Republican voters criticize health bill amid fears over pre-existing conditions

Matthew Frankic: ‘I am not for what they brought out.’ Photograph: Justin Gilliland for the Guardian Matthew Frankic, a health insurance broker and Republican voter, makes his living signing people up for the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. Since the law went into effect in 2014, he has seen flaws. Each year, health insurance in his section of southern Indiana has seemed to cost more, and fewer doctors and hospitals seemed to accept it. But he supported the unpopular Republican effort to reform the law until he heard…

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Health fears grow over fashionable ‘grumpy’ flat-faced cats

First it was dogs, now its flat faced cats who are paying the price of being in fashion. Persians, British and Exotic Shorthair cats are increasingly suffering from health problems because their characteristic shortened muzzle features have become more extreme through breeding. Vets have warned that this can lead to breathing difficulties, along with eye and skin infections, because of constricted nasal passages. In some cases the cats even have problems picking up food because of their flattened ‘grumpy’ faces. A recent study by researchers at the University of Edinburgh…

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German parents told to destroy Cayla dolls over hacking fears

An official watchdog in Germany has told parents to destroy a talking doll called Cayla because its smart technology can reveal personal data. The warning was issued by the Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur), which oversees telecommunications. Researchers say hackers can use an unsecure bluetooth device embedded in the toy to listen and talk to the child playing with it. But the UK Toy Retailers Association said Cayla “offers no special risk”. In a statement sent to the BBC, the TRA also said “there is no reason for alarm”. The Vivid…

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Trump defends Putin over Russia killings allegations

US President Donald Trump has defended Vladimir Putin when questioned over allegations of murders carried out by the Russian state. In an interview with Fox News, he said: “There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think? Our country’s so innocent?” Mr Trump said he respected President Putin and would prefer to “get along with him”. He said he wanted help from Russia in the fight against “Islamic terrorism”. Excerpts of the interview with Bill O’Reilly, carried out at Mr Trump’s Florida home,…

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DeVos Set to Take Over Education System Where Test Scores Have Stalled

If confirmed as education secretary by the U.S. Senate, Betsy DeVos will take over a national education system with an improving graduation rate but stagnant test scores, despite a reform effort under the Obama administration that pumped billions into the worst-performing schools. Ms. DeVos, President Donald Trump’s nominee, is awaiting a Senate committee vote Tuesday. She would likely maintain her commitment to expand the use of charter schools and vouchers for students to attend private school, a departure for a top administrator of an education system built largely on traditional public…

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Roy Cooper and NC Senate leader tangle over taxes and education spending

RALEIGH Gov. Roy Cooper and Senate leader Phil Berger opened the legislative session with a disagreement over education spending and taxes. Cooper was the guest Wednesday morning at the annual Eggs & Issues Breakfast sponsored by the Public School Forum of North Carolina. Public School Forum President and CEO Keith Poston interviewed Cooper before a live audience for the forum’s television show Education Matters. “Clearly we have to invest more in education, and that’s going to be at the top of my list as I prepare my budget,” Cooper said…

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White House vows to fight media ‘tooth and nail’ over Trump coverage

The White House vowed on Sunday to fight the news media “tooth and nail” over what it sees as unfair attacks, with a top adviser saying the Trump administration had presented “alternative facts” to counter low inauguration crowd estimates. On his first full day as president, Trump said he had a “running war” with the media and accused journalists of underestimating the number of people who turned out Friday for his swearing-in. White House officials made clear no truce was on the horizon on Sunday in television interviews that set…

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Michelle Obama’s fashion legacy and the style tips we’ve learned from her over the past eight years

Michelle Obama isn’t the only first lady since Jackie O to use fashion to define her public persona. But she’s indisputably the master and showed her class as she left the White House in an understated Jason Wu dress which left new First Lady Melania Trump to take centre stage – even if that Tiffany gift left her a little flustered. Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush and Hillary Clinton all knew the importance of style when it came to establishing substance. Nancy used her signature ‘Reagan Red’ to show her patriotism,…

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New Brunswick secures $230M more for health care from Ottawa over 10 years

New Brunswick has secured $230 million more for health care from the federal government over the next decade, Premier Brian Gallant announced today. The bilateral deal — the first reached since talks between federal and provincial governments broke down earlier this week — includes funding for home care and mental health, he said at a news conference in Fredericton. It represents an estimated annual increase of 4.1 per cent — “the middle ground” between the 3.5 per cent that the federal government had been offering and the provinces’ counter-offer of 5.2 per…

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Limerick city food bank runs out of supplies and turns over 100 people away

Update 7pm: The food bank at St John’s Pavilion in Limerick has run out after handing out 2,500 food bags to struggling families and individuals today. More than 100 people were turned away. “We ran out of food and we had to turn 150 people away,” said Lorraine Moroney, St Vincent de Paul. “We’re trying to organise a team to pack and distribute 300 more hampers tomorrow from 12pm-1pm,” she added. Earlier: Hundreds of people struggling to find money to feed themselves and their families queued in the cold and…

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