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July 26 (UPI) — A “skinny repeal” of the Affordable Care Act proposed by Republicans would leave 16 million more people uninsured over a course of 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The CBO estimate, which was requested by Democrats, also estimated premiums would rise 20 percent more than what the current rising rate. CNBC reported that the CBO estimate looked at key provisions Republicans have proposed in its downsized repeal effort, including a stop to the ACA’s individual mandate, which financially penalizes people who don’t have health insurance; an end to requiring employers of a certain size to provide health insurance coverage to employees; eliminating the medical device tax; de-funding Planned Parenthood; and ending the Prevention and Public Health Fund. The skinny repeal drew widespread criticism from members of various political persuasions after the CBO estimate was released. “A vote for ‘skinny repeal’ is a vote to take health insurance from 16 …

HONOLULU –  A judge on Wednesday sentenced a Hawaii man to four years in prison for harassing a pregnant Hawaiian monk seal. Hawaiian monk seals are among the world’s most critically endangered marine mammals. There are about 1,400 in the wild. Shylo Kaena Akuna harassed the seal in April 2016 at Kauai’s Salt Pond Beach Park, said Kauai Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar. KHON-TV reported previously that bystanders recorded video showing a man wading into the water, swinging at the endangered animal and possibly throwing sand at it. “Akuna was apparently highly intoxicated at the time,” Kollar said in a statement. “Animal abuse is often a precursor to other types of violence and cannot be tolerated in our community.” The seal gave birth to a female pup about a week after the incident, Kollar said. Akuna was sentenced to a year in jail last month for the unrelated theft and slaughter of a goat. He also …

July 26 (UPI) — At least one man is dead and seven injured after a ride malfunction at the Ohio State Fair, according to reports. The Columbus Fire Division said the victims were thrown from the Fire Ball ride Wednesday night, reported the Columbus Dispatch. The deceased victim was killed immediately upon impact. The seven injured were taken to two nearby hospitals. Five were in critical condition and two were in stable condition. One of the injured is a 13-year-old girl, reported WSYX. CFD Battalion Chief Steve Martin told WCMH that one of the rows on the Fire Ball ride “snapped off,” leading to the accident. All rides in the State Fair have been closed. “I am terribly saddened by this accident, by the loss of life and that people were injured enjoying Ohio’s fair,” said Ohio Gov. John Kasich. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to those grieving and injured. I have ordered a …

At least one person was killed after an accident involving a ride at the Ohio State Fair on Wednesday, Fox News has confirmed. As many as seven other people were hurt, one of them critically, Fox 28 reported, adding that the ride experienced a malfunction. The Ohio Highway Patrol told Fox News investigators were at the scene. Related Image Expand / Collapse Twitter/@eckardbills One of the injured is a 13-year-old girl, the news station added. Some or all of the victims are reported to have been tossed from the ride, Battalion Chief Steve Martin said, according to The Columbus Dispatch. Crews shut down other rides at the fair. Gov. John Kasich reacted: “I am terribly saddened by this accident, by the loss of life and that people were injured enjoying Ohio’s fair. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those grieving and injured. I have ordered a full investigation into this incident and have ordered that all fair …

July 26 (UPI) — The Transportation Security Administration announced Wednesday that it will require passengers to remove all electronics bigger than a cellphone, such as tablets and e-readers, from their carry-on bags due to an “increased threat to aviation security.” The electronics will have to be placed in a bin and put through an X-ray screener, similar to how laptops are currently handled. The TSA said it has been doing pilot testing of the increased screening at 10 airports across the country and will eventually expand to all U.S. airports in the coming months. In addition, TSA said passengers could experience more bag checks when going through security, but said it has improved “screening procedures with quicker and more targeted measures to clear the bags.” “It is critical for TSA to constantly enhance and adjust security screening procedures to stay ahead of evolving threats and keep passengers safe,” said TSA Acting Administrator Huban A. Gowadia. …

