big yikes
July 5, 2020

The Florida Department of Health has issued a warning to residents of Hillsborough County after a person there contracted Naegleria fowleri, a single-cell amoeba that infects the brain and is usually fatal.

Infections are rare — between 2009 and 2018, only 34 cases were reported in the United States, with most in the South, the BBC reports. In Florida, there have been just 37 cases reported since 1962. Typically found in warm freshwater, the amoeba enters the body through the nose. It cannot be passed from person to person.

The Department of Health did not say where the infection was contracted or the patient's condition, but did advise residents to avoid getting water from taps, lakes, rivers, ponds, and canals up their noses. Symptoms include fever, nausea, vomiting, headaches, and a stiff neck, and officials said anyone who believes they have been infected should "seek medical attention right away, as the disease progresses rapidly."

Infections are more likely in July, August, and September, when the water is warmer, but health officials don't want people to worry too much, reminding residents that the "disease is rare and effective prevention strategies can allow for a safe and relaxing summer swim season." Catherine Garcia

December 20, 2019

Two Carnival cruise ships collided in Cozumel, Mexico, on Friday. The Carnival Glory was "maneuvering to dock," the cruise company reported, when it struck the Carnival Legend, which was already docked.

Because these are modern cruise ships with weights in the range of 220 Statues of Liberty (a very normal metric), the crash was an oddly slow but certain disaster. That glacial pacing also allowed it to be caught on camera:

Carnival says only one passenger sustained minor injuries, and "there are no issues that impact the seaworthiness of either ship." Passengers on both ships told CNN the impact felt "like a big wave," and on-board announcements cited currents and high winds as contributing factors. Bonnie Kristian

May 28, 2019

Is the U.S. really headed for war with Iran?

Based on comments made Tuesday by a spokesperson for the country's foreign ministry, it seems possible. President Trump said Monday that he believed "Iran would like to make a deal," but the spokesperson countered that Tuesday, saying "we currently see no prospect of negotiations with America," Reuters reports.

Trump withdrew the U.S. from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran last year, reimposing sanctions on the country as he pledged to find a so-called "better deal" to curb its nuclear capabilities. Iran has since started pulling out of the deal itself, and with 1,500 American troops now planned for deployment in Iran, tensions are higher than ever.

Still, Trump remained hopeful on Monday, saying he "really believe[s] that Iran would like to make a deal," and that he's only seeking denuclearization and not a regime change. Iran, on the other hand, disagreed. “Iran pays no attention to words. What matters to us is a change of approach and behavior," spokesperson Abbas Mousavi reportedly told the Fars news agency, which is considered a semi-official agency of the Iranian government. Iran's vice president also said its Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had forbidden the development of nuclear weapons, Reuters reports.

Trump's hawkish National Security Adviser John Bolton has reportedly pushed to send thousands more troops to Iran in the past few weeks, but both countries have recently said they aren't seeking a war. Kathryn Krawczyk

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