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Nikki Haley says she will vote for Donald Trump following their disputes during Republican primary

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Nikki Haley said Wednesday that she will be voting for Donald Trump in the general election, encouraging the presumptive GOP nominee to work hard to win support from those who backed her in the primary.

“I will be voting for Trump,” Haley, Trump’s former U.N. ambassador, said during an event at the Hudson Institute in Washington.

But Haley also made it clear that she feels Trump has work to do to win over voters who supported her during the course of the primary campaign, and continue to cast votes for her in ongoing primary contests.

“Having said that, I stand by what I said in my suspension speech,” Haley added. “Trump would be smart to reach out to the millions of people who voted for me and continue to support me and not assume that they’re just going to be with him. And I genuinely hope he does that.”

Haley shuttered her own bid for the GOP nomination two months ago but did not immediately endorse Trump. Both candidates were sharply critical of each other during the primary.


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FACT FOCUS: Trump distorts use of ‘deadly force’ language in FBI document for Mar-a-Lago search

Former President Donald Trump pointed to standard language in an FBI documentunsealed Tuesday to baselessly claim that the Biden administration wanted to kill him during a search of his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach nearly two years ago.

“WOW! I just came out of the Biden Witch Hunt Trial in Manhattan, the ‘Icebox,’ and was shown Reports that Crooked Joe Biden’s DOJ, in their illegal and UnConstitutional Raid of Mar-a-Lago, AUTHORIZED THE FBI TO USE DEADLY (LETHAL) FORCE,” Trump wrote in a post on his social media platform Truth Social Tuesday night. “NOW WE KNOW, FOR SURE, THAT JOE BIDEN IS A SERIOUS THREAT TO DEMOCRACY. HE IS MENTALLY UNFIT FOR OFFICE — 25TH AMENDMENT!”

The claim was also boosted online by his supporters.

But the language Trump referenced is a standard policy statement used for issuing search warrants and was not unique to the FBI’s search of his property. It is actually meant to limit the use of deadly force.

Here’s a closer look at the facts.

CLAIM:

The Biden administration authorized the use of “deadly force” against former President Donald Trump during an FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago estate in 2022.

THE FACTS:

The policy statement on the “use of deadly force,” which appeared in an operations order for the Mar-a-Lago search, is not evidence of a plot to kill Trump. It is a Department of Justice policy that is standard to include in such documents.

“The FBI followed standard protocol in this search as we do for all search warrants, which includes a standard policy statement limiting the use of deadly force,” the agency said in a statement. “No one ordered additional steps to be taken and there was no departure from the norm in this matter.”

As it appears in the operations order, the policy stipulates in part that Department of Justice officers “may use deadly force only when necessary, that is, when the officer has a reasonable belief that the subject of such force poses an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to the officer or to another person.” The policy is in the department’s Justice Manual with only minor differences in wording to what is included in the order and is summarized on the FBI’s website.

Frank Figliuzzi, a former assistant director for counterintelligence at the FBI, reiterated in an X post what the agency said in its statement.

“Yep, every FBI operations order contains a reminder of FBI deadly force policy,” he wrote. “Even for a search warrant. Deadly force is always authorized if the required threat presents itself.”

A motion that Trump’s lawyers filed in his federal classified documents case, also unsealed Tuesday, asserted that the August 2022 search was unconstitutional and “illegal,” misquoting the operations order as saying that “law enforcement officers of the Department of Justice may use deadly force when necessary.”

Trump wasn’t at Mar-a-Lago, which was shuttered for the season, at the time of the search. The Associated Press reported at the time that the FBI reached out to the Secret Service detail that provides protection to the former president and his homes shortly before serving the warrant.

The facts did not stop Trump and his allies from spreading the erroneous allegation.

A Trump campaign fundraising email with the subject line, “They were authorized to shoot me!” was sent soon after he posted on social media and made even more outrageous claims.

“I nearly escaped death,” it reads. “You know they’re just itching to do the unthinkable. … Joe Biden was locked & loaded ready to take me out & put my family in danger.”

