What to Know
- Forces are pushing to retake the last patch of ground in Mosul where Islamic State militants are holding on to a tiny sliver of the Old City
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first drug in nearly 20 years for sickle cell
- Singer Daddy Yankee ousted Ed Sheeran from the No. 1 spot on Spotify to become the first Latino artist to lead the music platform
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“Time to Move Forward” With Russia, Trump Says
President Trump said "it is time to move forward in working constructively with Russia" after his lengthy meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Germany. But he is still avoiding the question of whether he accepts Putin's denial that Russia was responsible for meddling in the 2016 election. Speaking in a series of tweets the morning after returning from a world leaders' summit in Germany, Trump said he "strongly pressed" Putin twice over Russian meddling during their meeting. Trump said that Putin "vehemently denied" the conclusions of American intelligence agencies that Russian hackers and propagandists tried to sway the election in Trump's favor. But Trump would not say whether he believed Putin, tweeting only that he's "already given my opinion." Trump has said he thinks Russia probably hacked the emails of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton staffers, but that "other people and/or countries" were likely involved as well. He said ahead of the meeting that, "Nobody knows for sure."
Iraqi Troops Push to Clear Last Mosul Ground of ISIS Militants
Iraqi forces are pushing to retake the last patch of ground in Mosul where Islamic State militants are holding on to a tiny sliver of the Old City, west of the Tigris River, a day after the prime minister visited soldiers to congratulate his troops on the hard-fought battle. Brig. Gen. Haider Fadhil of the Iraqi special forces says his men, closely backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes, are continuing to advance and clear territory in the Old City. Iraqi commanders say they believe hundreds of IS fighters remain inside the neighborhood and are using their families — including women and children — as human shields. Iraqi forces launched the operation to retake Mosul last October and began the weeks-long push through the Old City district in June.
GOP Governors to Party Senators: Do No Harm to Health Care
The pressure is on Republican senators — from congressional leaders, conservative groups and impatient GOP voters — to fulfill a seven-year-old promise to scrap much of Democrat Barack Obama's health care law. But back home, Republican governors who have experienced some of the upside of the law are warning their GOP senators to first, do no harm. For these governors, the issue is less about delivering a triumph to President Trump and more about not blowing a hole in state budgets and maintaining health care coverage for constituents. In the critical next few weeks, some governors are uniquely positioned to press home-state Republican senators who could deny Majority Leader Mitch McConnell the votes he needs to pass a Republican health care bill. "We are the voice of reality," Nevada GOP Gov. Brian Sandoval told The Associated Press. Sandoval said he has been in regular contact with Nevada Republican Sen. Dean Heller to discuss the ramifications of the evolving GOP plan. Heller, who faces a tough re-election next year, has joined Sandoval in opposing the current measure.
FDA Approves First New Drug in 20 Years for Sickle Cell
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first drug in nearly 20 years for sickle cell, an inherited disease in which abnormally shaped red blood cells can't properly carry oxygen throughout the body, which can cause severe pain and organ damage. About 100,000 people in the U.S., mostly blacks, have the disorder and about 275,000 babies are born with it each year worldwide. In a study, the new drug, Endari, cut the number of pain crises and dangerous chest complications, and reduced hospitalizations and the need for transfusions. It is made by a California company, Emmaus Medical Inc., and approved for adults and children 5 and older.
American Doctors Are Prescribing Fewer Opioids in Much, But Not All, of the Country, CDC Finds
Overall opioid prescription rates have been falling in recent years, but the powerful drugs have become more plentiful in more than 1 in 5 U.S. counties, a report finds. The amount of opioids prescribed fell 18 percent between 2010 and 2015. But researchers found local differences, with opioid prescribing six times higher in some counties than others. Rates vary "as much from place to place as the weather," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, acting director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It's the latest to show a decline in opioid prescribing as regulators and others have pushed doctors to cut back on issuing narcotic painkillers. The CDC last year issued the first guidelines to doctors aimed at discouraging prescribing opioids except in cases where they are most needed, like cancer and end-of-life care. Prescription opioids are behind the deadliest drug overdose epidemic in U.S. history. More than 52,000 Americans died of overdoses in 2015 — an all-time record — and experts believe the numbers have continued to rise.
Daddy Yankee Is No. 1 on Spotify; 1st Latin Artist to Do So
Singer Daddy Yankee ousted Ed Sheeran from the No. 1 spot on Spotify to become the first Latino artist to lead the music platform. The Puerto Rican superstar of reggaeton has hits that include "Gasolina," ''Shaky Shaky" and "Despacito," a song co-written with Luis Fonsi. He's surpassed 44,735,586 monthly listeners to reach the first global spot, Spotify announced in an email sent to The Associated Press. "Being the first Latin artist to reach #1 in Spotify marks a precedent not only for my career but for the industry in general," Daddy Yankee, whose real name is Ramón Luis Ayala Rodríguez, said in an email. "The musical digital revolution has unified the world and this is the proof. We are all in the same boat with no labels or stereotypes." He recalled that, when he started his career in 1992 in Puerto Rico, many didn't believe he would last more than three years, much less that he would become an international sensation.