Search under way for mountain lion who clawed man in hot tub

Search under way for mountain lion who clawed man in hot tub

A search is under way for a mountain lion who clawed a man’s head while he bathed in a hot tub with his wife in Colorado.

The couple were relaxing at a rental home in a wooded area of Nathrop at the time of the incident on Saturday night.

The man felt something grab his head and screamed when he realised it was a lion, officials said.

He continued to shout at the curious cat and splash water at it while his wife shined a torch in its direction, eventually forcing the animal to retreat to the top of a hill.

It continued to watch the couple from its new vantage point.

They managed to get back home and clean the man’s wounds (four scratches to the top of his head and near his right ear), before calling the property owner, who worked for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Wildlife officers have set a trap for the lion, having failed to find any tracks in the frozen snow covering the area.

Nathrop is a mountainous area known for its outdoor activities.

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Why did the lion attack?

Saturday’s encounter was the first reported mountain lion attack on a person in Colorado since February 2022.

Sean Shepherd, an area wildlife manager, said the animal likely didn’t see the couple when it investigated the tub.

“We think it’s likely the mountain lion saw the man’s head move in the darkness at ground-level but didn’t recognise the people in the hot tub,” he said.

“The couple did the right thing by making noise and shining a light on the lion.”

At least 27 people have been injured in mountain lion attacks in Colorado since 1990, three of them fatally.

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Biden vows US will 'declassify' information about COVID's origins

Biden vows US will 'declassify' information about COVID's origins

Joe Biden has vowed his administration will “declassify” as much information about the origins of COVID-19 as possible – including any potential links to a Chinese research lab.

Having ordered intelligence agencies including the FBI to investigate where the virus came from in 2021, the US president has now signed legislation that requires any details uncovered to be made public.

“We need to get to the bottom of COVID-19‘s origins to help ensure we can better prevent future pandemics,” he said.

Mr Biden’s bill, which he said would only limit the sharing of any information that “would harm national security”, comfortably passed through both the Senate and House of Representatives.

It comes after FBI director Christopher Wray revealed the agency thought the virus “most likely” came from a Chinese laboratory leak.

He said Beijing – which has consistently rejected that assessment – was “doing its best to try to thwart and obfuscate” international efforts to learn more about the pandemic’s origins.

The US Energy Department has also reportedly assessed with low confidence that the pandemic resulted from an unintended lab leak in China.

COVID-19 first emerged in the city of Wuhan in late 2019, before being declared a pandemic in early 2020, causing countries around the world to go into lockdowns.

Mr Biden said: “My administration will continue to review all classified information relating to COVID-19’s origins, including potential links to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”

The World Health Organization’s official position, according to a 2021 report, is that it is “extremely unlikely” the virus came from the Wuhan lab – but did not completely rule it out.

It said the most likely explanation was that the virus originated in a bat before crossing to an intermediary animal and then jumping to humans.

A recent study linked the virus to raccoon dogs at a Wuhan market.

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Martina Navratilova reveals she is 'cancer free' after fearing she 'may not see next Christmas'

Martina Navratilova reveals she is 'cancer free' after fearing she 'may not see next Christmas'

Martina Navratilova has said she is “cancer free” after she had been diagnosed with throat and breast cancers. 

The former world tennis number one will undergo further preventative radiation treatment after the diagnosis had left her fearing she “may not see next Christmas”.

The 66-year-old told Piers Morgan on Talk TV in an interview to be aired on Tuesday: “As far as they know I’m cancer free.”

Speaking about her reaction to the diagnosis, which she revealed in January, she was quoted in The Sun: “I was in a total panic for three days thinking I may not see next Christmas.

“The bucket list came into my mind of all the things I wanted to do.”

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Ms Navratilova, who won 59 grand slam singles and doubles titles, went to the doctor after noticing an enlarged lymph node in her neck.

Tests subsequently confirmed it was cancer.

“This was the first week in December, [I’m thinking] I will see this Christmas, but maybe not the next one,” she said.

But doctors were able to tell her the cancer was “extremely treatable” and she had a “95%” chance of a full recovery.

Ms Navratilova underwent treatment for early-stage breast cancer in 2010.

Navratilova also revealed that songs by Sir Elton John that were played by nurses while she was in chemotherapy helped get her through the treatment.

“You pick your music that you want to listen to,” she said.

“One time I picked Elton John, and then he starts singing I’m Still Standing, which he dedicated to me at a concert in Paris during the French Open in the eighties.”

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'Worrisome' deadly fungus spreading through US at alarming rate

'Worrisome' deadly fungus spreading through US at alarming rate

A drug-resistant and potentially deadly fungus is spreading rapidly through US health facilities, according to a government study.

Researchers from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported the fungus, a type of yeast called Candida auris or C. auris, can cause severe illness in people with weakened immune systems.

The number of people diagnosed, as well as the number who were found through screening to be carrying C. auris, has been rising at an alarming rate since the fungus was first reported in the US in 2016.

A strain of Candida auris cultured in a petri dish at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is pictured in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters on April 9, 2019. CDC/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY
A strain of Candida auris cultured in a petri dish at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2019

The fungus was identified in 2009 in Asia, but scientists have said C. auris first appeared around the world about a decade earlier.

Dr Meghan Lyman, chief medical officer of the CDC’s mycotic diseases branch, said the increases, “especially in the most recent years, are really concerning to us”.

