It's challenging for me to completely relax at a typical backyard cookout or pool party because I feel I have been endowed with a burdensome superpower: I see food-safety blunders. As I scan the sunny scene of revelers in shorts and sundresses clinking glasses of rosé and nibbling finger foods, the radar in my mind inevitably homes in on a hot spot. The host is basting steaks on the grill with the marinade the meat sat in for hours, so I guess I'll be sticking with the vegetarian option.
A salmonella outbreak linked to a popular Kellogg's cereal has infected 100 people, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday, July 12. The agency is urging consumers to avoid Honey Smacks, a sugary puffed wheat cereal which has been the subject of a recall by the company since mid-June. At least 30 of the 100 have been hospitalized, while no deaths have been reported, the CDC said. "Do not eat Kellogg's Honey Smacks cereal of any size package or with any 'best if used by' date," it wrote.
Supporters of marijuana legalization in North Dakota have submitted more than 18,000 signatures to the secretary of state in support of a measure that would fully legalize the drug, well above the 13,452 signatures required to put the question on the November ballot.
MAE SAI, Thailand - Divers compared it to mountain climbing, but in tight, pitch-black spaces and buffeted by swirling floodwaters, towing a child. They had to guide their charges through passages as narrow as a couple of feet, weighed down by bulky equipment. A diver in front led the way, with a boy tethered to him and another diver following behind.
MAE SAI, Thailand - Relief has given way to anxiety around the site of a vast cave complex where a soccer team of 12 boys and their 25-year-old coach remain trapped after 11 days, as rescuers deliberate the best way to extract them before severe storms hit. The boys were being given rudimentary diving lessons Wednesday, even though none of them knows how to swim. Though water levels have receded, volunteer divers who have spent hours deep in the cave complex say currents remain strong, and even they have to hold on to ropes to haul themselves out.
Twelve members of a boys' soccer team in Thailand and their coach have been found alive nine days after the group was trapped in a cave in the northern part of the country.
WASHINGTON - The Senate passed its version of the $428-billion farm bill Thursday, June 28, setting up a bitter fight against the House over food stamps, farm subsidies and conservation funding. The vote was 86-11, an overwhelming majority that reflected a bipartisan desire to rush relief to farmers confronting low food prices, rising suicide rates and an array of other troubles. But the lopsided vote belied the challenges that may await when lawmakers meet later this summer to reconcile the gaping differences between the House and Senate bills.
WASHINGTON - Conservatives on the Supreme Court said Wednesday it was unconstitutional to allow public employee unions to require collective bargaining fees from workers who choose not to join the union, a major blow for the U.S. labor movement. The court in a 5-to-4 decision overturned a 40-year-old precedent and said compelling such fees was a violation of workers' free speech rights. The rule could force the workers to give financial support to public policy positions they oppose, the court said.
Last fall, the CEO of San Francisco-based Dignity Health received an email out of the blue. It was from a 16-year-old Girl Scout named Shelby O'Neil. With all due respect, she wrote, the company's "Human Kindness" commercial had a glaring flaw: it depicted the casual use of a disposable plastic straw to blow out a birthday candle.
Koko, a beloved gorilla that learned to communicate with humans and then stole their hearts, has died. The Gorilla Foundation said the 46-year-old celebrity ape - a western lowland gorilla - died in her sleep this week at the organization's preserve in Northern California. The Gorilla Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to protect the species and their habitats, said in a statement that Koko will be remembered "as the primary ambassador for her endangered species."