As Modi prepares for Trump meeting, U.S. expected to OK India drone purchase

As Modi prepares for Trump meeting, U.S. expected to OK India drone purchaseBy Sanjeev Miglani and David Brunnstrom NEW DELHI/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is expected to authorize India’s purchase of a naval variant of the Predator drone, two sources familiar with the situation said, ahead of a visit next week by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to try to revitalize ties in his first meeting with President Donald Trump. Securing agreement on the purchase of 22 unarmed drones, worth more than $2 billion, is seen in New Delhi as a key test of defense ties that flourished under former President Barack Obama but have drifted under Trump, who has courted Asian rival China as he seeks Beijing’s help to contain North Korea’s nuclear program. California-based General Atomics, the maker of the Guardian drone sought by India, declined to comment.

Senate Republicans unveil Obamacare replacement bill, but fate uncertain

Senate Republicans unveil Obamacare replacement bill, but fate uncertainU.S. Senate Republicans on Thursday unveiled legislation that would replace Obamacare with a plan that scales back aid to the poor and kills a tax on the wealthy, but the bill’s fate was quickly thrown into question as several senators voiced skepticism. Four conservative lawmakers said they could not support it in its current form, leaving Republicans short of the votes they need for passage. The 142-page proposal, worked out in secret by a group led Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, aims to deliver on a central campaign promise of President Donald Trump by rolling back former President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law, which has provided coverage to millions of Americans since it was passed in 2010.

Factbox: Where key U.S. Republican senators stand on healthcare bill

Factbox: Where key U.S. Republican senators stand on healthcare billU.S. Senate Republicans offered a bill on Thursday to overhaul Obamacare, the next phase in the party’s long war against the 2010 law enacted by then-Democratic President Barack Obama. The legislation met a wall of opposition from Democrats and initial skepticism among some Republicans, leaving Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell a narrow path to passage. The bill would roll back an expansion of the Medicaid health program for the poor and disabled over three years, cut its federal funding beginning in 2025, restructure Obamacare’s tax credits for low-income Americans, and repeal several taxes.

Remnants of tropical storm drench U.S. Gulf Coast, spawn twisters, flooding

Remnants of tropical storm drench U.S. Gulf Coast, spawn twisters, floodingThe remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy brought tornadoes and flooding to the U.S. Gulf Coast on Thursday and its heavy rains will drench much of the eastern United States in coming days, forecasters said. Flooding and road closures stretched from east Texas into northwestern Florida after Cindy made landfall early on Thursday near the Louisiana-Texas border and weakened to a tropical depression, the National Weather Service said. Cindy is expected to dump 3 to 6 inches (7.5 to 15 cm) of rain as it heads north and east into the Ohio Valley and the Appalachian Mountains through Saturday, said Brian Hurley, a weather service meteorologist.

Judge accepts sweeping reforms of Arizona death penalty protocols

Judge accepts sweeping reforms of Arizona death penalty protocolsThe changes were part of a settlement reached in a 2014 lawsuit brought by seven death row inmates who argued Arizona’s lethal injection practices were experimental, secretive and caused inmates prolonged suffering. On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Neil Wake in Phoenix signed an order that in effect authorized a deal reached between the state and the lawyers for death row inmates, according to Dale Baich, a lawyer for the death row litigants.

Judge says San Francisco can subpoena Uber for driver information

Judge says San Francisco can subpoena Uber for driver informationBy Heather Somerville SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A California state judge said on Thursday that San Francisco can demand from Uber records containing the ride-hailing company’s driver contact information, the city attorney said. San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera last month sought a court order compelling Uber Technologies Inc to comply with the city’s demands for information about the company’s drivers. The city Treasurer and Tax Collector’s Office wants the names, addresses and driver’s license numbers of Uber’s drivers.

Factbox: How Senate, House Obamacare overhaul bills compare

Factbox: How Senate, House Obamacare overhaul bills compare(Reuters) – After weeks of discussions behind closed doors, the U.S. Senate unveiled a draft of its healthcare bill on Thursday that would overhaul the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. The House of Representatives narrowly passed its healthcare bill last month. If the Senate passes its bill, the House will either have to vote on the Senate version of the legislation or the two chambers will have to reconcile their differences in a conference committee.

Appeals court overturns conviction of 'Making a Murderer' inmate

Appeals court overturns conviction of 'Making a Murderer' inmateA three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled 2-1 to uphold a federal judge’s ruling last year that overturned Dassey’s conviction for a 2005 murder. Magistrate Judge William Duffin had ruled in August that the conviction was based on a coerced confession that Dassey, now 27, gave as a 16-year-old with a learning disability. Duffin ordered Dassey freed in November, but his release was halted while Wisconsin authorities appealed the decision.

In just a year, Republicans became far more skeptical of claims of racism

In just a year, Republicans became far more skeptical of claims of racismRepublican attitudes toward African-Americans hardened significantly in 2016, according to an authoritative new study. Only 32 percent of Republican voters in 2016 said they believe that African-Americans face “a lot of discrimination.” That was a significant drop from just a year earlier, when the Public Religion Research Institute asked the same question. In that survey, 46 percent of Republicans responded that blacks experience significant discrimination.

Son of New York pizzeria owner gets 20 years in drug case

Son of New York pizzeria owner gets 20 years in drug caseThe son of a New York pizzeria owner was sentenced on Thursday to 20 years in prison for his role in a cocaine trafficking conspiracy linked to organized crime. Angelo Gigliotti, 36, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie in Brooklyn federal court, U.S. prosecutors said. Federal prosecutors accused the Gigliottis of using their family-run restaurant, Cucino Amodo Mio in the New York City borough of Queens and a produce importation company to provide cover for drug trafficking for ‘Ndrangheta, a powerful criminal organization in Italy.