March 27, Wednesday, 2024

1. Japan’s health ministry says a major Japanese drug maker has reported the second death of a person who had taken its health supplements containing red yeast rice, or “beni-koji.” Osaka-based Kobayashi Pharmaceutical issued a voluntary recall last week for three products containing the ingredient. The move came after the revelation that some people have developed kidney disease or other health issues after consuming one of those products. 2. The US Coast Guard says the six people missing after a bridge collapsed in the eastern state of Maryland are now presumed dead. It has suspended search and rescue operations. Coast Guard officials said on Tuesday evening that it’s unlikely that those missing are still alive, given the length of time that had passed since the accident. A large cargo ship rammed into one of the columns supporting the bridge in Baltimore in the early hours of Tuesday. A major portion of the bridge collapsed.
3. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has conveyed his concern to his Israeli counterpart about Israel’s plan for a ground offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah. Austin met with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in Washington on Tuesday. The two discussed alternative approaches to the planned military operation. Referring to the situation in the Gaza Strip, the US defense secretary described the number of civilian casualties as “far too high” and the amount of humanitarian aid as “far too low.”