expenses.

To compensate, those insurers would have to jack up premiums to cover what they'd spend on helping consumers with deductibles and copayments. Premiums are subsidized separately, and there is no legal dispute about those payments. Part of the reason overall government spending would increase is that many more people get subsidized premiums than receive cost-sharing assistance.

The impact of the premium increases would be sharper in states that have not expanded Medicaid under the Obama health law, the Kaiser study found. Those states tend to be Republican-led and supportive of Trump in last year's election.

"Either this ends up costing the federal government more money, or there's chaos that leads to people losing their health insurance," said the Kaiser Foundation's Levitt. "This would hardly be an orderly transition to a new system."

The White House says no final decisions have been made.

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Trump touts executive orders he once lambasted http://www.dailyastorian.com/trump-touts-executive-orders-he-once-lambasted-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-worlde9f75e03bb7a41c1a44e9512d4990832 http://www.dailyastorian.com/trump-touts-executive-orders-he-once-lambasted-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-worlde9f75e03bb7a41c1a44e9512d4990832#Comments Tue, 25 Apr 2017 00:41:12 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017304259877 WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump will mark the end of his first 100 days in office with a flurry of executive orders, looking to fulfill campaign promises and rack up victories ahead of that milestone by turning to a presidential tool he once derided. But Trump's frequent use of the executive order points to his struggles getting legislation though a Congress controlled by his own party and few of the orders themselves appear to deliver the sweeping changes the president has promised.

White House aides said that Trump will have signed 32 executive orders by Friday, the most of any president in their first 100 days since World War II. That's a far cry from Trump's heated campaign rhetoric, in which he railed against his predecessor's use of executive action late in his tenure as President Barack Obama sought to maneuver around a Republican Congress. Trump argued that he, the consummate deal maker, wouldn't need to rely on the tool.

"The country wasn't based on executive orders," said Trump at a town hall in South Carolina in February 2016. "Right now, Obama goes around signing executive orders. He can't even get along with the Democrats, and he goes around signing all these executive orders. It's a basic disaster. You can't do it."

But after taking office, Trump has learned to love the executive order. This week, he will sign one on rural issues, another on veterans and several on energy.

The White House has defended the use of executive orders as necessary to accomplish the speedy solutions it says the American people elected Trump to enact. At first, the president's West Wing advisers fashioned an onslaught of executive action to set the tone for this term, with the centerpiece of that first-week blitz being Trump's travel ban.

But that hastily drawn ban was rejected by the courts. A second replacement order also remains in judicial limbo.

Presidents frequently turn to executive orders when they struggle to advance their agendas through Congresses controlled by the opposition party. In Trump's case, he's struggled even though both houses of Congress are in the hands of Republicans; his health care bill never even came for a vote in the House of Representatives after it drew sharp criticism from moderate and conservative Republicans alike.

And in the Senate, Republicans need to win over some Democratic lawmakers to get the 60 votes needed for passage of a contested bill. But the Senate is generally more inclined to cut bipartisan deals than the House because senators have statewide constituencies.

"This president has found that legislating is hard work," said Mark Rozell, dean of George Mason University's Schar School of Policy and Government. "Executive orders are the easiest, simplest way to showcase action by the president to begin to fulfill some of the pledges made in the campaign.

Executive orders show action. But oftentimes they are often symbolic and only have a marginal impact on policy."

A review of Trump's executive orders reveals that a number of them represent necessary first steps at unraveling Obama-era environmental safeguards and financial service regulations. In some cases, there is no other way around those administrative hoops and some of the orders have bringing about major changes. Among them: his late March order that directed federal agencies to rescind any existing regulations that "unduly burden the development of domestic energy resources," a move that rolls back environmental protections that was denounced by Democrats and environmentalists and cheered by Republicans who advocate energy independence.

But many of Trump's executive orders signed with great fanfare have had little immediate impact. And many simply order reviews of pressing issues that push decision-making down the line.

For instance, during his campaign, Trump talked tough on trade, vowing to slap punitive tariffs on companies that move production offshore and on countries that undercut U.S. goods. Aides hailed one of the executive orders he signed on the topic as "historic." Yet the order called only for the completion within 90 days of a large-scale report to identify trade abuse and non-reciprocal practice.

And while Trump has pledged to overhaul the nation's tax code, the order he signed on Friday simply commissions a review of the nation's tax regulations.

On Tuesday, Trump is expected to sign an order that will create an inter-agency task force that that will be charged with identifying measures to spur American agricultural growth. On Thursday, he's expected to sign an order to create whistleblower protections in the Office of Veteran Affairs while making it easier to discipline or terminate employees who fail to carry out their duties to help veterans. He's also poised to sign an order that directs a review of the locations available for off-shore oil and gas exploration. Another will instruct the Interior Department to review national monument designations made over the past two decades.

"Unlike his predecessor who abused executive authority to expand the size and scope of the federal government in an end run around Congress, President Trump is using his legal authority to restrain Washington bureaucrats," said White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Trump is far from the first president to turn to governing by executive orders signed from the friendly confines of the Oval Office rather than by legislation that would need to wend its way through the halls of Congress. Obama had frequently criticized his predecessor, George W. Bush, for governing unilaterally, but he too turned to the executive action, particularly after the Republicans seized control of Capitol Hill.

Obama signed 276 during his eight years in office, slightly less than Bush (291) and Bill Clinton (364) did in their two terms, according to data compiled by the University of California-Santa Barbara. Executive orders were used relatively infrequently until Theordore Roosevelt ushered in a new era of executive action at the beginning of the 19th century, signing more than 1,000 while in office and establishing a template his successors. Franklin D. Roosevelt, president during the Great Depression and World War II, signed more than 3,700 during his 12-plus years in office.

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Lemire reported from New York.

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Follow Lemire on Twitter at http://twitter.com/@JonLemire and Colvin at http://twitter.com/@ColvinJ

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Seoul: North Korea holds drill to mark military anniversary http://www.dailyastorian.com/seoul-north-korea-holds-drill-to-mark-military-anniversary-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world26fd79004dd44a66aebb956754f16b28 http://www.dailyastorian.com/seoul-north-korea-holds-drill-to-mark-military-anniversary-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world26fd79004dd44a66aebb956754f16b28#Comments Tue, 25 Apr 2017 00:40:30 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017304259904 PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — South Korea's military said Tuesday that North Korea held major live-fire drills in an area around its eastern coastal town of Wonsan as it marked the anniversary of the founding of its military.

The exercise took place as a U.S. guided-missile submarine arrived in South Korea and envoys from the United States, Japan and South Korea met in Tokyo to discuss the growing threat posed by North Korea's nuclear weapons and missiles program.

Though experts thought a nuclear test or ballistic missile launch might happen, the morning came and went without either.

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NORTH KOREAN GENERAL WARNS OF PRE-EMPTIVE STRIKE

Crowds in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, laid flowers and paid respects at giant statues of the country's former leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, one day after the minister of defense reiterated that the North is ready to use pre-emptive strikes or any measures it deems necessary to defend itself against the "U.S. imperialists."

