CBO score could roil Senate health care negotiations
The Congressional Budget Office will release its prediction of the effects of the House-passed health care overhaul Wednesday afternoon, potentially stirring up more dissent among Senate Republicans who have spent much of this month attempting to hash out their own health care deal. The CBO will likely deliver a similar verdict for the American Health Care Act (AHCA) as it did for an earlier version of the House bill, which the office said would result in 24 million fewer Americans having health care coverage and $150 billion in deficit reduction over 10 years compared with Obamacare.
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Massive slide buries stretch of iconic California highway
A massive rockslide has buried a stretch of California's iconic seaside Highway 1 which had already been hit by a number of road closures caused by severe winter storms, state transportation officials said Tuesday. The slide on one of America's most picturesque highways took place on Saturday morning in a remote and largely uninhabited area known as Mud Creek. The road in that section of the highway had already been shut down before a million tons of earth came tumbling down from a hillside, burying a 1,500-foot (nearly half a kilometer) section of the highway, said Jim Shivers, a spokesman for the state's transportation agency.
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After Maryland student's speech, mockery and anger in China
When Chinese student Yang Shuping described how she ditched her five pollution masks upon discovering the "oddly luxurious" air of the United States, she drew a fierce online backlash, indignant newspaper columns and even a rebuttal from her hometown. On Wednesday, the official Xinhua news agency's English-language Twitter account broadcast a live-stream from Kunming, with two reporters interviewing passersby about air quality and whether they wore pollution masks. China's foreign ministry also weighed in, saying it was aware the issue was being widely discussed online, and that any Chinese citizen should "make remarks responsibly".
Jakarta governor dropping appeal 'for sake of nation'
The wife of Jakarta's Christian governor told a tearful press conference Tuesday her husband had withdrawn his appeal against a blasphemy conviction and two-year jail term for the good of Indonesia. Basuki Tjahaja Purnama was jailed this month for insulting the Koran while campaigning for re-election, a shock decision that stoked concern about rising religious intolerance in the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation. The blasphemy allegations against Purnama, Jakarta's first non-Muslim governor for half a century and first ethnic Chinese leader, sparked mass protests spearheaded by radicals.
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