Monday, July 15, 2013
USA Today (7/11, Healey, Meier, 1.71M) reports that Toyota’s redesigned RAV4 small SUV got a “poor” ranking in what the IIHS calls the “front small overlap” test. However, “it scored ‘good’ – IIHS’ top ranking – in the four other types of crash tests, and earned a Top Safety Pick designation from the insurance industry trade organization.” USA Today notes that “IIHS says it was testing small SUVs earlier this year and Toyota asked it to temporarily exclude the new RAV” because the automakers “said it was making some changes to RAV4s built after April that it thought would improve the vehicle’s performance in the offset test.”
The New York Times (7/11, Jensen, 1.68M) reports the Poor rating was due to “a combination of poor structure and inadequate control of the test dummy’s movement.”
FDA claims 30 da Vinci robot devices not properly tested.
Bloomberg News (7/12, Tirrell, Larkin) reported that the FDA said that Intuitive Surgical Inc., which makes da Vinci Surgical System robots, told its customers that “30 devices may not have been tested properly” In an Urgent Device Correction notice, Intuitive said the class 2 recall “affects Intuitive’s da Vinci Si Vision System Cart, Si Surgeon Side Cart, Instrument Control Box and Dual Camera Controller.” The devices were re-tested on site after the company discovered that “one piece of testing equipment wasn’t recording results properly,” a spokeswoman said. Bloomberg News noted that earlier this year “US regulators were surveying surgeons about the robots following a rise in adverse event reports that include as many as 70 deaths since 2009.”
In wake of Zimmerman verdict, Obama says nation must confront “tide of gun violence.”
The aftermath of the Saturday evening acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin is receiving saturation coverage, with ABC devoting nearly half of its Sunday evening newscast to the story, and NBC giving it more than six minutes of screen time. (CBS was pre-empted Sunday evening.) The trial was also a prime subject on the Sunday morning talk shows, with most elected officials offering perfunctory statements regarding respecting the results of the judicial process but some suggesting that Justice Department action may be appropriate. While the NAACP is calling for a Federal hate crime probe of Zimmerman’s actions, and the DOJ is reactivating its investigation, several reports say the legal bar may be too high for a Federal case.
In its opening story, ABC World News reported that “outside the courtroom and at demonstrations across the country, an outpouring of sorrow, some believing justice was not served, others saying they felt for Trayvon Martin’s parents but that jurors did follow the law. And President Obama saying tonight, ‘We are a nation of laws and a jury has spoken. I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son.’”
The AP (7/14) reports President Obama said Martin’s death “was a tragedy for America,” but asked “that all Americans respect the call for calm reflection. There have been a number of rallies and protests, most of which have been peaceful.” USA Today (7/15, Korte, 1.71M) reports the President, in a statement posted on the White House website, said, “We are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken.” Obama “also used the occasion to renew his call for gun safety legislation, saying, ‘We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives.’”
McClatchy (7/15, Kumar) reports the President said, “We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis. We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that’s a job for all of us. That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin.”
The Christian Science Monitor (7/15, Knickerbocker, 47K) notes that up to this point, the President’s “only notable comment” on the case came early last year “when he said, ‘If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon Martin.’” Reuters (7/14, Wulfhorst, Liston), the Los Angeles Times (7/15, Rojas, 692K), the Washington Times (7/15, Boyer, 76K), and Politico (7/15, Summers, 25K) also have brief reports on the President’s statement.
DOJ restarts investigation; NAACP seeks Federal action. NBC Nightly News said in its lead report that Martin’s death “almost 17 months ago opened up emotional questions about racial profiling and about a person’s right to defend themselves. It also sparked spirited demands for justice.” ABC World News says the question of whether the DOJ will take action became more prominent Sunday after the NAACP launched an online petition. ABC senior justice correspondent Pierre Thomas said, “The Justice Department has very narrow jurisdiction in terms of bringing such a case. They have to prove that racial discrimination and racism played a role in all the acts leading up to the death of Trayvon Martin. That’s a high bar.”
NAACP President/CEO Ben Jealous said on CBS’ Face The Nation, “We hope that once everything has happened that can happen here in Florida, because the DOJ often waits until the end, that DOJ will act and will hold Mr. Zimmerman accountable for what he has done. … What you have to do there is show that race was a factor in his decisionmaking. And there seems to be plenty of evidence that suggest that race may have been a factor.” Jealous said on CNN’s State Of The Union, “There were comments made – I don’t think we want to retry it here, but the reality is that his comments are ‘these punks always get away,’ comments by young black boys in that neighborhood felt like he kind of zeros them out give people concern.”
