group of grasshoppers

Or care to try a tarantula instead? Old men fry tarantulas in chili oil. People snack on crispy grasshoppers like they would a bag of Cheetos. Buckets of crickets, grasshoppers and giant water bugs lay next to yams, cilantro and curry leaves in the intimidating culinary scene of Cambodia’s markets. There’s a long tradition of insects as food in Cambodia. In fact, the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization refers to bugs as “six-legged livestock.” READ MORE

FOOD SECURITY

What does ‘cage free’ mean? Trader Joe’s is being sued by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, which alleges that the grocery company’s egg cartons are misleading to customers. On March 15, ALDF filed a consumer protection lawsuit seeking to “stop Trader Joe’s from deceptively labeling its cage-free eggs and misleading consumers seeking eggs from hens raised in more natural conditions,” according to an ALDF press release. READ MORE

Citrus farmers still await relief: Florida citrus farmers are still waiting for the distribution of $2.36 billion in federal disaster-relief money for agriculture losses sustained in Hurricane Irma. President Donald Trump signed the disaster-relief package back in February, five months after the hurricane. The approval only came after months of lobbying by Florida officials. Florida’s agriculture industry suffered a $2.5 billion loss from Hurricane Irma. Growers are currently hanging by a thread and are seeing record lows in productions. READ MORE

Target, Kroger discuss possible merger: Target and Kroger have been discussing a possible merger as the grocery industry grapples with Amazon increasing hold on the market. The companies first started conversations last summer about a potential partnership. The merger would improve Target’s grocery business and give Kroger more access to merchandise and e-commerce. Talks have been ongoing throughout the year. READ MORE

WATER SAFETY

Officials knew dam was a danger: The U.S. Army show officials knew for 36 years a dam at a South Carolina military base might not stand up to a big storm before it was breached in a massive 2015 downpour that caused a flood that killed two people and caused millions of dollars of damage, according to military records. The same documents show repairs made before the deadly October 2015 floods likely increased the chances the earthen dam on Semmes Lake at Fort Jackson might break, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers records obtained by The State newspaper. READ MORE

PUBLIC HEALTH

High drug mortality rates cluster in specific areas: Drug-related deaths have grown to be a major US public health problem over the past two decades. Between 2006 and 2015 there were more than 515,000 deaths from drug overdoses and other drug-related causes. The economic, social, and emotional tolls of these deaths are substantial, but some parts of the US are bearing heavier burdens than others. High mortality rates cluster in Appalachia, Oklahoma, parts of the Southwest, and northern California. Low mortality rates cluster in parts of the Northeast, the Black Belt, Texas, and the Great Plains. Average mortality rates were significantly higher in counties with greater economic and family distress and in counties economically dependent on mining.  READ MORE

TERRORISM

U.S. orders expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats: The United States and its European allies are expelling dozens of Russian diplomats in a co-ordinated response to the poisoning of a former Russian spy in the UK. President Donald Trump has ordered 60 Russian diplomats to leave the country. Germany, France, Ukraine, Canada and various European countries have also expelled envoys. Russia called the moves a “provocative gesture” and vowed to retaliate. READ MORE

CYBER SECURITY

Time to go on cyber-offensive? The United States has been the victim of repeated cyberattacks by foreign powers, and it seems to have little power to stop them. The Russians are not the only ones hacking at the United States’ expense. Chinese hacking groups have stolen U.S. intellectual property from industrial manufacturers and military contractors, and in 2014, North Korean hackers attacked the U.S. film studio Sony Pictures. These threats have led to renewed calls for cyber-deterrence measures that would impose greater costs on would-be hackers while denying them benefits. READ MORE

Atlanta hit by ransomware attack: As of Saturday, Atlanta officials and federal partners were still “working around the clock” to resolve a ransomware attack on city computers that occurred around 5 a.m. on Thursday, March 22, and encrypted some financial and person data. A city employee sent WXIA a screenshot of the ransom demand, which included a pay-per-computer option of $6,800 or an option to pay $51,000 to unlock the entire system. READ MORE

MISCELLANEOUS 

Postal thieves: Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night might keep them from their appointed rounds — but these thieves will. Manhattan postal workers are being terrorized by brazen bandits who don fake uniforms and work in teams to swipe their carts, police sources say. The thieves rifle through the carts’ mail for valuables such as money orders, checks and credit cards, and then ditch the rest. READ MORE

Update on AFB attack: The FBI on Friday identified the man who died after driving a burning van loaded with propane tanks and gasoline canisters onto Travis Air Force Base in California this week as Hafiz Kazi. But the FBI said Kazi’s intentions and motive for the bizarre incident remain a mystery, and it has not yet found any connection to terrorism. READ MORE