Quick News, Concerning America, Current Events and Mental Health “My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.” ― Thomas Paine Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed MENTAL HEALTH CHAT-(U.S. suicide rates surges to a 30-year high)…
Southwest says Boeing delayed mentioning safety feature was turned off
Boeing didn’t tell Southwest and other airlines that it had disabled a safety feature in its 737 MAX jets until after the October Lion Air crash in Indonesia, Southwest said. Federal Aviation Administration inspectors also reportedly were not aware of the disabling of the standard feature, which is designed to warn pilots when sensors monitoring the pitch of a plane’s nose malfunctioned and gave bad data. Southwest said it turned the feature back on in its planes after receiving the information. The popular 737 MAX planes were grounded worldwide after a second deadly crash that investigators have linked to problems with an automated flight control system that automatically pushed down the plane’s nose to avoid a stall when sensors said the nose was rising too sharply
Measles cases hit highest level in 25 years
The number of U.S. measles cases so far this year has reached 667, the highest level in 25 years. Sixty-one new infections were reported in New York City on Wednesday. About three-quarters of the illnesses have occurred in New York state, mostly in two ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn and suburban Rockland County. Most of the people who have fallen ill had not been vaccinated. Doctors say the measles vaccine is safe and effective. Its widespread use starting in the 1960s helped lead to the declaration that measles had been eliminated across the U.S. in 2000. Public officials say the recent anti-vaccination movement has resulted in renewed outbreaks.
1st drug CEO faces criminal charges over opioid crisis
Former Rochester Drug Co-Operative CEO Laurence Doud III has become the first drug company executive to be criminally charged in connection with the national opioid epidemic, according to an indictment unsealed Tuesday. Prosecutors said Doud, 75, “made the deliberate decision” to ignore pharmacy customers who were distributing opioids for non-medical purposes, seeking to make more money for the company and himself. His pay more than doubled between 2012 and 2016 thanks largely to soaring sales of such drugs as oxycodone and fentanyl. Doud, who faces two conspiracy counts, surrendered in New York City. His lawyer said he would fight the allegations. The company also was charged, and entered a deferred prosecution agreement.
Oil prices jump after report of U.S. ending Iran sanctions waivers
The Trump administration is preparing to announce an end to waivers from sanctions on Iranian oil imports, The Washington Post reported Sunday. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly plans to announce Monday morning that, starting May 2, all countries — including U.S. allies — will have to stop buying Iranian crude or face U.S. sanctions. The move comes roughly a year after the Trump administration withdrew the U.S. from the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal, which provided Tehran with sanctions relief in exchange for curbs to its nuclear program. In November, the State Department gave eight countries — China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy, and Greece — 180-day waivers to give them time to find sources to replace Iranian oil. Crude prices jumped 3 percent following reports of the policy change.
Meet the neighbors who’ve helped a woman who uses a wheelchair get into bed every night — for 10 years.
Doctors in 7 states charged over illegal opioid prescriptions
Sixty people, including 31 doctors, were charged Wednesday with participating in illegal prescriptions of more than 32 million pain pills in seven states. Prosecutors said some of the doctors traded opioids for sex. A dentist allegedly pulled teeth unnecessarily to justify prescribing patients opioids. The people charged also included seven pharmacists and eight nurse practitioners, as well as several other licensed medical professionals. Prosecutors said the defendants wrote more than 350,000 illegal prescriptions in Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and West Virginia. “If these medical professionals behave like drug dealers, you can rest assured that the Justice Department is going to treat them like drug dealers,” said Brian Benczkowski, an assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s criminal division.
Burned Louisiana black churches get donations inspired by Notre Dame
A crowdfunding campaign for three Louisiana black churches recently destroyed by an arsonist received a wave of new donations on Tuesday inspired by the reaction to the fire at Paris’ Notre Dame cathedral. The nearly week-old campaign started the day with about $92,000, but more than $750,000 in donations poured in after it was shared widely on social media. “These communities need to know that people care about them and what they’re going through,” Jessica Piombo, a California professor, wrote on the campaign’s GoFundMe page. “Every little bit counts.” Holden Matthews, the white 21-year-old son of a sheriff’s deputy charged with setting the Louisiana church fires, was charged earlier this week with hate crimes on top of the arson allegations he already faced.
Measles outbreak nears record with dozens of new cases
The number of measles cases reported across the country reached the highest level in five years, with dozens of new cases bringing the number of confirmed infections to 555, according to updated figures released Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Public health experts now fear that this year’s outbreak will set a record nearly two decades after measles was declared “eliminated” in the U.S. Ninety new cases of the potentially deadly and highly contagious disease were confirmed in the second week of April. People in 20 states have been infected. A third of the cases this year have been reported in New York City, nearly all of them in a section of Brooklyn where officials have declared an emergency.
Measles cases surge to second highest level in 2 decades
The number of reported U.S. measles cases jumped by nearly 100 last week, pushing the total recorded in 19 states to 465 this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Monday. That’s the second highest total, after the 667 recorded in 2014, since the U.S. declared measles eliminated in the country nearly two decades ago. There were 372 cases last year. The CDC said the increase has been partly driven by the anti-vaccination movement. Most of the measles patients had not been vaccinated, and up to 90 percent of those close to an infected person can get the disease. “The numbers serve as a kick in the butt that says, hey, we probably should start paying attention to vaccination again,” said Ogbonnaya Omenka, an assistant professor at Butler University who has a doctorate in public health.