Daily Archive: August 10, 2018


US jury orders Monsanto to pay $290mn to cancer patient over weed killer

US jury orders Monsanto to pay $290mn to cancer patient over weed killerA California jury ordered chemical giant Monsanto to pay nearly $290 million Friday for failing to warn a dying groundskeeper that its weed killer Roundup might cause cancer. Jurors unanimously found that Monsanto — which vowed to appeal — acted with “malice” and that its weed killers Roundup and the professional grade version RangerPro contributed “substantially” to Dewayne Johnson’s terminal illness. Following eight weeks of trial proceedings, the San Francisco jury ordered Monsanto to pay $250 million in punitive damages along with compensatory damages and other costs, bringing the total figure to nearly $290 million.


'Suicidal' mechanic steals plane from Seattle airport, is chased by F-15 jets and then crashes in the sea

'Suicidal' mechanic steals plane from Seattle airport, is chased by F-15 jets and then crashes in the seaTwo F-15 fighter jets were scrambled on Friday evening after the unauthorised take-off on an aircraft from a Seattle airport prompted a major security alert. There were no passengers on board when it crashed about 30 miles later, according to local police, who said they knew the identity of the 29-year-old mechanic at the controls and believed him to be suicidal. Flights were halted in and out of Seattle's international airport. Passengers on airliners took to social media to relay messages from air crew as they were told their flights would not be taking off. Alaska Air said a Q400 twin-engined plane, operated by its subsidiary Horizon, was involved. We are aware of an incident involving an unauthorized take-off of a Horizon Air Q400. We believe there are no passengers on board. More information as we learn more.— Alaska Airlines (@AlaskaAir) August 11, 2018 The unauthorised pilot could be earlier heard talking to air traffic control, in communications relayed on aviation websites, reporting that he believed one of his engines had failed. In response, he was told to stay low and over water.  Sitting on a plane at SeaTac Airport, a Horizon employee just hijacked an airplane. He is flying around the airport, he does not know how to land it. Happening right now. SeaTac airport.— Victoria (@Mickaleets) August 11, 2018 Witnesses described seeing the plane nose dive shortly after the F15s arrived in the vicinity. News crews following the story said they had spotted smoke coming from an island in southern Puget Sound just off the shoreline of Seattle.  #breaking smoke and flames barely visible on Ketron island. Witnesses tell me a commuter twin prop plane and two military aircraft were in area before what may be a crash. @KIRO7Seattlepic.twitter.com/tCcNvJBEVx— Terry Griffin (@TerryKIRO7) August 11, 2018 Law enforcement officers then tweeted that the plane had crashed and that they believed the pilot was suicidal. Stolen horizon airplane crashed into Ketron island. Preliminary info is that a mechanic from unknown airlines stole plane. Was doing stunts in air or lack of flying skills caused crash into Island— Pierce Co Sheriff (@PierceSheriff) August 11, 2018 Male is confirmed a suicidal male. Acted alone he is 29 year old Pierce county residence . We are working back ground on him now.— Pierce Co Sheriff (@PierceSheriff) August 11, 2018 The US Coast Guard was sending a 45-foot vessel to the crash scene after witnesses reported seeing a large plume of smoke in the air, according to Petty Officer. Some flights resumed at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport later in the evening, although west-bound departures remained on the ground.


Seattle Airport Employee Hijacks Plane, Does Barrel Roll, Then Crashes With Fighter Jets In Hot Pursuit

A 29-year-old mechanic at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport reportedly hijacked a Horizon Air Q400 with no passengers on board, performed aerobatic maneuvers, and then crashed into the ground a short while later with at least one, possibly two F-15 fighter jets in hot pursuit, according to an unconfirmed report by Fox News. 

Some dude stole a plane from #Seatac (Allegedly), did a loop-the-loop, ALMOST crashed into #ChambersBay, then crossed in front of our party, chased by fighter jets and subsequently crashed. Weird times. pic.twitter.com/Ra4LcIhwfU

— bmbdgty (@drbmbdgty) August 11, 2018

#BREAKING Alaska Airlines says it is aware of an incident involving an unauthorized take-off of a Horizon Air plane from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. This video was taken by a woman who lives south of the airport. She says this is the plane. (Courtney Jensen Junka) pic.twitter.com/Zh3E4aGfSk

— Fox26 News (@KMPHFOX26) August 11, 2018

Seconds after the plan crashed pic.twitter.com/SgxmAr66WG

— iRViNGTON BiLLSWORTH 🧜🏿‍♂️ (@iRVvyBaun) August 11, 2018

Apparently someone stole a plane from SeaTac? Saw two fighter jets fly overhead then smoke pic.twitter.com/w0bveGUJQH

— McKenna Brown (@mckenna_brown) August 11, 2018 

Oregon Air National Guard F-15’s scrambled from Portland after Alaska Airlines confirms unauthorized takeoff of Horizon Air jet from SeaTac Airport. Eyewitnesses near Seattle reporting crash and explosion moments later. No passengers believed to be on plane other than pilot. pic.twitter.com/h2ufZGbXIQ

— Central Oregon Daily (@TheCODaily) August 11, 2018

WATCH LIVE: SkyKING over plane crash on Ketron Island. Airport employee stole plane from Sea-Tac and crashed shortly after >> https://t.co/TAFsPYG2Ub pic.twitter.com/57XiUTXzTk

— KING 5 News (@KING5Seattle) August 11, 2018


Plane almost belly up, flew straight up then fell straight down, black smoke

— Rosie Perpetually Potentially Sensitive (@almostjingo) August 11, 2018

The sheriff’s office declared that “this is not a terrorist incident,” adding that the pilot was a mechanic from an unknown airline who crashed either from doing stunts or because of a lack of flying abilities. 

