Nick Sims surveys the damage to his grandmother's house in Greensboro, N.C., on Monday after severe weather ripped through her neighborhood Sunday, destroying several homes. (Chuck Liddy/AP)
HEALTH
HHS chief is treated for an infection

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Monday that he had been discharged from an Indianapolis hospital after an overnight stay for treatment for an infection.

In an afternoon tweet, Azar, 50, thanked the “incredible doctors and nurses who provided me with excellent care,” as well as his wife, “who insisted that I call my primary care doctor when I wasn’t feeling well.”

Neither Azar nor HHS officials who announced his Sunday night hospitalization disclosed the nature of his infection. The initial announcement said he had been treated with intravenous antibiotics and admitted to an undisclosed hospital.

In his tweet, Azar said he had been at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Indianapolis. Azar’s family has not yet moved to Washington, and he returns on many weekends to Indianapolis, where he led the U.S. affiliate of the pharmaceutical manufacturer Eli Lilly, which is based there.

HHS officials said Azar plans to return to Washington on Tuesday.

Azar became secretary of HHS in late January, succeeding Tom Price, who left in the fall amid reports that he had used private charter planes while traveling on official business.

— Amy Goldstein

DEFENSE DEPARTMENT
Judge blocks Trump's transgender troop ban

A U.S. judge in Seattle has ordered President Trump not to ban transgender troops from serving in the military, saying it’s unclear whether recent changes to his administration’s policy are constitutional.

U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman was one of four judges nationwide who blocked Trump late last year from overturning an Obama-era directive allowing transgender troops to serve openly. The Justice Department asked her to dissolve that ruling, citing changes that would allow transgender troops to serve in limited cases.

Because the changes were announced just last month, the sides had not had time to argue whether the policy is discriminatory or whether the military is entitled to set its own policy, given its expertise in what is needed for national defense, Pechman said in an order Friday. She told the parties to prepare for trial.

The Pentagon lifted its long-standing ban on transgender troops in 2016. Trump took defense leaders by surprise last July, when he tweeted that the U.S. government would not allow transgender members to serve.

It triggered several lawsuits. The Pentagon began allowing transgender people to serve and enlist on Jan. 1.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis also launched a review on the issue, forwarding recommendations to Trump in February. Trump issued a memo March 23 giving the Pentagon the go-ahead to implement a policy that would block transgender people from serving in many cases.

— Associated Press

NATIONAL SECURITY
Cybersecurity official leaving White House

Rob Joyce, the White House cybersecurity coordinator, has announced he will return to the National Security Agency. Joyce’s announced departure comes on the heels of the resignation of Tom Bossert, the White House homeland security adviser and several other National Security Council officials.

Joyce, a career federal employee, will stay on as needed to facilitate the transition to his eventual replacement, White House officials said. He is also serving as the acting deputy homeland security adviser, which includes coordinating responses to natural disasters and monitoring terrorism threats.

Joyce, who was detailed to the White House from the NSA at the start of the Trump administration, has served more than 25 years at the spy agency. There, he held various leadership positions. He headed the elite hacking or “offensive” division, called Tailored Access Operations, which penetrated networks overseas to gather foreign intelligence.

He has also led the Information Assurance Directorate, which handled cybersecurity or defense of classified government networks. Both divisions have been folded into the agency’s new directorate of operations.

It is not clear what position Joyce will return to, or who will succeed him at the White House.

— Ellen Nakashima

Two killed in plane crash: A single-engine plane headed to Florida crashed in rural Ohio on Monday, killing two people on board. The Federal Aviation Administration said the Beechcraft Bonanza went down in a wooded area of Coshocton County, about 60 miles northeast of Columbus. The aircraft was headed from Elyria to DeLand, Fla., when it crashed.

— From news services