Tropical Cyclone Kenneth made catastrophic, unprecedented landfall Wednesday afternoon: This came just weeks after Tropical Cyclone Idai’s catastrophic storm surge and rainfall flooding swamped parts of central Mozambique. READ MORE

Food Technology

Robots might grow your next salad: Your next salad might include leafy greens grown by robots in California greenhouses. Startups such as Iron Ox, a maker of agricultural robots, and big players such as John Deere are investing in artificial intelligence to raise produce more efficiently. READ MORE

Public Health

Virus identified as cause of paralysis in Minn. children: A virus appears to be the cause behind a rash of polio-like illnesses that struck Minnesota last fall, causing paralyzing symptoms in several children, including one girl who lost all motor function and remains hospitalized. READ MORE

U.S. records 71 new measles cases in a week: The United States recorded 71 new measles cases last week, a 13 percent increase as the country faces its second-worst outbreak of the disease in almost two decades, federal health officials said on Monday. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it had recorded 626 cases of the highly contagious and sometimes deadly disease in 22 states as of April 19, the highest rate of infection in five years. READ MORE

Diets high in sodium really bad for Americans: U.S. diets high in sodium are responsible for 33 deaths per 100,000 in the U.S., according to a new scientific study on the health effects of diet. READ MORE

Two-wave U.S. flu season longest in a decade: Three months ago, this flu season was shaping up to be short and mild in the U.S. But a surprising second viral wave has made it the longest in 10 years. READ MORE

Computers contribute to Americans’ inactivity: Americans are becoming increasingly sedentary, spending almost a third of their waking hours sitting down, and computer use is partly to blame, a new study found. Over almost a decade, average daily sitting time increased by roughly an hour, to about eight hours for U.S. teens and almost 6 1/2 hours for adults, according to the researchers. That includes school and work hours, but leisure-time computer use among all ages increased too. READ MORE

Children under 2 should not be allowed any screen time — or they’ll get fat, WHO says: The first ever global guidance on physical activity and sleep for young children recommends zero screen time for tots. But UK researchers said the advice is based on flimsy evidence. READ MORE

Global Conflict

Oil hits 2019 high on U.S. plan to tighten squeeze on Iran: Oil prices jumped more than 2 percent on Monday to a near six-month high, on growing concern about tight global supplies after the United States announced a further clampdown on Iranian oil exports. READ MORE

Is Sri Lanka massacre a bid to revive global holy war? Christian churches, along with Jewish synagogues, Buddhist shrines, and Shiite Muslim mosques have been prime targets for violent jihadists, whether from the so-called Islamic State, al Qaeda, or groups or individuals that most of the world has never heard of. The terrorists are on the fringe of their own faith, claiming anyone who does not believe exactly as they do deserves to die in their “holy war” against “Crusaders” and Jews, infidels and apostates. READ MORE

Sri Lanka suicide bombers included two sons of a spice tycoon: He built his fortune on black pepper, white pepper, nutmeg, cloves and vanilla. But on Wednesday the narrative of Mohammad Yusuf Ibrahim, one of Sri Lanka’s wealthiest spice traders, was ripped apart. Officials revealed he was in custody in connection with the devastating suicide attacks on Easter Sunday that killed hundreds of people. READ MORE

U.S.-China political tensions affecting science: Research is becoming increasingly embroiled in ongoing political tensions between the United States and China. In the latest twist, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston has moved to terminate the employment of three scientists after the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) said that they had committed serious violations of agency rules regarding the confidentiality of peer review, conflicts of interest and the disclosure of foreign ties. READ MOREI

Restaurant Security

Texas pizza restaurant shuts down after employees tamper with food: A North Texas Mr. Jim’s Pizza has been temporarily shut down after health inspectors found that three employees put a laxative onto pizza that was eaten by another employee, police said. READ MORE

Border Security

Trump renews threat to close Mexican border: U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday again threatened to close part of the southern border and send more “armed soldiers” to defend it if Mexico did not block a new caravan of migrants traveling toward the United States. READ MORE


‘Very possible’ half of Venezuela will flee Maduro regime, U.S. diplomat says: Venezuelan strongman Nicolás Maduro’s attempt to stay in power could ultimately drive half the country’s population to seek refuge abroad, according to a key U.S. diplomat. READ MORE

Just Interesting

Chinese farmer breeds bugs for the table: Farmer Li Bingcai breeds cockroaches for human consumption. A restaurant down the road from his small farm fries them up in famously spicy Sichuan sauce for the gutsier eaters. READ MORE

Robotic device winds its way through beating pig heart: Borrowing from the way cockroaches skitter along walls, scientists have created a robotic device that safely guides itself through the delicate chambers of a pig’s heart as it’s beating. READ MORE