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Sign-ups show health law’s staying power in Trump era – Sharing #ABC #News Feed

A deadline burst of sign-ups after a tumultuous year for the Obama health law has revealed continued demand for the program’s subsidized individual health plans. But the Affordable Care Act’s troubles aren’t over. On the plus side for the overhaul, official numbers showed a sizable share of first-time customers, 36 percent, were among those rushing to finish HealthCare.gov applications in the run-up to Friday’s enrollment deadline. “People need health care, that is plain and simple,” said Kevin Watkins of Florence, Alabama. A self-employed consultant helping small businesses sell online, WatkinsRead More


Grad students plead for mercy from U.S. tax overhaul

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Graduate student Mollie Marr is worried that the U.S. tax overhaul working its way through Congress will force her and many other fellow students to give up on their educations. The 36-year-old is working toward a doctorate degree in neuroscience at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. She is among thousands of graduate students sending letters and petitions calling on Congress to stop considering tax changes that would raise revenue by targeting tuition waivers that grad students receive. “I won’t be able to stay if theRead More


Winds fuel California wildfire, state’s third-largest on record

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A raging California wildfire on Saturday became the state’s third-largest on record, with more devastation possible from a resurgence of the harsh winds that have fueled the deadly blaze since the beginning of the month. The so-called Thomas Fire has destroyed more than 1,000 structures, including about 750 homes, in Southern California coastal communities since erupting on Dec. 4, the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said in a statement. The cause of the blaze is not yet known. Authorities described the current conditions, includingRead More


As Bitcoin, other currencies soar, regulators urge caution – Sharing #ABC #News Feed

The public’s interest in all things bitcoin and efforts by entrepreneurs to fund their businesses with digital currencies is starting to draw more attention from regulators. The head of the Securities and Exchange Commission this week warned investors on the risks of investing in largely-unregulated digital currencies. And another federal agency is now proposing to regulate bitcoin trading like other regulated commodities such as wheat, oil, gold and silver. Just this month, the SEC halted two attempts to raise money through what’s known as an initial coin offering. Legal expertsRead More


Winds fuel California wildfire, state’s third largest on record

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A raging California wildfire on Saturday became the state’s third largest blaze on record, with more devastation possible from a resurgence of the harsh winds that have fueled the deadly fire since the beginning of the month. The so-called Thomas Fire has destroyed more than 1,000 structures, including about 750 homes, in coastal communities in Southern California since erupting on Dec. 4, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said in a statement. Authorities described the current conditions as “critical fire weather,” including returning windsRead More


Winds fuel California wildfire, state’s third largest on record

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A raging California wildfire on Saturday became the state’s third largest blaze on record, with more devastation possible from a resurgence of the harsh winds that have fueled the deadly fire since the beginning of the month. The so-called Thomas Fire has destroyed more than 1,000 structures, including about 750 homes, in coastal communities in Southern California since erupting on Dec. 4, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said in a statement. Authorities described the current conditions as “critical fire weather,” including returning windsRead More


Turner wins broadcast rights to Chilean soccer

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – U.S. media company Turner Broadcasting has won exclusive rights to broadcast Chilean soccer matches, edging out competitor Fox Sports for the 15-year contract, the local soccer association said late on Friday. Fox had been the favorite to win the contract, estimated at around $1.3 billion by local media, in the soccer-loving nation of Chile. But its ongoing negotiations with Walt Disney Co, which owns competing sports broadcaster ESPN, raised the specter of regulatory complications and led Chilean soccer officials to opt for Turner instead, the association said.Read More


Republican tax bill retains U.S. electric vehicle tax credit

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A compromise Republican tax bill released late Friday does not eliminate a $7,500 electric vehicle tax credit as Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives had previously proposed. The measure follows the lead of the Senate version approved last month that did not eliminate the credit. Killing the credit could have hurt automakers like General Motors Co (GM.N), Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE), Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) and Nissan Motor Co (7201.T). Consumers under current law are eligible for a $7,500 tax credit to defray the cost of plug-in electricRead More


Music producer Russell Simmons denies newspaper reports of sexual misconduct

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Music and film producer Russell Simmons faced new accusations of sexual misconduct from nine woman dating back to 1983, including four who alleged he raped them, and New York police have opened an investigation, police and U.S. newspapers said on Thursday. In an emailed statement on Thursday, the 60-year-old co-founder of Def Jam Records denied the accusations from the nine women reported on Wednesday by the New York Times and Los Angeles Times. “These horrific accusations have shocked me to my core and all of myRead More


Two key Republican senators now in favor of tax bill Video – Sharing #ABC #News Feed

Transcript for Two key Republican senators now in favor of tax bill We want to move on to the major developments out of Washington. Including the Republicans who are on the cusp of passing a huge historic tax bill by the end of the year. If it passes it will be the first major legislative victory for president trump and the GOP but it comes as there are new developments in the Russia investigation. Matt dowd is standing by with analysis but start with David Wright right there at theRead More