The food and water challenges posed by megacities: This century will be defined by two trends: how we manage climate change and how we manage the rise of megacities. Over the next 20 years, the global urban population will grow from 3.5 to 5 billion people. The strain on resources and the environmental stresses that accompany the growth of cities – especially in brimming urban centers like Dhaka, Bangladesh; Lagos, Nigeria; and Mexico City – will create even more challenges as access to food and clean water become increasingly limited. It is no wonder that in 2015 the National Intelligence Council determined that food security is a national security matter. Countries facing severe shortages of food or affected by climate change are also the most vulnerable to destabilizing conflicts that affect U.S. interests around the globe. Yet it is only recently that food security practitioners, traditionally focused on rural areas, have begun to turn their attention to megacities. READ MORE


Biscuits contained egg yolk powder with insecticide: In another example of the cascading results from using an ingredient that is contaminated, Mondelez—the multinational confectionery, food, and beverage company based in Illinois—has withdrawn six batches of biscuits in Czech Republic and Slovakia because of the likely presence of the pesticide fipronil. Egg yolk powder from eggs containing fipronil was an ingredient in the biscuits. The insecticide was found in eggs from Dutch and Belgian farms, causing a spreading international food safety crisis. READ MORE


Don’t forget about Harvey’s victims: Families affected by Hurricane Harvey will soon be able to receive food packages containing nutritious, high-quality foods—100 percent grown and produced on farms in the U.S.–known as USDA Foods, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Texas Department of Agriculture has announced. Agriculture Sec. Sonny Perdue said the food boxes families will receive are a short-term measure designed to address an immediate need for food until a longer-term solution is ready to be put in place. READ MORE

U.S. hunger declines: The number of people facing hunger in the U.S. declined last year to the lowest since 2007 as unemployment fell and some states strengthened child-nutrition programs. About 41.2 million people were “food insecure” in 2016, meaning that at some point in the year their ability to obtain adequate food was in question, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in an annual study. That represents a 2.4 percent decline from 2015. Hunger was most prevalent in Mississippi, with 19 percent of households affected, while Hawaii’s rate of 8.7 percent was the lowest in the nation. READ MORE

High-tech agriculture: Tractor giant John Deere just spent $305 million to acquire a startup that makes robots capable of identifying unwanted plants, and shooting them with deadly, high-precision squirts of herbicide. Deere already sells technology that uses GPS to automate the movements of farm vehicles across a field to sub-inch accuracy. The deal highlights the growing appetite for high tech in agriculture. Many companies are using drones to help farmers by collecting data on crops to plan spraying or other operations. READ MORE


Shadow Brokers continues to release NSA tools: The hacker group calling itself Shadow Brokers continues to release tools and exploits allegedly stolen from the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), including a sophisticated espionage platform that can be used to take full control of targeted computers.In the past year, Shadow Brokers has apparently tried to make a significant amount of money by offering to sell various tools and exploits used by the Equation Group, a cyber espionage actor linked by researchers to the NSA. READ MORE


Employees fire on armed robbers: Police say three employees of a Cleveland Taco Bell opened fire on two armed robbers, killing one. Police have said two masked robbers entered the restaurant early Wednesday and ordered three employees to lie on the floor. Police say three other employees pulled out handguns and opened fire, shooting one of the suspects six times. The other suspect ran off. READ MORE

Brawling employees were defending pregnant manager: A Texas Popeyes owner is defending his team after several workers were caught on camera pummeling four female customers in a wild brawl. Vedo Kemraj told KSAT that his staff jumped into the altercation to defend their pregnant general manager, who was allegedly being kicked in the stomach during the fight. READ MORE