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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.

GOP Considers Trimming Health Law's 10 Essential Benefits

8 hours ago

As Republicans look at ways to replace or repair the Affordable Care Act, many suggest that shrinking the list of services that insurers are required to offer in individual and small group plans would reduce costs and increase flexibility.

There are very few scenarios where I could see myself considering the flesh of a fellow human being as food, and the ultimatum "eat today or die tomorrow" comes up in all of them. Most people are probably with me on this.

But Bill Schutt's newest book, Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History, reveals that from a scientific perspective, there's a predictable calculus for when humans and animals go cannibal. And far more humans — and animals — have dipped into the world of cannibalism than you might have imagined.

Every day on his way to class, Terrence Johnson walks by a bronze statue and thinks about history. The statue depicts James Meredith, who in 1962 became the first African-American to enroll at the University of Mississippi.

"He transcended so much," says Johnson, a junior. "The fact that he had the will to integrate a university like this in Mississippi that has such a rich and chaotic history ... that will always be with me."

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A prominent Muslim leader in Nigeria is making a point about a common practice in Islam. He says if people are worried about poverty or terrorism, they should consider how those problems can be made worse by polygamy. Here's NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton.

Malaysian investigators want to talk with a senior North Korean diplomat in connection to the poisoning death of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The development comes as the North Korean Embassy in Kuala Lampur insists no poison was used.

Koshary is to Egyptian cuisine as the pyramids are to its culture. Emblematic. Iconic. Beloved.

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico Senate committee is scheduled to debate a measure that would make it easier for independents to vote in primary elections. The Senate Rules Committee is slated Wednesday to hear a bill sponsored by Sen. John Sapien that would let voters not affiliated with any political party vote in primary elections by choosing to affiliate by requesting a ballot. Voters currently have to designate a party affiliation on the voter's certificate of registration.

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