WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump has removed chief strategist Steve Bannon from the National Security Council, reversing a controversial early decision to give Bannon access to the high-level meetings.
A new memorandum about the composition of the NSC was published in the Federal Register on Wednesday. The memo no longer lists the chief strategist as a member of the Principal's Committee, a group of high-ranking officials that convene to discuss pressing national security priorities.

VINALHAVEN, Maine - A Maine lobsterman is accused of stealing more than 200 pounds of the crustaceans along with a small motor boat on Vinahaven
Forty-eight-year-old Jason Marriner has been charged with theft, unauthorized use of property and receiving stolen property following his arrest Saturday.
The Maine Marine Patrol says the Vinalhaven man had been stealing crates of lobsters from Carver's Harbor Market for months. They say Marriner was caught in the act on surveillance video.

PORTLAND, Maine - Police say first responders in Portland were called to assist in eight suspected nonfatal drug overdoses over a roughly 24-hour period that occurred earlier this week.
The Portland Press Herald reports that most of the victims were treated with Narcan, an anti-opioid drug which reverses the effects of overdoses, and all were sent to the hospital.
Lt. Robert Martin says the Portland Police Department sees an average of about two or three overdoses per day.

PORTLAND, Maine - The U.S.'s ambassador to Somalia is visiting Maine this week and plans to stop by a Portland high school.
c is the country's first ambassador to Somalia in 25 years and has served in that capacity since last year. He is in the midst of a nationwide tour and is visiting cities that have Somali communities, such as Portland and Lewiston.
Schwartz will be at Deering High School in Portland on Wednesday talking to students in a moderated question-and-answer session from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

ACTON, Maine - Less than two months after a woman was charged with killing her estranged husband at an Acton home, a fire has destroyed the property.

Investigators say youths playing with matches in a barn started a fire that destroyed the house and left nearly a dozen people displaced on Sunday.

York County Sheriff Bill King says two children of Scott Weyland, who weren't responsible for starting the fire, were living at the home since Weyland was killed on Feb. 22. Kandee Weyland has been accused of killing her estranged husband.

The children were not hurt.

BRUNSWICK, Maine -An aircraft manufacturer intends to build two-seat, amphibious airplanes designed in Finland at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station.
Finnish company Atol Avion announced Tuesday the joint venture with a U.S.-based investor group to produce the planes at Brunswick Landing. Atol USA President Paul Richards said the plane will be built in Maine to serve the North American market, the world's largest.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Nearly 100 lawyers in Maine are urging the state's two U.S. senators to oppose President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch.

The group says in a letter that the Senate should reject Gorsuch's confirmation, citing an ongoing federal investigation into the Republican Trump's presidential campaign and Gorsuch's rulings that favor business interests.

The letter, organized by the group Mainers for Accountable Leadership, comes less than two weeks after nearly 50 Maine attorneys asked Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King to support the nomination.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine's full Legislature will consider making it a misdemeanor crime for lobbyists to lie or conceal a "material fact'' while testifying to lawmakers.
The Portland Press Herald reports that the State and Local Government Committee voted in favor of a revised version of the bill on Monday. The bill no longer includes members of the public, state workers and lawmakers.
Republican state Rep. Heather Sirocki, of Scarborough, sponsored the bill.

Edlib Media Center / via AP

BEIRUT - France's foreign minister is calling for an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting over a suspected chemical attack in Syria's rebel-held Idlib province.
Jean-Marc Ayrault condemned the "atrocious act" in a statement Tuesday, saying he is seeking the emergency meeting because of events of extreme gravity "that threaten international security."
Ayrault said Tuesday's attack caused "a large number of victims, including children." Opposition activists say the attack killed dozens of people and was among the worst in Syria's six-year civil war.

There's more snow in store for parts of northern New England.
A storm that arrived overnight was expected to drop up to a foot of snow Tuesday in northwestern Maine. Northern New Hampshire could get clobbered as well.

Meteorologist Andy Pohl from the National Weather Service says it'll rain along the coast. But he says it'll be cold enough for snow at inland locations.
And that may not be the end of it. Weather officials are keeping an eye on another system that's forming later in the week.

LEWISTON, Maine - A Maine woman is trying to get back 64 animals seized from her apartment in Lewiston.

Officials say one pet was dead and others needed medical attention when they arrived a month ago. The animals included cats, dogs, chinchillas, snakes, gerbils, hamsters and lizards.

On Tuesday, Samantha Bell is due in Lewiston District Court to argue to have them returned.

She said previously that she took in animals that no one else wanted and that they were well cared for.

AUGUSTA, Maine — GOP Gov. Paul LePage’s administration says welfare recipients aren’t showing up for drug tests and that reform is needed.

The state requires drug tests for welfare recipients with prior drug convictions who score high on a substance-use disorder screening tool.

The state Department of Health and Human Services told The Associated Press that since 2015 eleven Mainers have lost benefits after not completing required drug tests. Maine successfully drug-tested 12 welfare recipients, while four other individuals lost benefits after refusing screening.

BOSTON — Massachusetts scientists say they have reached the same conclusions as their federal counterparts in a study about the poor status of cod fish in the Gulf of Maine.

The Boston Globe reports the scientists found the region’s cod are at a historic low of about 80 percent less than the population from a decade ago.

Micah Dean oversaw the survey for the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries. He says he hopes fishermen who doubted federal government’s science on the issue will find the results credible.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine lawmakers are starting to consider bills that would roll back the minimum wage law approved by voters in November.

Voters approved an increase in Maine’s minimum wage from $7.50 per hour to $12 an hour by 2020. Then, the wage would increase according to inflation. Tipped employees’ wages would reach the minimum wage by 2024.

On Wednesday, 10 bills are scheduled for a public hearing.

Several bills would bring back the ability for employers to pay tipped employees below the minimum wage.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A pair of bills would allow Maine doctors to prescribe medication that would hasten a patient’s death.

Similar bits by Republican Sen. Roger Katz’s bill and Democratic Rep. Jennifer Parker are both set for a hearing Wednesday.

Both bills would protect health care providers and create a process for patient-directed care for terminally ill adults with limited life expectancy.

Physicians would be able to prescribe a medication that the patient may self-administer to hasten death.

There are a few differences between the bills.