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8 more airports OK’d for Cuba flights

Eight new airports have been given permission to schedule charter flights to and from Cuba.

Customs and Border Protection officials say charter flights to Cuba can be scheduled from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and international airports in Baltimore, Dallas/Fort Worth, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Tampa, Atlanta and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Previously, flights were permitted only from Los Angeles, Miami and New York.

Access to flights to the communist island nation still will be limited to people who meet certain travel requirements, including people from Cuba and those traveling for educational purposes or with religious groups.

The decision to allow eight new airports to schedule flights to Cuba is part of a broad effort to reach out to the Cuban people announced by President Obama earlier this year.


New fingerprint system is faster

The FBI conducts 165,000 fingerprint checks a day and the job just got easier.

The bureau has begun using a new computer system that takes just seven minutes to search a database of 70 million sets of fingerprints for a possible match with the fingerprints of a suspect. That is down from the old average search time of 17 minutes.

In a recent side-by-side, five-day test of the new and old systems, the new FBI system turned up 910 additional matches between prints submitted to the bureau and prints in the FBI’s database from earlier arrests.

Engineers computed the accuracy rate of the new system at 99.6 percent, compared with the rate of 92 percent for the old system, which had been in use for more than a decade.


Health care provision overhaul delayed

PORTLAND | The federal government is delaying a key provision of President Obama’s health care law to protect Maine’s fragile market for individual health insurance, making it the first state to receive such a waiver.

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