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As Modi prepares for Trump meeting, U.S. expected to OK India drone purchase

As Modi prepares for Trump meeting, U.S. expected to OK India drone purchase By Sanjeev Miglani and David Brunnstrom NEW DELHI/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is expected to authorize India's purchase of a naval variant of the Predator drone, two sources familiar with the situation said, ahead of a visit next week by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to try to revitalize ties in his first meeting with President Donald Trump. Securing agreement on the purchase of 22 unarmed drones, worth more than $2 billion, is seen in New Delhi as a key test of defense ties that flourished under former President Barack Obama but have drifted under Trump, who has courted Asian rival China as he seeks Beijing's help to contain North Korea's nuclear program. California-based General Atomics, the maker of the Guardian drone sought by India, declined to comment.


Senate Republicans unveil Obamacare replacement bill, but fate uncertain

Senate Republicans unveil Obamacare replacement bill, but fate uncertain U.S. Senate Republicans on Thursday unveiled legislation that would replace Obamacare with a plan that scales back aid to the poor and kills a tax on the wealthy, but the bill's fate was quickly thrown into question as several senators voiced skepticism. Four conservative lawmakers said they could not support it in its current form, leaving Republicans short of the votes they need for passage. The 142-page proposal, worked out in secret by a group led Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, aims to deliver on a central campaign promise of President Donald Trump by rolling back former President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, which has provided coverage to millions of Americans since it was passed in 2010.


Factbox: Where key U.S. Republican senators stand on healthcare bill

Factbox: Where key U.S. Republican senators stand on healthcare bill U.S. Senate Republicans offered a bill on Thursday to overhaul Obamacare, the next phase in the party's long war against the 2010 law enacted by then-Democratic President Barack Obama. The legislation met a wall of opposition from Democrats and initial skepticism among some Republicans, leaving Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell a narrow path to passage. The bill would roll back an expansion of the Medicaid health program for the poor and disabled over three years, cut its federal funding beginning in 2025, restructure Obamacare's tax credits for low-income Americans, and repeal several taxes.


Remnants of tropical storm drench U.S. Gulf Coast, spawn twisters, flooding

Remnants of tropical storm drench U.S. Gulf Coast, spawn twisters, flooding The remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy brought tornadoes and flooding to the U.S. Gulf Coast on Thursday and its heavy rains will drench much of the eastern United States in coming days, forecasters said. Flooding and road closures stretched from east Texas into northwestern Florida after Cindy made landfall early on Thursday near the Louisiana-Texas border and weakened to a tropical depression, the National Weather Service said. Cindy is expected to dump 3 to 6 inches (7.5 to 15 cm) of rain as it heads north and east into the Ohio Valley and the Appalachian Mountains through Saturday, said Brian Hurley, a weather service meteorologist.


Judge accepts sweeping reforms of Arizona death penalty protocols

Judge accepts sweeping reforms of Arizona death penalty protocols The changes were part of a settlement reached in a 2014 lawsuit brought by seven death row inmates who argued Arizona's lethal injection practices were experimental, secretive and caused inmates prolonged suffering. On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Neil Wake in Phoenix signed an order that in effect authorized a deal reached between the state and the lawyers for death row inmates, according to Dale Baich, a lawyer for the death row litigants.


Judge says San Francisco can subpoena Uber for driver information

Judge says San Francisco can subpoena Uber for driver information By Heather Somerville SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A California state judge said on Thursday that San Francisco can demand from Uber records containing the ride-hailing company's driver contact information, the city attorney said. San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera last month sought a court order compelling Uber Technologies Inc to comply with the city's demands for information about the company's drivers. The city Treasurer and Tax Collector's Office wants the names, addresses and driver's license numbers of Uber's drivers.


Factbox: How Senate, House Obamacare overhaul bills compare

Factbox: How Senate, House Obamacare overhaul bills compare (Reuters) - After weeks of discussions behind closed doors, the U.S. Senate unveiled a draft of its healthcare bill on Thursday that would overhaul the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. The House of Representatives narrowly passed its healthcare bill last month. If the Senate passes its bill, the House will either have to vote on the Senate version of the legislation or the two chambers will have to reconcile their differences in a conference committee.


