safety

Authorities on the French island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean have found debris that may be from a missing Malaysia Airlines jet.

A source familiar with the investigation tells NPR's Geoff Brumfiel that the debris appears to have come from a large passenger aircraft, but it remains unclear whether it's from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which vanished from radar on March 8, 2014.

Office of Gov. Dannel Malloy

Governor Dannel Malloy has signed into law a bill that better protects underage victims of sex trafficking, while giving police more tools to identify and prosecute traffickers.

More than 1 million people die in traffic deaths around the world each year — that's drivers, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians combined.

It's a problem in the United States: There are 11.4 deaths a year per 100,000 population. It's a problem in low-income countries like Zambia, where the comparable figure is 23.8 deaths. And it's a huge problem in the middle-income world. The Dominican Republic records 41.7 deaths per 100,000, and was ranked in 2013 as the most dangerous country in the world for drivers.

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A Connecticut man who videotaped a homemade "drone" flying and firing a handgun in Clinton is now the subject of an FAA investigation.

The 14-second video shows a small hovering flying machine. It's black with four spinning propellers and there's a semiautomatic handgun strapped on top. As it hovers, it fires four shots into a wooded area before the video cuts out.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

A spike in violence in the city of Hartford has already left 18 people dead this year. 

Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation, Scarlett Lewis

A woman whose young son was killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting and Sen. Richard Blumenthal are cheering passage in the U.S. Senate of legislation that would boost training of teachers in social and emotional learning.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The family of a Greenwich man who disappeared during a honeymoon cruise ten years ago has joined U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut to call for new safety requirements for cruise lines. 

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Longer tractor trailers could soon be coming to highways in Connecticut. The bill, which has passed out of the U.S. House, would allow truckers to use double-trailers that are each 33 feet long. Right now, the feds cap these twin-trailers at 28 feet a piece. 

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Beginning July 1, Connecticut residents convicted for the first time of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs will not only have their licenses suspended for 45 days -- they’ll also have to install a breathalyzer on the ignition of their car for at least six months.

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A video has surfaced on social media of what appears to be a Hartford police officer holding a man from behind while another hits him repeatedly in the leg -- at least ten times -- with a stick. Police are investigating the incident, but the department's response since the incident has been praised by the local branch of the NAACP. 

Twelve officials at an upstate New York prison have been placed on leave, as authorities investigate how two convicted killers managed to escape from the facility on June 6.

Among those placed on leave are Superintendent Steven Racette, of the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, and Deputy Superintendent Stephen Brown, according to multiple media accounts.

Authorities investigating the escape of two convicted murderers from Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, N.Y. this weekend believe the men might have planned to flee to Vermont.

The engineer at the controls of the Amtrak train that derailed in Philadelphia last month was not using his cellphone during the time he was operating train No. 188.

The National Transportation Safety Board on Wednesday released a long-awaited analysis of cellphone records to determine whether the engineer was distracted at the time of the May 12 accident. Eight people died and some 200 others were injured in the derailment.

The NTSB states:

Chion Wolf

Squaring growing demand for locally grown food with new national farm regulations has been a point of frustration for many in agriculture and farm officials from around the northeast are meeting in New Haven this week to talk about it.

Many investigators say Positive Train Control (PTC), an automated safety system, could have prevented last month's Amtrak train derailment. Amtrak officials have said they will have PTC installed throughout the northeast corridor by the end of this year, which is the deadline mandated by Congress.

But the vast majority of other commuter railroad systems, which provided nearly 500 million rides in 2014, won't be able to fully implement positive train control for several more years.

Hartford Police Department

Recent violence in the city of Hartford left five people dead in the month of May alone, and Mayor Pedro Segarra is dealing with a problem of both public safety and politics. 

The Department of Defense says an attempt to ship inactive anthrax samples resulted in live samples being sent to labs in nine U.S. states and to a U.S. Air Force base in South Korea.

Fears of exposure to the potentially deadly disease prompted officials to advise four civilian workers to get preventive care; more than 20 military personnel are also being monitored. The samples were sent via commercial shipping companies, but the Pentagon says there is "no known risk to the general public."

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If you’ve been to any public school lately, chances are you weren’t able to just walk right in. You have to ring a bell, then you’re either buzzed in or greeted by a security guard or school employee.

Andrew Magill / Creative Commons

Does firefighting cause cancer? That's a question at the heart of a bill at the state legislature that would make it easier for firefighters who have certain cancers to get workers comp benefits. 

Bruce Fingerhood / Creative Commons

The recent derailment of an Amtrak passenger train in Philadelphia has brought attention across the northeast to safety on the rail lines. A computerized system to slow or stop trains automatically, called Positive Train Control, could help avoid accidents like this in the future.

The Safety of Rail Travel Across the Northeast

May 18, 2015
Mark Llanuza / f

Train ridership is higher in the northeast than anywhere else in the U.S. Last year on Amtrak alone, nearly 12 million people rode the Northeast Corridor between Boston and Washington, D.C.

Despite so much riding on the reliability of trains, government and industries responsible for maintaining the rail system have been slow to make crucial safety improvements.

Updated at 2:55 p.m. ET

The Federal Railroad Administration on Saturday issued a directive to Amtrak aimed at improving safety in the wake of the derailment of a passenger train in Philadelphia this week that killed eight people and injured more than 200.

"We are continuing to work with the [National Transportation Safety Board] to understand exactly what happened on Tuesday so we can prevent this type of devastating accident from ever happening again," U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement released Saturday.

National Transportation Safety Board

Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal is calling on Congress to invest more in the nation's transportation infrastructure, including the implementation of positive train control on most rail lines.

One key safety feature was missing from the stretch of track where an Amtrak passenger train going more than 100 mph derailed and killed seven people.

Investigators say that if positive train control had been installed on that stretch, the technology could have automatically slowed the train and perhaps saved lives.

NPR's David Schaper tells our Newscast unit that Amtrak and other railroads are behind schedule in rolling out the technology.

He filed this report:

The engineer of Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 188 that was traveling at 106 mph in a 50-mph zone in Philadelphia applied the full emergency braking system moments before the derailment that claimed seven lives and caused dozens of injuries, the National Transportation Safety Board said.

Patrick Cashin / Metropolitan Transportation Authority

The president of Metro-North Railroad is telling Connecticut lawmakers how the commuter line is making progress toward improving its safety and reliability. 

The European Union has presented a proposal to the United Nations aiming to stem the flood of migrants from the Middle East and Africa to Europe. The plan includes seizing and destroying the boats that smugglers are using to transport the migrants across the Mediterranean Sea. The EU's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, briefed the U.N. Security Council on the proposal Monday morning. "We need to count on your support to save lives," Mogherini told council members.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says part of the Indian Point nuclear power plant remains offline after a transformer fire that has created another problem: potentially thousands of gallons of oil leaking into the Hudson River.

A transformer fire Saturday triggered the automatic shutdown of Unit 3 at the Indian Point nuclear power plant. A spokesman for plant owner Entergy says the fire was put out by both a sprinkler system and on-site personnel.

Margaret Almon / Creative Commons

The legislature is considering a bill that would regulate how homeowners display their house numbers.

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