Overnight Briefing & General Reality Check - May 20, 2015
May 20, 2015
Today's big recall:
Takata, the Japanese company that makes airbags for many models of cars, says it's going to nearly double the number to vehicles that need to recalled in the US for potential defects in its airbags.
The company says there are nearly 34 million cars with the airbag flaw driving around and so far, there've been six deaths and more than 100 injuries linked to the flaw, which can cause the airbag inflaters to explode when they are deployed, spraying metal fragments into the driver and passenger compartment.
So far, over 62 million vehicles have been recalled in the U.S. last year alone, or about one out of every five cars.
To find out whether your car has been recalled, head to the National Transportation and Safety Administration's website HERE.
Big Money, Big Problems:
Ever donate to the Cancer Fund of America, Cancer Support Services, Children's Cancer Fund of America or the Breast Cancer Society? If you did, you were probably ripped off.
The Federal Trade Commission and all 50 states and the District of Columbia have joined together in a lawsuit accusing those four cancer charities of fraud. The FTC says some $187 million in donations did not go to cancer patients, but instead the money was used to pay salaries of family members and friends of the folks who ran the four organizations, and also spent on luxury cruises, college tuition, cars and trips.
The LA Times reports the charities were all incorporated nonprofit organizations with tax-exempt status with the IRS.
On, off and way-off Broadway:
Wanna be Dorothy in NBC's upcoming live production of "The Wiz?" Playbill.com says an open call will be held in New York City on June 6th. Here's the description of the part: "Female, African American, must be 18 years-of-age or older. Must have an extraordinary voice that can still tell a story, and maturity with a youthful energy." If that's you, ease on down to 311 West 43rd Street, 10th floor. Sign in begins at 9am. The rest of the cast will be revealed soon. The live broadcast of "The Wiz" will happen on December 3rd. (Marino)
Scientists say they have unlocked a way to make morphine out of a standard home beer brewing kit. Two scientists --one from the University of California, Berkeley, the other from Concordia University in Montreal-- have genetically modified yeast so it can convert sugar into morphine. Even though the scientists say the process could have "great benefits" to medicine, Mashable.com says the research published in the journal Nature Chemical Biology is also raising concerns about abuse of home-made opiates. (Bartha)
Grace notes from Vinny Marino:
SAM SMITH's vocal cord surgery was a success. That's what Massachusetts General Hospital told People magazine yesterday, which was also Sam's 23rd birthday. His official website says he hopes to be back on stage in the UK in time for a gig on July 3rd. (Marino)
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