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March 4, 2017
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Irish authorities on Friday reported the discovery of "significant quantities of human remains" in 17 "underground chambers" in a structure that appears to have been originally constructed for wastewater treatment. The remains analyzed so far belong to infants and toddlers ranging in age from apparent premature births to 3 years.

Carbon dating has placed the remains between 1925 and 1961, the time period during which the property where the mass grave was found was operated as a home for unwed mothers, the Mother and Baby Home, by the Congregation of the Sisters of Bon Secours.

Allegations that a mass grave might exist were first raised in 2014 by Catherine Corless, a historian in the town of Tuam, where the grave was discovered. Corless' research indicates as many as 800 bodies may be present. "If you look at the records, babies were dying two a week," Corless said when she presented her findings. A Tuam local recalled that the children in the home were "usually gone by school age — either adopted or dead."

After authorities' announcement of the discovery, The Irish Times reported the account of a woman named Mary Moriarty who said she visited the site in 1975 and saw a child who "had a skull on a stick, shaking it." Moriarty also said she was walking on the property when part of the ground collapsed. Underneath, she saw what she then believed to be bottles "rolled up in a cloth and they were all piled on top of each other like sausages." A woman working nearby said she had actually observed "little baby graves." Bonnie Kristian

4:01 p.m. ET
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The news that Republican leadership canceled a planned Thursday night health-care bill vote had already spread like wildfire across the internet and TV, but one important person was still left in the dark: President Trump.

"Today the House is voting to repeal and replace the disaster known as ObamaCare," Trump said, not realizing that his statement was already outdated. "It's going to be a very close vote."

To be fair, he's been busy. Jeva Lange

3:38 p.m. ET

A GOP aide told the media Thursday afternoon that there will no longer be a vote Thursday on the Republican health-care bill, after hours of desperate vote-rallying by House leadership and the White House appeared to have fallen flat.

Earlier Thursday, roughly two dozen members of the far-right House Freedom Caucus announced they would not support the American Health Care Act, which was drafted by House Speaker Paul Ryan. Several Republicans outside the conservative caucus also indicated they would not vote for the measure, narrowing its chances of passage considerably; GOP leadership could not lose more than 22 Republican votes and still pass the bill.

The White House has thrown its support behind the bill, with President Trump meeting with the House Freedom Caucus on Thursday morning to attempt to strike a deal on the bill. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer insisted earlier Thursday that as far as he knew, the vote would not be delayed and the bill would pass. "We continue to see the number [of Freedom Caucus members who support the bill] go up, not down," he said. Jeva Lange

2:49 p.m. ET

On Thursday afternoon, the conservative House Freedom Caucus announced it had not reached a deal in discussions with President Trump over the American Health Care Act, the Republican health-care bill that is expected to be put to a floor vote Thursday night. Losing the support of the conservative caucus narrows the bill's chances of passage considerably: Republican leadership cannot lose more than 22 Republican votes and still pass the bill through the lower chamber, but roughly two dozen Freedom Caucus members have said they would not support the plan. At the time of publication, NBC News' tally had a total of 31 "nos" from Republican congressmen.

"Something seismic would have to happen in the next few hours to turn this bill around," Politico estimates. "At this point, if a deal emerged, it would be very late tonight. In the midnight hour, perhaps."

But when questioned about the bill Thursday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer insisted it would pass. "We continue to see the number [of Freedom Caucus members who support the bill] go up, not down, and that's a very positive sign," he said.

The same cannot be said for American voters, a new Quinnipiac poll of 1,056 voters found. Fifty-six percent of American voters disapproved of the ObamaCare replacement, the poll found, while just 17 percent supported it. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. Jeva Lange

2:32 p.m. ET
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The NCAA men's basketball tournament resumes Thursday with the regional semifinal games of the Sweet 16. Kicking the round off are the semifinal games for the Midwest and West regions.

In the Midwest, No. 3 Oregon and No. 7 Michigan face off at 7:09 p.m. ET in a clash of high-octane offenses. Later, the 9:39 p.m. ET matchup between No. 1 Kansas and No. 4 Purdue will feature two of the top big-men in college basketball in Kansas' Josh Jackson and Purdue's Caleb Swanigan.

In the West, No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 4 West Virginia battle at 7:39 p.m. ET, followed by No. 11 Xavier taking on No. 2 Arizona at 10:09 p.m. ET. Xavier is this year's Cinderella story, and given that the Musketeers are coached by Chris Mack — a former top assistant to current Arizona head coach Sean Miller — the matchup promises to provide plenty of intrigue.

The games for the West will be televised on TBS, while the Midwest contests will be broadcast on CBS. Regional semifinal games for the East and South take place Friday. Kimberly Alters

2:05 p.m. ET
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Sepsis is the number one disease that kills people in hospitals, and there is no known effective cure. But thanks to the quick thinking of Dr. Paul Marik of Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, there soon could be, NPR reports.

When a 48-year-old woman suffering from severe sepsis came into his intensive care unit in January 2015, Marik decided to respond by administering intravenous vitamin C, mixed with a low dose of corticosteroids and thiamine, another vitamin. "I was expecting the next morning when I came to work she would be dead," Marik told NPR. "But when I walked in the next morning, I got the shock of my life." The woman was alive, Marik found — and recovering.

Marik has adopted the approach with all of his sepsis patients. He said that of 150 sepsis patients he has treated since the woman in January 2015, only one has died of the disease. The results are especially stunning given of the million Americans who get sepsis every year, 300,000 are expected to die. "That's the equivalent of three jumbo jets crashing every single day," Marik told NPR.

But as NPR notes: "This is not the standard way to evaluate a potential new treatment. Ordinarily, the potential treatment would be tested head to head with a placebo or standard treatment, and neither the doctors nor the patients would know who in the study was getting the new therapy." Other doctors have urged expectations to remain tempered: "[A result] can look really exciting when you do it on a group in one hospital with one set of clinicians, and then when you try to validate with a larger group in multiple centers — thus far we've been unsuccessful with anything," said top sepsis researcher Craig Coopersmith.

Marik's treatment is being explored through the traditional trial methods now, and could yield conclusions by the end of the year. Jeva Lange

1:30 p.m. ET
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The Senate voted 50-48 along party lines Thursday to repeal an Obama-era law that requires internet service providers to obtain permission before tracking what customers look at online and selling that information to other companies. The repeal is supported by major internet companies like Facebook and Google as well as internet providers like Verizon and AT&T, Vanity Fair reports, adding that there would likely be an option for consumers to opt out.

"There are two sides to this," said Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who is opposed to repealing consumers' privacy protections. "You want the entrepreneurial spirit to thrive, but you have to be able to say no, I don't want you in my living room. Yes, we're capitalists, but we're capitalists with a conscience."

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) spearheaded the effort to repeal the FCC's rules. "[The FCC's privacy order] is unnecessary, confusing, and adds yet another innovation-stifling regulation to the internet,” Flake told Wired. "My legislation is the first step toward restoring the [Federal Trade Commission's] light-touch, consumer-friendly approach."

The resolution now goes to the House of Representatives, where it is expected to pass. The legislation would then need President Trump's signature to take effect. Jeva Lange

12:54 p.m. ET

Today in tweets that have not aged particularly well:

The Congressional Budget Office expects 24 million more Americans will be uninsured by 2026 under the Republican health-care bill, the American Health Care Act. The House is expected to vote on the bill tonight. Jeva Lange

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