U.K. readies for Brexit disruptions: The U.K. government is making plans to stockpile food and medicine in case a no-deal Brexit, where the U.K. exits the EU next March without any arrangement in place, causes regulatory and customs chaos. The government’s stockpiling plans are a wake-up call for any developed country. These countries depend on complex supply chains that stretch around the world—and are vulnerable to disruptions. Global supply chains are, in fact, a national security issue, and one that has been neglected by planners for too long. READ MORE

PUBLIC HEALTH

A really tough superbug: Hand sanitizers have become important tools in combating the spread of infections. But as Maggie Fox reports for NBC News, researchers in Australia have found that one prevalent hospital superbug, which is already resistant to multiple drugs, is becoming more tolerant to the alcohol in hand sanitizers. READ MORE

Monsanto’s ‘day of reckoning’: The lawyer for a California groundskeeper dying of cancer urged jurors Tuesday to make Monsanto pay hundreds of millions of dollars for failing to warn about the health risks of weed killer Roundup. Terminally-ill Dewayne Johnson watched as his attorney accused Monsanto of putting profit over people’s health by fighting research signaling Roundup’s potential cancer risks and failing to issue warnings. READ MORE

FOOD SAFETY

More illnesses at Chipotle: More than  700 people were sickened after eating at a Chipotle outlet in Powell, Ohio, the Washington Post reports. So far, the source of the outbreak has not been identified. Delish reports that tests for Salmonella, Shigella, E. coli and norovirus have all come back negative. A recent health inspection, however, found that the black beans and pinto beans weren’t kept at a high enough temperature, and lettuce wasn’t properly refrigerated after preparation. READ MORE

WEATHER EMERGENCIES

Heat wave shuts down nuclear power plants: As Europe struggles through a major heat wave, the French energy company EDF says it has halted a fourth nuclear reactor, this time one at the country’s oldest nuclear plant at Fessenheim in eastern France. In a statement, EDT said the Fessenheim nuclear reactor was temporarily shut down Saturday. Since Thursday, four French nuclear reactors in three power plants near the Rhine and the Rhone Rivers, including Fessenheim, have had to be temporarily shut down. EDF said the decision was made to avoid overheating the rivers. READ MORE

One arsonist caught: A man suspected of starting the Holy fire in Orange County, Calif., has been arrested, Cleveland National Forest officials announced Wednesday. The Holy fire, which has burned 4,129 acres and was 5 percent contained as of Wednesday morning, broke out Aug. 6 and has destroyed 12 structures. In all, 18 wildfires are burning across the state. They have scorched some 600,000 acres, an area roughly the size of Sacramento County. READ MORE

The worst fire season ever? The largest wildfire ever recorded in California needed just 11 days to blacken an area nearly the size of Los Angeles — and it’s only one of many enormous blazes that could make this the worst fire season in state history. Some 14,000 firefighters from as far away as Florida and even New Zealand are struggling to curb 18 fires in the midst of a sweltering summer that has seen wind-whipped flames carve their way through national forest land and rural areas, threaten urban areas and incinerate neighborhoods.

CYBER SECURITY

Researchers discover bots perpetuating cryptocurrency scam: While conducting a study to figure out the best way to identify Twitter bots — accounts controlled by software, not humans — researchers from security software companyDuo Security came across a network of at least 15,000 bots working together to perpetuate a cryptocurrency scam. READ MORE

The beginning of Russian cyber warfare: The conflict between Georgia and South Ossetia was fought not only on Georgian soil, but also in cyberspace, where Russian hacker groups hijacked the websites of Georgian news outlets and state agencies. This was the moment when Moscow first turned its attention to Russia’s so-called “patriotic bloggers,” and started relying systematically on their services, which were provided both voluntarily and compulsorily. READ MORE

A nightmare scenario: A team from IBM Corp. has used the artificial intelligence technique known as machine learning to build hacking programs that could slip past top-tier defensive measures. The group was to unveil details of its experiment at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday. READ MORE

TARIFFS

The Kochs fight Trump’s trade policies: Charles and David Koch seeded the low-tax, small government political movement in America that became the Tea Party, which eventually set the stage for Donald Trump’s presidency. Now, one of the wealthy industrialist brothers is using the same strategy to fight Trump’s trade policies. READ MORE

Farmers are worried: The latest Ag Economy Barometer from Purdue University shows just how concerned farmers are about the agriculture economy. Farmer sentiment fell sharply during July on heels of commodity price declines and concerns over trade. READ MORE

TERRORISM

U.S. concludes Russia violated international law: The United States said Wednesday it has concluded that Russia used chemical or biological weapons, in violation of international law, during an attack on a former Soviet spy and his daughter in England earlier this year. In response, the administration ordered new sanctions on Moscow. READ MORE

PUBLIC HEALTH

Settlement in biggest methane leak in U.S. history: State and local officials on Wednesday announced a tentative settlement in lawsuits filed against Southern California Gas Co. over the biggest methane leak in U.S. history. The $119.5-million settlement with city, county and state officials and prosecutors will resolve agencies’ claims against the gas company. In exchange, the utility will pay civil penalties and fund expanded air monitoring, a government-administered health study and environmental and climate mitigation projects across the region and state. READ MORE

THE FUTURE

Geoengineering could cause problems: Think geoengineering is a great way to reverse the effects of climate change? Well, we might want to push pause on those plans. According to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature, geoengineering could actually leave us worse off than if we did nothing at all. A proposed solution, Solar Radiation Management, would hurt earth’s crops more than help. READ MORE

In case you’re thinking about eating crickets: A new study finds that adding crickets to your daily diet regimen may be good for your gut and offers several health benefits.I t should be noted, however, that a single study involving such a small number of people proves nothing. Additional studies will be necessary to determine if the reported positive effect on gut health from eating insects is real, or the result of experimental error. Insects can and often do carry human pathogens and parasites and should not be consumed from areas that might contain fecal material, contaminated water, or heavy metals. READ MORE

A popsicle-by-air: From her home in a wooded hollow in Virginia hill country, Brianna Smith and her two-year-old son Jack entered the aviation record books on Tuesday. Just six minutes after a technician from Alphabet Inc.’s Wing clicked the “Confirm Order” button on a smartphone app, a drone operated by the company had flown from a simulated store more than a mile away, hovered over her lawn and lowered the ice cream and Popsicle she’d ordered. READ MORE

HUMANITARIAN CRISES

Venezuelan hospital food is so bad, it poses a health risk: Hardly anybody likes hospital food but in Venezuela, it’s so awful—monotonous, starchy diets cooked in filthy conditions, and newborns fed intravenous solution for lack of baby formula—that experts call it an actual health risk. READ MORE

JUST INTERESTING

First attempted assassination by drone: Saturday’s assassination attempt against the President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, in Caracas, seems to have been the world’s first attempted magnicide by drone. The incident occurred while Maduro was giving a speech to an audience that included hundreds of soldiers standing in formation, and several soldiers were lightly wounded by shrapnel, but the President was unhurt. One of the drones exploded in mid-air; a second struck the wall of a nearby apartment building. READ MORE