Stocks mixed ahead of US vote seen as Trump bellwether

TOKYO (AP) -- Global stocks were mixed Thursday, as investors awaited a vote in the U.S. Congress on health care legislation that is seen as a bellwether for President Donald Trump's ability to deliver on campaign promises of tax and regulatory reforms. KEEPING SCORE: Germany's DAX was up 0.4 percent at 11,949 and the CAC 40 in France rose 0.2 percent to 5,003. Britain's FTSE 100 was flat at 7,325. U.S.

GOP health bill on the brink hours from House showdown vote

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The GOP's long-promised legislation to repeal and replace "Obamacare" stood on the brink just hours before Republican leaders planned to put it on the House floor for a showdown vote. Short of support, GOP leaders looked to President Donald Trump to close the deal with a crucial bloc of conservatives, in the first major legislative test of his young presidency.

Obama health law's 'essential benefits' may be in jeopardy

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Scrambling to nail down votes for the health care overhaul legislation, Republicans are considering ways to ease federal requirements that insurers cover such basic services as prescription drugs, maternity care and substance abuse treatment. Lawmakers emerging from a meeting late Wednesday of the conservative Freedom Caucus said "essential health benefits" are in play as party leaders and the White House explore ways to advance the bill.

Republican health bill would widen America's big wealth gap

WASHINGTON (AP) -- House Republicans' health care bill provides massive tax cuts to the wealthy while increasing taxes for many lower income families, adding to America's big income gap between the rich and everyone else. Over the past quarter century, only one group of people has seen significant increases in income -- those at the very top.

South Korea to inject $2.6 bln into ailing shipyard Daewoo

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- South Korea announced Thursday a fresh capital injection for Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., seeking to prevent the world's second-largest shipbuilder from defaulting on its debts. The injection of 2.9 trillion won ($2.6 billion) in additional loans will prevent Daewoo from going bankrupt when some of its debt matures next month, which could have had a damaging impact on the economy, the Financial Supervisory Commission said in a statement.

Obama health law's 'essential benefits' may be in jeopardy

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Scrambling to nail down votes for the House health care bill, Republicans are considering ways to ease federal requirements that insurers cover such basic services as prescription drugs, maternity care and substance abuse treatment. Lawmakers emerging from a meeting late Wednesday of the conservative Freedom Caucus said "essential health benefits" are in play as party leaders and the White House explore ways to advance the House legislation.

North Carolina editorial roundup

Recent editorials from North Carolina newspapers: ___ March 21 The News & Observer of Raleigh on "dark money" fundraising If you can't beat 'em, join 'em apparently is the new mantra for those of the Democratic political persuasion, who now are adopting tried-and-true methods of money-for-access fundraising by Republicans. It's not good and it frankly does not reflect well on Gov. Roy Cooper and his supporters.

Trump's SEC pick, a lawyer for Goldman, to face skepticism

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Goldman Sachs may be about to get another friend in Washington. Jay Clayton, a well-connected Wall Street lawyer who is President Donald Trump's pick to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission, is sure to face sharp questions from Democrats at his confirmation hearing Thursday over his years of work for Goldman and other financial giants.

AP Explains: A doctrine in focus at Neil Gorsuch's hearings

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Lawmakers questioning Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch at his Senate confirmation are asking about something called "Chevron deference." For the record, it is not about letting someone ahead of you in line at the gas station. But it is a legal concept Gorsuch has addressed as a judge on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver since 2006.

Ryan's legacy as speaker on line with health care vote

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The vote on the Republican health care bill is a defining moment for House Speaker Paul Ryan that could boost his aggressive agenda to overhaul the tax code and remake the federal government. Or send it off the rails. If he fails? "It will be very hard to manage this," the Wisconsin Republican told reporters ahead of Thursday's likely vote.

Leaders need votes for health bill on eve of House showdown

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The top Republican legislative priority in peril, President Donald Trump dangled possible changes to the health care bill Wednesday aimed at placating conservatives threatening to torpedo the legislation. The White House seemed to make progress with the hardliners while House leaders struggled with moderates ahead of a showdown vote.

Changes to GOP health proposal affect older adults, Medicaid

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republican leaders hope that the latest changes to their health care bill win enough votes to drive the legislation through the House later this week. It's looking tight. A major goal of the revisions, unveiled late Monday night, is to create more options for older adults dealing with high medical bills, whose costs in many cases would have gone up markedly under the previous GOP bill.

AP Explains: A doctrine in focus at Neil Gorsuch's hearings

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Lawmakers questioning Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch at his Senate confirmation are asking about something called "Chevron deference." For the record, it is not about letting someone ahead of you in line at the gas station. But it is a legal concept Gorsuch has addressed as a judge on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver since 2006.

Heartbreak and paperwork weigh on Brussels attack victims

BRUSSELS (AP) -- In the year since suicide bombings ripped through the Brussels airport and subway, those affected have found themselves fighting to be recognized as victims, battling for compensation, and dealing with insurance bureaucracy like seeking three price estimates for a prosthetic limb. The attacks killed 32 people and wounded more than 300; a year on, some 900 people now count themselves as victims and are seeking compensation.

Trump to GOP: Pass health care bill or seal your fate

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Time for talk running out, President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned wavering House Republicans that their jobs were on the line in next year's elections if they failed to back a GOP bill that would upend Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. The countdown quickened toward an expected vote Thursday on legislation undoing much of the law that has provided coverage to some 20 million Americans.

Ryan: More help for older people needed in GOP health bill

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Days before a pivotal vote, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Sunday he will seek changes to a GOP health care bill to provide more help to older people. The new willingness to compromise was a bid for more support from moderate Republicans, who expressed continuing unease about the plan to replace Barack Obama's health law unless significant changes were made.

For many older Americans, costs rise under GOP health plan

NEW RINGGOLD, Pa. (AP) -- Among the groups hardest hit by the Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act is one that swung for Donald Trump during last year's presidential race -- older Americans who have not yet reached Medicare age. Many of those who buy their own health insurance stand to pay a lot more for their coverage. That is especially true for the nearly 3.

AP FACT CHECK: A Washington week of bluster

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump's first spending plan for the government and a report by the Congressional Budget Office on Republican health care kicked up quite a fuss in Washington over the past week. Bold claims flew on those developments and more.

Trump administration wants freer hand to fire head of agency

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Trump administration is backing a court case that would make it easier for the president to fire the head of the government's consumer finance watchdog agency. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has taken enforcement actions against many financial companies, angering the industry and Republican lawmakers, who accuse it of overreaching its authority.

Ban on Irish butter sparks fight in butter-loving Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin resident Jean Smith snatches up entire stocks of her beloved Kerrygold Irish butter from stores when visiting family in Nebraska, thanks to an antiquated law in her dairy-obsessed state that bans it and any other butter that hasn't been graded for quality. "We bring back 20 bricks or so," Smith said, noting she plops a tablespoon of the Ireland-made butter into her tea each morning.