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. –  A sculpture illustrating the incomplete progress in the push for educational equality will go on display next month outside Little Rock Central High School to commemorate the 60th anniversary of its historic desegregation, officials announced Wednesday. The statue, titled “United,” features two people raising their arms and holding two large rings that don’t quite interlock. Officials say the image demonstrates the work still to be done toward guaranteeing educational rights for students of diverse backgrounds. Nine students, known as the “Little Rock Nine,” were escorted into the formerly all-white school by 101st Airborne Division soldiers on Sept. 25, 1957, after Gov. Orval Faubus had used the National Guard to keep the students out. The school’s desegregation took place three years after a U.S. Supreme Court landmark Brown vs. Board of Education decision that declared school racial segregation as unconstitutional. Park Ranger Jodi Morris told The Associated Press that the eight members …

July 26 (UPI) — A group of Senate Democrats marked the 27th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act by speaking out against Republican efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act on the steps of the Supreme Court on Wednesday. Sens. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, held the news conference hours before the full Senate would vote 55-45 against a measure to fully repeal the ACA — also known as Obamacare — and delay its replacement. Duckworth, who lost both legs while serving in the military, compared the fight for the ADA in 1990 to the one she and other Democrats are facing to protect the ACA. She said potentially losing Obamacare affects everyone, not just people with pre-existing conditions. “It affects people who are young and invincible and without pre-existing conditions,” Duckworth said. “I was that invincible person, I was …

RICHMOND, Va. –  Authorities have identified a Virginia man who police killed after officials say the shirtless, kilt-wearing man attacked an officer with a small ax. Richmond police identified the man Wednesday as 23-year-old Alexander J. Schoessel of Chester. Police and witnesses say that before he was shot on Tuesday, Schoessel had been walking around downtown with an ax and a long knife, wearing nothing but a kilt and combat-style boots. Police say officers tried to get the man to drop his weapons, but he wouldn’t comply and instead attacked police, prompting Officers Nicholas Pechstein and Joshua Sanborn to fire their weapons. Authorities say Officer John Rotondi was caught in the line of fire, as a bullet hit his protective vest. Rotondi has been released from the hospital.

DETROIT –  The Latest on charges against a former Fiat Chrysler executive, who is accused of making payments to a union official (all times local): 3:25 p.m. Fiat Chrysler says the company and the United Automobile Workers union are victims in a criminal investigation of illegal payments to a union official. The company says it had no advance knowledge of Al Iacobelli’s (Eye-co-BELLY’) alleged payments to UAW vice president General Holiefield and Holiefield’s wife, Monica Morgan. Fiat Chrysler says Iacobelli and another employee were “promptly” fired in 2015 when the company obtained “credible evidence of wrongdoing.” The company says it is cooperating fully with federal authorities. Iacobelli was Fiat Chrysler’s vice president for labor relations. He’s charged with giving $1.2 million in various gifts to Holiefield and Holiefield’s wife. Holiefield negotiated with Fiat Chrysler on behalf of UAW. He died in 2015. ___ 2:12 p.m. A former Fiat Chrysler executive has been charged in Detroit …

July 26 (UPI) — A sick employee spread a viral illness that sickened at least 135 customers at a Chipotle in Virginia, the latest outbreak affecting the restaurant chain. Chipotle closed down the Sterling, Va., restaurant for two days starting July 17 after customers became sickened. Chipotle conducted an investigation to determine the cause of the highly contagious illness. CEO Steve Ells said the company’s sick policy was violated, CNN reported. “We believe someone was working while sick,” Ells said Tuesday in a call with Wall Street analysts. Ells said the company’s employees will undergo “relentless training” to reinforce that they cannot work while contagious, meeting current protocols he called “excellent.” “We took swift action and made it clear to the entire company that we have a zero-tolerance policy for not following these protocols,” Ells said. “Compliance with our procedures is non-negotiable and a condition of their employment.” The company revealed Wednesday that the Food …

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