North Carolina site halts J&J shots

RALEIGH, N.C. • North Carolina health officials said on Thursday that they stopped administering Johnson & Johnson doses at a mass vaccination site in Raleigh and at clinics in Hillsborough and Chapel Hill after at least 26 people experienced adverse reactions, including fainting.

Four people were taken to hospitals for further examination, and state and federal health officials are reviewing the matter.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that reactions like fainting are not uncommon after someone is vaccinated, though it is reviewing reports of adverse reactions in North Carolina and three other states. All those taken to hospitals are expected to recover, local health officials said.

Information blackout in Myanmar

YANGON, Myanmar • An information blackout under Myanmar’s military junta worsened Thursday as fiber broadband service, the last legal way for ordinary people to access the internet, became intermittently inaccessible on several networks.

Authorities in some areas have also started confiscating satellite dishes used to access international news broadcasts.

Protests against the Feb. 1 coup that ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi continued Thursday despite the killing of 11 people by security forces a day earlier.

It was unclear if the internet interruptions for at least two service providers, MBT and Infinite Networks, were temporary. MBT said its service was halted by a break in the line between Yangon and Mandalay, the country’s two biggest cities. But internet users had been complaining for the past week of major slowdowns in the services.

Comedy writer Beatts dies at 74

NEW YORK • Anne Beatts, a groundbreaking comedy writer with a taste for sweetness and the macabre who was on the original staff of “Saturday Night Live” and later created the cult sitcom “Square Pegs,” has died. She was 74.

Beatts died Wednesday at her home in West Hollywood, Calif., according to her close friend Rona Kennedy. Kennedy, a film producer and a fellow faculty member at Chapman University, did not immediately know the cause of death.

Starting in 1975 and running for five seasons, Beatts was among a team of gifted writers that included Rosie Shuster, Alan Zweibel, Marilyn Suzanne Miller and such cast members as Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase who helped make “Saturday Night Live” a cultural phenomenon.

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