Posts

tesla

Tesla Recalls Over 2 Million Vehicles In The US Due To Warning Light Issues 

Tesla is recalling over 2 million vehicles in the US, nearly all the vehicles sold in the US, due to some warning lights on the instrument panel being too small. The recall was announced last Friday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in what many are calling a “sign of stepped-up scrutiny of the electric vehicle maker,” according to the Associated Press. 

The Administration also stated that they are upgrading their 2023 Tesla investigation regarding steering issues into an engineering analysis, which could lead to yet another recall. 

The documents posted on Friday by the NHTSA state the warning light recall specifically will be done with an online software update. The models included in this recall are the 2012 through 2023 Model S, the 2016 through 2023 Model X, the 2017 through 2023 Model 3, the 2019 through 2024 Model Y and the 2024 Cybertruck.

The agency says that the “brake, park and antilock brake warning lights have a smaller font size than required by federal safety standards. That can make critical safety information hard to read, increasing the risk of a crash.”

Embed from Getty Images

NHTSA stated that they found the issue in a routine safety compliance audit performed on January 8th. Back in December, the NHTSA put pressure on Tesla to recall more than 2 million vehicles to update their software and fix a defective system that is meant to guarantee drivers are paying attention to the road when using Autopilot. 

That specific recall inquiry came after a two-year investigation performed by the NHTSA based on a series of crashes that happened when the Autopilot feature was engaged, and some of those crashes were unfortunately fatal. 

The Autopilot system can allegedly be “inadequate and can lead to foreseeable misuse of the system. The added controls and alerts further encourage the driver to adhere to their continuous driving responsibility,” according to the agency. 

In February 2023, NHTSA also encouraged Tesla to recall over 360,000 vehicles that had its “Full Self-Driving” system because that system can be shaky around intersections and don’t always follow speed limits. This recall was also a part of a larger investigation into Tesla and its automated driving systems in general. 

Tesla is also recalling over 1.6 million vehicles in their Model S, X, 3, and Y series that were exported to China, over problems with their automatic assisted steering and door latch controls. 

Agency documents state that Tesla drivers are reporting a loss of control over their steering which is often accompanied by messages that show power assisted steering has been reduced or disabled completely.

iphone

France To Allow Apple To Sell iPhone 12s Again After Meeting Radiation Standards

France may now allow Apple to sell their 12th generation iPhone model after weeks of the nation citing the device’s alleged high levels of electromagnetic radiation. Now, Apple has apparently met France’s electromagnetic radiation standards, allowing the company to start selling the phone again. 

Embed from Getty Images

France’s L’Agence Nationale des Fréquences, or ANFR, confirmed this week that the iPhone 12 met the standards after Apple issued a new software patch for the phone.

According to Gizmodo, the agency stated they tested the phone’s specific radiation absorption rate, which measures the level of radio waves emitted by the device, and found that the iPhone 12 was back in compliance with the nation’s standards after the patch. 

Once Apple patches all iPhone 12s, they will be able to sell the devices in France again. 

It was about two weeks ago that France initially put a stop to the sales of iPhone 12s throughout the country after the ANFR claimed the device didn’t meet radiation standards. Other nations such as Belgium and Germany followed suit and began testing the devices themselves as well. 

Embed from Getty Images

Apple has consistently claimed that the issue isn’t actually with their phones, but instead with France’s, and the EU in general’s, testing standards. They stated that the new software patch simply “accommodates” the testing protocols. 

According to Gizmodo, “The ANFR said the tests were performed by an accredited laboratory and found the SAR was 3.94 W/kg (watt per kilogram) after the update compared to 5.74 W/kg before the update. The measurements were taken when phones are kept close to the body, such as inside a user’s pocket.”

“France and other EU countries have placed limits on the amount of electromagnetic radiation that can be absorbed by a body. According to the French regulatory agency, the country monitors all waves between 100 kHz and 10 GHz,” the publication explained

According to the World Health Organization, there isn’t any definitive science that proves there are major health consequences to exposure from low-level electromagnetic fields and waves. However, the recent wave of 5G conspiracy theories spreading online hasn’t helped when it comes to people worrying about radiation in their personal devices. 

evacuate

Conflict In Sudan Leads To Mass Departure Of Foreigners While Locals Remain Trapped 

A conflict in Sudan between two rival general forces has led to a mass exodus of foreigners from the country while locals are struggling to escape and find themselves in the crossfire. 

Countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, Japan, Germany, Canada, and France have airlifted and evacuated embassy staff, diplomates, and other residents over the weekend. The US and Canada also announced that their governments would be temporarily suspending their operations within the embassies in Khartoum. 

According to John Kirby, a coordinator for strategic communications at the National Security Council in the White House, there’s an estimated 16,000 Americans remaining in Sudan; most of which are dual citizens in Sudan as well. 

Embed from Getty Images

“These are people that grew up in Sudan, work in Sudan, families are in Sudan and they want to stay in Sudan, so it’s a number that is difficult to plan specifically,” Kirby said to ABC News.

Kirby also explained that there are several dozen Americans making their way to Sudan’s main seaport through a United Nations convoy, while the US is monitoring them through intelligence surveillance to ensure they’re safe. 

“We still have military forces prepositioned in the region ready to respond if need be. But right now, it’s not very safe to try to run some larger evacuation either out of the nearby air base or even just through rotary lift like we did the other night because the fighting is so intense,” he said. 

“The safest thing for Americans to do — those who have decided to stay in Sudan despite the warnings to leave — is to shelter in place and to not move around too much in the city of Khartoum.”

Many Sudanese citizens are currently attempting to flee and risking their lives trying to get out of the crossfire of this conflict. 

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the “organization is working with aid groups on the ground and is reconfiguring our presence in Sudan to enable us to continue supporting the Sudanese people. In the meantime, [we have] authorized the temporary relocation both inside and outside Sudan of some U.N. personnel and their families.”

“I am in constant contact with the parties to the conflict and have called on them to de-escalate tensions and to return to the negotiating table,” Guterres added. 

Embed from Getty Images

“Let me be clear: the United Nations is not leaving Sudan. Our commitment is to the Sudanese people, in support of their wishes for a peaceful and secure future. We stand with them at this terrible time.”

Tensions between General Abdel-Fattah Burhan, the commander of the Sudanese Armed Forces, and General Mohammed Hamdan Daglo, the head of the Rapid Support Forces, a Sudanese paramilitary group, reached a head on April 15th. 

While the two generals were once allies, they are now battling for control over the North African nation which is saturated in resources. Proposed cease-fires have been consistently failing, with both sides showing no sign of backing down. 

A majority of the fighting and violence is occurring in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum. More than 420 people have been killed and over 3,700 have been injured, according to reports from the World Health Organization. 

The U.S. has been in contact with the rival sides “every single day … trying to get them to put down their arms, to abide by the cease-fires that they themselves say they want and to return to some sort of civilian authority,” according to Kirby.

“We’re doing everything we can to get this fighting stopped,” he told ABC News.

 “This is a centrally located, very important, very large African country. We are concerned that other partners, other nations will be affected by this — not just in the region, but beyond — so that’s why we’re working so hard to get this violence stopped.”

clinic

Ohio Sets Up Clinic For Citizens Reporting Health Problems Following Toxic Train Wreck

East Palestine, Ohio residents have been coping with the aftermath of a toxic train wreck that contaminated soil and filled the air with black smoke. Residents in Ohio are now reporting a growing number of health issues such as nausea and trouble breathing. 

Ohio has announced that they will be opening a health clinic this week for residents who are worried that their sickness may be related to the derailment of the Norfolk Southern freight train which released the toxic chemical vinyl chloride into the air. 

At the request of Ohio’s Governor Mike DeWine, medical teams from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Department of Health will be on the ground helping citizens this week. The community impacted has around 5,000 residents, and the health teams will help assess any remaining dangers within the community. 

Embed from Getty Images

The US Environmental Protection Agency has not detected any dangerous levels of contaminants so far in more than 530 homes which have endured air quality tests, according to reports from CNN

EPA official Tiffani Kavalec told CNN last week that no vinyl chloride has been detected in any downgradient waterways near the train derailment. 

US Senator Sherrod Brown stated, however, that “residents are right to be skeptical. We think the water’s safe, but when you return to your home, you should be tested again for your water and your soil and your air, not to mention those that have their own wells.”

Some waterways in the areas have been contaminated, with reports of thousands of fish dying, however, officials stated that the contaminates have all likely been contained. 

Hundreds of residents in East Palestine have been attending town hall meetings to voice their concerns and demand answers regarding how safe they truly are. The Ohio Department of Health is opening their clinic on Tuesday as a means of helping residents recover, and have their minds eased. 

