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VOL. 41 | NO. 11 | Friday, March 17, 2017

Unplugged and back to nature

Summer camps give children a break from modern ‘conveniences’

Unless you’re sending your child to computer or STEM camp, expect the summer fun to be an unplugged experience. Or, as much as your kid can stand.

Adults get to experience/re-live camp experience

Anyone who knows Nashville PR powerhouse Deb Varallo knows there isn’t much she can’t accomplish.

Summer camp offerings in Middle Tennessee

From academics to athletics, there is a camp for everyone at every age.

Hotel developers soothe Hillsboro Village concerns

A new hotel going up in Hillsboro Village won’t be adding to the area’s skyline – which is exactly why it’s not being met with howls of dismay.

Local Weather

Weather in Nashville, TN

EVENTS

Food Truck Thursdays. Enjoy a gathering of up to 20 local food trucks parked along Deaderick Street between 4th Avenue North and 5th Avenue North! This event will take place every other Thursday November through March on days 40 degrees or warmer.

more events »

SAM STOCKARD: VIEW FROM THE HILL

Singing along with tone-deaf legislators

Often dull, but never boring. They might even make you break out into song. Halfway through the 2017 session, the General Assembly could be accused of lacking sharpness or sensibility, but what it lacks in luster it makes up for with lots of political song and dance.

DAVID CLIMER: OUT OF LEFT FIELD

Football staff shakeups rarely save coaching jobs

Phillip Fulmer’s was notorious during his glory years as Tennessee’s football coach for maintaining staff stability.

RICHARD COURTNEY: REALTY CHECK

Are proposed Airbnb rules lifting multi-family home sales?

Nashville-area home sales increased by 9.3 percent in February compared to the same period in 2016, Greater Nashville Realtors statistics show.

REAL ESTATE

Top Middle Tennessee residential transactions for February 2017

Top residential real estate sales, February 2017, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

Average US 30-year mortgage rate rises to 4.30 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose this week for a second straight week, posting new highs for the year. The markets were anticipating an increase in a key interest rate by the Federal Reserve, which the Fed announced Wednesday.

NEWSMAKERS

Fahner moves to Kennedy & Associates

John Fahner, formerly a partner at Inscoe and Fahner PLLC, has joined Kennedy and Associates.

BEHIND THE WHEEL

Volvo XC60: Higher cost, fewer cylinders for 2017

Volvo’s least expensive SUV, the XC60, is updated for 2017 with all fuel-efficient four-cylinder turbocharged engines and simpler trim levels for easier buyer choices.

GUERRILLA MARKETING

What is your team’s conversational capacity?

The secret to a successful sales team – or any type of team, for that matter – is its ability to perform when the pressure is on. That can only happen when the team is able to have open, non-defensive dialogue about tough issues.

CAREER CORNER

Not getting that promotion? Might be time to leave

Today’s job market is tough. If you’re trying to find a new job – or get a promotion at your current job – you can probably relate.

STATE LEGISLATURE

House panel OKs bill to require seat belts on school buses

NASHVILLE (AP) — A bill to require Tennessee school buses to be fitted with seat belts by July 2023 is advancing in the House.

Bill would let students in US illegally pay in-state tuition

NASHVILLE (AP) — A bill that would let immigrant students who are in the country illegally pay in-state college tuition advanced in the Tennessee Legislature on Wednesday.

STATEWIDE

Boyd tour raises questions about campaigning at public sites

NASHVILLE (AP) — For Republican gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd, it made perfect sense to make two stops at community and technical colleges during his campaign announcement tour last week.

COURTS

Ex-Nashville city worker's suit claims firing for Trump post

NASHVILLE (AP) — A former Nashville employee has sued the city claiming she was fired over a social media post supporting President Donald Trump.

REAL ESTATE

US new home sales rise despite higher mortgage rates

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans responded to higher mortgage rates by snapping up new homes in February at the fastest pace since July.

Average US 30-year mortgage rate slips to 4.23 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates slid this week from their highest levels of 2017.

