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In our news wrap Thursday, Florida lawmakers sent a newly adopted gun control bill to Republican Gov. Rick Scott. Also, the Mississippi legislature approved an abortion bill that would likely be the most restrictive in the nation, outlawing the procedure after 15 weeks of pregnancy. A number of states currently have limits of 20 weeks.
In the day's other news: Lawmakers in Florida sent a newly adopted gun control bill to Republican Governor Rick Scott. He wouldn't say if he will sign it. The bill passed the state House on Wednesday. It sets a minimum age of 21 to purchase rifles, and also creates a program for arming teachers who get training.
The Mississippi legislature today approved an abortion bill that would likely be the most restrictive in the nation. It outlaws the procedure after 15 weeks of pregnancy. A number of states now have limits of 20 weeks. Mississippi's Republican governor says he will sign the bill, but abortion rights groups have promised to sue.
The Northeastern U.S. has started digging out after the second big storm in a week. Parts of New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts got two feet of snow in the last 24 hours, and Dover, Vermont, got 2.5 feet. Crews worked overnight to remove downed trees, plow highways and clear railway tracks. Some 800,000 customers were in the dark, including some who lost power in the first storm.
In Britain, a former Russian spy and his daughter are still critically ill after being poisoned by a nerve agent. Police also say 21 others needed treatment after Sunday's attack, but most have recovered. The investigation is continuing, but officials are not directly blaming Russia, so far.
Dan Rivers of Independent Television News has our report.
It is a sign of the severity of the potential hazard that fire crews were being equipped with protective suits and masks today as they approached the bench where Sergei and Yulia Skripal were found, as senior officers watching on as the crew re-secured a forensic tent over the scene.
This afternoon, the officer who was hospitalized after first attending the incident was named as Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey. He has now regained consciousness and is in serious, but stable condition.
He's well. He sat up. He's not the Nick that I know, but, of course, he's receiving a high level of treatment. He's in the safe hands of the medical professionals.
The government has not confirmed precisely which nerve agent was used, but was trenchant in its condemnation of the culprits.
The use of a nerve agent on U.K. soil is a brazen and reckless act. This was attempted murder in the most cruel and public way. People are right to want to know who to hold to account.
Yulia and Sergei Skripal and remain in a critical condition, pictured here in the Zizzi restaurant which they may also have visited on Sunday.
This CCTV of them leaving shows Yulia holding a red handbag. This photo of the immediate aftermath of the incident shows her handbag discarded on the ground as a police officer not wearing any productive suit or mask gathers evidence.
At Sergei Skripal's house, several tents have now been put up and the cordon around it has been extended. It's not clear why the police activity at Sergei Skripal's house has increased so markedly today, but it's possible officers are looking to see if there are any traces of the nerve agent inside the property.
Sergei Skripal's wife and son both died in recent years and are buried in Salisbury, a family consumed by repeated tragedy, with some now wondering if their deaths were more than just terrible coincidences.
Sergei Skripal had once been a double agent for Britain before being caught and later freed in a spy swap.
Fresh disclosures today about the investigation of possible Russian links to the Trump campaign. The Washington Post reported there's evidence that a meeting between a Trump backer and a Russian official before the inauguration aimed to create a back channel with the Kremlin.
And The New York Times reported the president has asked two key witnesses about their conversations with investigators. Meanwhile, former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort pleaded not guilty today to tax evasion and bank fraud in federal court in Virginia.
Turkey announced plans today for a joint operation with Iraqi forces against Kurdish rebels in Northern Iraq. It could start after Iraq's elections on May 12. The Turks are already attacking U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters in Syria. The Turks say they're allied with rebels inside Turkey.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared today the U.S. commitment to Africa is clear. That's after President Trump triggered outrage in January with a slur about African nations.
Today in Ethiopia, Tillerson met with a top African Union official, who said it's time to move past the uproar.
Moussa Faki Mahamat:
I believe that this incident is behind us. I believe that the visit today by the U.S. Secretary of State Tillerson is the proof of the relations between Africa and the United States.
This is Tillerson's first diplomatic trip to Africa. He will also stop in Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Nigeria.
This was International Women's Day, with marches and demonstrations across the world. In the Philippines, hundreds of women clad in pink protested in Manila accusing President Rodrigo Duterte of violating women's rights.
Spanish women in Madrid brought traffic to a standstill during a full-day strike against the wage gap and gender violence.
And in New Delhi, hundreds marched toward the Indian Parliament to highlight sexual attacks. Some carried signs reading "Don't rape" and other slogans.
The U.S. Forest Service named an interim chief today in a shakeup over alleged sexual misconduct. Vicki Christiansen is a former firefighter. She will succeed Tony Tooke. He retired yesterday following a "NewsHour" investigation into an alleged culture of sexual harassment and assault at the agency.
On Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average gained nearly 94 points to close at 24895. The Nasdaq rose 31 points, and the S&P 500 added 12.
And it turns out fake news travels six times faster than the real thing, at least on Twitter. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology reached that conclusion after reviewing millions of tweets spanning 10 years. They say, even accounting for the influence of bots, fake news moves farther, faster, deeper and more broadly than the truth. Twitter funded the study.
Still to come on the "NewsHour": the Trump economic adviser behind the steel and aluminum tariffs; from the "NewsHour" Bookshelf, America's secret wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan; a Pulitzer-Prize winning cartoonist sketches the faces of homelessness; and much more.
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