Trump vows to repeal political limits on churches

WASHINGTON (AP) — Declaring that religious freedom is "under threat," President Donald Trump vowed Thursday to repeal a rarely enforced IRS rule that says pastors who endorse candidates from the pulpit risk losing their tax-exempt status.

  • Written by CATHERINE LUCEY , Associated Press

GOP senators move Trump EPA pick ahead as Dems boycott vote

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans suspended Senate committee rules Thursday to muscle through President Donald Trump's pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency toward a confirmation vote after Democrats boycotted a meeting.

  • Written by MICHAEL BIESECKER and ANDREW TAYLOR , Associated Press

Police use backhoe to breach prison, end standoff; 1 dead

SMYRNA, Del. (AP) — Police used a backhoe to breach a building at Delaware's largest prison early Thursday, ending what the governor called a "torturous" hostage standoff that left one guard dead.

  • Written by RANDALL CHASE , Associated Press

Weakened graft law ignites furor, criticism in Romania

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's new decree diluting the country's corruption law ignited a furor Thursday, prompting strong criticism from home and abroad and a declaration from the president that he would ask judges to declare it unconstitutional.

  • Written by ALISON MUTLER , Associated Press

Pennsylvania groundhog's handlers: Phil predicts more winter

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. (AP) — The handlers of Pennsylvania's most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, said the furry rodent has "predicted" six more weeks of winter after seeing his shadow at dawn Thursday.