Rare two-headed snake found in Florida
Florida’s latest salvo in the Bingo game that is 2020 is a two-headed snake.Images of the snake were posted to the FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute’s Facebook page.“A rare two-headed southern black racer was recently found at a residence in Palm Harbor by Kay Rogers and family,” reads the post.FWC said the split heads on a single body is known as bicephaly, and it occurs while the snake is developing as an embryo “when two monozygotic twins failed to separate, leaving the heads conjoined onto a single body.”The snake is now in the care of FWC staff.“Two-headed snakes are unlikely to su...
Coke dropping half its drink brands
Coca-Cola on Thursday said it is dropping half its drink brands, most of them sold outside the United States.All told, the 200 brands slated to be discontinued account for only about 1% of the company’s profits. They consume too much attention and resources, Coke leaders said.Meanwhile, the Atlanta-based beverage giant reported continued financial pain from the pandemic. The company’s chief executive said that’s easing, but warned “the world is in a fragile state.”Coca-Cola previously announced eliminations of Tab, the company’s first diet soda, as well as Zico coconut water, Odwalla juices, C...
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Trinidad says idle Venezuela oil vessel not a threat. Environmentalists are not convinced
The government of Trinidad and Tobago said Thursday that a floating oil-storage vessel with nearly 55 million gallons of Venezuelan crude oil off its coast is not taking on water and shows no sign of capsizing and creating an environmental disaster off the coast of South America.Trinidad Energy Minister Franklin Khan also confirmed reports that Venezuela had started to transfer the crude oil onboard the FSO Nabarima to a tanker via a barge. Khan said while the process of emptying the 1.3 million barrels of oil from the Nabarima is safe, they are concerned about the inordinate amount of time — ...
Commentary: The case for giving everyone a job
We are in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.In less than a year, COVID-19 — and the Trump administration’s lack of leadership — has killed more than 217,000 Americans and left more than 7 million infected. Today, one in 10 Americans is unemployed, and many more are underemployed or at risk of being furloughed or fired.Federal weekly unemployment benefits have expired and people cannot pay their bills. With the expiration of the federal eviction moratorium, 23 million people risk losing their homes. On top of all this, the West Coast is still on fire and the worst effects of ...
Tribune News Service
An international flying squirrel trafficking ring has been busted in Florida
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A group of poachers set 10,000 traps and captured about 3,600 wild flying squirrels in Florida before putting them on an exotic pet pipeline that sent the animals to Asia.That’s according to Florida wildlife officials who announced Monday that seven people have been arrested after a 19-month investigation.The total retail value of the squirrels on the international pet market is believed to be over $1 million, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said.The investigation was launched in January 2019 after a tipster made a complaint to the commission about...
Homeless students face extra obstacles amid COVID-19
DETROIT — Fourth-grader Caron Lee-Clemons and first-grader Javerion Rouse are homeless and school-less.The brothers are staying with their mother and three siblings in a homeless shelter in Westland, Mich., where they occupy a single room with five twin beds and a crib for the youngest child.The closure of the boys’ elementary school, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, coincided with the loss of a place to live earlier this year, when they were staying with a friend and had to leave. They have been in the shelter for two months.Their mother, Valincea Clemons, says she is doing her best to s...
The Detroit News
La Niña: Is California heading into another drought?
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Federal scientists say that La Niña — the phenomenon where Pacific Ocean waters off South America are cooler than normal — is underway this winter.A commonly held assumption among many Californians is that La Niña means a dry winter is coming, and in years when the opposite occurs, El Niño, a wet winter is considered more likely.So brown lawns and water rationing are just around the corner, right?Not necessarily. Looking at historical records, there isn’t a clear pattern. In the Bay Area, La Niña years have been drier than normal only about half the time.Since 1954, there ha...
The Mercury News
Woman who survived cancer, a house fire, and husband's accident now uses cleaning to help others
PHILADELPHIA — Betty Dorsey knows all about overcoming obstacles. She’s gotten through breast cancer, her husband’s truck accident and resulting unemployment, and a house fire. Who knew all those hardships would eventually lead her to start her own business and become an author and mentor?The Chichester, Pa., resident has just published “Ready, Set, Go! Action Plan to a Clutter Free and Healthy Home Environment,” a guide she created in collaboration with the Chester Housing Authority. She became acquainted with the Authority in 2008, when she applied for and moved into CHA’s Housing Choice Vou...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Emissions exposure may increase COVID-19 mortality
Car pollution is making the pandemic worse.For years, the effort to reduce transportation emissions has largely centered on fighting climate change. But some advocates say the pandemic underscores the need to focus on human health as well. The worst effects of air pollution are being borne by low-income communities and people of color — the same groups that have suffered disproportionately during the pandemic.Researchers say they’re seeing indications that the pollutants spewed out of tailpipes are making the people who breathe them at high levels more likely to die from COVID-19. Much of the ...
An idle Venezuelan tanker with millions of gallons of oil is creating panic in Trinidad
More than 20 months after a Venezuelan oil tanker carrying nearly 55 million gallons of crude oil was abandoned off the country’s northern coast following tightened U.S. sanctions, inspectors from neighboring Trinidad and Tobago will finally get a chance to see for themselves if the idle vessel’s cargo could lead to a major ecological disaster off the Caribbean coast of South America.Trinidad and Tobago’s energy and foreign ministers both confirmed to the Miami Herald that a team will head out Tuesday to visit the Venezuelan-flagged floating storage and offloading vessel Nabarima, which enviro...