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  • Trump company settles lawsuit over disputed golf club deposits news

    The payout is more than 94 percent of the $5.77 million that U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra, who must approve the settlement, last February had ordered the Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida, to pay. Lawyers for the golf club and the Trump Organization did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The lawsuit began after Trump changed membership rules for the club, which he had acquired from Ritz-Carlton in November 2012.

    Fri, 23 Feb 2018 20:29:22 -0500
  • NRA honors FCC chair with rifle for repealing 'net neutrality' news

    By David Shepardson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The National Rifle Association (NRA) on Friday honored the head of the Federal Communications Commission with a rifle after braving death threats and other opposition as he worked to undo the Obama administration's 2015 net neutrality rules. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai was honored at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Oxon Hills, Maryland, by the NRA with the "Charlton Heston Courage Under Fire Award," an honor named for the late actor who was an NRA president. The award is a Kentucky long rifle that will stay at the NRA's museum in Fairfax, Virginia.

    Fri, 23 Feb 2018 19:33:14 -0500
  • California man sentenced to over two years in prison for penny stock fraud

    A California stock promoter was sentenced on Friday to two years and three months in prison for his role in what U.S. prosecutors say was a nearly $100 million penny stock pump-and-dump scheme. Songkram Roy Sahachaisere, 48, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Eric Vitaliano in Brooklyn, federal prosecutors announced. A lawyer for Sahachaisere could not immediately be reached for comment.

    Fri, 23 Feb 2018 18:43:12 -0500
  • Woman in van arrested after striking White House barrier news

    A Tennessee woman driving a white van on Friday intentionally drove into a White House security barrier but did not breach it, and she was immediately apprehended and put under arrest, the U.S. Secret Service said. No shots were fired and no law enforcement personnel were hurt, the Secret Service said in a statement. Previous encounters with the 35-year-old woman from La Vergne, Tennessee, near the White House had resulted "in numerous arrests for a variety of criminal violations," it added, without giving her name.

    Fri, 23 Feb 2018 18:33:12 -0500
  • New charges filed against parents in California abused siblings case news

    A California couple accused of keeping 13 children imprisoned, chained and starved in a squalid suburban home were hit with additional charges on Friday as defense lawyers said they were overwhelmed by the sheer amount of evidence in the case. David Turpin, 57, and his wife Louise, 49, were advised of the new charges during a brief hearing in Riverside County Superior Court at which they appeared dressed in black at a table with their attorneys but did not speak. A spokesman for the Riverside County District Attorney's Office said the new charges included three counts of child abuse against both defendants.

    Fri, 23 Feb 2018 18:15:19 -0500
  • Former Trump campaign aide pleads guilty in Russia probe news

    By Sarah N. Lynch and Karen Freifeld WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A former senior official in Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, Rick Gates, pleaded guilty on Friday to conspiracy against the United States and lying to investigators, and he is cooperating with a federal probe into Russia's role in the election. Gates, who was a deputy campaign manager for Trump, is being investigated by the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, which is probing alleged Russian meddling in the U.S. election. Prosecutors said they could ask the judge for a reduction in Gates' sentence based on the extent of his cooperation with Mueller's probe.

    Fri, 23 Feb 2018 18:03:18 -0500
  • Corporate partners cut cord with NRA as gun control debate rages news

    The fallout over this week's shooting rampage at a Florida high school started to take its toll on National Rifle Association's roster of corporate partners on Friday as a half dozen companies severed marketing ties with the gun advocacy organization. The exodus of corporate names, ranging from a major insurer to car rental brands and a household moving company, occurred after the NRA launched a counter-offensive against a student-led campaign for tighter U.S. gun ownership laws. At the same time, gun control activists are stepping up pressure on Inc and other online streaming platforms to drop the online video channel NRATV, featuring gun-friendly programming produced by the NRA.

    Fri, 23 Feb 2018 17:54:41 -0500
  • New indictment alleges Manafort payments to former European politicians news

    A new indictment filed on Friday by special counsel Robert Mueller alleges that President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort secretly paid former senior European politicians in 2012 and 2013 to lobby for the pro-Russia government of Ukraine. The superseding indictment says that Manafort wired more than 2 million euros to the unnamed former European politicians.