"The situation prevailing on the Korean Peninsula is so tense that a nuclear war may break out due to the frantic war drills of the U.S. imperialists and their vassal forces for aggression," Gen. Pak Yong Sik told a "national meeting" of thousands of senior military and civilian officials.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said it is closely watching North Korean military action in the Wonsan city area, where it said the drills were being held. South Korea's Yonhap news agency earlier said that the exercise involved 300 to 400 artillery pieces, but an official from Seoul's Defense Ministry couldn't confirm such details.

The streets of Pyongyang were quiet. Flower-laying and bowing at statues and portraits of the leaders is a regular routine on major anniversaries. People also gathered in open spaces to take part in organized dancing, another common way to mark holidays.

"Our great leaders founded and wisely led our revolutionary army, and just like that, now our respected Marshal Kim Jong Un is leading wisely, so even though the situation is tense, we are celebrating the day," said Choe Un Byol, who had come with his family to the bronze statues of the former leaders.

North Korea often also marks significant dates by displaying its military capability. Pyongyang launched a missile one day after the 105th birthday of late founder Kim Il Sung on April 15.

Recent U.S. commercial satellite images indicate increased activity around North Korea's nuclear test site, and third-generation dictator Kim has said the country's preparation for an ICBM launch is in its "final stage."

___

U.S. NAVY GATHERS OFF KOREAS

The USS Michigan, a nuclear-powered submarine, arrived at the South Korean port of Busan in what was described as a routine visit to rest the crew and load supplies. Cmdr. Jang Wook from South Korean navy public affairs said there was no plan for a drill.

The submarine's arrival comes as the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier heads toward the Korean Peninsula for a joint exercise with South Korea around the weekend.

Despite the buildup, President Donald Trump has reportedly settled on a strategy that emphasizes increased pressure on North Korea with the help of China, the North's only major ally, instead of military options or trying to overthrow North Korea's government.

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WASHINGTON'S WORDS

Trump told ambassadors from U.N. Security Council member countries that they must be prepared to impose additional and stronger sanctions on North Korea.

"This is a real threat to the world, whether we want to talk about it or not," Trump said at a White House meeting Monday. "North Korea is a big world problem, and it's a problem we have to finally solve. People have put blindfolds on for decades, and now it's time to solve the problem."

Nikki Haley, Trump's U.N. ambassador, said the United States is not looking for a fight with Kim and would not attack North Korea "unless he gives us reason to do something." She praised China's increased pressure on North Korea.

Asked about the threshold for U.S. action, Haley told American broadcaster NBC that "if you see him attack a military base, if you see some sort of intercontinental ballistic missile, then obviously we're going to do that."

But asked what if North Korea tests an intercontinental missile or nuclear device, she said: "I think then the president steps in and decides what's going to happen."

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DIPLOMATS MEET IN TOKYO

The United States, Japan and South Korea agreed Tuesday to put maximum pressure on North Korea, the South's envoy for North Korea said after meeting his American and Japanese counterparts in Tokyo.

"We agreed to warn North Korea to stop any additional strategic provocation and take intolerably strong punitive measures against Pyongyang if it goes ahead with such provocations," Kim Hong-kyun told reporters following his meeting with Joseph Yun of the U.S. and Japan's Kenji Kanasugi.

Kim said they discussed ways to get more cooperation from China and Russia, which they agreed is crucial to applying effective pressure on North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program. He said they also recognized China's recent steps toward that goal.

Japan's Foreign Ministry announced that China's envoy for North Korea, Wu Dawei, was arriving in Tokyo on Tuesday for talks with Kanasugi that may take place later this week.

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Kim reported from Seoul, South Korea. Associated Press writers Mari Yamaguchi and Ken Moritsugu in Tokyo and Matthew Pennington in Washington contributed to this report.

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Australian Olympic chief says campaign is malicious http://www.dailyastorian.com/australian-olympic-chief-says-campaign-is-malicious-da-ap-webfeeds-news-pro-sports5af6a9be97b9459db80d14b4bea176f9 http://www.dailyastorian.com/australian-olympic-chief-says-campaign-is-malicious-da-ap-webfeeds-news-pro-sports5af6a9be97b9459db80d14b4bea176f9#Comments Tue, 25 Apr 2017 00:41:13 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017304259924 SYDNEY (AP) — An increasingly bitter Olympic election in Australia has intensified with IOC Vice President John Coates describing the campaign as malicious and designed to damage him personally.

Coates is facing his first challenge as president of the Australian Olympic Committee in 27 years, with 1996 Olympic field hockey gold medalist Danni Roche running against him in a May 6 ballot.

AOC executive board members have called a special meeting via teleconference Wednesday evening after allegations an AOC staffer had intimidated at least one former executive and that a complaint made by former chief executive Fiona de Jong had not been properly addressed.

Roche, who is campaigning on a platform of change and has offered to work without pay as AOC president, has not been hostile in the campaign but insists the complaints surfacing in the domestic media need to be formally addressed.

Coates wrote to AOC executives and national sports groups to defend his running of the organization, and Sydney's Daily Telegraph published the two-page letter on Tuesday.

"There is clearly a coordinated and sadly vindictive campaign to damage me personally, and to tarnish all that has been achieved at the AOC," Coates said in comments published by the newspaper. "This campaign is as disappointing as it is unfounded."

Coates said the pre-vote executive meeting was not a crisis meeting but more for a "sensible discussion."

Regarding De Jong's complaint, Coates said due process "has been followed with urgency."

Coates, a 66-year-old lawyer who leads the IOC's Coordination Commission for the Tokyo 2020 Games and has been president of the Court of Arbitration for Sport since 2011, was elected as AOC president in 1990 and has not faced any challenges since.

He was influential in helping Australia bid for and stage the Sydney 2000 Olympics, an event that earned global praise.

The 46-year-old Roche's nomination has been endorsed by Australia's field hockey federation and backed by a number of other Olympic sports.

Roche is a board member of the government-run Australian Sports Commission — which has had a strained relationship with the AOC after the country's lower-than-expected performance at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro — but says her decision to run against Coates was purely because she believed it was time for a change of leadership.

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Trump's 100-days promises: Fewer than half carried out http://www.dailyastorian.com/trumps-100-days-promises-fewer-than-half-carried-out-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-worldbf64bcea8bfc4700bc7b03ade20a65a7 http://www.dailyastorian.com/trumps-100-days-promises-fewer-than-half-carried-out-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-worldbf64bcea8bfc4700bc7b03ade20a65a7#Comments Tue, 25 Apr 2017 00:41:06 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017304259878 WASHINGTON (AP) — Sure enough, the big trans-Pacific trade deal is toast, climate change action is on the ropes and various regulations from the Obama era have been scrapped. It's also a safe bet President Donald Trump hasn't raced a bicycle since Jan. 20, keeping that vow.

Add a Supreme Court justice — no small feat — and call these promises kept.

