Some glitches seen in deadline week for “Obamacare” sign-ups

WASHINGTON — Consumer advocates reported some glitches Monday in the final days for “Obamacare” sign-ups, although the Trump administration largely seemed to be keeping its promise of a smooth enrollment experience. In Illinois, some consumers who successfully completed an application for financial assistance through HealthCare.gov got a message saying they would likely be eligible to buy a health plan, “but none are available to you in your area.” That information

8.8 million Americans face big tax hike if Republicans scrap the medical deduction

Anne Hammer is one of millions of elderly Americans who could face a substantial tax hike in 2018 depending on the final negotiations over the Republican tax bill. In her retirement community in Chestertown, Maryland, it’s the big topic of conversation. Hammer is 71. Like many seniors, her medical bills are piling up. There are doctor visits, insurance premiums, drugs, a colonoscopy, a heart scan, an unexpected trip to the

Trump talks tax cuts and budget on golf course with Lindsey Graham

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — President Donald Trump sought Sunday to gloss over the difficult work ahead for lawmakers laboring to finalize tax cut legislation he can sign by his self-imposed Christmas deadline. Trump tweeted about the pending bill before he went to his golf club in West Palm Beach for a round with Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. Trump and Graham, who has become a regular golf

Trump draws protests while honoring civil rights heroes

JACKSON, Miss. — President Donald Trump has honored figures of civil rights movement, some famous, some not. But his tour of the new Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and adjacent Museum of Mississippi in Jackson drew protests Saturday. At issue is a debate over his commitment to the legacy of the civil rights movement. Related ArticlesDecember 9, 2017 Arab ministers demand reversal of Trump Jerusalem decision December 9, 2017 Israeli strikes

Arab ministers demand reversal of Trump Jerusalem decision

CAIRO — Arab foreign ministers on Sunday demanded that the United States rescind President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, calling it a “grave” development that puts Washington on the same side as “occupation” and the violation of international law. In a resolution long on rhetoric but short on concrete actions, the ministers also called for the U.N. Security Council to adopt a resolution condemning Trump’s decision,

U.S. wants world to isolate North Korea, so what’s that mean?

WASHINGTON — When President Donald Trump’s U.N. ambassador recently urged the world to sever diplomatic ties with North Korea, she was sketchy on the details: Should all embassies close? How about those providing the U.S. intelligence from the largely inscrutable country? And what of Sweden, which helps with imprisoned Americans? Nikki Haley’s recent call to action underscores the challenge for the United States as it tries to advance a nonmilitary

Choice of Richmond Fed chief renews debate on shrouded hiring process

By Christopher Condon, Bloomberg The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s decision to hire Thomas Barkin as its next president has renewed questions over the cloaked process of selecting officials who set the most widely watched policy interest rates in the world. After a nearly yearlong search, Richmond’s board of directors Monday confirmed they had chosen the McKinsey & Co. executive to start on Jan. 1. Barkin will be a voter

Alabama Senate between Roy Moore and Doug Jones race too close to call

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A U.S. Senate campaign that was thrust into the national spotlight by allegations of sexual misconduct by one of the candidates is near the finish line. Here is a look at the race between Republican nominee Roy Moore, who spent the final month of the campaign denying allegations of long-ago misconduct involving teenage girls, and Doug Jones, who is seeking to break the GOP’s grip on Alabama

Boycotts and protests set to greet Trump at Mississippi civil rights museum openings

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — President Donald Trump’s celebration of the heroes of the civil rights movement is set to go on without at least one leader from that era who plans to be a no-show for the Mississippi gathering. Other activists were ready for protests Saturday, citing what they say is Trump’s sowing of racial division instead of racial harmony. Trump, at the invitation of Gov. Phil Bryant, R-Miss.,

Interior chief spent more than $53,000 on 3 helicopter trips

WASHINGTON — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke spent more than $53,000 on three helicopter trips this summer, including one that allowed him to return to Washington in time for a horseback ride with Vice President Mike Pence, newly released records show. Records released by the Interior Department in response to a Freedom of Information Act request show Zinke spent more than $39,000 on a July helicopter tour above two national monuments

