U.S. & World News

US: Laptops In Checked Bags Pose Fire, Explosion Risk

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. government is urging that large, personal electronic devices like laptops be banned from airline checked luggage because of the potential for a catastrophic fire. The Federal Aviation Administration says in a paper filed recently with a U.N. agency that its tests show that when lithium-ion batteries used in laptops, cellphones and other devices overheat in…

Lawsuit Challenges DeVos’ Guidance On Campus Sexual Assault

BOSTON (AP) – A national women’s rights group is challenging Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ new guidance on investigating campus sexual assault. The organization Equal Means Equal and three women who say they were assaulted in college filed a federal lawsuit Thursday in Boston alleging the rules violate civil rights laws. On Sept. 22, DeVos scrapped President Barack Obama-era rules and…

States Ask US Court To Keep Up Health Subsidies Cut By Trump

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Top government lawyers representing 19 U.S. states on Wednesday asked a federal judge in California to force the administration of President Donald Trump to make health care subsidy payments that Trump abruptly cut off last week. The monthly payments would normally be scheduled to go out Friday. The states, led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra,…

Uncertainty Reigns Ahead Of New Health Care Sign-Up Period

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Americans across the country are grappling with unanswered questions as they prepare to select their health insurance plans when the new sign-up period for the Affordable Care Act begins in two weeks. The uncertainty is especially pronounced in Iowa, which is seeking last-minute federal approval to revamp its insurance market. The confusion, of course, is…

Goodell: NFL Not Changing Its National Anthem Policy

NEW YORK (AP) – The NFL is not changing its national anthem policy to require players to stand during the national anthem. Commissioner Roger Goodell and several owners said Tuesday at the league’s fall meetings that altering the language from “should stand” to “must stand” was not discussed. New York Giants owner John Mara noted that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones…

US Agency Withdraws Rule Aimed At Protecting Animal Farmers

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has killed a rule designed to protect the legal rights of farmers who raise chickens and hogs for the nation’s largest meat processors. The rule would have made it easier for farmers to sue companies they contract with over unfair or deceptive practices. It was rolled out in the final…

IRS Still Enforcing Obama-Era Insurance Mandate

WASHINGTON (AP) – Contrary to widespread perceptions, the IRS still appears to be enforcing the unpopular Obama-era requirement that most people carry health insurance or risk a fine. The agency says on its website that it will automatically reject electronic returns for tax year 2017 that don’t specify if the taxpayer had health insurance. Taxpayers are supposed to say whether…

Opioid Indictment Of Chinese Nationals Tied To North Dakota

FARGO, N.D. (AP) – A pair of Chinese nationals has been indicted on charges that they manufactured tons of fentanyl and other powerful narcotics that were peddled in the United States and flowed, in part, through North Dakota. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the indictments Tuesday, saying the pair ran one of the world’s most prolific drug trafficking and…

Minnesota To Sue Over Trump Health Care Move

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota is joining a lawsuit over President Donald Trump’s decision to stop federal payments to insurers that had helped hold premiums down for people buying insurance under the Obama-era health care law. The White House announced late Thursday it would end the payments after months of speculation. States are preparing for premium spikes of 20…

Health Insurance Industry Warns Against Trump Health Care Plan

WASHINGTON (AP) – The health insurance industry says the billions of dollars in “Obamacare” subsidies that President Donald Trump is halting are not a “bailout” that companies are using to line their coffers. America’s Health Insurance Plans and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association said in a joint statement Friday that the money goes to doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, and other…

Thune Supports Trump Administration’s Withdraw Of Clean Power Plan

Plan Curbs Carbon Emission Rates For Coal Plants

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – South Dakota Senator John Thune showed support today for the administration’s withdraw of former President Obama’s “Clean Power Plan”. In a statement today, Thune called the policy change a “step in the right direction”. Thune said the regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency would have raised energy costs for consumers. The rule mandated that existing coal…

Trump Administration: Court Can’t Suspend Pipeline Decision

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) – The Trump administration says a federal court has no authority to second-guess a presidential permit for the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada. Justice Department attorneys are due in U.S. District Court in Montana on Wednesday to argue for the dismissal of two lawsuits that challenged the March permit for the 1,179-mile pipeline. Conservation groups…

EPA Chief Says Administration To Roll back Climate Plan

HAZARD, Ky. (AP) – EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt says the Trump administration will abandon the Obama-era clean power plan aimed at reducing global warming. Speaking in Kentucky on Monday, Pruitt said he will sign a proposed rule on Tuesday “to withdraw the so-called clean power plan of the past administration.” The clean power plan aimed to restrict greenhouse gas emissions…

Texas Delegation Requests $19B In Additional Harvey Aid

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Texas congressional delegation wants an additional $19 billion to help the Lone Star State recover from Harvey. Republicans and Democrats are teaming up behind a request to repair water projects and help homeowners and communities rebuild from the storm. The bipartisan request would come on top of President Donald Trump’s request earlier this week for $29…

Twitter To Testify To Congress In Russia Probe

WASHINGTON (AP) – The social media giant Twitter has agreed to appear for a public hearing before one of the Senate committees probing Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. A person familiar with the interactions between Twitter and the Senate Intelligence committee says the company will participate in a Nov. 1 public hearing. The person spoke on condition of anonymity…