Bomb could have maimed anyone walking through neighborhood: For the fourth time this month, a device exploded on residents in the Texas capital. What makes this blast especially terrifying is that it was left on the side of a residential road and may have been triggered by a tripwire, Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said. The three previous bombs were stuffed inside packages and left on residents’ doorsteps.

PUBLIC HEALTH

Soy-based formula have differences in reproductive-system cells: Infants who consumed soy-based formula as newborns had differences in some reproductive-system cells and tissues, compared to those who used cow-milk formula or were breastfed, according to a new study. The researchers say the differences, measured in the months after birth, were subtle and not a cause for alarm, but reflect a need to further investigate the long-term effects of exposure to estrogen-like compounds found in soy-based formulas. READ MORE

Chemicals may contribute to drop in sperm counts: Chemicals found in a variety of routinely used consumer products may be contributing to the substantial drop in sperm counts and sperm quality among men in recent decades, a new study in mice suggests. The study found the effect of chemicals that disrupt the body’s hormones, called endocrine-disrupting chemicals, may extend beyond more than one generation. READ MORE

WATER SAFETY

Are you ingesting ‘microplastic’ particles? Drinking from a plastic water bottle likely means ingesting microplastic particles, a new study claims, prompting fresh concerns — and calls for scientific research — on the possible health implications of widespread plastics pollution. A study carried out on more than 250 water bottles sourced from 11 brands in nine different countries revealed that Microplastic contamination was nearly universal, found in more than 90 percent of the samples. READ MORE

THE FUTURE

Beyond organic farming: Dorn Cox, a young farmer who lives and works on his family’s 250-acre organic farm, called Tuckaway, near Lee, N.H.,  calls himself a “carbon farmer.” That means he thinks about carbon in everything he does. Confronting agriculture’s addiction to hydrocarbons, for example, Tuckaway produces a significant amount of the energy it needs on-farm. READ MORE

ANIMAL HEALTH

Animal sacrifice suspected in Texas: Dead and dismembered goats, chickens and other animals were found in a San Antonio-area home Friday night after police responded to calls of a suspected animal sacrifice ritual, authorities said. At least a dozen people were arrested and charged with animal cruelty, the San Antonio Express-News reported. READ MORE

Decision not to impose organic requirements may lead to legal action: Legal action seems inevitable following the controversial decision by the Trump administration not to impose additional regulatory requirements for organic livestock and poultry producers. President Trump’s administration took the decision earlier this month to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) rule, published in January 2017 under the former Obama regime. The OLPP addresses four broad areas of organic livestock and poultry practices: living conditions, animal healthcare, transport and slaughter. READ MORE

TERRORISM

A message  from the Russians? The response from the Kremlin has been uncompromising. The foreign ministry described Theresa May’s accusation against Moscow as a “circus show”. Its boss Sergei Lavrov said there was no proof the poison used against Sergei Skripal came from Russia. Beneath this bluster, however, is cool calculation. Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in Salisbury with a Moscow-made military nerve agent. Whoever wanted to murder him might have used a subtler weapon. Instead, his assassins picked novichok. One former employee of the Russian special services said nerve agents were used only if the goal was to draw attention. READ MORE

Package may have contained fentanyl; employees treated: Fire and corrections officials in the District of Columbia say more than a dozen employees at the city’s jail complex fell ill after a package that likely contained the powerful opioid fentanyl was opened. The Washington Post reported last Thursday that four workers in the mail room were immediately taken to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, and three decided to go later. Nine others were treated at the jail facility. If fentanyl has not been confirmed, then carfentanil should be considered as a differential, says ProMed.org, an Internet-based reporting system dedicated to dissemination of information on outbreaks of infectious diseases and acute exposures to toxins . Read more HERE, HERE and HERE.

UK schools closed because of bomb threat emailed from U.S.: More than 400 schools across the United Kingdom received hoax bomb threats today, forcing some to evacuate. The threats said that a bomb had been placed on school grounds and would be detonated if demands were not met. The threats—not being treated as genuine—are believed to have come from the United States and have been sent across the UK. The threatening text, which demanded $5,000 and said a student at each school was carrying a bomb, was followed by a line of text in Arabic. READ MORE

Car again used as weapon: At least 13 people have been injured after a car drove into a busy nightclub in Kent, police say. Revelers were sent fleeing in panic after the Suzuki Vitara ploughed into a marquee at Blake’s club in Queen Street, Gravesend, shortly before midnight yesterday. READ MORE

FOOD SAFETY

Onion tainted by Salmonella: A grocery chain in the Pacific Northwest is recalling several deli salads, wraps and other products because they include diced onions from Taylor Farms of Salinas, CA, that are potentially contaminated with Salmonella. Taylor Farms, founded in 1995, is a large producer of fresh produce and freshcut produce commodities for sale to consumers and foodservice operators such as grocery delis, restaurants, schools and other entities. READ MORE

Massive beef recall: SMI Holdings Inc., doing business as Stampede Meat Inc., in Bridgeview, Ill., is recalling nearly 500,000 pounds of beef products that may be contaminated with Salmonella, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced. The raw beef products incorporated a non-meat ingredient, Au Jus Seasoning, which tested positive for the presence of Salmonella. READ MORE