Update on the latest news, sports, business and entertainment

March 25, 2017 - 1:06 pm

TRUMP-NATIONAL-SECURITY-ADVISER

NEW: Ex-CIA chief: Flynn's firm discussed removing cleric from US

WASHINGTON (AP) — A former CIA director has accused former Trump administration national security adviser Michael Flynn of participating in a discussion with Turkish officials about possibly subverting the U.S. extradition process to remove a Turkish cleric from the United States.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the allegations made by former CIA Director James Woolsey. A Flynn spokesman says that Woolsey's claims are false and that "no such discussion occurred."

Woolsey said the discussion generally involved removing cleric Fethullah Gulen from the U.S. without going through the lengthy extradition process. The Turkish government has sought Gulen's extradition after accusing the cleric of directing a failed coup last summer. The U.S. government has rebuffed that request. Gulen, who has a green card and lives in Pennsylvania, has denied involvement.

IRAQ

UPDATE: US command: Mosul airstrikes were at the request of Iraq

BAGHDAD (AP) — An initial review of airstrikes over the past days indicates that the U.S.-led coalition has struck fighters and equipment of the Islamic State group west of the northern city of Mosul at the request of Iraqi security forces, where there were allegations of civilian casualties, the Pentagon said.

The coalition said in a statement Saturday that the airstrike was conducted on March 17.

Reports have indicated that the airstrikes have allegedly killed more than 100 civilians in western Mosul where U.S.-backed government troops are fighting IS.

The coalition said it takes all allegations of civilian casualties seriously and a formal Civilian Casualty Credibility Assessment has been opened to determine the facts surrounding this strike and the validity of the allegation of civilian casualties.

CONGRESS-HEALTH OVERHAUL-OBAMACARE

Trump tweets 'Do not worry!'

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is sounding an optimistic note after the House failed to act on the Republican health care overhaul bill.

Trump tweeted today that "ObamaCare will explode and we will all get together and piece together a great healthcare plan for THE PEOPLE." He added, "Do not worry!"

House Speaker Paul Ryan called off yesterday's vote on the bill to repeal and replace "Obamacare" when it became clear that there weren't enough votes to pass it. He later said, "We're going to be living with 'Obamacare' for the foreseeable future."

Trump blamed Democrats for the failure and repeated his dire predictions for the Obama-era law. "It's imploding, and soon will explode, and it's not going to be pretty," he said.

In the meantime, Trump and Ryan plan to turn their attention to the first major re-write of the tax code in more than 30 years.

KASICH-BALANCED BUDGET

Republican John Kasich leads charge for balanced budget vote

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Republican John Kasich (KAY'-sik) is not abandoning his goal of a federal balanced-budget amendment. The Ohio governor says it's ever more important as the U.S. national debt ticks toward $20 trillion.

Kasich tells The Associated Press the issue isn't partisan but critical to sustained economic prosperity.

As a 2016 presidential contender, Kasich pledged to balance the federal budget within eight years. He hasn't let his failed White House dampen his passion on the issue. He helped persuade Wyoming last month to become the 29th state to request a balanced budget convention. With 34 needed, he's turning next to Idaho, Arizona, Kentucky, South Carolina and Wisconsin.

The John Birch Society is among opposition groups. It calls a constitutional convention "a potentially disastrous event" for one of the nation's founding documents.

CANADA-PIPELINE

Canada determined to diversify despite Keystone XL approval

TORONTO (AP) — Canada's natural resource minister says his government is happy the Keystone XL pipeline has finally been approved by the White House, but he notes that obstacles remain and Canada remains determined to diversify its oil exports beyond the United States.

Minister Jim Carr told The Associated Press on Saturday that President Donald Trump's approval of the pipeline is "good news." But he says there are other important projects like the recently approved TransMountain pipeline that will allow for exports to Asia. Ninety-eight percent of Canada's oil exports now go to the U.S.

TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline received a presidential permit Friday, but Carr expects protests and notes it still needs a permit from the state of Nebraska.

Carr will meet with U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry in Washington on Thursday.

CHILDREN KILLED

N. Carolina father accused of killing newborn, toddler

RAEFORD, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina father is accused of stabbing his infant and toddler daughters to death.

Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin says 30-year-old Tillman Freeman III of Fayetteville is charged with two counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of 4-day-old Genesis Freeman and 2-year-old Serenity Freeman. Their bodies were found early Saturday near an intersection near Raeford.

Peterkin tells the Fayetteville Observer (http://bit.ly/2n4qjoV ) the children were stabbed multiple times with what appears to be a hunting or survivalist-type knife. He called the crime "horrific."

Before they were found, Freeman was arrested and charged with child abuse and child endangerment. The children were reported missing following a domestic dispute. Freeman's wife was in a local hospital when the children disappeared.

It's not clear whether Freeman has an attorney.

CHILD STRUCK-DRIVER SHOT

Ohio police: Driver shot, killed after hitting boy, 4

CINCINNATI (AP) — Police in Cincinnati say a driver was shot and killed after his car hit a 4-year-old boy who ran into the street.

Investigators say they believe the driver got out of his car after hitting the child Friday and a confrontation broke out.

Police say 44-year-old Jamie Urton was shot several times and a passenger suffered minor injuries in the fight but was not shot.

The child hit by the car was hurt but is expected to be OK.

Police say they're looking for three suspects. They say it's not clear yet if any other circumstances led to the shooting just outside downtown Cincinnati.

ROOFTOP HOPPING-DEATH

13-year-old boy dies in fall from NY roof; 2nd teen injured

NEW YORK (AP) — New York police say a 13-year-old boy was killed and another teenager was injured as they tried to hop along rooftops in Brooklyn and plunged about four stories to the ground.

The boys were found in the back of the building in Bushwick about 5:30 p.m. Friday. The 13-year-old had severe trauma to his head and body. His 15-year-old friend had pelvic injuries but was expected to live.

Neighbors told the Daily News of New York that teens who don't live in the building climb to the top and hang out. A couch was set up on the roof. The two didn't live in the building.

In January last year, a 15-year-old girl died after she tried to jump from one rooftop to another in Manhattan and fell five stories.

AMBULANCE DRIVER KILLED

Funeral set for NY medic who died when run over by ambulance

NEW YORK (AP) — Thousands of mourners are packing a Bronx church for the funeral for an emergency medic killed last week when she was run over by her own ambulance.

Yadira Arroyo (yah-DEER'-ah) was killed March 16 responding to a call. Police say a man got into the truck when she got out and she was run over.

The mother of five was a 14-year veteran of the department. She was beloved by colleagues at her station house and in her Bronx community. Arroyo was a dedicated EMT who responded to calls even during asthma attacks and was a mother figure to her co-workers.

Fire Department Commissioner Daniel Nigro says the outpouring of support shows the respect people have for their fallen colleague. He said she lived and died as a hero.

SOLDIER'S REMAINS IDENTIFIED

NEW: Korean War soldier from Massachusetts to get final farewell

HOLYOKE, Mass. (AP) — A Korean War soldier from Massachusetts is finally getting a proper farewell 67 years after he was reported missing in action.

The remains of Cpl. Jules Hauterman (HOTT'-uhr-man) are scheduled to return to Holyoke on Wednesday.

Hauterman was a medic attached to the 31st Regimental Combat Team who went missing in December 1950 during fierce fighting against Chinese forces at the Chosin Reservoir.

His remains were discovered in 1954 but were not positively identified until last year.

Because Hauterman has so few living relatives, Holyoke's veterans service department is asking residents to turn out to show their respects.

Calling hours at the Barry J. Farrell Funeral Home are Thursday. A funeral Mass will be held Friday at Blessed Sacrament Church, followed by burial at St. Jerome's Cemetery.

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