U.S. City Is Dealing With a Deadly, Flea-Borne Typhus Outbreak

The city of Los Angeles is suffering from an outbreak of a “middle ages” and “pioneer days” disease —typhus — typically found in homeless populations.

The outbreak began in October, according to CNN, with 57 cases of the flea- and flea feces-borne disease in downtown Los Angeles, not typically a hotbed of rare diseases. That was up from around 6 cases over the summer, all found in people “experiencing homelessness.” . . .

A local NBC affiliate says city officials assumed that the disease would remain largely within the homeless population, but lately, cases of typhus have been cropping up among an unexpected group of people: city officials. . .

Greenwood speculates that she got typhus fever from fleas riding on the rats that occasionally infest Los Angeles city buildings. Those fleas get their typhus from piles of garbage surrounding homeless encampments throughout the city. . .

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who recently announced he would not pursue a presidential campaign in 2020, has been trying to control the typhus epidemic largely by allocating funds for trash cleanup, particularly in areas where homeless people gather to live for extended periods of time, including the city’s famous Skid Row. (Read more from “U.S. City Is Dealing With a Deadly, Flea-Borne Typhus Outbreak” HERE)

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Plane Makes Emergency Landing Over Poison Concerns – Passengers Began to Suffocate

By Fox News. A flight to Dubai made an emergency landing in Volgograd, Russia, an hour after takeoff amid fears that passengers had been poisoned, The Sun reported.

The Ural Airlines flight U6-893 reportedly left from Moscow Saturday carrying 150 passengers. Just over a half an hour after the flight took off, some on board started reporting feeling ill. . .

“All of them had greatly dilated pupils. They were suffocating. The flight attendants were in panic, and the aircraft captain decided to make an emergency landing in Volgograd.”

A female passenger who deplaned in Volgograd told The Sun, “I was woken by a young woman screaming for assistance. She yelled and screamed ‘Help, help!’ because her husband felt ill. He was feeling really bad. He was suffocating and he couldn’t breathe in.”

“His face went the color green. Then a panic swept through the plane,” she continued. (Read more from “Plane Makes Emergency Landing Over Poison Concerns – Passengers Began to Suffocate” HERE)


Dubai-Bound Plane Makes Emergency Landing Over Cabin Poisoning Fears as Passengers Say They Are ‘Suffocating and Turning Green’

By The Sun. An airliner was forced to make an emergency landing in Russia today after passengers began complaining they were “suffocating” and “turning green”.

Panic swept through the cabin of the Ural Airlines flight from Moscow to Dubai about one hour 25 minutes into the journey. . .

Doctors and paramedics from five ambulances rushed on board the Airbus A321-211, videos show.

Several passengers were taken for urgent medical treatment. Their conditions were not immediately known. . .

Those with children moved them away from the rows blighted by the strange symptoms as people feared a infectious disease was sweeping through the plane. (Read more from “Dubai-Bound Plane Makes Emergency Landing Over Cabin Poisoning Fears as Passengers Say They Are ‘Suffocating and Turning Green'” HERE)

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Planet of the Apes? African Island Houses ‘Monster’ Chimps Released from Lab

While there may not be a “Planet of the Apes” any time soon, there indeed exists an island of the apes, or, to be more precise, an island of “monster” apes that were released from a U.S. testing laboratory.

According to The Sun, the “monster” chimps were all infected with contagious diseases before being “abandoned on the Liberian river island after being released by their captors.”

“The jungle wilderness – known to locals as ‘Monkey Island’ – is now home to more than 60 chimps who are notoriously protective of its shores,” reports the outlet. “Many of the animals are said to be ‘super aggressive’ and those living nearby are terrified to go there for fear of being attacked.”

The apes are occasionally visited by a few brave locals who bring the 60 chimps food, though they rarely exit the boat and even then they are not entirely free of ape violence. In fact, tourists who pay local fisherman to drive them past the island — on the Farmington River — are typically “pelted with mangoes by the territorial chimps.” The apes have earned an almost mythical reputation among the locals, who say the chimps will eat and attack those who set foot on their land. . .

The apes began to starve in 2014 after the Ebola epidemic, which prevented caretakers from visiting the island. The Humane Society then stepped in to take care of the chimps in 2015. By 2017, the NYBC pledged “£5million to pay for their future food and medical needs.” (Read more from “Planet of the Apes? African Island Houses ‘Monster’ Chimps Released from Lab” HERE)

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Mysterious Sea Creature Draws Alien, Devil Comparisons

By Fox News. Hanna Mary was strolling along a beach with her mom and pup close behind when she spotted what she first believed was plastic sheeting. After a rough storm hit Canterbury, New Zealand, last week, Mary anticipated piles of “rubbish” would wash ashore.

But when she inspected the bizarre-looking object Saturday at a Rakaia Huts beach, shrieking after she realized it wasn’t just another piece of trash — it was the skeleton of an “alien”-like critter. . .

With its wings, small fins on its back, two “legs” on either side and “barbs all over” that look like teeth, Mary had to partially agree with her followers that it was definitely unusual. That’s why she decided to take it to a local taxidermist, though he wasn’t able to confirm anything.

