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

March 07, 2017 - 10:35 am


UPDATE: Pelosi says no vote until cost of GOP bill known

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is telling Speaker Paul Ryan that lawmakers "must not be asked to vote" on new GOP health care legislation without details on cost and how many people would be covered.

In a letter to Ryan Tuesday, Pelosi says that "the American people and members have the right to know the full impact of this legislation before any vote in committee or by the full House."

Two committees plan to start voting on House Republicans' new bill on Wednesday. But thus far there is not an analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office of how much the bill will cost and how many people will have health coverage. Fewer people are expected to be covered under the House GOP bill compared to the Affordable Care Act.


NEW: Price calls GOP plan 'important first step'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Health Secretary Tom Price is calling the Republican health care plan a "necessary and important first step."

In a letter to Rep. Greg Walden and Rep. Kevin Brady on Tuesday, Price says the Republican proposal offers "patient-centric solutions." He says they will provide "affordable quality healthcare, promote innovation and offer peace of mind for those with pre-existing conditions."

Price says that all of President Donald Trump's plans cannot be achieved through this bill, such as selling insurance across state lines, lowering drug costs and "providing additional flexibility" in managing Medicaid. But he calls it an "important first step."

Price says the White House looks forward to working with lawmakers on the bill and ushering it to the president's desk.


Nigerian NGO calls travel ban 'obnoxious'

CAIRO (AP) — Nigeria's Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project is urging acting President Yemi Osinbajo to tell U.S. President Donald Trump that Nigeria will not tolerate any harassment and unfair treatment of Nigerians with valid U.S. visas.

A Nigerian government statement Monday said some Nigerians with valid multiple-entry U.S. visas have been barred entry, had their visas cancelled and been put on the next plane home, without explanation.

The rights group says Nigeria's government "must stand up to Trump and defend Nigerians' internationally recognized right to freedom of movement," as Iraq's government did in ensuring its citizens were taken off "the obnoxious executive order list."

Nigeria is not on Trump's revised travel ban. Half its 170 million citizens are Muslims and it's battling Boko Haram's Islamic uprising in the northeast.


Trump says Russia 'ran over' Obama

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says that Russia "ran over" President Barack Obama for years, calling it "weak!"

Trump tweeted Tuesday that "For eight years Russia 'ran over' President Obama, got stronger and stronger, picked-off Crimea and added missiles. Weak!"

He added the Twitter handle of "Fox & Friends" at the end — a show he has frequently cited as one of his favorites.

Trump's latest criticism against his predecessor comes as senior members of his administration face questions about their contact with the Russian government.

This weekend, Trump used Twitter to accuse Obama of ordering wiretaps on his phones but offered no proof to back the claim.


Trump says freed Gitmo prisoners 'returned to battlefield'

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says "122 vicious prisoners" released by the Obama administration from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba "have returned to the battlefield."

Trump didn't cite where he got the statistic in his Tuesday tweet, calling their release, "another terrible decision!"

On Monday, U.S. airstrikes against an al-Qaida-linked group in Yemen killed a former detainee who was released from the prison in 2009 despite earlier recommendations that he remain in custody because he was considered a "high threat" to America and its allies.

At its peak, the Guantanamo prison held nearly 680 detainees. It was down to 242 when President Barack Obama took office in 2009 and he got that number down to just a few dozen. Obama said the prison was a waste of money and a recruiting tool for extremists.


WikiLeaks publish 1000s of what it says are CIA documents

PARIS (AP) — WikiLeaks has published thousands of documents that it says come from the CIA's Center for Cyber Intelligence, a dramatic release that appears to give an eye-opening look at the intimate details of the agency's cyberespionage effort.

The dump could not immediately be authenticated by The Associated Press and the CIA did not return repeated messages seeking comment, but WikiLeaks has a long track record of releasing top secret government documents.

One expert who examined the dump, Rendition Infosec founder Jake Williams, told the AP it appeared legitimate.

If it does prove legitimate, the dump will represent yet another catastrophic breach for the U.S. intelligence community at the hands of WikiLeaks and its allies, which have repeatedly humbled Washington with the mass release of classified material.


NEW: Trump greets first wave of White House tourists

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump greeted the first wave of tourists to come through the White House since he assumed office.

Trump welcomed a small crowd of visitors in the East Wing Tuesday, waving from behind a velvet rope as the crowd screamed, cheered and took photos.

The president then pulled Jack Cornish, 10, from Birmingham, Ala., from the crowd and hugged him as the visitors and journalists looked on.

The White House has been closed for tours since inauguration day.


