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Trump thanks committee leaders...Labor nominee could face questions about sex offender case he handled...Kansas wildfires under control

By The Associated Press | Posted - Mar. 10, 2017 at 10:54 a.m.



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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has met with leaders of the House committees involved in the drive to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. He thanked them for their diligent work in shepherding Republican health care legislation through their panels. Both the Ways and Means Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee cleared the legislation earlier this week. Trump said action is needed "now" to save consumers from what he says is the coming "Obamacare disaster."

MIAMI (AP) — Labor secretary nominee Alexander Acosta is expected to face questions at his Senate confirmation hearing next week about an unusual plea deal he oversaw for a billionaire sex offender as U.S. attorney in Miami. Critics have labeled the plea agreement a "sweetheart deal" made possible only by Jeffrey Epstein's wealth, connections and high-powered lawyers. Acosta has defended his decisions as the best outcome given evidence available at the time.

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York City medical examiner's office isn't going to release the cause and manner of death for Russia's ambassador to the United Nations. The State Department requested that the cause of death not be revealed because the ambassador's diplomatic immunity survives his death. An autopsy was performed after Ambassador Vitaly Churkin died suddenly last month, but the death required further study. The medical examiner investigates deaths that are sudden or occur by criminal violence, accident, suicide or in an unusual manner.

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Officials say wildfires that have charred more than 1,100 square miles in Kansas are under control, and the state is withdrawing its firefighting teams. The Kansas Division of Emergency Management says a blaze in Clark County is 70 percent contained, and containment levels in four other counties exceed 90 percent. Wildfires have been reported in 21 Kansas counties since last weekend.

GRAETTINGER, Iowa (AP) — A train that derailed and burst into flames overnight in northwestern Iowa was carrying ethanol. That's according to a spokeswoman for ethanol producer Green Plains. Residents are evacuating the area but no injuries have been reported. The Palo Alto County emergency management director says at least 27 cars derailed.

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The Associated Press

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