WASHINGTON — The House Ethics Committee announced an investigation Friday into Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz as federal prosecutors probing sex trafficking allegations against him are also scrutinizing the actions of some of his political allies and fellow Florida Republicans as part of a broader public corruption inquiry. Federal agents have, in recent months, been examining Gaetz’s connections to several other influential Florida political figures. They include Florida state senator Jason Brodeur; Halsey Beshears, the state’s former top business regulator; Chris Dorworth, a lobbyist who had served in the state House of Representatives; and Jason Pirozzolo, a hand surgeon and Gaetz campaign donor who served on the board of the Orlando Airport Authority, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. Brodeur and Beshears did not respond to repeated calls seeking comment. An attorney for Pirozzolo also did not respond to a request for comment. Dorworth didn't comment. The FBI’s examination of a wide range of topics involving Gaetz and his associates exemplifies the breadth of the investigation. Gaetz, who has vehemently denied any wrongdoing, has retained two prominent New York attorneys while facing a Justice Department investigation into sex trafficking allegations involving underage girls. The scrutiny includes an examination of a trip that Gaetz and Pirozzolo took to the Bahamas with a group of women, and federal agents are looking into whether they were paid or received gifts to have sex with the men, the person said. CBS News first reported details of the trip. The FBI has also started questioning people about that trip and others that Gaetz and his associates took with women, and agents are examining whether any of the women were later hired into government positions as political favours, the person said. Investigators have been scrutinizing financial records, contact witnesses, former staff members and others who they believe may have been aware of the activities, according to the person. The person could not publicly discuss details of the ongoing investigation and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. Gaetz has not been charged with a crime and has sent fundraising appeals that portray him as a victim of a “smear campaign.” During a high-profile appearance Friday night at former President Donald Trump’s Doral golf club in Miami, he vowed, “I have not yet begun to fight.” “I’m built for the battle and I’m not going anywhere,” Gaetz said. “The smears against me range from distortions of my personal life to wild — and I mean wild — conspiracy theories.” But a potentially ominous sign occurred in a Florida court Thursday when it was revealed that a Gaetz associate, Joel Greenberg, a former county tax collector, is working toward a plea deal. Such a move could potentially open the door for Greenberg’s co-operation against Gaetz. Prosecutors are examining whether Gaetz and Greenberg paid underage girls or offered them gifts in exchange for sex, according to two people familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity because they could not discuss details publicly. Greenberg entered a not guilty plea Friday through his attorney to a variety of charges ranging from child sex trafficking to fraud. A judge has set a May 15 deadline for Greenberg to reach a plea deal. The House panel’s bipartisan probe is one of the first official indications Gaetz’s party leaders are willing to scrutinize his actions. It also appears sweeping in scope, reaching beyond the reports of sexual misconduct into broader allegations of public corruption, according to the committee chairman, Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., and ranking Republican Rep. Jackie Walorski of Indiana. Unfolding alongside a federal criminal investigation, the ethics probe ensures Gaetz will have to confront simultaneous inquiries even as he maintains his innocence and plans to remain in Congress. The Ethics Committee conducts its work in secret and usually issues a final report on what it finds, often many months later. Punishment for ethics violations is up to the House and can include censure, fines and even expulsion from Congress. Separately Friday, a spokesperson for Gaetz said attorneys Marc Mukasey and Isabelle Kirshner will lead his legal team. “Matt has always been a fighter. A fighter for his constituents, a fighter for the country, and a fighter for the Constitution. He’s going to fight back against the unfounded allegations against him,” the statement said, adding that the lawyers “will take the fight to those trying to smear his name with falsehoods.” ___ Associated Press writers Curt Anderson in St. Petersburg, Florida, and Brendan Farrington in Tallahassee, Florida, contributed to this report. ___ This story has been corrected to reflect the proper spelling of the last name for Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla. Eric Tucker, Michael Balsamo And Lisa Mascaro, The Associated Press
