Headlines for March 7, 2017: What to Know 

  • Bingo Barnes
  • The toughest task before congressional GOP leadership will be to convince enough Republicans that their replacement of the Affordable Care Act, already dubbed "Obamacare Lite," will satisfy constituents—especially those who finally secured health insurance under President Barack Obama's signature piece of legislation. The GOP alternative fundamentally changes how health care would be financed for people who don't have insurance through work, using tax breaks instead of a government subsidy. The New York Times reports the proposed measure "sets the stage for a bitter debate over the possible dismantling of the most significant health care law in a half-century."

  • Hollywood is buzzing about how Russia is treating the live-action reimagining of Beauty and the Beast from Walt Disney Studios. Following comments from the Russian Culture Ministry that it did not approve of Beauty and the Beast including a gay character, ministry officials have agreed to grant a screening license to the film—but with a 16-and-over age restriction. In the U.S., an Alabama drive-in movie theater has already announced it won't be showing the film due to the inclusion of a gay character. USA Today reports a character named LeFou, sidekick to the villain Gaston, has a "gay moment," according to director Bill Condon.
  • The already slower-than-molasses Idaho Legislature slowed down even further Monday when, in the midst of a full reading of a bill on the Idaho House floor, the Legislature's website crashed. Lawmakers traditionally turn to their laptops or desktops to read proposed bills; so, when the website went down, page's quickly doled out paper copies of House Bill 209 (a 21-page document). It took Rep. Priscilla Giddings (R-White Bird) more than an hour to read the bill, which called for an update to Idaho's notary law. The measure finally passed on a 63-7 vote.
  • Interstate 84 was backed up for hours Monday night following a multi-vehicle crash east of the Boise Stage Stop. KTVB reports eight vehicles, including a semi-truck, were snarled in the pile-up. Despite the number of vehicles involved, no one was injured. Westbound traffic was backed up through much of the night and early morning, but reopened for this morning's commute. Idaho State police say the cause is still under investigation.
  • Boise police are looking for a male suspect following the overnight robbery Monday at a Jacksons Chevron on State Street. Police said the armed bandit took off with an undisclosed amount of cash just after 8 p.m. at the Jackson on the 6000 block of State Street. Police are looking for a white male, about 6 feet tall, between 32 and 35 years of age, wearing a two-tone jacket. Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 208-343-COPS.
  • Audiences may not be tired of Alec Baldwin's biting impersonation of President Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live, but Vanity Fair reports Baldwin "may be ready to hang up his wig and bronzer sooner than fans had hoped." The VF article states that while Baldwin's performances have helped "usher in a renaissance" for SNL, which is seeing its highest ratings in years, the actor isn't sure "how much more people can take."

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