A plume of smoke was reported near Ketron Island, Washington, after authorities received reports that a plane was stolen from Seattle Airport Friday night, according to the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG).

Petty Officer Ali Flockerzi said one of the USCG’s 45-foot rescue boats was headed to the scene.

The island is between Tacoma and Olympia, she said. -NBC News

An airline employee conducted an unauthorized takeoff without passengers at Sea-Tac; aircraft has crashed in south Puget Sound. Normal operations at Sea-Tac Airport have resumed.

— Sea-Tac Airport (@SeaTacAirport) August 11, 2018

The airport’s tower identified the suspect as “Rich,” and flights from SeaTac were reportedly halted according to passenger posts on social media. 

We are aware of an incident involving an unauthorized take-off of a Horizon Air Q400. We believe there are no passengers on board. More information as we learn more.

— Alaska Airlines (@AlaskaAir) August 11, 2018

Okay this insane. A pilot on the plane in front of us just went rogue and took off on an empty plane bypassing orders from the tower. The tower ordered a full stop and they’re trying to communicate with that pilot. Whaaaaaat!

— Ben Schaechter (@Bensign) August 11, 2018

The pilot can be heard communicating with air traffic control, as recorded by Twitter user Jimmy Thomson (@jwsthomson).

“I’ve got a lot of people that care about me,” said the man. “It’s going to disappoint them to hear that I did this. I would like to apologize to each and every one of them. Just a broken guy, got a few screws loose I guess. Never really knew it, until now.” 

In another segment, an air traffic control operator tells another individual “Right now he’s just flying around, and he just needs some help controlling the aircraft,” to which the man interjected “Nah, I mean, I don’t need that much help; I’ve played some video games before.”  (Full audio here)

I’m listening through the archive of the radio chatter on the #seatac hijacking. Below are some of the clips. pic.twitter.com/ziBAYv7cgn

— Jimmy Thomson (@jwsthomson) August 11, 2018

Here he is realizing how quickly he is burning through fuel. pic.twitter.com/ftnpowm9D4

— Jimmy Thomson (@jwsthomson) August 11, 2018

Here, the air traffic controller is trying to talk him into landing. pic.twitter.com/OxEe5T6JHJ

— Jimmy Thomson (@jwsthomson) August 11, 2018

Looks like that didn’t upload correctly. Here is the clip of him asking for help getting the cabin pressurized so he isn’t “so lightheaded.” pic.twitter.com/3uDKPKGvHo

— Jimmy Thomson (@jwsthomson) August 11, 2018

He sounds very emotional here. #seatac pic.twitter.com/eZAuuC5RNa

— Jimmy Thomson (@jwsthomson) August 11, 2018

The man then says “Ah, minimum wage. We’ll just chalk it up to that. Maybe that will grease the gears a little bit with the higher-ups.” 

This clip appears to be just a fragment of a conversation that was stepped on by other traffic, but he is saying something about “chalking it up” to minimum wage. pic.twitter.com/clkUp69A0D

— Jimmy Thomson (@jwsthomson) August 11, 2018

After 9-11, there is NO leeway. If this guy who hijacked a plane at Seattle Airport doesn’t do EXACTLY what he’s told when they tell him to do it, they will light him up.

— STEALTH JEFF (@drawandstrike) August 11, 2018

UPDATE: Airspace above Greater Seattle and @SeaTacAirport and @FlyRenton is being cleared. Unconfirmed reports are @142ndFW at @flypdx has sent jets to investigate unauthorized aircraft. pic.twitter.com/g5CyQUFw7t

— Isaac ✈ Alexander (@jetcitystar) August 11, 2018

Reports of the unauthorized/stolen plane has crash near Ketron island south of Seattle Sea-Tac Airport.

Pierce County Sheriffs’ Cessna 206 doing orbits over the island.

Reports indicate it’s a Horizon Dash 8 Q400 stolen by an employee. https://t.co/BHB73kEEP0 pic.twitter.com/3EkXXVs2Jp

— Tom Podolec (@TomPodolec) August 11, 2018

Can confirm two F-15’s from @142ndFW flew over Gig Harbor after scrambling from @flypdx.

