Puerto Rico should rebuild power from scratch: U.S. Fed official

Puerto Rico should rebuild power from scratch: U.S. Fed officialPuerto Rico should "start from scratch" rebuilding its already outdated power infrastructure after deadly Hurricane Maria last year devastated it and left citizens marooned, the U.S. central banker overseeing the island territory said on Thursday. New York Fed President William Dudley did not comment on U.S. interest rates in a presentation of research on the effects of the storm that struck on Sept. 20. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, whose district includes the Caribbean island, said Maria wiped out about 4 percent of its jobs, the fifth-worst among U.S. disaster regions in recent decades.



Exclusive: U.S. official focused on election security being shoved aside

Exclusive: U.S. official focused on election security being shoved asideBy Dustin Volz WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The head of a federal agency who has helped U.S. states protect election systems from possible cyber attacks by Russia or others is being removed from his post by Republican House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan and the White House. Matthew Masterson, currently chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and a former Ohio state official, has been passed over for a second four-year term as one of the agency's four commissioners, according to sources familiar with the matter.



U.S. budget deal grants $1.5 billion for drug-affected babies, families

U.S. budget deal grants $1.5 billion for drug-affected babies, familiesA U.S. budget deal adopted by Congress on Friday includes what advocates call a landmark compromise to provide an estimated $1.5 billion over 10 years to try to keep struggling families together, including those with babies born dependent on opioids. The provision allows assistance on mental health, substance abuse and parenting whenever any child is deemed at imminent risk of entering foster care. The funding is part of a bipartisan budget deal passed by lawmakers which alleviates spending fights that marked President Donald Trump's first year in office, but sets the stage for a battle over immigration and exploding deficits ahead of November's congressional elections.



NRA chief slams anti-gun 'elites' after Florida school massacre

NRA chief slams anti-gun 'elites' after Florida school massacreBy Roberta Rampton and Makini Brice WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The head of the National Rifle Association lashed out at gun control advocates on Thursday, saying Democratic elites are politicizing the latest mass school shooting in the United States to try to erode constitutionally guaranteed gun rights. NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre echoed President Donald Trump's call to arm teachers to prevent school shootings, and weighed into a long-running political and cultural divide over access to weapons that has been inflamed by last week's massacre at a Florida high school that killed 17 students and staff.



U.S. charges more than 250 in elder fraud scam crackdown

U.S. charges more than 250 in elder fraud scam crackdownMore than 250 people were charged in a major U.S. crackdown on elder fraud scams that victimized over 1 million people and led to $500 million in losses, the Justice Department announced on Thursday. The scams included the use of mass mailing, telemarketing and investment frauds as well as identity theft and theft by guardians, the department said in a statement announcing the criminal and civil charges. "Today is only the beginning. I have directed department prosecutors to coordinate with both domestic law enforcement partners and foreign counterparts to stop these criminals from exploiting our seniors," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said.





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