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15 news stories that don’t even mention COVID-19 or coronavirus

It seems as if COVID-19 — a.k.a. the coronavirus — is mentioned in every other sentence these days. 

And to be frank: as journalists, we’re kind of tired of it. 

So, in an effort to take our minds off of things, here are 15 stories that are happening we think you should know about in Utah, the nation and the rest of the world.

Disclaimer: These stories will not make you feel better about the world. Except maybe the last one.

Utah News

Local news anchor arrested for second DUI

KUTV news anchor Shauna Lake was arrested early Saturday morning at Salt Lake City International Airport for driving under the influence, according to an article from KSL.com. 

Lake was arrested after refusing to take a DUI test and was later served a warrant to draw her blood. Lake was issued a citation and later released. 

As of Monday, the blood test results were still pending. 

This is Lake’s second time being arrested for a DUI. In 2017, she pleaded guilty to impaired driving and sentenced to 12 months probation with a fine. 

Teen arrested after shooting gun at West High School

A teen was arrested after firing a gun at West High School in February, according to KSL.com. 

The incident happened when the teen, who was from Kearns, confronted another student right after school let out. No one was hurt in the incident. 

The article also said the same teen “pulled a gun” on the same student earlier in February, according to a search warrant affidavit.

Man convicted in renewable energy fraud scheme with Utah polygamists

Lev Aslan Dermen was convicted of 10 felony counts of conspiracy and money laundering for his participation in a fraud scheme that attempted to get $1.1 billion from a government biofuel program, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

Dermen was accused of working with Jacob Kingston, the CEO of Washakie Renewable Energy, to apply for the government program that would give $1 for every gallon of biofuel made.

Washakie relabeled old biofuel and bought it from other places instead of manufacturing it and applied for the program. 

Dermen’s lawyer argued Kingston and his polygamous sect were the people that actually committed the fraud.

National News

Harvey Weinstein sentenced to 23 years in prison

Harvey Weinstein has been sentenced to 23 years in prison after being convicted of third-degree rape and first-degree criminal sexual act in February, according to an NPR article.

He was also acquitted of one count of first-degree rape and two counts of predatory sexual assault, which were the most serious charges — with some carrying life sentences.

The sentencing concluded one of the highest-profile cases of the #MeToo movement. 

Weinstein’s legal team said because of his health, Weinstein will likely spend the rest of his life in prison, according to the article.

Biden says he’ll have a woman vice president

Presidential candidate Joe Biden said he would have a woman be his vice president at the Democratic debate Sunday.

This was in response to a voter question about how the candidates would ensure their cabinets were prepared to deal with women’s health, according to The New York Times.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, another presidential candidate, also said he’s also  likely to choose a woman as his running mate.

Proposed bill may threaten to end encryption on messaging platforms

A new bill proposed in Congress can potentially get rid of end-to-end encryption on messaging platforms such as WhatsApp and iMessage.

The bill, called the EARN IT Act, was proposed by Senator Lindsay Graham and would get rid of the platform’s legal exemption from what is said on their platforms, according to Forbes.  Because of this, platforms would be held legally liable for illegal content that is posted on the platforms, Forbes also said.

The bill says it is meant to prevent online sexual exploitation of children. However, the Electronic Frontier Foundation told Forbes the bill threatens the privacy and security of all users.

World News

Second person cured of HIV

Adam Castillejo from London has become the second person in history to be cured of HIV, according to doctors. 

Castillejo was cured by a stem-cell treatment he was receiving for his cancer, according to an article in the BBC. The stem cell donors had an uncommon gene that gives them protection from HIV which was passed on to Castillejo, the article also said.

Castillejo was first declared free of HIV a year ago and is still free of the virus today.

Russian constitutional amendment allows Putin to rule until 2036

Russian parliament approved a constitutional amendment that would allow President Vladimir Putin to be president for two more terms, according to NPR.

Putin is already the longest-serving president in Russian history and this amendment would extend his rule until 2036, effectively making him president for life.

The amendment still must go through a vote as to whether or not it goes against Russian law, but Putin’s critics say its approval is all but certain.

New hummingbird-sized dinosaur found 

The skull of the smallest dinosaur ever discovered was found encased in amber in Myanmar, according to National Geographic. 

The dinosaur appeared to be bird-like and grew no larger than a hummingbird. The skull also measured just over half an inch long. 

According to the article, there is nothing else that is built like the creature alive today.

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