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Nation & World briefs, June 6

TSA drops plan to
allow knives on planes

The Transportation Security Administration is abandoning a plan to allow passengers to carry small knives, souvenir bats, golf clubs and other sports equipment onto planes in the face of fierce congressional and industry opposition, the head of the agency said yesterday.

By scuttling the plan to drop the knives and sports equipment from TSA’s list of prohibited items, the agency can focus its attention on other priorities, including expanding its Pre-Check program to identify ahead of time travelers who don’t pose a security risk, TSA Administrator John Pistole said.

Pistole had unveiled the proposal to loosen the rules for carry-ons in March, saying the knives and other items can’t enable terrorists to cause a plane to crash. He said intercepting them takes time that would be better used searching for explosives and other more serious threats. TSA screeners confiscate more than 2,000 of the small folding knives a day from passengers.

Florida

Powerball jackpot
winner comes forward

An 84-year-old Florida widow who bought her Powerball ticket after another customer let her get ahead in line came forward yesterday to claim the biggest undivided lottery jackpot in history: $590 million.

Gloria MacKenzie, a retiree from Maine and a mother of four who lives in a modest, tin-roof house in Zephyrhills, where the lone winning ticket in the May 18 drawing was sold, took her prize in a lump sum of just more than $370 million. After federal taxes, she is getting about $278 million, lottery officials said.

She did not speak to a crowd of reporters outside lottery headquarters, leaving quickly in a silver Ford Focus with her son and family friends. She was accompanied at the lottery offices by two unidentified attorneys.

Pennsylvania

Judge grants girl’s bid for adult lungs

A dying 10-year-old girl can move up to the adult waiting list for a lung transplant after a federal judge intervened in her case yesterday.

U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson suspended an age factor in the nation’s transplant rules for 10 days for Sarah Murnaghan because of the severity of her condition.

The girl’s family believes that is enough time to find a match. Sarah has been hospitalized at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for three months with end-stage cystic fibrosis.

The Associated Press

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