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Number of Deaths from Cantaloupe-Linked Listeria Rises

Health officials say 13 people across eight states have died after eating cantaloupe contaminated with listeria and at least 72 people in 18 states were sickened.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the cantaloupes — grown at a Colorado farm — had sickened or killed people in New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma. Listeria is especially dangerous for the elderly, young children and pregnant women.

According to the New York Times,

“John N. Sofos, a professor of food safety at Colorado State University, said that many people who were infected might have only mild symptoms, like diarrhea. But in others, especially those in the most vulnerable categories, the bacteria can aggressively move out of the gastrointestinal tract and attack muscle tissue or the spinal cord, leading to much more severe illnesses like meningitis.”

Officials do not yet know the reason for the original contamination.

NTC: Gadhafi May Be Hiding Near Algerian Border

According to the National Transition Council, the Libyan rebels’ governing body, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi might be hiding near the country’s border with Algeria, protected by Tuareg rebels as heavy fighting continues in his stronghold of Sirte. Tuareg rebels are among his strongest supporters; Gadhafi had previously supported a rebellion in northern Niger. Abdel-Rahman Busin, a spokesman in Tripoli, could not positively confirm his location.

Gadhafi’s loyalists continue fighting in Sirte and Bani Walid as civilians continue to flee the weeks-long battles. According to NATO estimates, as many as 200,000 civilians are threatened by the violence.

At Least 21 Dead in Aftermath of Typhoon Nesat in Philippines

At least 21 people are dead and 33 more missing after Typhoon Nesat hit the Philippines Tuesday and Wednesday, bringing floodwater, downed trees, structural damage and power outages in the capital of Manila and across the island of Luzon.

There is little reprieve Wednesday as Typhoon Nesat heads offshore — and another typhoon now over the Pacific Ocean could hit within the next day. Typhoon Nalgae was roughly 840 miles offshore as of Wednesday morning, Eastern Time.

In Manila, government offices, schools and the city’s stock exchange have all been shuttered and nearly 80,000 people are in temporary shelters.

Raid Kills 8 Afghan Policemen

Insurgents attacked a police post in Helmand province Tuesday night, killing eight policemen. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, which a local official told the BBC was carried out with the help of policeman from the station who had gone missing.

In nearby Lashkar Gah, a suicide bomber killed five people at a bakery.

Ahead of a planned phase-out of foreign troops in 2014, insurgents have stepped up their attacks targeting Afghanistan’s security forces in an attempt to discourage new recruits and sap morale.

Photo of cantaloupe by kowitz via Flickr Creative Commons.

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