“I heard you, the state heard you, and now the Ohio Department of Health and many of our partner agencies are providing this clinic, where people can come and discuss these vital issues with medical providers,” said the department’s director, Dr. Bruce Vanderhof.

Embed from Getty Images

According to the US EPA and CDC, “vinyl chloride, a man-made substance used to make PVC, can cause dizziness, sleepiness, and headaches and has been linked to an increased risk of cancer in the liver, brain, lungs, and blood. The burning of vinyl chloride gas could break down into compounds including hydrogen chloride and phosgene, a chemical weapon used during World War 1 as a choking agent.” 

“Norfolk Southern is scrapping and removing rail cars at the derailment location, excavating contaminated areas, removing contaminated liquids from affected storm drains, and staging recovered waste for transportation to an approved disposal facility. Air monitoring and sampling will continue until removal of heavily contaminated soil in the derailment area is complete and odors subside in the community,”  the EPA said Sunday.

“The people of East Palestine cannot be forgotten, nor can their pain be simply considered the cost of doing business,” US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg wrote to the railway’s chief executive, Alan Shaw.

“You have previously indicated to me that you are committed to meeting your responsibilities to this community, but it is clear that area residents are not satisfied with the information, presence, and support they are getting from Norfolk Southern in the aftermath and recovery,” Buttigieg added.

The CEO of Norfolk Southern posted a letter to East Palestine residents on Saturday: 

“I hear you, we are here and will stay here for as long as it takes to ensure your safety and to help East Palestine recover and thrive. Together with local health officials, we have implemented a comprehensive testing program to ensure the safety of East Palestine’s water, air, and soil. [We] also started a $1 million fund “as a down payment on our commitment to help rebuild.”

run

Study Finds Regular Physical Activity Could Reduce Covid-19 Risk 

According to a data analysis published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, regular exercise can lower the risk of developing Covid-19 or getting seriously ill when one contracts the virus. The data suggests that about 20 minutes of exercise a day yielded the greatest results. 

The study stated that a weekly total of 150 minutes of moderately intense exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity would give the greatest results. 

Embed from Getty Images

“Regular physical activity seems to be related to a lower likelihood of adverse Covid-19 outcomes,” the team of researchers wrote. 

“Our analysis reveals that individuals who engage in regular physical activity have a lower likelihood of Sars-CoV-2 infection, Covid-19 hospitalization, severe Covid-19 illness and Covid-19-related death than physically inactive individuals, independent of design and instrument used.”

In general, exercise has a protective effect when it comes to respiratory infections. Regular physical activity reduces one’s chances of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and a multitude of other illnesses, most recently Covid-19. 

The researchers emphasized that the analysis was relatively limited, so the results shouldn’t be taken at face value. The team attempted to quantify the specific threshold of physical activity needed to make an actual difference in lessening the risk of contracting Covid-19, or lessening the severity should one become infected. 

The study observed data from 1.8 million adults, 54% of which were women, and the median age of each individual was 53. 

Embed from Getty Images

The data analysis showed that, overall, “those who included regular physical activity in their weekly routine had an 11% lower risk of infection with Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid.”

Those individuals also had a 36% lower risk of hospitalization, a 44% lower risk of severe Covid-19, and a 43% lower risk of death from Covid-19. 

The research team also warned that the data was a result of “observational studies, differing study designs, subjective assessments of physical activity levels, and concerned only the Beta and Delta variants of Sars-CoV-2 rather than Omicron, all of which could weaken the findings.”

“There are plausible biological explanations for what we found. Regular moderate-intensity exercise may help to boost the body’s anti-inflammatory responses, as well as cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, all of which may explain its beneficial effects on Covid-19 severity,” the researchers said. 

“Our findings highlight the protective effects of engaging in sufficient physical activity as a public health strategy, with potential benefits to reduce the risk of severe Covid-19.”

“Given the heterogeneity and risk of publication bias, further studies with standardized methodology and outcome reporting are now needed,” they wrote. 

shark sign

Why Sharks Have Been Roaming Closer To The Shore This Summer 

Summer beachgoers have had to be extra cautious this summer as several reports of shark bite injuries and general sightings of ocean predators off the Northeast coast of the US have become prominent. 

According to Gavin Naylor, director of the Florida Program for Shark Research at the University of Florida, “globally, shark attacks are at similar levels to previous years, but there are signs that the Northeast coast of the US might be seeing an uptick.”

“We are right on trend for this time of year. I think globally, we usually get between 70 and 80 unprovoked bites by sharks around the world. But that’s a global phenomenon. And it’s distributed in a patchy way.” 

