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FEMA Scrubs Data About Puerto Rico's Lack of Water and Electricity
On Wednesday, roughly two weeks after Hurricane Maria struck, just 50 percent of Puerto Rico had access to drinking water and only 5.4 percent had electricity. That information was clearly displayed on Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) website on disaster relief efforts in the U.S. territory.
But the next day, as first noticed by the Washington Post, those two critical pieces of information were removed from the website.
FEMA explained to the Post that the information is still available in Spanish on a website maintained by the Puerto Rican government, www.status.pr. However, there was no comment about why the information was deleted from the main FEMA page.
FEMA webpage on Oct. 3 about recovery efforts in Puerto Rico (highlighted section from EcoWatch)
"Our mission is to support the governor and his response priorities through the unified command structure to help Puerto Ricans recover and return to routines. Information on the stats you are specifically looking for are readily available" on the website maintained by Gov. Ricardo Rosselló's office, FEMA spokesman William Booher said.
FEMA page as of Oct. 6
The Environmental Data and Governance Initiative (EDGI), which has been closely tracking changes to federal websites since President Trump took office, confirmed the Post's report and said the webpage was most recently altered some time between Oct. 3, 8:51 p.m. and Oct. 5, 5:16 p.m. Eastern Time, according to the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine.
EDGI also noted in its own report that:
Between these versions, the "Federal Response Updates" section was changed, with updates to statistics, descriptions of emergency logistic and impact information, and images. One subsection, which previously reported on electricity access, titled "Power Restoration and Fuel Impacts" was removed entirely. Other bullet points, including one reporting on water access, and a schematic titled "LOGISTICS SNAPSHOT for HURRICANE MARIA" were also removed. This report only examines changes to the "Federal Response Updates" section.
In a memo to colleagues leaked this weekend by Axios, Homeland Security adviser Tom Bossert instructed the White House how to "pivot" White House messaging on Puerto Rico this week, emphasizing that "the storm caused these problems, not our response to it."
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Tyson Foods Recalls Nearly 70,000 Pounds of Chicken Strips After Customers Find ‘Fragments of Metal’
Tyson Foods is recalling approximately 69,093 pounds of frozen chicken strips because they may have been contaminated with pieces of metal, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Thursday.
The affected products were fully-cooked "Buffalo Style" and "Crispy" chicken strips with a "use by" date of Nov. 30, 2019 and an establishment number of "P-7221" on the back of the package.
"FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers' freezers," the recall notice said. "Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase."
Environmental exposure to pesticides, both before birth and during the first year of life, has been linked to an increased risk of developing autism spectrum disorder, according to the largest epidemiological study to date on the connection.
The study, published Wednesday in BMJ, found that pregnant women who lived within 2,000 meters (approximately 1.2 miles) of a highly-sprayed agricultural area in California had children who were 10 to 16 percent more likely to develop autism and 30 percent more likely to develop severe autism that impacted their intellectual ability. If the children were exposed to pesticides during their first year of life, the risk they would develop autism went up to 50 percent.