So farms have put it to work: Robots aren’t just stealing human jobs, they’re after man’s best friend too – now there’s a drone that can bark like a sheep dog. Corey Lambeth, a shepherd on a sheep and beef farm in New Zealand, said his drone had made work such as moving stock and checking water and feed levels more efficient. READ MORE

FOOD FRAUD

Fake labels lead to criminal charges: In 2013, an Atlanta company created fraudulent labels showing the USDA inspection mark to sell out-of-date poultry products. Company execs were arrested in 2018, and now the general manager is facing a criminal trial. READ MORE

FOOD SECURITY

An olive oil shortage: Olive oil has been produced in Italy for at least 4,000 years, far longer than other Italian specialties. But last year, olive groves across the peninsula took major hits from the weather and disease, and now Italy may have to do the unimaginable—import olive oil from other countries. READ MORE

THE FUTURE

Lab-created milk? The dairy industry, already beset by plant-based milks, may soon have another competitor to worry about: milk produced in a lab. Perfect Day Foods, a startup based in Silicon Valley, is marketing what it calls “animal-free dairy protein” with proprietary microflora that ferment sugar to produce casein and whey. READ MORE

Cultured meat is coming, like it or not: No matter whether you view cultured meat as the next big thing in food or a troubling way to render traditional protein useless, you might soon be viewing it on the menu. READ MORE

WATER SAFETY

PFAS contamination leads to lawsuit: New Mexico on Tuesday sued the U.S. Air Force over groundwater contamination at two bases, saying the federal government has a responsibility to clean up plumes of toxic chemicals left behind by past military firefighting activities. READ MORE

CYBER SECURITY

Young people leaving Facebook: More than 17 million young Americans have quit Facebook in the last two years amid a number of data privacy scandals. U.S. users are the most lucrative market for the social media network, which seems to be alienating the highly coveted youth market. READ MORE

TERRORISM

A mean old man: Police believe a gardener from southwestern Germany planted booby traps intended for his foes in the days before his own death. One explosive device already killed a man, and authorities fear there could be more. READ MORE

And mean young men: Suspected Islamic State group members, including foreign fighters, were questioned and searched Thursday by U.S.-led coalition members and Kurdish fighters. They were the latest group to surrender from the besieged final pocket of Syrian territory held by the militant group. READ MORE

HUMANITARIAN CRISES

A hard choice: It started with about $2,400 and a choice. Option one was to use the FEMA money to look for a place to rent. Option two was to use the money to buy the set of tools Gary LaPant needed to make some money fixing the abundance of Panama City homes splintered by Hurricane Michael. Now he’s living in a tent with his family. READ MORE

VENEZUELA

Suffering grows: Venezuela is just days away from “a period of suffering no nation in our hemisphere has confronted in modern history,” Florida Sen. Marco Rubio warned Thursday. READ MORE

No pockets to pick: How bad is Venezuela’s economy? Even the criminals are struggling to get by. With soaring hyperinflation, the government can’t print money fast enough to keep up, so many Venezuelans have switched to debit cards – and their pockets aren’t worth picking. READ MORE

And no electricity, either: Much of Venezuela was still without electricity Friday amid the country’s worst-ever power outage, raising tensions in a country already on edge from ongoing political turmoil. READ MORE