Appeals court overturns conviction of 'Making a Murderer' inmate

Appeals court overturns conviction of 'Making a Murderer' inmate A three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled 2-1 to uphold a federal judge's ruling last year that overturned Dassey's conviction for a 2005 murder. Magistrate Judge William Duffin had ruled in August that the conviction was based on a coerced confession that Dassey, now 27, gave as a 16-year-old with a learning disability. Duffin ordered Dassey freed in November, but his release was halted while Wisconsin authorities appealed the decision.


Son of New York pizzeria owner gets 20 years in drug case

Son of New York pizzeria owner gets 20 years in drug case The son of a New York pizzeria owner was sentenced on Thursday to 20 years in prison for his role in a cocaine trafficking conspiracy linked to organized crime. Angelo Gigliotti, 36, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie in Brooklyn federal court, U.S. prosecutors said. Federal prosecutors accused the Gigliottis of using their family-run restaurant, Cucino Amodo Mio in the New York City borough of Queens and a produce importation company to provide cover for drug trafficking for 'Ndrangheta, a powerful criminal organization in Italy.


U.S. on track to supply India with 22 Guardian drones: source

U.S. on track to supply India with 22 Guardian drones: source The United States is on track to announce plans to supply India with 22 Guardian drones in a deal worth more than $2 billion, a source familiar with the deal said on Thursday. The approval of the sale of the naval variant of the Predator drone comes ahead of a visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the United States as he tries to revitalize relations with Washington. Securing agreement on the purchase of 22 unarmed drones is seen in New Delhi as a key test of defense ties that flourished under former President Barack Obama but have drifted under President Donald Trump, who has courted Asian rival China as he seeks Beijing's help to contain North Korea's nuclear program.


Suspect in Michigan airport stabbing attempted to buy gun before attack

Suspect in Michigan airport stabbing attempted to buy gun before attack The man charged with stabbing an airport police officer in Michigan unsuccessfully attempted to purchase a gun before the attack, which is being investigated as an act of terrorism, federal officials said on Thursday. The suspect, Amor Ftouhi, 49, of Quebec, Canada, has been charged in federal court with violence at an international airport for stabbing Jeff Neville, an officer at the Bishop International Airport in Flint, in the neck on Wednesday.


Texas man charged with hate crime for January mosque fire

Texas man charged with hate crime for January mosque fire A federal grand jury in Victoria, Texas, has charged Marq Perez, 25, with a hate crime on suspicion of setting fire to a mosque there on Jan. 28, the U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday. If convicted, Perez faces up to 20 years in federal prison, 10 years for possessing an unregistered destructive device and another 10 years for use of fire to commit a felony, along with a maximum fine of $250,000, the department said in a statement. A lawyer for Perez, who is in custody, was not immediately available for comment.


6.8-magnitude quake hits Guatemala, second in eight days: USGS

6.8-magnitude quake hits Guatemala, second in eight days: USGS A powerful 6.8-magnitude earthquake hit near Guatemala's coast Thursday, injuring four people and damaging homes and roads, officials said, just eight days after another strong tremor killed five people in the Central American country. The quake struck at 6:31 am (1231 GMT) with its epicenter in the Pacific Ocean at a depth of 46.8 kilometers, about 23 kilometers (14 miles) southwest of Puerto San Jose, the US Geological Survey said. The Guatemalan Seismological Institute measured the quake at a magnitude of 6.7.


U.S. sues to stop western hospital system from buying clinics

U.S. sues to stop western hospital system from buying clinics By Diane Bartz WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. antitrust enforcers have filed a complaint aimed at stopping a big hospital system in the western United States from buying a series of clinics. The lawsuit is aimed at stopping Sanford Health, which has more than 40 hospitals and 250 clinics, from buying Mid Dakota Clinic, which has eight facilities primarily in Bismarck, North Dakota, the Federal Trade Commission said.


