Trump travel ban partly reinstated; fall court arguments set WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court is allowing the Trump administration to go forward with a limited version of its ban on travel from six mostly Muslim countries, a victory for President Donald Trump in the biggest legal controversy of his young presidency. The justices will hear full arguments in October in the case that has stirred heated emotions across the nation. In the meantime, the court said Monday that Trump's ban on visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen can be enforced if those visitors lack a "credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States."
Promised college loan forgiveness, borrowers wait and wait BOSTON (AP) - Danielle Ramos' student-debt nightmare was supposed to be over. Like thousands of others who studied at failed for-profit colleges, she was promised by the U.S. Education Department under President Barack Obama that her federal loans would be forgiven by now. But as the weeks tick by with no reprieve, the 30-year-old college student fears the financial burden will force and her 4-year-old son to move back with her parents. "I'm a single mom, so that's really scary," said Ramos, of Framingham, near Boston. "It's just a lot of uncertainty. I'm probably going to have to rely on family to help me, and it doesn't feel fair." Borrower advocates say the pipeline to loan forgiveness appears to have slowed significantly since President Donald Trump took office, stirring concern that some students may be left in the lurch.
GOP leaders add penalty for lapsed coverage to health bill WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican leaders added a penalty for people who've let their insurance lapse Monday as party leaders prepared to begin pushing their health care measure through the Senate, despite a rebellion within GOP ranks. Under the new provision, people who've had at least a 63-day gap in coverage during the past year and then buy a policy would face a six-month delay before it takes effect. Until now, the measure that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., introduced last week included no language prodding healthy customers to purchase insurance. The change is aimed at helping insurance companies and the insurance market by discouraging healthy people from waiting to buy a policy until they get sick.
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Case of gay couple's wedding cake heads to Supreme Court DENVER (AP) - A Colorado clash between gay rights and religion started as an angry Facebook posting about a wedding cake but now has big implications for anti-discrimination laws in 22 states. Baker Jack Phillips is challenging a Colorado law that says he was wrong to have turned away a same-sex couple who wanted a cake to celebrate their 2012 wedding. The justices said Monday they will consider Phillips' case, which could affect all states. Twenty-two states include sexual orientation in anti-discrimination laws that bar discrimination in public accommodations. Phillips argues that he turned away Charlie Craig and David Mullins not because they are gay, but because their wedding violated Phillips' religious belief.
Philando Castile family reaches $3M settlement in death MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The mother of Philando Castile, a black motorist killed by a Minnesota police officer last July, has reached a nearly $3 million settlement with the city that employed the officer, avoiding a federal wrongful death lawsuit that attorneys said could have taken years to resolve. The settlement to be paid to Valerie Castile, who is the family's trustee, was announced Monday and comes less than two weeks after officer Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted of manslaughter and other charges connected to her son's death. Castile, a 32-year-old elementary school cafeteria worker, was shot five times by Yanez during a traffic stop after Castile told the officer he was armed.
Supreme Court rules for Missouri church in playground case WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court ruled Monday that churches have the same right as other charitable groups to seek state money for new playground surfaces and other nonreligious needs. But the justices stopped short of saying whether the ruling applies to school voucher programs that use public funds to pay for private, religious schooling. By a 7-2 vote, the justices sided with Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Missouri, which had sought a state grant to put a soft surface on its preschool playground. Chief Justice John Roberts said for the court that the state violated the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment by denying a public benefit to an otherwise eligible recipient solely on account of its religious status.
Trump eager for big meeting with Putin; some advisers wary WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump is eager to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin with full diplomatic bells and whistles when the two are in Germany for a multinational summit next month. But the idea is exposing deep divisions within the administration on the best way to approach Moscow in the midst of an ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. elections. Many administration officials believe the U.S. needs to maintain its distance from Russia at such a sensitive time - and interact only with great caution. But Trump and some others within his administration have been pressing for a full bilateral meeting.
Donors to GOP: No cash until action on health care, taxes COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - At least one influential donor has informed congressional Republicans that the "Dallas piggy bank" is closed until he sees major action on health care and taxes. Texas-based donor Doug Deason has already refused to host a fundraiser for two members of Congress and informed House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., his checkbook is closed as well. "Get Obamacare repealed and replaced, get tax reform passed," Deason said in a pointed message to GOP leaders. "You control the Senate. You control the House. You have the presidency. There's no reason you can't get this done. Get it done and we'll open it back up." Indeed, there was a sense of frustration and urgency inside the private receptions and closed-door briefings at the Koch brothers' donor retreat this weekend in Colorado Springs, where the billionaire conservatives and their chief lieutenants warned of a rapidly shrinking window to push their agenda through Congress and get legislation to President Donald Trump to sign into law.
AP: Authorities delayed investigating gay 'demons' case SPINDALE, N.C. (AP) - For two years, Matthew Fenner said he pleaded with authorities to investigate his allegations that a group of fellow congregants at the Word of Faith Fellowship church had punched, slapped and choked him to expel his "homosexual demons." An Associated Press investigation found that Rutherford County investigators and then-District Attorney Brad Greenway delayed investigating and told Fenner his only option was to pursue misdemeanor charges against the church members he said assaulted him for nearly two hours in the evangelical church's sanctuary. The AP's conclusions are based on more than a dozen interviews and court documents, along with a series of secretly made recordings that were provided of Fenner's meetings with law enforcement authorities, including Rutherford County Sheriff Chris Francis.
Prosecutors use Joe Arpaio's immigration talk against him PHOENIX (AP) - Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio's criminal trial opened Monday over his defiance of the courts in traffic patrols that targeted immigrants, marking the most aggressive effort to hold the former lawman of metro Phoenix accountable for tactics that critics say racially profiled Latinos. In opening arguments, prosecutors displayed comments Arpaio made in news releases and during TV interviews in which he bragged about immigration enforcement, aiming to prove that he should be found guilty of misdemeanor contempt of court. "He thought he could get away with it," prosecutor Victor Salgado said, adding that at least 170 were illegally detained because Arpaio didn't stop.