Locust Invasion Threatens Mali

    A locust sits in a grassland field near Hohhot, China, on Wednesday, July 16, 2008. Funding shortfalls and rising fuel costs are hampering efforts to prevent a locust invasion at the Beijing Olympics, according to officials from the plague- stricken area closest to the capital city. Photographer: Nelson Ching/Bloomberg News

    Nelson Ching - Bloomberg

    More news to fuel rumors of an imminent apocalypse: a plague of locusts is threatening croplands in northern Mali, moving southward from Algeria and Libya. Mali is all but defenseless against the swarms, since its insect-fighting equipment, including insecticide and monitor systems, was destroyed during a rebellion in the region that began in January and ended in early April. The U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization has warned that the locust swarms could have a huge impact on cotton exports from Africa, which are sourced primarily from Mali. Adult desert locusts consume their own weight in food every day, and roughly a ton of locusts consumes the same amount of food in one day as 2,500 people.

    Read it at The Associated Press