Trump administration readying final review of new vehicle fuel economy rules

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Trump administration officials defended their controversial proposal to freeze fuel efficiency requirements at 2020 levels at a congressional hearing on Thursday and said the proposal would be submitted to the White House for final review in the coming weeks. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler testifies before a House Energy and Commerce Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee hearing on the FY2020 EPA Budget on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 9, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas The administration has rebuffed requests from automakers and some…

Medic testifies at Navy SEAL trial he killed victim, not defendant

SAN DIEGO (Reuters) – A Navy SEAL medic testified on Thursday that he was responsible for the death of an Islamic State fighter – not the Navy SEAL defendant undergoing a court martial for war crimes – describing it as a mercy killing. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Navy SEAL Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher leaves court after the first day of jury selection at the court-martial trial at Naval Base San Diego in San Diego, California , U.S., June 17, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake Special Operator 1st Class Corey Scott, a SEAL…

U.S. Supreme Court to decide legality of Puerto Rico financial board appointments

The U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., U.S., June 17, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to decide whether members of Puerto Rico’s federally created financial oversight board were lawfully appointed in a dispute that could disrupt the panel’s restructuring of about $120 billion of the bankrupt U.S. commonwealth’s debt. The justices will hear an appeal by the board after a lower court ruled in February that the 2016 appointments of its seven members violated the U.S. Constitution because they were not confirmed…

Trump to issue executive order seeking transparency on healthcare costs: Wall Street Journal

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump reacts on stage formally kicking off his re-election bid with a campaign rally in Orlando, Florida, U.S., June 18, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump plans to issue an executive order on Monday asking health insurers and doctors to disclose new details about healthcare costs, in an attempt to improve price transparency, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter. The order will direct federal agencies to initiate regulations and guidance that could require insurers, doctors,…

Explainer: Two nights, 20 Democrats – What you should know about the first 2020 debate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – When 20 Democrats take the stage next week for the first of 12 prime-time presidential primary debates, they will assemble according to months-in-the-making plans by the Democratic National Committee to accommodate its largest-ever field. FILE PHOTO: Twenty 2020 Democratic presidential candidates who will participate in the party’s first debate in Miami later this month in a combination file photos (L-R top row): U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Michael Bennet, and Elizabeth Warren. (L-R middle row): Former U.S. Vice President Joe…

The Deciders: Meet the voters defining America’s politics

(Reuters) – A retiree worried about his granddaughter’s future in Pinellas County, Florida. A factory worker in Racine County, Wisconsin, who doubts politicians will improve her life as a single mother. A Boy Scout leader willing to cross party lines to revive his blue-collar town in Northampton County, Pennsylvania. A gay, Latino college student in Maricopa County, Arizona, preparing to cast his first presidential ballot. These voters live in some of the most competitive counties in America’s presidential battleground states, places set to play an outsized role in the 2020…

Trump administration replaces Obama-era power plant rule, in boost to coal

(Reuters) – The Trump administration finalized a new carbon emissions rule for U.S. power plants on Wednesday that it said could cut pollution without damaging the coal industry, replacing a much tougher Obama-era version to fight climate change. The move was a boost to coal companies facing tough competition from natural gas, solar and wind energy suppliers, but infuriated environmentalists and Democratic lawmakers who said the regulation was too weak to significantly reduce emissions and would put public health at risk. The so-called Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule gives states…

New York lawmakers pass aggressive law to fight climate change

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York state lawmakers passed early Thursday one of the nation’s most ambitious plans to slow climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. FILE PHOTO: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks before signing the Red Flag bill, also known as the Extreme Risk Protection Order bill, in New York, U.S., February 25, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton If signed into law, it would make New York the second U.S. state to aim for a carbon-neutral economy, following an executive order signed by then California…

Draft trades to watch: Why the fun could start as high as No. 4

8:04 AM ET Tim BontempsESPN NEW YORK — With a lack of consensus after the first three picks, Thursday’s NBA draft (7 p.m. ET on ESPN) comes with major questions surrounding potential trades throughout the first round. Last weekend’s Anthony Davis trade agreement between the New Orleans Pelicans and Los Angeles Lakers only added to those questions, with the Pelicans acquiring No. 4 overall and having significant interest in trade talks with teams about the pick, according to a report by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Then on Wednesday, the Memphis Grizzlies…

NBA comps for five elements of Zion’s extraordinary game

6:58 AM ET The NBA comparison game is tricky in any draft. No two players are identical, and it’s easy to talk yourself into or out of a prospect just because he reminds you of someone else. But for a player as unique as Duke’s Zion Williamson, comps are even more challenging. Williamson is this year’s consensus No. 1 pick, likely headed to the New Orleans Pelicans at the start of the 2019 NBA draft on Thursday (7 p.m. ET on ESPN). There’s also a strong case that he’s the…