Factbox: Where key U.S. Republican senators stand on healthcare bill

Factbox: Where key U.S. Republican senators stand on healthcare bill U.S. Senate Republicans offered a bill on Thursday to overhaul Obamacare, the next phase in the party's long war against the 2010 law enacted by then-Democratic President Barack Obama. The legislation met a wall of opposition from Democrats and initial skepticism among some Republicans, leaving Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell a narrow path to passage. The bill would roll back an expansion of the Medicaid health program for the poor and disabled over three years, cut its federal funding beginning in 2025, restructure Obamacare's tax credits for low-income Americans, and repeal several taxes.


Servicing issues may hamper U.S. student-loan forgiveness for thousands

Servicing issues may hamper U.S. student-loan forgiveness for thousands Nurses, teachers and other public-sector workers expecting their outstanding student loans to soon disappear under a U.S. debt-forgiveness program could be in for a surprise, with a government report on Thursday showing loan servicers may have mishandled the process for many borrowers. President Donald Trump has called for eliminating the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, where the loans of borrowers working for government, non-profits or the military are wiped out after 10 years of consistent payments.


'Pizzagate' gunman in DC sentenced to 4 years in prison

'Pizzagate' gunman in DC sentenced to 4 years in prison WASHINGTON (AP) — An online conspiracy theory dubbed "pizzagate" ended Thursday with real-world consequences when a North Carolina man was sentenced to prison for arming himself with an assault rifle, traveling to the nation's capital and firing his weapon inside a neighborhood pizza restaurant.


Tropical depression brings flooding to U.S. Gulf Coast states

Tropical depression brings flooding to U.S. Gulf Coast states A tropical depression formerly known as Tropical Storm Cindy caused flooding on Thursday in several U.S. southeastern states, spawned a tornado that injured four people in Alabama, and cut 16 percent of Gulf of Mexico oil production. Cindy was a tropical storm when it made landfall near the Louisiana-Texas border about 3 a.m. CT (0800 GMT) Thursday, then weakened as it traveled north. By afternoon, it was over northern Louisiana, and its heavy rains had resulted in flooding and road closures in each state bordering the Gulf, from eastern Texas to northwestern Florida.


Father of missing Chinese scholar: 'Give my daughter back'

Father of missing Chinese scholar: 'Give my daughter back' URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The father of a visiting Chinese scholar missing from the University of Illinois made an emotional appeal on Thursday for his 26-year-old child's safe return, saying in an interview: "Give my daughter back."


U.S. charges New York man with trying to join Islamic State

U.S. charges New York man with trying to join Islamic State U.S. prosecutors on Thursday charged a Bronx, New York, man with attempting to travel to Syria in order to fight for Islamic State. Saddam Mohamed Raishani, 30, was arrested at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport after trying to board a flight to Istanbul via Lisbon, federal prosecutors in Manhattan said. One of his attorneys, Sabrina Shroff, declined to comment on the charges.


Mafia soldier's prison term restored despite Oklahoma City bombing tip

Mafia soldier's prison term restored despite Oklahoma City bombing tip A federal appeals court restored the 40-year prison sentence of a former Mafia soldier whose term had been cut by 10 years after he revealed a cache of explosives hidden in the former home of a 1995 Oklahoma City bombing co-conspirator. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said Gregory Scarpa Jr, 65, did not deserve to be rewarded for leading investigators to Terry Nichols' home, reflecting his prior track record as an informant and what prosecutors called his "history" of obstructing justice. Thursday's 3-0 decision against Scarpa, a self-professed member of the Colombo crime family serving time in a racketeering case, reversed a January 2016 ruling by U.S. District Judge Edward Korman in Brooklyn, New York.


Tough-talking Trump defense lawyer says he's no 'snowflake'

Tough-talking Trump defense lawyer says he's no 'snowflake' The latest lawyer hired to represent U.S. President Donald Trump in the federal investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election is an ex-Marine who likens some cases to war. "I fight hard," John Dowd said in an interview. "Snowflake" is a disparaging term for people considered overly sensitive and fragile that has been adopted by some Trump supporters to mock liberals.


Virginia man charged with spying for China: Justice Dept

Virginia man charged with spying for China: Justice Dept WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Virginia man has been charged with giving top secret defense documents to an agent for the Chinese government, the U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday.


