Update on the latest news, sports, business and entertainment

March 19, 2017 - 1:20 pm

HEALTH OVERHAUL

Ryan: more help for older people needed in GOP health bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Paul Ryan says he will seek changes to a divisive GOP health care bill to provide more help to older people hard hit by the plan.

A Congressional Budget Office analysis last week concluded that older people would likely pay higher premiums under the proposal to repeal and replace Barack Obama's health care law.

Speaking on "Fox News Sunday," Ryan says he believes the CBO analysis is not accurate but agreed that people in their 50s and 60s experience higher health care costs.

The Wisconsin Republican says "we believe we should offer more assistance than what the bill currently does" and that it's one of several possible revisions to help round up enough House votes for the bill.

A House vote on the plan is scheduled for Thursday.

COLORADO WILDFIRE

UPDATE: 1,000 calls for Colorado wildfire evacuations

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Authorities have made more than 1,000 calls to residents in and around Boulder, Colorado, ordering them to leave their homes as a wildfire burns in the mountains just west of the university town.

The Boulder Office of Emergency Management says an additional 2,200 reverse 911 calls early Sunday warned others to get ready to leave if conditions get worse.

It wasn't clear exactly how many houses or residents were evacuated because the calls could have gone to multiple people living in the same home and likely didn't include children.

The fire reported around 1:40 a.m. Sunday had burned 30 to 50 acres just a couple of miles from downtown Boulder. Several aircraft are making drops to battle the flames.

Emergency officials don't know how the fire started.

DEPUTY KILLED

Louisiana sheriff's deputy shot, killed while on duty

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A sheriff's deputy in Louisiana has died after being shot in Baton Rouge.

Louisiana State Police say the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office deputy was shot late Saturday near a barber shop while conducting an investigation with another deputy.

A suspect was also shot and taken to a hospital. The condition of the suspect isn't unavailable.

Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome and Police Chief Carl Dabadie asked for prayers for the slain deputy's family.

Authorities did not release the identities of either the deputy killed or the suspect.

OBIT-BRESLIN

Jimmy Breslin, chronicler of wise guys and underdogs, dies

NEW YORK (AP) — Author-columnist Jimmy Breslin, the legendary street-smart chronicler of wise guys and underdogs, has died. He was 88.

Breslin's stepdaughter, Emily Eldridge, said he died Sunday of complications from pneumonia.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author and longtime New York Daily News columnist was one of the sharpest observers of New York City life.

A hardnosed newsman, Breslin also campaigned for office in the 1960s and exposed the city's worst corruption scandal in decades in the 1980s. He once boasted that he was the best person ever to have a column in the news business.

Breslin's well-known work, "The Gang that Couldn't Shoot Straight," told the story of the Boston mob, and he wrote of his own life in his memoir "I Want to Thank My Brain for Remembering Me."

AFGHANISTAN

Afghan soldier wounds 3 US troops

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) — An Afghan soldier has opened fire inside a base in the southern Helmand province, wounding three U.S. soldiers before being shot dead.

Navy Cpt. Bill Salvin, a U.S. military spokesman, said coalition forces had killed the soldier "to end the attack."

Col. Mohammad Rasoul Zazai, an Afghan army spokesman, said the soldier had made a "mistake" and had not fired deliberately.

Elsewhere in Afghanistan, Taliban insurgents attacked a district headquarters in Kandahar province using a suicide car bomb. A security official said six police were killed and five others were wounded in the assault.

In the southern Zabul province, an army operation killed 13 Taliban and wounded 11 others. An official says two Afghan soldiers were killed and three others were wounded by a roadside bomb during the operation.

And two Taliban commanders were killed in an apparent U.S. drone strike in the Barmal district of the eastern Paktika province, according to a spokesman for the provincial governor. Another 10 insurgents were killed in a separate drone strike.

IRAQ

Iraqi troops push into area around symbolic Mosul mosque

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi government forces have pushed into the area around a highly symbolic mosque in western Mosul where the Islamic State group's leader made his first and only public appearance.