— Isaac ✈ Alexander (@jetcitystar) August 11, 2018


Plane Stolen From SeaTac Airport Crashes On Island In Puget Sound

Plane Stolen From SeaTac Airport Crashes On Island In Puget SoundAll flights were grounded at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on


Monsanto Slammed With $289 Million Verdict In Historic ‘RoundUp’ Cancer Lawsuit

A San Francisco Jury awarded $289 million in damages to a former school groundskeeper, Dewayne Johnson, who said Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller gave him terminal cancer. The award consists of $40 million in compensatory damages and $250 million in punitive damages. 

Johnson’s trial was fast-tracked due to the severe state of his non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph system he says was triggered by Roundup and Ranger Pro, a similar glyphosate herbicide that he applied up to 30 times per year. His doctors didn’t think he’d live to live to see the verdict. 

Johnson testified that he had been involved in two accidents during his work in which he was doused with the product, the first of which happened in 2012. Two years later, the 46-year-old father of two was diagnosed with lymphoma – which has covered as much as 80% of his body in lesions. 

Monsanto says it will appeal the verdict. 

“Today’s decision does not change the fact that more than 800 scientific studies and reviews — and conclusions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. National Institutes of Health and regulatory authorities around the world — support the fact that glyphosate does not cause cancer, and did not cause Mr. Johnson’s cancer,” Monsanto Vice President Scott Partridge said in a statement.

Monsanto is a subsidiary of Germany’s Bayer AG, which closed on its $66 billion purchase of the agrochemical company in June. 

On Tuesday, Johnson’s attorney Brent Wisner urged jurors to hold Monsanto liable and slap them with a verdict that would “actually change the world” – after arguing that Monsanto knew about glyphosate’s risks of cancer, but decided to ignore and bury the information. 

According to The Guardian, Johnson is the first person to take Monsanto to trial over allegations that the chemical sold under the Roundup brand is linked to cancer although thousands have made similar legal claims across the United States. This lawsuit focuses on the chemical glyphosate, the world’s most widely used herbicide, which Monsanto began marketing as Roundup in 1974.  The company began by presenting it as a “technological breakthrough” that could kill almost every weed without harming humans or the environment. -SHTFplan.com

In September, 2017 the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concluded that glyphosates were not likely carcinogenic to humans, based on a decades-long assessment. In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO)’s cancer arm issued an opposite statement – warning that glyphosate was “probably carcinogenic to humans.” 

Johnson’s case isn’t part of the consolidated proceedings in Missouri, Delaware or California state court, where some 2,000 similar cases are pending. It’s also separate from a federal multidistrict litigation waiting to be heard by US District Judge Vance Chabria of San Francisco – who allowed hundreds of Roundup lawsuits to proceed to trial after ruling that there was sufficient evidence for a jury to hear the cases despite calling a plaintiff’s expert opinions “shaky.” 

Documents released in August of 2017 led to questions over Monsanto’s efforts to influence the news media and scientific research and revealed internal debate over the safety of its highest-profile product, the weed killer Roundup. 

As the New York Times noted last year, new internal emails, among other things, reveal ethical objections from former employees to “ghost writing” research studies that were pawned off as ‘independent’ analyses.

The documents underscore the lengths to which the agrochemical company goes to protect its image. Documents show that Henry I. Miller, an academic and a vocal proponent of genetically modified crops, asked Monsanto to draft an article for him that largely mirrored one that appeared under his name on Forbes’s website in 2015. Mr. Miller could not be reached for comment.

A similar issue appeared in academic research. An academic involved in writing research funded by Monsanto, John Acquavella, a former Monsanto employee, appeared to express discomfort with the process, writing in a 2015 email to a Monsanto executive, “I can’t be part of deceptive authorship on a presentation or publication.” He also said of the way the company was trying to present the authorship: “We call that ghost writing and it is unethical.”

The newly disclosed emails also reveal internal discussions which cast some doubt over whether internal scientists actually believed in the company’s external messaging that Roundup was, in fact, safe.

“If somebody came to me and said they wanted to test Roundup I know how I would react — with serious concern.”

And, here’s more:

The documents also show that a debate outside Monsanto about the relative safety of glyphosate and Roundup, which contains other chemicals, was also taking place within the company.

In a 2002 email, a Monsanto executive said, “What I’ve been hearing from you is that this continues to be the case with these studies — Glyphosate is O.K. but the formulated product (and thus the surfactant) does the damage.”

In a 2003 email, a different Monsanto executive tells others, “You cannot say that Roundup is not a carcinogen … we have not done the necessary testing on the formulation to make that statement.”

Not surprisingly, Monsanto’s lawyers have argued that the comments above have simply been taken out of context… 

Monsanto said it was outraged by the documents’ release by a law firm involved in the litigation.

“There is a standing confidentiality order that they violated,” said Scott Partridge, vice president of global strategy for Monsanto. He said that while “you can’t unring a bell,” Monsanto would seek penalties on the firm.

“What you’re seeing are some cherry-picked things that can be made to look bad,” Mr. Partridge said. “But the substance and the science are not affected by this.”

Glyphosphate – Roundup’s main ingredient, was first approved for use in weed killers in 1974, and has grown to become the world’s most popular and widely used herbicide. 

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