Marketed as ‘raw water’: When people in central Oregon’s Madras, Culver and Metolius turn on their taps, untreated spring water flows forth. It costs them less than a penny per gallon. A company in California buys that same water and sells it in big glass jugs for up to $8.60 a gallon around Los Angeles and San Francisco. The jugs are flying off the shelves. READ MORE
Norovirus outbreak claims 542 victims (so far): The number of people sick in a Tacoma, Wash.-area norovirus outbreak hit 542 last week, increasing by almost 40 percent since Jan. 11. Norovirus has been confirmed by Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department officials as the pathogen responsible for the outbreak. Of the 542 reported victims, 520 ate at an El Toro restaurant in Tacoma. Another 22 people are possibly sick after eating at the chain’s restaurant in a nearby suburb, the department reported last Thursday. READ MORE
A ‘spy oyster’ and night-vision goggles deployed to protect French delicacies: Night-vision goggles, drones, patrols on kayak: French authorities are deploying a wide range of resources to prevent robbers from targeting gourmet delights including oysters, cheese and wine. Earlier this month, a cheese producer in the Puy-de-Dome region woke up to find that 10,000 euros ($12,200) worth of Saint-Nectaire — a semi-soft cow cheese — had been stolen. Oyster farmers are also heavily impacted. The mollusk is a popular delicacy at Christmas, and a spate of thefts are usually reported every year in the lead-up to the holiday season. READ MORE
Another day, another hotel attack: Restaurants and hotels are preferred sites for attacks because large numbers of people may gather in these venues. Their vulnerability was again demonstrated Saturday night, when a group of Taliban gunmen attacked the Intercontinental Hotel in the Afghan capital of Kabul, seizing hostages and exchanging gunfire with security forces as the building caught fire and residents and staff fled. More than 40 people were killed, a government official told Fox News on Sunday, and bodies were still being found. Read more HERE and HERE.
Stricter scrutiny of air cargo: Growing concern about terrorists getting a bomb onto a plane headed for the United States prompted an emergency order requiring stricter scrutiny of air cargo by TSA Administrator David Pekoske. Effective Monday morning, all cargo being loaded onto flights at last point of departure airports in five predominately Muslim countries — Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates — will be subject to the new requirements. READ MORE
‘Loot or die of hunger’: Amid desperate food shortages Venezuelans are picking up new survival skills. On the night of Jan. 9, for example, a hungry mob took just 30 minutes to pick clean a grocery store in the eastern city of Puerto Ordaz. By the time owner Luis Felipe Anatael arrived at the bodega he’d opened five months earlier, the looters had hauled away everything from cold cuts to ketchup to the cash registers. Towns and cities across Venezuela have been hit by an outbreak of looting and mob violence; angry about empty supermarket shelves and soaring prices, some people are breaking into warehouses, ransacking food trucks and invading outlying farms. READ MORE
Amazon Go opens today: Amazon.com Inc. is opening its checkout-free grocery store to the public today after more than a year of testing, moving forward on an experiment that could dramatically alter brick-and-mortar retail. The Seattle store, known as Amazon Go, relies on cameras and sensors to track what shoppers remove from the shelves, and what they put back. Cash registers and checkout lines become superfluous—customers are billed after leaving the store using credit cards on file. READ MORE