But where's that wall? Or the promised trade punishment against China — will the Chinese get off scot-free from "the greatest theft in the history of the world"? What about that "easy" replacement for Obamacare? How about the trillion-dollar infrastructure plan and huge tax cut that were supposed to be in motion by now?

Trump's road to the White House, paved in big, sometimes impossible pledges, has detoured onto a byway of promises deferred or left behind, an AP analysis found.

Of 38 specific promises Trump made in his 100-day "contract" with voters — "This is my pledge to you" — he's accomplished 10, mostly through executive orders that don't require legislation, such as withdrawing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

He's abandoned several and failed to deliver quickly on others, stymied at times by a divided Republican Party and resistant federal judges. Of 10 promises that require Congress to act, none has been achieved and most have not been introduced.

"I've done more than any other president in the first 100 days," the president bragged in a recent interview with AP, even as he criticized the marker as an "artificial barrier."

In truth, his 100-day plan remains mostly a to-do list that will spill over well beyond Saturday, his 100th day.

Some of Trump's promises were obviously hyperbole to begin with. Don't hold your breath waiting for alleged Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl to be dropped out of an airplane without a parachute, as Trump vowed he'd do at many of his campaign rallies. China's leader got a fancy dinner, complete with "beautiful" chocolate cake at Mar-a-Lago this month, not the promised "McDonald's hamburger" and humble pie.

But many promises were meant to be taken seriously. Trump clearly owes his supporters a Mexico border wall, even if it doesn't end up being a foot taller than the Great Wall of China.

One page of his 100-day manifesto is devoted to legislation he would fight to pass in 100 days. None of it has been achieved.

The other page lists 18 executive actions and intentions he promised to pursue — many on Day One. He has followed through on fewer than a dozen, largely through the use of executive orders, and the White House is boasting that he will set a post-World War II record when he signs more this week.

That's a change in tune.

"We need people in Washington that don't go around signing executive orders because they can't get people into a room and get some kind of a deal that's negotiated," he declared in New Hampshire in March 2015. "We need people that know how to lead, and we don't have that. We have amateurs."

Efforts to provide affordable child care and paid maternity leave, to make college more affordable and to invest in urban areas have been all but forgotten. That's despite the advantage of a Republican-controlled Congress, which the White House failed to pull together behind Trump's first attempt to repeal and replace "Obamacare."

An AP reporter who followed Trump throughout the presidential campaign collected scores of promises he made along the way, from the consequential to the fanciful. Here are some of them, and his progress so far:

___

ENERGY and the ENVIRONMENT:

— Lift President Barack Obama's roadblocks on the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.

Done. Keystone XL is revived and construction of the Dakota Access is completed.

— Lift restrictions on mining coal and drilling for oil and natural gas.

Done. Trump has unraveled a number of Obama-era restrictions and initiated a review of the Clean Power Plan, which aimed to restrict greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants.

— Cancel payments to U.N. climate change programs and pull out of the Paris climate accord

Nope. Trump has yet to make a decision on Paris. His aides are torn.

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ECONOMY and TRADE:

— Pass a tax overhaul. "Just think about what can be accomplished in the first 100 days of a Trump administration," he told his supporters again and again in the final weeks of the campaign. "We are going to have the biggest tax cut since Ronald Reagan." He promised a plan that would reduce rates dramatically both for corporations and the middle class.

Nowhere close. Trump has scrapped the tax plan he campaigned on, and his administration's new package is in its early stages, not only missing the first 100 days but likely to miss a new August deadline set by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. Some details may emerge this week.

—Designate China a currency manipulator, setting the stage for possible trade penalties because "we're like the piggy bank that's being robbed. We can't continue to allow China to rape our country, and that's what they're doing."

Abandoned. Trump says he doesn't want to punish China when it is cooperating in a response to North Korean provocations. He also says China has stopped manipulating its currency for unfair trade advantage. But China was moving away from that behavior well before he took office. Also set aside: repeated vows to slap high tariffs on Chinese imports.

—Announce his intention to renegotiate or withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Backtracked, in essence. A draft of his administration's plan for NAFTA proposes only a mild rewrite. But in his AP interview, he threatened anew to terminate the deal if his goals are not met in a renegotiation.

— Direct his commerce secretary and trade representative to identify all foreign trading abuses that unfairly hurt American workers.

Done. Trump has initiated plenty of studies over the past 100 days.

— Slap a 35 percent tariff on goods from companies that ship production abroad. Force companies like Apple and Nabisco to make their products in the U.S.

Nope.

—Embark on a massive $1 trillion effort to rebuild the country's infrastructure, including airports, roads and bridges.

Not yet.

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SECURITY, DEFENSE and IMMIGRATION:

— Immediately suspend the Syrian refugee program.

Trump tried, but the first version of his travel ban was blocked by the courts. A revised version dropped references to Syrian refugees entirely. That was blocked, too. And he has yet to mention another campaign pledge: to deport Syrian refugees already settled in the U.S.

— Inform his generals they have 30 days to submit a new plan for defeating the Islamic State group.

Trump did indeed order up a plan. It's unclear what it is since it has yet to be made public.

— Suspend immigration from "terror-prone regions" where he says vetting is too difficult.

Trump's effort to bar immigration temporarily from some Muslim-majority countries has been stymied by courts.

— Implement "extreme" immigration vetting techniques.

In progress. The Homeland Security Department is considering a number of measures, like asking for visitors' phone contacts and social media passwords.

—Build an "impenetrable physical wall" along the length of the southern border, and make Mexico pay for it.

The government has been soliciting bids and test sections could be built as soon as this summer. Mexico is not paying for this work.

—End federal funding to "sanctuary cities" — places where local officials are considered by Washington to be insufficiently cooperative in arresting or detaining people in the country illegally.

The Justice Department has threatened to do so, but there are legal limits.

— Immediately deport the estimated 2 million "criminal aliens" living in the country, including gang members, in joint operations with local, state, and federal law enforcement.

Deportations have not increased. Arrests of people in the U.S. illegally are up and illegal border crossings are significantly down.

—Cancel visas for foreign countries that won't take back criminals deported by the U.S.

There's been no discussion of this yet.

—"Immediately terminate President Obama's two illegal executive amnesties," one of which allows young people brought into the country as children to stay and work.

Trump has made no effort to end the program, even though it would take a single phone call. In fact, he told AP these young people can "rest easy" and not fear deportation.

___

GOVERNMENT and the SWAMP:

— Ask agency and department heads to identify job-killing regulations for elimination.

Done.

— Propose a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress.

Nope.

— "Drain the swamp."

On his pledge to curb the power of special interests, Trump has so far used an executive order to prohibit political appointees from lobbying the government for five years after serving in his administration and to ban outgoing officials from representing foreign governments. But he's discontinuing the Obama-era practice of releasing White House visitor logs, restoring a shroud over what special interests are getting in his gates. He's also issued at least one waiver to his lobbying ban, allowing a White House budget adviser to go advocate for a business trade group

— Impose a hiring freeze on federal employees, excluding military and public safety staffers.

This was one of Trump's first actions. But the freeze has since been lifted.

—Require that two regulations be eliminated for each new one imposed.

