‘Interesting’ occupations may contribute to ISIS sophistication: The Islamic State attracts recruits from a wide range of diverse backgrounds, which means diverse resources are available to Islamic State leaders, according the authors of a December 2016 report from the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. “Due to this larger pool, there is a greater number of ‘interesting’ occupations with more experience and exposure to what one might describe as sensitive industries, like the commercial aviation sector, or industries that could also provide pathways to future Islamic State attacks,” the authors say. This may explain the increasing sophistication of ISIS propaganda; the report mentions that several recruits listed occupations related to technology and the media. The information was gleaned from Islamic State files dating between 2011 and 2014 which were leaked to NBC News in 2016. The terrorist group keeps extensive records detailing its foreign recruits’ identities and backgrounds, writing down names, origins, employment histories, and what potential fighters would prefer to do after joining—much as a military recruiter would do. READ MORE

Accidental carbon monoxide poisoning case shows how silently poison gas claims victims: An accidental case of carbon monoxide poisoning this week illustrates how the odorless, colorless gas can efficiently—and silently—claim victims. More than two dozen people at the River Ridge Tap House restaurant in Clemmons, N.C., were treated by paramedics after showing symptoms including headaches, nausea and vomiting, the Associated Press reported. Fourteen people were taken to the hospital. An alert off-duty fireman saw people getting sick and called the fire department, which confirmed carbon monoxide levels were six times higher than normal. In this case, the gas started leaking because of a malfunction in the restaurant’s heating system. It is important to be aware of the danger posed by carbon monoxide and other poisonous gases, because an ISIS-backed hacking group has used an encrypted mobile app to call on supporters to carry out terror attacks with poison, including CO. The cyber terrorists posted a step-by-step manual on how to poison Westerners that has already been downloaded by scores of followers. The manual, titled “The Mujahideen Poisons Handbook,” explains how to make poisonous gases, including chlorine and phosphorous in addition to carbon dioxide. READ MORE


A different Dakota pipeline is causing problems: The Huffington Post reported yesterday that the Belle Fourche pipeline lost 4,200 barrels of crude oil, or more than 176,000 gallons, before operators shut it down, according to state Department of Health spokeswoman Jennifer Skjod. The pipeline spill is located about 150 miles away from the Standing Rock protest site in North Dakota, where thousands have protested for months that the Dakota Access pipeline could threaten a Sioux tribe’s water supply. Most of the oil (more than 130,000 gallons) flowed into the Ash Coulee Creek near Belfield, Skjod said. A blizzard last week impeded efforts to assess the extent and environmental impact of the spill. A land-owner detected the break about nine days ago (Dec. 5) and reported it to Wyoming-based True Companies, which owns the pipeline. Spokeswoman Wendy Owen indicated that “The company uses monitoring technology designed to detect leaks, but it possibly failed because of ‘the intermittent nature of the flow’ of oil through the pipeline…” READ MORE


Women dies in vat of molten chocolate: A truly awful account out of Russia is a reminder that you can’t be too careful in ensuring employee safety. Svetlana Roslina, 24, is believed to have been crushed to death as she tried to get out of a giant vat stirring molten chocolate at a confectionary factory where she worked in Fedortsovo, north of Moscow. There are mixed accounts as to how she ended up in the vat with one witness saying she was emptying ingredients into the container while another said that she was trying to retrieve her mobile phone. READ MORE

Bribery on increase, facilitates drug and human trafficking: Bribery is on the rise across the globe, according to TRACE International, an anti-bribery compliance solutions company. A study published by TRACE in conjunction with the RAND Corp. ranks 199 countries based on their overall risk for graft. Both the U.S. and Mexico dropped in the rankings between 2014 and 2016, and experts say bribery is key in facilitating both drug trafficking and human trafficking. Bribery in Mexico has always been a major concern because it’s one of the primary tools drug cartels use to control government officials and the police. Increasing corruption levels among U.S. law-enforcement agencies along the US-Mexico border, as evidenced by rising numbers of internal investigations, are also a major concern. READ MORE


New labeling guidance could boost in-home food safety practices:  Food Safety News writes that new labeling guidance from the USDA that is designed to decrease waste by resolving consumer confusion about “best by” and “sell by” dates on food may also boost in-home food safety practices by providing more specific information. Although infant formula is the only food product that must carry product dating under current federal law, many food companies include such information on packaging of other products. A lack of uniformity in the date coding on food, though, leaves many wondering how long food can safely be stored, according to a news release from USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS). READ MORE

Deadline extended in DeCoster egg case: Justice Samuel Alito has extended the filing deadline for a petition for a writ of certiorari in the appeal of jail sentences for one-time egg producers Austin (Jack) DeCoster and his son Peter DeCoster, according to Food Safety News. Alito set Jan. 10, 2017, as the new deadline. The criminal case against Quality Egg LLC and the DeCosters stemmed from the 2010 Salmonella outbreak that was connected to two Iowa egg farms they owned at that time. The outbreak led the DeCosters to recall more than a half billion shell eggs, the largest recall of table eggs in U.S. history. Each DeCoster has been sentenced to serve three months. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated thousands of people across the country were sickened in the outbreak. READ MORE

King Meat Services recalls product for mislabeling: King Meat Services of Vernon, Calif., is recalling more than 50,000 pounds—some 25 tons—of beef products because of mislabeling, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has announced. Government inspectors observed King employees removing the marks of inspection on the product from original beef suppliers and replacing them with the “King Meat Services, Inc. (Est. 426)” mark of inspection. There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions because of consumption of these products, which were shipped to distributors, retail locations and food service locations in California. READ MORE