Montenegro at crossroads: toward the West, or back to Russia

BAR, Montenegro (AP) -- Aspiring NATO member Montenegro is hardly a formidable military force -- the tiny country's four military jets are up for sale and its two operational warships hardly ever leave their home port. With its 2,000-strong army, the scenic country -- squeezed between towering mountains and the Adriatic Sea -- would hardly boost the West's defense in any confrontation with Russia.

AP Explains: How GOP health care plan would turn into law

Republicans leaders want to push their bill repealing and replacing much of the 2010 health care law through Congress by April. But the GOP must navigate a complicated path to get the proposal to President Donald Trump's desk. ___ WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? GOP leaders say the House will consider the bill Thursday. Three House committees -- Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and Budget --already moved the legislation ahead.

Trump going outside Washington for support on health bill

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- President Donald Trump is deploying an outside and inside strategy to fulfill his campaign promise to repeal and replace "Obamacare," seeking support beyond Washington before making an in-person pitch on Capitol Hill. Top House Republicans unveiled proposed changes in their legislation in hopes of winning support, three days before the big House vote. Trump rallied supporters Monday night in Louisville, Kentucky, alongside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

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.

Trump escapes the Beltway as challenges mount

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- President Donald Trump is returning to the road, rallying supporters to recapture the enthusiasm of his campaign and reassuring them about his tumultuous early days in the White House. It's a welcome distraction for a president whose first months in office have been dominated by self-inflicted controversy and roadblocks, courtesy of federal courts and a divided Congress.

The Latest: Trump optimistic on new health law

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Latest on the Republican health care plan (all times local): 2:30 p.m. President Donald Trump says he expects the House Republican health plan will be passed "substantially pretty quickly." Speaking at a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel Friday, Trump calls it a "great plan" and says it is "getting more and more popular with the Republican base, the conservative base and with people generally.

GOP senator complicates Trump, Ryan efforts on health care

WASHINGTON (AP) -- One of the loudest critics of GOP health legislation is not a Democrat or even a conservative rebel, but a Republican loyalist and staunch defender of President Donald Trump. Freshman Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas is not known for clashing with leadership or plotting with conservative trouble-makers in the House, as Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas are wont to do.

Correction: Congress-Health Overhaul story

WASHINGTON (AP) -- In a story March 17 about the House Republican health care bill, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., is a freshman from the Hudson River Valley. He is a second-term lawmaker from upstate New York.

GOP Sen. Paul calls colleague McCain 'a little bit unhinged'

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sen. Rand Paul called fellow Republican Sen. John McCain "a little bit unhinged" Thursday after McCain had said "the senator from Kentucky is now working for Vladimir Putin," the Russian president. He also said McCain, who is 80, may be "past his prime." The discord between two senators from the same party is remarkable even in the current political environment. Paul's comments came in an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe.

Health bill short of votes, GOP leaders look to Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Short of votes for their health care bill, Republican congressional leaders turned to President Donald Trump on Thursday to wrangle support for the divisive legislation they hope to push through Congress before Easter. But Trump sounded more like he was at the start of a negotiation than ready to close the deal.

Pence appeals for complete GOP support for health overhaul

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Vice President Mike Pence appealed for total GOP congressional support for a White House-backed health overhaul during a brief visit Saturday to Kentucky, where the Republican governor and junior senator are among the plan's skeptics. "This is going to be a battle in Washington, D.C.

For Kentucky voters, a familiar fight: Trump vs. Paul

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- Duard Rutledge voted for Donald Trump and Rand Paul for the same reason: They're not afraid of a fight. That's why the 66-year-old retired Toyota worker wasn't worried to see Kentucky's junior senator getting in the way of the Republican plan to replace Obama's health care law. "When you get two thoroughbreds, they are high strung," he said.

BC-AP News Coverage Advisory 10:15,ADVISORY

Good morning! Here's a look at how AP's general news coverage is shaping up today. Some plans are subject to change; see the 2 p.m. News Digest for updates. You can find our contact info at the bottom of this advisory. All times EST. ------------- HIGHLIGHTING: ------------- Among today's coverage highlights as we see them at 10:15 a.m.

AP Explains: How to transform GOP health care plan into law

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republicans' long-awaited plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act has cleared a couple hurdles in the House. The GOP still must navigate a complicated path to turn its 123-page proposal from legislation to law. A look at the process and the politics: ___ WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? Republicans have set an aggressive timetable for moving the bill.

The Latest: Pence: current health care law bad for business

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Latest on the health care debate as Congress begins work on a GOP-drafted overhaul (all times EST): 1:30 p.m. Vice President Mike Pence says former President Barack Obama's health care law is making it difficult for businesses to grow and the Trump administration will bring the "Obamacare nightmare" to an end.

After harsh campaign words, Trump reaching out to ex-rivals

WASHINGTON (AP) -- After months rehashing the GOP primary campaign and bragging about his victory, President Donald Trump has begun reaching out to former rivals whose help he now needs. The latest on his list is Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who has said he has significant concerns about the health care bill Trump wants Congress to pass.

GOP health care bill is critical first test for Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) -- As conservatives revolt over Republican health care legislation, Donald Trump faces a crucial first test of his presidency: Can he translate his bully pulpit and popularity with conservative voters into a legislative win? For Trump, it is a new arena five rocky weeks into his presidency. Thus far his accomplishments have been carried out mostly via executive authority or appointments ratified by the Senate, often overshadowed by self-inflicted distraction.

A look at the opposing sides on the GOP health care bill

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A look at opposing sides as Congress considers proposed Republican changes to the Obama administration health law. ___ SUPPORTING THE BILL: President Donald Trump: "We're going to do something that's great and I'm proud to support the replacement plan released by the House of Representatives.