Trump signed an order requiring agencies to identify two existing regulations for every new one imposed — though there is nothing in the order that requires the two to be eliminated.

___

FOREIGN AFFAIRS:

— End the strategy of nation-building and regime change.

Trump's foreign policy posture is still in its early stages, though he has already intervened in Syria and has escalated rhetoric against North Korea.

— Move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

The administration says it is studying the issue.

— Negotiate the release of all U.S. prisoners held in Iran, even before taking office. Renegotiate or leave the Iran nuclear deal.

No prisoners have been released. The administration is studying the nuclear deal and Trump told AP "it's possible" the U.S. will withdraw.

— Create a safe zone in Syria for refugees, paid for by the Gulf states.

Not yet.

___

HEALTH CARE, COURTS and GUNS:

—"My first day in office, I'm going to ask Congress to put a bill on my desk getting rid of this disastrous law and replacing it with reforms that expand choice, freedom, affordability. You're going to have such great health care at a tiny fraction of the cost. It's going to be so easy."

The bill to replace "Obamacare" was pulled from Congress because it lacked enough support. He will try again with a revised plan.

— Begin selecting a new Supreme Court judge to fill the court's vacancy.

Done. Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch and the Senate approved him.

— Eliminate gun-free zones in schools and on military bases.

Nope.

___

REALLY?

— "I promise I will never be in a bicycle race."

So far, so good. Trump's vow came after John Kerry, then secretary of state, broke his femur in May 2015 while riding a bicycle. He was not in a bicycle race.

—Bar his generals from being interviewed on television.

Never mind that. Army Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, as Trump's national security adviser, recently appeared on a Sunday news show. Several senior military officers have done Pentagon news conferences in the past few months that are taped by the networks. Gen. John Nicholson, the top general in Afghanistan, appeared at a news conference Monday.

—No time for play.

Most weekends as president, Trump has broken his pledge to avoid the golf course, after years of criticizing his predecessor for playing the game. "Because I'm going to be working for you, I'm not going to have time to go play golf," he told a Virginia rally in August. "Believe me."

—Season's greetings.

"If I become president, we're gonna be saying Merry Christmas at every store. ... You can leave 'happy holidays' at the corner."

As president-elect over the holidays, he sent a "Merry Christmas" tweet. So did President Obama. And both sent Happy Hanukkah wishes.

___

Associated Press writers Alicia A. Caldwell, Lolita C. Baldor and Julie Bykowicz contributed to this report.

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US students score poorly on national arts and music exam http://www.dailyastorian.com/us-students-score-poorly-on-national-arts-and-music-exam-da-ap-webfeeds-news-entertainment978afe8a8ce84337bbde4151bb1a9e80 http://www.dailyastorian.com/us-students-score-poorly-on-national-arts-and-music-exam-da-ap-webfeeds-news-entertainment978afe8a8ce84337bbde4151bb1a9e80#Comments Tue, 25 Apr 2017 00:31:25 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017304259880 WASHINGTON (AP) — When it comes to music and visual arts, American teenagers could use some help.

The National Center for Education Statistics reported Tuesday that in 2016, American eighth graders scored an average 147 in music and 149 in visual arts on a scale of 300. Some 8,800 eighth graders from public and private schools across the country took part in the test, which was part of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, often called the Nation's Report Card.

Acting Commissioner Peggy Carr said the test shows students have a lot to learn in art and music and that no progress has been made since the same test was administered in 2008.

"When I saw the results, clearly there is room for improvement, because clearly there is a lot of content that students weren't able to interact with correctly," Carr told The Associated Press.

When asked to listen to George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," only about half of the students were able to identify that the opening solo is played on a clarinet. Students who scored 182 were able to label all the eight notes in C major, students who got 150 were able to label one note.

While most students could point to one or two structural differences between two mother-and-child portraits, they usually struggled to explain the technical approach and meaning in an artist's self-portrait.

"The average student does not know a lot of the content that was asked of them on this assessment," said Carr. "It was a difficult assessment, a challenging assessment."

On the bright side, the achievement gap has narrowed between white and Hispanic students from a difference of 32 to 23 points in an average score in music and from 26 to 19 points in arts since the previous test. Girls continued to outperform boys.

The black-white achievement gap, however, remained unchanged. While white students scored an average of 158, black students got 129 on the music test and the margin of difference was similar on the arts portion of the exam — 158 for white students and 128 for black students,

"Every student should have access to arts education to develop the creativity and problem-solving skills that lead to higher success both in and out of school," said Ayanna Hudson, director of arts education at the National Endowment for the Arts. "Arts education can be especially valuable for our nations' underserved students, leading to better grades, higher graduation rates and increased college enrollment."

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AP Top Political News at 3:29 a.m. EDT http://www.dailyastorian.com/ap-top-political-news-at-329-am-edt-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world9c604e360b40a88d8e2a910bdc27a138 http://www.dailyastorian.com/ap-top-political-news-at-329-am-edt-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world9c604e360b40a88d8e2a910bdc27a138#Comments Tue, 25 Apr 2017 00:30:26 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017304259890 Tough court on immigration serves as model for Trump plansTrump's 100-days promises: A long way to go on most of themUS students score poorly on national arts and music examIn call to Trump, Chinese leader urges restraint over NKoreaIvanka Trump advocates for women, girls in trip to BerlinTrump to sign orders on oil drilling, national monumentsSenate confirms Sonny Perdue as agriculture secretaryPence thanks US military members during stop in Hawaii]]> Ivanka Trump advocates for women, girls in trip to Berlin http://www.dailyastorian.com/ivanka-trump-advocates-for-women-girls-in-trip-to-berlin-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world134de6dc13724fac937018a5a5eab1b7 http://www.dailyastorian.com/ivanka-trump-advocates-for-women-girls-in-trip-to-berlin-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world134de6dc13724fac937018a5a5eab1b7#Comments Tue, 25 Apr 2017 00:31:06 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017304259881 WASHINGTON (AP) — Ivanka Trump's advocacy for women and girls will take her to a conference in Berlin Tuesday, an attention-getting first international outing aimed at building support for investment in women's economic empowerment programs.

Back home, the first daughter's plan to push for policies that benefit working mothers is getting less of the spotlight.

Trump, an unpaid White House adviser, has not yet offered specific legislation or publicly revealed how she plans to move forward with the child care and family leave policies she promoted during her father's campaign. But a senior administration official says she and others have been working quietly behind the scenes to revise her campaign proposals and build momentum.

The official, who requested anonymity to discuss internal policy talks, stressed that child care is a part of the White House tax policy conversation. The president is set to roll out tax reform priorities Wednesday, but the official declined to discuss those plans in advance of the announcement.

President Donald Trump has noted his support for his daughter's efforts. In his joint address to Congress, he said he wants to work with lawmakers "to make child care accessible and affordable, to help ensure new parents have paid family leave."

Some advocates said they would like to see a proposal. Patricia Cole, senior director of federal policy for Zero to Three, a nonpartisan organization that focuses on early childhood, said, "We would really welcome a conversation."

