Nation and world news briefs

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Yale professor warned students of ‘widespread infections — and possibly deaths’

HARTFORD, Conn. — A Yale professor and head of the school’s largest residential college recently issued a dramatic warning to returning students about COVID-19 on campus, according to a report from the Yale Daily News.

“We all should be emotionally prepared for widespread infections — and possibly deaths — in our community,” wrote Laurie Santos, a Yale psychology professor and head of Silliman College, in a July 1 email to residents. “You should emotionally prepare for the fact that your residential college life will look more like a hospital unit than a residential college.”

Santos’s email, sent the day Yale announced it would welcome students back to New Haven, has received wide attention this week as an example of the risks colleges will take in reopening their campuses.

Colleges in Connecticut have recently begun to welcome back students, with extensive procedures for testing and social distancing. Yale has planned a particularly ambitious testing regimen, seeking to test all students on campus twice a week for COVID-19 throughout the fall semester.

Still, cases at many schools appear inevitable. UConn, so far, has recorded at least 11 positive tests from students and another two from faculty and staff, albeit with a low positivity rate. The school announced Wednesday it would revoke housing for students captured on video at a crowded party.

This week, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the University of Notre Dame both announced they would move classes online after coronavirus outbreaks among students, while Michigan State University preemptively moved classes online.

—The Hartford Courant


Kirsten Dunst wants to know: Why is she in Kanye West’s campaign poster?

We all know Kanye West is trying to run for president. But Kirsten Dunst wants to know what it has to do with her.

On Tuesday, the rapper tweeted a mockup for a “Kanye 2020 Vision” campaign poster, prominently featuring the “Spider-Man” actress. Vogue Editor in Chief Anna Wintour also makes an appearance as well as several activists and other figures.

“What’s the message here,” Dunst shot back on Twitter Wednesday night. “And why am I apart of it?”

A representative for Dunst confirmed to People magazine that she had not agreed to the use of her image. Neither had Wintour, said a source close to the editor.

West launched his unlikely bid for the presidency on July 4, and since then has petitioned to appear on the ballot in at least 14 states. On Tuesday evening, the Wisconsin Elections Commission cautioned against the rapper’s name appearing on the ballot, with a decision to come on Thursday morning.

Illinois and New Jersey have officially denied West’s paperwork (the Illinois Board of Elections found 1,928 invalid signatures), while Arkansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Utah and Vermont have accepted it.

Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, Montana, Ohio and West Virginia have yet to decide.

The new campaign poster also comes amid swirling concerns that Republican officials are aiding West in an apparent attempt to siphon Black support away from (now-official) Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris.

Dunst, for her part, endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders back in March.

—Los Angeles Times


Ex-Navy SEAL who claims he killed Osama bin Laden banned from Delta after tweeting maskless selfie, he says

Former Navy SEAL Robert O’Neill, who claims to have single-handedly killed Osama bin Laden, has been banned from Delta Air Lines after tweeting a maskless selfie aboard an apparently packed flight this week, he said Thursday.

“I just got banned from @Delta for posting a picture. Wow,” he wrote on Twitter.

The ban comes a day after the former service member posted a photo of himself sitting in an airplane without wearing a mask, an apparent violation of Delta’s rules to prevent the spread of coronavirus on its flights.

The photo, which he captioned with the phrase, “I’m not a p—-y,” quickly went viral before it disappeared from Twitter hours later.

O’Neill said he was not the one who removed the picture. “I didn’t delete my tweet. My wife did,” he wrote Wednesday.

But the damage had already been done.

The photo caught the attention of many critics, including actress and activist Alyssa Milano.

“You do realize you may be a-symptomatic and give the virus to other people that could potentially kill them,” she wrote in a reply to his tweet. “I think that makes you a sociopath. Besides, p---ies are actually so strong that we can deliver human beings out of them. Please, I’m begging you, wear a damn mask.”

O’Neill took issue with her characterization, saying, “I do wear a mask, @Alyssa(underscore)Milano … this attempt at a joke did NOT go over well … “

Delta did not immediately return a request for comment Thursday afternoon.

—New York Daily News


Michigan drone that lost fight with bald eagle recovered

DETROIT — The drone that lost a dogfight with an eagle has been found, Michigan officials said Thursday.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy said it recovered the drone from the bottom of Lake Michigan.

The flying machine, a Phantom Pro 4 Advanced drone, went down last month after it met up with a bald eagle south of Escanaba in the Upper Peninsula. It was documenting erosion to the Lake Michigan shoreline to help residents and communities better cope with high-water issues.

Officials said the agency’s so-called Willful Eagle Trauma Team Engaged in Retrieval, or WETTER, pulled the drone from the lake bed Tuesday at almost the exact GPS coordinates of its last transmission. They said it was resting upside down in the muck and missing a propeller, but otherwise showed little evident damage from the encounter.

“We wish we had a story where we located it with the sonar and the camera and pulled it up,” Brian Eustice, a geologist with the state agency, said in a statement. “But it was just right there. We couldn’t believe we found it so easily.” Eustice was joined in the successful drone hunt by geological technicians Mike Priebe and Brian Lower.

Officials said a damage report and the drone’s SD card with video were sent to Lansing Wednesday where technicians will see if machine’s lengthy submarine act ruined the video. If not, there still won’t be any video of the fight with the bald eagle because it was in “Return Home” mode and not recording at the time.

—The Detroit News