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the AP about the false claims.

Hard-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican, wrote in an X post that “the Biden DOJ and FBI were planning to assassinate Pres Trump and gave the green light.”

Kari Lake, a Republican Senate candidate in Arizona, wrote in her own X post: “The sicko Biden FBI were ready to use deadly force during the Mar-a-Lago BS raid. That tells you everything you need to know about this criminal Biden admin.”

Trump was charged in June 2023 with illegally retaining classified documents taken with him from the White House to Mar-a-Lago after he left office in January 2021, and then obstructing government demands to give them back. Additional related charges were filed a month later. The FBI searched Mar-a-Lago as part of a probe that led to the indictment.


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Wisconsin criminal justice groups argue for invalidating constitutional amendments on bail

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin criminal justice advocates argued in court Wednesday that Republican-backed cash bail constitutional amendments approved by voters last year should be invalidated over procedural flaws, a case that elections officials and the Legislature call a cynical attempt to undo election results.

Dane County Circuit Judge Rhonda Lanford did not rule from the bench following arguments. She said she would issue a written decision later.

The case revolves around whether the Legislature sent the ballot questions to the correct elections officials and whether deadlines for submission were met. If successful, the amendments could be struck from the state constitution and put on a future ballot for another vote.

One amendment allows judges to consider past convictions for violent crimes when setting bail for someone accused of a violent crime. Another allows judges to consider a defendant’s risk to public safety, including their criminal history, when setting bail required to release someone before trial.

Voters also approved an advisory referendum, which is not enforceable, saying that able-bodied, childless welfare recipients should be required to look for work.

The judge last year rejected the effort to stop the April 2023 vote on the three questions. She ruled then that those bringing the lawsuit failed to prove they would suffer “irreparable harm” if the measures were not blocked from appearing on the ballot.

Jeff Mandell, attorney for the criminal justice groups, argued Wednesday that the three measures were not properly submitted to the people and must be declared null and void.

“We’re not saying that these can never be a part of the constitution,” Mandell said. “All we’re saying is those who run our elections have to follow the law. People can vote on them again.”

Attorneys for the Legislature and state elections commission countered that the law was followed closely enough and a “minor procedural error” should not result in overturning the election results.

State law requires ballot questions to be “filed with the official or agency responsible for preparing the ballots” at least 70 days before the election. That made the deadline for the measures Jan. 25, 2023. The Legislature sent the measures to the Wisconsin Election Commission on Jan. 19, 2023, but the commission did not file the measures with county election officials until Jan. 26, 2023.

The groups suing argued that county election officials are responsible for preparing ballots, not the state commission, and therefore the Legislature filed the ballot questions in the wrong place.

The elections commission countered that it was not mandatory for the Legislature to submit the questions to county elections officials, and there’s no penalty for not doing it. Commission attorney Charlotte Gibson also argued that the 70-day deadline is not mandatory.

“There is no evidence that any voters — let alone a sufficient number of voters to change the election results — were misled in voting” for the resolutions due to the alleged procedural violation, the Legislature said in court filings.

The Legislature called the lawsuit a “meritless and cynically undemocratic attempt to undo the results of Wisconsin’s 2023 Spring Election,” where the measures were approved “overwhelmingly.”

The constitutional amendments were approved with 67% and 68% support, while 80% of voters approved of the welfare resolution.

WISDOM, a faith-based statewide organizing group, and its affiliate, EXPO Wisconsin, which stands for Ex-Incarcerated People Organizing, brought the lawsuit. Both groups fight against mass incarceration and work with people who have spent time behind bars.


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First aid from US pier in Gaza has reached starving Palestinians, the UN says

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.N. World Food Program said Wednesday that it has handed out in Gaza in recent days a “limited number” of high-energy biscuits that arrived from a U.S.-built pier, the first aid from the new humanitarian sea route to get into the hands of Palestinians in grave need.

The small number of biscuits came in the first shipments unloaded from the pier Friday, WFP spokesman Steve Taravella said. The U.S. Agency for International Development told The Associated Press that a total of 41 trucks loaded with aid from the more than $320 million pier have reached humanitarian organizations in Gaza.

