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Italy vows to be ready in time to host G-7 in Sicilian town

Gino MacEli, Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 24th - 5:07pm

Italy still needs to build two helicopter landing pads and repave miles of road, but a top government official promised Friday that everything will be ready for the May 26-27 G-7 summit being held in a stunning Sicilian town overlooking the sea.

Storm-lashed California roads, dams could cost $1B to fix

Scott Smith, Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 24th - 4:57pm

The bill to repair California's crumbling roads, dams and other critical infrastructure hammered by an onslaught of storms this winter could top $1 billion, including nearly $600 million alone for damaged roadways that more than doubles what the state budgeted for road repair emergencies, officials said Friday.

Venezuela, Libya again lose UN vote rights over dues debts

Jennifer Peltz, Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 24th - 4:57pm

Venezuela and Libya have been suspended from voting in the U.N. General Assembly for the second time in two years because of millions of dollars in unpaid dues to the world body.

Lawmakers reach preliminary budget deal on education cuts

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 24th - 4:20pm

The Wyoming House and Senate will consider a compromise supplemental budget bill next Monday that could cut $45 million from public education over the next two years.

Draft GOP health care bill revamps Obama's health care law

Alan Fram, Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 24th - 4:17pm

A draft Republican bill replacing President Barack Obama's health care law would end its Medicaid expansion, scrap fines on people not buying insurance and eliminate taxes on the medical industry and higher earners.

Vanderbilt: More than 3,000 medical records wrongly accessed

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 24th - 4:10pm

Vanderbilt University Medical Center officials say the hospital has had a security breach where two employees accessed medical records of more than 3,000 patients.

Rural California levees besieged by pounding wet winter

Ellen Knickmeyer, Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 24th - 3:29pm

Billions of dollars in flood projects have eased fears of levee breaks near California's capital and some other cities, but state and federal workers are joining farmers with tractors in round-the-clock battles this week to stave off any chain-reaction failure of rural levees protecting farms and farm towns.

The Latest: Pence to address influential GOP Jewish group

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 24th - 3:00pm

The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times local):

US stocks eke out last-minute gain as utilities rise

Marley Jay, Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 24th - 2:56pm

A late push helped U.S. stocks finish higher Friday after indexes spent most of the day lower. There was far more selling than buying on Wall Street overall, but the Dow Jones industrial average managed to extend its winning streak to an 11th day.

Greece's Tsipras: the era of austerity is over

Elena Becatoros, Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 24th - 2:37pm

Greece's era of austerity is over, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras claimed Friday, as he painted a positive picture of the reforms his government has agreed to take after the bailout program ends in 2018.

Doubts grow over stock market's Trump-inspired surge

Stan Choe and Pan Pylas, Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 24th - 2:23pm

How much more can the "Trump Bump" lift the stock market?

Gold, sliver rise

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 24th - 2:18pm

The February gold contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed today at $1,256.90 an ounce, up $6.70.

Markets Right Now: Stocks stage late comeback, Dow at record

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 24th - 2:18pm

The latest on developments in financial markets (All times local):

VW makes $5.4 billion profit in 2016, limits executive pay

Frank Jordans, Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 24th - 2:10pm

Volkswagen bounced back into the black in 2016 after suffering a loss the previous year due to the diesel emissions scandal, according to figures released by the German automaker Friday.

White House bars major news outlets from informal briefing

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 24th - 2:07pm

News organizations including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, CNN and Politico were blocked from joining an informal, on the record White House press briefing on Friday.

GOP governors outline health care plan, Medicaid changes

Thomas Beaumont and Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 24th - 2:02pm

Republican governors from seven states are calling for dramatic changes to Medicaid, which provides insurance to more than 70 million low-income Americans, as they nervously watch President Donald Trump and GOP congressional leaders move to repeal and replace the Obama-era health law.

Puerto Rico governor meets with top US officials amid crisis

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 24th - 1:58pm

Puerto Rico's governor met on Friday with the U.S. treasury and health secretaries to seek support in pulling the island out of a deep economic crisis.

AP FACT CHECK: Trump considers 20 million people 'very few'

Alicia A. Caldwell and Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 24th - 1:44pm

President Donald Trump said Friday that his predecessor's health care law covers "very few people" as he minimized the impact of replacing it. That's only true if you consider more than 20 million people to be very few.

Grain mostly lower, livestock mixed

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 24th - 1:39pm

Grain futures were mostly lower Friday on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Monster Energy tries to give NASCAR buzz as title sponsor

Dan Gelston, Associated Press  |  Posted   Feb 24th - 1:39pm

Kurt Busch's car could have been parked at an auto show. Models in skimpy attire lingered around his Monster Energy car, posing for a steady stream of fans wanting snapshots and selfies.