Archives by date

You are browsing the site archives by date.

Newborn Mortality Declines Globally But U.S. Lags, Researchers Say

The survival prospects for newborn babies are improving around the world. But new research on mortality rates among children up to four weeks old shows that the improvement has lagged in the U.S., which ranked 41st among the 193 countries covered. The study, published in the journal PLoS Medicine, found that newborn deaths globally decreased […]

Botched Probe Into Gun Smuggling Leads to Justice Dept. Shakeup

The controversy over Operation Fast and Furious, a botched investigation into an Arizona gun-trafficking network, has led to a shakeup in the U.S. Justice Department. The Obama administration has reassigned Kenneth E. Melson, acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, to a lower-level position as a senior advisor in the Justice […]

U.S. Probe Faults Utility, Regulators in Deadly San Bruno Pipeline Blast

“Flawed pipe, flawed inspection and flawed emergency response.” As the Los Angeles Times reports, those were the key factors cited in a broad safety breakdown leading to the natural gas pipeline disaster in San Bruno, Calif., last year that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes. That assessment came from Deborah A.P. Hersman, head of […]

‘Automation Addiction’ Could Leave Pilots Ill-Prepared for a Crisis

Advanced airline technology is letting pilots rely more and more on computers in the cockpit. But does that also mean their hands-on skills will slip away, leaving them less capable of dealing with a crisis? An investigation by The Associated Press found that while fatal airline accidents have decreased dramatically in the U.S. during the […]

Regulators Put the Brakes on Bigger, Brighter Traffic Signs

Bigger and brighter road signs apparently will have to yield the right of way to economic hardship. As The Detroit News reports, the Obama administration is scrapping a rule that would have required hundreds of thousands of street and traffic signs to be replaced by 2018 — and instead will allow communities to upgrade them […]

Bird Flu Could Soar Again, UN Group Warns

After years of steady decline, bird flu is making a comeback in many foreign countries. The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, in a news release, “urged heightened readiness and surveillance against a possible major resurgence” of the flu. Since the flu’s H5N1 virus crossed over from birds to humans in 2003, it has infected […]

‘Tidal Wave’ of Tainted Supplements Wash Past Regulators

Dietary supplements laced with illegal and potentially hazardous ingredients are being imported into this country in vast amounts. As The New York Times reports, the tainted influx includes everything from weight loss supplements to pills touted to provide the sexual benefits of Viagra at far lower prices. “It’s a remarkable tidal wave of products,” said Michael […]

Doctors Group Trying to Knock Out Youth Boxing

When it comes to boxing, children and teenagers should throw in the towel before ever lacing up their gloves. That’s the thrust of a new policy statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which says the sport carries too great a risk of chronic and acute brain injuries for young people. The doctors association notes […]

Study Links Smoking by Pregnant Women to Drug Use Among Their Kids

Finnish researchers have found that children of mothers who smoked during pregnancy are more likely to be on psychiatric medications. The study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology, cited a link between smoking by pregnant women and the use later on by their children of such medications as anti-anxiety drugs, anti-psychotics, antidepressants, stimulants and addiction […]

A Year After Tainted Iowa Eggs Sickened Hundreds, Oversight Lags

A year after a salmonella outbreak sickened at least 1,600 people and prompted the recall of a half-billion eggs from Iowa, the unsanitary farm conditions and weak regulatory oversight spotlighted by the episode persist, The Des Moines Register reports. The newspaper’s investigation zeroed in on farms in Iowa, which produce 14 billion eggs a year, […]