Malcolm Francis, a fisheries scientist and marine ecologist at National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), told the New Zealand Herald it’s a New Zealand rough skate, also known as a Dipturus nasutus.

“They are called rough skate because they are very prickly … it’s quite common in Canterbury,” Francis, who has been studying fish for more than 40 years, told the newspaper. “It’s like flat shark, it has a skeleton made out of cartilage. They spend much of their time on the bottom.” (Read more from “Mysterious Sea Creature Draws ‘Alien’ Comparisons” HERE)


‘It looks like the devil’: Mystery sea creature baffles locals after washing up on a New Zealand beach… so do you know what it is?

By Daily Mail. The skeleton of a mystery sea creature has washed up on a beach, baffling locals as to what kind of animal it could be. . .

The strange creature was found at a beach in Canterbury, New Zealand and was originally assumed to be an alien. . .

Skates are a type of fish that have cartilage instead of bone and enlarged pectoral fins attached to their heads forming a disc-shaped body. (Read more from “‘It looks like the devil’: Mystery sea creature baffles locals after washing up on a New Zealand beach… so do you know what it is?” HERE)

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What Caused a Mysterious Seismic Wave to Wash Over Our Whole Planet?

Back on Nov. 11, seismographs from around the world registered a mysterious tremor that encompassed the planet. As of right now, scientists still don’t know what caused it, reports National Geographic.

It’s not just the source of the rumble that remains mysterious, it’s also the form of the wave, which was characterized as a monotone, low-frequency “ring,” and which was registered by instruments but felt by no one. . . .

The biggest clue we have so far is an ongoing seismic swarm that has been occurring just offshore from the archipelago of Mayotte, which sits about halfway between Africa and Madagascar. The Nov. 11 wave looks to have originated from around there. The only problem is, the Mayotte seismic swarm is also something of a mystery.

The swarm is composed of hundreds of tremors that began around May 10th and have yet to disappear. While they are numerous, they aren’t particularly large events; the largest quake of the bunch came in at a 5.8 magnitude. It’s not exactly something you might expect to cause a seismic wave that’s measured around the world. It’s worth noting, however, that the 5.8 quake was the largest ever recorded in the region. . .

One thing we know is that tectonic activity alone probably can’t account for the wave; it probably came from some combination of tectonic and volcanic processes, and possibly other deep Earth processes. It also might be that a new center of volcanic activity is developing off the Mayotte coast, a shift in a nearby magma reservoir, which would make these events a fascinating opportunity for research. (Read more from “What Caused a Mysterious Seismic Wave to Wash Over Our Whole Planet?” HERE)

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Cosmic Airburst May Have Wiped out Part of the Middle East 3,700 Years Ago

Some 3,700 years ago, a meteor or comet exploded over the Middle East, wiping out human life across a swath of land called Middle Ghor, north of the Dead Sea, say archaeologists who have found evidence of the cosmic airburst.

The airburst “in an instant, devastated approximately 500 km2 [about 200 square miles] immediately north of the Dead Sea, not only wiping out 100 percent of the [cities] and towns, but also stripping agricultural soils from once-fertile fields and covering the eastern Middle Ghor with a super-heated brine of Dead Sea anhydride salts pushed over the landscape by the event’s frontal shock waves,” the researchers wrote in the abstract for a paper that was presented at the American Schools of Oriental Research annual meeting held in Denver Nov. 14 to 17. Anhydride salts are a mix of salt and sulfates.

“Based upon the archaeological evidence, it took at least 600 years to recover sufficiently from the soil destruction and contamination before civilization could again become established in the eastern Middle Ghor,” they wrote. Among the places destroyed was Tall el-Hammam, an ancient city that covered 89 acres (36 hectares) of land. . .

Among the evidence that the scientists uncovered for the airburst are 3,700-year-old pieces of pottery from Tall el-Hammam that have an unusual appearance. The surface of the pottery had been vitrified (turned to glass). The temperature was also so high that pieces of zircon within the pottery turned into gas — something that requires a temperature of more than 7,230 degrees Fahrenheit (4,000 degrees Celsius), said Phillip Silvia, a field archaeologist and supervisor with the Tall el-Hammam Excavation Project. However, the heat, while powerful, did not last long enough to burn through entire pottery pieces, leaving parts of the pottery beneath the surface relatively unscathed. (Read more from “Cosmic Airburst May Have Wiped out Part of the Middle East 3,700 Years Ago” HERE)

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Woman Spends Months in Jail After Lab Finds Meth in Car. It Was Actually Cotton Candy.

. . .Dasha Fincher was pulled over on New Year’s Eve 2016 for her tinted windows — which the officers later admitted were perfectly legal. Fincher said Monroe deputies Cody Maples and Allen Henderson noticed an open plastic bag in her car and assumed the worst, even though she told them it was just blue cotton candy.

Side note: For you “Breaking Bad” fans out there (maybe the cops were fans, too?) but blue meth isn’t actually a real thing. As close to pure as Walter White made his famous meth, the impurities would actually give it a yellow tinge.

