National

Rescue team rushes to help

ailing orca spotted off Canada

SEATTLE (AP) — Teams of whale experts raced out to sea Thursday to help an ailing young killer whale, but they don’t plan to intervene to help a mother orca in the same critically endangered pod that has been pushing the body of her dead calf for more than two weeks.

The young orca J50 was spotted off British Columbia and teams were preparing to do a health assessment if conditions in the waters between the U.S. and Canada allow, said Michael Milstein, a spokesman with NOAA Fisheries.

An international team of experts has been waiting for an opportunity to get close to the female killer whale so they can carry out an emergency plan that includes giving her antibiotics or feeding her live salmon at sea.

The 31⁄2-year-old orca is thin, in poor body condition and may have an infection.

The rescue team has approval in both U.S. and Canadian waters to give J50 medication, but there is no such plan for another member of the population of southern resident killer whales that has scientists worried.

Kansas governor’s race turns

nasty as Kobach’s lead dwindles

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said Thursday that he will remove himself from the further counting of votes while his Republican primary battle with Gov. Jeff Colyer hangs in the balance, describing it as a “symbolic” step in response to a public demand from Colyer.

The governor publicly accused Kobach, the state’s top elections official, of giving county election officials information about the handling of yet-uncounted ballots “inconsistent with Kansas law.” He demanded in a letter to Kobach that Kobach stop advising county officials and have the state’s attorney general do it instead.

The close contest between the embattled governor and a conservative lightning rod took another acrimonious turn as Kobach’s already tiny lead shrunk from 191 votes to just 121 out of 311,000 ballots cast, after two counties reported discrepancies between their tallies and what Kobach’s office reported on its website.

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