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

March 14, 2017 - 9:58 am


UPDATE: Less snow for NYC; plenty expected elsewhere

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City is expected to get less snow than forecast in a late-winter storm that has slammed other parts of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

Snow changed over to pelting sleet in the city early Tuesday, and the National Weather Service says to expect 4 to 6 inches of snow, after earlier forecasts of 18 inches or more.

Elsewhere, forecasters were still expecting lots of snow. Around 100,000 customers had lost power from Virginia to New Jersey, and more than 5,000 flights were canceled.

In Massachusetts, officials warned Tuesday morning that the storm was just getting started. In the western part of the state, the National Weather Service forecast as much as 2 ½ feet of snow.

Maryland State Police said troopers responded to 101 crashes, none serious.


Thousands of flights canceled

UNDATED (AP) — U.S. airlines have scrapped about 5,400 flights Tuesday as a late-winter storm dumps snow on some of the nation's busiest airports.

Southwest Airlines, which carries more domestic passengers than any other airline, doesn't expect to operate any flights Tuesday at 14 airports stretching from Washington to Portland, Maine. Southwest cancelled about 900 flights, while American Airlines, JetBlue Airways and United Airlines each cancelled more than 500.

Tracking service FlightAware.com says Tuesday's cancellations bring the total for the week to around 7,740 flights. An additional 650 flights have been cancelled for Wednesday, a number that FlightAware expects to rise as the airlines scramble to resume operations.


Budget chief says CBO is wrong on health care

WASHINGTON (AP) — White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney says he doesn't trust the Congressional Budget Office's prediction that 14 million Americans will lose health care insurance in the next year under the Republican plan.

In interviews Tuesday on MSNBC and Fox News "Fox & Friends," Mulvaney noted that the CBO was wrong in estimating coverage under former President Barack Obama's plan. Mulvaney said the office is wrong now too.

He said, "I don't believe the facts are correct." Mulvaney said the CBO is "really good at counting numbers but maybe not that good about counting coverage."

CBO had predicted 23 million people would enroll in online marketplaces when Obama's law was enacted but the actual number was 12 million, largely because it overestimated how the individual mandate would prompt people to buy coverage.


Cuomo says GOP plan could be 'devastating' for states

NEW YORK (AP) — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, says the Republican health care plan could be "devastating" to state budgets.

Cuomo told MSNBC on Tuesday that he is concerned about the plan to dramatically reduce Medicaid funding. CBO says the plan would reduce budget deficits by $337 billion over a decade. The largest savings would come from reductions for Medicaid, the federal-state health care program for low-income Americans, and elimination of Obama's subsidies for individuals buying coverage.

Cuomo says he's heard "rumors" that the GOP plan could cut as much as $3 billion for a state like New York. He says, "I can't make up $3 billion dollars. It would wreak havoc on the state."


NEW: GOP conservative says changes due on health care

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, a member of the Freedom Caucus, says he and other conservatives have been working with the White House on changes to the Republican health care plan.

Jordan tells Fox News' "Fox & Friends" that those changes will be proposed when the House debates the legislation, likely next week. He said "We have been working with the White House all along."

Jordan and other budget hawks have balked at the GOP bill as not going far enough, labeling it "Obamacare Lite" and complaining that GOP leadership is preventing them from trying to change the bill before it reaches the House floor.

Jordan said: "This bill doesn't unite Republicans. This bill doesn't bring down the cost of premiums."

He added: "I don't think it's going to accomplish what we told the voters we were going to do."


UPDATE: Energy stocks lead Wall Street lower

NEW YORK (AP) — Energy stocks are leading an early decline on Wall Street as the price of oil takes another turn lower.

Marathon Oil slumped 3.9 percent in early trading Tuesday. Murphy Oil dropped 3 percent.

Streaming music company Pandora Media slumped 3.5 percent after the company announced it will launch an on-demand music service to compete with Apple Music and Spotify.


Wholesale prices up just 0.3 percent in February

WASHINGTON (AP) — Inflation at the wholesale level rose at just half the rate in February as the previous month, as a surge in energy prices slowed.

The Labor Department says its producer price index, which measures inflation pressures before they reach consumers, increased 0.3 percent in February following a 0.6 percent rise in January. Part of the slowdown reflected less of an increase in energy products, which rose 0.6 percent in February after jumping 4.7 percent in January.

Over the past 12 months, wholesale prices are up 2.2 percent, reflecting a steady rise in inflation as energy prices have increased. Just six months ago, the year-over-year increase stood at zero.

The Federal Reserve is meeting this week and is expected to boost a key interest rate, in part to reflect rising inflation.


Scottish leader to UK's May: Don't block independence vote

LONDON (AP) — Scotland's leader is warning British Prime Minister Theresa May not to block a referendum on Scottish independence.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says she intends to ask voters in late 2018 or early 2019 whether they want to leave the United Kingdom.

Britain decided in a 2016 referendum to leave the European Union, but Scots voted strongly to remain.

The British government must agree to a legally binding referendum. May has condemned the referendum call, accusing Sturgeon of sowing uncertainty and division.

Sturgeon tweeted Tuesday that she was elected "on a clear manifesto commitment" to hold a referendum. She added: "The PM is not yet elected by anyone."

May took office through an internal Conservative Party process after predecessor David Cameron resigned. Critics accuse her of lacking a strong popular mandate.


Child welfare agency: Girl who killed herself suffered abuse

MIAMI (AP) — A report by Florida's child welfare agency says the 14-year-old foster child who hanged herself in a shower stall on Facebook live had been abused, beaten and rejected by her mother.

In a 20-page report released late Monday, the Department of Children & Families concluded that Naika Venant's relationship with her mother Gina Alexis played a significant role in her death. The Miami Herald (http://hrld.us/2niYa19 ) reports that despite the abuse, Venant told her therapist she "missed her mother" and wanted to go home.

The agency detailed the abuse Venant suffered, including sleeping in the same room as her mother's boyfriends, watching "sex movies," and being beaten with belts. She was in and out of foster homes.

Alexis' attorney Howard Talenfeld disputed the findings, adding the girl was whisked between 14 foster homes but was never given a bed in a therapeutic foster home.


UPDATE: No charges for women nearly hit by Carnival cruise ship

PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Two spring breakers from West Virginia won't face charges after they were nearly struck by a cruise ship near Florida's Port Canaveral.

Florida Today (http://on.flatoday.com/2noJKcU ) reports 19-year-old Skylar Penpasuglia and 20-year-old Allison Garrett, both of Princeton, West Virginia, were on the edge of the channel where they are allowed to be before falling off their personal watercraft and into harm's way.

A passenger on the Carnival Magic captured the rescue on video Saturday afternoon after harbor pilot Doug Brown spotted the women and Brevard County Sheriff's Deputy Taner Primmer pulled them to safety as the ship bore down on them.

Primmer says had the women not fallen off the watercraft, they would have moved out of the way. He says he didn't realize how close a call it was until seeing the video, adding his wife is a "little upset."

AP Editorial Categories: 
Comments ()