WASHINGTON - Republicans cleared the first hurdle early on Thursday in their plan for a massive overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system backed by President Donald Trump, despite Democratic concern that the cost of the bill and its impact on the budget remain unknown. The House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee approved the bill along party lines on Thursday morning after debating the draft legislation for nearly 18 hours. The chamber's Energy and Commerce committee continued its own marathon session, two days after it was unveiled by Republican leaders.
AUSTIN, Texas -- Firefighters are getting under control some of the fast-moving wildfires that have killed six people and scorched about 1.5 million acres from Colorado to Kansas, causing thousands of evacuations, officials said on Wednesday, March 8. The threat of wildfires remained high in the U.S. Plains due to dry weather, strong winds and parched vegetation. The National Weather Service issued a critical fire risk warning for the Texas Panhandle into Oklahoma, Kansas and western Missouri.
WASHINGTON -- Two senior senators asked the FBI and Justice Department on Wednesday, March 8, for any information they have on President Donald Trump's unsubstantiated claim that his predecessor Barack Obama wiretapped him during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. In a letter to James Comey, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente, Republican Lindsey Graham and Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse wrote:
Women demonstrated across the United States on Wednesday, March 8, in favor of economic equality and against President Donald Trump's policies on abortion and healthcare for "A Day Without a Woman," some skipping work or boycotting stores.
A federal judge on Wednesday, March 8, said the state of Hawaii could file an amended complaint against President Donald Trump's new executive order temporarily banning the entry of refugees and travelers from six Muslim-majority countries. U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii said the state could add to its initial lawsuit, which had challenged Trump's original ban signed in January. The state is claiming the revised ban signed by the president on Monday violates the U.S. Constitution. It is the first legal challenge to the revised order.
FRANKFURT -- Tech companies must rapidly step up information sharing to protect users from prying eyes, a security software executive said on Wednesday, March 8, after WikiLeaks released a trove of documents detailing the CIA's capacity to hack all manner of devices. Dozens of firms rushed to contain the damage from possible security weak points following the anti-secrecy organization's revelations, although some said they needed more detailed information on what the U.S. intelligence agency was up to before they can thwart suspected, but previously hidden attacks.
WASHINGTON -- U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials said on Wednesday, March 8, that they have been aware since the end of last year of a security breach at the CIA that led to anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks publishing agency documents on its hacking tools. The officials, who asked not to be identified, told Reuters that they believed that the documents published by WikiLeaks on Tuesday were authentic.
DAKAR -- Tiger worm toilets which turn human waste into fertilizer could prove to be an affordable and sustainable sanitation solution for increasingly crowded slums and refugee camps across the developing world, water and sanitation experts say. The earthworm-filled toilets take up less space than pit latrines, need to be emptied far less frequently, present less of a health risk, and can provide communities with rich compost for growing crops, according to sanitation specialists.
WASHINGTON -- Russia has deployed a land-based cruise missile that violates the "spirit and intent" of an arms control treaty and it did so to pose a threat to NATO, Vice Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff General Paul Selva said on Wednesday, March 8.
A government watchdog group, Public Citizen, said on Wednesday it will ask lawmakers to investigate whether billionaire investor Carl Icahn should have been subject to lobbying disclosure laws when he advised President Donald Trump to overhaul the U.S. biofuels program. Icahn, an unpaid adviser to Trump on regulation, submitted a proposal to Trump last month to change the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard by shifting the burden of blending biofuels into gasoline away from oil refining companies, and further down the supply chain to marketers.