Former senator, ex-GOP chairman elected to UNC board

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The North Carolina Senate has elected a recent colleague and a former state Republican Party chairman to the University of North Carolina Board of Governors. Former Sen. Bob Rucho of Matthews and Tom Fetzer of Wilmington were among six elected Wednesday to four-year terms on the panel, which oversees the UNC system's 17 campuses. Rucho served in the Senate over two decades before declining to seek re-election last year.

Editorial Roundup: Excerpts from recent editorials

Excerpts from recent editorials in the United States and abroad: ___ March 29 The Telegraph, UK, on Britain formally beginning the process to leave the European Union: This is a historic day for Britain. Today, a UK government triggers Article 50 and begins the process of Brexit. And so the country enters a period of negotiation that, early signs suggest, will be tough, even acrimonious. But the goal is worth some hard work.

After setback, abortion foes keep pressing Congress to act

NEW YORK (AP) -- The collapse of the Republican health care overhaul was a sharp setback for anti-abortion leaders, whose hopes of halting federal funding to Planned Parenthood were derailed. But they continue to pursue that goal and also are pushing for a federal ban on most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Democratic Rep. appears ready to announce challenge to Cruz

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas said Wednesday he is preparing for a campaign announcement in El Paso and insisted GOP Sen. Ted Cruz is beatable. "He's been running for president for four years while he should have been serving the people in Texas," said the 44-year-old third-term congressman, who would enter next year's contest against Cruz as a considerable underdog in Republican-leaning Texas.

Poll: Americans dislike GOP's, Trump's plan on health care

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Note to President Donald Trump and House Republicans: People really don't like your approach to overhauling America's health care. If you're hoping to revive the effort, you may want to try something different. Sixty-two percent of Americans turned thumbs down on Trump's handling of health care during the initial weeks of his presidency, according to a poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research released Wednesday.

The Latest: Judges won't delay confirmation during appeals

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The Latest on the confirmation hearing for North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper's choice to lead the Department of Health and Human Services (all times local): 1:15 p.m. A panel of trial court judges won't delay enforcement of their ruling earlier this month that upheld a new law directing the North Carolina Senate to subject Gov. Roy Cooper's Cabinet secretaries to confirmation hearings and votes.

Priebus a central figure in Trump's White House drama

WASHINGTON (AP) -- In the behind-the-scenes drama of who's up and who's down in Donald Trump's White House, chief of staff Reince Priebus is playing a starring role. Priebus, a genial Midwesterner with deep ties to the Republican establishment that Trump toppled, has faced questions about his future since the day he set foot in the West Wing.

House sends bill to Trump blocking online privacy regulation

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Congress has sent President Donald Trump legislation that would kill an online privacy regulation, a move that could eventually allow internet providers such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon to sell the browsing habits of their customers. The Federal Communications Commission rule issued in October was designed to give consumers greater control over how internet service providers share information.

Veteran SC senator free on bond on misconduct allegations

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Long-time South Carolina Sen. John Courson was allowed to remain free on bond Wednesday as he fights charges he pocketed more than $130,000 in campaign donations, the latest development in an ongoing probe into corruption in South Carolina's Statehouse. The 72-year-old Columbia Republican said nothing during his brief bond hearing in Richland County, an area he has represented in the Legislature for more than 30 years.

The Latest: Another effort at 'bathroom bill' fix fizzles

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The Latest on efforts at the North Carolina legislature to repeal or replace a state law limiting LGBT protections and which public restrooms transgender people can use (all times local): 8 p.m. Another effort to craft legislation to get rid of North Carolina's "bathroom's bill" and halt more economic losses appears gone as Republicans and Democrats point fingers over whether an agreement ever existed. The GOP-controlled legislature and Democratic Gov.

Iowa Republicans back 'fetal heartbeat' abortion legislation

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Republicans in the Iowa Legislature are backing newly filed legislation that would ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which would be the strictest ban in the country if enacted. A GOP-led House committee had been set to vote on the provision Tuesday night but lawmakers later adjourned without a decision. It's expected to be taken up again Wednesday.

House votes to block Obama-era online privacy rule

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The House voted Tuesday to block online privacy regulations issued during the final months of the Obama administration, a first step toward allowing internet providers such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon to sell the browsing habits of their customers. The Federal Communications Commission rule was designed to give consumers greater control over how internet service providers share information.

House GOP blocks effort by Democrats to obtain Trump's taxes

WASHINGTON (AP) -- House Republicans on Tuesday blocked more attempts by Democrats to obtain President Donald Trump's tax returns from the IRS. House Democrats tried for a third and a fourth time to use procedural votes to pry loose Trump's returns. Republicans blocked both efforts, one on the House floor and the other in the House Ways and Means Committee. The House voted 228-190 on a mostly party-line vote to block the Democrats' effort.

Lawmakers in Republican-led Kansas vote to expand Medicaid

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- Kansas' Republican-controlled Legislature approved an expansion Tuesday of state health coverage to thousands of poor adults under former President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, days after the collapse of GOP leaders' repeal effort in Washington. The bill would expand the state's Medicaid program for the poor, disabled and elderly so that it would cover up to 180,000 additional adults who aren't disabled. It now heads to conservative Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.

In Trump's White House drama, Priebus is favorite target

WASHINGTON (AP) -- In the behind-the-scenes drama of who's up and who's down in Donald Trump's White House, chief of staff Reince Priebus is playing a starring role. Priebus, a genial Midwesterner with deep ties to the Republican establishment that Trump toppled, has faced questions about his future since the day he set foot in the White House.

McConnell confident Dems won't keep Gorsuch off high court

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A showdown loomed over President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Tuesday as the number of Democrats opposing Judge Neil Gorsuch grew to more than 25. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pledged Gorsuch would be confirmed next week regardless of the Democratic opposition. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Senate Democrat, was joined Tuesday by more than half-a-dozen other senators who announced their intention to vote against Gorsuch.

The Latest: Ryan says funding bill avoids shutdown fight

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Latest on House Republicans and health care, tax cuts and other issues (all times local): 11:30 a.m. Speaker Paul Ryan says next month's governmentwide funding bill should not get ensnared with a fight over taking federal money away from Planned Parenthood. The Wisconsin Republican says "defunding" Planned Parenthood belongs on legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

White House calls for domestic cuts to finance border wall

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump is proposing immediate budget cuts of $18 billion from programs like medical research, infrastructure and community grants so U.S. taxpayers, not Mexico, can cover the down payment on the border wall. The White House documents were submitted to Congress amid negotiations over a catchall spending bill that would avert a partial government shutdown at the end of next month. The package would wrap up $1.