TECHNOLOGY

ABC News says 3 of its Twitter accounts were hacked

NEW YORK (AP) — ABC News says three of its Twitter accounts were hacked Thursday morning and sent out profanity-filled tweets to its millions of followers.

HEALTH CARE

Trump tries to close health care deal with GOP skeptics

WASHINGTON (AP) — Showdown day at hand, Republicans remained short of votes Thursday for their showpiece health care overhaul, hoping for President Donald Trump to close the deal with balky conservatives at a White House meeting.

Koch network spending millions to stop GOP health care bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — The conservative Koch network is promising to spend millions of dollars to defeat the health care overhaul backed by President Donald Trump and top House Republicans.

GOP health bill on the brink hours from House showdown vote

WASHINGTON (AP) — The GOP's long-promised legislation to repeal and replace "Obamacare" stood on the brink just hours before Republican leaders planned to put it on the House floor for a showdown vote. Short of support, GOP leaders looked to President Donald Trump to close the deal with a crucial bloc of conservatives, in the first major legislative test of his young presidency.

Republican health bill would widen America's big wealth gap

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans' health care bill provides massive tax cuts to the wealthy while increasing taxes for many lower income families, adding to America's big income gap between the rich and everyone else.

Why a lack of education raises death risk for some Americans

WASHINGTON (AP) — Middle-age white Americans with limited education are increasingly dying younger, on average, than other middle-age U.S. adults, a trend driven by their dwindling economic opportunities, research by two Princeton University economists has found.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Banks lead stocks higher; health care debate continues

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are mostly higher Thursday as bank stocks recover some ground thanks to an upturn in bond yields, which will make lending money more profitable. Google's parent company, Alphabet, leads technology stocks lower as a number of companies say they will stop advertising on YouTube.

Yellen: Problems of childhood poverty linger

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new Federal Reserve survey has found that children who grew up in poverty were twice as likely to struggle with financial challenges later in life, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said Thursday.

Applications for US jobless aid rise to still-low 258,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — More people sought U.S. unemployment benefits last week, but applications are still at a low level that points to a healthy job market.

NATIONAL POLITICS

AP Exclusive: US probing banking of ex-Trump campaign chief

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Treasury Department agents have recently obtained information about offshore financial transactions involving President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, as part of a federal anti-corruption probe into his work in Eastern Europe, The Associated Press has learned.

Business with China only sometimes a deal-breaker for Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — Anthony Scaramucci announced to the world in January that he would be leaving Wall Street for the White House to become President Donald Trump's top public liaison. Not long after, Scaramucci was told by Trump's chief of staff that the sale of his hedge fund — a deal that includes a well-known Chinese conglomerate — raised too many ethics issues for him to start work immediately.

Philadelphia's soda tax brings in $6.4M in February

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia's new tax on sweetened beverages is exceeding expectations.


WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22
STATE LEGISLATURE

Beavers' bathroom bill down the drain

Legislation restricting restroom use at public schools for transgender students got flushed Wednesday.

Voucher bill fails to move forward in state Senate

NASHVILLE (AP) — A voucher bill that would let parents use taxpayer money to spend on private schools has failed to get enough votes to move forward in the state Senate.

Tennessee lawmakers advance bill opposed by teachers union

NASHVILLE (AP) — A bill that would allow school systems to deduct up to 10 percent of teachers' unions dues from payroll has passed in a House education subcommittee.

Haslam proposal to boost road funding advances in House

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to boost transportation funding through Tennessee's first gas tax hike since 1989 survived a key House committee vote on Tuesday.

Guns on boats, silencer bills advance, while others delayed

NASHVILLE (AP) — A panel of Tennessee lawmakers has advanced bills to allow the use of silencers, let boaters bring their loaded guns on board, and permit off-duty law enforcement officers to bring guns into ticketed events at sports stadiums and other venues.

HEALTH CARE

GOP leaders boost pressure as health bill crunch time nears

WASHINGTON (AP) — Putting everything on the line, President Donald Trump tried to sway wavering House Republicans on Wednesday some 24 hours before a climactic vote on a GOP health care overhaul. Hard-line conservatives were unpersuaded, insisting the leadership lacked the votes and should start over.

