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

March 21, 2017 - 1:59 am

CONGRESS-HEALTH OVERHAUL

NEW: GOP leaders propose health bill changes to help older people

WASHINGTON (AP) — Top House Republicans hunting votes for their health care overhaul are proposing amendments aimed at providing more help for older people, curbing Medicaid and accelerating the repeal of some tax increases.

The bill would let people deduct more medical costs from taxes. It would repeal many tax increases boosted by President Barack Obama's 2010 statute this year instead of 2018.

Older and disabled Medicaid recipients would get more generous benefits. But states could impose work requirements on the program.

The bill would let the Senate approve tax credits more generous to people age 50 to 64. Congressional analysts say the current GOP legislation would hit many with big cost increases.

GOP leaders released the changes late Monday, three days ahead of a planned House vote on the bill.

TV-FOX-NAPOLITANO

Fox pulls Napolitano from air after Trump report

NEW YORK (AP) — A Fox News Channel legal analyst cited by President Donald Trump and his spokesman for claiming that British intelligence helped former President Barack Obama spy on Trump won't be in front of Fox cameras in the near future.

A person with knowledge of the situation says Andrew Napolitano has been sidelined by Fox.

He said on air last week on "Fox & Friends" that he had three intelligence sources who said Obama went "outside the chain of command" to snoop on Trump.

The allegation was knocked down Monday by FBI Director James Comey during testimony to lawmakers. Comey also dismissed Trump's claim his phones at Trump Tower were wiretapped.

TRUMP-KENTUCKY RALLY

Trump promises executive action on coal mining

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he's working on new executive actions aimed at helping revive coal mines.

Trump is telling thousands of supporters at a campaign-style rally in Kentucky that "the miners are coming back."

He says he's working to turn the Environmental Protection Agency from "a job killer into a job creator."

Trump also says he's going to turn to renegotiating the country's trade deals, including NAFTA, "very soon."

He says, "That's going to be an easy one."

He adds, in reference of March Madness: "You just worry about your basketball team. I'll take care of the rest."

AIRPLANE SECURITY-LAPTOPS

Ban aimed at electronics in cabins of some US-bound flights

WASHINGTON (AP) —The Homeland Security and Transportation Security Administration isn't explaining why most carry-on electronics are being barred on certain U.S.-bound flights from the Mideast and North Africa.

Laptops, iPads, cameras and other gear will have to be placed in checked luggage.

Officials say the ban will affect nine airlines that will be informed at 3 a.m. Eastern. The flights originate from 10 airports in eight countries.

CUBA-MIGRANTS

Cubans still trying to reach US by sea despite rule change

MIAMI (AP) — Cubans are still making risky sea journeys to the U.S. despite the end of a policy that allowed them to stay if they made it to American soil.

The U.S. Coast Guard says it intercepted 65 Cubans trying to reach Florida or Puerto Rico since Jan. 12. That's when former President Barack Obama ended the so-called "wet foot, dry foot" policy as part of the normalization of relations with Cuba.

The change means Cubans are no longer generally granted the right to stay upon reaching the U.S. Now they must have a visa or prove a credible fear of persecution like migrants from other countries.

The Coast Guard had no statistics Monday for the same period in 2016. The agency caught nearly 2,000 in the three months before the change.

WHITE HOUSE-SECURITY BREACHES

Man arrested at White House says he's telepathic

WASHINGTON (AP) — A man who drove to a security checkpoint near the White House in a stolen car and was arrested after stating "there's a bomb in the trunk," later told authorities that the object in the trunk was an asteroid and that he communicates telepathically with the president.

According to a court document filed Monday, 29-year-old Sean Patrick Keoughan of Roanoke, Virginia, approached the checkpoint at 10 p.m. Saturday and said he had a meeting with President Donald Trump. Officers found no record for a meeting and Keoughan left. He approached again at 11 p.m. and made the statement about the bomb.

Keoughan was arrested and has been charged with threatening and conveying false information concerning the use of an explosive. The charge is punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison.

