By Chris Kahn NEW YORK (Reuters) - Nearly half of American adults said the Republican healthcare reform measure is "not an improvement" over Obamacare, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Friday. The Republican bill, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which is up for a vote in the House of Representatives later on Friday, is expected to cut the federal deficit while greatly increasing the number of Americans without health insurance. Democratic leaders are unified against the bill while some conservative Republicans have criticized it for not doing enough to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, the measure familiarly known as Obamacare which was passed in 2010 and was the signature domestic achievement of former President Barack Obama.
As the clock ticked down to a close vote in the House of Representatives set tentatively for Friday afternoon, U.S. stocks were little changed even as it appeared that the Republican leadership had yet to secure the support needed to pass the measure. "I think investors are of the belief that Trump is just going to pivot to taxes," said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago. Indeed, Trump delivered lawmakers an ultimatum late Thursday, saying the time for negotiation had ended and that he was willing to leave the ACA in place and get on with his other priorities.
A Boston man was sentenced on Friday to serve almost five years in federal prison for having helped to sell weapons including six machine guns stolen from a Massachusetts U.S. Army Reserve facility in 2015. Tyrone James, 29, was sentenced to 57 months in prison and three years' supervised release after pleading guilty in December to charges including conspiracy to possess, store and sell stolen firearms.
The arrest in Israel on Thursday of a U.S.-Israeli teenager suspected of a rash of hoax bomb threats targeting Jewish community centers across the United States brought some relief to community leaders, who nevertheless say they will stick to plans to beef up security. "Whether or not this suspect turns out to be responsible for the threats specific to this center is irrelevant," said Brian Greene, executive director of Westside Jewish Community Center in Los Angeles, which has received two threats since February. The threats, which included five separate waves of calls starting in early January, forced evacuations at dozens of JCCs, including some with day care and school facilities.
The rust-red U.S. fence along the Mexican border has inspired various quirky architectural structures, from a frontier-themed mansion to a humble treehouse with uninterrupted views across the Californian scrubland. Carlos Torres, an architect in the northern Mexican city of Tijuana, has lived in a house in the shadow of the U.S. border for three decades, and the fence that U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to expand begins at the end of his garden. A specially erected viewpoint provides a panoramic vista into the United States, while his garden is littered with border paraphernalia, such as a signpost indicating the start of U.S. territory.
The head of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee canceled a planned public hearing in its probe of allegations of Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election, saying the panel needed to hear from directors of the FBI and the National Security Agency in a closed session instead. The announcement on Friday by Republican Representative Devin Nunes was immediately criticized by the top Democrat on the panel, Adam Schiff, who said the cancellation was a serious mistake. "The committee seeks additional information ... that can only be addressed in closed session," Nunes told reporters.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump on Friday unveiled his administration's official go-ahead for the Keystone XL pipeline, a controversial project that was rejected by his predecessor, former President Barack Obama. "I'm pleased to announce the official approval of the presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. "We're working out the final details as we speak," he said. (Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
By Gina Cherelus NEW YORK (Reuters) - An Amtrak Acela train sideswiped a New Jersey Transit train and derailed at New York City's Penn Station during Friday morning's rush hour, leaving several people with minor injuries, according to rail officials. Service was suspended into and out of the busy commuter station in midtown Manhattan, New Jersey Transit said in a tweet, with some of its Manhattan-bound trains diverted to Hoboken, New Jersey, the site of another accident last year. Amtrak said in a statement that Acela Express Train 2151 from Boston to Washington had "a minor derailment" while slowly departing from Penn Station at about 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT).
New orders for key U.S.-made capital goods unexpectedly fell in February, but a surge in shipments amid demand for machinery and electrical equipment supported expectations for an acceleration in business investment in the first quarter. The Commerce Department said on Friday that non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, dipped 0.1 percent last month after rising 0.1 percent in January. Shipments of these so-called core capital goods jumped 1.0 percent after declining 0.3 percent in January.
