What in the World – Week of March 25


United States. Four California residents filed lawsuits Thursday against wine brands Franzia, Mogen David and Almaden at the Los Angeles Superior Court. Although U.S. law does not require wine companies to monitor the arsenic level of their products, the complaint alleged that the brands’ wines have 500 percent more arsenic than is safe for consumption. The complainants said they tested the arsenic levels at BeverageGrades, a laboratory located in Denver, Colo. Attorney Brian Kabateck, who filed the lawsuit, confirmed that the results have been cross-tested and is asking for an unspecified damages penalty and discontinued production of the wines.

Los Angeles Times

United Arab Emirates. Researchers identified the Omani owl, Strix omanensis, which was previously believed to only exist in Oman, in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E) last week. After hearing its distinctive call in a wetland area of the U.A.E., the research group played its own recording and heard an owl answer back, confirming their hypothesis. Ida Tillisch, director of the Emirate Wildlife Society, said the owl’s call is similar to the tune “Here Comes the Bride.” The rare animal was first discovered in 2013 in the Gulf of Oman.

BBC News


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