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UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

News Briefs

Governor Patrick Asks Feds to Declare Agricultural DisasterGovernor Deval Patrick asked federal officials to declare most of Massachusetts a disaster zone last week. Patrick wrote in a letter to the US Department of Agriculture that the wet conditions of the early summer produced destructive pathogens, which destroyed crops at hundreds of farms throughout the state. However, declaring parts of Massachusetts a disaster area is not uncommon–Kent Politsch, a spokesman for the USDA’s Farm Service Agency, says that one-half to two-thirds of the counties in the US have been declared disaster areas in the past several years. The agricultural production losses–a result of the summer’s cool weather and rain–are expected to amount to tens of millions of dollars.

Explosion at China Mine leaves 42 dead, 37 still trappedThe death toll after an explosion at an illegal coal mine in central China has risen to 42, with 37 more men still trapped. There were 93 men working underground when the explosion occurred, and 14 men ran to safety. The mine’s owners were placed under police surveillance, and the company’s bank accounts have been frozen. China’s mines are the world’s deadliest, even after the closing of many small, dangerous mines.

French tradition threatened by flu“La bise,” the cheek-to-cheek kiss the French use to greet each other, has come under pressure from swine flu. Many French schools and companies are telling students and employees to avoid the kiss out of fear of spreading the illness, particularly as winter approaches. Though mainland France has counted three swine flu deaths, authorities and school officials are taking no chances.

Great Whites Tagged Off ChathamThree more great white sharks were tagged Tuesday morning near Chatham, bringing the number of great whites spotted to five. Chatham beaches were closed to swimmers over the weekend after the great whites were spotted late last week. Chatham’s Parks and Recreation director says that town officials would meet to discuss beach closures and a possible reopening date. The last shark-related death in New England was in 1936.