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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Senate has confirmed Lynn Gallagher as the head of the state's public health agency. The unanimous vote came during Wednesday's floor session. Gallagher has held the top spot at the state Health Department since March 2016 when she was appointed by Gov. Susana Martinez following the death of then-Secretary Retta Ward. Gallagher's resume included recent stints as deputy health secretary and general counsel for the Long-Term Services Department, after an early career in business and finance in New York and Florida.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Former U.S. Congresswoman and mass shooting survivor Gabrielle Giffords is stepping into a tense debate about whether to require background checks on most private gun sales in New Mexico. Giffords and her national gun-safety advocacy group Americans for Responsible Solutions on Wednesday threw their weight behind efforts to build a broader support in New Mexico for bills designed to keep guns out of the hands of convicted criminals, perpetrators of domestic violence and the mentally ill.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) --The teenager accused of shooting and killing an Albuquerque homeowner during a night of mobbing has been ordered to serve 25 years in prison. A judge sentenced 18-year-old Jeremiah King for the 2015 murder of Steven Gerecke during a court hearing Wednesday. Many of Gerecke's family and friends were in the courtroom. King had reached a plea agreement with prosecutors in December in which he admitted to first-degree murder and several other charges.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Several Albuquerque groups are concerned about immigration arrests targeting people leaving scheduled court hearings. The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/2m8qR0r ) it's not clear if this is an escalation of ICE policy or is coming to light amid scrutiny of President Donald Trump's crackdown on illegal immigration. Chief Judge Nan Nash of the 2nd Judicial District says she isn't aware of such actions in her 14 years at the court. Civil rights groups, advocates against domestic violence, attorneys and others want the courts to intervene.

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Navajo Nation officials say they have a plan for improving a problem-plagued veterans housing program. Tribal President Russell Begaye's office says the Navajo Nation Veterans Administration submitted a corrective action plan in response to critical audit findings. The findings included poor accountability for building materials, selection of ineligible veterans for homes, poor construction management and uninhabitable homes. Begaye's office says the veterans housing program is revising its policies and procedures to implement the corrective action plan.

Four newly discovered frog species are so tiny that they can sit comfortably on a fingernail, making them some of the smallest-known frogs in the world.

Scientists said in a video that they were "surprised to find that the miniature forms are in fact locally abundant and fairly common." The frogs likely escaped notice until now because of their tiny size and secretive habitats, hidden under damp soil or dense vegetation.

During a sentencing hearing in Texas two decades ago, a defense attorney for a man named Duane Buck called on an expert who said his client's race made it more statistically likely that he would commit violent crimes in the future.

Because of that statement, the Supreme Court has ruled 6-2 that Buck, who is black, can appeal his death sentence.

It's the latest development in a case that Chief Justice John Roberts describes as "a perfect storm" of circumstances that he says culminated in a lower court "making a decision on life or death on the basis of race."

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

These days, almost every new movie, TV show, album or book feels so anticipated and pre-packaged that we're already tired of it by the time it's released. This makes it especially thrilling when something dazzling just appears like that alien spaceship in Arrival, startling even those whose business it is be in the know.

While trying to catch a bus to school, Emilio Mayfield, 16, jaywalked. When he didn't comply with a police officer's command to get out of the bus lane, a scuffle ensued. Mayfield was struck in the face with a baton and arrested by nine Stockton, Cal. police officers. The arrest was captured on video by a bystander and the video went viral.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Several Albuquerque groups are concerned about immigration arrests targeting people leaving scheduled court hearings. The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/2m8qR0r ) it's not clear if this is an escalation of ICE policy or is coming to light amid scrutiny of President Donald Trump's crackdown on illegal immigration. Chief Judge Nan Nash of the 2nd Judicial District says she isn't aware of such actions in her 14 years at the court. Civil rights groups, advocates against domestic violence, attorneys and others want the courts to intervene.

A small, faint star relatively close by is home to seven Earth-size planets with conditions that could be right for liquid water and maybe even life.

The discovery sets a record for both the most Earth-size planets and the most potentially habitable planets ever discovered around a single star.

A federal judge in Texas has temporarily blocked an attempt by state health officials to remove Medicaid funds from Planned Parenthood, allowing the women's health provider to remain in the federal program at least until a lawsuit is settled.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said he will appeal the decision, which he said "is disappointing and flies in the face of basic human decency," the Dallas Morning News reported.

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Navajo Nation officials say they have a plan for improving a problem-plagued veterans housing program. Tribal President Russell Begaye's office says the Navajo Nation Veterans Administration submitted a corrective action plan in response to critical audit findings. The findings included poor accountability for building materials, selection of ineligible veterans for homes, poor construction management and uninhabitable homes. Begaye's office says the veterans housing program is revising its policies and procedures to implement the corrective action plan.

The space capsule that took the first moonwalkers on their historic adventure is getting ready to take off on another trip — its first tour of the United States in more than 40 years.

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