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — More Black Americans say they are open to taking the coronavirus vaccine. A poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research in late March found about 24% of Black American adults say they will probably or definitely not get vaccinated. That’s down from 41% in January. The executive director of the American Public Health Association,Dr. Georges Benjamin, says attitudes toward the vaccine among Black Americans have taken “almost a 180-degree turnaround” as outreach campaigns have sought to combat misinformation. Mattie Pringle had doubts about taking the coronavirus vaccine. The 57-year-old from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, feared her underlying health conditions might heighten her chances of a severe reaction to the shot. The speedy development and approval of the vaccines also fed her skepticism. She made an appointment to get a vaccine after a member of her church, who is a local NAACP leader, shared a news story about Kizzmekia Corbett, a Black government scientist who played a key role in developing the Moderna vaccine. The latest number shows Black Americans leaning against getting shots is now nearly the same as white Americans at 26% and Hispanic Americans at 22%. ___ THE VIRUS OUTBREAK: — Delayed vaccine shipments could stall progress against COVID-19 in some of world’s poorest countries — Honduras jails two former officials on fraud charges tied to purchase of mobile hospitals — U.S. government rushes resources to Michigan to control state’s worst-in-nation COVID-19 outbreak — Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine ___ HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING: TEHRAN, Iran -- State TV reports that Iran has begun a 10-day lockdown amid a fourth wave of coronavirus infections. Iran’s coronavirus task force ordered most shops closed and offices were restricted to one-third capacity in cities declared as “red-zones.” The Health Ministry says there were more than 19,600 new infections on Saturday and 193 confirmed deaths. More than 85% of the country has either a red or orange infection status, authorities say. The severe surge in infections follows a two-week public holiday for Nowruz, the Persian New Year. Millions travelled to the Caspian coast and other popular vacation spots in defiance of government health guidelines. Only some 200,000 doses have been administered in the country of 84 million, according to the World Health Organization. The confirmed death toll has reached more than 64,200. ___ BUCHAREST, Romania — Romania passed one million confirmed COVID-19 infections since its first recorded case in February last year. The bleak milestone comes as hospital intensive care units (ICU) in the country — which has a population of more than 19 million — are struggling to cope with record numbers of ICU patients, currently just short of 1,500. Another 12,000 COVID-19 patients are receiving hospital care. “It’s a situation we haven’t encountered until now in Romania,” Beatrice Mahler, the manager at the Marius Nasta Institute of Pneumology, told The Associated Press. “Extremely ill patients who arrive with low (oxygen) saturation levels and need an ICU bed — but the number of beds is really limited.” Romania has administered more than 3.5 million vaccine doses. There have been more than 25,000 total confirmed coronavirus deaths. ___ WARSAW, Poland — At least six people were detained Saturday during anti-lockdown protest in Warsaw by about 100 angry businessmen. They held the protest near a downtown square where state ceremonies were taking place to mark the 2010 plane crash that killed then-president, Lech Kaczynski, and 95 others. Participants in the protest, coming from across Poland, threw smoke grenades and chanted to vent their ire at the lockdown that they say is threatening their livelihoods. They were confronted by police on foot and on horseback and at least six persons were detained, according to Warsaw police spokesman Sylwester Marczak. ___ NEW DELHI — Multiple Indian states are warning the federal government of COVID-19 vaccine shortages as another spike in cases threatens to overrun the country and its already-feeble medical infrastructure. Authorities in New Delhi and in Punjab and Rajasthan states said Saturday that they would not be able to continue vaccinations in the coming days unless stocks were replenished. Earlier this week, western Maharashtra state, the epicenter of the country’s outbreak, closed some vaccination centres and turned people away due to inadequate vaccine supplies. Indian Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has said the country has enough doses and urged state governments to put an end to “fearmongering.” India, a major vaccine manufacturer, has so far administered 97 million shots but is facing major supply snags as it works to inoculate a huge population of nearly 1.4 billion people. Vaccine shots are currently limited to people over age 45 and frontline workers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s opponents have blamed his government for exporting tens of millions of vaccine doses instead of focusing on immunizations at home. India has exported 64.5 