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In the Nation


FDA approves new drug for hepatitis C

Federal health officials have approved a highly anticipated hepatitis C drug from Gilead Sciences Inc. that is expected to offer a faster, more palatable cure to millions of people infected with the liver-destroying virus.

The Food and Drug Administration said Friday that it approved the pill Sovaldi in combination with older drugs to treat the main forms of hepatitis C that affect U.S. patients. Current treatments can take up to a year of therapy and involve weekly injections of a drug that causes flulike side effects. That approach only cures about three out of four patients.

Sovaldi is a daily pill that in clinical trials cured roughly 90 percent of patients in just 12 weeks, when combined with the older drug cocktail.

Three million to four million Americans are estimated to carry the blood-borne virus, though most do not know they are infected. - AP

No bias, baker told

A baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony must serve gay couples or face fines, a judge said Friday. The order from administrative law judge Robert N. Spencer said Masterpiece Cakeshop in suburban Denver must "cease and desist from discriminating." Nicolle Martin, an attorney for Masterpiece Cakeshop, said the order puts shop owner Jack Phillips in an impossible position of going against his Christian faith. - AP

More time for kills

The Obama administration is letting companies seek approval to kill and harm bald and golden eagles over 30 years without penalty. The reason is to aid in renewable energy development. The change will provide legal protection for wind farms and other projects that get a permit and do everything possible to avoid killing eagles. Companies already can apply for five-year permits to injure, harass, or kill bald and golden eagles. - AP