Facebook's data security chief reportedly stepping down

Facebook's chief information security officer, Alex Stamos, will leave the company this year, reports say. Stamos has been a proponent of disclosing more information about Russian activity on Facebook, which is dealing with a backlash over disinformation campaigns and reports that Cambridge Analytica used data gathered without Facebook users' permission.

Omnibus bill includes higher-ed funding

More money for Pell Grants, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program and the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights are included in a new omnibus spending bill. Lawmakers need to pass the $1.3 trillion measure by Friday to avoid another government shutdown.

Tusk urges EU member states to back Brexit agreement

European Council President Donald Tusk called on the 27 countries that will remain in the EU after the departure of the UK to approve a post-Brexit transition deal agreed upon by UK and EU negotiators. Members of the European Council are scheduled to discuss ratifying the arrangement at their summit that starts Thursday.

Southeast Grocers expanding Fresco Y Mas in Fla.

Southeastern Grocers will add three locations for its Fresco y Mas banner this April, with two planned for Tampa and one for Orlando. The stores will carry amenities tailored to the Hispanic consumers of their neighborhoods, according to the company.

Report: Largest data breach in Feb. exposed 135K patient records

The Protenus Breach Barometer report said 348,889 patient records were affected by 39 cybersecurity incidents last month, with the single largest data breach at St. Peter's Surgery & Endoscopy Center in Albany, N.Y., affecting 135,000 patient records. Forty-one percent of the total incidents were caused by insiders, while 33% were attributed to hacking, the report found.

Google strengthens publisher ties with new subscription feature

Google has launched News Initiative to boost its relationship with publishers; the feature includes a Subscribe With Google option, which enables users to subscribe to their favorite publications. The two-click subscribe feature, which uses a consumer's Google account information to enable fast processing, has been trialed by The Washington Post and others.

CoEdition creates an online platform for plus-size brands

Four former Gilt executives have launched CoEdition, an e-commerce marketplace that will bring together plus-size fashions from a variety of designers and brands. The plus-size apparel market is valued at about $21 billion, according to NPD Group, and it's growing twice as quickly as traditional apparel.

Facebook hit with class-action suit after data harvesting

A class-action lawsuit was filed against Facebook and Cambridge Analytica after data harvesting on the social media website was revealed. The lawsuit alleges that Facebook did not protect user data and that Cambridge Analytica exploited that data.

"Right-to-try" legislation gains House approval
The Hill

House lawmakers voted Wednesday to approve a bill that would let terminally ill patients request access to experimental drugs that are under consideration by the FDA and have undergone early-stage clinical trials. The "right-to-try" legislation now heads to the Senate, which unanimously passed a different version of the bill last year.

Pai talks CAF auction, big tech companies

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai at the American Cable Association's D.C. summit on Wednesday pushed small cable operators to bid on funding through the Connect America Fund, which will provide up to $2 billion over 10 years to help expand broadband service to rural areas. Pai also took aim at tech companies, saying, "[T]hey claimed that small broadband providers .. were anticompetitive monopolists who posed a greater threat to a free and open internet than companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter"; he also noted that today, "many more people are waking up to reality."

Bill increases federal infrastructure spending by $21.2B

Republicans and Democrats have agreed on a fiscal 2018 spending bill that increases federal infrastructure spending by $21.2 billion. Highways will get a $3.5 billion boost under the bill's terms, and spending on the country's airports will increase by $1 billion.

N.M. regulators sign off on 2 wind farms along Texas line

Xcel Energy has secured approval from the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission to move forward with a pair of wind farms valued at $1.6 billion proposed for the New Mexico-Texas line. Regulators in Texas are expected to make a decision in the near future.

Spending bill includes $1B for airports, but no increase in PFC cap
USA Today

The new federal spending bill includes $1 billion for airports but does not raise the cap for passenger facility charges. "The extra funding in this bill will help but it can't be leveraged over time in the same way as a dedicated PFC revenue stream," said Todd Hauptli, CEO of the American Association of Airport Executives.

Henn-na Hotel in Tokyo features robot staff

A handful of humans assist robot staff starting with an android at the front desk that speaks five languages at the new Henn-na Hotel in Ginza, Tokyo. Japan's H.I.S hospitality group opened the first robot hotel in 2015 and plans to have more than 100 within five years.