    Fri, 23 Feb 2018 17:14:15 -0500
  • Alabama's aborted execution comes under court review news

    Alabama was planning to execute Doyle Hamm, 61, on Thursday for the 1987 murder of a motel clerk but called it off due to venous issues it said could not be solved before a death warrant expired at midnight. The case in Alabama comes after states including Oklahoma and Arizona have had botched executions that raised questions about death chamber protocols in the 31 U.S. states with the capital punishment. Chief U.S. District Judge Karon Bowdre in Alabama called for a medical check on Hamm and ordered the state to preserve the clothes the inmate was wearing on the execution night.

    Fri, 23 Feb 2018 16:55:36 -0500
  • Detroit mayor proposes 'last' budget under state oversight news

    Michigan's largest city is expecting its post-bankruptcy financial review commission to go dormant this spring after audits showed balanced budgets in fiscal years 2015, 2016 and 2017. "Once we get this budget passed we have the opportunity to get out from active state oversight," the mayor told the city council. Detroit ended what was then the biggest-ever U.S. municipal bankruptcy in December 2014 after shedding about $7 billion of its $18 billion of debt and obligations.

    Fri, 23 Feb 2018 16:47:56 -0500
  • Indicted Missouri governor resigns from post with GOP governors group news

    (Reuters) - Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, under indictment for invasion of privacy in connection with the cover-up of an extramarital affair, has resigned from a leadership position with the Republican Governors Association, the organization said on Friday. Greitens will not attend the group's winter meeting currently under way in Washington, the association's executive director, Paul Bennecke, said in a statement. "Given his desire to focus his full attention on moving forward in Missouri, he also no longer intends to serve on the Executive Committee of the" Republican Governors Association, Bennecke said.

    Fri, 23 Feb 2018 16:42:03 -0500
  • Add another item to Trump's list of frustrations: his bald spot news

    U.S. President Donald Trump has a bald spot and it evidently annoys him. The former reality television star, who is very aware of his appearance, smirked on Friday when he saw himself on a screen as he spoke to the Conservative Political Action Conference. "What a nice picture that is. Look at that. I'd love to watch that guy speak," said Trump, drawing friendly laughter from a crowd of cheering supporters.

    Fri, 23 Feb 2018 16:16:03 -0500
  • Trump: Chief of staff Kelly to settle Kushner security dispute news

    By Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Friday he will leave it to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly to settle a security clearance dispute involving son-in-law and top aide Jared Kushner, but left little doubt he wants the case settled in a way that allows Kushner to keep his job. Problems with security clearance for White House aides surfaced this month in fallout over the abrupt resignation of White House staff secretary Rob Porter over allegations of domestic abuse against two former wives. Kushner is one of dozens of aides operating under an interim clearance, not yet fully cleared due to complications in their backgrounds.

    Fri, 23 Feb 2018 15:50:17 -0500
  • Florida governor proposes new gun sale limits after school shooting news

    By Zachary Fagenson PARKLAND, Fla. (Reuters) - Florida Governor Rick Scott urged state lawmakers on Friday to increase restrictions on buying guns and to strengthen school safety after a gunman killed 17 people at a school last week, proposals that gun control advocates said did not go far enough. Scott said he would work with legislators during the next two weeks to raise the minimum age for buying any kind of gun in Florida from 18 to 21, with some exceptions for younger military or law enforcement officers. Echoing similar calls by U.S. President Donald Trump, Scott also said he wanted to change laws to make it "virtually impossible for anyone who has mental issues to use a gun." The Republican governor's proposals come amid a reignited national debate on gun rights, led in part by some of the student survivors of the Feb. 14 attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

    Fri, 23 Feb 2018 15:37:56 -0500
  • New York City law survives gun rights group's legal challenge

    A federal appeals court on Friday rejected a gun rights group's constitutional challenge to strict New York City limits on how licensed handgun owners may use their weapons outside the home. By a 3-0 vote, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said the restrictions on people who have licenses to have guns at home, known as "premises" licenses, did not violate the Second Amendment.

    Fri, 23 Feb 2018 15:01:20 -0500
  • Trump extends funding for Puerto Rico following storms: White House

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday extended federal funding for Puerto Rico to help remove debris and provide emergency protections following last year's devastating storms that battered the U.S. territorial island.

    Fri, 23 Feb 2018 13:24:50 -0500
  • U.S. firm accused of plagiarizing bid for Puerto Rico food supply contract

    The allegation marked the latest twist in the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency’s contract with Tribute, which the agency known as FEMA eventually canceled. Democrats on the U.S. House Oversight Committee earlier this month revealed Tribute had signed up to deliver 30 million meals in Puerto Rico, but provided just 50,000 before FEMA scrapped the deal.

