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A single traveler unknowingly spreads measles in Michigan; the death of an ISIS-affiliated group’s leader is confirmed in the Philippines.

Michigan’s “patient zero”

UIG via Getty Images
  • The measles outbreak is now rapidly spreading beyond New York, where it was most concentrated. State officials have now identified the cause of 39 cases in Michigan: a single traveler. [Washington Post / Lena H. Sun]
  • The traveler, who comes from Israel, was visiting the United States as part of a fundraising tour in Orthodox Jewish communities. Prior to visiting Michigan, he had spent time in New York. [Detroit Metro Times / Steve Neavling]
  • The traveler was unaware of his condition because he was misdiagnosed the first time. The doctor overseeing him wrote off his fever and cough as bronchitis, and only later –– after the traveler had already been to multiple synagogues, homes, and kosher markets –– did he realize measles might be the culprit. [Detroit Free Press / Kristen Jordan Shamus]
  • This case is an example of how contagious the disease is and how quickly it’s spreading across the United States. So far, there have been 555 reports of measles in 20 states, with 90 new cases surfacing this week alone. [Vox / Julia Belluz]
  • Low vaccination rates in ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities are one of the key reasons for the massive resurgence of measles. With Passover just around the corner, government officials are hoping to get more people vaccinated so that the disease does not continue to travel. [USA Today / John Bacon]
  • Michigan shows that religious communities and government officials can work closely together to combat the outbreak. Rabbinical leaders have helped the health department set up clinics and have vaccinated more than 2,000 people as of early April. [Washington Post / Lena H. Sun]

The leader of an ISIS-affiliated group is confirmed dead

  • DNA tests have confirmed that Abu Dar, the leader of the ISIS-affiliated group Maute Group in the Philippines, was killed in a military operation last month. [CNN / Bianca Britton]
  • Abu Dar, whose real name was Benito Marohombsar, was the last surviving leader of an alliance of extremists who led a five-month siege on southern Marawi about two years ago. [Straits Times / Raul Dancel]
  • After hiding in the mountains after the siege ended, he continued to train fighters. The military eventually found his remains in his camp in the town of Sultan Dumalondong. He was abandoned next to an improvised litter with a fatal gunshot wound to his back. [Guardian / Carmela Fonbuena]
  • Abu Dar’s death will make it harder for the Maute Group to establish a presence in the country’s south, according to Interior Secretary Eduardo Año. The southern side of the Philippines has a Roman Catholic majority and a Muslim minority, and has experienced decades of unrest from Muslim separatists. [PBS NewsHour / Jim Gomez]
  • Brig. Gen. Roberto Ancan said the confirmation of Abu Dar’s death is a “significant accomplishment” for the government and for the people of Lanao del Sur who wanted to rid the province of terrorists. “We will continue our operations so that the sacrifices of our fallen comrades in pursuit of peace will not go to waste,” he said. [Rappler / Carmela Fonbuena]


  • Canadian police are hunting for a suspected “hitman” who posed as a deliveryman and attacked someone with a crossbow. [New York Post / Chris Perez]
  • After Georgia’s legislature passed a restrictive anti-abortion bill last month, state Rep. Dar’shun Kendrick introduced legislation that would require a waiting period and spousal approval for men to access erectile dysfunction pills, sex toys, and pornography. []
  • High amounts of microplastics have been found in remote areas of the Pyrenees in France. These minuscule bits of plastic have been found in lakes, rivers, oceans, soil, and even in the air. [NPR / Christopher Joyce]
  • The Red Cross for the first time revealed the name of a nurse who’s been held hostage by the Islamic State since 2013. The organization hopes it will help turn up information about her; the government of her home country of New Zealand fears it could increase the chances that she will be executed as propaganda. [NPR / Francesca Paris]
  • A new study has shown that a lot of what we know about sleep is actually wrong — including that your body can adjust to need fewer hours of sleep. [CNN / Sandee LaMotte]


“We certainly will have them tell us why they screwed up this information, because a screw-up it is, and I’m sad about that, because the Red Cross in the main does a great job.” [New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Winston Peters on Tuesday, condemning the Red Cross for releasing the name of the nurse captured by ISIS in Syria]

Watch this: What DNA ancestry tests can — and can’t — tell you

I took a DNA ancestry test. It didn’t tell me where my ancestors came from. [YouTube / Danush Parvaneh]

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