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HOUSTON (AP) — Former President George H.W. Bush has been released from a Houston hospital where he received treatment for a mild case of pneumonia and chronic bronchitis during a two-week stay.

Bush spokesman Jim McGrath said in a statement that the 92-year-old Bush was discharged from Houston Methodist Hospital on Friday.

McGrath says Bush is “pleased to be home.”

Bush was admitted to Houston Methodist Hospital on April 14 for treatment of a persistent cough. Doctors determined he had pneumonia. After the pneumonia was treated, Bush remained hospitalized due to the chronic bronchitis.

Bush, who was president from 1989 to 1993, was hospitalized for 16 days in January with pneumonia.

During that hospital stay, which included time in intensive care, doctors inserted a breathing tube and connected him to a ventilator.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Homeland Security secretary aggressively tamped down on expectations for President Donald Trump’s endlessly hyped border wall Thursday, saying that concrete barrier would only be constructed along a fraction of the U.S. border with Mexico.

“I foresee there being an increase in physical barrier, backed up by the men and women of CBP, Customs and Border Protection, and technology,” Secretary John Kelly told Bloomberg’s David Gura Thursday. “There are places along the border, and I would offer to you, down in the southern Rio Grande valley, where a wall, a concrete wall, makes all the sense in the world.”

“There are other places where a see-through wall, say a large bollard, if you will, fence, makes a lot of sense,” he said. “There’s places, probably, we won’t build a wall, because it’s across river beds, and we can’t dam up the rivers. And there’s other places that are just so rough — you know, the Big Bend area of Texas, canyons, high ground, low ground. Very little moves through there, anyways. So we are all still committed to a barrier, wall in some in places, in some places see-through wall, but once again, technology, and backed up by CBP.”

In February, Fox News’ Catherine Herridge reported that Kelly had told her the wall “will take a multi-layered approach. There will be the physical wall and then parts of the wall that you can see through because it will rely on sensors and other technology.”

“Any discussion about the protection of our southwest border involves discussion, clearly, of physical barriers, but also of technological sensors, things like that. It’s a layered approach,” Kelly told her at the time.

Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said in March that at some points along the border, “border control’s actually telling us that they like the one you can see through, because it reduces the number of violent attacks on our folks. So it’s a complicated program.”

Trump, meanwhile, has not backed down from his campaign pledge of a “beautiful” concrete wall, not a fence, along the entire border. After early murmurs that a stopgap government funding bill would not including funding for a wall, Trump tweeted his support for the campaign pledge:

Asked if he thought the barrier could be completed for Trump’s projected sum, under $10 billion (though the President has not been consistent on this number), Kelly didn’t commit one way or the other.

“It’s tough,” he said. “I wouldn’t disagree with that number. But he’s a businessman. He, like me, we’ve not gotten specific, because we don’t know yet, because we haven’t done the specifics on wall design, what it will take to acquire land, that kind of thing. But these estimates of $30, 40 billion, I mean, I don’t know what it will cost, yet, and the people that are putting that out are just dreaming.”

Watch below via Bloomberg:

The Senate followed the House of Representatives Friday to pass a stopgap bill to fund the government and avoid a Saturday government shutdown.

The House voted 382-30 in favor of a one-week measure to fund the government Friday morning. The Senate passed the short-term funding bill by a voice vote around noon.

Watch the Senate pass the measure below, via CBS News:

President Donald Trump on Friday announced that he will appoint Charmaine Yoest, the former president of the anti-abortion group Americans United for Life, as the assistant secretary for public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services.

In her position, which does not require confirmation in the Senate, Yoest would help shape the department’s communications strategy.

Yoest is currently a fellow at American Values, a conservative group that opposes abortion and supports “traditional marriage.” She got her start in politics during the Reagan administration. From there she moved to the ultra-conservative Family Research Council and later served on Mike Huckabee’s 2008 presidential campaign.

While she served as president of Americans United for Life, one of the most well-known anti-abortion groups in the country, Yoest was a prominent leader for the anti-abortion movement. As the New York Times noted in a 2012 profile of Yoest, AUL was responsible for one-third of state legislatures’ anti-abortion bills between 2011 and 2012.

In 2012, Yoest told the New York Times that she believes abortions can cause breast cancer. When the Times noted that data show that claim isn’t true, Yoest would not back down and said that scientists are “under the control of the abortion lobby.”

“As a breast cancer survivor, the spin on abortion and breast cancer really troubles me,” she told the Times. “Why can’t you report what the research actually shows?”

Yoest also told PBS in 2011 that she was unwilling to address birth control as part of her work at Americans United for Life when the host asked if she would support birth control as a way to prevent abortions.

“It’s really a red herring that the abortion lobby likes to bring up by conflating abortion and birth control. And that’s why we try to stay very clear on differentiating between the two, and what is and is not an abortion,” Yoest said on PBS. “Because that would be, frankly, carrying water for the other side to allow them to redefine the issue in that way.”

