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What’s causing America’s massive supply-chain disruptions?

SHansche/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- As the U.S. economy struggles to fully recover from the coronavirus pandemic, supply-chain disruptions across the country are driving up prices and leading to a growing shortage of goods. The supply chain bottlenecks -- around the world -- have caused record shortages of many products that American consumers are used to having readily available, from household goods to electronics to automobiles. Moody’s Analytics has warned that problems "will likely get worse before they get better." "As the global economic recovery continues to gather steam, what is increasingly apparent is how it will be stymied by supply-chain disruptions that are now showing up at every corner," Moody's wrote in a report. Here is how experts answer some key questions:   ... Read More

Holiday travel may be more chaotic than ever this year, transportation experts say

Evgenia Parajanian/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Holiday travel may be more chaotic this year, experts warn, as looming vaccination deadlines threaten airline and airport staffing. Forty percent of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) workforce hasn't received a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the agency said Thursday, and they only have until Nov. 22 to get fully vaccinated. "Even if they get half of that done by Thanksgiving, that leaves 20% not available to work," aviation expert Henry Harteveldt told ABC News. "Something's going to have to give. I'm really worried." TSA said it is currently developing contingency plans, but anticipates "that the vast majority of TSA employees will get vaccinated." Several major U.S. airlines are also grappling with the fast-approaching vaccine   ... Read More

Ex-Boeing test pilot indicted for fraud in 737 Max probe

sanfel/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Boeing's former 737 MAX test pilot, Mark Forkner, was indicted for fraud Thursday for allegedly misleading regulators about problems tied to the aircraft's two fatal crashes. The ex-chief technical pilot is the first Boeing employee to be charged over the 737 Max's failures. In October 2019, pilots struggled to regain control of the MAX and it plunged into the Java Sea off the coast of Indonesia. Five months later, another MAX crashed near Addis Ababa airport in Ethiopia just six minutes after takeoff, killing all on board and forcing regulators around the globe to ground the plane. Three hundred and forty-six people perished in both accidents. Investigators found that both crashes were tied to the Maneuvering Characteristics   ... Read More

Henrietta Lacks family seeks justice: Grandchildren sue biotech company

JHVEPhoto/iStock(NEW YORK) -- The family of Henrietta Lacks, an African American woman whose cells were collected from her body and used for medical research without her consent in 1951, is seeking justice for their relative. On Oct. 4, the 70th anniversary of her death, Henrietta Lacks' family filed a federal lawsuit against Thermo Fisher Scientific claiming unjust enrichment and nonconsensual use of her cells and tissue samples. The Lacks family has retained Benjamin Crump as their lead attorney. Crump, who previously represented the families of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, says he believes this case can bring justice to the family. "This whole notion of her cells are being sold even to this day as chattel property when everyone benefits   ... Read More

President Biden to meet with port heads ahead of expected Christmas supply crunch

halbergman/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- With global supply chain bottlenecks threatening the Christmas shopping season, President Joe Biden will highlight his administration's work with ports on Wednesday and try to stave off the potentially politically explosive headaches Americans may face as delays threaten holiday gift-giving. The president plans to meet with the leaders of the two busiest ports in the United States -- Los Angeles and Long Beach, both in California -- and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, "to discuss the challenges that ports across the country and actions each partner can take to address these delays," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday. The port of Los Angeles, a senior Biden administration official said, will announce on Wednesday that it   ... Read More

Diaper crisis escalates amid COVID-19 pandemic

Laboko/iStock(NEW YORK) -- As her belly curves in a small circle overlapping the top button of her jeans, Elisha White, 26, anticipates the birth of her fifth child. White is currently unemployed and without a car, and though her family is pitching in and assisting her, she said her local diaper bank has been a saving grace now and since the beginning of her journey into motherhood. "Ever since high school, they have always been there for me and been someone I can go and talk to," said White. "They are really important to families that need [diapers] and that can't afford them." White's local diaper bank, The Diaper Bank of the Delta, which is located in Clarksdale, Mississippi, is   ... Read More

When should I mail holiday gifts? USPS, FedEx, UPS release 2021 ship-by dates

400tmax/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Each year, we spend time sweating over getting holiday gifts out in time and worrying about shipping delays. This year, experts are warning of possible shortages and delays on getting everything from toys to artificial Christmas trees due to COVID-related supply chain issues, as well as reports of slower shipping service. With that in mind, shipping services have released their recommended ship-by dates in order for packages to arrive on or before the Christmas holiday. The overall advice: The earlier you send, the better. Scroll down for deadlines from USPS, UPS and FedEx: USPS Dec. 15: This is the last day for retail ground shipping. Dec. 17: This is the last day for first-class mail service (including   ... Read More

Lego says its removing gender bias from its toys after new research

LewisTsePuiLung/iStock(NEW YORK) -- The Lego Group says it will remove gender bias from its iconic toys. The Danish toymaker announced in a statement Monday, that it will get rid of gender references among its famous building block sets, after new research in a study commissioned by Lego found that "girls today feel increasingly confident to engage in all types of play and creative activities, but remain held back by society's ingrained gender stereotypes as they grow older." The study carried out by the Geena Davis Institute in recognition of the UN's International Day of the Girl also marked the launch of Lego's new Ready for Girls campaign, which celebrates girls who rebuild the world through creative problem-solving. "What we found   ... Read More

Southwest Airlines CEO apologizes for weekend travel mess

DaveAlan/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Southwest CEO Gary Kelly apologized to the tens of thousands of passengers who were stranded at U.S. airports over the weekend due to widespread flight cancellations. "I want to apologize to all of our customers, this is not what we want," Kelly said in an interview on Good Morning America Tuesday. "Unfortunately, it just takes a couple of days to get things back on track." One of those passengers, Fabricia Amara, couldn't take her 14-year-old daughter to see her neurosurgeon in Miami because of the operational meltdown. "They did not handle it properly," Amara told ABC affiliate KTRK. "They have no answers for you, they tell you that there's nothing we can do." Amara's flight was just   ... Read More

Facebook’s oversight board to meet with whistleblower Frances Haugen

luchezar/iStock(NEW YORK) — The former Facebook employee who testified before lawmakers last week will now address her concerns with Facebook's Oversight Board. Whistleblower Frances Haugen alleged blatant disregard from Facebook executives when they learned their platform could have harmful effects on democracy and the mental health of young people during her testimony before a Senate Commerce subcommittee last Tuesday. Haugen, a former Facebook product manager, accused Facebook of "choosing to prioritize its profits over people" in her opening statement before lawmakers. "You can declare moral bankruptcy and we can figure out a fix [to] these things together because we solve problems together," Haugen said. Her remarks sparked a backlash toward Facebook from lawmakers and others on a range of issues,   ... Read More

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