19 Stories

Va. Mayor Leads Sheriff on Chase Over Expired Tags

Hizzoner took off, cop said, 'OK, this is the way it's going to be'

(Newser) - The mayor of the small Virginia city of Portsmouth refused to pull over as law enforcement officers chased him over an expired inspection sticker on his car, the sheriff said, and he now faces charges. Portsmouth Sheriff Bill Watson told the AP on Wednesday that he noticed the car—with... More »

DC Subway Plans Random Bag Checks

Follows Boston, NYC in long-planned move

(Newser) - Following the lead of Boston and New York City, the Washington, DC, subway system will begin random bag inspections, the AP reports. The move isn’t a reaction to any particular danger; it’s been planned for years, said an official. The past few months, however, have seen a few... More »

Post-Overhaul, Oil Rig Inspection Still Lacking

Investigation: Oversight remains outdated, underfunded

(Newser) - Following the BP oil spill, the government agency tasked with supervising offshore drilling is trying to turn itself around—but the Wall Street Journal finds those efforts lacking. Though it has renamed itself—the Minerals Management Service is now the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement—and gotten... More »

Fed Mine Safety Agency Riddled With Problems

'Miners' lives are in the crosshairs'

(Newser) - Untrained recruits perform mine inspections, the majority of veteran inspectors skip out on mandatory retraining, and a backlog of appeals is growing at the troubled federal mine safety agency. A government audit released just days before this week's deadly West Virginia mine explosion found lax enforcement rampant in the Mining... More »

US Steps Up Navy Challenges Against N. Korea

Obama orders military to stop rogue state's ships for inspection

(Newser) - The Obama administration will instruct the Navy to attempt to inspect North Korean ships suspected of carrying arms or nuclear technology—but it will stop short of boarding them by force. The new effort to track North Korean ships is a component of America's "vigorous enforcement" of a UN ... More »

Atlantis Crew Finds Minor Damage to Shield

(Newser) - Atlantis astronauts found some minor damage to the shuttle’s heat shield during an arduous, nine-hour inspection today, reports, with NASA officials saying nicks sustained during liftoff weren’t a serious concern, but that more analysis was needed. Astronauts will inspect the shield—vital to the shuttle’s... More »

Food Hazards Elude Private Inspectors

Food poisoning outbreaks traced back to dangers cut-price auditors missed

(Newser) - The job of monitoring America's food plants is falling more and more to private inspectors who often miss hazards, a New York Times investigation finds. Plants hire such auditors to reassure customers and reduce liability, but the companies often pick the cheapest and least rigorous audits available. Some of the... More »

Worker Told Bosses: We Need to Clean This Place

'I did see roaches and rodents,' employee says

(Newser) - At least one employee alerted management to the sanitation problems at a Georgia peanut plant linked to the deadly salmonella outbreak, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. “I used to tell them all of the time, ‘We need to shut down and really clean this place,’” said Anne... More »

FAA Questions American's Lightning Safety

Mechanics grumble after airline stops inspections

(Newser) - The FAA is questioning American Airlines' new policy on lightning inspections, and its opener is: Why doesn’t American do them anymore? American recently forbade its mechanics from doing extensive lightning damage checks unless pilots suspected a strike, a move designed to reduce delays and cancellations. Big airlines are typically... More »

Washington Vows Better Airline Safety

Teamsters prez blasts plan as 'window dressing'

(Newser) - Today Washington vowed to beef up airplane inspections and demanded to know why American Airlines stranded 250,000 travelers last week, the AP reports. "No one at all was well served by what happened," US Transportation Secretary Mary Peters said. But she defended federal regulators, saying they did... More »

American Gets Half of MD-80s Flying

Will cancel another 200, but aims to be on track in 24 hours

(Newser) - American Airlines flew about half of its MD-80s on schedule today but will ground another 200 for inspections tomorrow morning, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Execs said that all planes should be back on track by tomorrow night. CEO Gerard Arpey accepted blame for the groundings that have canceled 3,... More »

FAA Too Cozy With Airlines, Whistle-Blowers Say

Lawmakers cite agency's 'complacency' in letting safety risks fly

(Newser) - An overly cozy relationship between airlines and the federal agency tasked with inspecting them has lawmakers worried in the wake of hearings yesterday on Capitol Hill, the Chicago Tribune reports. Federal Aviation Administration officials let serious safety issues fly, ignoring maintenance and inspection regulations, safety specialists, government overseers and whistle-blowers... More »

Southwest Tried to Cover Up Safety Issues: Inspectors

FAA too cozy with airlines, they say

(Newser) - Southwest Airlines tried to cover up maintenance problems, and the FAA almost let them, according to two inspectors who will testify before Congress today that the agency is too cozy with airlines. When the inspectors realized Southwest was flying dozens of jets without required inspections, their superiors did nothing, they... More »

United Grounds 7 Jumbos

FAA warned of flawed Korean inspections

(Newser) - United Airlines has grounded seven Boeing 747s to check the cockpit instruments that indicate altitude during flight. The decision was prompted by the discovery that equipment at a facility in South Korea where the instruments had been checked were improperly maintained, the Wall Street Journal reports. The FAA uncovered the... More »

Southwest Grounds 44 Planes

Missed inspections for cracks drew fine from FAA—which didn't take immediate action

(Newser) - Southwest Airlines grounded 44 planes today after having admitted to flying aircraft that were past due for inspections for structural cracks, the AP reports. The FAA fined Southwest $10.2 million—the largest ever levied on an airline—but the agency itself is under fire for not grounding the jets... More »

Southwest Faces Record Fines

Airline found several cracks after skipping required safety checks

(Newser) - Southwest Airlines faces at least $3 million in fines sought by the FAA for failing to inspect 46 older Boeing 737-300 jets for structural flaws identified in a 2004 safety directive, reports the Wall Street Journal. The expected penalty would be the largest imposed on an airline in 20 years.... More »

Meat Safety at Risk, Warn Overwhelmed Inspectors

Sick cows are slipping by and workers are fooling inspectors

(Newser) - Government inspectors say staff shortages are making it impossible for them to do their jobs properly and that sick cows could be getting into the food supply, reports AP. With staffing levels so low, inspectors are forced to quickly scan hundreds of animals to spot signs of illness like drooping... More »

FDA Approved Wrong China Firm

Hundreds ill, 4 dead after using heparin from factory never inspected

(Newser) - The Chinese facility that supplied the active ingredient of the blood-thinner heparin, linked to hundreds of adverse reactions and four US deaths, was never inspected by the FDA because the agency confused it with another plant of the same name, the Washington Post reports. The company was given approval based... More »

UN Finds Iran Nuke Progress Slow

Tehran has overstated nuclear capacity, watchdog agency finds

(Newser) - The UN's nuclear watchdog says Iran’s uranium enrichment is progressing slowly, Reuters reports, a finding that will likely dim American efforts to impose new sanctions. “Iran made a fast start but then there was a leveling off,” said an official of the IAEA, whose report debunked Iran's... More »

19 Stories