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.

Fed's Powell warns against overreliance on central bank's forecasts

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell used his first news conference as head of the central bank to warn investors against overconfidence about what the Fed's dot-plot chart predicts about interest rates in 2020. The Fed doesn't "have the ability to see that far into the future," Powell said.

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.

Instagram tweaks algorithm to prioritize newer content

Instagram has updated its algorithm to bring newer content to the top of feeds. The company is also testing a "New Posts" feature, which will allow users to manage the refreshing of content within feeds instead of that happening automatically.

M&S expands its e-commerce presence to Israel

UK-based department store Marks & Spencer has launched an online retail site in Israel with free delivery and three-day express delivery options. Other British retailers including ASOS and Next already sell online in Israel.

House clears spending bill with funds to bolster cybersecurity

A government spending bill that provides funding for securing election systems and defending against Russian cyberattacks passed the House on Thursday and will make its way to the Senate. The bill would provide $380 million in grants to update voting systems and $307 million for counterintelligence against Russian cyberattacks.

"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."

Congress keeps water restoration funding despite Trump's efforts
ABC News

The Trump administration has been trying to kill federal funding for certain water restoration efforts, but congressional leaders included about $450 million in the budget for them. Among the saved programs are those fighting the Asian carp invasion in the Great Lakes and helping clean up the Chesapeake Bay.

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.