Mosquitos pose a serious health threat: The blood-lusting killers attack in the darkest hours, after you’ve gone to bed or early in the morning. If they were zombies or vampires, you would fear them. But these killers, which are very real, don’t get the respect or caution they deserve. Consider this: Since 2014, these creatures have passed along the potentially deadly West Nile virus to 1,311 people in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties. How would you react if that number were connected to the phrases “mountain lion attacks” or “shark bites?” READ MORE

THREAT INTELLIGENCE

Acid increasingly used in attacks: Twenty people at a packed nightclub in London suffered chemical burns from an acid-like substance thrown at them on April 17, an attack that authorities say reflects a frightening trend. Toxic substances such as drain cleaner are being used as weapons more frequently, apparently as a result of a crackdown on guns and knives in recent years. Across Britain, such attacks increased 30 percent between 2012 and 2015, according to the London Times, and they soared by 74 percent in one year in London. Acid attacks in other countries usually involve men targeting females because of spurned marriage proposals or sexual advances. In Britain, young men are mainly targeting other young men in gang-related violence. READ MORE

FOOD SAFETY

Plastic in breaded chicken patties leads to recall: Foster Poultry Farms in Farmerville, La., has recalled 131,880 pounds of frozen, ready-to-eat breaded chicken patty products that may be contaminated with  plastic, according to the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The company learned of the plastic from  three consumer complaints reporting “foreign materials” in the chicken patties. The foreign materials were pieces of clear, soft plastic that originated from the establishment’s packaging materials. READ MORE

More hash browns contaminated with bits of golf balls: McCain Foods USA Inc. has announced is expanding the voluntary recall of retail, frozen hash brown products that may contain golf ball materials, specifically hard plastic or rubber pieces, that may have been inadvertently harvested with potatoes used to make the hash browns. There have been no reported injuries, but two more consumers have complained of finding the plastic or rubber in the product. The original recall, which included Roundy’s and Harris Teeter Brand Hash Browns, has been expanded to include the Wegman’s-brand 28-ounce bag of frozen O’Brien Hash Browns. READ MORE

Mass food poisoning in France: More than 300 students were taken ill on Thursday because of suspected food poisoning in the city of Rouen in France, regional authorities said. The children, aged between 3 and 12, reported vomiting and nausea after eating school lunches prepared at a central canteen. Twenty five children were sent to emergency services while the others were undergoing treatment at their schools. READ MORE

MISCELLANEOUS

Robotic fruit-pickers coming to market: Harvesting Washington state’s vast fruit orchards each year requires thousands of farmworkers, and many of them work illegally in the United States. That system eventually could change dramatically as at least two companies are rushing to get robotic fruit-picking machines to market. The robotic pickers don’t get tired and can work 24 hours a day. Harvest has been mechanized for large portions of the agriculture industry such as wheat, corn, green beans, and tomatoes for some time. But for more fragile commodities like apples, berries, table grapes, and lettuce — where the crop’s appearance is especially important — harvest is still done by hand. READ MORE

Who trains the robots that are taking our jobs? What if part of your job became teaching a computer everything you know about doing someone’s job — perhaps your own? Before the machines become smart enough to replace humans, as some people fear, the machines need teachers. Now, some companies are taking the first steps, deploying artificial intelligence in the workplace and asking their employees to train the A.I. to be more human. READ MORE