Court lifts injunction on Mississippi law seen as anti-LGBT

Court lifts injunction on Mississippi law seen as anti-LGBT Opponents said they would likely seek to overturn the decision, arguing that the measure allowed for sweeping discrimination against the LGBT community. A three-judge panel at the New Orleans-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed a lower court ruling that blocked the 2016 law, known as House Bill 1523 and backed by Christian groups, from taking effect. The panel said the plaintiffs, who included ordained ministers who have married same-sex couples and same-sex couples seeking to marry, did not have standing to bring the lawsuit.


China’s border with North Korea

China’s border with North Korea China has long been North Korea’s main ally and trading partner, but relations are increasingly strained by continued missile testing and provocations by the regime of Kim Jong Un. At least three-quarters of trade between the two nations flows through points along its 880-mile-long shared border, a divide that reveals stark contrasts in development.


Supreme Court sets higher bar for stripping citizenship

Supreme Court sets higher bar for stripping citizenship The Supreme Court handed a setback to the Trump administration on Thursday by making it harder for the government to strip immigrants of U.S. citizenship in a case involving an ethnic Serb woman who lied about her husband's military service after Yugoslavia's collapse. The justices ruled 9-0 that a naturalized American citizen cannot be stripped of citizenship if a lie or omission on immigration forms was irrelevant to the government's original decision to grant entry into the United States.


Gunman gets four years in prison for storming D.C. pizzeria

Gunman gets four years in prison for storming D.C. pizzeria Edgar Welch, 29, pleaded guilty in March to charges of assault with a dangerous weapon and interstate transportation of a firearm and ammunition in relation to the Dec. 4 incident at the Comet Ping Pong restaurant in northwest Washington. Welch, of Salisbury, North Carolina, told authorities he had been trying to investigate an online conspiracy theory, known as "Pizzagate," that claimed the eatery was a front for a pedophile ring led by then Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.


FCC proposes $120 million fine on Florida robocall scammer

FCC proposes $120 million fine on Florida robocall scammer The man, identified as Adrian Abramovich, allegedly made 96 million robocalls during a three-month period by falsifying caller identification information that matched the local area code and the first three digits of recipient's phone number, the FCC said. The calls, which were in violation of the U.S. telecommunications laws, offered vacation deals from companies such as Marriott International Inc, Expedia Inc, Hilton Inc and TripAdvisor Inc. In a statement, TripAdvisor said FCC's action would help better protect consumers from others attempting similar tactics in the future.


Four Republican senators say they cannot support healthcare bill

Four Republican senators say they cannot support healthcare bill Four conservative U.S. Republican senators said on Thursday they are not prepared to vote for the Senate Republican healthcare proposal unveiled on Thursday when it comes to the floor, probably next week. "Currently, for a variety of reasons, we are not ready to vote for this bill, but we are open to negotiation and obtaining more information before it is brought to the floor," the senators -- Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Ron Johnson, and Ted Cruz -- said in a joint statement. If legislation is to prevail, Republicans can only lose the support of two of the Senate's 52 Republicans, assuming all 48 Democrats and independents oppose the bill as expected.


Senator Paul says he, three other Republicans oppose new healthcare draft: AP

Senator Paul says he, three other Republicans oppose new healthcare draft: AP WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senator Rand Paul said on Thursday that he and three of his fellow Republicans in the Senate oppose the draft healthcare bill put forward by party leaders as it is currently written, potentially imperiling the legislation's passage, the Associated Press reported.


Police drag protesters away from McConnell’s office in ‘die-in’ against Medicaid cuts

Police drag protesters away from McConnell’s office in ‘die-in’ against Medicaid cuts Police forcibly removed protesters who had pretended to die in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office after he unveiled the Better Care Reconciliation Act on Thursday morning.


