Was Russia ‘showing off’?: British police announced Thursday that 21 people were being treated after a former Russian spy and his daughter were poisoned with a nerve agent while sitting on a park bench in the English city of Salisbury. A source told the BBC the nerve agent used on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia was more than likely sprayed in their faces in an aerosol attack and was more rare than sarin gas. The revelations came as a fellow Russian exile claimed Skripal, 66, was still working with Russian military intelligence and had not retired. Only a few labs in the world are capable of producing a nerve agent, including one in Moscow at Yasenevo, run by Russia’s foreign spy service. Read more HERE, HERE and HERE

The British response: Britain was tonight preparing to expel dozens of Russian diplomats and spies in retaliation for the deadly nerve agent attack. As a new cold war loomed, intelligence chiefs and the Foreign Office were drawing up lists of likely candidates to be sent back, on Theresa May’s orders. The deadly attack – suspected by many to have been ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin – was “a near-declaration of war” said one source. READ MORE

FOOD SAFETY

Another Brazilian meat scandal: Brazilian police made new arrests this week in an investigation into a meat scandal that erupted last year. This time the target of “Operation Weak Flesh” is laboratories accused of covering up salmonella in products from food giant BRF SA, also known as Brazil Foods. The investigation showed that five laboratories and the company’s analysis departments falsified results, shown to health inspectors, federal police said. READ MORE

PUBLIC HEALTH

Sexually-transmitted-disease cluster ‘not getting enough attention’: At least 125 people — including some high school students — have contracted HIV, syphilis or both in one of the largest sexually transmitted infection “clusters” discovered in Milwaukee, health care advocates confirmed to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.  Three local babies were also born with syphilis last year, health officials said. Not enough people are talking about the outbreak one public health consultant calls an epidemic. READ MORE

Multiple vaccines not likely to be a problem, study says: Infants who receive multiple vaccines as part of the routine vaccination schedule are unlikely to be more susceptible to other infections not targeted by those vaccines in the two years following vaccination, according to a study from Kaiser Permanente published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The Kaiser Permanente study marks the first time the association between multiple vaccines and non-vaccine targeted infections has been tested in the United States with the current recommended immunization schedule. READ MORE

First death reported in Louisville hepatitis outbreak: New hepatitis A infections continue to be diagnosed in Kentucky where almost 150 people have been confirmed with the virus. Health officials reported the state’s first death in the outbreak that has killed more than 40 people nationwide. More bad news hit the headlines in the Bluegrass State this week as the Ashland-Boyd County Health Department reported on Tuesday that customers of both Waffle House restaurant locations in Boyd County were potentially exposed to the highly contagious virus by an infected foodservice worker. READ MORE   

RESTAURANT SECURITY

Man scalped, loses arm in Paris attack: In what has been described as a dispute between rival Sri Lankan migrants, two men attacked another with a machete, scalping him and cutting off his arm in a Paris restaurant. Two attackers, both wearing hoodies and covering their faces, were said to have stormed into the establishment at around 9:30 pm armed with a machete and a sabre. The pair immediately attacked the victim, cutting at his scalp as well as cutting off one of his hands and his arm. READ MORE

MISCELLANEOUS

The death of AtlantaFresh: Georgia-based grass-fed dairy brand AtlantaFresh has closed its doors after nine years in business following the abrupt termination of a contract with Whole Foods that accounted for the vast majority of its revenues. The seven-year contract to supply 100 percent grass-fed, certified non-GMO milk and cream was canceled after only 14 months, which was allowed under the terms of the contract. Whole Foods had committed to buy 30,000 pounds of product per week, and the company took out large loans to cover expansion. READ MORE