• BIDEN LEADS RE-ENACTMENT OF VOTING RIGHTS MARCH: SELMA, Ala. (AP) — The vice president and black leaders commemorating a famous civil rights march on Sunday said efforts to diminish the impact of African-Americans’ votes haven’t stopped in the years since the 1965 Voting Rights Act added millions to Southern voter rolls.
More than 5,000 people followed Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma’s annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee.
The event commemorates the “Bloody Sunday” beating of voting rights marchers — including a young Lewis — by state troopers as they began a march to Montgomery in March 1965. The 50-mile march prompted Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act that struck down impediments to voting by African-Americans and ended all-white rule in the South.
Biden, the first sitting vice president to participate in the annual re-enactment, said nothing shaped his consciousness more than watching TV footage of the beatings. “We saw in stark relief the rank hatred, discrimination and violence that still existed in large parts of the nation,” he said.
• MCCAIN, GRAHAM WARN ON CIA NOMINEE VOTE: WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain say they want answers from the Obama administration and are willing to oppose the administration’s choice to be the new CIA director until they get them.
Graham said Sunday he and McCain “are hell-bent on making sure the American people understand this debacle called Benghazi.” The South Carolina Republican says he wants to understand what happened in September at the U.S. consulate in Libya that left four Americans dead.
McCain says he also wants answers about policies on torture and the Arizona senator says he deserves answers.
The Senate Intelligence Committee is scheduled to vote early this week on Brennan’s nomination. Brennan is currently President Barack Obama’s counterterrorism adviser.
• MITCH MCCONNELL CRITICIZES GROUP FOR TWEET ON WIFE: WINCHESTER, Ky. (AP) — Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has lambasted a liberal group for criticizing the ethnicity of his wife, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao.
McConnell told home-state supporters at a Republican dinner in Winchester that Progress Kentucky engaged in “the ultimate outrage” when it used Twitter to distribute a message making an issue of Chao’s Asian heritage. The tweet said McConnell’s marriage to Chao “may explain why your job moved to (hash)China!”
McConnell’s described the tweet as “a racial attack” against Chao, who was born in Taiwan.
Progress Kentucky removed the tweet after Louisville public radio station WFPL-FM aired a story. And the group issued two apologies over the past week for what they described as “inappropriate tweets sent by our organization.”
• ARIZONA PRISON ENDS FIGHT INVOLVING 400 INMATES: TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — An Arizona prison complex is on lockdown after a fight broke out among 400 inmates.
Arizona Department of Corrections spokesman Bill Lamoreaux says the staff was able to quickly stop the fight that broke out at 9:45 a.m. Sunday at the Whetstone Unit of the Arizona State Prison Complex in Tucson.
Two prison staffers suffered minor injuries, while five inmates were brought to hospitals with injuries. The extent of the inmates’ injuries wasn’t immediately available.
The prison is investigating the cause of the fight.
Nearly 1,250 prisoners are housed in the Whetstone Unit. No inmates from the prison’s other seven units were involved in the fight.
• IDITAROD KICKS OFF WITH FESTIVE CEREMONIAL START: ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Mushers and their dogs took a leisurely jaunt through Anchorage on Saturday in the ceremonial start of Alaska’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
The 1,000-mile race kicked off in a festive mood as 66 teams posed with fans and sailed their sleds 11 miles on streets covered with trucked-in snow. Each sled carried an Iditarider, a fan who won the short ride at auction.
“Today is fun, with a capital F,” said smiling veteran musher Aliy Zirkle, the runner-up in last year’s race. “If you don’t have a good time on Saturday with your dogs and all these fans, you’re not in the right sport.”
The event comes ahead of the real, competitive start of the race Sunday in Willow, 50 miles to the north. This is when teams leave the big crowds behind for remote terrain shared mostly with their dogs.
“Today we have fun. Tomorrow we’re serious,” defending champion Dallas Seavey, of Willow, said Saturday between chatting with spectators and signing autographs for fans, including Bunky Nistler of Beach, N.D.
• SCIENTISTS SAY BABY BORN WITH HIV APPARENTLY CURED: WASHINGTON (AP) — A baby born with the virus that causes AIDS appears to have been cured, scientists announced Sunday, describing the case of a child from Mississippi who’s now 2½ and has been off medication for about a year with no signs of infection.
There’s no guarantee the child will remain healthy, although sophisticated testing uncovered just traces of the virus’ genetic material still lingering. If so, it would mark only the world’s second reported cure.
Specialists say Sunday’s announcement, at a major AIDS meeting in Atlanta, offers promising clues for efforts to eliminate HIV infection in children, especially in AIDS-plagued African countries where too many babies are born with the virus.
A doctor gave this baby faster and stronger treatment than is usual, starting a three-drug infusion within 30 hours of birth. That was before tests confirmed the infant was infected and not just at risk from a mother whose HIV wasn’t diagnosed until she was in labor.
• EVERNOTE HACKED: 50 MILLION PASSWORDS RESET: LONDON (AP) — Online note-taking service Evernote Corp. says it has been hacked and is resetting all its 50 million users’ passwords as a precaution.
The Redwood City, California-based company said in a post published late Saturday that an attacker had been able to access sensitive customer information and that every user would have their account reset “in an abundance of caution.”
Evernote says the attacker was able to access an unspecified number of customers’ encrypted passwords. Decoding such passwords can be difficult but is far from impossible.
The company says it has seen no evidence that any customer data had been tampered with or that any payment information had been compromised.