Health Risks With Vaping; Newsom Won

Health Risks With Vaping; Newsom Won
Health Risks With Vaping; Newsom Won

On this version of Hot off the Wire:

NEW YORK (AP) — Sixty years ago, the U.S. surgeon general released a report that settled a longstanding public debate about the dangers of cigarettes and led to huge changes in smoking in America. Is it time for a similar report on vaping? Just as there were questions in January 1964 about how the health effects of combustible cigarettes, there’s persisting uncertainty today about the dangers of electronic cigarettes. Some experts say a clarifying report is needed.

NEW YORK (AP) — The cost to overdraw a bank account could drop to as little as $3 under a proposal announced by the White House, the latest move by the Biden administration to combat fees it says pose an unnecessary burden on American consumers, particularly those living paycheck to paycheck. The change could potentially eliminate billions of dollars in fee revenue for the nation’s biggest banks, which were gearing up for a battle even before Wednesday’s announcement. Under the proposal, banks would have to show how much it costs for them to run overdraft services, or instead charge a benchmark fee that could be $3, 6$, 7$ or $14, depending on the final version of the rule.

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RIO VISTA, Calif. (AP) — After years of secretly snapping up property for plans to build a new California city, a company backed by Silicon Valley billionaires is taking the pitch to voters. The California Forever company submitted paperwork Wednesday to ask voters on the November ballot to allow them to build the city on now protected agricultural land. The company has ducked scrutiny while snapping up more than $800 million of Solano County farmland in recent years. The plans would include nearly 20,000 homes initially for 50,000 residents and could grow to 400,000 people.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom says he will not sign a proposed ban on tackle football for kids under 12. A bill to gradually phase out tackle football for kids under 12 had passed a legislative committee last week. The bill had to pass the state Assembly by the end of January to have a chance at becoming law this year. But Newsom’s pledge not to sign the bill into law effectively ends the proposal’s chances. Advocates say the ban would protect kids from the risk of brain injury. But opponents say the ban would have cut off kids from a source of activity and exercise.

PANAMA CITY (AP) — A severe drought that began last year has forced authorities to slash ship crossings by 36% in the Panama Canal, one of the world’s most important trade routes. The new cuts announced Wednesday by authorities in Panama are set to deal an even greater economic blow than previously expected. Canal administrators now estimate that dipping water levels could cost them between $500 million and $700 million in 2024, compared to previous estimates of $200 million. One of the most severe droughts to ever hit Panama has stirred chaos in the 50-mile maritime route, causing a traffic jam of boats and casting doubts on the canal’s reliability for international shipping and raising concerns.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Conservative Supreme Court justices have voiced support for weakening the power of federal regulators, but it’s unclear whether a majority would overturn a major 40-year-old decision. Billions of dollars are potentially at stake in front of a court that was remade during Donald Trump’s presidency by conservative interests that were motivated as much by weakening the regulatory state as by social issues including abortion. The court on Wednesday debated whether to overturn a 1984 case colloquially known as Chevron. Courts have relied on the case to uphold regulations, including on the environment, public health, workplace safety and consumer protections. The justices heard cases from New Jersey and Rhode Island.

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union presidency is warning that the foundations of democracy will be put to the test during the November U.S. elections. It envisaged a scenario where the longstanding trans-Atlantic alliance could unravel ever more. Belgium currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency and Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said on Tuesday that “if 2024 brings us ‘America first’ again, it is really more than ever ‘Europe on its own.’” De Croo also warned that the 27-nation bloc should quickly learn to stand more on its own and that in case former President Donald Trump wins in November, “we should, as Europeans, not fear this perspective. We should embrace it.”

A Tennessee sheriff’s deputy found a horse on a highway and helped it to safety.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have externally attached a pig liver to a brain-dead human body and watched it successfully filter blood. The experiment is a step toward one day trying the technique in patients with liver failure. It’s also a different spin on animal-to-human organ transplants, which is also known as xenotransplantation. The pig liver was used outside the donated body, not inside. This is part of efforts to better support failing livers, much like dialysis for failing kidneys.

BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO will launch next week its biggest war games in decades with around 90,000 personnel set to take part in monthslong military exercises. “Steadfast Defender 24” is aimed at showing Russia that the alliance is determined to defend all of its territory. The exercises come as Russia’s war on Ukraine bogs down. In the months before President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops into Ukraine in February 2022, NATO began beefing up security on its eastern flank with Russia and Ukraine. It’s the alliance’s biggest buildup since the Cold War. The exercises are meant to deter Russia from targeting a member country. The U.K. plans to send 20,000 troops backed by fighter jets, surveillance planes, warships and submarines.

—The Associated Press

About this program

Host Terry Lipshetz is managing editor of the national newsroom for Lee Enterprises. Besides producing the daily Hot off the Wire news podcast, Terry conducts periodic interviews for this Behind the Headlines program, co-hosts the Streamed & Screened movies and television program and is the former producer of Across the Sky, a podcast dedicated to weather and climate.

Lee Enterprises produces many national, regional and sports podcasts. Learn more here.

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