The number of Americans who have enrolled in health plans under ObamaCare has risen to more than six million, President Obama announced on Thursday. That meets the most recent projection by the Congressional Budget Office, although the CBO projected last year that seven million would sign up. Nearly two million visited HealthCare.gov or contacted marketplace call centers on Wednesday in a rush to beat the March 31 open enrollment deadline.
The White House says six million have signed up for ObamaCare insurance
Christie's lawyers say he had no knowledge of Bridgegate
An internal review concluded that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie had nothing to do with allegedly politically motivated George Washington Bridge lane closures that created massive traffic jams last year. The Christie administration called the report, which was released Thursday, "exhaustive." One former Port Authority official said he told Christie about the shutdown while it was happening, but Christie said he had no such recollection.
The U.N. passes a resolution calling Crimea's secession vote invalid
The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday passed a nonbinding resolution declaring that Crimea's referendum seceding from Ukraine had "no validity." It cleared with a narrow majority of 100 votes in the 193-member body. Fifty-eight members abstained, while another 24 were absent. The measure did not mention Russia's subsequent annexation of Crimea, nor its massing of troops near the Ukrainian border.
Appeals court upholds tough Texas abortion law
A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld Texas' tough new abortion law. A federal district court had struck down some provisions of the law — such as the one requiring doctors performing abortions to have nearby hospital privileges — that had resulted in the shuttering of many clinics. The new ruling means that the Texas law will remain in effect unless the Supreme Court takes up the case or lawmakers make a change.
Erdogan goes after YouTube
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan continued his war on social media on Thursday, shutting down YouTube days after vowing to destroy Twitter. Thursday's outburst came after someone posted a video clip on YouTube appearing to show Turkish security officials discussing possible military action in neighboring Syria. Erdogan called the leak "villainous." He has accused rivals of using social media to unseat him in March 30 elections.
Search for missing Malaysia Airlines plane shifts by 700 miles
Australian authorities said Friday that the search area for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 had shifted by nearly 700 miles, because new speed data from Malaysian officials indicated the plane was traveling faster than previously believed after it disappeared and changed course March 8. That would have caused it to burn fuel faster, shortening the distance it could have flown south over the Indian Ocean. A patrol plane promptly spotted "objects" in the new area.
Woman who pushed her new husband to his death gets 30 years
A judge sentenced a Montana woman, Jordan Graham, to 30 years in prison for pushing her husband off a cliff to his death on July 7, eight days after their wedding. Prosecutors said Graham, 22, lured her husband, Cody Johnson, to the spot in Glacier National Park, killed him, then lied to cover her tracks. Graham said she and Johnson argued after she told him she was having marriage doubts, and she pushed him, not "thinking about where we were."
Connecticut becomes the first state to adopt a $10.10 minimum wage
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) signed a bill Thursday making his state the first to start hiking its minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, matching President Obama's goal for the nation. Connecticut's minimum is currently $8.70, and the hike will be phased in over three years. Malloy said the result would be "lifting people out of poverty." Republicans said the move would punch small-business owners "in the gut."
The number of child-autism diagnoses shoots higher
Autism rates jumped by 30 percent over two years, according to data on 11 communities throughout the U.S. released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One child in 88 was estimated to be on the autism spectrum in 2008; an analysis of 2010 records indicated the rate was 1 in 68. CDC officials said a reason for the rise might be that doctors, teachers, and parents are more aware and better able to spot the condition.
L'Wren Scott left her $9 million fortune to boyfriend Mick Jagger
The late fashion designer L'Wren Scott, who committed suicide last week, left her $9 million estate to her longtime boyfriend, Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, according to court documents. The papers listed Scott's Manhattan apartment, where her body was found, as her main asset, with a value of $8 million.