Appeals court keeps block of Trump immigration rule in place
NEW YORK (AP) — A federal appeals court in New York has rejected a motion from the Trump administration to overturn an injunction and allow a controversial immigration policy concerning the use of public benefits to take effect. The ruling Wednesday from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denying the administration's motion means the temporary national injunction issued by a New York court in October remains in effect while a lawsuit against the new policy is proceeding. The administration policy would deny green cards to immigrants over their use of public benefits including Medicaid, food stamps, and housing vouchers that aren't currently considered.
House to vote Thursday on curbing Trump actions against Iran
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House is set to vote Thursday on a proposal to limit President Donald Trump's ability to take military action against Iran. The Democratic war powers resolution seems certain to draw strong Republican opposition. The vote comes amid intensifying Democratic criticism of the U.S. killing of a top Iranian general. Pelosi says last week's drone strike that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani was “provocative and disproportionate." Iran retaliated by firing missiles at two military bases in Iraq housing U.S. troops. Pelosi announced the House vote shortly after lawmakers from both parties criticized a briefing on Iran by administration officials as vague.
Commercial airlines reroute flights amid US-Iran tensions
NEW DELHI (AP) — Commercial airlines are rerouting flights throughout the Middle East to avoid potential danger during heightened tensions between the United States and Iran. Jumbled schedules could affect as many as 15,000 passengers per day, lengthen flight times by an average of 30 to 90 minutes, and severely bruise the bottom line for airlines, industry analysts said. There is anxiety that the conflict between the longtime foes could intensify following Iranian ballistic missile strikes Wednesday on two Iraqi bases that house US troops. The attacks were retaliation for the US killing of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike near Baghdad last week.
MISSING TEEN HIKER
Teen grateful to be alive after 30 hours in Utah mountains
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A California teenager who survived nearly 30 hours alone in the snowy Utah mountains says he kept himself awake with phone alarms, built a snow cave for shelter and held a special beaded bracelet to keep his hopes up. Seventeen-year-old Nicolas Stacy-Alcantara of Frenso says he decided to go for a day-long hike in relatively mild weather last week while visiting an ex-girlfriend. Snow and dropping temperatures forced him to stop and spend the night outdoors. The high school senior managed to find other hikers the next day who called for help with a satellite phone. He was treated at a hospital for frostbite but isn't expected to need any amputation.
BABY IN BACKPACK
Baby dies after being put in backpack; Texas man charged
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — A West Texas man accused of putting his girlfriend's 10-month-old daughter in a backpack and leaving her in a car trunk for five hours has been charged with capital murder. Trevor Marquis Rowe of Lubbock was arrested Tuesday night for the death of Marion Jester-Montoya. He was jailed in Lubbock County on $2 million bond. Police say the 27-year-old man called 911 Tuesday afternoon to report an infant not breathing and that he was stopping his car to begin resuscitation efforts. The child was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Chinese report says illnesses may be from new coronavirus
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese state media say a preliminary investigation into recent cases of viral pneumonia has identified the possible cause as a new type of coronavirus. Chinese health authorities did not immediately confirm the report from state broadcaster CCTV. Coronaviruses are common though some types can cause severe respiratory diseases, such as SARS and MERS. Health officials in the central Chinese city of Wuhan have said 59 people were treated for the respiratory illness. Possible cases were reported in Hong Kong and South Korea involving recent travelers to Wuhan.
'Obamacare' mandate: hot for lawyers, ho-hum to consumers
WASHINGTON (AP) — The repeal of an unpopular fine for people without health insurance has had little impact on “Obamacare” sign-ups or premiums. It's a gap between the real world and legal arguments from conservatives again challenging the 10-year-old Affordable Care Act. The law has proved more resilient than its creators or detractors imagined, even as the Supreme Court considers whether to take up the latest effort to roll it back. The demise last year of the penalty for not being insured had little effect on the law's health insurance markets, as measured by a recent independent study of premiums and insurer earnings. Government data show enrollment for 2020 is basically stable.
Trebek: 'Jeopardy!' retirement isn't imminent despite cancer
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — The brief farewell that Alex Trebek says will close his final “Jeopardy!” episode isn't on the horizon. Trebek said Wednesday that he doesn't foresee signing off on the quiz show in the near future. He'd mentioned recently that he'll ask for 30 seconds at the end of his appearance to say farewell. The 79-year-old Trebek, who's battling pancreatic cancer, says he's not yet ready to retire. He's pondered it but still enjoys spending time with “bright people” on the show. Trebek says that includes the three top money winners competing this week on “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time," airing in prime-time on ABC.
Justin Bieber says he's battling Lyme disease
NEW YORK (AP) — Justin Bieber says that he has been battling Lyme disease. In an Instagram post on Wednesday, the pop star wrote that it's been a rough couple of years but he's been getting the right treatment. Bieber's post promised that he'll “be back and better than ever.” Lyme disease is transmitted by Ixodes ticks, also known as deer ticks. Lyme can cause flu-like conditions, neurological problems, joint paint and other symptoms, but is curable in most cases. Bieber says he will discuss battling the tick-borne infection on his upcoming YouTube docu-series, “Justin Bieber: Seasons,” which debuts on Jan. 27.
How tensions with Iran could reshape Democratic primary
WASHINGTON (AP) — Tensions between the U.S. and Iran may force foreign policy into the Democratic presidential primary's spotlight. That could shake up a race that had been dominated by wonky domestic issues, including questions about whether the country is ready to embrace “Medicare for All, grappling with economic inequality and combating climate change. Whether the new dynamics will be enough to make voters change their minds isn't yet clear. And the crisis may not ultimately endure long enough to reshape the primary over the long haul. Still, the timing couldn't be more critical: The kickoff Iowa caucuses are less than a month away.
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