Embed from Getty Images

“One year we might have two or three bites in Hawaii in rapid succession. Next year, it could be New Caledonia; it could be in Western Australia. And this year, it’s off the coast of Long Island,” Naylor stated. 

Last year there were 73 cases of unprovoked shark bites, according to the International Shark Attack database, within the past five years the average amount of unprovoked attacks has remained around 72. 

Naylor emphasized that the sharks that swimmers have been encountering this year, especially off the coasts of Long Island, are looking for food, not targeting humans. 

“Most have been identified as sand tiger sharks, which, while fearsome looking, aren’t considered aggressive. They have likely been venturing into coastal waters to prey on abundant shoals of bait fish.”

Embed from Getty Images

 “These bait fish are in schools of hundreds of thousands – or millions, and when they get quite close to shore, the sharks follow them,” Naylor said.

“The sharks are swimming around trying to chase their dinner. The people are swimming around splashing with beach balls in their circle. … The surf zone gets quite murky because of all the energy and the sharks are all jingled up because they’re excited to see all this food – once in a while they make a mistake,” he explained. 

Off of Cape Cod there have been several great white shark sightings this summer, prompting the closure of at least one major beach. During the summer and fall white sharks are known to hunt their preferred prey of seals, which tend to be towards the shore. 

Wildlife research performed a study last year which showed great whites spend almost half of their time in the summer/fall season in waters with depths of 15 feet or less. 

 “Until now we didn’t know just how much time they spent in shallow water close to shore,” said lead author Megan Winton, a research scientist at the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy. 

Naylor concluded by offering swimmers advice when it comes to protecting yourself from a potential attack: “Don’t swim or surf on your own, and don’t swim near big shoals of fish or if you spot seals nearby. Don’t wear jewelry in the water that a shark could confuse for the shimmer of fish scales. If you do spot a shark, back out of the water slowly. Don’t panic and splash around.”

monkeypox

World Health Organization Declares Monkeypox Outbreak As A Global Health Emergency 

The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially declared the global monkeypox outbreak as a public health emergency of international concern, the strongest call to action the agency can make. 

Since 2009, the WHO has declared seven global health emergencies, the most recent being for Covid-19, which was declared an emergency back in 2020. 

According to the WHO’s international health regulations, a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) is “an extraordinary event which is determined to constitute a public health risk to other states through the international spread of disease and to potentially require a coordinated international response.”

Embed from Getty Images

The UN health agency states that the term implies that the situation is very serious, sudden, unusual, and/or unexpected. A global health emergency also implies this is a threat for public health beyond national borders, and may require immediate international attention. 

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO’s director general, said at a press conference that the “committee met on Thursday to review the latest data, but were unable to reach a consensus.”

“In short, we have an outbreak that has spread around the world rapidly through new modes of transmission about which we understand too little and which meets the criteria in the international health regulations,” he said. 

“For all of these reasons I have decided that the global monkeypox outbreak represents a global health emergency of international concern.”

While he said the “risk of monkeypox is moderate globally, it’s high in Europe and there is a clear risk of further international spread.”

So far there have been around 16,000 cases of monkeypox globally, 4,132 of which were in the past week according to data from WHO. It’s now been found in 75 countries and territories, and there have been five deaths. 

Embed from Getty Images

European regions have the highest number of total cases at 11,865, and the highest increase in cases within the last week, with 2,705. 

Dr. Rosamund Lewis, the technical lead for monkeypox at the WHO health emergency program, stated that there’s “a lot of work to be done. Action must be taken to establish what causes risk and to reduce situations that could put people at risk so they can protect themselves. This is how we will get to the end of this outbreak.” 

Monkeypox is classified as a viral infection typically found in animals in central and western Africa, although it can cause outbreaks in humans, as we’ve been seeing. 

Besides Europe, cases have been reported throughout the US, Canada, Australia, Nigeria, Israel, Brazil, Mexico, and others. 

Experts have stressed that anyone can get monkeypox as it’s spread through close or intimate contact. The UN has warned that some media portrayals of the virus impacting mainly Africans and individuals in the LGBT+ community “reinforce homophobic and racist stereotypes and exacerbate stigma.” 

