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Washington, DC, police

Four teen-age Burundi robot inventors are still missing Thursday evening after vanishing from a prominent international competition in Washington, D.C., but two others have turned up in Canada, per Wash Post.

The Burundian youths — five boys and a girl — were last seen Tuesday evening at the competition, an event run by the American inventor Dean Kamen. Their disappearance has since attracted attention for its novelty — there is no prominent history of Burundi visitors to the U.S. claiming political asylum or otherwise disappearing into the country; nor is there a history anywhere of robot inventors violating their visas in this way.

This worried a lot of people: Some thought the teens might have met foul play: Burundi has been shaken by years of civil war, and some 400,000 people have fled the country over the last two years. But the Washington police force released photos of the teens, and on Thursday the girl and one of the boys — 16-year-old Don Charu Ingabire and 17-year-old Audrey Mwamizaki — surfaced in Canada. The police said they believe the others are safe, too.

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
3 hours ago - Health

Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has picked former FDA chief David Kessler to lead Operation Warp Speed, a day after unveiling a nearly $2 trillion pandemic relief plan that includes $400 billion for directly combatting the virus.

Why it matters: Biden's transition team said Kessler has been advising the president-elect since the beginning of the pandemic, and hopes his involvement will help accelerate vaccination, the New York Times reports. Operation Warp Speed's current director, Moncef Slaoui, will stay on as a consultant.

The case of the missing relief money

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A chunk of stimulus payments is missing in action, thanks to a mix up that put as many as 13 million checks into invalid bank accounts.

Why it matters: The IRS (by law) was supposed to get all payments out by Friday. Now the onus could shift to Americans to claim the money on their tax refund — further delaying relief to struggling, lower-income Americans.

The post-Trump GOP, gutted

McConnell (L), McCarthy (R) and Trump. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Republicans will emerge from the Trump era gutted financially, institutionally and structurally.

The big picture: The losses are stark and substantial.