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Costa Concordia shipwreck to be towed away by June

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The wreck left behind by the Costa Concordia, the cruise ship that capsized off the Italian coast two years ago, will most likely be towed away this summer.

Italian officials confirmed Friday that June is the target date for removing the shipwreck from the water, though they say it could be later, depending on weather conditions. (Via ABC)

The chief executive of the company that owns the Costa Concordia told reporters, "We are very confident we can remove the ship from the island within the month of June." (Via Irish Independent)

It's unclear where the cruise ship will be towed to — officials say they'll decide on that sometime in March.

Sky News reports a handful of Italian ports and even France, Turkey, Britain and China have offered to take the ship.

But ​wherever it ends up, it will reportedly be dismantled in the final phase of a salvage effort that could end up costing more than $800 million. (Via ITN)

The announcement comes just days before the second anniversary of the Costa Concordia disaster.

The ship was on the last leg of a cruise around the Mediterranean Sea when it hit a reef and capsized in shallow water on Jan. 13, 2012. (Via CNN)

The 4,200 passengers on board were forced to board lifeboats or jump into the sea and swim to shore. But not everyone made it — 32 people lost their lives in the wreck. (Via BBC)

The captain of the ship has been criticized for his role in the accident and is now on trial for manslaughter. 

- See more at newsy.com

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  • In the end, monolithic opposition by Democrats coupled with opposition from the far right doomed Friday’s vote on the American Health Care Act, the GOP bill that would have repealed and replaced the law commonly known as “Obamacare.” GOP leadership decided to pull the bill, realizing that it could not pass. The Trump administration made it clear early Friday that negotiations were over, and the president wanted an up or down vote Friday. House Speaker Paul Ryan went to the White House to report he didn’t have the votes to pass the bill; President Trump had previously said win or lose, Rep. Ryan should keep his position as Speaker. The GOP plan (AHCA) would have ended the mandate that all Americans pay for health insurance, replacing it with a plan where the federal government would give Americans tax credits, based on age. That would have saved taxpayers billions of dollars, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, but would have left  24 million additional Americans without health coverage within the next decade. Many governors, including some Republicans, also had serious concerns about the additional burdens passed on to states under the AHCA.
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  • After hours of negotiations that featured personal intervention by President Donald Trump, Republican leaders in the Congress were forced to back off a planned vote on a GOP health care bill, unable to find enough votes approve it and send it on to the Senate for further work. While House leaders said votes were possible on Friday, there was no final agreement to vote on, as more conservative members of the House Freedom Caucus refused to get on board with a deal offered by the White House. “We have not gotten enough of our members to get to yes,” said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), the chair of the Freedom Caucus. “I am still a no at this time,” Meadows told a crush of reporters. “I am desperately trying to get to yes.” Rep. Mark Meadows: “I am still a no at this time. I am desperately trying to get to yes” https://t.co/cQi0OGdJGY — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 23, 2017 Other Freedom Caucus members said very little as they exited a Congressional hearing room after a two hour meeting on the health bill, leaving Meadows to get out the message. “No comment,” said Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL). “Mark’s got everything,” referring to Meadows. “You know I’m not going express the substance of anything that we talked about in there,” said Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) said as reporters trailed him down the hall. Earlier at the White House, there had been optimism after a meeting between Freedom Caucus members and the President. Lengthy standing ovation from the Freedom Caucus when @POTUS walked into the Cabinet Room just now. Big momentum toward #RepealAndReplace. pic.twitter.com/N1FLGAVFMN — Cliff Sims (@CSims45) March 23, 2017 But, there was no deal.