A North Carolina man pleaded guilty on Friday to opening fire in a Washington pizzeria that fake news reports claimed housed a child sex ring linked to 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Edgar Welch, 28, of Salisbury, was accused of firing at least three shots from an AR-15 rifle inside the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in December and pointing the gun at an employee after showing up to investigate the online conspiracy rumors. Welch pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to a federal charge of interstate transportation of a firearm with intent to commit an offense and a local charge of assault with a dangerous weapon.
The suit claims that although the technology to make touchscreens and self-service food pick-up usable for blind and low-vision customers is available, the restaurant chain has neglected to add these features. Disability Rights Advocates, a nonprofit organization, filed the suit claiming that the negligence is a civil rights violation. Eatsa and Disability Rights Advocates were not immediately available for comment.
U.S. auto sales in March will increase almost 1.9 percent from a year earlier, even as consumer discounts continue to remain at record levels, industry consultants J.D. Power and LMC Automotive said on Friday. March U.S. new vehicle sales will be about 1.62 million units, up about 1.9 percent from 1.59 million units a year earlier, the consultancies said. Retail sales to consumers, which do not include multiple fleet sales to rental agencies, businesses and government, were set to increase 1 percent in March.
The United States has issued a presidential permit for TransCanada Corp's Keystone XL oil pipeline, the Canadian company said on Friday, ending a years-long battle between environmentalists and the industry over whether Washington should approve it. U.S. President Donald Trump will announce the permit alongside TransCanada Chief Executive Officer Russell Girling at the White House later Friday, according to a senior administration official.
By Susan Cornwell and Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Republican lawmakers struggling to overcome differences over new healthcare legislation confronted a stark choice after President Donald Trump delivered an ultimatum: pass the bill on Friday or keep Obamacare in place. Days of negotiations failed to produce a deal amid opposition from moderates and conservatives in his own Republican Party, and it was far from clear the bill had enough support to pass. Financial markets, which have been buoyed by Trump's plans to cut taxes and boost infrastructure spending, are watching closely.
The pipeline linking Canadian oil sands to U.S. refiners had been blocked by former President Barack Obama, who said the pipeline would do nothing to reduce fuel prices for U.S. motorists and would contribute emissions linked to global warming. The administration official said that among those scheduled to be at the White House for the 10:15 a.m. EDT announcement are TransCanada Chief Executive Russell Girling and Sean McGarvey, president of North America's Building Trades Unions.
Jason Van Dyke pleaded not guilty through his attorney in a Chicago courtroom to 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm that were issued by a grand jury on March 16 and unsealed on Thursday by a special prosecutor, local media reported. Video footage of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald being shot 16 times by Van Dyke in October 2014 was released more than a year later, sparking protests and pushing the city into a national debate over police use of force, particularly in minority communities.
The top U.S. Senate Democrat on Thursday pledged to pursue a procedural hurdle to try to block the confirmation of Republican President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, a move that could provoke a nasty partisan fight and change the way the Senate does business. Republicans hold a 52-48 majority in the 100-member Senate, leaving Democrats with an uphill battle to prevent Gorsuch's confirmation.
California's air quality board voted unanimously on Thursday to approve methane regulations touted as the strictest adopted yet in the United States for controlling emissions of the second-most prevalent greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. The rules, approved by the California Air Resources Board, tighten efficiency requirements for production and transportation of natural gas and for some oil-handling equipment, including installation of emissions-recapture technology. Methane, the main component of commercially distributed natural gas, is also a byproduct of oil extraction.
Supporters of Obamacare staged rallies across the country on Thursday denouncing efforts by President Donald Trump and Republican congressional leaders to repeal the landmark law that has extended medical insurance coverage to some 20 million Americans. Hundreds of demonstrators turned out in Washington, Chicago and Los Angeles marking the seventh anniversary of enactment of Obamacare, as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has become widely known. "I feel sick today, but I came here because I'm terrified," said Steve Martin, 27, an unemployed Los Angeles resident who was diagnosed with cancer a year ago.