Update on the latest news, sports, business and entertainment:
The Latest: Hawaii seeks ‘close family’ clarification
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin says he’s concerned the Trump administration may be violating the U.S. Supreme Court’s travel ban ruling.
The travel ban temporarily barring some citizens of six majority-Muslim countries from coming into the United States went into effect Thursday. The new rules stop people from Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Iran and Libya from getting a visa to the United States unless they have a “bona fide” relationship with a close relative, school or business in the U.S.
Chin says many of the people that the federal government decided to exclude are considered “close family” in Hawaii.
A federal judge in Hawaii is expected to issue a ruling on Hawaii’s motion asking for clarification that the administration can’t enforce the ban against fiancés or relatives not defined by the administration guidelines.
The Latest: Fox is giving Trump tweets a tough look
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s tweets are getting tough coverage at Fox News Channel, a usually friendly media outlet.
Anchor Shepard Smith led his afternoon newscast with Trump’s actions, which he said “some critics are calling sexist cyberbullying.”
He interviewed “MediaBuzz” host Howard Kurtz, who noted that Trump frequently punches back at critics, but said, “This is a punch where he has actually wounded himself.”
Kurtz said, “It’s perfectly clear to people who are not paid to defend him that he crossed a line.” He said the White House can’t blame the media for harsh coverage since it brought the issue on itself.
Smith also took the unusual step of reading three emails from viewers who criticized him for his coverage of the story.
He said one reader wrote on social media that “Shep is a liberal hemorrhoid” who would better fit on MSNBC.
Iraqi Prime Minister declares end to IS caliphate
MOSUL, Iraq (AP) — Iraq’s Prime Minister is declaring an end to the Islamic State group’s self-proclaimed caliphate after Iraqi forces captured the compound of a landmark mosque in Mosul that was blown up last week.
Haider al-Abadi says “we are seeing the end of the fake Daesh state ... we will not relent, our brave forces will bring victory,” according to a statement posted to Twitter Thursday where he used the Arabic acronym for IS.
The retaking of the al-Nuri mosque is a hugely symbolic win. The site is where IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made his only public appearance in July 2014, declaring an Islamic “caliphate” on territory captured in Iraq and Syria.
Iraqi and coalition officials say IS fighters blew up the site last week, but IS blames a U.S. air strike for the destruction.
The advances Thursday come as the Iraqi troops are pushing deeper into the Old City, a densely populated neighborhood west of the Tigris River where IS fighters are making their last stand in Iraq’s second-largest city.
CONGRESS-HEALTH OVERHAUL-THE LATEST
The Latest: Auditor predicts 35 percent Medicaid cut by 2036
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Congressional Budget Office says Medicaid cuts in the Senate Republican health care bill would take a 35 percent bite off the program’s projected spending by 2036.
That’s a deeper cut than the nonpartisan office has projected for 2026. That year’s reduction would be 26 percent below projections under current law.
The report released Thursday does not quantify how many fewer people the health care program for the poor and disabled would cover in 2036 due to proposed GOP cuts. It says enrollment “would continue to fall” compared to current law.
CBO has estimated the Republican bill would mean 15 million fewer Medicaid recipients by 2026. It now covers over 70 million.
The Senate bill would impose several cuts on Medicaid, including a slower annual growth rate starting in 2025.
Trump lauds bills targeting illegal immigration
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is hailing passage of two House bills that seek to crack down on illegal immigration, a key priority for the president and his voting base.
One bill would strip federal dollars from self-proclaimed “sanctuary” cities that shield residents from federal immigration authorities. A separate measure would stiffen punishments for people who re-enter the U.S. illegally. The House approved both bills on Thursday.
Trump is urging the Senate to follow the House’s lead, saying that implementation of the policies “will make our communities safer.”
Trump says he is “calling on all lawmakers to vote for these bills and to save American lives.”
Democrats counter that the bills are feel-good measures intended to make lawmakers look tough on crime and would not have the intended affect.
WESTERN WILDFIRES-THE LATEST
The Latest: Colorado fire grows; more evacuations possible
DURANGO, Colo. (AP) — A wildfire in southwestern Colorado has grown to about 360 acres (145 hectares), and residents of a half-dozen subdivisions have been told to be ready to evacuate.
The Durango Herald reports some residents who had already left their homes were escorted back in Thursday to retrieve belongings, livestock and pets.
One house has been destroyed and about 170 have been evacuated near the fire outside Durango. A campground was also evacuated.
The fire was reported Wednesday. Firefighter spokesman Scot Davis said investigators had not determined the source because the ground was too hot for them to safely examine the area.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper declared a disaster emergency earlier Thursday, allowing the National Guard to help if needed. The state also sent aircraft to help ground crews.
The Latest: Critics: Pope must do more to confront sex abuse
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Vatican analysts say Pope Francis is now facing pressure to make good on promises to forcefully confront the sex abuse crisis after his top financial adviser was charged in his native Australia with multiple criminal counts of sexual assault years ago.
Cardinal George Pell says he is taking a leave of absence as the Vatican’s finance czar after Australian police charged him with multiple counts of “historical” sexual assault. Pell appeared before reporters on Thursday to deny the accusations and denounce what he called a “relentless character assassination.”
Anne Barrett Doyle of BishopAccountability.org, an online archive of clerical sex abuse documents, said she was surprised by the charges “simply because of their boldness.”
In an email to The Associated Press, she said: “Some say Pell is being scapegoated. While Pell undeniably is the poster boy for the Australian church’s wrongdoing, false allegations are relatively rare.”
Science Says: Pregnant or trying? Don’t let Zika guard down
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Zika virus may not seem as big a threat as last summer but don’t let your guard down — especially if you’re pregnant or trying to be.
While cases of the birth defect-causing virus have dropped sharply from last year’s peak in parts of Latin America and the Caribbean, Zika hasn’t disappeared from the region and remains a potential threat.
It’s hard to predict how much risk people face in locales with smoldering infection, or if cases might spike again. For now, pregnant women still are being urged not to travel to a country or area with even a few reported cases of Zika, because the consequences can be disastrous for a fetus’ brain.
Greta Van Susteren out as MSNBC host
NEW YORK (AP) — Greta Van Susteren has lost her nightly show on MSNBC, not quite six months after she started at the network.
Van Susteren tweeted Thursday afternoon that “I am out at MSNBC.” The network confirmed it, and said she will be replaced at the 6 p.m. hour by a show hosted by Ari Melber.
Van Susteren started her nightly show on MSNBC on Jan. 9. She was a longtime host at Fox News Channel, but left the network last summer. She’s had the cable news hat trick: programs on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC.