The Washington Post - 24.10.2019

(Nancy Kaufman) #1

T H U R S D A Y , O C T O B E R  2 4,  2 0 1 9 .  T H E  W A S H I N G T O N  P O S T EZ RE A


Utilities start blackouts

as fire weather returns

The state’s largest utility said it
will go ahead with widespread
blackouts affecting nearly half a
million people starting
Wednesday as dangerous fire
weather returns to California.
Pacific Gas & Electric Co. said it
has begun precautionary power
shut-offs Wednesday afternoon,
affecting nearly 180,000 homes and
businesses in portions of

17 counties, mostly in the Sierra
foothills and north of the San
Francisco Bay area. The outages will
last about 48 hours, PG&E said.
Meanwhile, Southern
California Edison said it could cut
power Thursday to more than
160,000 customers in six
counties, and San Diego Gas &
Electric was warning of power
shut-offs to 24,000 customers.
PG&E cut power to more than
2 million people across the Bay
Area in rolling blackouts from
Oct. 9 to 12, paralyzing parts of
the region in the largest

deliberate blackout to prevent
wildfires in state history.
— Associated Press


Police: 2 face charges in
death of 3-year-old girl

Police say they will charge two
people with kidnapping and
capital murder in the death of a 3-
year-old Alabama girl whose body
was found amid trash 10 days
after being kidnapped outside a
birthday party.

Birmingham Police Chief
Patrick Smith said Tuesday that the
body of a child, believed to be
Kamille McKinney, was found in a
dumpster that had been taken to a
county landfill. Smith said police
were obtaining murder warrants
against two people previously
identified as people of interest in
the case: Patrick Devone
Stallworth, 39, and his girlfriend,
Derick Irisha Brown, 29.
Kamille vanished on the
evening of Oct. 12 while playing
outside at the Tom Brown Village
housing community.

Police initially brought in
Stallworth and Brown on
unrelated charges. Stallworth,
arrested after officers located a
vehicle seen near the abduction
site, previously was charged with
possession of child pornography.
Lawyers for both have said they
are innocent.
— Associated Press

Two killed as helicopters collide:
Two small helicopters collided
while herding deer on a South
Texas ranch, killing two men and
injuring a third person. Texas

Department of Public Safety Sgt.
Nathan Brandley said the
helicopters struck in midair
Wednesday morning near
Hebbronville, about 160 miles
south of San Antonio. One
helicopter was able to land but
the other crashed after the
collision, killing both people
aboard. One of the two people in
the other helicopter was injured.
The Federal Aviation
Administration said the aircraft
were Robinson R22 helicopters.
— Associated Press


Politics & the Nation


chicago — Thousands of teachers
are expected to remain on strike
Thursday as the city enters the sec-
ond week of a job action that is
keeping 300,000 schoolchildren
out of class in the nation’s third-
largest school district.
About 20,000 teachers and sev-
eral thousand school staff mem-
bers went on strike a week ago,
fighting for wage increases and
other changes. They want a com-
mitment from the city to hire addi-
tional staff — including classroom
aides, nurses and social workers.
And they want the city to hire more
teachers so class sizes can be re-
The strike by Chicago teachers
finds echoes in job actions that
have swept school systems from
West Virginia to California since
February 2018.
Chicago teachers also want the
city to tackle many of the symp-
toms of poverty that have made it
difficult for their students to learn,
including trauma and homeless-
ness. They hope to compel the hir-
ing of more teachers and classroom
aides of color so that the school
workforce can better reflect the
district’s diversity.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who won
a landslide election in April, is
showing signs of impatience with
the union. On Monday, she and

Janice K. Jackson, chief executive
of Chicago Public Schools, sent a
letter to Jesse Sharkey, president of
the Chicago Teachers Union, im-
ploring teachers to return to the
classroom while negotiations con-
tinued. The mayor and schools
CEO emphasized concern for the
health and well-being of students
and said the strike was jeopardiz-
ing playoff prospects for several of
the city’s top-ranked high school
sports teams.
“What we’ve seen is that stu-
dents and families have sacrificed a
great deal that cannot be recov-
ered,” Lightfoot and Jackson wrote.
“Given where we are in negotia-
tions, this hardship is unneces-
The union declined the request
to go back to the classroom.
“I don’t know if the mayor
knows how labor negotiations
work,” Sharkey told WMAQ-TV.
“We’re not going back to work with-
out a legally binding agreement.”
Wednesday, teachers rallied out-
side city hall as Lightfoot delivered
her first budget address. They shut
down several downtown streets,
tying morning rush-hour traffic in
knots. Lightfoot announced an ad-
ditional $163 million for Chicago
Public Schools, but the amount will
not satisfy teachers’ demands.
Some marginal signs of progress
emerged. Michelle Gunderson, a
teacher and trustee with the union,
tweeted a photo of teachers gath-

ered in a room with a document
projected on a screen.
“We are reaching tentative
agreements on many items,” Gun-
derson wrote Wednesday.
On Monday, Sen. Elizabeth War-
ren (Mass.), who is seeking the
Democratic presidential nomina-
tion, showed up at a rally at Oscar
DePriest Elementary to express her

support for the strike, wearing a
quilted jacket in red to match the
striking teachers.
Marching downtown on
Wednesday, teachers pledged to re-
main out as long as necessary to
press the city to meet their de-
“My kids have social and emo-
tional issues and are screaming for

help,” said Kenziesha Charleston,
who teaches second grade at Mur-
ray Language Academy. The school
has a social worker only one day a
week. “I am trying to teach and
figure out how to teach them to
cope. I am only one person. We are
Jeanne Bakula, who teaches at
Schubert Elementary School, said

nearly every student comes from a
low-income household and many
rely on school meals.
“For many of these kids, this is
the only meal they are getting,”
Bakula said.
Her students have sometimes
endured trauma, and they struggle
to learn. The school system, she
said, needs to provide students
with more mental health support.
“It’s hard to teach and be a coun-
selor at the same time,” Bakula
Teachers emphasized the work
of other school staff members.
Katherine Klinger, who teaches
at John M. Palmer Elementary, la-
mented that her school has a nurse
present just one day a week, leaving
her nervous about students who
need inhalers for asthma and res-
cue medication for allergies.
The strike posed hardships for
parents, and their patience was
Fantasia Martin was waiting for
a bus on Wednesday with her
daughters Daliylah, 7, and Anasta-
sia, 8. The girls are getting bored
and antsy, their mother said.
“I hope the strike ends sooner,
and they do what they need to do.
It’s not benefiting the kids or par-
ents,” Martin said. “School is their
safe place, and it’s where they get a
meal, too.”

Balingit reported from Washington.


The Food and Drug Adminis-
tration, under fire from women
who say they were harmed by
breast implants, proposed on
Wednesday that manufacturers
detail possible complications
from the devices, including rare
cancers, a range of other symp-
toms and the need for additional
The agency recommended that
manufacturers use a boxed warn-
ing — the FDA’s strictest caution
— to clearly spell out the risks
associated with implants, includ-
ing that they are not lifetime de-
vices and that the chances of com-
plications increase over time. The
warning also would list the devic-
es’ association with a rare form of
lymphoma and say that some pa-
tients have reported fatigue, mus-
cle aches and joint pain.
The agency also proposed that
patients be given a checklist to

guide conversations with their
surgeons about the risks and ben-
efits of implants before women
put down deposits for their sur-
geries. The move is a response to
complaints from patients who
said they were not adequately told
about potential problems before
“We have heard from many
women that they are not fully
informed of the risks when con-
sidering breast implants,” FDA
Principal Deputy Commissioner
Amy Abernethy and Jeff Shuren,
the director of the agency’s Center
for Devices and Radiological
Health, said in a statement. The
new recommendations are “de-
signed to help inform conversa-
tions between patients and health
care professionals when breast
implants are being considered,”
they added.
The FDA’s steps are the latest
effort to deal with reports of com-
plications involving devices that

