National Briefs

Demolition of the Parkland classroom building where 17 died in shooting begins

PARKLAND, Fla. (AP) — A large excavator stretched up and punched out a window on the top floor of a three-story classroom building where 17 people died in the 2018 mass shooting at Parkland, Florida’s, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as a long-awaited demolition got underway. About 100 yards away, some victims’ family members watched, and took photos and videos Friday morning. Officials plan to complete the weekslong project before the school’s 3,300 students return in August from summer vacation. Most were in elementary school when the shooting happened. The building had been kept up to serve as evidence at the shooter’s 2022 penalty trial. Jurors toured its bullet-pocked and blood-stained halls, but spared him a death sentence. He’s serving a term of life without parole.

Microsoft delays controversial AI Recall feature on new Windows computers

REDMOND, Wash. (AP) — New laptops equipped with Microsoft Windows start shipping to customers next week but without a flagship feature called Recall that drew concerns about privacy and cybersecurity. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella touted the new Recall feature at a showcase event last month. Recall works by periodically taking snapshots of a computer screen to give Microsoft’s AI assistant Copilot a “photographic memory” of a person’s virtual activity, ostensibly to help a person remember what they did earlier. But this week, the company said it was delaying a “broadly available” preview of Recall that was supposed to be included with new PCs starting Tuesday.

Anxiety over persistent inflation helps drive down US consumer sentiment

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer sentiment fell in June for the third straight month as Americans took a dimmer view of their own finances and worried about persistent inflation. The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index, released Friday in a preliminary version, dropped to 65.6 this month from a final reading of 69.1 in May. June’s reading is about 30% higher than the bottom reached in June 2022, when inflation peaked at a four-decade high, but is still below levels typically associated with a healthy economy.

NY governor’s subway mask ban proposal sparks debate

NEW YORK (AP) — A new proposal by Gov. Kathy Hochul to ban masks on the New York subway is drawing pushback from disability advocates and civil liberties, who say the measure could violate the right to protest anonymously. Hochul floated the measure this week in response to an event involving masked pro-Palestinian demonstrators aboard a train that she described as antisemitic. But a director at the ACLU has warned the proposal may be unconstitutional if it is selectively enforced. While New York previously banned public mask-wearing prior to the pandemic, the law was challenged repeatedly in court with mixed results. Hochul says the proposal would include exemptions for those who masked for health or religious reasons.


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