Retirement dreams fizzle for some with 'Obamacare' repeal

CHICAGO (AP) — Workers dreaming of early retirement are getting the jitters as Washington debates replacing the Obama-era health care law with a system that could be a lot more expensive for many older Americans.

REAL ESTATE

US home sales slow in February after surge in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans retreated from buying existing homes in February, a pullback after sales in January had surged to the fastest pace in a decade. But over the past 12 months, sales are up solidly.

COURTS

Ex-pharmacy exec convicted in deadly Tennessee meningitis outbreak

BOSTON (AP) — The former head of a Massachusetts pharmacy was acquitted Wednesday of murder allegations but convicted of racketeering and other crimes in a meningitis outbreak that was traced to fungus-contaminated drugs and killed 64 people across the country.

Justices side with workers in bankruptcy dispute

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is siding with hundreds of former workers at a New Jersey trucking company who said they were unfairly denied a claim for lost wages after the company filed for bankruptcy protection.

Justices side with leading cheerleading uniform maker

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is siding with the leading maker of cheerleading uniforms in a patent dispute with a smaller rival.

TECHNOLOGY

Google Maps already tracks you; now other people can, too

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google Maps users will soon be able to broadcast their movements to friends and family via the app — the latest test of how much privacy people are willing to sacrifice in an era of rampant sharing.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Indexes inch back upward as tech stocks rise; Nike plunges

NEW YORK (AP) — After a shaky start, U.S. stocks finished mostly higher Wednesday as technology and industrial companies rose. Banks fell with interest rates as the market came off its biggest loss in five months.

Hard times for Sears as retailer notes doubt about future

NEW YORK (AP) — Sears, a back-to-school shopping destination for generations of kids, has said that after years of losing money that there is "substantial doubt" it will be able to keep its doors open. But it also insisted that its actions to turn around its business should help reduce that risk.

EU proposes rules to boost countries' antitrust authorities

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union is proposing new rules to make antitrust authorities in the bloc's member countries more effective.

NATIONAL POLITICS

AP Exclusive: Manafort's plan to advance Putin's interests

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin a decade ago and proposed an ambitious political strategy to undermine anti-Russian opposition across former Soviet republics, The Associated Press has learned.

WH distances Trump from Manafort after AP report

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is distancing itself from former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, saying his secret work for a Russian billionaire detailed in an Associated Press report happened during "the last decade."

AP findings on Trump associate's work for Russian oligarch

WASHINGTON (AP) — Here are findings from The Associated Press' reporting on U.S. President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort's work for a Russian oligarch with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

AP FACT CHECK: Trump and his unachieved achievements

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is taking credit for persuading TransCanada Corp. to withdraw a hefty lawsuit against the U.S. government over the previous administration's rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline. But the Canadian company says its bid for compensation for the stalled project is merely suspended, as it has been for weeks.

Labor nominee says he won't let politics influence hiring

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the Labor Department said Wednesday he won't allow potential political pressure from the administration to influence his hiring decisions and regrets he let that happen on his watch at the Justice Department.


TUESDAY, MARCH 21
STATE LEGISLATURE

Haslam proposal to boost road funding advances in House

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to boost transportation funding through Tennessee's first gas tax hike since 1989 has survived a key House committee.

House committee avoids zombies, approves school voucher bill

Despite a packed room of Memphis-area people opposed to vouchers for public school students, a House Education Committee advanced a pilot program targeting low-income children in the Shelby County Schools system’s low-performing schools.

No interim replacement to be named for lawmaker who resigned

MEMPHIS (AP) — The Shelby County Commission has decided against naming an interim replacement for a Republican state House member who resigned amid a sexual harassment investigation.

Tennessee Senate committee to take up host of gun bills

NASHVILLE (AP) — The state Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to take up a host of gun bills on Tuesday, including a proposal to eliminate the need for Tennesseans to obtain state-issued permits to carry handguns in public.

