Federal Samsung Ban, Cuban Cigars Plus Obamacare
Effective today at 12 p.m., the Transportation Department is banning all Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones from all airline flights. The ban comes after almost 100 incidents of overheating and injury. Before, the Federal Aviation Administration had told passengers to keep the devices turned off, out of checked luggage and uncharged during flights. However, the new ban comes after an increase in dangerous incidences.
“We recognize that banning these phones from airlines will inconvenience some passengers, but the safety of all those aboard an aircraft must take priority. We are taking this additional step because even one fire incident inflight poses a high risk of severe personal injury and puts many lives at risk,” said Anthony Foxx, Transportation Secretary.
Samsung is no longer producing the devices, and has issued a recall, costing the company $5.3 billion. Now, any passenger attempting to fly with one of the phones will be denied boarding. Those who pack one of the devices in their checked luggage will be subject to criminal prosecution, as well as fines.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has apologized after she was quoted criticizing recent protests on the part of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Originally, she had said, “I think it’s really dumb of them. Would I arrest them for doing it? No. I think it’s dumb and disrespectful. I would have the same answer if you asked me about flag burning. I think it’s a terrible thing to do, but I wouldn’t lock a person up for doing it. I would point out how ridiculous it seems to me to do such an act. But it’s dangerous to arrest people for conduct that doesn’t jeopardize the health or well-being of other people. It’s a symbol they’re engaged in.”
Now, Ginsburg says, “Some of you have inquired about a book interview in which I was asked how I felt about Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players who refused to stand for the national anthem. Barely aware of the incident or its purpose, my comments were inappropriately dismissive and harsh. I should have declined to respond.”
With the new rise in air travel to Cuba this year, yesterday marked a new development. The Obama administration lifted restrictions on how many cigars and bottles of rum Americans can legally bring back from visits there. Now, the new rules, which go into effect this upcoming Monday, allow for the import of up to 100 Cuban cigars and 1 liter of Cuban rum. Additionally, the administration is working on easing up restrictions for cargo ships between the two countries and medical research partnerships.
“The Departments of Treasury and Commerce issued further regulatory changes today, building on the progress made over the last two years, to continue to facilitate more interaction between the Cuban and American people, including through travel and commercial opportunities, and more access to information. This follows previous changes that helped facilitate interconnectivity between our peoples, and to promote economic reforms on the island by providing access to the dollar in international transactions. These changes are representative of the progress I saw firsthand when I visited Havana to personally extend a hand of friendship to the Cuban people. The quick flight over 90 miles of blue water belied the real barriers of the past that were crossed that day, but my interactions with everyday Cubans told a promising story of neighbors working to build broader ties of cooperation across the Americas,” President Obama said in a statement released by the White House Office of the Press Secretary.
Yesterday, Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis dismissed a lawsuit filed by families of Sandy Hook Elementary shooting victims against a gun manufacturer. The families attempted to claim negligent entrustment, saying that the gun maker marketed and sold the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle to civilians despite a risk when used outside highly regulated institutions. However, Bellis said that the arguments presented did not fall within what is considered negligent entrustment. The families intend to appeal.
Many major insurance providers have announced that they will stop selling individual insurance through Obamacare next year, as they are losing money through the plan. Some of this loss is blamed on not enough young, healthy users signing up for the plans through Obamacare. The pull out will result in approximately 1.4 million people losing coverage across 32 states. This is about 13 percent of those who were counted as covered earlier this year. Many of those losing coverage will now only have one insurance option.