Prominent appeals court Judge Alex Kozinski accused of sexual misconduct by six women

A former clerk for Judge Alex Kozinski said the powerful and well-known jurist, who for many years served as chief judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, called her into his office several times and pulled up pornography on his computer, asking if she thought it was photoshopped or if it aroused her sexually. Heidi Bond, who clerked for Kozinski from 2006 to 2007, said the

Gold King Mine, surrounding sites among EPA chief Scott Pruitt’s list of Superfund priorities

The Gold King Mine and surrounding mining sites around the southwest Colorado town of Silverton are on a list of Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt’s priorities for federal cleanup released Friday. “By elevating these sites we are sending a message that EPA is, in fact, restoring its Superfund program to its rightful place at the center of the Agency’s mission,” Pruitt said in a written statement. “Getting toxic land

Trump will suspend a rule to limit a pollutant far worse than carbon

The Trump administration will suspend a rule to limit methane leaks from oil and gas operations on federal land, but its true aim may be to kill the Obama-era requirement. A notice slated to be published Friday in the Federal Register by the Bureau of Land Management said the agency “has concerns regarding the statutory authority, cost, complexity, feasibility, and other implications” of the 2016 rule, which is set to

Justice Dept. will review legality of bump stock gun devices

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department is reviewing whether devices that allow semiautomatic rifles to fire faster should be banned. The review announced Tuesday comes after a Las Vegas gunman used the so-called “bump stock” devices during a deadly October rampage that killed 59 people and wounded hundreds more. A bid to ban the accessory fizzled in Congress, even as bipartisan lawmakers expressed openness to the idea. The Justice Department will

Outdoor recreation industry energized by backlash to downsizing of Utah national monuments, with focus on 2018 elections

President Donald Trump’s downsizing of two massive national monuments in Utah sparked a furious backlash from Native Americans, conservation groups and the outdoor industry, which moors its future in public lands. “I don’t think it is controversial, actually,” Trump said Monday in his announcement of monument reductions in Utah’s capitol, where thousands of protesters marched in opposition. “I think it’s so sensible,” Trump, obviously, hasn’t been listening to the outdoor

Jeff Sessions, in unearthed video, mocks DOJ intern who questions his stance on marijuana

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions calls a Department of Justice intern who questioned his judgement that marijuana was not a healthy substance, “Dr. whatever your name is,” in a video obtained by ABC News. A cellphone video from a June 2017 Q&A session between the attorney general and Department of Justice interns led ABC News to file a Freedom of Information Act request for the full recording. In it, Sessions

Witness: Flynn said Russia sanctions would be “ripped up”

WASHINGTON – As President Donald Trump delivered his inaugural address on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in January, his new national security adviser, Michael Flynn, sent a text to a former business associate telling him that a plan to build nuclear power plants in the Middle East in partnership with Russian interests was “good to go,” according to a witness who spoke with congressional investigators. Flynn had assured his

Boulder’s Access Fund joins Patagonia, others in suing Trump administration over Bears Ears cut

Boulder-based climbing advocacy organization Access Fund, along with Patagonia and several other groups, sued the Trump administration late Wednesday for what they alleged is the “unlawful dismemberment” of the Bears Ears National Monument. The president moved on Monday to shrink that monument by 85 percent and cut another, Grand Staircase-Escalante, by about half. Both are in Utah, and the two reductions represent a historic action by the administration that is

Out-of-pocket health spending in 2016 increased at the fastest rate in a decade

U.S. health care spending increased to $3.3 trillion in 2016, with out-of-pocket health care costs borne directly by consumers rising 3.9 percent – the fastest rate of growth since 2007. The findings, published Wednesday by Health Affairs, are considered the authoritative breakdown of American health care spending and are prepared each year by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The overall rate of increase in health care spending experienced

Trump flouts warnings, declares Jerusalem Israel’s capital

WASHINGTON — Defying dire, worldwide warnings, President Donald Trump on Wednesday broke with decades of U.S. and international policy by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Despite urgent appeals from Arab and European leaders and the risk of anti-American protests and violence, Trump declared that he was ending an approach that for decades has failed to advance the prospects for peace. He also for the first time personally endorsed the concept