State Sen. Mae Beavers exploring bid for Tennessee governor

NASHVILLE (AP) — State Sen. Mae Beavers, the sponsor of a bill seeking to require students to use restrooms and locker rooms of the sex on their birth certificates, says she is exploring a bid for Tennessee governor.

Harwell: No decision on governor's race until after session

NASHVILLE (AP) — A former Tennessee GOP leader said state House Speaker Beth Harwell told her she is running for governor, but the Nashville Republican responded Monday that she will make her decision after state lawmakers go home for the year.

NASHVILLE AREA

Sen. Warren slated to attend fundraiser in Nashville

NASHVILLE (AP) — U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is scheduled to come to Nashville for a campaign fundraiser.

COURTS

High court limits president's power to fill temporary posts

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Tuesday limited the president's power to temporarily fill vacant government posts while nominations are tied up in partisan political fights.

Disciplinary charges dropped against Tennessee prosecutor

MEMPHIS (AP) — A state board on Monday dropped disciplinary charges against the top prosecutor in Memphis arising from a murder case she handled.

HEALTH CARE

Report says impact of Tennessee rural hospitals is nearly $1 billion

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Hospital Association has released a report saying the impact of rural hospitals is nearly $1 billion to the state's economy.

Changes to GOP health proposal affect older adults, Medicaid

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican leaders hope that the latest changes to their health care bill win enough votes to drive the legislation through the House later this week. It's looking tight.

Trump to GOP: Pass health care bill or seal your fate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Time for talk running out, President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned wavering House Republicans that their jobs were on the line in next year's elections if they failed to back a GOP bill that would overhaul Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.

Protesters rally against GOP's health care plan in Memphis

MEMPHIS (AP) — A group of protesters is calling for Republican U.S. Rep. David Kustoff to vote against the GOP-led plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

TECHNOLOGY

Wells Fargo: ATMs will work via smart phones beginning next week

NEW YORK (AP) — Wells Fargo plans to upgrade all 13,000 of its ATMs next week to allow customers to access their funds using their cellphones instead of traditional bank cards.

Apple cuts prices on lower-end iPads, releases red iPhones

NEW YORK (AP) — Apple is refreshing and cutting prices on two of its iPads, but held back on updating its higher-end tablets.

Google affiliate offers tools to safeguard elections

NEW YORK (AP) — An organization affiliated with Google is offering tools that news organizations and election-related sites can use to protect themselves from hacking.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Banks nosedive as Trump health care speedbump tanks stocks

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks took their biggest loss in five months Tuesday as a health care bill backed by President Donald Trump ran into trouble in Congress, which raised some questions about his agenda of faster economic growth spurred on by lower taxes and cuts in regulations.

Wal-Mart launches incubator lab to house startups

NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart is launching an incubator lab focused on projects in robotics, virtual and augmented reality, and artificial intelligence as it aims to compete more aggressively with Amazon.

US group seeks better access to China's farm goods market

BEIJING (AP) — An American business group appealed to China on Tuesday to ease import restrictions on agricultural goods including genetically modified seeds and other biotechnology, highlighting complaints Beijing blocks market access despite its vocal support for free trade.

NATIONAL POLITICS

White House issues gag order to officials on budget details

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump White House is instructing Cabinet heads and agency officials what to tell and not tell Congress about the last week's proposed budget.

US bars electronic carry-ons from Mideast, N. Africa flights

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government, citing unspecified threats, is barring passengers on nonstop, U.S.-bound flights from eight mostly Middle Eastern and North African countries from bringing laptops, tablets, electronic games and other devices on board in carry-on bags.


MONDAY, MARCH 20
STATE LEGISLATURE

Anti-tax group green-lights Haslam's road funding plan

One of the nation’s most conservative anti-tax groups is supporting a plan by Sen. Mark Norris to offset fuel-tax increases with a reduction in the state’s grocery tax and nix a proposal to tie rates to the Consumer Price Index.

COURTS

3 Tennessee death row inmates lose Supreme Court appeals

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has rejected appeals from three Tennessee death-row inmates who say they should not be executed because they are intellectually disabled.

Supreme Court to kick off event offering free legal clinics

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court is kicking off a weeks-long event that will help people across the state get free legal advice.

