Quake's death toll rises to 96
The official death toll in Mexico's 8.1 magnitude earthquake rose to 96 on Monday as more deaths were confirmed in the hard-hit southern states of Oaxaca and Chiapas. Mexico's Foreign Relations Department said 95 people had died nationwide in Thursday's quake. Chiapas official Luis Manuel Garcia Moreno said later the number of deaths there had risen from 15 to 16. Oaxaca Gov. Alejandro Murat said on TV the death toll in his state alone has risen to 76. Officials have reported four people died in the Gulf coast state of Tabasco. The Foreign Relations Department said the quake and Hurricane Katia, which struck Friday and killed at least two people, have forced Mexico to withdraw an offer of hurricane aid for Texas to focus on its own disasters. About 5,000 homes in Chiapas were destroyed. Officials were still inspecting homes in Oaxaca, where more were likely damaged. Soldiers and federal police fanned out across neighborhoods to help demolish damaged buildings. Volunteers, many teens from religious or community groups in surrounding towns that were not as severely hit, turned out in force to distribute water and clothing or lend a hand.
Fowl play: Man imprisoned for stealing plastic duck
A Dutch judge has called fowl play on a man who abducted and damaged a giant rubber duck. Prosecutors said the 45-year-old was sentenced Wednesday to eight weeks in prison for stealing the three-foot-tall, bright yellow plastic duck from outside the Gouda Duck cafe in the central city of Gouda on June 23. The duck toy was later found badly damaged elsewhere in the city, prosecutors say. The prosecution statement said the man will only have to serve two weeks if he undergoes "lifestyle training." A judge also ordered him to pay $880 compensation to the owner of the cafe.
Hard pass from us: Chain sells burgers of mealworm larvae
A supermarket chain has started selling burgers and balls made from insects, a move being billed as a legal first in Europe. Seven of Coop's nearly 2,500 stores in Switzerland are serving up the critter concoctions from Zurich food startup Essento. A broader launch is planned by year's end. The bug burgers are made of rice, chopped vegetables, spices and mealworm larvae. Coop said its goal is to convince leery consumers to try a nutritious, if unusual food that "preserve the planet's resources." During the limited rollout, curious consumers have had the insect products flying off the shelves. A change in Swiss law in May allows the sale for human consumption of three types of insects: mealworm larvae, house crickets and migratory locusts.
Aid on way to islands battered by Irma as death toll rises
With ports mended and weather cleared, Caribbean officials struggled Monday to get aid to islands devastated by Hurricane Irma and tried to take stock of the damage caused by the Category 5 storm. At least 34 people were reported to have been killed in the region, including 10 in Cuba, whose northern coast was raked by the storm. Cuban state media said most of those died in Havana, where seawater surged deep into residential neighborhoods. To the east, in the Leeward Islands known as the playground for the rich and famous, governments came under criticism for failing to respond quickly to the hurricane, which flattened many towns and turned lush, green hills to a brown stubble. Residents have reported food, water and medicine shortages, as well as looting. British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson defended his government's response and promised to increase funding for the relief effort. Britain sent a navy ship and almost 500 troops to the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla and the Turks and Caicos islands that were pummeled by the hurricane. The U.S. government said it was sending a flight Monday to evacuate its citizens from St. Martin, one of the hardest-hit islands. A Royal Caribbean Cruise Line ship was expected to dock near St. Martin to help in the aftermath, and a boat was bringing a 5-ton crane capable of unloading large shipping containers of aid. A French military ship was scheduled to arrive today with materials for temporary housing. French President Emmanuel Macron was scheduled to arrive in St. Martin today to bring aid and fend off criticism that he didn't do enough to respond to the storm. Soon after Irma killed 10 people on St. Martin, Category 4 Hurricane Jose threatened the area, halting evacuations for hours before heading out to sea and causing little additional damage. — tbt* wires