“We’ve seen increases not just in areas of ongoing transmission, but also in new areas,” she said.

Dr Lyman also said she was concerned about the increasing number of fungus samples resistant to the common treatments for it.

Dr Waleed Javaid, an epidemiologist and director of infection prevention and control at Mount Sinai Downtown in New York, said the fungus was “worrisome”.

“But we don’t want people who watched ‘The Last Of Us’ to think we’re all going to die,” Dr Javaid said.

“This is an infection that occurs in extremely ill individuals who are usually sick with a lot of other issues.”

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The fungus, which can be found on the skin and throughout the body, is not a threat to healthy people.

But about one-third of people who become sick with C. auris die.

The fungus has been detected in more than half of all US states. The number of infections in the US increased by 95% between 2020 and 2021.

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Fungal infections ‘increased significantly’ during COVID pandemic

The new research comes as Mississippi is facing a growing outbreak of the fungus.

Since November, 12 people in the state have been infected with four “potentially associated deaths”, according to the state’s health department.

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Ministers to preside over shake-up of Whitehall board directors

Ministers to preside over shake-up of Whitehall board directors

Ministers are launching a shake-up of their departmental boards in a move that has resulted in prominent businesspeople leaving midway through their terms.

Sky News has learnt that Michelle Donelan, the science, innovation and technology secretary, will this week authorise the start of a search for a crop of non-executives to join the newly created ministry’s board.

Officials in Ms Donelan’s department said she wanted its leadership to reflect the sectors it oversees, and to lead the way in overhauling how Whitehall is run.

A source close to her said: “Michelle wants her new department to literally change the world – and to do that she wants to bring the biggest, brightest and best talents from across science and tech in the UK, right into the heart of Whitehall and really shake things up.

“This is about radically overhauling how Government departments work, to be responsive and agile just like a start-up.

“She wants fresh perspectives, from people who really understand how to put bright ideas into action.”

Rishi Sunak’s recent reorganisation of Whitehall – creating a new business and trade department, as well as one focused on energy and net zero – is expected to mean that existing slates of non-executive directors could step down, rather than be automatically appointed to newly constituted boards.

Ms Donelan served as Mr Sunak’s culture secretary prior to the creation of DSIT.

Examples of senior business figures drafted into government-appointed roles include Peter Mather, a former BP executive who joined the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy board exactly a year ago, and Stephen Hill, a former Financial Times executive, who also sat on the BEIS board.

Government departments began appointing external directors from the private sector under the coalition government led by David Cameron in 2010.

Some ministers – notably Michael Gove, now the chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster – have faced accusations of cronyism over their persistent appointment of close associates to the roles.

Others, however, have welcomed the insight provided by business leaders as they target improvements in the operation of the machinery of government.

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Nurse Lucy Letby 'fainted after she and fellow medics couldn't revive baby'

Nurse Lucy Letby 'fainted after she and fellow medics couldn't revive baby'

Lucy Letby fainted at work after she and fellow medics could not revive a baby boy, her trial has heard.

The 33-year-old nurse is accused of murdering the newborn triplet on a day shift at the Countess of Chester Hospital’s neo-natal unit in June 2016.

She allegedly gave a fatal dose of air to the youngster, referred to in court as Child P, and also one of his brothers, Child O, who died a day earlier.

Letby, originally from Hereford, denies the murders of seven babies and the attempted murders of 10 other infants between June 2015 and June 2016.

Manchester Crown Court heard Child P’s condition worsened on 24 June 2016 as he needed CPR on four separate occasions before he was pronounced dead at 4pm.

Letby received a needle prick to her finger during the final resuscitation attempt, jurors were told.

Routine blood checks were required at the hospital A&E department after which Letby fainted.

She was offered a lift home by a doctor who friends had previously teased her about flirting with.

Facebook message exchanges between the pair were read out in court.

A corridor within the Countess of Chester Hospital's neonatal unit. Pic: Cheshire Constabulary/CPS
A corridor within the Countess of Chester Hospital’s neonatal unit. Pic: Cheshire Constabulary/CPS

The doctor, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, asked Letby: “Have you been seen yet?”

Letby replied: “Yes just got back. I made a fool of myself whilst there.”

The doctor, who was also involved in the resuscitation efforts, said: “I asked them to be quick for you. How did you make a fool of yourself?”

‘I fainted’

Letby responded: “They said someone had asked for me to been seen asap and they knew what had happened today.

“Everyone talking about it whilst I was there. I fainted.”

The doctor asked: “Oh are you OK now?”

Letby replied: “Bit shaky but OK. Writing my notes. They were reluctant to let me go as on my own.”

The doctor said: “You could have bleeped me. I’m almost a responsible adult!

“Do you need a lift home?”

After she was dropped off by the doctor at her home address, Letby messaged him: “Thank you for the lift and for talking to A&E.”

The doctor said: “I can’t have you walking back in the dark after a rubbish day, mini needlestick and an A&E faint.”

On 25 June 2016 – when Letby is accused of trying to murder another baby, Child Q, during the morning of a day shift – she messaged the same doctor: “Nice lunch break. Told my mum about needlestick and got a huge lecture about not being careful enough, overworked, doing too much etc.”

The doctor replied: “That’s not what you need. She’ll be concerned that you’re not looking after yourself. Huge lectures aren’t fun are they?”

The trial continues.

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