Not a drop to drink. Toledo, Ohio, residents spent the weekend waterless because of fears of contamination from an algae bloom in Lake Erie. City officials told residents not to drink, brush their teeth, or wash dishes with tap water after a treatment plant test showed unsafe levels of an algae-induced toxin. No serious illness was reported from the toxin, which is known to cause vomiting, cramps, and rashes. Residents drank bottled water delivered from around the state by the truckload. Mayor Michael D. Collins lifted the drinking ban Monday morning. The scare has more people questioning what to do about the infamous Lake Erie algae blooms, caused by chemical waste and run-off from sewage treatment plants and farms.
Another ferry disaster. A passenger ferry carrying hundreds of people capsized Monday on the Padma River in central Bangladesh as horrified villagers watched from the shore. Local media said the ferry had about 250 passengers. More than four hours after the accident, authorities were still waiting for a rescue vessel to arrive. Two bodies had been recovered, and at least 44 people survived by swimming to shore.
Undercover agitators. The United States sent inexperienced Latin American youth into Cuba as undercover change agents as part its clandestine efforts to infiltrate the communist country, according to an investigation by The Associated Press. The U.S. Agency for International Development sponsored the program along with the creation of a “Cuban Twitter” website to promote subversive ideas in Cuba. The AP’s investigation claims the youth were underpaid and unprepared for the dangers of working as covert operatives.
Soaring fares. A plane tickets costs $14 more now than this time last year. Airfare has gone up 10.7 percent in the past five years—after adjusting for inflation—according to an Associated Press analysis of data from the Airlines Reporting Corp. The average roundtrip ticket within the United States, including taxes, reached $509.15 in the first six months of this year. “Airlines have reduced the number of seats while more people want to fly because of the economic recovery. All this leads to higher airfares,” said Chuck Thackston, managing director of data and analytics at Airlines Reporting Corp. “This trend in airfares is likely to continue for the near future, as the economy continues to grow.”