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The 'overwhelming' stench of a vet's urine sample forced the evacuation of a VA hospital in Virginia
The "overwhelming" odor that prompted a Veterans Administration health center in Virginia to be evacuated Wednesday afternoon turned out to just be a very pungent sample of urine, reports the Daily Press.
It was so strong that a Hampton police HAZMAT team was called, streets were blocked off, and at least two people who came in contact with the urine had to be "assessed" at a nearby hospital, said the newspaper.
Hampton is on the Virginia coast, about 80 miles southeast of Richmond.
The smell began permeating the Hampton VA Medical Center around 2:16 p.m. Wednesday, starting on the first floor and then drifting to upper levels, reported WTKR.com.
VA officials later revealed the smell emanated "from a urine sample that a veteran (had) dropped off," according to 13News.
The station reports the smell was "chemical-like" and 50 people "were affected by it," including the two employees who were hospitalized.
Video of the scene shows multiple fire trucks, ambulances and other emergency vehicles filling a nearby road, as media helicopters fly over.
WTKR reports the unidentified veteran's urine sample was taken to a lab in Richmond for further study.
The evacuation was in place from 2:30 p.m. unti 7 p.m. and involved more than 120 patients and staff members, reported WAVY.
John Rogers with the Hampton VA told the station "it's still unclear what may have been mixed with the urine, if anything" to cause the odor.
©2019 The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
NASA is reportedly investigating one of its astronauts in a case that appears to involve the first allegations of criminal activity from space.
Hackers could have breached US bioterrorism defenses for years, records show. We'll never know if they did
The Department of Homeland Security stored sensitive data from the nation's bioterrorism defense program on an insecure website where it was vulnerable to attacks by hackers for over a decade, according to government documents reviewed by The Los Angeles Times.
The data included the locations of at least some BioWatch air samplers, which are installed at subway stations and other public locations in more than 30 U.S. cities and are designed to detect anthrax or other airborne biological weapons, Homeland Security officials confirmed. It also included the results of tests for possible pathogens, a list of biological agents that could be detected and response plans that would be put in place in the event of an attack.
The information — housed on a dot-org website run by a private contractor — has been moved behind a secure federal government firewall, and the website was shut down in May. But Homeland Security officials acknowledge they do not know whether hackers ever gained access to the data.
The State Department doesn't really care if its human rights training for partner security forces is working or not
By law, the United States is required to promote "human rights and fundamental freedoms" when it trains foreign militaries. So it makes sense that if the U.S. government is going to spend billions on foreign security assistance every year, it should probably systematically track whether that human rights training is actually having an impact or not, right?
Apparently not. According to a new audit from the Government Accountability Office, both the Departments of Defense and State "have not assessed the effectiveness of human rights training for foreign security forces" — and while the Pentagon agreed to establish a process to do so, State simply can't be bothered.
A Kansas VA hospital police supervisor reported 'dangerous' deficiencies among his officers. Now he says he faced retaliation
The Kansas City VA Medical Center is still dealing with the fallout of a violent confrontation last year between one of its police officers and a patient, with the Kansas City Police Department launching a homicide investigation.
And now Topeka's VA hospital is dealing with an internal dispute between leaders of its Veterans Affairs police force that raises new questions about how the agency nationwide treats patients — and the officers who report misconduct by colleagues.
A New Mexico woman was charged Friday in the robbery and homicide of a Marine Corps veteran from Belen late last month after allegedly watching her boyfriend kill the man and torch his car to hide evidence.