Happening Today: Facebook, Trump, Warren Buffett, Muscular Dystrophy, The Meadows - NBC New York

Happening Today: Facebook, Trump, Warren Buffett, Muscular Dystrophy, The Meadows



    Forecast for Tuesday, May 9

    Chris Cimino's weather forecast for Tuesday, May 9.

    (Published Tuesday, May 9, 2017)

    What to Know

    • The Trump administration named judges it plans to nominate as President Trump works to pack the nation's federal courts with conservatives

    • A contagious bacterial infection appears to be the cause of at least some cases in a mysterious outbreak in Liberia, health officials said

    • Jay Z is headed to Queens for the second annual The Meadows music festival in September at Citi Field

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    Suicide Online: Facebook Aims to Save Lives With New Actions

    The alarming video of a Georgia teenager livestreaming her own suicide attempt stayed up long enough on Facebook Live for sheriff's deputies to find and save her — a repeat phenomenon that has prompted mental health experts and Facebook's CEO to further investigate how they can use social media as a possible platform to help save lives. The 15-year-old girl took pills and put a plastic bag over her head during her suicide attempt May 2, officials from the Bibb County Sheriff's Office said. A sheriff's sergeant found the girl unresponsive - but with a pulse - and she's expected to recover. In April, Facebook was alerted to another possible suicide and made the decision to keep the video up, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a conference call last week. That allowed law enforcement "to use that live video to communicate with that person and help save their life," he said. Now, Facebook is testing how computers can quickly identify posts where it's likely someone is expressing thoughts of suicide, and provide resources to the person even if someone on Facebook has not reported it yet.

    Trump Begins Effort to Pack Courts With Conservatives

    The Trump administration named 10 judges it plans to nominate for key posts as President Trump works to pack the nation's federal courts with more conservative voices. White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that among the candidates are individuals previously named on Trump's list of 21 possible picks for Supreme Court justice. All nominees would require Senate confirmation. The announcement came less than a month after Trump's pick for the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, was confirmed, restoring the court's conservative tilt. Trump will nominate judges John K. Bush of Kentucky and Joan Larsen of Michigan for the bench of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. David Stras of Minnesota will be nominated for the 8th Circuit. Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana will be nominated to serve on the 7th Circuit. Kevin Newsom of Alabama will be nominated as a circuit judge on the 11th Circuit. Also to be nominated for federal court positions are David Nye of Idaho, Scott L. Palk of Oklahoma and Damien M. Schiff of California.

    Buffett Faults United, But Sticks With Airlines Investments

    Warren Buffett said United Airlines bungled the case of the passenger dragged off a plane last month, and he criticized the CEO's handling of the incident. Buffett also said airplanes "may become like cattle cars," but that's because a significant number of passengers will put up with crowding in exchange for cheaper fares. Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is United's largest shareholder and has large stakes in other big U.S. airlines, said the recent spotlight on poor customer service in the airline industry doesn't change his investment strategy. After the market closed, United reported that passenger traffic in April rose 7.4 percent, compared with a year ago. That beat Delta's 1.6 percent gain but fell short of Southwest's 8.4 percent increase. Most of those tickets were bought before the April 9 incident on a United Express plane in Chicago. United has not discussed whether the fallout has affected bookings since then. Buffett said on CNBC that the bloody removal of a 69-year-old passenger from a plane was obviously "a terrible mistake." He criticized CEO Oscar Munoz, who first gave a vague response, then defended his employees and blamed the passenger before giving a contrite apology.

    Bacteria Appears to Be Behind Mysterious Outbreak in Liberia, CDC Says

    A contagious bacterial infection appears to be the cause of at least some cases in a mysterious outbreak in Liberia, U.S. health officials said. The bacteria can cause meningitis, a dangerous brain infection, as well as blood infections. The country has reported 31 illnesses, including 13 deaths. The germ is spread through close contact with someone who's infected, so other people are being monitored, health officials said. Nearly all the victims had attended a funeral in southeastern Liberia in West Africa. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tested samples from four of the deceased people and found the bacteria , called Neisseria meningitidis. The bacteria is to blame for a "meningitis belt" in sub-Saharan Africa that passes close to Liberia. The agency disclosed the results, after sharing them with Liberian health officials.

    New Price for Muscular Dystrophy Drug Draws Criticism

    Christine McSherry is used to a fight. Her son, Jett, was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a rare, debilitating condition, when he was 5. He lost the ability to walk just before he turned 14. McSherry has become an outspoken advocate for Jett and other kids with Duchenne, particularly in fighting for access to drugs she's convinced help against the disease's devastating effects, CNBC reported. Jett, now 21, has been taking a steroid called deflazacort since he was 8. Deflazacort wasn't approved in the U.S., so McSherry and a number of other families of kids with Duchenne imported the drug from overseas. She says it cost about $1,200 a year out of pocket. On Monday, deflazacort got a new price tag: $35,000 a year for a patient in the U.S. weighing 25 kilograms, or about 55 pounds. PTC Therapeutics, which set the price, says it "represents sustainable pricing which balances providing access to eligible patients in the United States…while maintaining sufficient infrastructure and programs including continued investment in Duchenne."

    Jay Z, Red Hot Chili Peppers to Headline The Meadows Music Festival at Citi Field

    Jay Z is headed to Queens for the second annual The Meadows music festival in September. The Brooklyn rapper will be headlining the three-day event alongside the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Gorillaz, event organizers announced. Queens' own Nas, of Long Island City, and Action Bronson, of Flushing, should also get a warm reception on their home turf. Among the 60-plus other acts taking the stage from Sept. 15-17 are Future, Bassnectar, Weezer, Run the Jewels and LL Cool J featuring DJ Z-Trip, M.I.A., Erykah Badu, Foster the People and Migos. The star-packed roster goes on to include Big Gigantic, TV on the Radio, Two Door Cinema Club, Milky Chance, Blood Orange, Broken Social Scene, De La Soul, Joey Bada$$, Tegan and Sara, Tory Lanez, 21 Savage and many more.

    Jason Aldean and Wife Expecting 1st Child Together

    Days after performing at the iHeartCountry Festival in Texas, country singer Jason Aldean had some big news to share with his followers. He announced on social media that he and his wife Brittany Kerr Aldean are expecting their first child together. "Been hard to keep this secret but we couldn't be happier to add to our family," the Grammy nominee shared on Instagram. "This year just gets better and better. #bunintheoven." Kerr Aldean also confirmed the news on social media while posing in front of blue and pink balloons. The couple's child will join Aldean's two daughters from his previous relationship with ex-wife Jessica Ussery. In recent interviews, Aldean and his wife have been open about wanting to expand their family.

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