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A neighborhood in Waco, Texas, covered in snow in February 2021. Photo: Matthew Busch/AFP via Getty Images

Texas officials on Thursday raised the death toll from February’s winter storm to at least 111, up from their initial tally of 57, AP reports.

Why it matters: The storm caused one of the worst power outages in U.S. history as demand for heat strained the state’s electric grid. More than 4 million customers lost power. Millions also lacked access to drinkable water for days.

  • The majority of the deaths were associated with hypothermia, and the death toll may continue to rise as officials link more deaths to the storm, AP notes.

The big picture: State officials testified before a House Energy subcommittee on Wednesday during Congress' first hearing on the widespread failure of Texas' power grid. They faced questions on the need to winterize the system and whether different forms of energy would perform better in extreme weather, according to the Texas Tribune.

Go deeper

Mar 25, 2021 - Health

Brazil becomes 2nd country to surpass 300,000 coronavirus deaths

Cemetery workers bury a coronavirus victim of coronavirus at a funeral in Sao Paulo, Brazil, March 12. Photo: Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images

Brazil became on Wednesday the second country after the U.S. to surpass 300,000 COVID-19 deaths.

For the record: The health ministry confirmed Wednesday another 2,009 Brazilians had died of the coronavirus, taking the total pandemic death toll to 300,685. Brazil's population is much smaller than the U.S., which reached the milestone on Dec. 14, 2020.

What we know about the victims of the Indianapolis mass shooting

Officials load a body into a vehicle at the site of the mass shooting in Indianapolis. Photo:

Eight people who were killed along with several others who were injured in a Thursday evening shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis have been identified by local law enforcement.

The big picture: The Sikh Coalition said at least four of the eight victims were members of the Indianapolis Sikh community.

Pompeo, wife misused State Dept. resources, federal watchdog finds

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The State Department's independent watchdog found that former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo violated federal ethics rules when he and his wife asked department employees to perform personal tasks on more than 100 occasions, including picking up their dog and making private dinner reservations.

Why it matters: The report comes as Pompeo pours money into a new political group amid speculation about a possible 2024 presidential run.

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