million vaccine doses of vaccines to other nations. It stopped exports last week to prioritize domestic needs. ___ BEIJING — China reported 14 new confirmed coronavirus cases and no deaths on Saturday. All the new infections were believed to have been acquired abroad, the National Health Commission said. The country’s death toll stood at 4,636 out of 90,400 confirmed cases. ___ WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The Navajo Nation has issued a stay-at-home order for the weekend after reporting 26 more confirmed COVID-19 cases. The latest figures bring the total number of cases on the tribe’s reservation, which includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, to 30,239. No additional deaths were reported. The current death toll is 1,260. The weekend stay-at-home order follows an increase of infections and the announcement this week of the first confirmed case of the COVID-19 B.1.429 variant on the Navajo Nation. The variant was first identified in the state of California and has since been detected across the southwest U.S. ___ NEW YORK — Pfizer wants to allow more adolescents to receive the vaccine. New York-based Pfizer and BioNTech SE of Germany have asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to expand the emergency use authorization for their vaccine to include adolescents ages 12 through 15. Back in mid-December, the two-dose shot received emergency clearance for vaccinating people ages 16 and up. Pfizer and BioNTech said they are working closely with the FDA and regulators in other countries to get emergency or conditional authorization as quickly as possible for kids ages 12 through 15. The companies noted in a statement that preliminary results through March 31 from late-stage testing in that age group found the vaccine safe and 100% effective in blocking infections. They said side effects were consistent with those from testing of volunteers ages 16 through 25: pain and swelling at the injection site, fatigue, headaches, fever and nausea. All participants in the study of 12- through 15-year-old volunteers will be monitored for two years, starting after they received their second dose, to watch for any safety issues and determine how long the vaccine protects recipients. ___ GENEVA — European regulators are reviewing Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine for unusual blood clots similar to the possible risk from another vaccine, the one made by AstraZeneca. Earlier this week, the European Medicines Agency cited a possible link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and a rare clotting disorder. The J&J vaccine is made with a similar technology, prompting questions about the possibility of similar side effects. The European group said Friday that it is investigating four reports of unusual clots, one in a J&J study and the others during the U.S. rollout of the one-dose vaccine. Before clearing the J&J shot for U.S. use, the Food and Drug Administration investigated the clot that occurred during testing. At the time, the FDA said it would monitor for any red flags as the vaccine was used more widely. Earlier this week, the European regulators said there have been three additional U.S. reports of clots with “some similarities,” out of almost 5 million vaccine recipients. The EMA on Friday reiterated that it’s not clear if the small number of J&J reports are linked to the vaccine, which is expected to roll out in Europe in a few weeks. In a statement Friday, J&J said “no clear causal relationship has been established between these rare events” and the vaccine, but that it continued to work closely with regulators to assess the data. ___ SANTA FE, N.M. — Health officials say New Mexico is moving faster than any state in the U.S. toward herd immunity, with one-third of adult residents now fully vaccinated. Health Secretary Dr. Tracie Collins says milestones such as this show that the state’s vaccination campaign is working. Overall, state data shows more than half of residents 16 and older have received at least a first shot. That puts the state in the lead when it comes to vaccine distribution nationwide. New Mexico has seen a slight uptick in COVID-19 cases in recent days that has pushed the seven-day rolling average up. But health officials say vaccinations by far are outpacing the number of new confirmed cases and that has helped the state to meet nearly all of its benchmarks. Still, officials say they have concerns about emerging variants and will be monitoring developments in neighbouring states. ___ The Associated Press
The actor has long teased his interest in politics. Now the public is weighing in.
Hospitalizations from COVID-19 remain around the same as they have been the previous weeks.
WASHINGTON — In a story April 9, 2021, about the House Ethics Committee opening an investigation of Rep. Matt Gaetz, The Associated Press misspelled the last name of the committee chairman. It is Rep. Ted Deutch, not Ted Deutsch. The Associated Press
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The striker clashed with Junior Morais as the Mariners left the field at half-time.
