The House on Tuesday failed to override President Obama’s veto of a bill that would have repealed key provisions of Obamacare and stripped federal funding from Planned Parenthood.
The 241-186 vote to override the veto fell short of the two-thirds needed, ensuring that the Affordable Care Act will remain in place at least through the final year of Obama’s term. Republican leaders, who have been criticized by Democrats for failing to come up with an alternative to Obamacare, said they plan to craft a replacement plan this year as a kind of preview for what they hope to do in the next Congress.
The vote came just hours after the president met with House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to talk about issues where the White House and Congress might be able to work together. Those issues include criminal justice and mental health reform, the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership, Puerto Rico’s financial crisis, the opioid epidemic, the Zika virus and efforts to cure cancer. USA Today
Hours after the Iowa caucus results came in, 2016 presidential candidates had already turned their attention to New Hampshire. Even before Hillary Clinton was officially announced as the Democratic victor in Iowa, she was campaigning at a rally in Nashua, New Hampshire, while Bernie Sanders played up the “significance” of the close finish upon his arrival in the Granite State. GOP Iowa winner Ted Cruz and second-place finisher Donald Trump also headed straight to the site of their next match-up, while third-place Marco Rubio aimed to keep his momentum going with an early Tuesday stop at a New Hampshire diner. New Hampshire’s primary is on Feb. 9. The Washington Post
Zika has been sexually transmitted in Texas, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday. It is the first known case of the virus being locally acquired in the continental United States in the current outbreak.
The case, announced by Dallas County health officials, involved a patient who had sex with someone who had recently returned from Venezuela infected with the mosquito-borne virus.
In a statement to CNN, the CDC said it confirmed the test results showing Zika present in the blood of a “nontraveler in the continental United States.” They stressed that there was no risk to a developing fetus in this instance. CNN
Yahoo announced a massive, $4.4 billion loss last quarter and said it will lay off 15% of its workforce as part of a plan to return the company to “modest to accelerating growth” next year and in 2018. The layoffs will reduce Yahoo’s headcount by about 1,600 employees to around 9,000 staff.
The new plan, announced Tuesday afternoon, will focus on Yahoo’s core strengths: Its products (Search, Mail and Tumblr) and its media brands (News, Sports, Finance and Lifestyle). The company will also streamline its advertising platforms, close five global offices and shutter businesses that aren’t growing, including games, smart TV and scripted TV shows. CNN
A record-breaking number of criminal exonerations occurred in the United States in 2015, including 54 in Texas. A report released Wednesday from the National Registry of Exonerations states that out of 149 known exonerations last year, 58 of the exonerated defendants had been convicted of homicide, with five on death row.
Three-quarters of those exonerations included official misconduct. The report also found that exonerated defendants served on average more than 14 years in prison, and those exonerated for drug possession often falsely confessed to a crime to avoid facing longer sentences at trial. The National Registry of Exonerations says that more cases were reviewed in 2015 because district attorneys in places like Brooklyn, Dallas, and Houston set up integrity units to investigate cases of possible misconduct. The previous recorded high was 139 exonerations in 2014. Reuters
Japan and South Korea joined the United States Wednesday in demanding that North Korea cancel plans to send a long-range rocket into space, saying the launch would violate United Nations resolutions banning ballistic-missile and nuclear weapon development in the country.
North Korea notified U.N. agencies late Tuesday its plans to launch what it calls an “Earth observation satellite” sometime between February 8-25.
Pyongyang maintains it has a sovereign right to pursue a space program by launching rockets, but Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other U.S. allies have denounced the program as a hostile pretense intended to circumvent international restrictions. VOA News
At the start of the new year, a law took effect in Texas that allows a gun owner with a concealed-weapon license to openly carry a handgun in a holster in public. Some stores and restaurants are exercising their right to ban guns on their property, but at least one Houston-area business owner is encouraging customers to pack heat.
Customers come to Brooks’ Place for the smoked brisket, but they pay 10 percent less if they bring a gun.
Owner Trent Brooks believes law-abiding gun owners help prevent crime. “We support the Second Amendment” — which relates to the right to keep and bear arms — “and we want to show appreciation to people who are carrying their firearms to protect themselves, to protect their business and to protect their family,” he said.
Brooks said most customers have no problem with his policy. But some have told him the guns give them heartburn. VOA News
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