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MMR vaccine. Photo: BSIP/Getty Images

Authorities in Rockland County — a Manhattan suburb — announced a state of emergency on Tuesday, prohibiting unvaccinated children from countywide public spaces for 30 days as the state faces more than 180 confirmed measles cases, the Washington Post reports.

Details: The ban extends to venues that include churches, schools and retail locations. Parents and guardians in violation of the ban will be held culpable and tried with a misdemeanor with up to 6 months of jail time or a fine of $500. Rockland County attempted a similar course of action last year by prohibiting unvaccinated children from attending schools with vaccination rates lower than 95%.

The big picture: The decision comes amid measles outbreaks in California, Illinois, Texas and Washington, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In New York, this is the largest outbreak in decades, per the Post. Health officials estimate that 82% of measles patients in Rockland County have not received the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Go deeper: Measles outbreak is bringing vaccine exemptions into spotlight

Go deeper

FBI, Homeland Security warn of increasing threat to Capitol

Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security predict violent domestic extremists attacks will increase in 2021, according to a report reviewed by Axios.

Driving the news: The joint report says an unidentified group of extremists discussed plans to take control of the Capitol and "remove Democratic lawmakers" on or about March 4. The House canceled its plans for Thursday votes as word of the possible threats spread.

25 mins ago - World

Pope Francis set to make first papal visit to Iraq amid possible turmoil

Data: Vatican News; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Pope Francis is forging ahead with the first papal trip to Iraq despite new coronavirus outbreaks and fears of instability.

The big picture: The March 5–8 visit is intended to reassure Christians in Iraq who were violently persecuted under the Islamic State. Francis also hopes to further ties with Shiite Muslims, AP notes.

"Neanderthal thinking": Biden slams states lifting mask mandates

States that are relaxing coronavirus restrictions are making "a big mistake," President Biden told reporters on Wednesday, adding: "The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking."

Driving the news: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said Wednesday he will end all coronavirus restrictions via executive order, although some businesses are continuing to ask patrons to wear face masks. Mississippi is lifting its mask mandate for all counties Wednesday, per Gov. Tate Reeves (R).