“Aid is flowing” from the pier, U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters Wednesday in response to questions about the troubled launch of aid deliveries from the maritime project. “It is not flowing at a rate that any of us are happy with.”

Pentagon spokesman Maj. Gen. Patrick Ryder told reporters Tuesday that he did not believe any of the aid from the pier had yet reached people in Gaza. Sullivan said a day later that some aid had been delivered “specifically to the Palestinians who need it.”

American officials hope the pier at maximum capacity can bring the equivalent of 150 truckloads of aid to Gaza each day. That’s a fraction of the 600 truckloads of food, emergency nutritional treatments and other supplies that USAID says are needed each day to bring people in Gaza back from the start of famine and address the humanitarian crisis brought on by the seven-month-old Israel-Hamas war.

Israeli restrictions on land crossings and a surge in fighting have cut deliveries of food and fuel in Gaza to the lowest levels since the first months of the war, international officials say. Israel’s takeover this month of the Rafah border crossing, a key transit point for fuel and supplies for Gaza, has contributed to bringing aid operations near collapse, the U.N. and relief groups say.

The U.S. pier project to bring aid to Gaza via the Mediterranean Sea has had a troubled launch, with groups of people overrunning a convoy Saturday and taking most of the supplies and a man in the crowd who was shot dead in still-unexplained circumstances.

Saturday’s chaos forced suspension of aid convoys from the pier for at least two days. The WFP is warning that the U.S. project may fail unless Israeli authorities give clearances and cooperation for alternate land routes and better security.

All 2.3 million people of Gaza are struggling to get food, according to aid groups, with the heads of the WFP and USAID saying famine has begun in north Gaza.

Humanitarian officials and the U.S. say the sea route is not a replacement for bringing aid through land crossings, and they have repeatedly called on Israel to allow a steady large flow of trucks through entry points and to ensure aid workers are safe from the Israeli military.

Israel insists it puts no restriction on the number of trucks entering Gaza and has blamed “lack of logistical capabilities and manpower gaps” among aid groups. But Israel’s military operations make it very difficult for groups to retrieve the aid.


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Louisiana lawmakers approve bill similar to Texas’ embattled migrant enforcement law

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A Louisiana bill that would empower state and local law enforcement to arrest and jail people in the state who entered the U.S. illegally received approval from lawmakers Wednesday and will likely soon be on the governor’s desk.

Amid national fights between Republican states and Democratic President Joe Biden over how and who should enforce the U.S.-Mexico border, a growing list of GOP-led states have passed measures seeking to push deeper into migrant enforcement. However, laws similar to Louisiana’s legislation — in Iowa, Oklahoma and Texas — are currently facing legal challenges.

Texas was allowed to enforce its migrant enforcement law for only a few confusing hours in March while legal fights bounced around federal courts. During that time, Texas authorities announced no arrests made under the law, and the brief window revealed that many sheriffs were unprepared, unable or uninterested in enforcing it.

Texas’ law remains on hold by a federal appeals court’s three-judge panel, which heard arguments from both supporters and opponents in April. It is unclear when the panel will issue a ruling.

Like the Texas law, Louisiana’s bill seeks to expand the authority of state and local law enforcement. The bill would create the crime of “illegal entry or reentry” into Louisiana, which is punishable by up to a year in prison and a $4,000 fine for a first offense, and up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine for a second offense.

In addition, Sen. Valarie Hodges, the Republican sponsoring the bill, said it would “start the deportation process.” Currently, the enforcement of immigration law regarding illegal entry and deportations has long been the exclusive domain of federal law enforcement.

Proponents of such legislation argue that it is needed to protect U.S. citizens, accusing the federal government, specifically Biden, of neglecting responsibilities to enforce immigration law.

The Biden administration has said that the law illegally encroaches on federal authority over immigration enforcement. Additionally, opponents argue that the bill is unconstitutional, will not do anything to make the state safer, and will fuel negative and false rhetoric directed toward migrants.

