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Editorial: Bits and pieces from the news

Another reason to be glad you’re an American: We don’t have a donkey shortage.

In China, they do. USA Today reported this week that farmers are having trouble finding donkeys for work where tractors won’t easily go. The reason; Too many have been killed for their skin, used in a traditional medicine called e’jiao, which is marketed as a cure for dementia, infertility, respiratory problems and other ailments.

Demand for e’jiao has doubled in seven years, reducing the country’s population of donkeys to between 3 million and 5 million, far less than half the 11 million in the 1980s.

That’s one way to deal with the asses around you.

Chris Collins knows how to build successful businesses and understands that risk is part of the game. That’s clear.

But being savvy in business plainly doesn’t translate to having smart political sense. Collins, already facing an Office of Congressional Ethics investigation into his investment in an Australian biotech firm, walked off the House floor Wednesday, cellphone in hand, apparently talking about yet another stock trade involving the same company, whose stock collapsed after the failure of a clinical trial.

There has been no suggestion that Collins did anything specifically wrong, but under the circumstances, there wasn’t much right about it, either.

Here’s something to hearten flagging spirits: A Republican senator has come to the defense of a Democratic opponent, who happens to be a Muslim woman.

Deedra Abboud, once a Southern Baptist, converted to Islam in 1998 and, in her long-shot campaign to unseat Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, has been subjected to hateful, un-American smears, such as, “Your first love is Satan (AKA Allah).”

Flake responded on Twitter: “Hang in there. Sorry you have to put up with this. Lots of wonderful people across AZ. You’ll find them.” He appears to be among them.

More evidence that things are not always as they seem: New evidence links diet drinks to weight gain.

An international group of researchers reviewed the data and found that people who routinely consumed artificially sweetened drinks had an increased body mass index and were at risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Best advice: If you’re thirsty, drink water.

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