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

March 16, 2017 - 7:57 am

TRUMP-BUDGET

UPDATE: WH unveils Trump budget

WASHINGTON (AP) — Military spending would get the biggest boost in President Donald Trump's proposed $1.15 trillion budget, just unveiled this morning.

Environmental programs, medical research, Amtrak and an array of international and cultural programs would take big hits.

It'll be up to Congress to decide who gets what.

CONGRESS-HEALTH OVERHAUL

UPDATE: Trying to stem a rebellion

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House and Republican leaders are trying to stem a rebellion within the ranks over the GOP health care overhaul.

They're talking about revising the plan, which is being taken up today by the House Budget Committee.

There have been signs of eroding support after a congressional report projected the bill would pry coverage from millions of voters.

TRAVEL BAN-LAWSUITS

UPDATE: 2 federal courts block revised travel ban

HONOLULU (AP) — Two federal courts have now blocked President Donald Trump's revised travel ban.

A federal judge in Maryland has just blocked the executive order.

Yesterday, a federal judge in Hawaii blocked the ban, rejecting the government's claims that the revised travel ban is about national security, not discrimination. U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson also said Hawaii would suffer financially if the executive order constricted the flow of students and tourists to the state.

FRANCE-IMF-LETTER BOMB

NEW: Letter bomb explodes at France office of IMF, injuring 1

PARIS (AP) — Paris police say a letter bomb exploded at the French office of the International Monetary Fund, lightly injuring one person.

A police official said no other damage was been reported in the incident in western Paris on Thursday. It is unclear who sent the letter. Police experts are at the scene, said the official, who was not authorized to be publicly named.

The IMF office in France did not immediately respond to calls.

France remains in a state of emergency after a string of deadly Islamic extremist attacks over the past two years.

TILLERSON-ASIA

Tillerson defends sharp State Dept budget cut

TOKYO (AP) — Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says he is "willingly" taking on the challenge of a sharp cut in funding for the State Department.

The White House is unveiling a federal government budget today. And the department and the U.S. Agency for International Development are among the hardest-hit agencies, with funding reduced by 28 percent, or $10 billion.

Tillerson says the current level of spending is "not unsustainable." He says the cut reflects expectations the U.S. will be involved in fewer military conflicts and its aid programs can become more effective and attract resources from other countries.

Tillerson is in Tokyo, at the start of a three-nation tour of North Asia.

SPECIAL VISA-DEPORTATION

Deportation of Afghan man who helped US military is blocked

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A federal appeals court has temporarily blocked the deportation of an Afghan man who had obtained a special visa for people who helped the U.S. military.

The ruling late Wednesday blocks a New Jersey federal judge's decision to allow the deportation.

The judge in New Jersey had said that the man was unlikely to win in his case against the U.S. government because his visa already had been revoked.

SWEDEN-SECURITY

Sweden's intel agency: there is 'a real and serious threat'

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The head of Sweden's domestic intelligence agency says there is "a real and serious threat against the security" of the country, which "has an increased military strategic importance."

Intelligence head Anders Thornberg says the agency has "never had a bigger and more complex task," adding cooperating with others — at home and abroad — is crucial.

Thornberg didn't release details today but in September, non-NATO-member Sweden stationed permanent troops on the Baltic Sea island of Gotland. The move was described as sending a signal after Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea and its "increasing pressure" in the region.

When presenting the agency's annual report, Thornberg said it had investigated an undisclosed number of cases where people were suspected of giving out classified information to foreign governments.

CALIFORNIA KIDNAPPING-SENTENCING

Disbarred lawyer faces sentencing in kidnap once called hoax

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A disbarred Harvard University-trained attorney faces decades in prison for a kidnapping so elaborate and bizarre that police in California initially dismissed it as a hoax.

Federal prosecutors are seeking a 40-year sentence today for Matthew Muller. He pleaded guilty in September to holding a woman for ransom in a case that investigators once erroneously likened to the movie, "Gone Girl."

They realized that Denise Huskins was telling the truth about her March 2015 abduction only after Muller was implicated in a different crime.

Muller could face life in prison, but prosecutors agreed to recommend 40 years in exchange for his guilty plea.

Defense attorney Thomas Johnson wants a 30-year sentence, saying says his 39-year-old client has been diagnosed as manic and depressive and can be rehabilitated with proper treatment.

JUNGLE WARFARE

US soldiers train for jungle warfare at Hawaii rainforest

HONOLULU (AP) — The Army is training soldiers to fight and survive in the jungle using a new school in a Hawaii rainforest.

The Army set up the course at a base some 30 miles west of Waikiki a few years ago. It's the Army's first such school since it gave up its jungle training center in Panama in 1999 when the U.S. returned land there to the Panamanian government.

The Hawaii training grounds have a stream soldiers can practice crossing and cliffs for rappelling.

The 25th Infantry Division's deputy commander says the Army set up the school as its footprint was shrinking in Iraq and Afghanistan after more than a decade of war in those countries.

Brig. Gen. Stephen Michael says soldiers must be able to fight in the tough environment of the Pacific.

NIGERIA-BOKO HARAM VIDEO

Boko Haram releases video showing killing of accused spies

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — An organization that monitors extremist groups says Boko Haram has released a video showing the killing of three accused spies by gunshot and beheading.

The SITE Intelligence Group says in a statement today that a fighter in the video uploaded Monday calls those killed "agents" of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.

SITE points out that while the video opens with images used by so-called "provinces" of the Islamic State group, it comes from Boko Haram's own production unit. SITE says this indicates the group has "some degree of autonomy." One faction of Boko Haram is allied with the Islamic State group.

Nigeria's president declared the Boko Haram insurgency "crushed" late last year, but its fighters continue to threaten the vast region around Lake Chad in defiance of a multinational force.

MALAYSIA-NORTH KOREA

Malaysia says it has family consent to decide on Kim's body

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A senior Malaysian police official says the family of Kim Jong Nam, who was killed last month, has given consent to Malaysia to decide what to do with his body.

Officials say police confirmed Kim's identity using the DNA of one of his children. Kim was holding a diplomatic passport by the name of Kim Chol when he was attacked Feb. 13 at Kuala Lumpur's airport by two women who smeared the banned VX nerve agent on his face. He died within 20 minutes.

Deputy national police Chief Noor Rashid Ibrahim said Thursday that Kim's family will let the government decide what to do with his body.

Noor Rashid said any decision will be subject to negotiations between the two countries amid a diplomatic standoff over the killing.

CHILD TRAPPED SNOW

NEW: Police: NY boy, 10, dies after being trapped under snow pile

PENDLETON, N.Y. (AP) — Authorities in western New York say a 10-year-old boy has died after being trapped under a pile of snow from this week's storm.

Police responded to a call about a child trapped in snow in Pendleton in Niagara County around 3:40 p.m. on Wednesday. The boy was taken to Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police say they believe the boy was digging a tunnel when it collapsed on him.

The Niagara County Sheriff's Office hasn't released the name of the child.

Police believe the death was accidental. An investigation is ongoing.

Parts of the county received more than 2 feet of snow from the storm that started Tuesday and lasted into Wednesday.

AP Editorial Categories: 
Comments ()