Happening Today: Comey, Amtrak, Gray Hair, Jay Z – NBC New York

Get the top headlines of the day in your morning briefing from NBC 4 New York, Monday through Friday. Sign up for our newsletter here.

Judge Orders DA to Charge Amtrak Engineer in Crash

A Philadelphia judge has ordered prosecutors to charge the speeding Amtrak engineer involved in a 2015 derailment that killed eight people and injured about 200, days after they declined to do so. Municipal Court Judge Marsha Neifield ordered the arrest of engineer Brandon Bostian on involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment charges. The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office had announced as the two-year deadline to bring charges loomed Friday, that it couldn’t prove Bostian acted with “conscious disregard” when he accelerated the train to 106 mph on a 50 mph curve. That judgment call prompted civil lawyers representing the family of a technology executive killed to seek a private citizen’s complaint. They believe Bostian should be held accountable.

GOP Senator Suggests Shunned SCOTUS Nominee Replace Comey

Former President Obama’s forsaken Supreme Court nominee is now being touted as a good candidate for FBI director by an unlikely advocate — a Republican senator. Sen. Mike Lee, of Utah, tweeted that President Donald Trump should nominate former prosecutor and one-time SCOTUS nominee Judge Merrick Garland to replace recently ousted FBI leader James Comey. Many Senate Republicans refused to consider Garland’s nomination, essentially blocking him from confirmation and filling the staunchly conservative Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat. Trump’s pick, Judge Neil Gorsuch, was nominated in January and confirmed in April. Sen. Orrin Hatch, also of Utah, reportedly agrees with Lee’s appraisal of Garland.

Majority of Americans Think Comey’s Dismissal Was Not Appropriate, Poll Shows

A majority of Americans — 54 percent — think President Trump’s abrupt dismissal of FBI Director James Comey was not appropriate, while 46 percent think that Comey was fired due to the Russia investigation, according to results from a new NBC News|SurveyMonkey poll. A strong majority of Democrats and Democratic-leaners (84 percent) and Independents who do not lean toward either party (61 percent) say that the firing was not appropriate. Among Republicans and Republican-leaners, 79 percent approve of the move, while 13 percent say it was not appropriate. Overall, 46 percent of Americans think Trump’s decision to fire Comey was related to the Russia investigation. About a quarter, 24 percent, believe Comey’s removal was due to his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, and 22 percent said it was something else.

Study Identifies Root Cause of Gray, Balding Hair

Scientists in North Texas have identified the cells that cause hair to turn gray and to go bald – findings that could one day help identify possible treatments. Researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center accidentally stumbled upon the discovery while studying a rare genetic disease that causes tumors to grow on nerves. The researchers found that a protein called KROX20, more commonly associated with nerve development, switches on in skin cells that become the hair shaft. These hair cells then produce another protein called stem cell factor (SCF). In mice, these two proteins turned out to be important for baldness and graying. When researchers deleted the SCF gene in mice, the animals’ hair turned white; when they deleted the cells that produce KROX20, the mice stopped growing hair and eventually went bald, according to the study.

Patients Beg for Pricey Drugs on Facebook Black Market

Desperate patients are swapping pricey pharmaceutical drugs on Facebook, NBC News reported. NBC News searched Facebook and found postings to trade insulins, EpiPens, asthma inhalers and other prescription medications. “If it weren’t for the online diabetes community I would be dead,” said Amy Leyendecker, a 43-year-old medical transcription student from Kentucky living with Type-1 diabetes who requires daily doses of insulin to stay alive. Doctors say patients like Leyendecker take a big gamble. “Patients can put themselves in grave danger by using insulin ‘traded’ online,” said Dr. Joshua Miller, medical director of diabetes care at Stony Brook Medicine, running the risk of infection, or fluctuating blood sugar levels if the insulin was expired or stored incorrectly.

Jay Z Signs $200M Touring Deal With Live Nation

Jay Z has signed a $200 million, 10-year deal with tour promoter Live Nation. The rap icon  announced the deal that continues his relationship with the company, a connection which began in 2008. A person close to the situation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not allowed to publicly talk about the topic, told The Associated Press that Jay Z earned $200 million for the new deal. Live Nation has produced a number of Jay Z’s successful live shows, including his recent collaborative tours with Beyonce and Justin Timberlake. Jay Z will be performing live a good amount this year: He’s slated to headline a number of music festivals, including Austin City Limits, the Meadows Music and Arts Festival, and his own Made In America festival.

How Charlie Hunnam Talked His Way Into Being King Arthur

Charlie Hunnam says he convinced director Guy Ritchie to cast him as King Arthur after the two bonded over marijuana — talking about it, not indulging in it. “I heard Guy Ritchie’s ‘King Arthur’ and I thought, ‘That’s a brilliant idea,’ and I just sort of saw it right away and wanted to be a part of it,” said Hunnam while promoting the film. “And so, we presented that to Guy, my agent, and he just really wasn’t interested. And I said, ‘That is just unacceptable, my friend.’”Hunnam booked a trip to London on a week off from filming “Sons of Anarchy” and landed a meeting with Ritchie. He had a standard pitch raring to go but quickly learned Ritchie didn’t want to even talk about the movie. Hunnam seems to be having a moment in Hollywood right now because “The Lost City of Z” — in which he stars as a British explorer — and “King Arthur” are coming out back-to-back. But he says that’s just coincidental.

Get the latest from NBC 4 New York anywhere, anytime


  • Download the App

    Available for IOS and Android