The Daily Cut: California shooting | Trackable medicine | Norway oil | Yemen bombing | Venezuela debt
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The Daily Cut: California shooting | Trackable medicine | Norway oil | Yemen bombing | Venezuela debt

November 14, 2017

5 dead, at least 10 wounded after shooting in northern California

A gunman carried out shootings at multiple locations in Tehama County, northern California on Tuesday morning. Five people, including the shooter who was shot by police, were killed and at least 10 injured, according to Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston. Johnston said police had reports of shootings in at least seven different locations. The Los Angeles Times reported the name of the shooter had not been released.

Johnston said the violence may have started as a dispute with neighbors. “We know of no real connection to any of the victims. Most of the victims in this case appear to be random selections,” he said. Police recovered a semi-automatic rifle and two handguns believed to have been used by the shooter, according to Johnston.

Sources: Los Angeles Times, CNN

FDA approves pill with ingestion tracking device

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a pill containing an ingestion tracking device on Monday. The device was developed by Proteus Digital Health and can inform healthcare workers when the medicine is taken by the patient. The tracking sensor is currently being used in a drug called Abilify, which is produced by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co Ltd and used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and some forms of depression. The Abilify tablets were the first pills with an embedded tracking sensor to be approved by the FDA.

The tracking device is about the size of a grain of salt. It is activated when it comes into contact with liquid in the a patient’s stomach. When this happens, the device produces a small electric charge, which allows it to transmit ingestion information to a cellphone app via a patch worn by the patient. Doctors and caregivers, with permission, can use this information to track the patient’s medication usage online.

Sources: Reuters, USA Today

Environmental groups sue Norway for issuing oil exploration licenses

On Tuesday, a group of environmental organizations sued Norway, claiming that 10 licenses issued by the country to look for oil in the Barents Sea were in violation of the country’s constitution and its commitments under the Paris climate agreement. The plaintiffs included Greenpeace, Nature and Youth, and Norwegian Grandparents Against Climate Change.

Article 112 of Norway’s constitution states, “Every person has a right to an environment that is conducive to health and to natural surroundings whose productivity and diversity are preserved.”

The plaintiffs argued the world has found more fossil fuels than it can use without violating the Paris Agreement goal of keeping increases in global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels. Norway’s Attorney General said the suit could result in “hundreds of thousands of” people losing their jobs.

Sources: Reuters, BBC

Saudi-led coalition bombs Sanaa airport in Yemen

The Saudi Arabia-led military coalition bombed a Yemeni airport in the Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa on Tuesday. There were conflicting reports about how much damage the strike caused. Yemeni officials said the attack damaged the airport’s runway and ground navigation tower. U.N. official Jamie McGoldrick said the runway and the control tower were not hit and were in “good condition.”

The Saudi-led coalition closed all land, air and sea ports in Yemen last week in response to a missile attack in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh, for which the Houthis claimed responsibility. The coalition said the closure was meant to stop weapons being transported from Iran into Yemen. On Monday, the coalition announced some of the ports would be re-opened.

The Houthis are a Shiite Muslim group. They have been fighting with Yemen’s Sunni Muslim government, which is backed by the Saudi-led coalition, since 2011.

Sources: AP, Reuters

S&P declares Venezuela to be in ‘selective default’

International credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s said Tuesday that Venezuela failed to make a $200 million repayment on its foreign debts. The country defaulted on its payment after a 30-day grace period expired on Sunday. The agency declared Venezuela to be in “selective default,” which is when a country defaults on one or more of its financial obligations.

Creditors met in Caracas on Monday to discuss restructuring Venezuela’s debt. Media outlets reported the meeting ended without concrete proposals from the government. At the meeting, Vice President Tareck El Aissami read a statement saying U.S. sanctions on Venezuela were responsible for the country’s failure to make its debt payments. Under these sanctions, no U.S. company may trade with Venezuelans on the sanctions list, or buy newly issued Venezuelan debt.

Venezuela’s total debt was estimated by Financial Times to be $60 billion. S&P said Venezuela was also overdue on $420 million in other repayments, but the grace period for these hadn’t yet expired.

Sources: BBC, Financial Times