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Sergei Babenko/TNS

Microsoft server flaws raise alarms at White House, DHS

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WASHINGTON — Newly discovered flaws in Microsoft Corp.’s software for email has raised concerns at the highest levels of the U.S. government, which is urging users to immediately apply patches.

At least 30,000 organizations across the U.S., including significant numbers of small businesses and local governments, have been hacked via holes ...Read more

Jill Toyoshiba/New York Daily News/TNS

Cuomo administration defends removing nursing home COVID-19 death data from report

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ALBANY, N.Y. — Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top lawyer was on the defensive Friday, arguing that officials stripped the full number of nursing home deaths from a report issued last summer due to incomplete data.

Cuomo senior counsel Beth Garvey issued a statement contending that the governor’s embattled COVID-19 team didn’t alter any information...Read more

Stringer/dpa/dpa via ZUMA Press/TNS

Biden administration faces GOP outcry for saying no border 'crisis'

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Congressional Republicans ramped up calls to the Biden administration and Democratic leaders for meetings on the rising number of migrant children crossing the U.S. border, pushing back on the administration’s claim that the border is not in “crisis.”

Republicans on the House Oversight and Reform Committee and the Judiciary Committee’s ...Read more

News briefs

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Teen convicted in 2014 Slender Man stabbing seeking early release

One of the two Wisconsin teen girls who plotted to murder their friend to appease fictional internet demon Slender Man in 2014 is seeking early release from a mental health institution.

Anissa Weier, now 19, will formally ask for her release March 10, the Milwaukee Journal ...Read more

U.S. Coast Guard/Palm Beach Post/TNS

US Coast Guard intercepts vessel carrying 25 Haiti migrants off Jupiter coast

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JUPITER, Fla. — Authorities intercepted a vessel carrying 25 Haitian migrants northeast of the coast of Jupiter this week, the U.S. Coast Guard reported Friday.

Rescue crews from the Coast Guard Station Lake Worth Inlet and from Customs and Border Protection's Air and Marine Operations responded Wednesday to reports of a vessel taking on ...Read more

Mars rover Perseverance gets its first test drive

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It crept at a speed that rush-hour veterans could appreciate — all of 21.3 feet in 33 minutes — but Perseverance has executed its first drive on the surface of Mars, NASA announced Friday.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been happier to see wheel tracks in my life,” Anais Zarifian, an engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in ...Read more

Vulnerable groups still falling behind in vaccination effort

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WASHINGTON — The Biden administration has argued it can distribute the coronavirus vaccine quickly and equitably, but federal data show little progress in getting doses to minority communities as states prioritize getting shots into as many arms as quickly as possible.

Health care providers in Minnesota, for instance, must use 90% of their ...Read more

Charles Bertram/Lexington Herald-leader/TNS

With an eye on mental health, Kentucky faculty will consider renaming 'Dead Week'

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LEXINGTON, Ky. — University of Kentucky faculty will vote next week on whether to rename Dead Week — out of respect for those who may have lost someone to suicide.

Dead Week, the last week of every semester before the all-important Finals Week, is ubiquitous to the modern college experience and is generally meant to give students time to ...Read more

Biden to fire Trump EEOC general counsel who refused to resign

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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden was expected to fire Sharon Gustafson, the Trump-appointed general counsel of the EEOC, on Friday, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation.

The Biden administration demanded in a March 2 email that Gustafson, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s top litigator, resign, said ...Read more

Astra stockpiles US vaccine that could speed up Biden timeline

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WASHINGTON — AstraZeneca Plc has begun stockpiling its COVID-19 vaccine for use in the U.S., providing a potential supply boost that could speed up President Joe Biden’s inoculation timetable, should the company win regulatory authorization.

A company executive said this week it has begun production and expects to have 30 million doses ...Read more

Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo/New York Daily News/TNS

2 top female aides leave Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration

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ALBANY, N.Y. — Two more aides to Andrew Cuomo have left their jobs as the New York governor faces dual scandals over sexual harassment claims and accusations his administration covered up nursing-home COVID-19 deaths.

Press secretary Caitlin Girouard and interim policy adviser Erin Hammond have left, the administration said Friday. The two ...Read more


Teen convicted in 2014 Slender Man stabbing seeking early release

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One of the two Wisconsin teen girls who plotted to murder their friend to appease fictional internet demon Slender Man in 2014 is seeking early release from a mental health institution.

Anissa Weier, now 19, will formally ask for her release March 10, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Weier and Morgan Geyser schemed to murder classmate ...Read more

Al Seib/Los Angeles Times/TNS

US embraces COVID-19 vaccines, improving odds of herd immunity

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More Americans are warming up to COVID-19 vaccines, with 19% saying they’ve already received at least one dose and 49% expressing intent to do so when they get the chance, according to new poll results.

Altogether, 69% of U.S. adults surveyed by the Pew Research Center now intend to become vaccinated. That’s up from 60% in November and 52% ...Read more


Permanent daylight saving time bill advances in Georgia

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ATLANTA — Georgia would stay on daylight saving time permanently, putting an end to twice-a-year time changes under a bill that passed the state House on Friday.

State representatives said falling back and springing forward disrupts sleep patterns, contributes to car crashes and increases the number of heart attacks.

The House voted 112-48 ...Read more

Mike Groll/Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo/New York Daily News/TNS

New York lawmakers roll back Cuomo's COVID-19 powers amid dueling scandals

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ALBANY, N.Y. — New York lawmakers approved a measure Friday scaling back Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s sweeping emergency powers enacted last year during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The action comes as the governor is embroiled in two scandals, over his nursing home policies during the crisis and allegations that he sexually harassed former ...Read more

Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News/The Dallas Morning News/TNS

Texas bill would stop conservative speech from being 'canceled' online

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FORT WORTH, Texas — Gov. Greg Abbott is pushing a bill that he said would bar social media companies from censoring Texans based on their views shared on the platforms.

The measure comes after former President Donald Trump was blocked from Twitter following the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol.

Abbott described the legislation as ...Read more


Florida reports 5,975 new COVID-19 cases and 135 resident deaths

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MIAMI — Florida's Department of Health on Friday announced 5,975 new confirmed cases of COVID-19. The state also announced 138 total new deaths. Of those who died, 135 were residents.

The state has now recorded a known total of 1,936,207 coronavirus cases and 32,093 total deaths. Among those who died, 31,522 were residents and 571 were ...Read more

UT File Photo/TNS

Marine hospitalized after alleged assault at California's Camp Pendleton, authorities say

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SAN DIEGO — A Marine is in the hospital after an alleged assault this week at Camp Pendleton, Marine Corps officials said Thursday.

A Marine Corps official declined to offer further details about the victim, who is a woman, or the circumstances of the alleged assault.

"We are aware of an alleged assault that occurred aboard Camp Pendleton, ...Read more

Joshua Boucher/TNS

SC reports 1,079 COVID-19 cases, 36 deaths Friday

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina health officials Friday reported 1,079 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 36 deaths from the virus.

Just under 6% of the 26,486 COVID-19 tests reported Friday returned positive results, according to the state Department of Health and Environmental Control. That's in the low end of the range the U.S. Centers ...Read more


What went wrong in Idaho National Guard helicopter crash? Preliminary findings released

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BOISE — Idaho National Guard leadership said weather and human factors were the main contributors to the fatal helicopter crash in February that killed three pilots outside of Boise.

During a news conference Friday at Gowen Field, officials gave further details of the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crash southeast of Boise on the night of Feb. 2...Read more