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January 1, Engineer Arrested for Crashing Train into USNS Mercy



This Day in History | 1992

A jury finds mobster John Gotti, nicknamed the Teflon Don for his ability to elude conviction, guilty on 13 counts, including murder and racketeering.

Good morning Middle Americans, 

Every day we are learning new things about our country because of COVID-19. There are a lots of stories of compssion and hope, and then there are stories that just make you bow your head and sigh. 

A engineer told police he intentionally derailed his train at full speed and tried to run it into the USNS Mercy, docked in LA. According to the police report, the engineer thought the Mercy was actually part of a government takeover.

Keep in mind, this guy had control of a massive freight train. 

Meanwhile – there are several cruise ships waiting to come to dock off the coast of Florida. The coast guard wants them to stay there. 

It’s a showdown that comes at time when Florida Governor Ron De Santis is taking some heat for issuing a stay at home order only yesterday. 

His critics say he should have done it two weeks ago. 

Many of us have been using Zoom for video conferencing and home schooling. But there’s one less company on the list of Zoom users as of today. Elon Musk says his Space X team will not be using the application because of privacy concerns. 

The FDA is warning retailers to pull Zantac from shelves immediately. It’s not like anyone’s shopping. But if you have any Zantac hanging out around your house you should get rid of it too. 

Read all about it. 

– Fraser Dixon 

Engineer Tries to crash Train into USNS Mercy in LA

(ABC News) – Investigators arrested a California train engineer Tuesday after he allegedly derailed a train in a bid to crash into the USNS Mercy, the hospital ship treating non-COVID-19 patients at the Port of Los Angeles to lessen the burden on area hospitals, prosecutors said.

Eduardo Moreno, 44, was expected to appear in court Wednesday for arraignment on train wrecking charges.

Around 1 p.m. Tuesday, Moreno allegedly ran the train at full speed off the end of the tracks near the Navy medical boat, smashing through several concrete and chain barriers, before sliding through a parking lot nearly 250 yards from the Mercy, according to the criminal complaint.

No one was injured and the boat wasn’t damaged, however, the train leaked a substantial amount of fuel, the complaint said.

See pictures of the aftermath here

Elon Musk’s SpaceX bans Zoom over Privacy Concerns

(Reuters) – Elon Musk’s rocket company SpaceX has banned its employees from using video conferencing app Zoom, citing “significant privacy and security concerns,” according to a memo seen by Reuters, days after U.S. law enforcement warned users about the security of the popular app.

Use of Zoom and other digital communications has soared as many Americans have been ordered to stay home to slow the spread of coronavirus.

SpaceX’s ban on Zoom Video Communications Inc illustrates the mounting challenges facing aerospace manufacturers as they develop technology deemed vital to national security while also trying to keep employees safe from the fast-spreading respiratory illness.

In an email dated March 28, SpaceX told employees that all access to Zoom had been disabled with immediate effect.

“We understand that many of us were using this tool for conferences and meeting support,” SpaceX said in the message. “Please use email, text or phone as alternate means of communication.”

Two people familiar with the matter confirmed the contents of the mail.

Read more here

FDA: Pull Zantac From Market Immediately

(CNN) – The US Food and Drug Administration is requesting that manufacturers pull all prescription and over-the-counter ranitidine drugs, known by the brand name Zantac, from the market immediately, the agency announced on Wednesday.

The FDA noted that an ongoing investigation has determined that levels of a contaminant in the heartburn medications increase over time and when stored at higher-than-normal temperatures, pose a risk to public health.

The contaminant, N-nitrosodimethylamine or NDMA, is a probable human carcinogen and the FDA has been investigating levels of it in ranitidine since the summer of 2019.

Learn more here

Coast Guard: Cruise Ships Must Stay at Sea with Sick Onboard

(Miami Herald) – The U.S. Coast Guard is now directing ships registered in the Bahamas to seek aid from that country first — even if the ships are owned by Miami-based companies. It is also advising ships with more than 50 aboard that they may be sequestered “indefinitely.”

The Coast Guard issued that and other new rules this week in the face of an increasing number of requests to medically evacuate people from the dozen-plus cruise ships hovering off Miami’s coast, according to a public memo. The new framework requires cruise lines to arrange for private transportation for those who are sick rather than relying on the Coast Guard.

After the Miami Herald published this story on the memo, it became temporarily unavailable on the Coast Guard website. It is available now.

As calls pour in to ferry sick people to land, the district has had to improvise field hospitals “whose capacity for dealing with critical patients is unproven at this time,” read the memo signed by Rear Admiral E.C. Jones of the Seventh District, which includes Florida, Puerto Rico, Georgia and South Carolina.

Learn more here

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