TECHNOLOGY

Laptops, iPads to be banned on some US-bound flights

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government is barring passengers on Royal Jordanian Airlines flights from bringing laptops, iPads, cameras and other electronics in carry-on luggage on certain U.S.-bound flights starting Tuesday, the airline said in a tweet Monday.

HEALTH CARE

Already in peril, rural hospitals unsure on health care bill

CLAXTON, Ga. (AP) — Talmadge Yarbrough had just sat down at his desk and opened a box of pecans when he let out a gasp that could have been his last breath. He'd gone into cardiac arrest in his office, a co-worker called 911, and an ambulance drove him two miles to the small hospital that serves this rural community in southeast Georgia.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

US stock indexes dip for a third day as banks stumble

NEW YORK (AP) — After an early-afternoon slump, U.S. stocks finished mostly lower Monday in a quiet day of trading. Banks fell along with bond yields as stocks declined for a third straight day.

President of embattled Uber leaves after 6 months on job

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Jeff Jones, president of the embattled ride-hailing company Uber, has resigned just six months after taking the job, the company confirmed Sunday.

Britain to formally trigger process to leave EU on March 29

LONDON (AP) — Britain's government will begin the process of leaving the European Union on March 29, starting the clock on the two years in which to complete the most important negotiation for a generation.

Brexit explained: What's next on the UK's road out of the EU

LONDON (AP) — The British government announced Monday that it will formally begin its exit from the European Union on March 29. Prime Minister Theresa May will invoke Article 50 of the key EU treaty, the official start of the two-year divorce process.

NATIONAL POLITICS

FBI probing possible links between Russia, Trump associates

WASHINGTON (AP) — FBI Director James Comey confirmed Monday that the bureau is investigating possible links and coordination between Russia and associates of President Donald Trump as part of a broader probe of Russian interference in last year's presidential campaign.

No wiretap of Trump Tower, GOP intel committee says

WASHINGTON (AP) — There was no wiretap of Trump Tower, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said Monday, contradicting an assertion from President Donald Trump. But he said that other forms of surveillance of Trump and his associates have not been ruled out.

Most young Americans don't see Trump as a legitimate leader

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jermaine Anderson keeps going back to the same memory of Donald Trump, then a candidate for president of the United States, referring to some Mexican immigrants as rapists and murderers.

Trump says Dems 'made up' allegations of Russia interference

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Monday accused Democrats of making up allegations that Russia interfered in last year's election, and said Congress and the FBI should be going after media leaks instead.

Gorsuch seen by many as smart, modest nominee for high court

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's poker night in a row house in Oxford, England, and Neil Gorsuch, deep in studies for yet another degree, is feeling down. His housemates decide he needs a girlfriend.


FRIDAY, MARCH 17
STATEWIDE

Tennessee general fund revenues beat projections by $8.4M

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee's general fund tax collections were $8.4 million above projections in February, bringing the state's surplus revenues to $491 million through the first seven months of the budget year.

STATE LEGISLATURE

10 register to run for state House seat vacated by Lovell

MEMPHIS (AP) — Ten candidates have registered to run for a state House seat vacated when former Republican state Rep. Mark Lovell resigned amid a sexual harassment investigation.

Trump event gets mixed reviews from legislators

NASHVILLE – While state lawmakers recognized the historical significance of President Donald Trump visiting the home of President Andrew Jackson in Hermitage Wednesday, the review is mixed on comparisons between the two as well as the Jackson legacy.

Norris: Vouchers bill 'problematic'

NASHVILLE – Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris expressed reservations today about legislation allowing tax dollars to be used to send low-income students in struggling public schools to private schools.

Tennessee House OKs bill allowing loaded guns in boats

NASHVILLE (AP) — People could carry loaded guns on their boats in a bill approved by the Tennessee House of Representatives.

NASHVILLE AREA

Nashville police ask for $50 million for body cams

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Nashville police department has requested $50.1 million so that all 1,400 of the city's officers can wear body cameras and all police cruisers will be fitted with dash cams.

