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Eric Idle Gets Mail, Then a Hazmat Response

Anthrax scare after powder came out of envelope has since been deemed a false alarm

(Newser) - Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition , nor an anthrax scare—but it was the latter that brought emergency workers to the Los Angeles residence of a Monty Python alum Monday evening. The LAPD reports the Hollywood Hills home of Eric Idle and his wife, Tania Kosevich, was evacuated after someone...

Dying in This Tiny Town Is Against the Law

Longyearbyen wants to stave off infections

(Newser) - A recent anthrax outbreak in Russia seems to confirm what a Norwegian town already knew—that dying should remain illegal, reports. The Arctic town of Longyearbyen, where 2,100 people brave bitter temperatures, has outlawed death since 1950. The reason: Permafrost keeps bodies from decomposing in the town...

CNN Worker Finds Sensitive DHS Docs in Plane Seat Pocket

Papers were marked 'important to national security,' tied to Super Bowl bioterrorism exercises

(Newser) - Before you get off the plane, always check the seat-back pocket for your headphones, any magazines you might want, and those super-sensitive Homeland Security documents outlining how to protect Super Bowl attendees from an anthrax attack. One government scientist apparently didn't do so, as a CNN employee found out...

Report: Worrying Find Made in Blood of N. Korean Defector

Soldier has somehow become immune to anthrax

(Newser) - Blood tests on at least one of the North Korean soldiers that defected to the South this year have detected something extremely concerning, according to a South Korean TV channel. Channel A, citing an unnamed South Korean military source, says anthrax antibodies were detected in the soldier, suggesting Pyongyang could...

Anthrax Eyed in Deaths of 109 Hippos
109 Hippos Turn
Up Dead in a Week

109 Hippos Turn Up Dead in a Week

Anthrax suspected of wiping out 8% of Namibia's hippo population

(Newser) - More than 100 hippos in Namibia, including some seen floating on their backs in shallow waterways this week, may have died from an anthrax outbreak that could now affect other species. Officials say 10 dead hippos were discovered in Bwabwata National Park in northeast Namibia last Sunday, followed by another...

How Shaving Brushes Spread Anthrax During World War I

CDC has a warning to people scooping up the antiques today

(Newser) - Anyone picking up a trendy antique shaving brush might want to check the date: Those made before 1930 or so have been linked to the spread of anthrax back in the day. In an interesting CDC study picked up by the Verge , researchers show how cheap, improperly disinfected brushes used...

Could an 1890s Smallpox Outbreak Come Back to Haunt Us?

Researchers fear melting permafrost will revive the virus

(Newser) - A video of scientists in hazmat suits incinerating animal carcasses in Siberia looks straight out of a sci-fi movie about a rogue virus, notes Vice News . The scariest part? Such a sight might become more familiar. The video arose because melting permafrost caused a long-frozen reindeer carcass to thaw and...

Anthrax Hits Siberia After Decades Frozen in Reindeer Carcass

1,500 reindeer are dead, and 13 people have been hospitalized

(Newser) - After decades spent trapped inside a frozen reindeer carcass, anthrax is back to wreak havoc on Siberia, the Washington Post reports. Siberia hadn't had an anthrax outbreak since 1941. But, according to NBC News , approximately 1,500 reindeer have been killed by the bacterium since Sunday and 13 members...

FedEx May Have Just Dealt Science a 'Devastating' Blow

It won't ship bioterror pathogens anymore

(Newser) - A change in a FedEx shipping policy sounds pretty routine, except for the fact that the one revealed yesterday by USA Today "potentially is a devastating blow" to science, as one lab director puts it. After it was revealed in May that an Army lab in Dugway, Utah , had...

Military Lab Accidentally Ships Live Anthrax

Samples went from Utah to labs around country, plus one in South Korea

(Newser) - Workers at a commercial lab in Maryland got an unwelcome surprise upon receiving a sample of supposedly dead anthrax from the military. The spores were very much alive, reports CNN . It turns out that an Army lab in Dugway, Utah, shipped out samples to labs in nine states over the...

CDC Admits Being Sloppy With Deadly Diseases

Agency head 'shocked' by handling of anthrax, bird flu virus

(Newser) - "I was, just frankly, stunned and appalled." That was the reaction Saturday of Dr. Thomas R. Frieden in a New York Times interview after finding out last week that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the agency he heads, made not one but two potentially deadly lab...

CDC Shuts 2 Labs After Another Dangerous Gaffe

New one involves dangerous strain of bird flu

(Newser) - Another day, another report of a potentially deadly lab mistake by the CDC. The latest one, involving bird flu, has prompted CDC chief Tom Frieden to shut down two research labs temporarily and to halt the shipment of risky germs, reports AP . The bird flu mistake actually happened in May...

75 CDC Workers May Have Been Exposed to Anthrax

Agency discovers safety lapse, offers treatment just in case

(Newser) - Two anthrax scares are in the news, one far more serious than the other. The bad one comes from the CDC, which says that up 75 of its workers may have been exposed to the deadly bacteria because of a safety lapse, reports the Guardian . Researchers at a high-level biosecurity...

PETA: FBI Investigated Us for Anthrax Plot

Details of 1997 investigation released

(Newser) - Not your everyday revelation: In 1997 the FBI investigated PETA over claims that the animal rights group was planning an anthrax attack on a facility near Washington, DC. The tidbit comes compliments of PETA itself, which obtained the FBI records this year through a FOIA request and passed them along...

NYT Editor Target of Anthrax Hoax

White powder sent in swastika envelope

(Newser) - Good things rarely come in envelopes bearing a skull and bones symbol and a swastika sticker, the husband of New York Times assistant managing editor Susan Chira discovered on Wednesday. The envelope he opened, which had a Manhattan post office box as the return address, contained a plastic bag labeled...

Feds Mull Testing Anthrax Vaccine on Kids

But many doctors say anthrax risks too low to justify vaccine

(Newser) - If you thought the HPV vaccine debate was lively (or, a couple of years ago, N1H1 ), just imagine what is going to happen with anthrax. The government is debating whether children should be inoculated against anthrax, to protect against possible bioterrorism, reports the Washington Post . “At the end...

Biden's Brother Hospitalized by Mystery Package

White powder apparently sent from India

(Newser) - Joe Biden's brother received a mysterious package full of white powder yesterday that sent him to the hospital and sparked a Hazmat emergency, the Palm Beach Post reports. Francis Biden, 57, opened the package at his Ocean Ridge, Florida, home and saw the powder pour out onto his skin....

Craig Ferguson Latest to Get Death Threats

White, anthrax-like powder mailed to show from Europe

(Newser) - Just days after David Letterman received death threats from an angry (and apparently confused) jihadist , follow-up program The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson received a threatening letter from Europe containing a mysterious white powder, reports the AP . Two staffers who came in contact with the substance were held for...

Report Blames Army for Ivins' Anthrax Attacks

They should have realized Bruce Ivins was a time bomb, investigators conclude

(Newser) - The anthrax attacks that so spooked the country in 2001 “could have been anticipated—and prevented” had the Army paid enough attention to alleged perpetrator Bruce Ivins, a panel of behavioral analysts has concluded. In a new report obtained by the LA Times , analysts found that Ivins had an...

FBI's Anthrax Case Not 'Conclusive:' Report

Scientists find long-criticized case against Bruce Ivins has holes

(Newser) - The FBI’s scientific evidence against Bruce Ivins in the 2001 anthrax attacks isn’t as compelling as advertised, the National Research Council concluded yesterday, after an exhaustive $1.1 million review. The case against Ivins has long been criticized (Glenn Greenwald gives a nice history of it here ),...

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