Across the nation, reliably red legislatures have advanced tougher immigration enforcement measures.

The Oklahoma House passed a bill that would prohibit state revenue from being used to provide benefits to those living in the state illegally. In Tennessee the governor recently signed a bill into law that requires law enforcement agencies in the state to communicate with federal immigration authorities if they discover people who are in the country illegally. Measures that mirror parts of the Texas law are currently scheduled to go into effect in Oklahoma and Iowa in July.

Louisiana’s bill passed in the House on Wednesday along party lines, after only three minutes of floor conversation and without any lawmaker going to the podium to argue against it. The bill will return to the GOP-dominated Senate to concur on minor amendments, a procedural step. If the Senate concurs, which is more than likely will, the bill will head to the desk of Gov. Landry, who has been an outspoken supporter of states getting involved in migrant law enforcement.

If the Republican signs the bill into law, it would take effect only if the U.S. Supreme Court upholds the Texas law or if the U.S. Constitution is amended to increase local border enforcement authority, based on language in the legislation.

Although Louisiana does not border Mexico, bills and policies targeting migrants suspected of entering the country illegally have been pushed to the forefront over the past four months under new conservative leadership. Earlier this week, Louisiana lawmakers gave final approval to a bill that, if signed into law, would ban sanctuary city policies that allow local law enforcement to refuse to cooperate with federal immigration officials unless ordered by a court.


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Can Medicare money protect doctors from abortion crimes? It worked before, desegregating hospitals

ATLANTA (AP) — The Supreme Court’s pending Idaho abortion ruling may hinge on how federal spending power might protect doctors against a state’s criminal code. For guidance, the justices can look to the very beginning of Medicare in the 1960s, when the promise of federal funding finally persuaded hospitals in the Jim Crow South to desegregate.

In oral arguments for Idaho v. United States last month, Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch raised questions about the Biden administration’s power to pull Medicare money from hospitals whose doctors won’t perform emergency abortions for fear of being prosecuted.

Idaho law currently threatens doctors with prison if prosecutors challenge their medical determination that an abortion was necessary to save a woman’s life. Idaho also criminalizes abortions to preserve a woman’s bodily functions, contrary to federal requirements for emergency care.

“How can you impose restrictions on what Idaho can criminalize simply because hospitals in Idaho have chosen to participate in Medicare?” asked Alito, who wrote the decision overturning Roe v. Wade. “I don’t understand how — how the theory works.”

Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar countered that Idaho wants its hospitals to be able to accept Medicare money without federal conditions — like emergency abortion care in certain cases — “that are attached to those funds as an essential part of the bargain. And there is no precedent to support that outcome.”

In fact, using Medicare to impose federal will over states with contrary criminal codes is as old as the program itself. As Medicare prepared to begin paying for the care of elderly patients in July 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson used the offer of massive federal spending as a tool to finally end the most glaring racial discrimination in hospitals nationwide. It remains “one the most prominent and powerful cases of linking federal funding to other policy goals,” said University of Wisconsin professor Tom Oliver, an expert on health care policy changes.

Similarly, today’s “federal use of power is indirect and does not directly override state criminal statutes — it only makes compliance with a complete ban on abortions, even in emergencies threatening the life of the mother, very expensive for hospitals,” Oliver said.

Before Medicare money began flowing, despite passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and federal court rulings requiring desegregation, hospitals across the South were still conforming to criminal codes long used to enforce racial discrimination.

Black doctors were denied privileges at most hospitals. Black patients had to use segregated ambulances, wards, bathrooms and even blood supplies. Black people were turned away from emergency rooms reserved for white patients, leading to higher death rates in supposedly “separate but equal” facilities, according to Philip Lee, a Johnson administration official who helped implement Medicare’s rollout.

In Atlanta, only the public Grady Hospital treated both races but in separate wings known as the two Gradys. Even there, Black childbirths could only be scheduled on Wednesdays, according to Xernona Clayton, an aide to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

King’s cousin-in-law, Dr. Roy Bell, eventually won a 1962 federal lawsuit seeking to end segregation in Atlanta’s hospitals, but actual practice lagged behind federal law.

