McConnell's focus: finding votes for Senate health care bill WASHINGTON (AP) - Cheered on by the White House, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is focusing on finding the votes he'll need to push the Republican plan for dismantling President Barack Obama's health care law through the Senate. "No one knows the Senate better that Senator McConnell," White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Friday on Fox News Channel's "America's Newsroom." He said along with support from President Donald Trump, "I think we're going to get this thing done, put it in conference and hopefully by the August recess really have Obamacare repealed and replaced." McConnell, R-Ky., released the bill Thursday after weeks of closed-door meetings searching for middle ground between conservative senators seeking an aggressive repeal of Obama's statute and centrists warning about going too far.
APNewsBreak: Military heads want transgender enlistment hold WASHINGTON (AP) - Military chiefs will seek a six-month delay before letting transgender people enlist in their services, officials said Friday. After meetings this week, the service leaders hammered out an agreement that rejected Army and Air Force requests for a two-year wait and reflected broader concerns that a longer delay would trigger criticism on Capitol Hill, officials familiar with the talks told The Associated Press. The new request for a delay will go to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis for a final decision, said the officials, who weren't authorized to discuss the internal deliberations publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Trump signs law to make VA more accountable for vets' care WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump signed a bill into law Friday that will make it easier for the Department of Veterans Affairs to fire employees, part of a push to overhaul an agency that is struggling to serve millions of military vets. "Our veterans have fulfilled their duty to our nation and now we must fulfill our duty to them," Trump said during a White House ceremony. "To every veteran who is here with us today, I just want to say two very simple words: Thank you." Trump repeatedly promised during the election campaign to dismiss VA workers "who let our veterans down," and he cast Friday's bill signing as fulfillment of that promise.
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A 2nd mistrial: Jury deadlocks in Ohio cop's murder retrial CINCINNATI (AP) - A mistrial was declared Friday in the murder retrial of a white University of Cincinnati police officer after the jury said it was hopelessly deadlocked on charges in the fatal traffic stop shooting of an unarmed black motorist. The Hamilton County jury had deliberated more than 30 hours over five days after getting the case Monday. The jurors had told Judge Leslie Ghiz earlier Friday that they were unable to reach a verdict in the trial of Officer Ray Tensing, but Ghiz sent them back to try again on the counts of murder and voluntary manslaughter. Instead, they sent her another note some three hours later saying: "We are almost evenly split regarding our votes." The note said they didn't foresee reaching a unanimous verdict.
Pence visits Focus on Family amid change for religious right COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - Vice President Mike Pence's visit Friday to Colorado to celebrate the anniversary of Focus on the Family comes at a time of change for the religious right during the age of President Donald Trump. Focus on the Family was once well-known for its involvement in politics. But under new leadership, it has dialed that back in an effort by younger evangelicals to withdraw from partisan culture wars. At the same time, many older evangelicals have stayed the course, helping Trump become president and the religious right gain political power. Trump's win breathed new life into the older-school political approach that Focus on the Family once embodied.
Accident reported involving military plane at Ohio air show DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - Authorities say a military jet apparently practicing for an Ohio air show has been involved in an accident. Penelope Reed of the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office in Dayton says a report was received at 12:31 p.m. Friday of a jet off the end of a runway and on its top. She says Wright-Patterson Air Force Base dispatched a crash team and heavy rescue crew. No injuries were immediately reported as emergency responders were working to extricate the two occupants inside the aircraft. Reed says there was no immediate report of any injuries or fuel leaks. Staff Sgt.
Doctors: Officer stabbed in neck at airport recovering well FLINT, Mich. (AP) - The Flint, Michigan, airport officer stabbed in the neck during what authorities are investigating as a terrorist act is recovering well from a 12-inch "slash" that caused significant bleeding but spared major arteries and a nerve by "millimeters," one of his doctors said Friday. Hurley Medical Center doctors said during a news conference that Bishop International Airport police Lt. Jeff Neville could be released from the hospital within a couple days. Dr. Donald Scholten said he is making good progress after being stabbed from "by his Adam's apple" up "to the angle of his jaw." "This was a matter of millimeters," Scholten said.
North Korea says it's 'biggest victim' in US student's death SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korea on Friday called itself the "biggest victim" in the death of an American student who was detained for more than a year and died days after being released in a coma. The North's official Korean Central News Agency denied that North Korea cruelly treated or tortured Otto Warmbier and accused the United States and South Korea of a smear campaign that insulted what it called its "humanitarian" treatment of him. The comments published by KCNA were North Korea's first reaction to Otto Warmbier's death in a U.S. hospital Monday after it released him for what it called humanitarian reasons.
NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn't happen this week A roundup of some of the most popular, but completely untrue, headlines of the week. None of these stories are legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked these out; here are the real facts: NOT REAL: Retired MI5 Agent Confesses On Deathbed: 'I Killed Princess Diana' THE FACTS: A piece on a site called the Anti News Network renews a take on conspiracy theories blaming British agencies or the royal family for the princess' August 1997 death in Paris. A coroner's jury ruled in 2008 that Diana and boyfriend Dodi Al-Fayed were killed by the reckless actions of their driver and paparazzi.
University of Missouri revokes Cosby's honorary degree COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - The University of Missouri's Board of Curators has voted unanimously to revoke an honorary degree it granted to Bill Cosby. University system President Mun Choi recommended that the board strip the comedian of a doctorate in humane letters he received in 1999. Choi cited allegations from several women that Cosby sexually assaulted them. Choi says Cosby's actions do not reflect the university's values. The university said at least 25 other colleges and universities across the country have withdrawn honorary degrees and honors from Cosby since the sexual assault accusations became public. The Missouri Faculty Council recommended in November 2015 that curators revoke Cosby's degree.