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Nearly 50 businesses and nonprofits including rideshare companies Uber and Lyft and industrial giant 3M are pledging millions of dollars in initiatives to stem a crisis in road fatalities under a new federal effort. The effort announced Friday is part of the Department of Transportation’s “Call to Action” campaign urging commitments from the private sector and groups to reduce serious traffic injuries and deaths. The public-private effort ranges from 3M investments to improve school crosswalks to enhanced seat belt alerts in Uber vehicles and free or discounted rideshare for drunken drivers. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg says private sector and nonprofit help is a key piece in the department's national strategy to reduce road deaths.

On the Belarusian border, Ukrainian units are using drones to monitor a long expanse of marsh and woodland for a possible surprise offensive from the north. That would be a repeat of the unsuccessful Russian thrust toward Kyiv at the start of the war nearly a year ago. Even though military experts and Western intelligence have played down the possibility of a renewed northern offensive, the Ukrainians are taking no chances. Since the summer they have been reinforcing defenses, building and expanding trenches and laying mines in the forest ahead of the springtime offensive military officials expect. Unlike the east with its devastating artillery duels, here in the north it’s largely a war of quadcopters.

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The mayor of the capital of Texas is acknowledging the frustration of residents shivering for more than a day without power during a winter storm. Austin Mayor Kirk Watson says the duration of the icy storm that has plagued the area since Tuesday has made it challenging to restore power. The storm is blamed for at least 10 deaths across much of the southern U.S. Things are starting to warm up, but a wave of cold is forecast to target New England with the coldest weather in decades. Wind chills could plunge to 50 degrees below zero, or even lower.

A federal appeals court has ruled that the government can't stop people who have domestic violence restraining orders filed against them from owning guns. The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled a federal law that does that is unconstitutional. It's the latest domino to fall after the U.S. Supreme Court's conservative majority last year set new standards for how to review the nation's gun laws. California Gov. Gavin Newsom said the ruling would leave governments powerless to protect their people. The appeals court had originally ruled the law was constitutional. But the court reconsidered in light of a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on guns.

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