Top News: Greenpeace activists in ‘survival pod’ on giant oil rig mark second day of protest; E. coli outbreak linked to cucumbers kills 14 and sparks restrictions across Europe; Oxfam report projects food prices will double over next two decades; and, German nuclear phase out prompts debate.

Photo: © Steve Morgan / Greenpeace

#Oil/Action Greenpeace activists have marked 48 hours in a survival pod hanging from Cairn Energy’s giant oil rig, the Leiv Eiriksson. The rig has now reached its intended drill site with the new protesting passengers still attached. The stand-off looks set to intensify as the Danish warship accompanying the Eiriksson issued a 500m exclusion zone. This comes despite the fact that the Greenpeace activists are already inside exclusion zone and don’t appear to have any intention of moving. Greenpeace is calling for the full disclosure of Cairn’s oil spill response plan; a plan the Greenland government claims is being withheld amidst fears that the environmental organisation may, for some unknown reason, attempt to ‘destabilise’ the emergency response plan.

#DeadlyCucumbers An E.coli outbreak that has killed 14 people in Germany is expected to worsen in the coming days. The outbreak, which has been linked to contaminated cucumbers, has caused hundreds of illnesses and has prompted countries including Russia, Austria, the Czech Republic and France to ban or restrict the sale of a variety of vegetables including cucumbers, tomatoes, salads and aubergines.

#FoodPrices According to an Oxfam report, the average cost of staple foods will more than double in the next 20 years if drastic action isn’t taken. The good news is that the world is fully capable of feeding itself and such a sharp rise in food costs is entirely preventable. Oxfam chief executive Barbara Stocking lamented that "we are sleepwalking towards an avoidable age of crisis" and that “one in seven people on the planet go hungry every day despite the fact that the world is capable of feeding everyone."

#Nuclear German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said a decision to phase out nuclear power by 2022 can make her country a trailblazer in renewable energy and demonstrate the potential for growth of exports, development, technology, jobs that investment can generate. Germany’s steps have caused many countries around the world to open up debate about their reliance on nuclear and its safety. Sounds like Ms. Merkel has been brushing up on Greenpeace’s Energy [R]evolution; hope to see others following suit.