President Johnson was impatient for change and needed more grassroots support as Congress considered the Medicare and Medicaid Act. His aides urged Atlanta’s Black doctors to make some noise, and they did: Clayton brought them to lobby Congress, and they scored a White House visit.

That pressure reverberated back home: On June 1, 1965, one month before Johnson signed the act, Grady’s superintendent announced that the entire hospital would operate “on a non-racial basis, effective today.”

Grady was ahead of the curve. By March 1966, four months before the money started flowing, fewer than half the nation’s hospitals — and less than a quarter of them in the South — met federal standards outlawing racial discrimination, Lee wrote in 2015 in the Journal of the American Society on Aging.

Hospital inspections by Lee and other federal officials, more litigation and a come-to-Johnson meeting of health care executives at the White House led 95% of the 7,000 hospitals nationwide to comply within six months, enabling Johnson to declare that “there will be no second-class patients in our health-care institutions” nationwide, Lee wrote.

This fundamental principle of American federalism has extended to many other areas: States have updated antidiscrimination practices to qualify for education money and raised the legal drinking age to 21 to get highway funding, for example.

“The feds are saying, here’s a bunch of money — if you want it, abide by our conditions. If you don’t, don’t take it. It’s as simple as that,” said Eric Segall, a constitutional law professor at Georgia State University. “No one who cares about the text and history of the Constitution” would seriously argue that federal spending power can’t be used as leverage this way, he argued.

But this federal power was challenged in a 2012 ruling against the Affordable Care Act, which initially would have withdrawn states from Medicaid if they declined federal funding to expand the program. Chief Justice John Roberts’ opinion held that this aspect of “Obamacare” amounted to unconstitutional coercion. Most states have volunteered to expand since then.


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Nashville council rejects proposed sign for Morgan Wallen’s new bar, decrying his behavior

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Nashville councilmembers have rejected plans for a glowing sign to be erected at Morgan Wallen’s new bar along the city’s neon-lit strip of honky tonks, citing his use of a racial slur that caused controversy in 2021 and recent criminal charges accusing the country star of throwing a chair off a rooftop near two police officers.

The Nashville Metro Council voted 30-3 Tuesday evening against the proposed sign at Morgan Wallen’s This Bar & Tennessee Kitchen, which is set to open this weekend. The sign would have hung over a public sidewalk, similar to those at many neighboring bars. Such a sign requires local government approval and usually isn’t a controversial process.

During debate, councilmembers called Wallen’s comments hateful and his actions harmful. They also said the performer has received multiple second chances.

“I don’t want to see a billboard up with the name of a person who is throwing chairs off of balconies and who is saying racial slurs,” said Councilmember Delishia Porterfield, who is Black.

Councilmember Jacob Kupin presented the proposal, but said he “thought long and hard” about what to do because of Wallen’s behavior. He said the third-party organization managing the business, TC Restaurant Group, has been “really, a good partner” and has worked to make downtown Nashville safer.

The Associated Press reached out to Wallen’s publicist and TC Restaurant Group seeking comment on the council vote.

“The fact that someone’s name is going up on a bar doesn’t mean that we condone all the behavior, but again I appreciate the efforts to make amends, the positive response, and again, the operator themselves I don’t think should be penalized for what happened,” Kupin said.

An initial hearing in Wallen’s criminal case was postponed until Aug. 15. According to an arrest affidavit, the chair that Wallen is accused of throwing off the roof of the six-story Chief’s bar on April 7 landed about a yard (meter) from two police officers. Witnesses told officers they saw Wallen pick up a chair, throw it off the roof and laugh about it.

He is facing three felony counts of reckless endangerment and one misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct.

In a statement issued by Wallen, he said he accepted “responsibility” and was “not proud” of his behavior. The statement mentioned making “amends” and touching base with law enforcement.