    Fri, 23 Feb 2018 13:13:32 -0500
  • Fees case may enable U.S. Supreme Court to curb union power

    By Robert Iafolla and Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday will consider for the second time in two years whether to choke off a critical funding stream for public-employee unions, potentially reducing organized labor's influence in the workplace and at the ballot box. The nine justices will hear a challenge backed by anti-union groups to the legality of fees that workers who are not members of unions representing teachers, police, firefighters and certain other government employees must pay to help cover the costs of collective bargaining with state and local governments. Two dozen states require payment of these so-called agency fees, covering roughly 5 million public-sector workers, that provide millions of dollars annually to unions.

    Fri, 23 Feb 2018 13:04:58 -0500
  • Pentagon makes recommendations to White House on transgender individuals news

    U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has made his recommendations to the White House on transgender individuals serving in the military, the Pentagon said on Friday, after President Donald Trump's call last year for a ban on such service. Major David Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesman, said the recommendations had been made earlier on Friday and the White House would make any policy decisions. The Pentagon did not give details on the recommendations, but the top U.S. general has said transgender troops should not be removed from the military.

    Fri, 23 Feb 2018 12:26:15 -0500
  • Trump administration considering rise in gas tax: Mnuchin news

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration is considering a hike in the gasoline tax, but no decision has been made, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said on Friday.

    Fri, 23 Feb 2018 12:17:52 -0500
  • Symantec halts NRA discounts for identity theft product news

    (Reuters) - Symantec Corp said on Friday it has stopped a program with the National Rifle Association that offered discounts for its LifeLock identity theft product.

    Fri, 23 Feb 2018 11:54:41 -0500
  • Insurer Chubb says will stop underwriting NRA insurance for gun owners

    (Reuters) - Insurer Chubb Ltd on Friday said that it will stop underwriting a National Rifle Association-branded insurance policy for gun owners. Chubb gave notice three months ago of its plan to stop participating in the NRA insurance program, known as "NRA Carry Guard," a Chubb spokesman said. (Reporting by Suzanne Barlyn)

    Fri, 23 Feb 2018 11:29:42 -0500
  • Two top White House advisers may leave over tensions with Trump: sources news

    By John Walcott WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Longstanding friction between U.S. President Donald Trump and two top aides, the National Security Adviser and the Chief of Staff, has grown to a point that either or both might quit soon, four senior administration officials said. Both H.R. McMaster and John Kelly are military men considered by U.S. political observers as moderating influences on the president by imposing a routine on the White House. Asked about sources saying that either National Security Adviser McMaster or Chief of Staff Kelly, or both, might be leaving, White House spokesman Raj Shah on Thursday did not address the possibility.

    Fri, 23 Feb 2018 07:13:26 -0500
  • Exclusive: U.S. official focused on election security will be replaced news

    By Dustin Volz WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The head of a federal commission who has helped U.S. states protect election systems from possible cyber attacks by Russia or others is being replaced at the behest of Republican House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan and the White House. Matthew Masterson, a member of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission who currently serves as its chairman, has been passed over for a second four-year term as one of the agency's four commissioners.

    Fri, 23 Feb 2018 06:40:51 -0500
  • Texas, Alabama halt executions, Florida puts inmate to death

    Texas Governor Greg Abbott commuted the death sentence of a convicted murderer less than an hour before he was set to be executed on Thursday, after the death row inmate's family begged for mercy and won a rare clemency recommendation. Florida executed a man convicted of the 1993 rape and murder of a college student, the state's Department of Corrections said. Alabama halted its planned execution on Thursday of a convicted murderer who has spent more than three decades on death row after his lawyers warned his failing health left him with veins that were unusable for a lethal injection.

    Fri, 23 Feb 2018 01:52:31 -0500
  • Missouri governor indicted on felony invasion of privacy charge news

    Missouri Governor Eric Greitens was briefly taken into custody on Thursday after being indicted on a felony invasion of privacy charge in connection with an extramarital affair and a blackmail allegation involving the Republican politician, officials said. Kimberly Gardner, the top prosecutor in the city of St. Louis, said in a statement that the indictment involves an incident that took place on March 21, 2015. Greitens photographed a woman identified as K.S., who was fully or partially nude, without her knowledge or consent in a place where she could expect privacy, according to the indictment and Gardner's spokeswoman Susan Ryan.

