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News Wrap: Appeals court strikes down ACA individual mandate

In our news wrap Wednesday, a federal appeals court struck down part of the Affordable Care Act but stopped short of throwing out the entire law. The three-judge panel agreed with a lower court that the individual mandate to buy health insurance is unconstitutional. Also, a New York judge dropped state charges of mortgage fraud against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

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  • John Yang:

    There is other news tonight.

    A federal appeals court struck down part of Obamacare today, but it stopped short of throwing out the entire law. The three-judge panel in New Orleans today agreed with a lower court in Texas that the individual mandate to buy health insurance is unconstitutional. Congress had already gutted that provision. The rest of the law goes back to the lower court for further review.

    A New York judge has dropped state charges of mortgage fraud against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. That indictment was widely seen as an attempt to keep Manafort in prison even if President Trump pardons him for his federal crimes. Manafort is now serving a seven-year sentence for those convictions, which are linked to the Russia investigation.

    In Australia, unprecedented summer heat gripped the continent for a second day. The nationwide average temperature on Tuesday was 105 degrees Fahrenheit, the hottest on record. Today, temperatures in some places reached 118. The heat wave has helped fuel dozens of wildfires. Elsewhere, children played in fountains, and many families took to local beaches.

    Experts said the readings are extraordinary by any standard.

  • Dean Narramore:

    It's incredible, these national average maximum temperature records. We normally only break them by just a very small margin, but we broke the previous one back in January 13 by 0.6 of a degree.

  • John Yang:

    Meanwhile, in Russia, Moscow saw unusually warm temperatures, despite the onset of winter. It was almost 43 degrees, when it is usually in the 20s. That made it the city's warmest December 18 since 1886.

    Back in this country, immigrants claiming asylum in the United States may face more restrictions. A new federal regulation would bar asylum claims from anyone convicted of illegally reentering the country, committing domestic violence, or driving drunk.

    It is the Trump administration's latest effort to curb the flow of migrants. The proposal is subject to public comment before it can take effect.

    The Trump administration laid out proposals today to allow the importation of cheaper drugs from abroad. One rule would let states bring in brand-name drugs from Canada under federal oversight. The other lets manufacturers import cheaper versions of their own drugs from any country. It is still unclear when the proposals would go into effect.

    Fiat Chrysler and PSA Peugeot signed a merger deal today to form the world's fourth largest automaker. The new company will produce more than 8.5 million cars a year, with revenues of nearly $190 billion. The companies said they plan to invest more in low-emissions and new driving technologies.

    On Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 27 points to close at 28239. The Nasdaq rose four points, and the S&P 500 slipped one point.

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