Dr Michael Ryan, the executive director of the WHO emergencies program, said: “We all know how difficult it has been historically to deal with issues like this because of stigma. If nothing else this is about enlightened self-interest, as well as solidarity with those affected.”

comic con

San Diego Comic-Con Mandating Masks And Health Pass Screenings To Attend 

San Diego Comic-Con International (SDCC) has released their set of safety protocols for attendees as the world combats the sixth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

According to the set of health and safety protocols, all convention attendees must provide vaccine verification that proves they’ve received at least two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, or proof of a negative test taken within 72 hours. 

Embed from Getty Images

Additionally, attendants must be wearing a mask the entire time they’re at the convention. Guidelines state that “face coverings should completely cover the nose and mouth, fit snugly against the side of the face, and not have any gaps.” 

The Los Angeles Times reported that as of Monday, “the California COVID Assessment Tool, published by the state Department of Public Health, said the spread of the coronavirus is likely increasing, with every infected Californian likely spreading it to 1.15 other people.”

“When you look at the [coronavirus] case counts, they’re no longer reliable. There are tremendous undercounts, and the number of cases now probably is not all that dissimilar to what we saw during the massive surge in December and January,” Dr. Robert Wachter, chair of the UC San Francisco Department of Medicine, said. 

According to the SDCC’s FAQ page about attending the event, individuals can download the CLEAR app to easily upload their Covid-19 vaccine verification. 

Embed from Getty Images

For unvaccinated individuals, SDCC says that “adults and children aged 5 and older who are not fully vaccinated, a recent negative COVID-19 test result must be obtained. All COVID-19 tests must be done by a certified lab, clinic, or physician. A negative test result must show the specimen was collected within 72 hours. Additionally, both PCR and antigen are acceptable as long as testing is conducted within the time frame.”

The website for SDCC also emphasizes that they will have health and safety protocol enforcers at the event to ensure that everyone in attendance is adhering to the guidelines that are implemented for everyone’s safety. 

During May’s Star Wars celebration in Anaheim, California, and June’s Anime Exposition in Los Angeles similar protocols were put in place, which allowed staff at SDCC to prepare for the convention itself and enforce the covid safety protocols. 

SDCC kicks off with preview night this Wednesday, July 20th, and ends Sunday July 24th.

background check

Florida Landlord’s Required To Background Check Workers Under New ‘Miya’s Law’ 

Miya Marcano was a student in Orlando, Florida who was tragically killed by a maintenance worker in her apartment who was able to break in using his universal key fob.

In response to this horrendous crime, Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 898 into law, nicknaming it “Miya’s Law,” which requires all prospective employees working in rentals to endure a background check before they’re hired. 

The new law requires all landlord’s to use a consumer reporting agency (online databases) to screen prospective employee’s criminal records and sex offender registries within all 50 states and the District of Colombia. 

Embed from Getty Images

According to the law, a landlord can choose to disqualify an individual from employment if they have been convicted, found guilty, or plead guilty to certain criminal offenses.

These offenses include any crimes that disregarded the safety of others that would also be considered a felony or misdemeanor in the first degree in the state of Florida. 

Additionally, any criminal offense that involves violence, such as murder, battery, sexual assault, robbery, carjacking, stalking, or home invasion, are grounds for disqualification. 

Before landlord’s are able to request a background check, they must provide the prospective employee with a document that discloses the background check requirement and obtain their written consent.

This requirement is a part of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which is used to regulate how background checks are conducted and used. 

Embed from Getty Images

If the landlord receives information that would give them grounds to disqualify the individual from potential employment, they must provide a notice for the candidate and a copy of their background check. 

The prospective employee must be given a reasonable amount of time to review and potentially file a dispute regarding the accuracy or completeness of the background check, typically at least five business days.

Landlord’s must also provide the name, address, and telephone number of the background check vendor to the applicant with a statement that emphasizes “the consumer reporting agency did not make the decision to take the adverse action and is unable to provide the applicant the specific reasons why the adverse action was taken, and notifies the candidate of their right to obtain a free copy of their background report within sixty days and to dispute any information reported in the background check,” according to the law. 

“By signing this legislation, we’re making it safer to live in a rental unit and giving renters more peace of mind in their homes. Miya’s death was a tragedy, and our prayers continue to be with the Marcano family.”

“I am proud to act on their behalf to help prevent a tragedy like that from happening to another Florida tenant,” said DeSantis in a statement.

MeToo Movement

Viral Footage Of Women Being Attacked In China Revives #MeToo Movement For The Nation

Security footage shared online showed a violent attack on female diners at a restaurant in China, sparking outrage online and a call to revive the #MeToo movement against gender inequality, something President Xi Jinping has tried to suppress.