Metal Fatigue Cause for SouthWest Crash, California Has Most Polluted Cities, Warning on Coffee


This is the transcript for The Morning Brew for April 18, 2018

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NTSB: Blown Southwest jet engine showed ‘metal fatigue’

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Passengers scrambled to save a woman from getting sucked out the window that had been smashed by debris. She later died, and seven others were injured. The pilots of the twin-engine Boeing 737 bound from New York to Dallas with 149 people aboard took it into a rapid descent Tuesday and made an emergency landing in Philadelphia. The dead woman was identified as Jennifer Riordan, a Wells Fargo bank executive and mother of two from Albuquerque, New Mexico. The seven other victims suffered minor injuries. In a late night news conference, NTSB chairman Robert Sumwalt said one of the engine’s fan blades was separated and missing. It was later found 70 miles from airport where the plane did an emergency landing. The blade was separated at the point where it would come into the hub and there was evidence of metal fatigue, Sumwalt said.

Passengers praised one of the pilots, Tammie Jo Shults, for her cool-headed handling of the emergency. The former Navy pilot was at the controls when the plane made the emergency landing. She walked through the aisle and talked with passengers to make sure they were OK after the aircraft touched down. A man in a cowboy hat rushed forward a few rows to grab the woman and pull her back in. “She was out of the plane. He couldn’t do it by himself, so another gentleman came over and helped to get her back in the plane, and they got her,” he said. Passengers struggled to somehow plug the hole while giving the badly injured woman CPR.

Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said there were no problems with the plane or its engine when it was inspected on Sunday.The jet’s CFM56-7B engines were made by CFM International, jointly owned by General Electric and Safran Aircraft Engines of France. CFM said in a statement that the CFM56-7B has had “an outstanding safety and reliability record” since its debut in 1997. Last year, the engine maker and the Federal Aviation Administration instructed airlines to make ultrasonic inspections of the fan blades of engines like those on the Southwest jet. The FAA said the move was prompted by a report of a fan blade failing and hurling debris. A Southwest spokeswoman said the engine that failed Tuesday was not covered by that directive, but the airline announced it would speed up ultrasonic inspections of fan blades of its CFM56-series engines anyway. “There’s a ring around the engine that is meant to contain the engine pieces when this happens,” said John Goglia, a former NTSB member. “In this case it didn’t. That’s going to be a big focal point for the NTSB — why didn’t (the ring) do its job?”

In 2016, a Southwest Boeing 737-700 blew an engine as it flew from New Orleans to Orlando, Florida, and shrapnel tore a 5-by-16-inch hole just above the wing. The plane landed safely. The NTSB said a fan blade had broken off, apparently because of metal fatigue.

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Barbara Bush, wife and mother of presidents, dies at 92

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Barbara Pierce Bush, the fiercely loyal wife of one U.S. president and mother of another who was a champion of literacy and admired public figure in her own right, died Tuesday at her west Houston home. She was 92.

Her husband, former President George Herbert Walker Bush, was at her side. Relatives said she died of complications from congestive heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. With her health in decline, the family said in a statement Sunday that she had decided to forgo additional medical treatment and focus on comfort care. She was surrounded by family in her final days. If you are interested in reading more about Barbara Bush, I will put a link in the chat. This article is really a good one about her life and accomplishments.

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California has eight of 10 most polluted U.S. cities

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This story presented to you from Hi! I’m a Merlin! I may not be there co-hosting but I am there in spirit. Eight of the USA’s 10 most polluted cities, in terms of ozone pollution, are in California, according to the American Lung Association’s annual “State of the Air” report, released Wednesday. Isn’t this the state that is all about Climate Change and how they must use Tyranny to punish anyone that enlarges their carbon footprint? The Los Angeles/Long Beach area took the dubious distinction of being the nation’s most ozone-polluted city as it has for nearly the entire 19-year history of the report. Overall, the report said about 133 million Americans — more than four of 10 — live with unhealthful levels of air pollution, placing them at risk for premature death and other serious health effects such as lung cancer, asthma attacks, cardiovascular damage and developmental and reproductive harm. Bakersfield, Calif., was in second place for ozone pollution. Other California cities on the list include Fresno, Sacramento and San Diego. The only non-California metro areas in the top 10 list were Phoenix and New York City. “Near record-setting heat from our changing climate has resulted in dangerous levels of ozone in many cities across the country, making ozone an urgent health threat for millions of Americans,” Lung Association president and CEO Harold P. Wimmer said. Oh, so climate change is the reason why California has so much smug! I mean Smog which occurs on warm, sunny days and is made worse from the chemicals that come out of vehicle tailpipes and from power plant and industrial smokestacks. Warmer temperatures make ozone more likely to form. Since California is known for its strict environmental regulations, why are so many cities from the state typically on this list? It’s because the state would be far worse off without its strict laws on tailpipe pollution and eliminating coal-fired power plants (this is known boy and girls as spin, twist the facts around to make the state look like they are the ones leading the way to eliminate the smug! I mean smog) . California has done more than any other state to counteract air pollution, the Lung Association said. For year-round particle pollution, Fairbanks, Alaska, was the most polluted city. The nation’s cleanest cities are Bellingham, Wash.; Burlington, Vt.; Casper, Wyo.; Honolulu; Melbourne, Fla.; and Wilmington, N.C.

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Coffee Companies Prepare to Battle California Cancer Warning Labels

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A judge issued a tentative ruling in March that coffee must carry a warning

Another reason to dislike California today. A fleet of major coffee brands is gearing up for a long haul fight against California’s coffee warnings. The companies say that the trace amounts of acrylamide — a cancer-causing chemical — found in coffee do not warrant a label. In late March, Los Angeles Superior Court judge Elihu Berle issued a tentative ruling that, if upheld, would require companies that make and sell coffee — like Starbucks and Peet’s Coffee — to include warning labels on packaged products, or post warning signs inside stores. That decision supported a 2010 suit filed by the Council for Education and Research on Toxics, which argued that coffee products should notify consumers that the known carcinogen acrylamide is produced during the coffee roasting process. The proposed ruling falls under the state’s stringent proposition 65, which requires businesses to provide patrons with a “clear and reasonable warning” about materials or ingredients that may affect their health. Acrylamide is one of more than 900 chemicals that fall under proposition 65. Businesses that do not display the labels for regulated chemicals risk lawsuits.

In a new filing representing a group of coffee companies that includes Starbucks, Caribou Coffee, Folgers, Keurig Green Mountain, and Gold Peak Tea & Coffee parent company Coca-Cola, attorneys write that studies show “coffee consumption does not increase the risk of any chronic disease and is independently associated with a decreased risk of several major chronic diseases.” It’s unclear how many of the companies named in the lawsuit will appeal Judge Berle’s anticipated ruling. The final decision is expected to be issued within the next few weeks. However, the National Coffee Association suggested in a recent newsletter to members that “this legal case is likely to have a long road to travel.”

Acrylamide is found in many fried and roasted foods such as potato chips, french fries, and toast. As of last month, the Food and Drug Administration was “still in the information gathering stage” on acrylamide, though it does suggest ways to limit the amount of the chemical that people consume. Many studies that have looked at cancer risk from consuming acrylamides in coffee remain inconclusive.

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Stories are edited by Merlin Wolfhound and the format for the show is done by Maddy.

You can catch the news cast Monday-Friday starting at 10:30 AM EST on Twitch.

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