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Investigation questions...Marine Syria deployment...Experimental balloon procedure warning

By The Associated Press | Posted - Mar. 8, 2017 at 4:50 p.m.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House has struggled to answer whether it believes President Donald Trump is the target of a counterintelligence investigation. When asked by reporters today, press secretary Sean Spicer says the White House needed to find that out. Spicer revised his response later in the news briefing after an aide handed him a note. He said then said "there is there is no reason that we have to think that the president is the target of any investigation, whatsoever." The questions persist because the president tweeted that former President Barack Obama had Trump Tower phones wiretapped during the election.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's daughter and son-in-law are renting a house from a foreign billionaire who is fighting the U.S. government over a proposed copper-nickel mine in Minnesota. The Wall Street Journal reports that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are renting a $5.5 million house in Washington's Kalorama neighborhood from Chilean billionaire Andrónico Luksic. He still lacked the business license necessary under Washington law to collect rent on the property as of earlier this week. A law firm representing Luksic said the necessary forms will be submitted shortly.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A senior U.S. official says a couple hundred Marines have deployed to Syria with heavy artillery guns. The deployment is part of the ongoing preparation for the fight to oust the Islamic State group from its self-declared headquarters of Raqqa (RAH'-kah). The deployment is temporary. But it is likely an early indication that the White House is leaning toward giving the Pentagon greater flexibility to make routine combat decisions.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has voted to approve a $578 billion spending bill that keeps the U.S. armed forces operating through September. The overwhelming vote also sets the stage for substantial increases to the Pentagon's budget advocated by President Donald Trump. The Trump administration is preparing a $30 billion supplement to the bill, which serves as a down payment on a massive increase in military spending.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration is warning patients and doctors to avoid a risky, experimental procedure promoted as a treatment for nervous system disorders such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's. The procedure involves threading a balloon into veins in the neck and elsewhere to widen them and improve blood flow. The FDA says it has seen no evidence the procedure — called transvascular autonomic modulation — is safe or effective.

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The Associated Press


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