Prosecutors said in a statement that Keoughan was ordered held in jail until a hearing Thursday. A mental health screening was also ordered. Keoughan's attorney, Dani Jahn, a federal public defender, declined to comment when reached by telephone Monday afternoon.

BOY KILLED-LOUISIANA SHOOTING

Police officer testifies as prosecution witness

MARKSVILLE, La. (AP) — A police officer who brandished his gun at the scene of a 6-year-old boy's fatal shooting in Louisiana says he didn't join two other officers in shooting at a car carrying the boy because he didn't fear for his life.

Marksville Police Lt. Kenneth Parnell was a witness for the prosecution Monday at the murder trial of Derrick Stafford, one of two deputy city marshals charged in the November 2015 shooting death of Jeremy Mardis.

Parnell's body camera captured the shooting and its bloody aftermath. Parnell acknowledged telling investigators he pulled his gun out of concern for "officer safety." Stafford's attorneys claim he acted in self-defense when he shot at the car driven by Mardis' father, Christopher Few, after a 2 mile chase.

Trial is scheduled to continue Tuesday.

DEAD SONS-MOTHER CHARGED

Deadline set in case of Ohio mother accused of killing sons

BELLEFONTAINE, Ohio (AP) — Attorneys in the case of an Ohio woman accused of suffocating her three young sons out of jealousy at the attention her husband gave them have been given a deadline for filing any additional motions.

A judge set a May 15 deadline Monday in the case of Brittany Pilkington. Attorneys for the 25-year-old Bellefontaine (behl-FOWN'-tihn) woman said they need more time to prepare for trial. No trial date has been set.

Pilkington has pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder charges. Authorities allege she killed her toddler son and two infants over a 13-month period in 2014 and 2015 and confessed to all three murders in a recorded police interview.

Pilkington's attorneys have tried unsuccessfully to get that video thrown out.

Bellefontaine is about 60 miles (97 kilometers) northwest of Columbus.

PENN STATE-ABUSE

Former aides set to testify against Penn State ex-president

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Prosecutors preparing to lay out their case against Penn State's former president say two of his ex-top lieutenants are among those who could take the stand.

Opening statements are scheduled to get underway Tuesday in the long-delayed criminal trial in which Graham Spanier (SPAN'-yur) faces charges of child endangerment and conspiracy. The two sides will make their openings after four alternates are chosen for the jury.

Spanier is accused of mishandling child sex abuse complaints about retired assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. Spanier denies any wrongdoing.

On Monday, seven women and five men were chosen for the main jury panel.

The attorney general's office's witness list includes two former Penn State officials who took plea deals last week.

OIL PIPELINE

Company: Dakota Access pipeline on track to start this week

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The company building the Dakota Access pipeline says the project remains on track to start moving oil this week despite recent "coordinated physical attacks" along the line.

The brief court filing late Monday from Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners didn't detail the attacks, but said they "pose threats to life, physical safety and the environment."

The filing cited those threats for redacting most of the 2½-page report. A spokeswoman and an attorney for the company didn't immediately respond to emailed questions from The Associated Press.

Two American Indian tribes have battled the $3.8 billion pipeline in court for months, arguing it's a threat to water. The company has said the pipeline will be safe.

When complete, the pipeline will move oil from North Dakota to a shipping point in Illinois.

NEW ZEALAND-CARELESS DRIVING

US surgeon pleads guilty after New Zealand crash kills 2

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A 63-year-old Wisconsin heart surgeon who was on vacation in New Zealand with his wife has pleaded guilty to careless driving charges after police say he caused an accident while attempting a U-turn on a coastal highway last month, killing two people and injuring four others.

Kenneth Wolnak faces a maximum of three months in jail on each of the six charges after pleading guilty at the Nelson District Court on Tuesday. Wolnak's lawyer Tony Bamford says he doesn't expect Wolnak to serve jail time but rather to potentially meet with the victims or their families as part of a restorative justice procedure.

Bamford says Wolnak is trying to come to terms with what he's done after spending his career saving lives.

Wolnak works at Mercyhealth in Janesville, Wisconsin.

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