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Moody’s: Republican health care bill would harm state finances

By Robin Respaut, Reuters on March 18, 2017, at 9:32 a.m.
The Republican-proposed bill to replace Obamacare would be a credit negative for U.S. states, according to Moody’s Investors Service, because it would shift a greater share of the cost of Medicaid to the states.

Immigration judges headed to 12 US cities to speed deportations

By Julia Edwards Ainsley, Reuters on March 18, 2017, at 9:21 a.m.
The U.S. Justice Department is developing plans to temporarily reassign immigration judges from around the country to 12 cities to speed up deportations of illegal immigrants who have been charged with crimes, according to two administration officials.

Trump ramps up fight for votes on health care overhaul

By Susan Cornwell and David Morgan, Reuters on March 18, 2017, at 9:15 a.m.
President Donald Trump on Friday agreed to changes in the Republican plan for Obamacare, conservative lawmakers said, as he stepped up his fight to win support for the bill ahead of a vote in the House of Representatives next week.

Secret Service laptop stolen in New York, law enforcement officials say

By Devlin Barrett and Spencer S. Hsu, The Washington Post on March 18, 2017, at 9:14 a.m.
A laptop with sensitive security information on it was stolen from a Secret Service agent in New York City, law enforcement officials said Friday, prompting a multiagency investigation to try to retrieve it.

‘SNL’ to finish a record-shattering season by doing something it’s never done before

By Elahe Izadi, The Washington Post on March 18, 2017, at 9:12 a.m.
“Saturday Night Live” is enjoying its highest-rated season in two decades, and it’s going to finish it out by doing something the series has never done before: go live, coast to coast.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks on issues related to visas and travel after U.S. President Donald Trump signed a new travel ban order in Washington, U.S. on March 6, 2017.

Tillerson: ‘All options are on the table’ when it comes to North Korea

By Anne Gearan and Anna Fifield, The Washington Post on March 17, 2017, at 6:54 a.m.
Tensions are running high in northeast Asia, with North Korea determined to advance its missile program and China incensed over South Korea’s decision to deploy an American anti-missile battery. Tillerson’s remarks, ruling out diplomatic talks and leaving the door open to military action, will fuel fears in the region of a tendency toward what are euphemistically called “kinetic” options.
Beside a painting of Hillary Clinton, U.S. President Donald Trump makes a surprise appearance in front of a tour group at the White House in Washington, March 7, 2017.

Maine arts groups fret Trump will gut their budgets

By Steve Collins, Sun Journal on March 17, 2017, at 6:07 a.m.
Mainers with a passion for culture are concerned President Donald Trump might seek to eliminate funding for a number of small domestic agencies that include the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
CONTRIBUTORS
The Point Climate change

Curbing climate change has a dollar value. This is how we measure it.

By Joseph Aldy, The Conversation on March 17, 2017, at 5:55 a.m.
While burning fossil fuels produces benefits, it also generates widespread costs to society — including damages from climate change.

Treasury’s Mnuchin says Trump does not want trade wars

By David Lawder and Michelle Martin, Reuters on March 17, 2017, at 5:52 a.m.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that the Trump administration has no desire to get into trade wars, but certain trade relationships need to be re-examined to make them fairer for U.S. workers.

Caribbean islands count on coral to build up coastal resilience

By Sophie Hares, Reuters on March 17, 2017, at 5:51 a.m.
Twice a week, fisherman Romould Compton puts on scuba gear to dive to the seabed and clean tiny elkhorns growing in the coral nursery off the Caribbean island of Carriacou, tending them until they can be transplanted to a damaged reef nearby.

Miami baseball star Fernandez responsible for deadly boat crash

By Zachary Fagenson, Reuters on March 17, 2017, at 5:51 a.m.
Miami baseball star Jose Fernandez was to blame for a boat crash that killed him and two passengers last year, Florida officials said on Thursday, finding that his reckless and impaired driving led the vessel to slam into a rock jetty.

Trump’s budget makes sweeping cuts to EPA and State, while boosting defense spending

By Michael A. Memoli, Tribune Washington Bureau on March 17, 2017, at 5:47 a.m.
The spending plan served as a declaration of the kind of government President Donald Trump envisions and reflects the realization of many promises that he made during the campaign.

Brits still waiting for full Brexit comedy dividend

By Robin Pomeroy, Reuters on March 17, 2017, at 5:47 a.m.
They were the two stories that rocked the Western world last year. But while Donald Trump’s election injected new life into U.S. political comedy, the British are still waiting for Brexit to usher in their new golden age of satire.
A Sea Grant staffer assists with a scallop aquaculture research project at Downeast Institute in this 2007 file photo. Under budget cuts proposed by President Trump,the $73 million Sea Grant program could be eliminated altogether.

Trump wants to end grants that support Maine fishing jobs

By Bill Trotter on March 16, 2017, at 4:04 p.m.
Funding for the state’s Department of Marine Resources and for collecting weather and climate data in the Gulf of Maine also could be put at risk.
President Donald Trump's overview of the budget priorities for Fiscal Year 2018 are displayed at the U.S. Government Publishing Office on its release by the Office of Management and Budget in Washington, March 16, 2017.

Trump budget slashes domestic programs to boost military spending

By Roberta Rampton and Richard Cowan, Reuters on March 16, 2017, at 1:24 p.m.
Under Trump’s plan, funding would disappear altogether for 19 independent bodies that count on federal money for public broadcasting, the arts and regional programs from Alaska to Appalachia.
President Donald Trump's overview of the budget priorities for Fiscal Year 2018 are displayed at the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) on its release by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in Washington, March 16, 2017.

What Trump cut in his budget

By Kim Soffen and Denise Lu, The Washington Post on March 16, 2017, at 11:55 a.m.
Here’s how each agency’s discretionary funding would be affected by Trump’s proposal.

Judges in Hawaii, Maryland knock down Trump’s second bid at travel ban

By Kartikay Mehrotra, Erik Larson and Bob Van Voris, Bloomberg on March 16, 2017, at 10:51 a.m.
First in Hawaii, then Maryland — a pair of judges halted President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban before it could be enforced, slamming it for discriminating against Muslims and handing the administration another setback on a core campaign issue.

US charges Russian spies, hackers in massive Yahoo hack

By Dustin Volz, Reuters on March 16, 2017, at 6:20 a.m.
The United States on Wednesday charged two Russian intelligence agents and two criminal hackers with masterminding the 2014 theft of 500 million Yahoo accounts, marking the first time the U.S. government has criminally charged Russian spies for cyber offenses.

House conservatives closer to embracing Republican health care plan

By Susan Cornwell and David Morgan, Reuters on March 16, 2017, at 6:20 a.m.
Conservative Republican lawmakers said on Wednesday they were close to embracing their party’s health care overhaul plan after the White House signaled openness to ending an expansion of the government health insurance program for the poor even sooner than proposed.

Fed raises benchmark rate as inflation approaches 2 percent target

By Craig Torres and Christopher Condon, Bloomberg on March 16, 2017, at 6:19 a.m.
The Federal Reserve raised its benchmark lending rate a quarter point and continued to project two more increases this year, signaling more vigilance as inflation approaches its target.
 

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