Swine epidemic threatens US bacon supply. Calm down! Well, I mean calm down to whatever level is reasonable in response to the price of bacon increasing due to the Procine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus spreading across major hog farming states. The cost of bacon climbed 13% in February. The disease has killed millions of baby pigs thus far and the pork industry may see a decrease of about 7% in production this year.
Spain “Hotel California”-ing Catalonia. You can join Spain any time you like, but you can never leave! The Spanish Parliament rejected a referendum bid from Catalonia, a region with strong separatist support. The Prime Minister said he “can’t think of Spain without Catalonia and…can’t think of Catalonia outside of Spain and Europe,” which reveals a serious lack of imagination.
The Internets are dark and full of terror. Such as “Heartbleed,” a flaw that may have left numerous websites containing huge amounts of very personal information at risk of hacking for around two years. Encryption services used by nearly everybody, OpenSSL, found the vulnerability and issued a fix immediately after hacking themselves, which showed that it was possible to access all the information for Yahoo without leaving any indication the system had been compromised. So that’s just friggin’ great.
Death toll climbs in Ebola outbreak. The deadly virus, currently sweeping through countries in western Africa, has killed more than 100 people since first appearing in Guinea in early February. Despite quarantine efforts the disease has spread to Liberia and Senegal, while tests for the disease came back negative in Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Mali.
Egyptian democracy continues to wow. Four men were sentenced to several years in prison on charges of debauchery, due to allegations of their being homosexual. The men were accused of throwing questionable parties and wearing women’s clothing as evidence of their levels of debauchee.
Group in Pakistan puts a human face on drone victims. A collective of artists called Not A Bug Splat, referring to what many believe the casualties of drone strikes have been called, placed a 90×60 foot poster of a girl orphaned by drone strikes in a field in the North. The group hopes drone operators seeing the image will reconsider airstrikes.
Largest election in world history begins. Indian parliamentary elections, a nine round contest, began on Monday. India’s voting population tops 814 million, which lands the country the distinction of holding the largest election ever. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will be stepping down after ten years in office.
Mickey Rooney passes away at 93. The nine-decade Hollywood institution passed away at his home on Monday, leaving behind a legacy of film and television.
Didn’t we already go through this? Cities in Eastern Ukraine have seen increased unrest following the annexation of Crimea by Russia, as pro-Russian protesters storm government buildings. Demonstrators in Donetsk, Kharkiv, and Luhansk have called for a regional referendum on independence. As one would expect, the U.S. isn’t happy and Secretary Kerry is wagging his finger at Russia as furiously as he possibly can.
Elections held in Afghanistan. The contest marks the first democratic transition of power in Afghanistan’s history, as President Hamid Karzai is not on the ballot. Karzai has held office since the ousting of the Taliban by U.S.-led forces in 2001. Officials announced that about 7 million of the 12 million eligible voters participated, while violence left about 100 dead around the country. Results are expected to be released on the 28th, with a runoff vote likely.