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ANNAPOLIS — The number of Maryland students eligible for free and reduced-price meals has risen surprisingly high, causing a $390 million increase on the cost of the state’s sweeping education reform law in the next fiscal year, according to a recent state fiscal briefing.

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Congress is going to take another look at legislation covering the rights of airline passengers. Democratic Senators Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Edward Markey of Massachusetts said Tuesday they re-introduced bills to increase penalties when airlines strand or delay passengers, and to limit airline fees. Both ideas have failed in previous years, but the senators say they've got a good chance of success this time because of outrage over debacles like the one at Southwest Airlines in December. But they'll face obstacles. Republicans haven't supported the measures yet. And airlines have succeeded before in lobbying Congress against proposals to limit or regulate the fees that they charge customers for services like checking baggage.

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Republican Rep. George Santos of New York has told GOP colleagues he is temporarily stepping down from his two congressional committees. The move comes amid a host of ethics issues and a day after he met with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Santos has faced numerous calls for his resignation and is facing multiple investigations by prosecutors over his personal and campaign finances and lies about his resume and family background. Santos was assigned to the House Committee on Small Business and to the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma said the decision was well-received from the GOP conference. In a prepared statement, Santos said he wanted to focus on serving his constituents “without distraction.”

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The parents of Tyre Nichols will attend President Joe Biden's State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol next week. Nichols is the 29-year-old Black man who was severely beaten by police officers in Memphis, Tennessee, and died days later. A spokesperson for the Congressional Black Caucus says Nichols' mother and stepfather, RowVaughn and Rodney Wells, have accepted an invitation from Rep. Steven Horsford. The Nevada Democrat is chairman of the Black caucus. Videotape released last week shows police officers savagely beating Nichols for three minutes on Jan. 7. Nichols died on Jan. 10. Five police officers, all Black, have been fired and charged with second-degree murder.

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The U.S. government’s road safety agency is investigating complaints that windshield trim panels can fly off of Ford Explorers while they’re traveling at highway speeds. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has 164 complaints about the trim pieces detaching on 2011 through 2019 Explorer SUVs. The probe covers about 1.86 million vehicles. The parts could hit the windshield of following vehicles or even a motorcycle rider, possibly causing loss of control and a crash, the agency said. The agency doesn’t have any reports of crashes or injuries.

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The head of the Food and Drug Administration has announced an overhaul of the agency's food safety and nutrition division. FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf is vowing to better protect consumers and the U.S. food supply. He said Tuesday he would create a new human foods program led by a deputy commissioner. That person would have authority over policy, strategy and regulatory activities for the agency responsible for 80% of the foods Americans eat. The changes are drawing praise from some food safety advocates, but other experts say they don't go far enough. The new deputy will report directly to the commissioner and will be named by spring.

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U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin says the United States will increase its deployment of advanced weapons such as fighter jets and bombers to the Korean Peninsula as it strengthens joint training and operational planning with South Korea in response to a growing North Korean nuclear threat. Austin made the comments after he and South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-Sup agreed to further expand their combined military exercises and continue a “timely and coordinated” deployment of U.S. strategic assets to the region. Austin and Lee also discussed preparations for a simulated exercise between the allies in February aimed at sharpening their response if North Korea uses nuclear weapons.

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Today is Wednesday, Feb. 1, the 32nd day of 2023. There are 333 days left in the year.

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Today is Tuesday, Jan. 31, the 31st day of 2023. There are 334 days left in the year.

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Republican Rep. George Santos of New York has told GOP colleagues he is temporarily stepping down from his two congressional committees. The move comes amid a host of ethics issues and a day after he met with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Santos has faced numerous calls for his resignation and is facing multiple investigations by prosecutors over his personal and campaign finances and lies about his resume and family background. Santos was assigned to the House Committee on Small Business and to the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma said the decision was well-received from the GOP conference. In a prepared statement, Santos said he wanted to focus on serving his constituents “without distraction.”

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The parents of Tyre Nichols will attend President Joe Biden's State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol next week. Nichols is the 29-year-old Black man who was severely beaten by police officers in Memphis, Tennessee, and died days later. A spokesperson for the Congressional Black Caucus says Nichols' mother and stepfather, RowVaughn and Rodney Wells, have accepted an invitation from Rep. Steven Horsford. The Nevada Democrat is chairman of the Black caucus. Videotape released last week shows police officers savagely beating Nichols for three minutes on Jan. 7. Nichols died on Jan. 10. Five police officers, all Black, have been fired and charged with second-degree murder.

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The U.S. government’s road safety agency is investigating complaints that windshield trim panels can fly off of Ford Explorers while they’re traveling at highway speeds. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has 164 complaints about the trim pieces detaching on 2011 through 2019 Explorer SUVs. The probe covers about 1.86 million vehicles. The parts could hit the windshield of following vehicles or even a motorcycle rider, possibly causing loss of control and a crash, the agency said. The agency doesn’t have any reports of crashes or injuries.

  • 0

The head of the Food and Drug Administration has announced an overhaul of the agency's food safety and nutrition division. FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf is vowing to better protect consumers and the U.S. food supply. He said Tuesday he would create a new human foods program led by a deputy commissioner. That person would have authority over policy, strategy and regulatory activities for the agency responsible for 80% of the foods Americans eat. The changes are drawing praise from some food safety advocates, but other experts say they don't go far enough. The new deputy will report directly to the commissioner and will be named by spring.

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U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin says the United States will increase its deployment of advanced weapons such as fighter jets and bombers to the Korean Peninsula as it strengthens joint training and operational planning with South Korea in response to a growing North Korean nuclear threat. Austin made the comments after he and South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-Sup agreed to further expand their combined military exercises and continue a “timely and coordinated” deployment of U.S. strategic assets to the region. Austin and Lee also discussed preparations for a simulated exercise between the allies in February aimed at sharpening their response if North Korea uses nuclear weapons.

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Today is Tuesday, Jan. 31, the 31st day of 2023. There are 334 days left in the year.