A fearsome new cyberweapon: Hackers allied with the Russian government have devised a cyberweapon that has the potential to be the most disruptive yet against electric systems that Americans depend on for daily life, according to U.S. researchers. The malware, which researchers have dubbed CrashOverride, is known to have disrupted only one energy system — in Ukraine in December. In that incident, the hackers briefly shut down one-fifth of the electric power generated in Kiev. But with modifications, it could be deployed against U.S. electric transmission and distribution systems to devastating effect, said Sergio Caltagirone, director of threat intelligence for Dragos, a cybersecurity firm that studied the malware and issued a report Monday.  READ MORE


Flint water crisis leads to criminal charges: The head of the Michigan health department was charged Wednesday with involuntary manslaughter, the highest-ranking member of Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration to be snagged in a criminal investigation of Flint’s lead-contaminated water. Nick Lyon is accused of failing to alert the public about an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in the Flint area, which has been linked by some experts to poor water quality in 2014-15. If convicted, he could face up to 15 years in prison. Lyon also is charged with misconduct in office for allegedly obstructing university researchers who are studying if the surge in cases is linked to the Flint River. READ MORE


Suicide bomber targets Mogadishu restaurant: In the latest example of terrorists seeking out crowded venues like restaurants, a suicide bomber detonated an explosive-laden vehicle outside of a restaurant in the Somali capital on Wednesday, police said. Witnesses reported sporadic gunfire was heard after the blast. The blast targeted the Pizza House restaurant, a popular eatery in Mogadishu meters away from another establishment popular with the city’s elite. Unconfirmed reports said at least seven people were killed. READ MORE

ISIS chemical weapons experts sanctioned: The U.S. announced sanctions Monday on two ISIS chemical weapons experts, the first such effort aimed specifically at the terrorist group’s chemical weapons leadership. ISIS has repeatedly used low-grade chemical weapons, primarily sulfur mustard, in Syria and Iraq. The new sanctions, which would bar access to any property or interests under US jurisdiction, target Attallah Salman ‘Abd Kafi al-Jaburi and Marwan Ibrahim Hussayn Tah al-Azawi, two ISIS leaders involved in the development of chemical weapons, according to the State and Treasury departments. READ MORE


Mass food poisoning in refugee camp: Hundreds of people have fallen ill from suspected food poisoning at a camp for displaced people near the Iraqi city of Mosul. People were said to be vomiting and suffering dehydration after an iftar meal to break the daily Ramadan fast. About 800 cases of food poisoning in the camp have been recorded, with 200 people taken to the hospital, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said in a statement. The food, containing beans, chicken and yoghurt, was prepared in a restaurant in Irbil and brought to the camp by a Qatari charity, the Rudaw news agency said. Rudaw also reported that the restaurant owner has been arrested. READ MORE


Recall totals climb even higher: The multi-national corporation that produced cracker and bread crumbs implicated in massive food recalls in the U.S. and Canada says the problem wasn’t a labeling issue, but a “cross-contact” situation. Newly Weds Foods Inc. is the ingredient supplier referenced but not named in multiple recalls posted in recent days on the FDA and USDA websites. On Monday, we reported that nearly 2,000 tons of food had been recalled, including major brands such as Libby’s, Tyson and Chef Boyardee and ranging from canned spaghetti and meatballs to frozen, ready-to-eat chicken strips. The latest companies forced to recall products because they used the Newly Weds Foods ingredients are Garden City, N.Y.-based Joseph Seviroli Inc., which is recalling beef ravioli; Newark, N.J.-based Golden Platter Foods Inc., which is recalling ready-to-eat turkey, chicken, veal, and beef products;  Quebec-based Les Aliments Excel S.E.C. which is recalling chicken bites; and Giant Eagle Inc., which is recalling tilapia and chicken breasts. Read more HERE, HERE, and HERE.

An anti-fraud task force for organic foods: Once you’re big enough, it’s only a matter of time before you must begin to worry somebody is ripping you off. That pretty well sums up the current mindset of the Organic Trade Association, which figures that organic sales last year totaled about $47 million or about 5.3 percent of all food sales in the country. And because organic generally fetches higher prices than normal food, it’s almost certain to be targeted in food fraud schemes. That’s much of why the Organic Trade Association (OTA) has opted to form its own Anti-fraud Task Force. READ MORE

And the recalls keep coming: Albany, Ore.-based OFD Foods LLC is recalling a total of 197 pounds of beef product that may be contaminated with y rubber, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has announced. The problem was discovered when a firm employee reported finding pieces of rubber in the Mountain House Freeze-Dried Spicy Southwest Breakfast Hash on Monday. There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions because of consumption of these products. READ MORE

Metal bits in ice cream: For the second consecutive month, Trader Joe’s is recalling ice cream. All lot codes of the retailer’s branded Matcha Green Tea flavored ice cream are under recall because they could be contaminated with small pieces of metal. Although no injuries or illnesses had been reported as of June 10 when Trader Joe’s posted the recall notice, the company is urging consumers to discard the product immediately. READ MORE

Beef exports to China getting closer: The resumption of American beef exports to China after a 14-year hiatus took another step closer after the U.S. Department of Agriculture said trade rules have been finalized. The latest development was announced Monday by the USDA in a statement. It follows the agreement reached last month by the U.S. with China to promote market access for American products including beef amid a broader effort to reshape the trade relationship between the countries. China halted beef shipments in 2003 amid concerns about mad cow disease. READ MORE


Man caught with 500 restaurant-bound cats: In China, it is legal to eat cats and dogs. Even so, ordinary people reacted with alarm this week as news broke of a Chinese man caught with 500 cats, crowded into tiny cages, which he intended to sell to restaurants. The man had used sparrows and caged birds to lure both stray cats and domestic ones in the city of Jiujiang in southern Jiangsu province, the 163.com and news.ifeng.com websites reported. The man usually sold the cats for about 30 yuan ($4.40) each, the report said, citing a local policeman. READ MORE

Where to get info about animal drugs: In a continued effort to improve transparency and public access to information about approved animal drugs, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine is launching Phase 2 of the redesigned Animal Drugs @ FDA website. READ MORE


Tyson Foods lobbyist a victim in Virginia shooting: A Tyson Foods lobbyist who once worked as a White House aide under former President George Bush is among the five people shot at a GOP congressional baseball practice early Wednesday. Matt Mika, a director of government relations for Tyson Foods’ Washington DC office was wounded when a gunman opened fire at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, a spokesperson said in a statement. READ MORE

Catastrophic apartment fire: A massive fire engulfed a residential high-rise building in London on Wednesday, leaving at least 74 people injured and at least 12 dead. The London Fire Brigade dispatched at least 40 fire engines, 20 ambulance crews and more than 200 firefighters in an effort to battle the conflagration, at the 24-story Grenfell Tower in West London. The death total is expected to rise. READ MORE