    Thu, 22 Feb 2018 21:30:08 -0500
  • Armed deputy who failed to confront gunman at Florida school resigns news

    The armed sheriff's deputy assigned to the Florida high school where 17 people were shot dead has resigned rather than face suspension after an internal investigation showed he failed to enter the school to confront the gunman during the attack, the county sheriff said on Thursday. Deputy Scot Peterson, who was on duty and in uniform as the resource officer posted at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, was the only law enforcement officer present on Feb. 14 when the rampage started, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said. Peterson's actions were caught on video during the massacre, which ranks as the second-deadliest shooting ever at a U.S. public school, carried out by a lone gunman wielding a semiautomatic AR-15-style assault rifle.

    Thu, 22 Feb 2018 20:57:44 -0500
  • Puerto Rico governor announces independent probe into Maria death toll news

    Puerto Rico's governor said on Thursday he has tapped researchers at the George Washington University, in Washington, D.C., to lead an independent probe into his administration's controversial tally of deaths caused by Hurricane Maria. Governor Ricardo Rossello said in a statement it was "of great interest to the state to identify how many lives were lost" in Maria, announcing an investigation led by Carlos Santos-Burgoa, director of the Global Health Policy Program at GWU's Milken Institute School of Public Health.

    Thu, 22 Feb 2018 20:32:39 -0500
  • White North Carolina man convicted of murdering unarmed black man

    Chad Copley, 40, was found guilty of fatally shooting 20-year-old Kouren Thomas outside his Raleigh home, said attorney Justin Bamberg, who was in the Wake County courtroom for the two-week trial. An email message left for Copley's attorney was not immediately returned. Copley faces life without the possibility of parole when he is sentenced on Friday.

    Thu, 22 Feb 2018 20:22:15 -0500
  • Easy fixes to school security prove elusive after Florida shooting

    "It's not a matter of if, but when," he wrote in the Orlando Sentinel on Jan. 29, urging legislators to boost spending on school security after two school shootings in other states in January. Following last week's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Lee has renewed calls for more funding for matters ranging from mental health counseling to emergency lockdown systems. State lawmakers, facing pressure from angry students, have signaled they will boost security funding after failing to do so for years.

    Thu, 22 Feb 2018 19:14:22 -0500
  • Pennsylvania Republicans file second challenge to new congressional map

    The lawsuit, filed in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, accused the state's Supreme Court of violating the U.S. Constitution, first by invalidating the old map and then by drawing its own lines after Republicans and Democratic Governor Tom Wolf could not reach an agreement. "We are unwilling to acquiesce to the court's attempt to hijack the functions of the legislative and executive branches," Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, a Republican, said in a statement. The complaint came one day after Republican legislative leaders filed a separate emergency appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Thu, 22 Feb 2018 18:50:23 -0500
  • BlackRock puts gunmakers on notice after Florida school shooting news

    BOSTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - The world's largest asset manager put U.S. gunmakers on notice on Thursday that it is no longer business as usual in the wake of a shooting that killed 17 at a Florida high school. BlackRock Inc said it will speak with weapons manufacturers and distributors "to understand their response" to the second-deadliest shooting at a public school in U.S. history, putting pressure on companies such as Sturm Ruger & Company Inc and American Outdoor Brands Corp. It stopped short of saying it would divest its funds of gun companies, however.

    Thu, 22 Feb 2018 18:17:11 -0500
  • Florida lawyer sentenced to more than two years for insider trading scheme

    A Florida lawyer was sentenced to two years and three months in prison on Thursday for engaging in insider trading based on information that he improperly obtained from his law firm's databases and also passed on to a friend. Walter "Chet" Little, 44, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla in Manhattan. A friend accused of receiving tips from him, Andrew Berke, was also charged.

    Thu, 22 Feb 2018 18:13:02 -0500
  • Exclusive: U.S. official focused on election security being replaced news

    The head of a federal commission who has helped U.S. states protect election systems from possible cyber attacks by Russia or others is being replaced at the behest of Republican House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan and the White House. Matthew Masterson, a member of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission who currently serves as its chairman, has been passed over for a second four-year term as one of the agency's four commissioners.

    Thu, 22 Feb 2018 18:08:59 -0500
  • Armed deputy at Florida school resigns after failing to engage shooter news

    The armed deputy assigned to the campus of a Florida high school during a deadly shooting last week stayed outside the building during the attack and failed to engage the shooter, the county sheriff said on Thursday. As a consequence, Scott Peterson, on duty as the school resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, resigned from the department, said Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, who earlier has suspended the officer from the force. Israel said he decided to suspend Peterson after viewing a video that showed the deputy's actions during the rampage that killed 17 people.

