Oil Tanker Near China Continues to Burn, JFK Airport Woes, Flu Wreaking Havoc, and More

Oil Tanker Near China Continues to Burn, JFK Airport Woes, Flu Wreaking Havoc, and More
  • The U.S. military is joining the efforts to control the blaze onboard an Iranian oil tanker in the East China Sea two days after it collided with a ship sparking the fire. The body of one of the tanker’s 32 crew members was found aboard—the rest remain missing. Rescue efforts are racing against the clock as concerns grow that the tanker may explode and sink, according to Reuters. The 136,000 tons of fuel onboard that is currently ablaze was worth about $60 million, and preliminary estimates note that the size of the oil spill and the extent of environmental damage may be record breaking. 

  • The situation at New ​York’s JFK Airport was bleak this weekend, days after a heavy snowstorm hit the northeastern United States. Thousands of travelers were stranded at the airport as flights were delayed and cancelled while the airport struggled to recover from the storm. Additional issues plagued the airport, including passengers being stranded on planes or waiting hours to receive their luggage, and a burst water pipe Sunday afternoon flooded one of the terminals. Police were called to one gate Saturday night after passengers rioted when yet another flight was cancelled. Experts criticized the airport’s preparedness, pointing out that while the winter storm had been anticipated, no preemptive actions were taken to reduce flight cancellations. "What happened at JFK Airport is unacceptable, and travelers expect and deserve better," Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Executive Director Rick Cotton said in a statement.

  • Communities around the world are struggling with contagious flu strains this winter. One strain, dubbed the Aussie flu due the the havoc it’s been wreaking in Australia—has spread to the United Kingdom, and only two cities there remain uninfected. The strain causes more severe reactions in young children and the elderly and made Australia’s flu season the worst it’s experienced in a decade, the BBC says. In the United Kingdom, churches have banned handshakes due to the risk of infection, and doctors have been encouraged to keep flu patients out of hospitals to reduce its spread. The United States is dealing with its own flu outbreak  which has resulted in packed emergency rooms and a death toll of 27 people younger than 65 in California alone. Some hospitals are limiting visitors under the age of 16 since they are more vulnerable to the flu, and other hospitals are so crowded that ambulances can not unload their patients right away. 

  • Australia has published a cybersecurity guide specifically for small businesses  noting that they are the target of 43 percent of all cybercrime. Small businesses are also affected more dramatically by cyberattacks—22 percent of small businesses breached by WannaCry and Petya ransomware attacks last year could not continue business operations, and 60 percent that experience a significant breach go out of business within six months. Perhaps the most concerning statistic from the study is that 87 percent of small businesses believe they are safe from cyberattacks because they use antivirus software. The guide offers quick steps to digital safety tailored to the smaller staffs and budgets these businesses often face.​