National briefs: White House fights cybertheft

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WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration announced new efforts Wednesday to fight the growing theft of American trade secrets, a broad but relatively restrained response to a rapidly emerging global problem that was brought into sharp focus this week by fresh evidence linking cyberstealing to China's military.

Mentioning China but not specifically targeting that country, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the plan, which includes a new diplomatic push to discourage intellectual property theft abroad along with better coordination at home to help U.S. companies protect themselves.

The administration says indications are that economic espionage is increasing, not only through electronic intrusion over the Internet but also through the recruitment of former employees of U.S. companies with knowledge of inside trade information.

Jackson Jr. pleads guilty

WASHINGTON -- Former Democratic Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois, holding back tears, entered a guilty plea Wednesday in federal court to criminal charges that he engaged in a scheme to spend $750,000 in campaign funds on personal items.

A few hours later, his wife, Sandra Jackson, pleaded guilty to filing false joint federal income tax returns that knowingly understated the income the couple received, failing to report $600,000 in income that she and her husband earned from 2005 to 2011.

Mr. Jackson, 47, the son of civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson, used campaign money to buy items including a $43,350 gold-plated men's Rolex watch and $9,587.64 worth of children's furniture, according to court papers filed in the case. His wife spent $5,150 on fur capes and parkas, the court documents said. Under the plea deal, Mr. Jackson must forfeit $750,000, plus tens of thousands of dollars' worth of memorabilia items and furs.

Since last June, he has been hospitalized twice at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., for treatment of bipolar disorder. In November, he resigned his House seat he had held since 1995.

Fla. Medicaid expansion

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Gov. Rick Scott of Florida reversed himself Wednesday and announced that he would expand his state's Medicaid program to cover the poor, becoming the latest -- and, perhaps, most prominent -- Republican critic of President Barack Obama's health care law to decide to put it into effect.

It was an about-face for Mr. Scott, a former businessman who entered politics as a critic of Mr. Obama's health care proposals.

Latino population soars

PALM BEACH, Fla. -- A new national survey shows that the Latino population in the U.S. rose 47 percent from 2000 to 2011 and that the rate of growth in Florida was even higher -- 62 percent.

The Pew Research Hispanic Center in Washington, a respected demographic research institute, found that the Latino population in the U.S. during those 11 years swelled from 35.2 million to 51.9 million.

Also in the nation ...

A body was found Wednesday morning in the debris of a restaurant in Kansas City, Mo, where fire crews searched for a female server missing after a massive explosion Tuesday night. Six were still hospitalized. ... News that a storage tank at a shuttered federal nuclear facility in Hanford, Wash., is leaking radioactive sludge has raised fears that the toxic stew could reach the Columbia River as a cleanup effort drags on.

nation


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