Wallen’s “One Thing at a Time” album spent 16 weeks at the top of the Billboard 200 in 2023 and was the most-consumed album in the U.S. last year. Top 10 hits from the album included “Last Night,” “You Proof” and “Thinkin’ Bout Me.”

In 2021, Wallen was suspended indefinitely from his label after video surfaced of him shouting a racial slur, which he would later say was ignorant of him to use.

Kid Rock’s bar, not far from Wallen’s new establishment, was the site of an earlier sign controversy. Ahead of a 2019 vote, some councilmembers bemoaned the design featuring a giant guitar in which the base of the instrument is intentionally shaped like a woman’s buttocks. Ultimately, they approved it.


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Nevada can start tabulating ballots earlier on Election Day for quicker results

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Nevada election officials can start tabulating in-person Election Day votes as they come in, rather than waiting for polls to close in an effort to get results out quicker, Democratic Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar said Wednesday.

Aguilar cited state law in making the recommendation to county election officials that also include tabulating mail ballots as early voting is underway. The recommendations apply to both Nevada’s primary on June 11 and the November general election.

The changes could help quell anxiety over close races in a western swing state known for razor-thin margins. The nation watched Nevada closely in 2022 for the outcome of a U.S. Senate race that was decided by less than 8,000 votes, as the final mail ballots were counted after other battleground races were settled.

If county election officials adopt the recommendations, results will roll out throughout Election Day. Previously, in-person voting results weren’t released, and officials didn’t tabulate mail ballots until after polls closed.

“We will be able to release more data to the public more quickly with this new process,” Aguilar said during a news conference Wednesday.

Every voter in Nevada automatically receives a ballot by mail, unless they opt out, a pandemic-era change that was later codified in state law. The mail ballots can arrive at county election offices up to four days after Nov. 5, which is Election Day, but the ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day.

Aguilar said he consulted with election officials in the state’s two most populous counties — Washoe and Clark counties — over the past year and a half in crafting the recommendations.

“This is not about putting additional strain (on local election officials),” Aguilar said. “This is about creating efficiencies and allowing the staff and the clerks to be able to be more efficient in the work that they’re doing.”

Mail ballots take longer to count because of the numerous verification steps built into the process to guard against potential fraud. Those include matching ballots to the voter registration database and verifying signature or identification information.

Pressure to have results out quickly has only increased since the 2020 election, when former President Donald Trump sowed doubt about the election process by highlighting that ballots came in after Election Day and blasted those who showed him losing in a state after initially being ahead. The process is normal, as officials administer elections with rules and processes that vary across the country, and it simply takes time to count large amounts of ballots.

Most states allow local election officials to handle mail ballots before Election Day, a process that includes verifying the voter requested the ballot, confirming the ballot matches the one sent to the voter, and either matching a voter signature to one on file or matching voter ID information to records.

Some states even allow ballots to be scanned into a counting machine days in advance with a process designed to keep results secret. This allows election officials to run a report on Election Day that provides a tally of these votes quickly.

And when results are released on Election Day, they are unofficial. It takes days and sometimes weeks for election officials to count every ballot and to certify the results.

Already, the top election officials in Nevada’s Washoe and Clark counties outlined plans to more quickly process ballots.

Lorena Portillo in Clark County told state lawmakers earlier this month that the county now has six mail ballot readers, up from four in 2022 and two in 2020. The machines can tabulate 8,000 ballots per hour. The county that includes Las Vegas also will use 26 machines that tabulate in-person ballots on Election Day from flash drives, up from 10 in 2022.

Portillo also said the county will introduce double shifts on Election Day for election workers.

In the less-populated Washoe County, interim registrar of voters Cari-Ann Burgess told lawmakers that the county is looking to upgrade the mail balloting processing room to sort ballots quicker. She added that, as the county that includes Reno grows, so too will the capacity of the elections department.

___

Associated Press writer Christina A. Cassidy contributed reporting from Atlanta. Stern is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a service program that places journalists in local newsrooms. Follow Stern on X: @gabestern326.