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The Duke of Edinburgh was the first President of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts
After struggling to find information to help him parent two sons on the autism spectrum, Grant Bruno decided to study autism in First Nations communities to help families in the future. Despite his university education — he has a master of science degree in risk and community resilience — Bruno found it difficult to navigate the system in search of the right programs for his boys, ages 11 and six. On top of that, he found no research on autism in First Nations communities. To remedy the issue for his own family and for all Cree families, he decided to pursue a PhD in medical sciences at the University of Alberta, studying what life is like for families of kids with autism in Maskwacis, Alta. "I really do want to explore those experiences," Bruno told CBC's Edmonton AM on Wednesday. "Right now we're not really, there's not enough information on it … There's minimal academic literature on the actual lived experience of ASD [autism spectrum disorder] and an Indigenous cultural and community context." Now, a year into his research, Bruno said he has found that only in non-Indigenous communities is autism considered a disorder. People with autism have difficulties with communication and social deficits and can exhibit restrictive, repetitive behaviours and interests. In Cree, the word used to describe autism is pîtoteyihtam — he/she thinks differently. "There's no disorder, there's no deficit," Bruno said. "And anecdotally, what I've found is that I find our communities are really accepting of those on a spectrum." Challenges with public health system Bruno plans on exploring the relationship Cree communities have with the public health system, especially when it comes to diagnosing autism. He said many in the communities don't get diagnosed until they are adults. To get a diagnosis, people need transportation and child care, and they need to travel to medical facilities in places like the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in Edmonton, he said. And waiting lists can be a year or longer. "So there's a lot of obstacles to getting a diagnosis." He said it helps him that he lives in Edmonton, because having an on-reserve address disqualifies families from accessing provincial services. There are no federal programs for autism on reserves, he said. "You don't have access to occupational therapists. You don't have access to speech language pathologists. You have very limited access to respite or anything of that nature. "You have to leave your community to support your children and it's a tall order." As part of his research, Bruno also wants to see how cultural programs such as powwows could potentially better accommodate people with autism such as powwows. He said he wants to look into a sensory-friendly round dance. "They can be very overwhelming," he said. "It's a celebration. People are getting together, laughing and of course, this will be post-pandemic, but making and devising or strategizing around how do we make this as an inclusive space." Bruno's research will take a minimum of four years and he wants all decisions around it "to be focused on the community through the community and by the community. "What that does is it ... really addresses those power imbalances between the research, researcher and the researched and then the results kind of, you know, take care of themselves."
Abby Dow at the double as England thrash Italy in Women’s Six NationsPool A: Italy 3-67 EnglandChampions recover from slow start to rack up nine tries England’s Abby Dow, who impressed throughout, shrugs off an Italian defender. Photograph: Chris Ricco - RFU/The RFU Collection/Getty Images
KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent — Extremely heavy ashfall rained down across the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent on Saturday and a strong sulfur smell enveloped communities a day after a powerful explosion at La Soufriere volcano uprooted the lives of thousands of people who evacuated their homes under government orders. Lush green Caribbean villages were transformed into a sort of gloomy, gray version of Alpine villages under a blanket of fine soot, which also hung in the air, obscuring the sun. Nearby nations including Antigua and Guyana have offered help by either shipping emergency supplies or temporarily opening their borders to the roughly 16,000 evacuees fleeing ash-covered communities with as many personal belongings as they could stuff into suitcases and backpacks. The volcano, which last had a sizable eruption in 1979, kept rumbling and experts warned that explosions could continue for days or weeks. A previous eruption in 1902 killed some 1,600 people. “The first bang is not necessarily the biggest bang this volcano will give,” Richard Robertson, a geologist with the University of the West Indies’ Seismic Research Center, said during a news conference. Conditions for many worsened overnight as heavy ash covered homes, cars and streets and even the runway of the airport at the opposite end of the roughly 20-mile (30-kilometre) long island from the volcano’s crater. People left footprints in the ash as they trudged away from their homes. Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves told NBC Radio, a local station, that officials were trying to figure out how to remove the ash. “It's difficult to breath,” Gonsalves said, adding that while the volcano's venting has diminished, a big plume of ash and smoke remained. “What goes up, must come down.” He asked people to remain calm, have patience and keep protecting themselves from the coronavirus as he celebrated that no deaths or injuries were reported after the eruption in the northern tip of St. Vincent, part of an island chain that includes the Grenadines and is home to more than 100,000 people. “Agriculture will be badly affected, and we may have some loss of animals, and we will have to do repairs to houses, but if we have life, and we have strength, we will build it back better, stronger, together,” he said. Gonsalves has said that depending on the damage caused by the explosion, it could take up to four months for life to return to normal. Some 3,200 people were staying in 78 government shelters while four empty cruise ships floated nearby, waiting to take other evacuees to nearby islands. Those staying in shelters were tested for COVID-19, and anyone testing positive would be taken to an isolation centre. The first explosion occurred Friday morning, a day after the government ordered mandatory evacuations based on warnings from scientists who noted a type of seismic activity before dawn on Thursday that meant magma was on the move close to the surface. An ash column burst more than 33,000 feet (7 kilometres) into the sky, with lightning crackling through the still-towering cloud late Friday. The ash forced the cancellation of several flights and poor visibility limited evacuations in some areas. Officials warned that Barbados, St. Lucia and Grenada could see light ashfall as the 4,003-foot (1,220-meter) volcano continued to rumble. The majority of ash was expected to head northeast into the Atlantic Ocean. La Soufriere previously had an effusive eruption in December, prompting experts from around the region to fly in and analyze the formation of a new volcanic dome and changes to its crater lake, among other things. The eastern Caribbean has 19 live volcanoes, including two underwater near the island of Grenada. One of those, Kick ’Em Jenny, has been active in recent years. But the most active volcano of all is Soufriere Hills in Montserrat. It has erupted continuously since 1995, razing the capital of Plymouth and killing at least 19 people in 1997. ___ Coto reported from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Kristin Deane And DáNica Coto, The Associated Press
The French government on Saturday promised its compensation scheme for farmers hit by unseasonal April frost would bring major financial relief to the sector. After visiting a farm in Ardèche, in south-eastern France, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced plans to remove caps on compensation for agricultural disasters.“We will use all the means at our disposal,” he said – adding the government would bring together bankers, insurers and others to respond to the crisis.His announcement comes a day after the government activated a system to compensate for losses of crops and funds caused by natural disasters including drought, flooding and frost.The frost that covered swathes of France this week is expected to be among the worst in recent decades, decimating many crops – particularly vines and orchards."We can see that these weather patterns are linked to climate change," Castex said during his visit to Colombier-le-Cardinal, adding that "we must follow up on structural change" to help the agricultural sector.These goals could be reached with the PAC - or commun agriculture pact - at a European level as well as the climate law currently being debated in the French parliament."France needs a strong agricultural sector - it's is a question of sovereignty," he said.Widespread damageTen of France’s 13 regions were affected – more than three-quarters of the country – with many wine and fruit growers losing much of their harvest.French media reports said only 30 percent of winemakers were insured against frost because of the prohibitive cost. France declares agricultural 'disaster' after spring frosts damage vineyards "The frost insurance is so expensive … you’d be paying more than what you would receive,” winegrower Denis Grandvaux told France Info.Instead, many winemakers lit thousands of glowing, small fires to ward off the frost.
Bennylyn Burke and her daughter Jellica had previously enjoyed picnics with friends in Brandon Hill, Bristol.
The last time we saw Kendrick Nunn in a meaningful, 30-plus minutes a night role for the Miami Heat, he was pouring in 47 points against Western Conference contenders Portland and Phoenix, while shooting 8 for 14 on threes, and dishing out six assists without a turnover.
After a dreary Saturday, sunshine will be back soon.
She was formally recognised by the State of Israel for her bravery in harbouring a Jewish mother and some of her children from the Nazis.
The University of Northern British Columbia and its faculty association have ratified a new collective agreement that both sides say sets the stage for a better era of labour relations. “This agreement is historic,” said UNBC Faculty Association president Paul Siakaluk in a joint statement. “It compensates our members fairly and establishes a baseline for productive future relations between UNBC and the UNBC-FA." The outcome brings to an end a long-running negotiation that included a three-week strike by UNBC faculty in November 2019. The following month, the sides agreed to take their differences to "final offer selection arbitration" in which the arbitrator selects between the parties' best and final offers and without the ability to "split the difference" between the two. However, a separate agreement was reached outside the arbitration process, the sides said in the statement. “I commend the Faculty Association leadership team and appreciate their willingness to renew our conversation," UNBC interim president Geoff Payne said in the statement. "Over the past year we have developed a very strong foundation together upon which we can collectively build an improved labour relations environment leading into our University’s future.” The agreement runs retroactively from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2023 and covers nearly 500 faculty, including professors, instructors, lecturers, sessional lecturers, librarians and senior lab instructors, It includes general wage increases of two per cent per year, a redesigned compensation framework more in line with other post-secondary institutions, and "other improvements meant to foster a productive labour relations environment." The agreement also falls within the B.C. government’s 2019 