Massachusetts

Lingering snowstorm wreaks havoc on Boston commute

BOSTON (AP) — A long-lasting snowstorm hit much of New England at the height of the morning commute Tuesday and continued to hang around for most of the day, snarling travel and closing schools.

The wintry weather that moved into the region Sunday night brought more than 2 feet of snow to parts of upstate New York, western Massachusetts and Vermont on Tuesday, according to tallies from the National Weather Service.

Grocery-carrying robots are coming. Do we need them?

BOSTON (AP) — The first cargo-carrying robot marketed directly to consumers is on sale this holiday season. But how many people are ready to ditch their second car to buy a two-wheeled rover that can follow them around like a dog?

Corporate giants like Amazon, FedEx and Ford have already been experimenting with sending delivery robots to doorsteps. Now Piaggio, the Italian company that makes the Vespa scooter, is offering a stylish alternative to those blandly utilitarian machines — albeit one that weighs 50 pounds (23 kilograms) and costs $3,250.

Director of MIT’s Media Lab steps down over Epstein ties

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — The director of a prestigious research lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology resigned Saturday, and the school’s president ordered an independent investigation amid an uproar over the lab’s ties to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Joi Ito, director of MIT’s Media Lab, resigned from both the lab and from his position as a professor at the Cambridge school, university President L. Rafael Reif said. The resignation was first reported by The New York Times.

O’Rourke calls for mandatory buyback of AK-47, AR-15 rifles

MEDFORD, Mass. (AP) — Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke says a mandatory government buyback program for AK-47 and AR-15 rifles is needed because other gun control measures don’t do enough to remove weapons already on the streets.

O’Rourke spoke Thursday at Tufts University in his first campaign stop in Massachusetts. He said that while universal background checks and red flag laws that allow guns to be removed from those deemed a danger to themselves or others will save lives, neither will address the millions of assault-style weapons already in private hands.

Activists worry about potential abuse of face scans for ICE

BOSTON (AP) — Civil rights activists complained Monday of the potential for widespread abuse following confirmation that at least three states have scanned millions of driver’s license photos on behalf of Immigration and Customs Enforcement without the drivers’ knowledge or consent.

Public records obtained by the Georgetown Law Center on Privacy and Technology provided the first proof that ICE had sought such scans, which were conducted in Utah, Vermont and Washington.

Facebook to make jobs, credit ads searchable for US users

BOSTON (AP) — Facebook says it will make advertisements for jobs, loans and credit card offers searchable for all U.S. users following a legal settlement designed to eliminate discrimination on its platform.

The plan disclosed in an internal report Sunday voluntarily expands on a commitment the social medial giant made in March when it agreed to make its U.S. housing ads searchable by location and advertiser.

Ads were only delivered selectively to Facebook users based on such data as what they earn, their education level and where they shop.

Mario Batali to face assault charge on groping accusation

BOSTON (AP) — Celebrity chef Mario Batali is set to appear in court on a criminal charge that he forcibly kissed and groped a woman at a Boston restaurant in 2017.

Batali is scheduled to be arraigned Friday in Boston Municipal Court on a charge of indecent assault and battery.

The woman filed a civil lawsuit in August alleging that Batali offered to take a selfie with her and then groped and kissed her repeatedly without her consent.

Batali’s attorney says the chef denies the allegations.

USA: Felicity Huffman pleads guilty in college admissions scheme

BOSTON (AP) — “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman pleaded guilty Monday in the college admissions bribery scheme, the biggest name to do so in a scandal that has underscored the lengths to which some wealthy parents will go to get their children into top universities.

The Emmy-winning actress, 56, could face prison time after she admitted to participating in the nationwide scam, in which authorities say parents bribed coaches, rigged entrance exams or both to game the admissions system.

Indian origin pharmaceutical exec guilty of bribing doctors to push opioid

BOSTON (AP) — A pharmaceutical company founder accused of paying doctors millions in bribes to prescribe a highly addictive fentanyl spray was convicted Thursday in a case that exposed such marketing tactics as using a stripper-turned-sales-rep to give a physician a lap dance.

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