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Nation/world briefs for Friday

First Posted: 11:44 am - June 25th, 2015

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First Posted: 5/9/2013

HARRISBURG

Former Gov. Leader dies

Former Pennsylvania Gov. George M. Leader, the son of a chicken farmer who was elected to the state’s highest office before he turned 40, died Thursday after a brief illness. He was 95.

Two grandchildren were at Leader’s side when he died at 5 a.m. at his home at the Country Meadows assisted-living center in Hershey, Kelly S. Kuntz, spokeswoman for Country Meadows, said. The center was the first in a network of 10 such facilities that Leader and his wife founded in 1985.

A Democrat who was the second-youngest person to be elected Pennsylvania governor, Leader fought to rid government of patronage jobs and improve social services. Under his leadership, the state overhauled its mental health system and made special education a requirement in Pennsylvania schools. And, he was the first governor to appoint a black cabinet officer.

WASHINGTON

Immigration coalition holds

The bipartisan coalition behind a contentious overhaul of immigration laws stuck together on a critical early series of test votes Thursday, turning back challenges from conservative critics as the Senate Judiciary Committee refined legislation to secure the nation’s borders and offer eventual citizenship to millions living illegally in the United States.

The panel rejected three attempts by opponents of the bill to impose tougher conditions on border security before unauthorized immigrants could apply for legal status. Republicans Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Jeff Flake of Arizona — part of a bipartisan group that helped draft the measure — joined all 10 Democrats in blocking each of the changes.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican who has yet to announce a position on the overall legislation, opposed one of the proposed changes but backed others.

TRENTON, N.J.

Vaccine will aid poor girls

Two multinational drugmakers are teaming up with top global health groups to protect millions of girls in the world’s poorest countries from deadly cervical cancer.

Starting with pilot programs in eight Asian and African nations, the ambitious project ultimately is intended to inoculate more than 30 million girls in more than 40 countries by 2020.

The GAVI Alliance announced

Merck & Co. and GlaxoSmithKline PLC initially will provide 2.4 million doses of their vaccines against cancer-causing human papilloma virus — for a fraction of the cost commanded in Western countries.

WASHINGTON

Prince begins U.S. visit

Britain’s Prince Harry toured an exhibition about land mines, a cause dear to his late mother, Princess Diana, to open a weeklong U.S. visit devoted to the wounded victims of war.

For the prince, the tour Thursday in the halls of Congress was a world away from the Afghanistan war zone where he recently served. It was just as far removed from a Las Vegas hotel room last year, when fuzzy photos got out of a naked Harry playing strip billiards.

U.S. Sen. John McCain, escorted Harry at the exhibition. Today, the prince visits Arlington National Cemetery and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center before flying to Colorado for the 2013 Warrior Games.

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