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Senate Healthcare Bill Revealed…Supreme Decision on Travel Ban?…North Korea Calls Itself “Victim” in Student Death

WASHINGTON (AP) – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has unwrapped his plan for dismantling President Barack Obama’s health care law. His next challenge is persuading enough Republicans to back the measure and avert a defeat that would be shattering for President Donald Trump and the GOP. McConnell drafted the measure after weeks of closed-door meetings that saw party leaders seek compromise between conservative senators and centrists.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – State-run Qatar Petroleum says that some critically important employees “may have been asked to postpone” trips abroad “for operational reasons” as a result of the embargo by Gulf Arab states against Qatar. The company described the move as “a very limited measure that could take place in any oil and gas operating company” to ensure uninterrupted energy supplies to customers. It says “no employee, under any circumstances, (has) been asked to remain against their consent.”

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court has almost certainly decided what to do about President Donald Trump’s travel ban affecting citizens of six mostly Muslim countries. The country is waiting for the court to make its decision public. The issue has been tied up in the courts since Trump’s original order in January sparked widespread protests just days after he took office.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – North Korea has called itself the “biggest victim” in the death of an American student who was detained for more than a year and died days after being released in a coma. The North’s official Korean Central News Agency on Friday denied that North Korea cruelly treated or tortured Otto Warmbier and accused the United States and South Korea of a smear campaign that insulted what it called its “humanitarian” treatment of him.

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump says Republicans benefit as long as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi remains in power. In an interview with Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends” that aired Friday morning, Trump said of Pelosi: “I hope she doesn’t step down.”

Senate Healthcare Bill to be Revealed…TS Cindy Hits Louisiana…Pelosi Facing Doubts After Georgia Loss

MUKALLA, Yemen (AP) – Former prisoners say torture and abuse are rife in a network of secret prisons in Yemen run by the United Arab Emirates and allied Yemeni forces to hold hundreds of people detained in the hunt for al-Qaida. American interrogators have questioned some of the detainees, and regularly receive access to their testimony, a potential violation of international laws against complicity in torture.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Congressional aides and lobbyists say Senate Republicans would cut Medicaid, end penalties for people not buying insurance and erase a raft of tax increases as part of their long-awaited health care bill. Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell plans to release the measure Thursday. The proposal represents the party’s long-awaited attempt to scuttle much of President Barack Obama’s health care law, but support by enough GOP senators is not yet guaranteed.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Tropical Storm Cindy has made landfall in southwestern Louisiana, bringing rain and the threat of flash flooding and tornadoes. As of about 4 a.m. CDT Thursday, the storm was centered about 30 miles west-southwest of Lake Charles, Louisiana, and is moving north near 12 mph. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Cindy’s maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 40 mph with continued weakening expected.

BEIJING (AP) – Food exporters including the United States and Europe are stepping up pressure on China to scale back plans for intensive inspections of imports that they say will hamper access to its fast-growing market. Nine nations and the EU have sent a joint letter to Chinese regulators asking them to suspend a proposed requirement, due to take effect Oct. 1, for each shipment to have an inspection certificate from a foreign government.

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Democratic candidate’s defeat in the high-stakes House race in Georgia has brought new attention to the party’s highest-ranking officer-holder, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. As Democrats look ahead to 2018, some are saying that Pelosi’s position will be at risk if the party doesn’t succeed in taking back control of the House.