But having a blue substance in a clear plastic bag still gave off alarm bells, so the deputies tested the bag with a roadside field test. They claimed the bag tested positive for methamphetamine, and Fincher was “arrested and charged with meth trafficking and possession [of] meth with intent to distribute,” according to Macon, Geogia, CBS affiliate 13WMAZ. Her bond was set at $1 million, and she spent months in jail because she couldn’t pay the cash bond.

Finally, in March 2017, a more comprehensive lab test came back and determined that the substance was not an illegal drug. Another four weeks passed before the charges against Fincher were dropped. . .

“Fincher’s lawsuit argues that the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office was reckless and negligent and violated her civil rights,” 13WMAZ reported. “The suit said the test was manufactured by Sirchie Acquisitions, a company based in North Carolina. The test, called Nark II, has a history of false positive test results, the suit says.” (Read more from “Woman Spends Months in Jail After Lab Finds Meth in Car. It Was Actually Cotton Candy.” HERE)

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FDA Bans Sales of Flavored E-Cigarettes at Convenience Stores

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, concerned about the rising tide of nicotine use among teenagers, announced on Thursday that it will ban flavored tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, from being sold at convenience stores.

Tobacco, mint and menthol e-cigarette flavors will not be affected; but the sweet-flavored tobacco products will be limited to age-restricted stores or over the internet from sellers using age-verification checks.

As Yahoo News reports, menthol cigarettes are reputedly in the cross-hairs of the FDA, which is rumored to be considering banning them. . .

Yahoo noted, “One of the most popular devices, made by San Francisco-based Juul Labs Inc, has become a phenomenon at U.S. high schools, where ‘Juuling’ has become synonymous with vaping.”

To buttress the idea that e-cigarettes should be limited, the FDA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Thursday that among high school students who reported using e-cigarettes in the last 30 days, 2018 found a 78% increase from 2017. They added that over three million high school students and 570,000 middle school students used e-cigarettes. (Read more from “FDA Bans Sales of Flavored E-Cigarettes at Convenience Stores” HERE)

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Restaurant Owner Murders Man, Serves His Remains to Vegetarian Diners, Gets Instantly Found out

Patrons at a vegetarian restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand, were turned off when they found chunks of meat in their food, but they were even more disgusted once they discovered it was human flesh.

Although the restaurant goers didn’t initially realize it was human meat on their plates, they reported the “vegetarian” establishment to authorities, Singaporean news site Asia One reported Monday. Upon further investigation, police made a grisly and disturbing discovery—the remains of a missing 61-year-old, who had frequented the restaurant, were discovered in the kitchen, which was spattered with blood.

Prasit Inpathom, the victim, had last been seen having drinks at the restaurant on October 21. According to local reports, the man had allegedly gotten into a fight with the restaurant owner. He was killed in the altercation, and the owner devised a plan to serve the body to clients as a way to dispose of it and avoid discovery. According to police, the suspect has disappeared and remains at large. . .

Earlier this year, a story floated around the internet alleging that a new restaurant had opened in Tokyo and that it was serving human meat. As multiple sources, including the Japanese government, confirmed, the story was entirely fake. . .

However, a real-life cannibal couple was arrested in Russia in 2017 after they allegedly killed and ate at least 30 victims, British newspaper Metro reported. The couple, Natalia Baksheeva and Dmitry Baksheev, also reportedly made meat pies from human flesh and attempted to get local restaurants to sample them. (Read more from “Restaurant Owner Murders Man, Serves His Remains to Vegetarian Diners, Gets Instantly Found out” HERE)

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Whole Foods Forced to Get a Restraining Order Against Vegans

A Berkeley, California, Whole Foods Market was forced to apply for a blanket restraining order after becoming the target of a radical vegan group hell-bent on “exposing” the natural foods chain’s animal welfare violations.

The Guardian reports that Whole Foods filed for the order after a group called Direct Action Everywhere, or DxE, threatened to “Occupy Whole Foods” for the entire month of September, subjecting the store and its shoppers to in-person protests, demonstrations of “animal slaughter,” and, perhaps most horrifying, a drum circle.

DxE, which reportedly advocates for “total animal liberation,” began the month by unfurling a giant black “Occupy Whole Foods” banner above a group of chanting protesters, but since the order went into effect, DxE has been relegated to handing out pre-printed leaflets from a set of tables just beyond the Whole Foods parking lot.

The group says that they’re merely looking for “greater transparency in both Whole Foods and Amazon’s supply chain,” and accuses Whole Foods of running a “conspiracy” to hide their animal welfare practices from anti-meat activists (though DxE’s evidence of such a cover up appears scant).

Whole Foods, in turn, says that they take pride in their commitment to animal welfare and that they require farms that produce the meat, milk, cheese, and eggs that end up on Whole Foods’ shelves ascribe to a set of regulations set forth by the Global Animal Partnership. Those regulations are much stricter than the USDA’s and FDA’s, and farms must be inspected every 15 months to ensure ongoing compliance. (Read more from “Whole Foods Forced to Get a Restraining Order Against Vegans” HERE)

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