A short-term health deal by senators _ with Trump's blessing
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republican and Democratic senators joined in announcing a plan Tuesday aimed at stabilizing America's health insurance markets in the wake of President Donald Trump's order to terminate "Obamacare" subsidies. Trump himself spoke approvingly of the deal, but some conservatives denounced it as an insurance company bailout, making its future uncertain....
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US-backed forces celebrate fall of IS 'capital' of Raqqa
BEIRUT (AP) -- U.S.-backed Syrian forces celebrated in the devastated streets of Raqqa on Tuesday after gaining control of the northern city that once was the heart of the Islamic State's self-styled caliphate, dealing a major defeat to the extremist group that has seen its territory shrink ever smaller since summer....
Kurds pull out abruptly from disputed Iraqi areas
BAGHDAD (AP) -- Kurdish fighters pulled out of disputed areas across northern and eastern Iraq on Tuesday, one day after giving up the vital oil city of Kirkuk - a dramatic redeployment of forces that opened the way for government troops to move into energy-rich and other strategically important territories....
Xi says China's prospects are bright but challenges severe
BEIJING (AP) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping trumpeted his nation's prospects as bright but made a rare acknowledgement of severe economic challenges as he opened the Communist Party's twice-a-decade national congress on Wednesday....
Pennsylvania House eyes new cash package to backfill deficit
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- Pennsylvania's Republican-controlled House of Representatives began advancing another deficit-financing proposal Tuesday night that revolved around elements the House previously had rejected in a protracted budget standoff with the Senate and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf....
Pennsylvania healthsystems get $1M grants to fight addiction
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- Gov. Tom Wolf's administration is using $4 million in federal aid to help start up four regional medication-assisted programs to treat people struggling with drug addiction....
Medical marijuana grower gets green light in Pennsylvania
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- A licensed grower and processor of medical marijuana in northwestern Pennsylvania became the first with the state's approval to begin planting seeds Tuesday....
Pittsburgh diocese settles suit over birth control mandate
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- The Pittsburgh and Erie Roman Catholic dioceses have settled lawsuits seeking to overturn an Affordable Care Act mandate that would have forced them to provide contraceptive and abortion-inducing drugs or services as part of their employee health care plans....
Jury deliberates in trial of Liberian accused of war crimes
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The trial of an accused Liberian war criminal charged with lying about his past to enter the U.S. neared its end Tuesday as jurors began deliberations and a defense attorney said prosecutors had been "hoodwinked" by witnesses telling stories of gruesome atrocities....
Faculty union reaches deal with Pennsylvania universities
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- Pennsylvania's 14 state-owned universities and their faculty union say they've reached a tentative agreement on a new contract that will run through June 2019....
Bethlehem call center employing about 460 to close
BETHLEHEM, Pa. (AP) -- Wells Fargo has announced plans to close a call center in Bethlehem that employs about 460 people....
Man pleads guilty to murder charges in fatal crash
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) -- A man has pleaded guilty to murder charges in a Pennsylvania crash earlier this year that killed two people, including a pregnant woman....
Defense: Drug abuse, mental illness led to shooting
WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) -- A defense attorney says a "perfect storm" of drug abuse and mental illness led his client to open fire with a semi-automatic rifle outside a northeastern Pennsylvania shopping center two years ago....
Trump: Drug czar nominee pulls his name from consideration
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Rep. Tom Marino, President Donald Trump's nominee to be the nation's drug czar, has withdrawn from consideration, following reports that he played a key role in weakening the federal government's authority to stop companies from distributing opioids....
Pennsylvania joined 17 other states in a lawsuit against President Trump's executive order to suspend this week, subsidies to insurers who pay medical expenses for low income patients, a key component of Obamacare. The President contends these reimbursements make insurance companies rich at taxpayers' expense totaling $7 billion this year, ballooning to $10 billion in 2018. Opponents accuse Trump of sabotaging the law, by removing these subsidies forcing millions of low income people to pay higher insurance premiums and out-of-pocket medical costs.
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