VIDEO: Today's Headline News from Associated Press
NEWBORN BABIES FIGHT FOR LIFE
TACLOBAN, Philippines (AP) -- Althea Mustacisa was born three days ago in the aftermath of the killer typhoon that razed the eastern Philippines. And for every one of those three days, she has struggled to live.
But she has clung to life because her parents have been pushing oxygen into her tiny body with a hand-held pump non-stop ever since she came into this world.
And "if they stop, the baby will die," said Amie Sia, a nurse at a hospital in typhoon-wracked Tacloban city that is running without electricity and few staff or medical supplies.
"She can't breathe without them. She can't breathe on her own," Sia said. "The only sign of life this little girl has left is a heartbeat."
More than a week after ferocious Typhoon Haiyan annihilated a vast swath of the Philippines, killing more than 3,600 people, the storm's aftermath is still claiming victims - and doctors here fear Althea may be the next.
When the fierce storm smashed into this tropical country on Nov. 8, it transformed Tacloban into an unrecognizable wasteland of rubble and death.
The bottom floor of the two-story government-run Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center was flooded, and the intensive care unit for newborns was left a muddy ruin. Life-saving machinery, like the facility's only incubator, was soiled with water and mud.
As the storm hit, doctors and staff took 20 babies who were already in the intensive care unit to a small chapel upstairs for their safety, placing them three or four in one plastic crib cart built for one newborn.
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OBAMA STRUGGLES TO SAVE HIS CHERISHED HEALTH LAW
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama's health care law risks coming unglued because of his administration's bungles and his own inflated promises.
To avoid that fate, Obama needs breakthroughs on three fronts: the cancellations mess, technology troubles and a crisis in confidence among his own supporters.
Working in his favor are pent-up demands for the program's benefits and an unlikely collaborator in the insurance industry.
But even after Obama gets the enrollment website working, count on new controversies. On the horizon is the law's potential impact on job-based insurance. Its mandate that larger employers offer coverage will take effect in 2015.
For now, odds still favor the Affordable Care Act's survival. But after making it through the Supreme Court, a presidential election, numerous congressional repeal votes and a government shutdown, the law has yet to win broad acceptance.
Obama realizes it's on him to try to turn things around, and quickly. In the first couple of weeks after the website debacle, Obama played the sidelines role of "Reassurer-in-Chief." Now he's on the field, trying to redeem himself.
"I'm somebody who, if I fumbled the ball, I'm going to wait until I get the next play, and then I'm going to try to run as hard as I can and do right by the team," Obama said Thursday at a news conference.
Making sure the website is running a lot better by the end of the month may be his best chance for a game-changing play.
HAWAII JUDGE UPHOLDS STATE'S NEW GAY MARRIAGE LAW
HONOLULU (AP) -- A Hawaii judge on Thursday ruled the state's brand new gay marriage law is legal, despite a challenge saying voters thought they barred same-sex marriage 15 years ago in the state constitution.
Hawaii Circuit Court Judge Karl Sakamoto said the 1998 amendment didn't force the Legislature to define marriage as between a man and a woman. Sakamoto says it doesn't factor into lawmakers' ability to allow gay couples to wed.
"Same-sex marriage in Hawaii is legal," Sakamoto ruled after hearing arguments for more than an hour from the state attorney general and a Republican lawmaker who voted against the bill in the House last week.
The challenge brought by Rep. Bob McDermott was an attempt to block the state from enacting the new law, signed Wednesday by Gov. Neil Abercrombie. The measure allows the state health department to begin issuing licenses to same-sex couples Dec. 2. Ceremonies can begin the same day.
McDermott's challenge centered on language in the amendment that he said trumped lawmakers wanting to redefine marriage. The amendment reads: "The legislature shall have the power to reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples."
Hawaii's law makes it the 15th U.S. state to allow gay marriage, along with the District of Columbia. The governor of Illinois is expected to sign a gay marriage bill into law there next week.
Hawaii's law is expected to benefit thousands of gay couples in the state, and boost tourism to the islands as couples use the destination for gay weddings and honeymoons.