Ivanka Trump, who stepped away from running her fashion brand to take on a White House role, will spend Tuesday in Berlin at the invitation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. There she will attend a panel discussion as part of the W20 Summit, a women-focused effort within the Group of 20 countries. She will also take in a technical school, visit the United States embassy and go to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.

In advance of the summit, Ivanka Trump co-authored an op-ed in the Financial Times, calling for more global efforts to invest in women's economic empowerment.

"The evidence is overwhelming that supporting women's economic participation has enormous dividends for families, communities and whole economies," Trump wrote with Jim Yong Kim, the president of the World Bank.

Trump has spent the first three months of her father's presidency talking about women's empowerment, often at White House forums and roundtables. On Monday, she joined her father for a conversation with astronauts on the International Space Station and touted a bill the president signed that asks the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to encourage girls to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

"Encouraging women and girls to pursue STEM careers is a major priority for this administration," Ivanka Trump said.

Her moves toward policy have been far less public. She has met privately with lawmakers, including a sit-down with Republican women in February.

Trump's challenge is persuading a Republican-led Congress with a plate full of other priorities. Lawmakers are focused on repealing President Barack Obama's health care law and overhauling the tax code, and lawmakers are less eager to take on a proposal more likely to pique the interest of Democrats.

At Ivanka Trump's urging, Trump's campaign proposed six weeks of leave for mothers — although not fathers — with the government paying wages equivalent to unemployment benefits. The proposal also included new income tax deductions for child care expenses and a new rebate or tax credit for low-income families.

But the official said the draft child care plan has shifted away from a tax deduction —which critics say would benefit wealthier families. A plan currently under discussion would expand the child and dependent tax credit, boosting the amount, permitting it to cover up to four children and making it refundable to help low-income families with no tax burden. Higher-income households would not be eligible.

The thinking on leave policies has evolved from maternity leave to a more inclusive family leave, the official said, adding that they are also looking at other funding options beyond the savings in unemployment insurance that were originally targeted.

Ivanka Trump's prospects have some feeling optimistic.

"I do think they're going to try and I think they might get something done," said Kris Perry, executive director of the First Five Years Fund, a nonpartisan advocacy group for young children. She added that "there's also huge value in people like Ivanka speaking out on the public relations side."

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Tough court on immigration serves as model for Trump plans http://www.dailyastorian.com/tough-court-on-immigration-serves-as-model-for-trump-plans-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world399d6f6e925d41eda54837a35dc0c10b http://www.dailyastorian.com/tough-court-on-immigration-serves-as-model-for-trump-plans-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world399d6f6e925d41eda54837a35dc0c10b#Comments Tue, 25 Apr 2017 00:30:38 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017304259883 DEL RIO, Texas (AP) — One by one, the Mexican men stood in the jury box, shackles rattling as they fidgeted slightly and pleaded guilty to crossing the U.S. border illegally.

They had come for better jobs, many to earn more money to help raise their children, their defense lawyer told a federal magistrate in a quiet west Texas courtroom about 3 miles (5 kilometers) north of the Mexican border. The magistrate, Collis White, warned that a guilty plea would mean jail time and they couldn't return to the United States legally for years. Speaking in Spanish, each of the 15 men said they understood and took their chances. They faced up to six months in jail, but most were sentenced to just a few days.

The men had the misfortune of landing in America's toughest courthouse when it comes to dealing with people who cross the border illegally. In other jurisdictions, authorities routinely skip the criminal charges and simply order quick deportations. But for the last decade, just about everyone arrested near Del Rio gets prosecuted.

That tough approach is a model President Donald Trump hopes to replicate as part of his sweeping plans to stop illegal immigration, the cornerstone of his campaign. He wants to prosecute many more people caught crossing the border illegally.

Doing so wouldn't be cheap. Immigration cases already account for more than half of federal prosecutions. Trump is seeking hundreds of million dollars more for more jail cells, prosecutors and marshals to transport prisoners. It's unclear if Congress will give him the money.

Civil libertarians object to the prosecutions, saying those arrested are rushed through the legal system without having a chance to exercise their rights.

And a previous attempt to expand the Del Rio approach had mixed results. Prosecutions spiked at the end of the Bush administration and during the first few years of the Obama administration, but later declined. Part of the decline is likely because of the drop in arrests at the border. But limited resources, including jail space to house people and prosecutors to try cases, were also issues.

Still, Trump administration officials have made clear they plan to press ahead. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly made the point as they've been touring the border in recent weeks, saying that those who enter the United States illegally will be arrested, prosecuted and deported. Earlier this month, the Justice Department released a memo calling on prosecutors to appoint border security coordinators in every judicial district.

"This is a new era. This is the Trump era," Sessions said during a visit to the border in Nogales, Arizona, this month.

In White's Del Rio courtroom each case of someone charged with crossing the border illegally was handled in under a minute. Only one was sentenced to more than a few days — a man who had been deported in 2013 was sentenced to 120 days in prison.

Each man was warned not to come back to the United States without the government's permission.

"If you can find a legal way to come back, you're more than welcome," White told the shackled men, his words repeated in Spanish by an interpreter. "But it has to be just that."

The new push for immigration prosecutions comes as the number of people crossing the border illegally has plummeted. Under President Barack Obama, there was a steady decline in arrests, a likely indication fewer people were trying to sneak into the United States. And in March, the second full month of the Trump administration, border agents reported the fewest border crossers in a single month in at least 17 years.

Illegal immigration straddles a line in federal courthouses. Being in the United States illegally — whether after crossing a border or overstaying a visa — is a civil offense, not a crime. But those caught crossing the border illegally, or violating a previous ban from returning to the U.S., can face criminal charges, though that generally doesn't happen.

The Del Rio prosecution strategy followed an earlier push to secure the border and curb the flow of illegal border crossers. Before the effort launched, agents in the Border Patrol's Del Rio Sector arrested more than 68,000 people in a 12-month period.

Arrests dropped by more than 25,000 after the first year. Over the last decade, arrests in the area have averaged about 20,000 a year.

The acting chief patrol agent in Del Rio, Matthew Hudak, said the effort to prosecute just about every border crosser has worked well there for several reasons.

"Policy matters, enforcement matters, the work of agents matters," Hudak said.

It helps that the Border Patrol's sector there only covers one judicial district. In other areas, including El Paso, agents often work across state and judicial district lines, making it more difficult to coordinate prosecution, jail space and transportation.

The often-brief court proceedings that help make the Del Rio prosecutions appealing to the Trump administration alarm civil libertarians.

Celia Wang, deputy legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union, said border crossers facing prosecution are urged to plead guilty and don't fully know the implications of that. Many immigrants lose their chance to make claims to stay in the United States, including under the asylum process.

