National News, Tuesday, Feb. 11 – New Hampshire Voters in the Spotlight Today

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New Hampshire is the new spotlight for voters are casting their ballots in the nation’s first Democratic presidential primary today, as polls show Sen. Bernie Sanders is looking to take the upper hand in the crowded contest for the party’s nomination.

Mr. Sanders, who represents neighboring Vermont, has enjoyed the top position in surveys of voters here for weeks. Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., has surged into the second position, riding momentum after the two men virtually tied in last week’s caucuses in Iowa.

The 78-year-old and the 38-year-old—the oldest and youngest candidates in the race, respectively—have crisscrossed this small state as Mr. Sanders seeks to claim the first outright victory of the election cycle and Mr. Buttigieg tries to establish himself as a serious contender heading into contests in Nevada and South Carolina later in February.  Stay tuned for more results here.

A passenger on a U.S.-chartered flight out of Wuhan, China, became the first to test positive for the coronavirus among those evacuated from the center of the outbreak, while in China the highest-level officials yet were removed for the handling of a crisis that has killed more than 1,000 people.

In San Diego, a female passenger who arrived on an evacuation flight to a military base there tested positive after developing a cough and being taken to a hospital—but not before initially being given a negative result and being allowed to return to the quarantine compound alongside other evacuees.

When tests on the patient didn’t initially confirm a coronavirus infection, she was returned to the Miramar Marine Corps Air Station, where evacuees are being quarantined for 14 days, said Christopher Braden, deputy director for emerging and zoonotic diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The patient was then hospitalized at UC San Diego Health once the test came back positive, he said.

“We consider her to be appropriately isolated, and we do not consider you to have been exposed,” Mr. Braden told residents of one of the base’s two quarantine complexes, at a Monday-evening meeting.

The botched result calls into question the reliability of tests that have been used in diagnosing cases around the world, and the handling of the hundreds of Americans and their family members who have been ferried back to the U.S.

In addition to the woman in quarantine in San Diego, the U.S. has 12 other confirmed coronavirus cases.

In mainland China, meanwhile, the virus had infected 42,638 people as of Monday night, China’s National Health Commission said. The vast majority of the infections and the deaths—there have been 1,018 around the world—have been in Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital.

As the Coronavirus epidemic spreads, one of the negative responses to grow out of it has been an anti-Chinese sentiment. A store in Australia is being criticized for a sign out front boasting that its mattresses are free from coronavirus because they’re made in Australia. The store’s parent Twitter account quickly responded to find out which store it was, and then reported a couple of hours later that the signed was removed

Something is sending signals to earth.  A mysterious radio source located in a galaxy 500 million light years from Earth is pulsing on a 16-day cycle, like clockwork, according to a new study. This marks the first time that scientists have ever detected regularity in these signals, which are known as fast radio bursts (FRBs), and is a major step toward unmasking their sources.

… Scientists recently tracked down this particular FRB to a galaxy called SDSS J015800.28+654253.0, which is a half a billion light years from Earth. That may seem like a huge distance, but FRB 180916.J0158+65 is actually the closest FRB ever detected. But they still don’t know what it is.

Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday this year, so there’s some extra pressure to keep things special for the whole weekend. Flowers wilt. Chocolates melt. Teddy bears stare back. Lucky for all you romantics — Hickory Farms has your back with a salami bouquet. The bouquet is $49 and includes three types of dry salamis: an original one, a “three pepper” flavor and a truffle one. • LINK

Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream will be experimenting with ice cream delivery via drone in New York. Called Ice Cream Now, the drones will deliver 2.5 ounce mini cups of Ben and Jerry’s.

What are those crazy TikTok kids doing this week? Eating packing peanuts. Apparently there are certain brands that are made of nontoxic and biodegradable materials that are safe to eat. However, according to Wikipedia “they are not produced in food-safe conditions, and are not recommended for eating.”

… Rhett & Link made a packing peanuts taste test video a few years ago. • VIDEO

Nightmares.  Even as we sleep, our brains are still hard at work processing and going over the events of our lives. Nighttime brain activity often manifests itself as dreams, and every now and again we all experience the occasional bad dream. If you’ve ever woken up from a particularly odd nightmare and wondered if anyone else has experienced something similar, you’re in luck: a recent survey has compiled a list of the most common nightmares.

… The most common scary dream: the terrifying vision that we’re falling (64.7%).

… After that, dreaming of being chased (63.3%) came in as the second most common nightmare, followed by dreams of dying (54.9%), feeling lost (53.8%), and feeling trapped (52.4%). • FULL LIST

Don’t die from boredom.   A study says the more bored you are, the more likely you are to die early. Researchers analyzed over 7,500 interviews with British civil servants between the ages of 35 and 55 that asked whether they’d felt bored at work. They found that those who said they were very bored were two-and-a-half times more likely to have died of a heart condition than those who reported no boredom. The researchers point out that this may not be a direct link, and that when they adjusted for other factors, like physical activity and employment grade, the effect was reduced.

Workplace romance continues.  A survey finds that 40 percent of adults have dated a co-worker at some point in their careers and nearly 20 percent had done it more than once.

Rather than spending Valentine’s Day with their partner, one fifth of adults would prefer to be with their pet. The survey of 24,000 people in 23 countries found 21 percent of adults would rather spend February 14 with their pet than their spouse, although the French were least likely to choose a furry friend over a human with only 10 percent taking that option. Men and women were evenly split over the question.

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