    Thu, 22 Feb 2018 18:06:30 -0500
  • California state senator resigns after sexual misconduct accusations

    A California state senator accused of engaging in "unwelcome flirtation and sexually suggestive behavior" with several women, including subordinates, resigned on Thursday as colleagues were due to vote on whether he should be expelled. Tony Mendoza, a Los Angeles-area lawmaker, became the third member of the California legislature, all Democrats, to resign over allegations of sexual misconduct since the #MeToo movement took root last fall, toppling powerful men in politics, the media and other realms of American life. "None of these women alleged they had a sexual relationship with Mendoza or that he had been physically aggressive or sexually crude towards them," the report said.

    Thu, 22 Feb 2018 17:49:33 -0500
  • Missouri governor indicted on felony invasion of privacy charge: prosecutor news

    (Reuters) - Missouri Governor Eric Greitens was indicted on a felony invasion of privacy charge, a St. Louis prosecutor said in a statement on Thursday. Kimberly Gardner, city of St. Louis circuit attorney, cited an incident that took place on March 21, 2015, in St. Louis.

    Thu, 22 Feb 2018 17:36:37 -0500
  • U.S. special counsel files new charges against Trump former campaign aides news

    By Sarah N. Lynch WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller filed a new set of criminal charges on Thursday against President Donald Trump's former campaign aides Paul Manafort and Rick Gates that include bank and tax fraud, escalating a legal battle that started last year. The charges were contained in a 32-count indictment against the two men that was filed in the Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria. Manafort and Gates are already facing criminal charges by Mueller's office in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that include conspiracy to launder money, conspiracy to defraud the United States and failure to register as foreign agents for political work they did for a pro-Russian Ukrainian political party.

    Thu, 22 Feb 2018 17:34:42 -0500
  • First National Bank of Omaha won't renew NRA contract for Visa card

    (Reuters) - First National Bank of Omaha will not renew a contract with the National Rifle Association (NRA) to issue an NRA-branded Visa card, the bank said on Thursday. "Customer feedback has caused us to review our relationship with the NRA," said First National Bank of Omaha spokesman Kevin Langin.

    Thu, 22 Feb 2018 17:33:56 -0500
  • U.S. gun lobby slams anti-gun 'elites' after Florida school massacre news

    The head of the National Rifle Association lashed out at gun control advocates on Thursday, saying Democratic elites are politicizing the latest mass school shooting in the United States to try to erode constitutionally guaranteed gun rights. NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre echoed President Donald Trump's call to arm teachers to prevent school shootings, and weighed in on a long-running political and cultural divide over access to weapons that has been inflamed by last week's massacre at a Florida high school that killed 17 students and staff. "The elites don't care not one whit about America's school system and school children," LaPierre told a friendly audience of conservatives outside Washington.

    Thu, 22 Feb 2018 17:33:56 -0500
  • Trump's call for more gun regulation boosts firearm stocks news

    By Noel Randewich SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Shares of gunmakers American Outdoor Brands and Sturm Ruger & Company rallied on Thursday after U.S. President Donald Trump advocated tightening background checks for guns in response to last week's high school massacre in Florida. The Republican president's tweets and comments were seen as increasing the possibility of greater curbs on gun ownership, fueling expectation that people might seek to stock up on guns in advance of any changes. Both of those sentiments had dipped since Trump was elected in November 2016 - illustrating a paradox under which a president viewed as more favorable to gun ownership can depress gun sales and shares in gunmakers.

    Thu, 22 Feb 2018 17:29:55 -0500
  • Three executions planned Thursday in three U.S. states news

    A trio of inmates are scheduled to be executed on Thursday, one each in Alabama, Florida and Texas, raising the possibility that U.S. prison authorities will carry out three death sentences on the same day for the first time since 2010. The circumstances behind each case could halt any of the executions, including the one in Texas, where the convict received an unprecedented clemency recommendation. The state has conducted all three of this year's U.S. executions.

    Thu, 22 Feb 2018 17:17:02 -0500
  • 'France first', far right's Marechal-Le Pen says in comeback speech news

    France should follow U.S. President Donald Trump's lead and fight for "France first", Marion Marechal-Le Pen, seen as a potential leader of France's far right, told U.S conservatives on Thursday in her first public appearance in months. The 28-year-old former lawmaker, granddaughter of National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen and niece of party leader Marine Le Pen, temporarily withdrew from politics after her aunt's presidential election defeat last May. But she has long been viewed in France as a possible future leader of the National Front, and the fact that she was a keynote speaker at a conference that both Trump and U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence were addressing was widely commented on in French media as posing a challenge for Marine Le Pen.

