National briefs: Feds probing Target breach

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NEW YORK — Target Corp. said Monday that the U.S. Justice Department is investigating the credit and debit card security breach at the retailer that’s being called the second largest incident in U.S. history.

The investigation comes after the discounter revealed last week that data connected to about 40 million credit and debit card accounts was stolen between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15. The theft is exceeded only by a scam that began in 2005 involving retailer TJX Cos. It affected at least 45.7 million card users.

The Justice Department declined to comment on whether it’s investigating the breach at Target, the nation’s second largest discounter. But Target said it’s cooperating with the federal probe.

Jobless benefits

WASHINGTON — A three-month extension of emergency unemployment benefits is gaining momentum.

The Senate is scheduled to take a key procedural vote on that extension when it returns Jan. 6, and the plan has White House as well as some bipartisan support. The Republican-run House has been more reluctant to go along.

Democrats plan to spend the holidays pushing hard to get an extension. While regular unemployment benefits will continue, emergency aid for 1.3 million long-term jobless will expire Saturday. In high-unemployment states, workers can get as many as 73 weeks of benefits.

Slate wiped clean

RALEIGH, N.C. — LaMonte Burton Armstrong, 63, who served 161⁄2 years in prison for a murder he did not commit, was pardoned Monday by North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory.

Mr. Armstrong, who now lives in Chapel Hill, N.C., was found guilty by a Guilford County jury in 1995 of the 1988 slaying of North Carolina A&T professor Ernestine Compton.

Mr. Armstrong was implicated by an acquaintance, Charles Blackwell, who later became the state’s key witness against Armstrong. No physical evidence ever linked Mr. Armstrong to the crime scene. In 2010, Mr. Blackwell recanted his testimony against Mr. Armstrong. Another witness against Mr. Armstrong had previously recanted his testimony immediately after the trial.

Girl’s brain-dead battle

OAKLAND, Calif. — With a family fighting a hospital to keep their daughter who has been declared brain dead on life support, a California judge on Monday ordered the hospital to keep treating 13-year-old Jahi McMath for another week as a second medical evaluation is conducted.

Jahi experienced complications following a tonsillectomy at Children’s Hospital in Oakland.

An Alameda County judge called for Jahi to be independently examined by Paul Graham Fisher, the chief of child neurology at Stanford University School of Medicine. The judge also ordered the hospital to keep Jahi on a ventilator until next Monday, or until further order from the court.

Also in the nation …

A New York City man who had recently separated from his wife and was sharing custody of their 3-year-old son threw the boy to his death from the roof of a 52-story Manhattan high-rise on Sunday afternoon before jumping to his death moments later, police said. … Sitting in a deer blind with a loaded shotgun while wearing blaze orange is considered hunting and requires a license, according to a Minnesota Court of Appeals ruling Monday that gave no credence to a man’s claims that he was just hanging out.

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