The AP (7/15) reports that the Justice Department “says it is looking into the shooting death of Trayvon Martin” to “determine whether federal prosecutors should file criminal civil rights charges now that George Zimmerman has been acquitted in the state case.” Noting that the department “opened an investigation into Martin’s death last year but stepped aside to allow the state prosecution to proceed,” the AP adds that in a Sunday statement, the department “said the criminal section of the civil rights division, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Middle District of Florida are continuing to evaluate the evidence generated during the federal probe, in addition to the evidence and testimony from the state trial.”
The Wall Street Journal (7/15, Campo-Flores, Subscription Publication, 2.29M) reports that an unnamed source said Holder plans to address the Zimmerman case at a speech before the NAACP in Orlando, FL, on Tuesday.
Martin supporters engage in mostly peaceful demonstrations across US. On ABC World News, Gio Benitez reported, “Trayvon Martin’s supporters have been calling for nationwide protests. That’s exactly what happened. ... From coast to coast, major cities saw anger over the Zimmerman verdict spilling into the streets. In Oakland, California, police say up to 100 demonstrators caused minor damage but protests, by in large, were peaceful everywhere.” The AP (7/14) says in Oakland, “some angry demonstrators broke windows, burned US flags and started street fires.” The Los Angeles Times (7/15, Blankstein, Mozingo, 692K) reports in Los Angeles, one protest “turned violent with police firing bean bag rounds.”
The Los Angeles Times (7/15, Semuels, Rojas, 692K) reports there were demonstrations in many large cities starting as early as Saturday night. The New York Times (7/15, Nagourney, Subscription Publication, 1.68M) says the message at these rallies was largely the same. “Lawmakers, members of the clergy and demonstrators who assembled in parks and squares” described the acquittal “as evidence of endemic racism.”
The Miami Herald (7/15, Flechas, Chang, Mazzei, 139K) says “the streets of South Florida stayed mostly quiet” this weekend despite the demonstrations during the trial itself. The Chicago Sun-Times (7/15, Knowles, 405K) and the Detroit Free Press (7/15, Anderson, 280K) each say “several hundred people” turned out for rallies in their cities. The Wall Street Journal (7/15, Campo-Flores, Subscription Publication, 2.29M) headlines its report “Scattered Protests After Zimmerman Verdict.”USA Today (7/15, Alcindor, Copeland, 1.71M) says “protests were being held across the country Sunday by people who say they can’t move on while they feel that the case and the bigger issues of race and justice that it represents are unresolved,” while the Washington Post (7/15, Leonnig, Johnson, 489K) says the verdict “changed little of how starkly the case has divided Americans along the jagged fissures of race and personal safety.”
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
NHTSA considers expanding GM recall after fire.
The AP (7/9) reports, “U.S. safety regulators are trying to figure out if General Motors should expand the number of midsize cars that are being fixed under a May recall.” The AP notes that “the probe affects the 2012 and 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco, Buick LaCrosse and Buick Regal sedans.” According to the AP, “In May, GM recalled nearly 43,000 cars because a defective generator control module could stall the engine or cause a fire. The cars have GM’s eAssist gas-electric hybrid system.”
The Detroit Free Press (7/10, 280K) reports, “Unsold vehicles were not part of the recall, and GM said it would test them to make sure they were OK. But the government says there was a fire in a car that had been tested.” The Free Press explains that “the agency says the fire raises questions about whether the recall should be expanded to nearly 43,000 cars.”
Reuters (7/9) also reports.
Lawsuit: Bard officials knew of flawed plastic in some vaginal-mesh devices.
Bloomberg News (7/10, Feeley) reports that vaginal-mesh manufacturer CR Bard Inc. “officials knew some of the company’s vaginal-mesh devices were made of a plastic deemed unsuitable for human implantation and hid that flaw from doctors and women who used the products, a lawyer said.” According to attorney Henry Garrard, Bard officials made the implants “out of plastic that carried a warning saying it shouldn’t be permanently implanted in people.” Murray Hill, NJ-based Bard “faces at least 3,600 claims over its Avaulta Plus vaginal mesh.”
Monday, July 1, 2013
The AP (6/29) reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is “investigating some Honda Odyssey minivans because they can brake without the driver pressing the pedal.” The agency received 22 complaints over the issue, which “is similar to one that resulted in the recall of about 250,000 vehicles worldwide in March.”
The Detroit News (6/29, 119K) notee, “Many of the complaints are from parents reporting the issue has happened on several occasions.”
Reuters (6/30) also covered this story.
The AP (6/30) reports that Ford has announced plans to fix sticky throttles on approximately 468,000 Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable vehicles. The AP notes that the NHTSA began investigation vehicles model year 2000-2003 vehicles after receiving 100 complaints regarding the throttles which Ford says can be damaged or disconnected during maintenance. Ford reports the five crashes have been reported but none have resulted in injuries. NHTSA has closed its investigation.
MLive (7/1, Muller) also reports.