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COVID detected in a California mule deer, first wildlife case in state

California wildlife officials have confirmed the state’s first case of COVID-19 in a wild animal, detected in a mule deer killed in 2021 in El Dorado County.

The coronavirus has been confirmed in pets and zoo animals, but the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said this is the first case of COVID-19 confirmed in “free-ranging California wildlife,” according to a news release from the agency.

The infected deer was killed by a hunter in 2021 and sampled at that time for chronic wasting disease, a type of neurodegenerative disorder that affects deer, elk and moose. That disease has never been found in the state’s deer or elk populations, but fish and wildlife department routinely monitors for it, the agency said.

After recent media reports about COVID-19 in free-ranging deer in Canada and other states, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife decided to test archived deer samples for the coronavirus, finding the positive case in the deer from El Dorado County.

—Los Angeles Times

Hawley says he’s not interested in being vice president even if Trump asks in 2024

WASHINGTON — Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley on Thursday threw cold water on rumors that he would be a potential vice presidential candidate for former President Donald Trump in 2024.

Though Hawley said he believes Trump will likely be his party’s nominee, the Missouri Republican said he has no interest in serving as vice president and would turn down the offer if he was asked. “Nobody wants to be vice president,” Hawley said.

A report in the conservative outlet The Daily Caller earlier this month said a Republican consultant close with Trump said not enough people were talking about Hawley as a potential vice presidential nominee. When The Kansas City Star pointed out that it worked for Theodore Roosevelt — a president Hawley studied and wrote a book about — Hawley brought up Vice President Kamala Harris, a former senator who has faced scrutiny during her term as vice president.

“Good argument,” Hawley said. “I thought you were going to say Kamala Harris. How has that worked out?”

—The Kansas City Star

Sam Bankman-Fried dined with Mohammed bin Salman and Jared Kushner to get Saudi money, report says

Some two weeks before Sam Bankman-Fried resigned from FTX and his cryptocurrency firm collapsed into bankruptcy and scandal, the mop-haired, Stanford-based entrepreneur was in the Middle East, desperately trying to raise $1 billion from some of the region’s most ruthless but wealthy leaders.

Bankman-Fried was invited to dine at the palace in Riyadh with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, according to a report by Puck. The crown prince’s American friend, Jared Kushner, also was there, as were billionaire hedge fund manager Ray Dalio and Blackstone Group CEO Steve Schwarzman.

“It was quite a dinner,” Puck writer William D. Cohan said. “There was tons of food — lamb, meat, fruit, pita bread and hummus — and polite conversation.”

Cohan’s description of the dinner comes courtesy of the person who helped arrange Bankman-Fried’s invitation: Anthony Scaramucci, the American financier who briefly served as former President Donald Trump’s White House communications director.

—The Mercury News

Ukraine warns against too high expectations as Russia’s war drags on

KYIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov has warned against expecting too much from the planned spring counteroffensive against the Russian invaders, as Moscow’s attacks continued to claim the lives of civilians.

“Hopes are definitely inflated, everyone wants the next victory,” the 56-year-old minister said in an interview for the RBC Ukraine news agency Thursday. Reznikov recalled that in the period immediately after the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion last year it was just hoped that Ukraine would somehow survive.

“But when the armed forces of Ukraine showed success, everyone began to believe in victory.” The high emotions and inflated expectations of success were therefore normal, he said.

Meanwhile NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday that members and partners of the military alliance have delivered 230 tanks, more than 1,550 armored vehicles and “vast amounts of ammunition” to Ukraine in recent months.


2023 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

This story was originally published April 27, 2023, 5:01 PM.

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