"People have no idea what is happening," Wang said. "It's completely lost on (them),"

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Follow Alicia A. Caldwell on Twitter at www.twitter.com/acaldwellap

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Trailblazing Colorado abortion law marks 50th anniversary http://www.dailyastorian.com/trailblazing-colorado-abortion-law-marks-50th-anniversary-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-worldebf7d5f5fe64437faa49a037585c1033 http://www.dailyastorian.com/trailblazing-colorado-abortion-law-marks-50th-anniversary-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-worldebf7d5f5fe64437faa49a037585c1033#Comments Tue, 25 Apr 2017 00:32:24 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017304259879 DENVER (AP) — Tuesday marks 50 years since a groundbreaking Colorado law significantly loosened tight restrictions on legal abortions.

Before the law, Colorado — like many states — allowed abortions only if a woman's life was at stake.

In 1967, a Democratic freshman state lawmaker introduced a bill that allowed abortions if the woman's physical or mental health was threatened, if the unborn child might have birth defects or in cases of rape or incest.

Rep. Richard Lamm said he feared he might be committing political suicide by introducing the bill to the overwhelmingly male, Republican-dominated Legislature.

But within weeks, Republican Gov. John Love signed the bill into law, making Colorado the first state to loosen restrictions on abortion — six years before the U.S. Supreme Court would legalize it nationally.

"I was pushing on a half-open door. It gave way so much more easily than I ever dreamed it would," recalled Lamm, now 81, in an interview with The Associated Press.

But all abortions still had to be approved by three-doctor panels at participating hospitals and were only permitted during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

Instead of ending his newfound political career, Lamm went on to serve three terms as the state's governor. He is currently the co-director of the University of Denver's Institute of Public Policy Studies.

Lamm said recently that when he introduced the legislation, the women's movement was just starting to take off and the concept that citizens should have more personal freedom was becoming more important in society.

At the time, abortion was not one of the Colorado Republican Party's most pressing issues and there was no organized opposition in the state to abortion rights because the idea was so new, Lamm said.

Key to Lamm's effort was ally Ruth Steel, an activist who had lobbied lawmakers in 1965 to allow public health officials to discuss and to provide birth control with residents. She worked closely with John Bermingham, a Republican state senator who is now 93 and retired, to shepherd the contraception bill though the Legislature.

While on lobbying trips to the Capitol, Steel dressed formally, wearing a hat and gloves, but had no qualms talking to lawmakers frankly about issues related to sex, Lamm said.

A woman in charge of proofreading bills in the basement of the Capitol was essential to advancing the bill through the Legislature, Bermingham said in an interview.

Bermingham learned that she supported the bill, and he asked her to wait until a Senate leader who opposed it would be away so the bill could be introduced without being assigned to a committee seen as sure to kill it.

While the bill was under debate, a woman denied an abortion at Denver's public hospital shot herself in the abdomen and survived. The fetus did not survive. The doctor who treated the woman testified on the bill, Bermingham said.

After the Legislature approved the measure, opponents picketed outside the governor's mansion.

Love, a Republican who died in 2002, said at the time that he struggled with what to do with the bill. He said he was conflicted over whether abortion would be used as an alternative to birth control.

In the era of divisive and turbulent social and political change, he said his mail was about evenly divided between supporters and opponents.

Love ultimately decided to sign the bill to keep government out of what he viewed as a personal decision, said his son, Dan Love. The elder Love was re-elected in 1970.

Eleven other states followed suit. And four more lifted all abortion restrictions — New York, Washington, Hawaii and Alaska — before 1970. The 1973 Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion nationwide.

In Colorado, opponents had feared the state would become "an abortion mecca" for women seeking to end their pregnancies. That did not happen, partly because women who wanted abortions had to appear before a hospital panel and could not simply show up and get them.

There were only 10 abortions reported to the state health department in 1966. Between the law's signing in April and the end of 1967, 120 abortions were reported. The patients ranged from a 12-year-old girl who had been raped to a 48-year-old woman. About a quarter were from outside Colorado.

Most were performed based on psychiatric grounds or therapeutic reasons with no additional specifics provided.

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Trailblazing Colorado abortion law marks 50th anniversary http://www.dailyastorian.com/trailblazing-colorado-abortion-law-marks-50th-anniversary-da-ap-webfeeds-news-northwestebf7d5f5fe64437faa49a037585c1033 http://www.dailyastorian.com/trailblazing-colorado-abortion-law-marks-50th-anniversary-da-ap-webfeeds-news-northwestebf7d5f5fe64437faa49a037585c1033#Comments Tue, 25 Apr 2017 00:30:22 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017304259884 DENVER (AP) — Tuesday marks 50 years since a groundbreaking Colorado law significantly loosened tight restrictions on legal abortions.

Before the law, Colorado — like many states — allowed abortions only if a woman's life was at stake.

In 1967, a Democratic freshman state lawmaker introduced a bill that allowed abortions if the woman's physical or mental health was threatened, if the unborn child might have birth defects or in cases of rape or incest.

Rep. Richard Lamm said he feared he might be committing political suicide by introducing the bill to the overwhelmingly male, Republican-dominated Legislature.

But within weeks, Republican Gov. John Love signed the bill into law, making Colorado the first state to loosen restrictions on abortion — six years before the U.S. Supreme Court would legalize it nationally.

"I was pushing on a half-open door. It gave way so much more easily than I ever dreamed it would," recalled Lamm, now 81, in an interview with The Associated Press.

But all abortions still had to be approved by three-doctor panels at participating hospitals and were only permitted during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

Instead of ending his newfound political career, Lamm went on to serve three terms as the state's governor. He is currently the co-director of the University of Denver's Institute of Public Policy Studies.

Lamm said recently that when he introduced the legislation, the women's movement was just starting to take off and the concept that citizens should have more personal freedom was becoming more important in society.

At the time, abortion was not one of the Colorado Republican Party's most pressing issues and there was no organized opposition in the state to abortion rights because the idea was so new, Lamm said.

Key to Lamm's effort was ally Ruth Steel, an activist who had lobbied lawmakers in 1965 to allow public health officials to discuss and to provide birth control with residents. She worked closely with John Bermingham, a Republican state senator who is now 93 and retired, to shepherd the contraception bill though the Legislature.

While on lobbying trips to the Capitol, Steel dressed formally, wearing a hat and gloves, but had no qualms talking to lawmakers frankly about issues related to sex, Lamm said.

A woman in charge of proofreading bills in the basement of the Capitol was essential to advancing the bill through the Legislature, Bermingham said in an interview.

Bermingham learned that she supported the bill, and he asked her to wait until a Senate leader who opposed it would be away so the bill could be introduced without being assigned to a committee seen as sure to kill it.

While the bill was under debate, a woman denied an abortion at Denver's public hospital shot herself in the abdomen and survived. The fetus did not survive. The doctor who treated the woman testified on the bill, Bermingham said.

After the Legislature approved the measure, opponents picketed outside the governor's mansion.

Love, a Republican who died in 2002, said at the time that he struggled with what to do with the bill. He said he was conflicted over whether abortion would be used as an alternative to birth control.

In the era of divisive and turbulent social and political change, he said his mail was about evenly divided between supporters and opponents.

Love ultimately decided to sign the bill to keep government out of what he viewed as a personal decision, said his son, Dan Love. The elder Love was re-elected in 1970.