Humana out of individual market, with or without Obamacare repeal

Humana out of individual market, with or without Obamacare repeal Humana Inc will not return to the individual insurance market after it exits the Obamacare exchanges this year, a market that Republicans are trying to repeal and replace through new legislation, Humana's top executive said on Thursday. Republicans in the U.S. Senate released a draft of their bill to undo Obamacare, officially called the Affordable Care Act, which reshapes the individual insurance market and the Medicaid program for the poor and reduces taxes. "This is just not a business that we will be good at," Humana CEO Bruce Broussard said in an interview, emphasizing that the company, the No. 4 U.S. health insurer, does best managing Medicare Advantage healthcare for older people and the disabled, its specialty.


Mourners remember U.S. student held prisoner by North Korea

Mourners remember U.S. student held prisoner by North Korea Thousands of friends and family members gathered in suburban Cincinnati on Thursday to say goodbye to an American student who died days after returning to the United States in a coma following 17 months in captivity in North Korea. Otto Warmbier, 22, was arrested in the reclusive communist country while visiting as a tourist. Some 2,500 mourners attended a Thursday morning memorial at Wyoming High School.


Mourners remember U.S. student held prisoner by North Korea

Mourners remember U.S. student held prisoner by North Korea Thousands of friends and family members gathered in suburban Cincinnati on Thursday to say goodbye to an American student who died days after returning to the United States in a coma following 17 months in captivity in North Korea. Otto Warmbier, 22, was arrested in the reclusive communist country while visiting as a tourist. Some 2,500 mourners attended a Thursday morning memorial at Wyoming High School.


Minnesota will still engage with Cuba despite Trump setback

Minnesota will still engage with Cuba despite Trump setback Minnesota's government and businesses will continue to engage with Cuba in the areas they can, like agricultural trade, despite U.S. President Donald Trump's partial rollback of the detente, Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith said on Thursday. The first U.S. state representative to make an official visit to Communist-run Cuba since Trump's announcement on Friday, Smith said authorities there were worried about the setback to bilateral relations.


'I don't want you to get shooted': daughter of slain Minnesota man's girlfriend

'I don't want you to get shooted': daughter of slain Minnesota man's girlfriend The video is from the interior of the police cruiser of the partner of St. Anthony Police Department officer Jeronimo Yanez, who fatally shot Philando Castile in July 2016 during a traffic stop. Castile was black and Yanez is Hispanic. The shooting death of Castile, 32, in the St. Paul suburb of Falcon Heights triggered local protests and fueled debate across the country over the appropriate use of force by law enforcement against minorities.


Catholic Church in Brooklyn to compensate sexual abuse victims

Catholic Church in Brooklyn to compensate sexual abuse victims The Roman Catholic Church in the New York City borough of Brooklyn has set up a compensation program for victims of sexual abuse by its clergy, the Diocese of Brooklyn said on Thursday. The program is modeled on one set up last year by the neighboring Archdiocese of New York, which encompasses the city's boroughs of Manhattan, Staten Island and the Bronx. Both programs were created in part to give victims who were abused a long time ago, beyond statutes of limitations, a chance for compensation.


What You Learn After Driving the R8 Spyder

What You Learn After Driving the R8 Spyder Sometimes, top down is better


Pew U.S. survey finds agreement on some gun-control proposals

Pew U.S. survey finds agreement on some gun-control proposals The survey of 3,930 U.S. adults, including 1,269 gun owners, in March and April, provided a snapshot of American views on guns and gun policies as the nation grapples with gun violence. Some advocates called for a renewed push for gun control measures, as the Republican-controlled Congress has sought to relax existing gun laws.


U.S. top court rebuffs men convicted in notorious Washington murder

U.S. top court rebuffs men convicted in notorious Washington murder The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday refused to overturn the convictions of seven men in a notorious 1984 gang murder of a woman in a Washington neighborhood not far from the U.S. Capitol even though prosecutors had concealed evidence in the case. The justices, in a 6-2 ruling, said the evidence withheld by the prosecution at the time of the trial, which the men claimed would have cast doubt on their guilt in the murder of Catherine Fuller, was not material to the eventual jury verdict. The case has stayed the public eye not only because of the grisly nature of the murder that occurred during a period of high crime in the U.S. capital city in the 1980s but also because of the Supreme Court's decision to scrutinize the process that led to the convictions.