Don’t drive distracted, wireless industry says, but safety advocates want more than talk

By Myron Levin, FairWarning 

Just after noon on March 29, a pickup truck crossed the center line of a rural road in South Texas and slammed into a church bus, killing 13 members of the First Baptist Church of New Braunfels. A police report said the 20-year-old pickup driver, who survived, had taken medication and was texting. In other words, he was on two drugs, not one.

It was a particularly gruesome toll for a single crash, but in recent years thousands have died on the nation’s highways, mostly in ones and twos, as a result of drivers fiddling with their phones. (more…)

New lookup to tell what’s in your water in South Florida and around the country

By Dan Ross, FairWarning 

Want to know what hazards might be lurking in your local water supply? An updated online database launched this week by the Environmental Working Group, a research and advocacy organization, provides some answers.

The online resource is known as the EWG’s Tap Water Database. It lists contaminants as well as their levels and likely sources, and any federal drinking water violations by local water utilities. Consumers, after typing in their zip code, get a detailed analysis based on testing from 2010 through 2015.

For example, click here to see the numbers for Fort Lauderdale’s drinking water. (more…)

Fraud and billing mistakes cost Medicare – and taxpayers – tens of billions last year

By Fred Schulte, Kaiser Health News 

Federal health officials made more than $16 billion in improper payments to private Medicare Advantage health plans last year and need to crack down on billing errors by the insurers, a top congressional auditor testified Wednesday.

James Cosgrove, who directs health care reviews for the Government Accountability Office, told the House Ways and Means oversight subcommittee that the Medicare Advantage improper payment rate was 10 percent in 2016, which comes to $16.2 billion.

Adding in the overpayments for standard Medicare programs, the tally for last year approached $60 billion — which is almost twice as much as the National Institutes of Health spends on medical research each year. (more…)

Scientists urge tighter scrutiny of germ-fighting chemicals

By Paul Feldman, FairWarning 

More than 200 scientists and public health advocates are urging regulators to take a closer look at the potential dangers of antimicrobial chemicals including triclosan, an additive that has been banned from hand soaps but remains an active ingredient in products ranging from building materials to Colgate’s Total toothpaste. (more…)

Headlight recall turns high beams on GM’s safety vow

By Christopher Jensen, FairWarning 

 

Three years ago, General Motors chief executive Mary Barra admitted that for years the automaker had concealed an ignition-switch defect, which has now been linked to at least 124 deaths. And she assured federal regulators that there would be a new pro-safety and pro-consumer attitude at the company.But federal safety regulators are now investigating whether GM has been adequately handling a recall of about 429,000 vehicles in the United States for the sudden failure of both low-beam headlights.

The investigation comes after 128 GM owners complained to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, according to a report posted on the agency’s website.
(more…)

Gridlock on Anti-Lock Brakes Baffles Motorcycle Safety Advocates

By Rick Schmitt and Paul Feldman, FairWarning 

After a long downward trend, U.S. traffic deaths are on the rise again, and a key factor is the stubbornly high fatality toll among some of the most exposed people on the road: motorcyclists.

Nevertheless, federal regulators have balked at requiring a safety measure that, many experts say, could save hundreds of bikers’ lives every year. (more…)

A moving story: Crooked movers victimize customers and usually get away with it

By Brian Joseph, FairWarningillustration_2

Gwen Caplan’s nightmare began with a Yelp search.

It was the summer of 2012 and the middle-aged mother of two was looking for someone to move her and her kids from San Rafael, Calif., to Glendale, Ariz. Money was tight, so Caplan scoured the web for an affordable but reputable moving company.

Her search unearthed several moving companies. One was called America’s Best Movers. It had terrible reviews online. “I said to myself, ‘It’s a good thing I used Yelp. I’m not going to use these people,’ ” Caplan would later tell a criminal grand jury. (more…)

The cash-rich pharmaceutical lobby and the rising cost of drugs for Medicare seniors

By Stuart Silverstein, FairWarning 

President George W. Bush signing the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003.

President George W. Bush signing the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003.

When the Republican-controlled Congress approved a landmark program in 2003 to help seniors buy prescription drugs, it slapped on an unusual restriction: The federal government was barred from negotiating cheaper prices for those medicines. Instead, the job of holding down costs was outsourced to the insurance companies delivering the subsidized new coverage, known as Medicare Part D.

The ban on government price bargaining, justified by supporters on free market grounds, has been derided by critics as a giant gift to the drug industry. Democratic lawmakers began introducing bills to free the government to use its vast purchasing power to negotiate better deals even before former President George W. Bush signed the Part D law, known as the Medicare Modernization Act. (more…)

VIDEO: 15 Years Later, Unanswered Questions of 9/11

Presented by Florida Bulldog  and Nova Southeastern University. Dan Christensen, editor and founder of the nonprofit news organization,  moderated a panel on Sept. 8 at Nova Southeastern University featuring former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, co-chair of Congress’s Joint Inquiry into 9/11; Sharon Premoli, a victim’s advocate who was at work on the 80th floor of the North Tower when the first plane struck; Sean Carter, a partner with Philadelphia’s Cozen O’Connor law firm who is helping lead a lawsuit on behalf of the victims’; Thomas Julin, Florida Bulldog’s attorney and a partner with the Gunster law firm in Miami; and Dr. Charles Zelden, an NSU history and political science professor.

Florida Bulldog and Nova Southeastern University present: Sen. Bob Graham and Unanswered Questions of 9/11 on 15th Anniversary

On Sept. 8, join former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham, co-chair of Congress’ Joint Inquiry into the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, for a lively panel discussion at Nova Southeastern University about the continuing search answers and justice 15 years on. A question and answer session will follow.9-11-plan200x200

Purchase tickets and learn more on EventBrite. Proceeds benefit the Florida Bulldog, an independent 501(c) 3 nonprofit providing watchdog reporting in the public interest. To make a tax-deductible contribution to Florida Bulldog click here. (more…)

Page 1 of 2212345»1020...Last »

Newsletter

Notify me by email when new stories are published.