U.S.-Israeli teen arrested in Israel over bomb threats to Jewish centers
By Jeffrey Heller JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A man was arrested in Israel on Thursday on suspicion of making dozens of hoax bomb threats against Jewish community centers in the United States, Australia and New Zealand over the past three months, police said on Thursday. A police spokesman said the suspect's motives were still unclear to investigators. U.S. federal authorities have been investigating a surge of threats against Jewish organizations, including more than 100 bomb threats in separate waves over the past three months against Jewish community centers (JCCs) in dozens of states.
Vote looming, Trump struggles to win Obamacare repeal
By Roberta Rampton and David Morgan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday was set to make a final push on Thursday to secure the votes to begin dismantling Obamacare in the House of Representatives, with signs that enough Republicans might defect to jeopardize one of his top legislative priorities. Trump has mounted an intensive campaign to garner support for the initiative and the effort is seen by financial markets as a crucial test of his ability to move his legislative agenda, including planned tax cuts, through Congress. Trump scheduled an 11:30 a.m. ET/1530 GMT meeting with members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus at the White House.
Uncertain fate of Obamacare causes some hospitals to halt projects, hiring
Hospitals typically lay out multi-year operating plans that prioritize investments, such as new clinics, medical wings, technology or other projects that help draw in more patients and increase revenue. Denver Health Medical Center, for example, opened a new $26.9 million clinic in the city's southwest in 2016 to provide care to an area lacking in health services and saw more patients within six months than it had expected over two years. The health system planned to build or remodel five more facilities based on the new clinic's success.
Supreme Court nomination fight puts focus on vulnerable Democrats
By Lawrence Hurley and Andrew Chung WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As a grueling U.S. Senate confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch finishes on Thursday, the spotlight turns to whether he will gain the support of vulnerable Democratic senators who are up for re-election in 2018. If at least eight Democrats join the 52 Republicans and back Gorsuch, that will provide the 60 votes needed to pass a procedural motion letting the Senate move quickly to an up-or-down vote on his nomination, with only a simple majority for approval.
California regulator to vote on United States' strictest methane rule
California's air pollution regulator is due to hold a vote on Thursday on methane emission regulations that it says would be the strictest in the United States in controlling the second-most prevalent greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. The new standards, proposed by the California Air Resources Board, would tighten efficiency requirements in the production and transportation of natural gas, and also for some oil-handling equipment, and would mandate prompt repair of discovered leaks, said Dave Clegern, a spokesman for the board. The regulations are expected to pass Thursday's vote by the board, people familiar with the process told Reuters.
Police officer, three others killed in Wisconsin shooting: reports
A police officer and three other people were killed in a string of shootings, including at a bank and a law firm, in central Wisconsin following what police referred to as domestic incident, media reported on Wednesday. A suspect was taken into custody by police at an apartment building in Weston, a community of 15,000 about 90 miles (140 km) west of Green Bay, in the wake of the shootings, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper reported. The incident began with a "domestic situation," the Journal Sentinel reported, citing a press release from the Rothschild Police Department.
Trump fights for healthcare bill, makes headway with conservatives
By David Morgan and Susan Cornwell WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump and House of Representatives leaders pushed on Wednesday for votes for their plan to overhaul Obamacare and said they were making progress in their efforts to win over conservative Republicans who have demanded changes to the legislation. With a vote on the bill possible as soon as Thursday, members of the House Freedom Caucus, a conservative Republican faction, said they had been negotiating alterations to the plan with the White House. Much of the discussion hinged on conservatives' desire to scrap what are labeled "essential health benefits" - services that insurance plans are required to cover under the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, such as mental health help.
Top Senate Democrat says repealing essential benefits would need 60 votes
A spokesman for Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer said on Wednesday a proposal to add a provision to a Republican healthcare bill repealing essential Obamacare benefits would violate reconciliation rules and thus require 60 votes to pass the chamber. "Repealing the essential health benefits provisions under the Affordable Care Act is a policy change, not budgetary, and thus violates the Byrd Rule," Schumer's spokesman, Matt House, said in a statement. "It will require 60 votes to repeal these protections, and the votes just aren?t there in the Senate,? the statement said.
Oklahoma tribe approves gay marriage as Native American groups debate issue
A Native American tribe in Oklahoma has voted to allow same-sex marriage, joining a small group of prominent tribes changing their law in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark 2015 decision making the practice legal in all states. The same-sex case known as Obergefell v Hodges has rippled through the 567 federally recognized Indian Nations. As sovereign entities, they are not necessarily bound by the Supreme Court decision, leaving many in the precarious position of trying to decide whether to make the hot-button issue part of their traditional law.
Ex-Dean Foods chairman's story in Walters trial comes under fire
Lawyer Barry Berke's cross-examination, which began on the fourth day of trial in Manhattan federal court, sought to undermine Davis's testimony on topics including his own admitted history of marital infidelity and soliciting prostitutes. Davis has pleaded guilty to insider trading charges and is cooperating with prosecutors.
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