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The final House Transportation committee report on the fatal design flaws of Boeing’s 737 Max—which killed 346 people in two accidents between 2018 and 2019—show the air disasters could have been avoided.

The 239-page report, which was released Wednesday, is the product of an 18-month investigation that confirmed time and again that Boeing caved into “production pressure that ultimately jeopardized the safety of the flying public.

The committee cites competition with Airbus as a primary cause of cuts in costs to maintain the 737 Max production, even though those shortcuts were fatal. “Our report lays out disturbing revelations about how Boeing—under pressure to compete with Airbus and deliver profits for Wall Street—escaped scrutiny from the FAA, withheld critical information from pilots, and ultimately put planes into service that killed 346 innocent people,” the House committee chair says. “What’s particularly infuriating is how Boeing and FAA both gambled with public safety in the critical time period between the two crashes,” House Committee chair Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) said.

The report quotes Boeing’s lead design engineer as being blindly unaware of the consequences of the MCAS software upgrade he approved that was designed to automatically push the jet’s nose down in certain conditions. He approved the software upgrade despite warnings from at least one test pilot that the changes made in 2018 could be “catastrophic”—which they were on two occasions, first in Indonesia in November 2018 and then in Ethiopia in March 2019, which led to the global grounding of the popular workhorse for many airlines.

The report also accuses Boeing of a “culture of concealment” saying they held back “crucial information from the FAA, its customers, and 737 Max pilots,” adding that the pilots were expected to learn to mitigate and override the MCAS system, which few were thoroughly trained on.

The House committee members also fault FAA for giving Boeing so much leeway which led to the failure to report certain safety issues in their own self-regulation, suggesting that “conflicts of interest” jeapardized the safety of the flying public. They also cite several instances when FAA officials gave Boeing a pass, overruling their own safety regulations to keep Boeing happy.

The Committee also apologized to the survivors of both crashes. “On behalf of the families of the victims of both crashes, as well as anyone who steps on a plane expecting to arrive at their destination safely, we are making this report public to put a spotlight not only on the broken safety culture at Boeing but also the gaps in the regulatory system at the FAA that allowed this fatally-flawed plane into service.”

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Coronavirus Live Updates: Italy airport receives first global five-star rating in safety protocols

NEW YORK (WABC) -- An airport in Italy is the first in the world to receive a five-star rating in keeping passengers safe from the coronavirus.

The Skytrax Airport Ratings company designated Rome's Fiumicino Airport as number one for cleanliness and anti-COVID measures.

It was also one of the first airports to use thermo-scanners.

By comparison, London's Heathrow and other European airports received three stars.

Meanwhile, low-risk high school sports across New York are set to resume Monday, including field hockey, tennis, soccer, cross country and swimming.

They can practice and also begin playing.

What to know about coronavirus:
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New York sets new record-high number of COVID tests
A new record-high number of test results - 110,444 - were reported to New York State on Friday, Gov. Cuomo announced Saturday. Just 0.89 of test results were positive.

Todays update on the numbers:

Of the 110,444 tests reported yesterday, 986 were positive (0.89% of total).

Total hospitalizations fell to 467.

Sadly, there were 2 COVID fatalities yesterday.

— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) September 19, 2020

COVID-19 is NYC's largest ever 'mass fatality incident'
The number of deaths reported to New York City's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner more than doubled in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic gripped the nation's largest city, according to a new report from the mayor's office. "COVID-19 tragically represents the largest mass fatality incident in modern NYC history," the report said. There were 65,712 deaths reported to OCME in 2020, compared to 30,964 a year earlier.

Suffolk County warns of cuts to police citing lack of federal COVID-19 relief
As an example of what local municipalities are facing all around the country absent any action by Congress, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone will warn Friday of police funding cuts of as much as $20 million as part of "catastrophic budget cuts" to deal with the fiscal crisis caused by coronavirus. The cuts could include canceling two police recruitment classes for 200 police officers to save $9 million, suspending the class for 40 deputy sheriffs to save another $1.5 million, freezing police promotions to save another $1 million. His potential cuts would also take $5 million in the county aid to the five East End police departments.

Pine-Sol now approved to kill coronavirus on surfaces: EPA
Clorox wipes are still in short supply due to increased demand as Americans continue to clean off frequently used surfaces to combat the spread of coronavirus, but another household cleaner has been added to the list of effective products. Pine-Sol Original Multi-Surface Cleaner received approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) "for kill claims against SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, on hard non-porous surfaces," the Clorox Company announced in a press release about its cleaning product.

Pet scams on the rise as adoptions skyrocket amid pandemic
A good way to pass the time in quarantine is to get a furry friend, and dogs and cats are in high demand and that is giving rise to scam artists. Pet scams are not new, but the pandemic is giving them a new life. According to the Better Business Bureau, its scam tracker received 2,166 reports of pet scams in the past few months, an increase from 700 for the same period last year and more than triple the number reported last year. BBB says overall, pet scams make up 24% of reported online scams, with an average dollar amount lost at $700.

Connecticut mandates masks for day care students 3 and older
Connecticut will soon enact a new mask mandate that extends mask requirements for children 3 and up. The new mandate goes into effect Monday and requires children 3 years and older to wear masks while in child care programs.

1st of its kind PPE store now open in Herald Square
A first-of-its-kind New York City boutique that sells COVID-related safety products for homes and businesses is now open in Herald Square. CV-19 Essential sells everything from cell phone sanitizers and portable air purifiers to plexiglass dividers and UV lights, and the public is encouraged to check out the store's Safe Zone Interactive Experience Center where they can try out the gadgets.

LIST: 56 New York City schools with confirmed cases of COVID-19
The Department of Education has released a full list of the 56 schools across New York City where there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19.

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The sense of doom grew, especially after March 1, when the first confirmed case arrived in Manhattan. Soon, there was a hotspot in New Rochelle, and small curfews and containment zones across the area offered a hint of a frightening future we still thought we could avoid.

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