Happening Today: Airline Security, JFK Files, Opioid Epidemic, Gene Editing, Fats Domino

What to Know

  • New security screenings for passengers on U.S.-bound flights have began, with airlines worldwide questioning flyers about trips and luggage
  • Scientists are altering a powerful gene-editing technology in hopes of fighting diseases without making permanent changes to people's DNA
  • Fats Domino, the amiable rock 'n' roll pioneer, has died of natural causes at 89, a coroner's office says

Get the top headlines of the day in your morning briefing from NBC 4 New York, Monday through Friday. Sign up for our newsletter here.

New Screenings Begin for All U.S.-Bound Airline Passengers

New security screenings for all passengers on U.S.-bound flights have began, with airlines worldwide questioning flyers about their trip and their luggage in the latest Trump administration decision affecting global travel. However, confusion still remains about the new regulations, which come at the end of a 120-day period following the United States lifting a ban on laptops in airplane cabins affecting 10 Mideast cities. The new regulations cover all the 2,100 flights from around the world entering the U.S. on any given day. Some airlines said they had received permission to delay implementing the new rules until January. At Dubai International Airport, the world's busiest for international travel, long-haul carrier Emirates began questioning passengers about their luggage, liquids they were carrying and where they were coming from. Passengers also had to have their carry-on bags searched, along with their electronics. Emirates declined to discuss the new procedures in detail.

What Could Be in the Long-Secret JFK Files?

For decades, the existence of secret government files linked to President John F. Kennedy's assassination has helped fuel conspiracy theories that others besides Lee Harvey Oswald were involved in his murder. Now the public is going to get a deeper look at the collection. The government is required to release the final batch of files related to Kennedy's assassination on Nov. 22, 1963. Experts say the publication of the last trove of evidence could help allay suspicions of a conspiracy - at least for some. "As long as the government is withholding documents like these, it's going to fuel suspicion that there is a smoking gun out there about the Kennedy assassination," said Patrick Maney, a presidential historian at Boston College.

Trump Tackling Opioid Addiction in White House Speech

President Trump is poised to deliver a major speech on fighting the opioid epidemic, the deadliest drug crisis in U.S. history. "We're going to have a big meeting on opioids tomorrow," Trump told reporters as he left the White House Wednesday. At a congressional hearing in Washington, Republicans and Democrats shared frustration as they questioned top administration officials about federal spending to fight a crisis that kills tens of thousands of people each year. During his campaign, Trump had pledged to make fighting addiction a top priority at rallies in some of the hardest-hit states in the nation. Once in office, Trump convened a commission to study the problem, chaired by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. And he has pledged to declare the crisis an emergency, freeing up additional money and resources. But some advocates worry even that won't make enough difference. Nearly a year after Congress approved an extraordinary $1 billion to tackle the opioid crisis, the money that poured into all 50 states is gradually reaching places where it can do some good, but with some setbacks and delays along the way.

Scientists Working Toward Reversible Kind of Gene Editing

Scientists are altering a powerful gene-editing technology in hopes of one day fighting diseases without making permanent changes to people's DNA. The trick: Edit RNA instead, the messenger that carries a gene's instructions. A genome editing technique called CRISPR has revolutionized scientific research. It's a biological cut-and-paste tool that lets researchers spot a gene defect inside living cells and use molecular "scissors" to snip that spot, either deleting, repairing or replacing the affected gene. Researchers are using CRISPR to try to improve crops, develop malaria-resistant mosquitoes, grow transplantable organs inside animals, and develop treatments that one day may help genetic diseases such as sickle cell or muscular dystrophy. There are challenges for medical use. Because a change to DNA is permanent, accidentally cutting the wrong spot could lead to lasting side effects.

Rock 'n' Roll Pioneer Fats Domino Dies at Age 89

Fats Domino, the amiable rock 'n' roll pioneer whose steady, pounding piano and easy baritone helped change popular music while honoring the traditions of the Crescent City, has died. He was 89. Mark Bone, chief investigator with the Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, coroner's office, said Domino died of natural causes. In appearance, he was no Elvis Presley. He stood 5-feet-5 and weighed more than 200 pounds, with a wide, boyish smile and a haircut as flat as an album cover. But Domino sold more than 110 million records, with hits including "Blueberry Hill," ''Ain't It a Shame" — in which he sang the lyrics as "ain't that a shame" — and other standards of rock 'n' roll. In a tweet, New Orleans-born singer and actor Harry Connick Jr. credited the musician for "paving the way for New Orleans piano players.

Contact Us