Brianna Smith is a freelance writer and editor in Southwest Michigan. A graduate of Grand Valley State University, Brianna has a passion for politics, social issues, education, science, and more. When she’s not writing, she enjoys the simple life with her husband, daughter, and son.

Despite Ethics Concerns, Trump Hotel Lease Deemed Ok

Despite ethics concerns, the federal government has issued a ruling claiming President Trump’s latest Washington hotel is in fact NOT in violation of the lease. The ruling came as a surprise to many who pointed to a clause in the lease agreement that states “no government official can be a party to it.” But should we really be all that surprised? After all, Trump oversees the organization that holds the lease to the Trump International Hotel, the General Services Administration (GSA), so he pretty much became the landlord of his own hotel when he was sworn in.

OK Food, Inc. Recalls Nearly 1M Pounds Of Breaded Chicken

Over recent months, there have been many food recalls due to a number of different concerns. Now another has joined the fray. Recently, nearly one million pounds of breaded chicken has been recalled by OK Food, Inc. due to reports about metal objects being found in the ready to eat chicken products. According to a notice issued by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the recalled chicken that has been shipped to stores across the country “may be contaminated with extraneous materials, specifically metal.”

Monsanto Faces Hundreds of New Cancer Lawsuits

Soon after a California judge required a cancer warning to be displayed on the popular weedkiller, Roundup, in accordance with the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, Monsanto is suddenly finding itself knee deep in cancer lawsuits. The lawsuits are being filed over the health risks associated with glyphosate, a chemical classified by the WTO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a “probable human carcinogen.”

Siri Prank Can Cause Emergency Response Delays, Officials Warn

A new prank has law enforcement agencies and officials worried, prompting them to issue a warning to iPhone users. Why iPhone users and not Android phone users? Well, the new prank involves Siri, the virtual assistant that comes installed on Apple iPhones. It’s been discovered that a number of social media posts have been “encouraging users to ask Siri about the number 108.” The problem with this command and a handful of others is that it actually ends up instructing Siri to dial emergency services, which can, according to a Texas Sherrif’s department, “potentially tie up emergency lines.”

New “Filthy Food Bill” Would Cripple U.S. Food Safety

Many can agree that food safety should be a top priority for lawmakers and food companies alike. After all, proper food safety protocols are what keep consumers safe from foodborne illnesses like salmonella and E. coli. Unfortunately, some legislators in Congress are proposing an “unrelenting gauntlet of regulatory obstacles” for all new food safety rules, known as the Regulatory Accountability Act.

Deliberations Begin In Deadly Meningitis Outbreak Trial

Jurors are now deliberating over the deadly meningitis outbreak of 2012 involving Barry Cadden, the co-founder and former president of the New England Compounding Center (NECC). The outbreak itself claimed 64 lives and “injured about 700 others in 20 states,” so it’s unsurprising that the charges against Cadden are pretty severe. What do the charges entail, exactly? Well, they include “a massive racketeering indictment with second-degree murder in the deaths of 25 people, as well as fraud and other charges.”

Bill Limiting Medical Malpractice Suits Passes In Missouri House

Many Missouri lawmakers have introduced a number of bills that will effectively put more obstacles in the way of Missourians trying to sue for medical malpractice. These bills will also impact the “amount of damages a plaintiff may pursue and who could be held liable.” Unfortunately for patients and Missourians across the state, the first bill on the big batch of bills working their way through the Missouri General Assembly already passed the House 101-50 last Thursday and will proceed to the Senate for a vote.

Lawmakers Demand Answers Over NFL’s Prescription Drug Practices

The NFL has been in the news quite a bit lately due to their prescription drug practices. Now they’re in the news again, and not for anything good. Just recently, a few democratic members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee have “reached out to the NFL and the Drug Enforcement Administration, demanding an explanation” of the league’s “prescription drug practices.”

UP School District Settles Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

Three families and the University Place School District have settled a lawsuit surrounding allegations of racial discrimination. Filed back in 2015, related court documents claim the plaintiffs, all African American, experienced “racial name-calling, discriminatory grading practices and other forms of harassment” during their time at Curtis High School. When complaints about the harassment were reported, the plaintiff’s parents claimed they were “ignored or rebuffed.”

Lead Exposure Concerns Result In Nabelsi Thyme Recall

We’ve read a lot about listeria and salmonella outbreaks and their related recalls lately, and now it seems that lead poisoning has joined the fray. In Dearborn Heights, Michigan, Aroma Imports Inc. has issued a recall of their “450 g and 4.5 kg packages of Nabelsi brand Thyme” due to excessive levels of lead. How was this problem discovered? Well, the potential issue was discovered when the FDA, the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Environmental Health Protection collected samples of the product and found that it contained high levels of lead, measuring at 422 PPM.