Asked again in 2015 by the Washington Post about studies showing that birth control reduces the abortion rate, Yoest said she hadn’t “seen anything” to convince her that was true.

Though Americans United for Life does not have an official stance on birth control, the New York Times reported in 2012 that Yoest personally opposed birth control and that she described IUDs as having “ life-ending properties.”

In a Time op-ed co-written with Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) in December 2016, Yoest characterized abortion as a “war on women.”

“We know that abortion is not a means of female empowerment; it is a heartbreaking choice that ends one life and can damage another—and that is the true war on women,” they wrote in the op-ed.

Roe v. Wade leaves a sad legacy in its wake. The lives lost are many, the emotional and physical damage to birthmothers is real, and the obstacles in our fight to restore a culture of life still loom large,” Yoest and Black add later in the op-ed promoting the March for Life.

WASHINGTON (AP) — At the Trump administration’s request, a federal appeals court agreed Friday to postpone a ruling on lawsuits challenging Obama-era restrictions on carbon emissions.

The Environmental Protection Agency had asked the court to put a hold on the case shortly after President Donald Trump signed an executive order vowing to roll back the Clean Power Plan. Trump has called climate change a hoax, disputing the overwhelming consensus of scientists that the world is warming and that man-made carbon emissions are primarily to blame.

The plan championed by President Barack Obama was challenged by a coalition of states and industry groups that profit or benefit from the continued burning of coal, the dirtiest of fossil fuels. The regulations sought to reduce carbon emissions from existing power plants by about one-third by 2030, a goal in line with the United States’ commitment under the Paris climate accords.

Trump has pledged to reverse decades of decline in a U.S. coal industry under threat from such cleaner sources of energy as natural gas, wind turbines and solar farms. He has also said he plans to “renegotiate” the global climate treaty signed by nearly 200 countries in 2015.

Ten judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard arguments in the case last year and could have issued a ruling at any time. Friday’s order from the court asks the parties whether, after a 60-day postponement, the issue should be sent back to the EPA rather than postponed.

That outcome would be a huge blow to environmental groups, who had vehemently opposed the request for delay and urged the court to rule on the merits of the case, despite the change in administration.

Vickie Patton, a lawyer for the Environmental Defense Fund, vowed that progress toward a clean energy future wouldn’t be stopped by “the litigation tactics of polluters.”

“In red, purple and blue states across our country, Americans are working together to reduce health-harming pollution while creating jobs and shared prosperity,” Patton said.

___

Follow Associated Press environmental writer Michael Biesecker at www.Twitter.com/mbieseck

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski has launched a consulting firm offering international clients access to the President, Vice President, and other key members of the administration, Politico reported Friday.

In a document offered to an Eastern European politician by Lewandowski’s Washington East West Political Strategies and obtained by Politico, the firm promises to secure “meetings with well-established figures” and “key members of the U.S. Administration,” including Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. Clients, the document reportedly says, will benefit from their “trusted relations with the U.S. Administration.”

Lewandowski’s firm was co-founded with former Trump campaign adviser Barry Bennett, an executive at Azerbaijan’s state oil company and a U.S. political consultant who works in Russia, and is focused on getting new political clients in Eastern Europe, according to Politico. Bennett and Lewandowski have established a small cluster of geographically targeted firms, built in coordination with their D.C.-based Avenue Strategies, that leverage their friendly relationship with the White House to secure clients.

Lewandowski did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment.

Bennett told Politico he had not seen the Washington East West Political Strategies document but that their primary focus was policy consulting, not lobbying.

The pair founded Avenue Strategies roughly one month before Inauguration Day. The firm’s D.C. office is located a stone’s throw from the White House, and their biographies heavily advertise their connections to the Trump campaign and administration.

After a hectic day in which he rattled an entire continent with his threat to terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement, President Donald Trump made the seemingly contradictory claim: “I’m a nationalist and a globalist.”

The terms are often situated opposite each other: nationalists favor protectionist measures like tariffs and border walls, both of which Trump has advocated. Globalists support the free movement of people and capital. 

Trump’s threat to terminate NAFTA — he was eventually convinced not to pursue the matter, in favor of simply renegotiating the deal — was another example of nationalist muscle-flexing. In his closing campaign ad before the 2016 election, widely criticized as anti-Semitic, Trump decried “global interests,” and “a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities.”

But Trump, especially since taking office, has projected U.S. economic and military power globally himself. His administration is teeming with billionaire bankers. After endlessly pledging to label China a currency manipulator, he said he would rather have their cooperation in dealing with North Korea. He recently voiced support for the export-import bank, which finances businesses to sell their products overseas. He ordered a missile strike against a Syrian airfield.

There is a reported split in Trump’s administration between nationalists (Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller) and globalists (Jared Kushner, Reince Priebus).

Asked about that split in an interview with the Wall Street Journal Thursday, Trump dismissed the idea.

“Hey, I’m a nationalist and a globalist,” he said. “I’m both. And I’m the only one who makes the decision, believe me.”

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