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The Spill: Cats at Work

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Are Cats Chicago’s Super-Heroes? Meow

Chicago, Illinois, is known as the Rat Capital of America. It may soon be the Cat Capital, too. Thousands of feral cats are being let go on the Chicago streets in a program called “Cats at Work.” This city plan is a partnership with the Treehouse Humane Society.

Not all cats do well in a home environment. Instead of staying in shelters or being put down, these cats are getting the job done. These hard-working felines are cared for by both the Treehouse folks and Cook County. Program Manager Sarah Liss told reporters that “by placing them in Cats at Work colonies, we’re able to make sure they’re living their best lives.”

Not only do cats catch and eat rats and mice, but they scare off rodents just by being there, meaning that many of the rats will go somewhere else.

Orkin’s pest control company ranks American cities in areas of infestations by roaches, rats, and creepy crawly things. The company ranked Chicago the most infested city for the sixth year. Los Angeles and New York City came in second and third place for rat infestations.

The Colonial Pipeline Debacle

On May 8, an fuel pipeline had to close after its computers were hacked. The ransomware attack by Russian hacking group “DarkSide” forced Colonial Pipeline to shut down its network of 5,500 miles of pipeline. This caused fuel shortages, price increases, and panic buying.

Ransomware is software used to block access to a computer system. Hackers demand “ransom” money to restore computer systems.

Colonial Pipeline has the largest oil pipeline in the U.S. It delivers nearly half of all the fuel used on the East Coast from Texas to New Jersey. The shutdown affected 17 states. The Department of Transportation declared a state of emergency for the southeastern seaboard.

It’s thought Colonial Pipeline paid nearly $5 million in ransom.

President Biden told the American people that there will not be any real gas shortages, and he said he would put more support into education to train the next generation of workers to stop cyber-attacks in the future.

It may be days until the flow of fuel is back to normal.

The Struggle Between Israel and Hamas Heats Up

War may be coming to the Holy Land. The conflict between Hamas and Israel continues without either side wanting to call a truce. Hamas is the Palestinian militant group in charge of Gaza. The Gaza Strip, as it is called, is 25 miles long and six miles wide. It was originally a part of the British-ruled Palestine Mandate. That all changed in 1948 when the nation of Israel was created. Palestinians and Israelis have fought over the land for many years.

This latest violence is the fourth round of armed conflict between Israel and Hamas since 2008. Violence against both sides is getting worse. Hamas has launched more than 100 rockets just this last Sunday, and Israel bombed the home of Yahya Sinwar, Hamas’ leader since 2017. Sinwar was reported to be unhurt by the airstrike.

The Holy Land consists of Israel, Palestinian territories, parts of Jordan, and Lebanon. It’s called the Holy Land because Christians, Jews, and Muslims all believe the land is sacred.

Hamas and Israel have fought one another in three wars and even more small battles and skirmishes. So far, the worst fighting was done during the 2014 war, which lasted for 50 days.

Try an online crossword with clues from this week’s news!

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