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February 28, 2017

First Line News Articles for Tuesday, February 28 2017

Top Stories

Feds Rescind Opposition to Key Part of Texas Voter ID Law

The U.S. Justice Department said Monday it is abandoning its longstanding opposition to a key aspect of Texas’ toughest-in-the-nation voter ID law, costing voting rights groups their most important ally and possibly encouraging other conservative states to toughen their own election rules with President Donald Trump in charge.

Trump seeking $54B increase in defense spending, cuts elsewhere

President Trump plans to seek what he’s calling a “historic” $54 billion increase in defense spending, while pursuing cuts elsewhere in the federal government, as part of his upcoming budget plan.

Iraq army seizes key Mosul bridge in ISIS battle

The Iraqi army says it has recaptured a bridge across the River Tigris in west Mosul, where fierce battles are ongoing to oust ISIS of its last bastion in Iraq.

Intel chairman says no evidence yet of Trump campaign contacts with Russia

House intelligence committee Chairman Devin Nunes said Monday he’s not see any evidence so far that Trump campaign officials had any contacts with Russian officials, contradicting public reports.

LDS News

Officials: No survivors in plane crash involving Sandy bishop, 2 children

Officials have confirmed there are no survivors in a plane crash involving an LDS Church bishop from Sandy and his two young children.

Faith and forgiveness after Sandy Hook

Parents of a 6-year-old girl murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School relived their story of grief and forgiveness at Astoria’s Mormon Church on Saturday, offering a personal example of striving to make sense of tragedy through the teachings of their faith.

Graduate Misses Late Dad Who Motivated Her To Aim High

Asenaca Delalbarki Ramasima yesterday wished her father was alive to see her graduate from Brigham Young University, Laie, Hawaii.

Mormon missionaries seek to engage OU students

Armed with a smile and the words “Jesus Christ” stamped boldly on their name tags, Kali Cook and Bo Unga walk around campus every day to share their beliefs with the OU community.

Face to Face with President Henry B. Eyring and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will go “Face to Face” with youth around the world during a special broadcast on March 4.

National

Pentagon delivers plan to speed up fight against Islamic State that may boost US troop presence in Syria

Following up on President Donald Trump’s request, Defense Secretary James Mattis on Monday delivered a preliminary plan on how step up the fight against Islamic State — a plan likely to include more U.S. troops as well as further steps to tighten the screws on the terror group’s funding.

Trump looks to refocus his presidency in address to Congress

President Donald Trump’s first address to Congress gives him a welcome opportunity to refocus his young administration on the core economic issues that helped him get elected – and, his allies hope, to move beyond the distractions and self-inflicted wounds that have roiled his White House.

Trump’s Pentagon plans in flux after Navy secretary nominee withdraws

Having now lost two of his three picks to become the military’s next service secretaries, it appears increasingly likely that President Donald Trump won’t have his top team in place at the Pentagon before summer. As a result, several related nominations could be caught in limbo, unable to move ahead until these more visible vacancies are filled.

2 rescued after plane crashes into Colorado reservoir

Two people were extricated after a plane crashed into a reservoir in Larimer County on Monday morning, the Berthoud Fire Department said.

Obama loyalists suspected of ‘sabotage’ with leak of travel ban report

Trump administration officials believe that a Department of Homeland Security report that undercut the president’s position on his travel ban was drafted with the express intent of leaking it to the press, a source close to the department says.

Chinese investments spark bipartisan bills to reform secret oversight panel

Bipartisan worries about China’s sudden investment surge in the United States has prompted new legislation that would strengthen an obscure and secretive agency that has the power to block foreign acquisitions of U.S. companies.

After anti-Trump protests, the president’s fans organize their own rallies

Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump are holding rallies in towns and cities across the country on Monday, partly as a rebuttal to waves of anti-Trump protests that have taken place since the Republican’s election last November.

Bomb threats target Jewish centers, schools in several U.S. states

The Anti-Defamation League on Monday said there were reports of bomb threats targeting Jewish community centers and schools in several U.S. states.

Bush breaks silence on Trump, urges ‘welcoming’ immigration policy

Former President George W. Bush offered what appeared to be a thinly veiled critique of his Republican successor on Monday, as he defended the importance of the media and immigration policies that are “welcoming.”

Trump: ‘Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated’

President Trump on Monday said Republicans are working out a “very good” plan to repeal and replace Obamacare before the party tackles tax reform, though he appeared to be caught off-guard by the magnitude of the fight.

World

Trump, China’s top diplomat, discuss cooperation, possible Xi meeting

U.S. President Donald Trump, who has attacked China on issues from trade to the South China Sea, held his first face-to-face talks with a member of the Chinese leadership on Monday, and the White House said it was a chance to discuss shared security interests and a possible meeting with President Xi Jinping.

Israel aircraft attack Hamas targets after rocket fired from Gaza

Israeli aircraft carried out a series of strikes in Gaza on Monday, wounding two people, health officials and witnesses said, after a rocket fired from the Palestinian territory struck southern Israel.

China arrests 800 in crackdown on underground banking

More than 800 people have been arrested in a crackdown on unlicensed banking operations as Beijing tries to stem outflows of money from the country, the police ministry says.

U.N. Envoy Gets Strict at Syria Talks

Like a headmaster addressing rowdy pupils, the United Nations envoy for Syria began peace talks in Geneva last week by telling the warring parties to behave and show respect.

South Korea calls for action against North Korean leadership

South Korea called on Monday for major powers to criminally pursue North Korea’s leadership before its “ever-worsening” human rights record including mass executions and forced labor threatened world peace.

German hostage beheaded by Abu Sayyaf militants in Philippines

A German man has been beheaded by Abu Sayyaf militants in the southern Philippines after a deadline to pay his ransom passed.

Business

FCC Chairman Says Doesn’t Expect Agency to Review AT&T-Time Warner

The Federal Communications Commission’s new chairman, Ajit Pai, said he doesn’t expect the agency to have a role in reviewing AT&T Inc.’s $85 billion takeover of Time Warner Inc.

Walmart Takes a Hatchet to Its Grocery Prices as It Declares War on Aldi and Kroger

For a lot of cash-strapped shoppers, prices at Walmart (WMT) can’t be beat…except the retail giant thinks they can.

Science

Cause of most US wildfires traced to people, study finds

People have triggered five out of six wildfires in the U.S. over the last two decades, tripling the length of the wildfire season and making it start earlier in the East and last longer in the West, a new study finds.

Moon shot! SpaceX announces plans to send 2 ‘private citizens’ around moon

Not since 1972 and the Apollo 17 mission has an astronaut been anywhere close to the moon. But that may be set to change next year.