    Thu, 22 Feb 2018 15:47:50 -0500
  • Intel did not tell U.S. cyber officials about chip flaws until made public news

    Intel Corp did not inform U.S. cyber security officials of the so-called Meltdown and Spectre chip security flaws until they leaked to the public, six months after Alphabet Inc notified the chipmaker of the problems, according to letters sent by tech companies to lawmakers on Thursday. Current and former U.S. government officials have raised concerns that the government was not informed of the flaws before they became public because the flaws potentially held national security implications. Intel said it did not think the flaws needed to be shared with U.S. authorities as hackers had not exploited the vulnerabilities.

    Thu, 22 Feb 2018 15:22:53 -0500
  • White House: Trump not looking to ban an entire class of firearms

    President Donald Trump does not want to ban the sales of an entire class of firearms, the White House said on Thursday, despite mounting pressure to put assault weapons such as the one used in last week's deadly school shooting out of civilian reach. "We don't think the immediate policy response would be to ban an entire class of firearms," White House spokesman Raj Shah said at a daily press briefing.

    Thu, 22 Feb 2018 15:07:41 -0500
  • Puerto Rico should rebuild power from scratch: U.S. Fed official news

    Puerto Rico should "start from scratch" rebuilding its already outdated power infrastructure after deadly Hurricane Maria last year devastated it and left citizens marooned, the U.S. central banker overseeing the island territory said on Thursday. New York Fed President William Dudley did not comment on U.S. interest rates in a presentation of research on the effects of the storm that struck on Sept. 20. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, whose district includes the Caribbean island, said Maria wiped out about 4 percent of its jobs, the fifth-worst among U.S. disaster regions in recent decades.

    Thu, 22 Feb 2018 14:51:30 -0500
  • U.S. budget deal grants $1.5 billion for drug-affected babies, families

    (This version of the Feb 9 story corrects in 10th paragraph to 'prevention' from 'intervention') By Duff Wilson and John Shiffman WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. budget deal adopted by Congress on Friday includes what advocates call a landmark compromise to provide an estimated $1.5 billion over 10 years to try to keep struggling families together, including those with babies born dependent on opioids. The provision allows assistance on mental health, substance abuse and parenting whenever any child is deemed at imminent risk of entering foster care. The funding is part of a bipartisan budget deal passed by lawmakers which alleviates spending fights that marked President Donald Trump's first year in office, but sets the stage for a battle over immigration and exploding deficits ahead of November's congressional elections.

    Thu, 22 Feb 2018 14:34:56 -0500
  • U.S. charges more than 250 in elder fraud scam crackdown

    More than 250 people were charged in a major U.S. crackdown on elder fraud scams that victimized over 1 million people and led to $500 million in losses, the Justice Department announced on Thursday. The scams included the use of mass mailing, telemarketing and investment frauds as well as identity theft and theft by guardians, the department said in a statement announcing the criminal and civil charges. "Today is only the beginning. I have directed department prosecutors to coordinate with both domestic law enforcement partners and foreign counterparts to stop these criminals from exploiting our seniors," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said.

    Thu, 22 Feb 2018 13:42:11 -0500
  • Takata agrees to settle U.S. probe by 44 state AGs over deadly air bags news

    Takata Corp's U.S. unit agreed Thursday to settle a probe by 44 state attorneys general into claims it concealed a deadly safety defect with air bag inflators. TK Holdings Inc, which is in bankruptcy reorganization proceedings, agreed in the settlement to a $650 million civil penalty over the defect linked to at least 22 deaths. In February 2017, Takata pleaded in a U.S. federal court to a felony charge as part of a $1 billion settlement that included compensation funds for automakers and victims of its faulty air bag inflators in connection with the largest automotive recall in history.

    Thu, 22 Feb 2018 13:38:37 -0500
  • Florida doctor linked to New Jersey senator sentenced in fraud case news

    Ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen was also ordered to repay $42 million to Medicare following an eight-week jury trial, in which he was convicted last April on 67 counts of health care fraud and related charges, U.S. Attorney for Southern Florida Benjamin Greenberg said. The sentence, imposed by U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra in West Palm Beach, Florida, also calls for three years of supervised release after Melgen serves his prison time, and the possibility of more restitution to insurance companies and patients, Greenberg said.

    Thu, 22 Feb 2018 13:29:44 -0500
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