sustainable services negotiating mandate. Some additional committee work is still to be carried out, according to the statement. A major sticking point appeared to be treatment of faculty who receive a stipend in the form of a so-called "market differential" payment in addition to the salaries they received through the collective agreement. UNBC-FA filed a complaint to the B.C. Labour Relations Board claiming UNBC was engaging in bad faith bargaining by including in the proposal it took to arbitration a proviso that would see those on the agreements have their stipends reduced by the amount of the salary increase. UNBC-FA argued in part that the payments are determined by contract, such that reducing those payments would necessarily be a breach of the contract. In July 2020, an LRB panel member ruled in favour of UNBC, finding that while the employer eventually wants to do away with a "two-tiered" wage system by not renewing the market differential agreements when they expire, at no time during the term of the collective agreement would their total salaries be reduced. The decision was upheld on appeal by UNBC-FA in March. In an interview, Siakaluk said the stipends remain in force and will be the topic of further discussion by a working group. He said the stipends are negotiated outside of the collective agreement. According to the complaint UNBC-FA filed with the LRB, 51 of the 220 full-time faculty receive the stipends, which can be as much as $49,000. Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince George Citizen
SAN FRANCISCO, April 10, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hagens Berman urges EHang Holdings Limited (NASDAQ: EH) investors with significant losses to submit their losses now. A securities fraud class action has been filed and certain investors may have valuable claims. Class Period: Dec. 9, 2019 - Feb. 16, 2021Lead Plaintiff Deadline: Apr. 19, 2021Visit: www.hbsslaw.com/investor-fraud/ehangContact An Attorney Now: EHang@hbsslaw.com 844-916-0895 EHang Holdings Limited (EH) Securities Litigation: The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants misrepresented and concealed that: (i) E-Hang’s purported regulatory approvals in Europe and North American for its EH216 were for use as a drone, and not for carrying passengers; (ii) its relationship with its purported primary customer, Kunxiang, is a sham; (iii) EHang has only collected on a fraction of its reported sales since its ADS began trading on NASDAQ in December 2019; and (iv) the Company’s manufacturing facilities were practically empty and lacked evidence of advanced manufacturing equipment or employees. Investors allegedly learned the truth on February 16, 2021, when analyst Wolfpack Research issued a scathing report about the company. Wolfpack Research contends that Kunxiang has entered into sham contracts to benefit EH’s stock price. Wolfpack Research also alleges that EH has exaggerated revenues by reporting sales for which it cannot collect. Wolfpack Research further avers that EH makes false claims about regulatory approvals the company has purportedly received, misleadingly suggesting the company has commercial approval for its products. On this news, the price of EHang’s shares dropped $77.79 per share (or 62.7%) in one trading day. “We’re focused on investor losses and proving EH lied about its revenues, customers and regulatory approvals,” said Reed Kathrein, the Hagens Berman partner leading the investigation. If you are an EH investor, click here to discuss your legal rights with Hagens Berman. Whistleblowers: Persons with non-public information regarding EH should consider their options to help in the investigation or take advantage of the SEC Whistleblower program. Under the new program, whistleblowers who provide original information may receive rewards totaling up to 30 percent of any successful recovery made by the SEC. For more information, call Reed Kathrein at 844-916-0895 or email EHang@hbsslaw.com. About Hagens BermanHagens Berman is a national law firm with eight offices in eight cities around the country and over eighty attorneys. The firm represents investors, whistleblowers, workers and consumers in complex litigation. More about the firm and its successes is located at hbsslaw.com. For the latest news visit our newsroom or follow us on Twitter at @classactionlaw. Contact: Reed Kathrein, 844-916-0895
JUNEAU, Alaska — The Alaska House of Representatives has advanced a bill that would protect an Alaska Native cemetery at Funter Bay and add about 251 acres (about 102 hectares) of state land. The Unangax cemetery holds more than 30 graves of people from the state who died at Funter Bay during World War II after the U.S. military forced them from their homes and held them for much of the war at the remote spot, KTOO Public Media reported Friday. Most of the people who died at Funter Bay were elders or very young children who were left without clean water or basic medical care more than a thousand miles (more than a 1,600 kilometres) from their homes, the outlet reported. The bill had been on the road to passing last year before the coronavirus pandemic cut the legislative session short. This year, a group of Republican state representatives criticized the bill for transferring too much land to the park. Republican Rep. Kevin McCabe said he supported the intent of the bill but he proposed an amendment that would transfer 90 acres (about 36 hectares) to the park instead of the 251 acres. Without the amendment, McCabe said, the state would be transferring additional acres, “including an island that’s offshore and not even part of this cemetery — that is unneeded transfer of Alaska’s wealth into a state park.” Democratic Rep. Sarah Hannan, who is one of the sponsors of the bill, said the Department of Natural Resources had found the land has no commercial value and recommended transferring the entire 251-acre tract because it would streamline management. McCabe’s amendment failed and the bill advanced without objection. The bill now heads to the Senate. The Associated Press