Update on the latest news, sports, business and entertainment:

March 20, 2017 - 4:51 am


Senate hearings get underway on Trump Supreme Court pick

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate hearings begin this morning for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, the man President Donald Trump wants to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who died more than a year ago. Gorsuch is a respected, highly credentialed and conservative member of the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

And Democrats head into the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings divided over how hard to fight him.


Hearings to begin on alleged Russian election hacking

WASHINGTON (AP) — FBI Director James Comey and NSA director Michael Rogers are expected to testify today at a hearing on Capitol Hill about Russian interference into the U.S. presidential election.

Also of interest to the House Intelligence Committee are President Donald Trump's claims that the Obama administration wiretapped Trump Tower during the presidential campaign.


Ryan willing to make changes in GOP health care

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Paul Ryan says he'll pursue changes to a GOP health care bill to provide more help to older people.

The new willingness to compromise comes days before a pivotal vote and is a bid for more support from moderate Republicans, who've expressed continuing unease about the plan to replace "Obamacare."

A House vote on the bill is set for Thursday.


Most young Americans don't see Trump as a legitimate leader

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new poll suggests that Donald Trump's presidency doesn't sit well with most young people.

Fifty-seven percent of people 18 to 30 years old who answered the GenForward survey see Trump's presidency as illegitimate.

And only 53 percent of just white young adults consider Trump a legitimate president. Even among that group, 55 percent disapprove of the job he's doing.


US officials begin fingerprinting refugee families on Nauru

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — U.S. security officers have begun fingerprinting refugees being held on Pacific islands in the final stage of assessing who will find new lives in the United States.

A document circulated among asylum seekers shows that officers from Department of Homeland Security are taking biometric details from refugees on Nauru (NAH'-roo), including fingerprints, heights and weights.

The document says if refugees pass the initial fingerprint security screening, they'll have face-to-face interviews with Homeland Security.


Colorado wildfire may be human-caused

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Firefighters have contained about half of the wildfires burning just west of downtown Boulder, Colorado, that have forced hundreds to evacuate.

Boulder County Sheriff's Cmdr. Mike Wagner says the small, but potentially dangerous wildfires may have been caused by hikers or transient campers.

The fire started in the Sunshine Canyon area, a place of expensive homes and rustic mountain residences.


Crocodile attacks Aussie teen who jumped into river on dare

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — A teen who was attacked by a crocodile after jumping into a crocodile-infested river on a dare is recovering from serious wounds to his arm.

Eighteen-year-old Lee de Paauw was at a hostel in the northern Queensland town of Innisfail around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday when he started bragging that he could swim in the river, a known habitat for aggressive saltwater crocodiles.

Sophie Paterson, a British backpacker who was at the hostel, says others egged him on, though none of them thought he would actually do it.

Seconds after jumping into the water, a crocodile latched onto him.

Queensland paramedic Neil Noble said the teen was lucky to escape before the crocodile drowned him.


Judge to hear new arguments in long-running Polanski case

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A judge is scheduled to hear new arguments from Roman Polanski's lawyer about why the fugitive director's long-running underage sex case should be drawn to a close.

Monday's hearing is the first time Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon will hear arguments in the nearly four-decade-old case. Polanski's attorney, Harland Braun, has argued in court filings that Gordon should clearly state that the "Rosemary's Baby" director should not face additional incarceration in the case.

Prosecutors reject the argument, saying Polanski should not be allowed to make any arguments for how to resolve the case unless he personally appears in a Los Angeles courtroom.

Polanski fled the United States in 1978 after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl the previous year.


Jury selection to begin in Penn State ex-president's trial

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Jury selection is set to begin in the trial of Penn State's former president on charges that his response to the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal put children at risk.

Graham Spanier's trial in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is scheduled to start on Monday and could last a week or more. Potential witnesses include two of his former top lieutenants who recently struck plea deals with prosecutors.

The 68-year-old Spanier faces two counts of endangering the welfare of children and a single conspiracy charge.

Prosecutors say Spanier and two of his former top lieutenants dealt with complaints about Sandusky more than 15 years ago.

Spanier was forced out as university president shortly after Sandusky was charged with child molestation in November 2011.

He has steadfastly denied any wrongdoing.


Minimum-wage hikes could deepen shortage of health aides

WEST CHAZY, N.Y. (AP) — Advocates for the disabled, elderly and chronically ill in New York are concerned the state's move to a $15 minimum wage could deepen a shortage of home health aides.

More than 180,000 Medicaid patients in New York are authorized to receive long-term, in-home care, the most in the state's history. But there are increasingly too few aides to go around, especially in the state's remote, rural areas.

It's a national problem that advocates say could get worse when the state's $15 minimum goes statewide by 2021. It could potentially push low-paid health aides into other jobs, in retail or fast-food, that don't require hours of training or the pressure of keeping another person alive.

New York state employs about 326,000 home health workers, but is projected to need another 125,000 by 2024.


Massachusetts panel opens hearings on recreational pot law

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts lawmakers are vowing to respect the will of the voters, but aren't ruling out changes to the state's recreational marijuana law.

A special legislative committee that's considering revisions to the law opens hearings at the Statehouse on Monday.

Among those expected to testify are members of "Yes on 4," the group that led the ballot initiative that made Massachusetts one of eight states where recreational marijuana use by adults is now legal. The group is demanding that lawmakers leave the measure alone and give it time to work.

State treasurer Deb Goldberg, whose office will oversee regulation of marijuana sales, also is scheduled to appear before the panel.

The Legislature already has moved to postpone the opening of retail pot shops in the state until mid-2018 at the earliest.


Counting Americans: New Mideast box in census is sensitive

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Americans from the Middle East and North Africa may soon be counted in the U.S. census as distinct members of their country, not as "white" or "some other race." But some are wary of singling themselves out a time when President Donald Trump is seeking to ban travel to the U.S. from some majority-Muslim countries.

The Census Bureau has recommended adding a Middle East-North Africa category, saying it would produce a more accurate count. Some worry that could lead to discrimination.

Trump as a candidate linked tighter immigration with national security and spoke favorably of a Muslim registry. As president, he's twice ordered a travel ban on people coming from certain Muslim-majority nations. Federal courts have blocked both orders. The Trump administration says it plans to appeal.

AP Editorial Categories: 
Comments ()