EU: Migrant deaths in Mediterranean rising despite more aid

BRUSSELS (AP) — Migrant deaths have risen to a record level on the Libya-to-Italy Mediterranean Sea smuggling route, and the increasing number of rescue boats trying to prevent mass drownings there might actually be helping the smugglers, the European Union's border and coast guard chief says.


  • Written by RAF CASERT , Associated Press

Congress blocks rule barring mentally impaired from guns

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-led Senate voted Wednesday to block an Obama-era regulation that would prevent an estimated 75,000 people with mental disorders from being able to purchase a firearm. The measure now goes to President Donald Trump, who is expected to sign it.


  • Written by KEVIN FREKING , Associated Press

Trump urges Israeli premier to 'hold off' on settlements

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Wednesday asked Israel's prime minister to "hold off" on building Jewish settlements in land the Palestinians claim for their future state, yet held back from explicitly endorsing support for a future independent Palestine.

  • Written by JILL COLVIN and VIVIAN SALAMA , Associated Press

Trump administration ushers in changes to Obama health law

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration took steps Wednesday intended to help calm jittery insurance companies and make tax compliance with former President Barack Obama's health law less burdensome for some people.

  • Written by RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR and TOM MURPHY , Associated Press

Pentagon chief says NATO members must boost defense spending

BRUSSELS (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Wednesday issued a sharp ultimatum to NATO Wednesday, telling allies they must start increasing defense spending by year's end or the Trump administration will "moderate its commitment" to them.

  • Written by LOLITA C. BALDOR , Associated Press