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Richard Vogel / AP

More than 8,000 drivers have been fired from ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft after failing Massachusetts' new state background check, per the Boston Globe.

The state dug through the criminal and driving records of roughly 71,000 drivers who had passed preliminary reviews, and found that hundreds of drivers had serious crimes on their record, including violent or sexual offenses, while others had been found guilty of drunken driving or reckless driving. The state deemed those who failed unfit to continue as drivers for the companies, and pulled them off the road.

The defense: Uber and Lyft have both pointed out that they are limited by state law to checking just the last seven years of an applicant's history. And while Lyft said only "a small percentage of our drivers failed," Uber argued that the unlimited reach of the government's background checks is unfair to drivers who are trying to move on from their past.

Why this matters: The findings led MA to pull thousands of drivers off the road. Their crackdown could pave the way for other states to issue similar background checks, and raise the standards on who can work for ride-hailing companies.

Go deeper

1 min ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

What they're saying: "The removal of this al-Qaeda senior leader will disrupt the terrorist organization’s ability to further plot and carry out global attacks threatening U.S. citizens, our partners, and innocent civilians," U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee said in the statement.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.