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A Washington State Department of Agriculture worker holds two dead Asian giant hornets in a photo from October 2020. Photo: Elaine Thompson/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

An Asian giant hornet was found dead near Seattle — the first such sighting in the United States this year, per AP.

Why it matters: The 2-inch-long invasive insects, known as "murder hornets," pose a threat to honeybees and native hornet species, and their extremely painful stings can be deadly to human beings.

What's happening: Entomologists from Washington state and the USDA confirmed a report of a dead Asian giant hornet in Snohomish County north of Seattle.

  • The hornets generated buzz last year after nests were discovered along the Canadian border.

Between the lines: Experts believe the dead hornet was likely left over from the previous year, when agriculture officials in the region went tree to tree trying to vacuum nests.

  • But DNA tests indicate the hornet was unrelated to earlier populations, and it's unclear how it arrived in Snohomish County.

The bottom line: The USDA advises that if you encounter a murder hornet, you should "calmly leave the area."

Go deeper: Sign up for Axios' What's Next newsletter to read more.

Go deeper

Updated 28 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Congress passes $2.1B Capitol security funding bill

U.S. Capitol police officers testify during a House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot on July 27. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool via Xinhua

A $2.1 billion Capitol security funding bill is heading to President Biden for his signature after the House and Senate passed the legislation on Thursday.

Why it matters: The legislation provides funding for the Capitol Police, the National Guard and other agencies to cover the costs incurred during the Jan. 6 riot.

Biden details new vaccination initiatives as COVID cases surge

Joe Biden. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

President Biden detailed several new initiatives on Thursday to get more Americans vaccinated and slow the spread of the Delta variant.

Why it matters: The plan outlines aggressive next steps from the federal government as COVID-19 cases surge across the country due to the contagious Delta variant and as demand for vaccines has tapered off.

Ex-Cardinal McCarrick charged with sexually assaulting teen in 1970s

Theodore McCarrick in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was defrocked in 2019, has been charged with sexually assaulting a teenage boy in the 1970s, AP reports.

Why it matters: McCarrick is the first cardinal in the U.S. to "ever be criminally charged with a sexual crime against a minor," AP notes, citing Mitchell Garabedian, a lawyer for the man allegedly abused by McCarrick.