WASHINGTON

GOP prepares legal fight

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday Republicans are taking legal steps to stop President Barack Obama from closing the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a day after the president unveiled his plan to shutter the facility and move the detainees to the United States. Ryan told reporters that lawmakers have the votes to block Obamaís plan in Congress and enough votes to override any veto. Separately, the Wisconsin Republican said the GOP is ďpreparing our legal challengeĒ to ensure the prison remains open and detainees arenít moved to the U.S. Obama has pushed to fulfill a 2008 campaign promise and close Guantanamo.

AUSTIN, Texas

Case against Perry dismissed

The felony prosecution of former Texas Gov. Rick Perry ended Wednesday when the stateís highest criminal court dismissed an abuse-of-power indictment that the Republican says hampered his short-lived 2016 presidential bid. The 6-2 decision by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, which is dominated by elected Republican judges, frees Perry from a long-running criminal case that blemished the exit of one of the most powerful Texas governors in history and hung over his second failed run for the White House.

NEW YORK

Flu vaccine 59% effective

The flu vaccine is doing a better job this year. Preliminary data suggest it is 59 percent effective. Thatís a big improvement from last winterís nasty flu season when the vaccine was less than 20 percent effective. Unlike last yearís vaccine, this yearís is a good match to the strains making people sick. Itís been a milder flu season so far, though health officials said it has not yet peaked. The numbers were presented Wednesday at a meeting in Atlanta of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

ISSAQUAH, Wash.

Woman finds pearl in meal

A woman bit down on a rare pearl while eating a meal of clams and other seafood at an Italian restaurant in Washington state. KOMO-TV reports Lindsay Hasz and her husband Chris were eating at Montalcino Ristorante Italiano in Issaquah recently when she bit into something hard. Hasz says she wasnít sure what it was but put it in her pocket and went home to do research. She took it to a gemologist, who determined it was a Quahog purple pearl worth about $600. Ted Irwin of Northwest Geological Laboratory says the find is rare, with only one in a couple million being of gem quality.

Compiled from wire reports