Anthrax exposure could be higher

U.S. authorities increased to 84 people — from 75 — their count of government workers potentially exposed to live anthrax at three laboratories in Atlanta as they investigated a breach in safety procedures for handling the deadly pathogen.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that as of early Friday, 32 staff were taking the powerful antibiotic ciprofloxacin, or Cipro, and 20 were taking another antibiotic called doxycycline, CDC press officer Benjamin Haynes said in a statement.

In addition, as many as 27 people were getting the anthrax vaccine to prevent infection. No illnesses have been reported, but the agency expects more people to step forward following the news of the anthrax scare going public.

— Reuters

City settles Central Park jogger suit

New York City has agreed to a $40 million settlement with five men who were falsely convicted in the 1989 rape and beating of a Central Park jogger, all but closing the books on one of the most lurid criminal cases in New York history.

Official confirmation of the deal came Friday when city Comptroller Scott Stringer said his office had received settlement papers with a figure “in the ballpark” of $40 million.

The settlement still needs final approval from the comptroller and a federal judge.

The five black and Hispanic defendants were found guilty as teenagers in 1990 in the attack on a white woman — an investment banker — who was on a run in the park. They served six to 13 years in prison before their convictions were thrown out in 2002 because of evidence that someone else, acting alone, committed the crime.

— Associated Press

New York lawmakers approve medical marijuana: State lawmakers gave final approval Friday to allow limited access to medical marijuana and make New York the 23rd U.S. state to make the drug available for therapeutic purposes. The 49 to 10 vote in the state Senate came one day after Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced a deal with lawmakers. The State Assembly passed the measure earlier Friday.

— Reuters