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Elizabethkingia outbreak spreads to Illinois — but source still a mystery

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A northern Illinois resident who died after being diagnosed this year with a blood infection known as Elizabethkingia had the same strain of the bacteria linked to more than a dozen deaths in Wisconsin, health officials said on Tuesday.

Neither the resident’s age nor many other details were released, but Melaney Arnold, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), said the individual had suffered from underlying health issues.

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IDPH officials have sent alerts to hospitals requesting they report all cases of Elizabethkingia and save any specimens for possible laboratory testing, Arnold added in a statement.

The infection has infected 48 mostly elderly people in Wisconsin, killing 15. Both Michigan and Illinois have each reported one death and one person infected, the statement said.

The patients who died in Wisconsin had serious underlying conditions, health officials have said, and it remains unclear whether the bacteria caused all the fatalities.

Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois investigators are working with Atlanta-based The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine the possible source of the bacteria.

Elizabethkingia bacteria are rarely reported to cause illness in humans, and can sometimes be found in the respiratory tract. Symptoms can include fever, shortness of breath and chills or cellulitis. Confirmation of the illness requires a laboratory test.

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(Reporting by Justin Madden; Editing by Daniel Wallis and James Dalgleish)


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Legal battles sparked by Trump’s behavior could affect how the US government works for generations — long after his impeachment trial is over

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After the last Senate staffer turns out the lights, major questions remain to be decided outside of the Capitol about the limits of presidential power, the willingness of courts to decide political questions and the ability of Congress to exercise effective oversight and hold a president accountable.

Here are three of those questions.

What are the limits of presidential power?

First, the aggressive exercise of executive power by Trump has put this power under court scrutiny.

Trump’s vow to “fight all the subpoenas” breaks from the traditional process – negotiation and accommodation – that previous presidents have used to resolve disputes between branches of the government.

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Secret recording features Trump falsely claiming that weed makes people ‘lose IQ points’

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President Donald Trump falsely claimed that marijuana makes people "lose IQ points" in a secret recording released by indicted former Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas.

Parnas released the recording, which captured more than one hour of conversation at a private donor dinner with Trump in 2018, to show that the president told him that he would fire then-Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. But the recording, which was apparently captured by Parnas' indicted associate Igor Fruman, also featured Trump discussing Kim Jong Un's golf game, the European Union trying to "screw the United States," the 2016 election . . . and his views on marijuana.

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2020 Election

New poll shows Bernie Sanders with more than double the support of Joe Biden in New Hampshire

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A new poll out of the key early voting state of New Hampshire on Tuesday showed that Sen. Bernie Sanders now has double the support of his next closest rival, former vice president Joe Biden, less than two week's before the first-in-the-nation primary on February 11.

According to the American Research Group survey, conducted between Jan. 24 and Jan. 27, Sanders has the support of 28% of likely Democratic primary voters, compared to Biden's 13%. Coming in third and fourth place in the poll were former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg with 12% and Sen. Elizabeth Warren with 11%.

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