Young woman drinking pure glass of water

The problem is aging infrastructure: Americans across the country, from rural Appalachia to urban areas like Flint, Mich., or Compton, Calif., are facing a lack of clean, reliable drinking water. At the heart of the problem is a water system in crisis: aging, crumbling infrastructure and a lack of funds to pay for upgrading it. READ MORE

FOOD SAFETY

Chain acknowledges another customer died from food allergy: Pret A Manger has acknowledged that a second customer died after an allergic reaction to food sold at the popular British sandwich chain. Pret is under scrutiny after a 15-year-old girl, who was allergic to sesame seeds, died in 2016 after eating a sandwich that did not list sesame seeds among the ingredients. In the latest announcement, Pret said it believed the second customer’s death was caused by dairy protein found in a nondairy yogurt supplied by CoYo, a maker of vegan products in Britain. READ MORE

Country ham suspected in Listeria outbreak: The country hams that some say are the quintessential dish of the South became, during this past weekend, suspects in a deadly listeriosis outbreak. Four people, three in Virginia and one in North Carolina, have been confirmed as being infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes. All four required hospitalization. One in Virginia died. READ MORE

Another case of undeclared allergens: Canteen/Convenco in Middletown, Pa., is recalling 1,778 pounds of ready-to-eat breaded chicken tender products because of misbranding and undeclared allergens, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Friday. The products may contain milk (whey), a known allergen, that was not declared on the finished product label. READ MORE

FOOD SECURITY

What about North Carolina’s sweet potatoes? North Carolina is the largest sweet potato producer in the country, accounting for well over half of the national harvest. Last year, the 90,000 acres of sweet potatoes grown here were worth $346.5 million, according to USDA, trailing only tobacco, soybeans and corn. State officials say it’s too soon to estimate the losses farmers have suffered as a result of Florence, though state Agriculture Secretary Steve Troxler has said it will be measured in the billions of dollars. READ MORE

CYBER SECURITY

Report addresses threats to precision ag technologies: DHS has released a report to address cybersecurity threats to new precision agriculture technologies used in crop and livestock production. Precision agriculture employs a variety of embedded and connected technologies to generate data used to enhance agricultural and livestock management. As adoption of precision agriculture technology has increased, vulnerabilities and cyber threat issues have emerged. READ MORE

China inserted chips in U.S. computer equipment: Tiny chips inserted in U.S. computer equipment manufactured in China were used as part of a vast effort by Beijing to steal technology secrets, a Bloomberg News said Thursday. The chips, the size of a grain of rice, were used on equipment made for Amazon, which first alerted U.S. authorities, and Apple, and possibly for other companies and government agencies. READ MORE

Google shutting down its social network: After a report citing a privacy breach affecting up to 500,000 users, Google is shutting down its social network, Google+, the arm of Alphabet Inc. has announced. The Wall Street Journal reported that Google executives were informed of the privacy breach in March, but chose to not disclose it for fear that it would tarnish its image and trigger a regulatory backlash. READ MORE

Facebook says no virus attached to hoax message: Facebook officials have warned of a new viral hoax message that is fooling users into thinking there is a problem with their account. The fake message claims your account has been cloned – meaning someone has created a new account using your name, photos and other information to impersonate you on Facebook. Facebook says there is no virus attached. READ MORE

Attempted hack of chemical weapons watchdog: Four suspected agents uncovered in the Netherlands left a trail of clues. Of the four men caught trying to hack the wifi network of the chemical weapons watchdog, the OPCW, the BBC found two giving defence ministry buildings as their address on official documents. Another document included a vehicle database. Some are asking if Russian spies have lost their touch. READ MORE

TARIFFS

Dairy imports up: Despite trade wars with Mexico and China, U.S. dairy export volumes were up 12 percent in August over a year ago. On a value basis, nearly $481 million worth of dairy products were exported, an increase of 3 percent. READ MORE

But soybeans, on the other hand…: The U.S. trade deficit widened in August to the biggest in six months as soybean exports plunged and a measure of the gap with China hit a record, showing how the Trump administration’s trade war is dragging on economic growth. READ MORE

RESTAURANT SECURITY

Mobster killed at McDonald’s drive-thru: A reputed mobster — whose son was injured during an attempted hit job three months ago — was blasted to death at a McDonald’s drive-thru in the Bronx while waiting for a cup of coffee on Thursday, sources said. Sylvester Zottola, 71, a Bonanno crime family associate, was shot in the head, chest and shoulder while sitting in his car outside the fast food restaurant. READ MORE

THE FUTURE

Technologies that will change the (food) world: The Wall Street Journal has outlined six new technologies that could fundamentally change the food world. Printed meals, edible bar codes and facial-recognition technology for cows are among the innovations transforming the food industry. READ MORE

HUMANITARIAN CRISES

Teams in the earthquake and tsunami-devastated city of Palu, Indonesia, dug through rubble and mud looking for bodies Monday as the death toll rose to nearly 2,000 with thousands more unaccounted for. READ MORE