Happening Today: Clinton, United, EPA, Opioids, Jim Gaffigan - NBC New York

Happening Today: Clinton, United, EPA, Opioids, Jim Gaffigan



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    (Published Wednesday, May 3, 2017)

    What to Know

    • Hillary Clinton said she's taking responsibility for her election loss but believes misogyny and Russian interference influenced the outcome

    • The nation's opioid crisis is forcing hospitals to begin rolling out non-addictive alternatives

    • Comedian Jim Gaffigan says his wife and writing partner Jeannie Gaffigan is recovering after surgery to remove a serious brain tumor

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    Clinton Blames Misogyny, FBI, Russia, Herself for Election Loss

    Hillary Clinton said she's taking responsibility for her 2016 election loss but believes misogyny, Russian interference and questionable decisions by the FBI influenced the outcome. The former Democratic presidential nominee offered extensive comments about the election during the Women for Women International's annual luncheon in New York. She said she's been going through the "painful" process of reliving the 2016 contest while writing a book. She reminded the enthusiastic audience packed with women that she earned 3 million more votes than Republican Donald Trump, who won more Electoral College votes and won the election. She also highlighted Russia's role in hacking into her campaign's internal emails and subsequently coordinating their release on WikiLeaks. U.S. intelligence agencies are investigating whether Russia coordinated with Trump associates to influence the election, something Russia has denied.

    U.S. 'Needs a Good Shutdown' to Fix Senate 'Mess,' Trump Says

    President Trump declared the U.S. government "needs a good shutdown" this fall to fix a "mess" in the Senate, signaling on Twitter his displeasure with a bill to keep operations running. But Republican leaders and Trump himself also praised the stopgap measure as a major accomplishment and a sign of his masterful negotiating with Democrats. On the defensive, Trump and his allies issued a flurry of contradictory statements ahead of key votes in Congress on a $1.1 trillion spending bill to keep the government at full speed through September. After advocating for a future shutdown, the president hailed the budget agreement as a boost for the military, border security and other top priorities. Yet Trump's morning tweets hardly signaled a win and came after Democrats gleefully claimed victory in denying him much of his wish list despite being the minority party. They sounded a note of defeat, blaming Senate rules for a budget plan that merited closing most government operations.

    Improve Service or Congress Steps In, Lawmakers Tell Airlines

    The chief executive of United Airlines apologized on Capitol Hill for an incident in which a passenger was dragged off a flight, calling it "a mistake of epic proportions" as frustrated lawmakers warned airline executives to improve customer service or face congressional intervention. House Transportation Committee Chairman said carriers should use the notoriety of the violent event — and a separate incident in which a mother with a stroller was bullied by a flight attendant — to make long-needed improvements. If the airlines don't make changes, Congress is likely to step in, lawmakers said. No specifics were provided on what steps Congress would take to fix airline service. But several members of Congress have introduced legislation to ban the bumping of passengers if flights are overbooked. Lawmakers said problems with air travel are commonplace.

    EPA Asks What Rules to Cut, Gets Earful About Dirty Water

    The Trump administration got an earful from people who say federal rules limiting air and water pollution aren't tough enough, even as it was seeking suggestions about what environmental regulations it should gut. The Environmental Protection Agency held a three-hour "virtual listening session" to collect public comments by phone about which clean water regulations should be targeted for repeal, replacement or modification. The call was part of the agency's response to President Trump's order to get rid of regulations that are burdensome to business and industry. Both the phone-in session and the nearly 6,000 written comments submitted so far and published on a federal website were dominated by those staunchly opposed to the planned regulatory rollback. Many identified themselves as being affiliated with environmental groups. Others said they were taxpayers worried about maintaining safe sources of drinking water.

    Overcoming Opioids: When Pills Are a Hospital's Last Resort

    The nation's opioid crisis is forcing hospitals to begin rolling out non-addictive alternatives to treatments that have long been the mainstay for the severe pain of trauma and surgery, so they don't save patients' lives or limbs only to have them fall under the grip of addiction. An estimated 2 million people in the U.S. are addicted to prescription opioids, and an average of 91 Americans die every day from an overdose of those painkillers or their illicit cousin, heroin. This grim spiral often starts in the hospital. A Harvard study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in February raised the troubling prospect that for every 48 patients newly prescribed an opioid in the emergency room, one will use the pills for at least six months over the next year. And the longer they're used, the higher the risk for becoming dependent. Doctors and hospitals around the country are searching for ways to relieve extreme pain while at the same time sharply limiting what was long considered their most effective tool. It's a critical part of the effort to overcome the worst addiction crisis in U.S. history.

    Jim Gaffigan's Wife Has Brain Tumor Surgery, Comedian Says

    Comedian Jim Gaffigan says his wife and writing partner Jeannie Gaffigan is recovering after surgery to remove a serious brain tumor. Jim Gaffigan said on his social media pages that two weeks ago an MRI revealed that Jeannie Gaffigan had a large, life-threatening tumor around her brain stem. He says after nine hours of urgent surgery the tumor was completely removed, and she's now recovering at home. Jeannie Gaffigan posted on her Instagram page "I'm coming back! Thanks for your prayers. I'm alive!" The 50-year-old Jim Gaffigan is among the most popular stand-up comics in the country, and Jeannie Gaffigan both co-writes his material and produces his TV specials. She was also producer and writer on "The Jim Gaffigan Show," his sitcom that ran for two seasons on the TV Land cable network.

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