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A self-inflicted hit of pepper spray drives off an attacking grizzly in Grand Teton National Park

A grizzly that accidentally inflicted itself with a burst of pepper spray while attacking a hiker in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park won’t be captured or killed because it may have been trying to protect a cub, park officials said in a statement.

While mauling a hiker on Signal Mountain, the grizzly bit into the man’s can of bear repellent and was hit with a burst of it, causing the animal to flee. The 35-year-old Massachusetts man, who’d pretended to be dead while he was being bitten, made it to safety and spent Sunday night in the hospital.

There was no word when Signal Mountain or a road and trail to its 7,700-foot (2,300-meter) summit would reopen after being closed because of the attack. Such closures are typical after the handful of grizzly attacks on public land in the Yellowstone region every year.

The decision not to pursue the bears, which officials determined behaved naturally after being surprised, also was consistent with attacks that don’t involve campsite raids, eating food left out by people, or similar behaviors that make bears more dangerous.

Rangers track and study many of the Yellowstone region’s 1,000 or so bears but weren’t familiar with the ones responsible for the attack Sunday afternoon, according to the statement.

The attack happened even though the victim was carrying bear-repellant spray and made noise to alert bears in the forest, the statement said.

Speaking to rangers afterward, the man said he came across a small bear that ran away from him. As he reached for his bear repellant, he saw a larger bear charging at him in his periphery vision.

He had no time to use his bear spray before falling to the ground with fingers laced behind his neck and one finger holding the spray canister.

The bear bit him several times before biting into the can of pepper spray, which burst and drove the bears away.

The man got to an area with cell phone coverage and called for help. A helicopter, then an ambulance evacuated him to a nearby hospital.

Investigators suspect from the man’s description that the smaller bear he saw was an older cub belonging to the female grizzly that attacked. Mother bears aggressively defend their offspring and remain with them for two to three years after birth.

Park officials didn’t release the victim’s name. He was expected to make a full recovery.


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Second US dairy worker infected with bird flu confirmed in Michigan

By Tom Polansek and Julie Steenhuysen

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A second human case of bird flu has been confirmed in the United States since the virus was first detected in dairy cattle in late March, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday.

The infection of a dairy worker in Michigan expands the outbreak of the bird flu, though the CDC said the risk to the general public remains low.

The CDC told reporters on a call that it has not seen evidence of human to human transmission of bird flu and that it has tested close to 40 people since March, including the Michigan worker.

A Texas dairy worker was confirmed to be infected in April.

Michigan and Texas are among nine states that have reported bird flu in dairy herds since late March. Scientists have said they believe the outbreak is more widespread based on U.S. Food and Drug Administration findings of H5N1 particles in about 20% of retail milk samples.

Similar to the Texas case, the patient in Michigan only reported eye symptoms, the CDC said. The Michigan worker had mild symptoms and recovered, according to the state’s Department of Health and Human Services.

The worker had regular exposure to livestock infected with bird flu, Michigan said.

The CDC said “similar additional human cases could be identified” given high levels of the virus in raw milk from infected cows, and the extent of the spread in dairy cows.

Nirav Shah, CDC’s principal deputy director, said the agency received the Michigan patient sample on Tuesday and confirmed the positive test result that evening. The CDC said the investigation is just getting underway, and investigators are looking into whether the worker was wearing or was offered protective equipment.

A nasal swab from the Michigan worker tested negative for influenza in the state, but an eye swab from the patient was shipped to CDC and tested positive for the H5N1 virus, the CDC said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said it believes unpasteurized milk is the primary vector for transmitting the virus among cows, though officials do not know exactly how it spreads.

To limit transmission in cattle, the USDA in late April started requiring dairy cows to test negative before being shipped across state lines.

“It’s likely that there will be several cases that emanate from exposure to infected cows and their milk amongst farm workers,” said Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease expert at the John Hopkins Center for Health security.

“The key thing is to make sure that testing is wide enough to capture them.”

(Reporting by Tom Polansek, Julie Steenhuysen, Leah Douglas, PJ Huffstutter and Jasper Ward; Editing by Eric Beech, Anna Driver and Bill Berkrot)


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