COURTS

Court decision could make it easier for parents to relocate

NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court has made a decision that could make it easier for a divorced parent to move out of state with the kids, even if the other parent objects to the children relocating.

REGION

TVA to sell about 900 acres at Muscle Shoals Reservation

CHATTANOOGA (AP) — The Tennessee Valley Authority is planning to auction off much of the land on which it was first created in 1933.

HEALTH CARE

Trump says he's '100 percent' behind health bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he wants people to know he's "100 percent behind" the House Republican health care bill.

Health groups: Next cure may go undiscovered with Trump cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) — What goes on the chopping block: Research into cancer or Alzheimer's? A Zika vaccine or a treatment for superbugs?

Price prods GOP to 'collaborate' on health care overhaul

WASHINGTON (AP) — Health secretary Tom Price prodded divided Republicans on Friday to "get together and collaborate" on a health care overhaul as GOP leaders hoped to push the legislation through the House next week.

House panel approves troubled GOP health care bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Budget Committee voted narrowly Thursday to advance the troubled Republican health care bill, with defections by three GOP conservatives underscoring the obstacles party leaders face in maneuvering to avoid a stinging setback to their showpiece legislation.

GOP health plan: Tax cuts for rich; hits older people hard

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Republican health care plan backed by President Donald Trump provides billions of dollars in tax cuts for wealthy families and insurance companies, but it hits older Americans hard with higher insurance premiums and smaller tax credits.

AUTO INDUSTRY

VW sales dip as demand weakens in western Europe, China

BERLIN (AP) — Volkswagen says its global deliveries were down 0.9 percent in February compared with a year earlier as lower sales in China and western Europe outweighed improved performances in the continent's east and the United States.

NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

S&P 500 limps to the finish line in another winning week

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks limped to the finish line in another winning week, with indexes turning in a mixed performance on Friday.

US factory production rise for 6th consecutive month in February

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factories cranked out more autos, steel and computers in February, the sixth straight monthly increase in manufacturing output.

US and global partners wrestle over trade stance

BADEN-BADEN, Germany (AP) — U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin headed into a tussle over free trade Friday at a summit that will help set the tone for the global economy.

US employers posted more jobs in January and quitting jumped

WASHINGTON (AP) — Employers posted more open positions in January compared with December and the number of Americans quitting jumped, trends that could push up wages.

US to confront trade partners at global finance meeting

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to get tough on trade partners like China, Mexico and Germany. Now his Treasury chief, Steven Mnuchin, will get his first opportunity to confront them all in one room.

NATIONAL POLITICS

UK: Trump spying claim 'ridiculous;' US govt won't repeat it

LONDON (AP) — A spokesman for Britain's prime minister says the White House has promised that it won't repeat a claim that U.K. spies snooped on U.S. President Donald Trump.

Trump's campaign insults complicate Merkel's visit

WASHINGTON (AP) — If President Donald Trump wanted a close working relationship with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, he had a funny way of showing it during his presidential campaign.

Trump budget would cut Small Business Administration funding

NEW YORK (AP) — The Trump administration's budget proposal for the next fiscal year would cut Small Business Administration funding by 5 percent, eliminating some Obama administration programs aimed at creating jobs.

Democrats slam Trump budget, GOP offers faint praise or none

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats predictably slammed President Donald Trump's Thursday budget request, which mixed increases for the military and border security with remarkable austerity for many domestic programs. Perhaps more telling, however, was the reaction from Republicans, who gave it polite praise or none at all.

Winners and losers in Trump's first budget plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — Military spending would get the biggest boost in President Donald Trump's proposed budget. Environmental programs, medical research, Amtrak and an array of international and cultural programs — from Africa to Appalachia — would take big hits, among the many parts of the government he'd put on a crash diet.

2 federal judges find new Trump travel ban discriminatory

GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — Rejecting arguments from the government that President Donald Trump's revised travel ban was substantially different from the first one, judges in Hawaii and Maryland blocked the executive order from taking effect as scheduled on Thursday, using the president's own words as evidence that the order discriminates against Muslims.

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