have been at the center of some-
times angry debate and legal ac-
tions for decades. The devices are
used in about 400,000 surgeries
in the United States every year,
with 75 percent of the women
involved getting implants for cos-
metic reasons. Most of the rest get
them as part of reconstruction
after surgery for breast cancer.
Over the past few years, pa-
tients who say they were harmed
by the devices have become in-
creasingly active on social media
sites that have enabled tens of
thousands of patients to exchange
information. The emergence of a
rare cancer linked to implants in
recent years also has drawn more
attention to potential health
problems associated with im-
The FDA has said that 573 cases
worldwide have linked the im-
plants to a rare cancer since the
agency began tracking the issue in

  1. The vast majority of those
    cases involved Allergan textured
    implants, which have been re-
    called. Thirty-three women have
    died of what’s known as breast
    implant-associated anaplastic
    large cell lymphoma, a cancer of
    the immune system, the agency

said. At the same time, thousands
of women have complained of
fatigue, brain fog and other prob-
lems that collectively are called
“breast implant illness.”
Nicole Daruda, an activist from
Vancouver, Canada, who runs one
of the most popular websites for
women who have had trouble
with implants, welcomed the
FDA’s announcement but said it
was long overdue. “This is what
needs to happen,” said Daruda,
who had her implants removed
after experiencing several health
problems. “But I don’t think it
would have without our putting
intense pressure” on the agency.
Diana Zuckerman, the presi-
dent of the nonprofit National
Center for Health Research, who
has been working on implant is-
sues for 30 years, said the FDA’s
moves are “very important.” But
she expressed concern that they
might yet be weakened and are
not legally binding because they
take the form of “guidance” to the
industry. Whether the recommen-
dations are heeded “depends on
how much pressure the FDA puts
on the manufacturers,” she said.
The FDA’s steps are the latest in
the agency’s stepped-up scrutiny

of the devices; that intensified
scrutiny included a dramatic two-
day hearing in March during
which many women demanded
that the FDA take steps to ensure
that patients have more informa-
tion about the devices. About the
same time, Zuckerman and Scot
Glasberg, a past president of the
American Society of Plastic Sur-
geons, formed a working group
that included activists to make
recommendations to the FDA, in-
cluding for a boxed warning and a
patient checklist of possible prob-
What the FDA is proposing “is
very close to what we gave them,”
Glasberg said, adding that other
groups also made suggestions to
the agency.
More than 70,000 women also
signed a petition asking the FDA
to require a checklist. The FDA, in
issuing its recommendations
Wednesday, asked for public com-
ment for 60 days before finalizing
the guidance.
Breast implants became avail-
able in the United States in the
1960s. Three decades later, after
years of reports about ruptured
devices and possible links to auto-
immune diseases, the FDA called

for a moratorium on their use,
saying manufacturers had not
proved the devices’ safety and
effectiveness. The devices were
available only for cancer patients
who were undergoing reconstruc-
tive procedures, and even then,
only as part of a clinical trial. In
2006, the agency lifted the ban,
approving two new silicone im-
In 2011, the FDA issued a safety
communication saying that wom-
en with breast implants might
have a small increased risk of
developing the rare lymphoma. In
July, the implant maker Allergan
announced a worldwide recall of
its Biocell textured breast im-
plants after the FDA found a
sharp increase in a rare cancer
and deaths linked to the products
and asked the company to with-
draw them from the U.S. market.
The FDA, in its proposed guid-
ance Wednesday, also called for
new screening guidelines for pos-
sible ruptures, as well as a recom-
mendation that manufacturers
include product ingredient infor-
mation in the devices’ labeling
that is easy for patients to under-

Breast implants need

new warnings, FDA says

Chicago teacher strike tests patience at start of Week 2

Striking teachers and their backers gather for a demonstration in downtown Chicago to coincide with
a budget address by Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D). The rally closed streets and snarled the morning rush.




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