Eleven other states followed suit. And four more lifted all abortion restrictions — New York, Washington, Hawaii and Alaska — before 1970. The 1973 Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion nationwide.

In Colorado, opponents had feared the state would become "an abortion mecca" for women seeking to end their pregnancies. That did not happen, partly because women who wanted abortions had to appear before a hospital panel and could not simply show up and get them.

There were only 10 abortions reported to the state health department in 1966. Between the law's signing in April and the end of 1967, 120 abortions were reported. The patients ranged from a 12-year-old girl who had been raped to a 48-year-old woman. About a quarter were from outside Colorado.

Most were performed based on psychiatric grounds or therapeutic reasons with no additional specifics provided.

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AP Top U.S. News at 3:20 a.m. EDT http://www.dailyastorian.com/ap-top-us-news-at-320-am-edt-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world2a5ae8f2bb2c3e12cc9e9f32c7ff0d22 http://www.dailyastorian.com/ap-top-us-news-at-320-am-edt-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world2a5ae8f2bb2c3e12cc9e9f32c7ff0d22#Comments Tue, 25 Apr 2017 00:21:32 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017304259941 Overcoming Opioids: Special schools help teens stay cleanVolunteers accompany US immigrants to court to allay fearsAviation officer gives his version of United flight removalTough court on immigration serves as model for Trump plansWells Fargo to face irritated shareholders at annual meetingUS students score poorly on national arts and music examAaron Hernandez friends, family turn out for private funeralBlack man punched by California officer files rights lawsuit]]> German FM: Netanyahu cancelation would be regrettable http://www.dailyastorian.com/german-fm-netanyahu-cancelation-would-be-regrettable-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world0da850be490f46df965010e726515fe0 http://www.dailyastorian.com/german-fm-netanyahu-cancelation-would-be-regrettable-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world0da850be490f46df965010e726515fe0#Comments Tue, 25 Apr 2017 00:20:48 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017304259888 BERLIN (AP) — Germany's foreign minister says it would be "regrettable" if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cancels a meeting over the visiting official's appointment with groups critical of Israel's actions in the West Bank. Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel describes that encounter as "completely normal."

Netanyahu is threatening to scrap Tuesday's meeting with Gabriel if he meets members of Breaking the Silence and B'Tselem. Gabriel told Germany's ZDF television he heard about that from Israeli media.

Gabriel said it would be "unthinkable" to cancel meetings if Netanyahu met government critics in Germany. But he says a cancellation of Tuesday's meeting wouldn't be a "catastrophe," and wouldn't change his relationship with Israel.

Gabriel said: "You can't get a proper and comprehensive picture in any country on Earth if you only meet in government offices."

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Gov't shutdown, health bill rescue at stake in Congress http://www.dailyastorian.com/govt-shutdown-health-bill-rescue-at-stake-in-congress-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world2bab9b0e8396443983daccdd35305de1 http://www.dailyastorian.com/govt-shutdown-health-bill-rescue-at-stake-in-congress-da-ap-webfeeds-news-nation-world2bab9b0e8396443983daccdd35305de1#Comments Tue, 25 Apr 2017 00:30:30 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017304259882 WASHINGTON (AP) — Bipartisan bargainers are making progress toward a budget deal to prevent a partial federal shutdown this weekend, a major hurdle overcome when President Donald Trump signaled he would put off his demand that the measure include money to build his border wall with Mexico.

Republicans are also vetting proposed changes to their beleaguered health care bill that they hope will attract enough votes to finally push it through the House.

Both efforts come with Congress back from a two-week break just days before Trump's 100th day in office, an unofficial measuring stick of a new president's effectiveness. With little to show in legislative victories so far, the Trump administration would love to claim achievements on Capitol Hill by that day — this Saturday.

The same day, federal agencies would have to close unless lawmakers pass a $1 trillion spending bill financing them or legislation keeping them open temporarily while talks continue. Republicans hope to avoid the ignominy of a government shutdown while their party controls Congress and the White House.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Monday that administration negotiators including Trump's budget chief, Mick Mulvaney, "feel very confident" that a shutdown won't occur.

Democrats, whose votes are needed to pass the budget measure, had a less charitable version of negotiations. In a conference call with reporters aimed at criticizing Trump's first 100 days as ineffective, party leaders said the biggest shutdown threat was from Trump's demand that the spending bill include funds for the barricade along the Mexican border.

That threat appeared to be lifting Monday evening when Trump told a gathering of reporters from conservative media that he would be willing to return to the funding issue in September. Two people in the room described his comments to The Associated Press.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., approved of Trump's apparent shift. "The president's comments this evening are welcome news given the bipartisan opposition to the wall, and the obstacle it has been to the continuing bipartisan negotiations in the appropriations committees," she said in a statement late Monday.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said, "It's good for the country that President Trump is taking the wall off the table in these negotiations." Both Democratic leaders had criticized Trump earlier Monday.

Trump had told supporters Mexico would pay for the wall, but with Mexico refusing to foot the bill he now wants Congress to make a down payment. The wall's cost estimates range past $20 billion. Republicans are seeking an initial $1.4 billion in the spending bill, but many question the wisdom of an enormous wall.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said there was a need to boost border security funds, adding, "But a 2,200-mile wall, I don't think there's a whole lot of support for it."

The other major budget stumbling block involved a Democratic demand for money for insurance companies that help low-income people afford health policies under President Barack Obama's health law, or that Trump abandon a threat to use the payments as a bargaining chip. Supporters of the health law warn its marketplaces could collapse if those funds are taken away.

Separately, the White House and congressional Republicans are gauging whether a plan to revise the GOP's stalled health care bill would garner enough converts to rekindle hopes for House passage of the legislation.

Their initial bill would repeal some coverage requirements under Obama's law, offer skimpier subsidies for consumers to buy care and roll back a Medicaid expansion. GOP leaders avoided a planned House vote last month, which would have failed due to opposition from GOP moderates and conservatives alike.

The proposed changes would retain several requirements imposed by Obama's 2010 statute, including obliging insurers to cover seriously ill customers.

But states could obtain federal waivers to some of those requirements. Those include mandates that insurers charge healthy and seriously ill customers the same premiums and cover specified services like hospitalization and emergency room visits.

Supporters say the proposal is significant because it would retain guaranteed coverage for people with costly illnesses. Critics say it would effectively weaken that assurance because insurers in states getting waivers could charge sky-high rates.

Those waivers may not help win moderate support. They have opposed the underlying GOP bill because of its cuts in Medicaid and to federal subsidies Obama's law provides many people buying individual policies.

But it might persuade conservatives who felt the earlier Republican bill didn't erase enough of the statute, though it's unclear it will win over enough of them to achieve House passage.

The proposed changes were negotiated by Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., head of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, and Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., a leader of the centrist House Tuesday Group. Vice President Mike Pence also participated, Republicans say.

Those two groups plan to meet separately this week to consider the proposal.

___

Associated Press writers Catherine Lucey and Kevin Freking contributed to this report.