Black smoke billowed from the area around al-Nuri mosque, also known as the Great Mosque, Sunday as helicopters hovered overhead and fired into the militants' positions. At least two large mushroom clouds were seen rising from what is believed to be suicide car bomb explosions as gunfire rattled.

The IS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, delivered a Friday sermon in al-Nuri mosque in July 2014 after the extremist group seized almost a third of Iraq and declared an Islamic "Caliphate" on territory it controlled in Iraq and neighboring Syria.

GLOBAL TEACHER PRIZE

Canadian wins $1M global award for teaching excellence

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A Canadian school teacher whose teaching philosophy underscores hope and acts of kindness in an isolated corner of Quebec has won a $1 million prize in what has become one of the most-coveted and high-profile awards for teaching excellence.

Maggie MacDonnell was awarded the annual Global Teacher Prize during a ceremony in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. MacDonnell beat out thousands of applicants from around the world

Last year, Palestinian teacher Hanan al-Hroub won for her efforts in encouraging students to renounce violence and embrace dialogue. The inaugural prize went to Nancie Atwell, an English teacher from Maine.

TRUMP-TECH PUSHBACK

Meetup takes risky leap into the Trump resistance

NEW YORK (AP) — Meetup.com is taking a leap into the Trump resistance.

The networking site is partnering with a left-leaning labor group and a former Hillary Clinton aide to roll out a platform for organizing people who oppose President Donald Trump.

It's a risky move for the company, whose millions of U.S. members include many Trump supporters.

But the decision reflects an increasing willingness of some major tech firms to take on the Republican president.

Meetup CEO Scott Heiferman says he believes the company has "a civic duty not to be quiet."

SPACE STATION

SpaceX capsule returns space station science to Earth

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A SpaceX capsule is back on Earth with a full load of space station science samples.

The Dragon cargo ship parachuted into the Pacific on Sunday off the Southern California coast. Astronauts set it free from the International Space Station 5½ hours earlier.

The Dragon flew to the space station a month ago from the same Florida launch pad used for NASA's Apollo moon shots. It took up more than 5,000 pounds of supplies and brought back just as much in completed experiments and used equipment.

NASA's other supplier, Orbital ATK, plans to launch its own supply ship Friday, also from Cape Canaveral, Florida. That one, however, burns up on re-entry.

The space station is home to one Frenchman, two Americans and three Russians.

TITANIC EXPEDITION

Researchers plan manned 2018 expedition to Titanic

WOODS HOLE, Mass. (AP) — Researchers are planning what they say is the first manned submersible expedition to the Titanic since 2005.

OceanGate Expeditions recently announced that the seven-week research mission will depart from Newfoundland, Canada, in May 2018.

Experts from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts are also taking part.

Everett, Washington-based OceanGate says the goal of the mission is to assess the condition of the wreck and document — but not collect — artifacts at the protected site.

Experts from Woods Hole say they hope to generate a 3D photographic model of the wreck using modern subsea imaging technology.

The doomed British luxury liner sank on April 15, 1912, after striking an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to New York City, killing more than 1,500 people.

BOX OFFICE

'Beauty and the Beast' roars with monstrous $170M debut

NEW YORK (AP) — Disney's live-action "Beauty" was a beast at the box office, opening with an estimated $170 million in North American ticket sales and setting a new high mark for family movies.

According to studio estimates Sunday, "Beauty and the Beast" blew past the previous record-holder for G- or PG-rated releases. Last year, Disney's "Finding Dory" debuted with $135 million.

"Beauty and the Beast," made for about $160 million, is the latest effort by Disney to re-create one of its animated classics with live action and digital effects. It follows previous remakes such as "Cinderella," ''Maleficent" and last year's "The Jungle Book."

This "Beauty and the Beast," directed by Bill Condon, found widespread acclaim and some backlash for including what Condon called Disney's first openly gay character.

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