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    IMSA is bringing North American sports car racing into the hybrid era starting with Saturday's Rolex 24 at Daytona. The twice-round-the-clock endurance race will be the first to use new hybrid engines in the top class. It makes IMSA the first North American racing series to use hybrid technology. The change lured new manufacturers to the class as automakers craved the pairing of a motorsports program that is in step with its road car program. Most automakers are shifting toward electric technology. But with the change comes concerns on durability for new cars with new engines in the longest and most prestigious race of the year.

      The U.S. plans to make it easier for gay and bisexual men to give blood. The Food and Drug Administration proposed easing restrictions on groups that typically face higher risks of HIV. The agency wants to drop the three-month abstinence requirement for donations from men who have sex with men. Donors would instead be screened with a questionnaire that evaluates individual risks for HIV, including sexual behavior. As a result, gay and bisexual men in monogamous relationships could soon be able to donate blood for the first time in decades. The U.S. and other countries began restricting blood donations during the AIDS crisis of the early 1980s.

        A camera atop Hawaii’s tallest mountain has captured what looks like a spiral swirling through the night sky. Researchers believe it was from the launch of a military GPS satellite, that lifted off earlier on a SpaceX rocket in Florida. The images were captured on Jan. 18 by a camera at the summit of Mauna Kea outside the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan’s Subaru telescope. A time-lapse video shows a white orb spreading out and forming a spiral as it moves across the sky. The location of the spiral matches where the second stage of the SpaceX rocket was expected to be after launch.

        A new home is being built on my street. I’ve visited the job site countless times to check on the progress and to observe the quality of the workmanship. So far I’ve recorded nearly 40 videos showing mistakes and shortfalls. You can view the videos on my website. The link is at the end of this column.

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        The Minnesota Senate has voted to write broad protections for abortion rights into state statutes, which would make it difficult for future courts to roll back. The pill passed 34-33 early Saturday after a marathon debate. Democrats have made the bill one of their top priorities in reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to reverse Roe v. Wade. While a 1995 Minnesota Supreme Court decision protects abortion rights, sponsors want to make sure those protections remain in force no matter who sits on future courts. The House passed the bill last week. Gov. Tim Walz hopes to sign it before the end of the month.

        The U.S. plans to make it easier for gay and bisexual men to give blood. The Food and Drug Administration proposed easing restrictions on groups that typically face higher risks of HIV. The agency wants to drop the three-month abstinence requirement for donations from men who have sex with men. Donors would instead be screened with a questionnaire that evaluates individual risks for HIV, including sexual behavior. As a result, gay and bisexual men in monogamous relationships could soon be able to donate blood for the first time in decades. The U.S. and other countries began restricting blood donations during the AIDS crisis of the early 1980s.

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