Number has sharply increased: The number of heat waves affecting the planet’s oceans has increased sharply, scientists have revealed, killing swathes of sea-life like “wildfires that take out huge areas of forest.” The new research is the first systematic global analysis of ocean heatwaves, when temperatures reach extremes for five days or more. READ MORE


Pillsbury flour recalled? Two grocery chains are reporting that the parent company of the Pillsbury Co. has initiated a nationwide recall of flour packaged under the iconic brand because of possible Salmonella contamination. READ MORE


Catastrophic oil spill: Four weeks ago the huge Hong-Kong-flagged bulk carrier MV Solomon Trader, carrying 700 tons of oil, ran aground on Kongobainiu reef after becoming loosed from its mooring. Villagers on Rennett Island in the Solomons can’t fish, and with no way to get food are relying on government aid. READ MORE


Toxic substance found in Tunisian mail: Tunisian police intercepted envelopes containing potentially deadly toxins and addressed to prominent journalists, politicians, and trade unionists. The Tunisian terrorism agency revealed that the toxic substance was made in Tunisia inside a laboratory, using local talent and requiring a substantial financial investment. Read more HERE and HERE

Don’t get complacent yet: The war with ISIS isn’t over. It has merely shifted to a new phase: Islamic State is trying to mount a comeback, and the Iraqi military is trying to root out sympathizers and sleeper cells still embedded in the extensive territory the group once controlled. READ MORE


Return of ‘medieval diseases’: Infectious diseases—some that ravaged populations in the Middle Ages—are resurging in California and around the country, and are hitting homeless populations especially hard. READ MORE

Ebola battle in trouble: The battle against the deadly Ebola virus is in trouble. Distrust, fear and lack of communication from aid groups have alienated communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, leading some people to spurn treatment and even attack treatment centers. READ MORE

Antibiotic-resistant DNA found in wastewater: The products of wastewater treatment have been found to contain trace amounts of antibiotic-resistant DNA, which is often reintroduced to the environment and water supply, potentially resulting in the spread of antibiotic resistance. Even low concentrations of just a single type of antibiotic lead to resistance to multiple antibiotics classes. READ MORE


Venezuelan blackout threatens food security: Vicente Fernandez has not opened his freezer since the massive blackout began in Venezuela on Thursday. He wants to try to save everything that’s in there, but he’s starting to worry. Venezuelans, already feeling the pinch due to food and medicine shortages, are suffering even more now that the power has gone down. READ MORE

And Maduro blames U.S.: In the midst of a second nationwide power outage in Venezuela, the vast majority of the country is engulfed in a massive internet outage. President Nicolas Maduro has blamed the blackout on an act of “sabotage” by the U.S. at the Guri hydroelectric dam, but experts say it is the outcome of years of underinvestment. Read more HERE and HERE