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Monday's Sports In Brief http://www.dailyastorian.com/mondays-sports-in-brief-da-ap-webfeeds-news-pro-sports9b244dc7c3b045f5ba72c9c11840c7e4 http://www.dailyastorian.com/mondays-sports-in-brief-da-ap-webfeeds-news-pro-sports9b244dc7c3b045f5ba72c9c11840c7e4#Comments Tue, 25 Apr 2017 00:20:55 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017304259886 PRO BASKETBALL

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Stephen Curry had 37 points before sitting out the final quarter and the Golden State Warriors welcomed back teammate Kevin Durant with a 128-103 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers to sweep their first-round playoff series.

The Warriors advanced to the conference semifinals, where they'll face the winner of the series between the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers, which is tied at 2.

Golden State played for the second straight game without coach Steve Kerr, who has been experiencing a flare-up of symptoms stemming from back surgery a couple of years ago. Assistant Mike Brown has served as head coach in Kerr's absence.

Durant hadn't played since Game 1 because of a strained left calf. He started and the Warriors built a 72-48 lead by the end of the opening half.

TENNIS

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Serena Williams has spoken out in response to suspended Fed Cup captain Ilie Nastase's comments speculating about the skin color of the baby the pregnant Williams is expecting.

The 23-time major champion wrote on Instagram: "It disappoints me to know we live in a society where people like Ilie Nastase can make such racist comments towards myself and (my) unborn child."

Williams is black. Her fiance, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, is white.

Williams also referred to Nastase's "sexist comments against my peers" — a reference to his verbal abuse directed at British player Johanna Konta, British captain Anne Keothavong and the chair umpire during Fed Cup matches over the weekend. He was ejected from the Romania vs. Britain contest and provisionally suspended by the International Tennis Federation.

Nastase, for his part, was unrepentant, saying that he didn't believe his remarks at a news conference Friday about Williams' baby were racist.

AUTO RACING

BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) — It was just last month when people were wondering what was wrong with Jimmie Johnson after he got off to a slow start. How silly it was to worry.

Johnson grabbed a rare victory at Bristol Motor Speedway on Monday, giving him consecutive wins for the 11th time in his storied career. It was just the second career win in Thunder Valley for Johnson, who considers it one of his most vexing tracks.

His Hendrick Motorsports team hit on something during Saturday's practice for his Chevrolet, and that locked him in for the race postponed a day by rain.

"This track has been really difficult," admitted Johnson, who last won at Bristol in 2007. But that Saturday find was "honestly, it's what I've been looking for for 16 years. We finally figured it out. So, I'm very, very happy," he said. "I've loved this racetrack from afar ... and it's been a journey since 2000 until now."

Johnson snapped his season-starting slump on April 9 at Texas Motor Speedway, NASCAR's last event prior to Monday. It ended any chatter that the seven-time and reigning champion might not be up for a record eighth title.

BASEBALL

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Madison Bumgarner had nearly finished a ride of more than two hours in the mountains outside Denver when his rented dirt bike slipped on the trail and took the pitcher to the ground directly onto his pitching shoulder.

The 2014 World Series MVP bruised ribs and sprained the AC joint in his pitching shoulder in the dirt bike accident during Thursday's off day in Colorado. An experienced rider, Bumgarner said he was with two family members, not speeding or racing the bike, and wearing a helmet when he spun out. He doesn't think he hit a rock or other obstruction. The ground wasn't icy or snowy, and he said he wasn't doing hills.

He called Giants head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner and went to the emergency room once back in Denver. Bumgarner had a protective sling over his pitching arm as he sat in the dugout and he will likely wear it for another week to 10 days, Groeschner said. Bumgarner was scheduled to have another MRI exam later in the evening and be checked by Dr. Ken Akizuki, who also examined Bumgarner on Sunday and "was pretty happy with the structure of it."

While the 27-year-old left-hander doesn't believe there is structural damage in the shoulder, he didn't want to speak prematurely about how long he might be sidelined, whether he will need surgery or on his prospects of being able to pitch again this season.

NEW YORK (AP) — Minnesota's Miguel Sano has been suspended for one game and fined by Major League Baseball for what the sport termed "aggressive actions" that caused benches to clear during a game against Detroit last weekend.

Detroit's JaCoby Jones was hit in the face by a pitch from Justin Haley in the third inning of the Tigers' 5-4 victory Saturday. Two innings later, Detroit's Matthew Boyd threw behind Sano, who pointed his bat toward Boyd and yelled out at the mound. Tigers catcher James McCann intervened and appeared to put his mitt in the face of Sano , who reacted immediately with a right hand to McCann's mask.

Joe Torre, MLB's chief baseball officer, announced Sano's suspension Monday. The players' association appealed, allowing Sano to continue playing until the appeal is heard and decided.

Boyd was fined after MLB concluded he intentionally threw a pitch at Sano.

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Dovydas Neverauskas' long journey from Lithuania to the major leagues finally ended on Monday night when the relief pitcher made his debut for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Neverauskas was called up from Triple-A Indianapolis after Pittsburgh put utility player Adam Frazier on the 10-day disabled list with a strained hamstring. Neverauskas arrived at PNC Park in the sixth inning of Pittsburgh's game against the Chicago Cubs. Two innings later, he was on the hill facing the defending World Series champions.

Neverauskas surrendered a run on two hits in 1 2/3 innings. He picked up his first strikeout when Chicago reliever Justin Grimm whiffed in the eighth of a 14-3 romp by the Cubs.

NEW YORK (AP) — Red Sox pitcher Matt Barnes has been suspended four games and fined for throwing a fastball past the head of Baltimore star Manny Machado.

The commissioner's office issued the penalty. The Red Sox are off and Barnes is appealing, meaning the reliever can continue to pitch until the process is done.

Barnes was ejected Sunday after sailing a fastball past Machado's helmet at Baltimore. The right-hander is 2-0 with a 3.60 ERA in nine games this season.

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Greenbrier Classic to salute first responders http://www.dailyastorian.com/greenbrier-classic-to-salute-first-responders-da-ap-webfeeds-news-pro-sports8831a5f77f6b415cba0ae678ccb03823 http://www.dailyastorian.com/greenbrier-classic-to-salute-first-responders-da-ap-webfeeds-news-pro-sports8831a5f77f6b415cba0ae678ccb03823#Comments Tue, 25 Apr 2017 00:20:49 -0400 http://www.dailyastorian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2017304259887 WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. (AP) — The PGA Tour's Greenbrier Classic will honor first responders for rescue and recovery efforts during last June's devastating floods in West Virginia.

Officials say on the tournament's website that police officers, EMS, firefighters, National Guard members and others will be selected to serve as caddies for the tournament's July 5 pro-am event at The Greenbrier resort. They also will be recognized during ceremonies on July 4.

The tournament will be held July 6 through 9 on the Old White TPC course.

The floods killed 23 people statewide, including 15 in Greenbrier County. The resort and the town of White Sulphur Springs were ravaged by flooding and last year's Greenbrier Classic was canceled.

The Greenbrier hotel reopened two weeks after the floods.

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