NEW: Women's March organizers proposing 'A Day Without a Woman'

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Organizers of January's Women's March are calling for women to take the day off Wednesday and encouraged not to spend money to highlight women's role in society.

The one-day protest is being billed as "A Day Without a Woman" is aimed at calling attention to economic bias faced by women. It coincides with the U.N.-designated International Women's Day.

Organizers say they want to "stand with women around the globe." They also want to show solidarity to the majority-women protests held around the world on after President Donald Trump's inauguration in January.

They are calling on women to attend rallies and support local groups instead of doing paid or unpaid work, or shopping in stores or online. They also are encouraging women to wear red to signify love and sacrifice.


UPDATE: Kansas wildfires consume 625 square miles

HUTCHINSON, Kansas (AP) — Authorities say wildfires have burned about 625 square miles in Kansas, damaging dozens of structures and forcing thousands to evacuate.

Kansas Department of Emergency Management Katie Horner says 10,000 to 12,000 people voluntarily evacuated their homes Monday night in Reno County. She says 66 people were in shelters Tuesday in Hutchinson as crews continued fighting fires that started over the weekend.

The largest of the blazes was burning in rural southwest Kansas' Clark County, where about 545 square miles has burned. Horner says 30 structures have been damaged, and bridges have been compromised. That fire is now 61 percent contained.

Evacuations also have been ordered in Russell, and Comanche counties.

Horner says all but four of the state's 105 counties are under red-flag warnings of critical wildfire conditions.


UPDATE: Nearly 500 homes, businesses damaged in storms

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Emergency officials in Oak Grove, Missouri, say nearly 500 homes and businesses sustained some damage after tornadoes and severe storms raked the area.

Sni Valley Fire Protection District Chief Carl Scarborough says 483 homes were damaged in Oak Grove during Monday night's storms that struck the Kansas City area. Scarborough says 10 to 12 commercial buildings also were damaged.

At a briefing Tuesday morning, Scarborough said 12 people were treated for injuries by emergency crews, and three people were taken to hospitals. He says none of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening.

Oak Grove Mayor Jeremy Martin praised the work of emergency responders and said "it's rather amazing" there were no serious injuries or deaths based on the extent of the damage in the area.


UPDATE: US stocks open broadly lower

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are opening broadly lower on Wall Street, led by declines in health care stocks and banks.

Drugmaker stocks were among the early decliners Tuesday. Eli Lilly fell 2.3 percent and Alexion Pharmaceuticals lost 2 percent.

The declines came after Republicans announced a health care proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act. President Donald Trump says he wants to bring drug prices lower and repeated that position in a tweet Tuesday morning.


US trade deficit jumps to 5-year high of $48.5 billion

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit jumped in January to the highest level in nearly five years as a flood of mobile phones and other consumer products widened America's trade gap with China. The figure underscores the challenges facing President Donald Trump in fulfilling a campaign pledge to reduce America's trade deficits.

The Commerce Department says the deficit in January rose 9.6 percent to $48.5 billion, up from a December deficit of $44.3 billion. It was the largest monthly gap since a deficit of $50.2 billion in March 2012.

U.S. exports edged up a slight 0.6 percent to $192.1 billion, helped by stronger auto sales. But the export gain was swamped by a 2.3 percent surge in imports, led by mobile phones, oil and foreign-made cars.


George Michael died of natural causes, British coroner says

LONDON (AP) — A British coroner says George Michael died of natural causes as the result of heart disease and a fatty liver.

Darren Salter, senior coroner for Oxfordshire, says a post-mortem has found that the singer died of "dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis and fatty liver."

Dilated cardiomyopathy is a condition in which the heart's ability to pump blood is limited, while myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle.

Michael died at his home in Oxfordshire county, southern England, on Dec. 25. He was 53. An initial autopsy failed to determine the cause of death.

Salter said Tuesday that because Michael died of natural causes, no inquest will be held.


Supreme Court justice family apologizes to family of slave

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The family of the chief justice who presided over the Supreme Court 160 years ago apologized to the family of a slave who tried to sue for his freedom.

Charley Taney on Monday apologized for the words written by his great-great-grand-uncle Roger Brooke Taney in the U.S. Supreme Court's Dred Scott decision. Roger Taney wrote that African Americans could not have rights of their own and were inferior to white people.

Charley Taney stood outside the Maryland State House on Monday and apologized to Lynne Jackson, the great-great-granddaughter of Dred Scott, whose lawsuit prompted the decision. Jackson accepted the apology for her family and for "all African Americans."

Monday marked the 160-year anniversary of the decision. The apology took place in front of a statue of Roger Brooke Taney.

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