There’s a widespread blackout in northern and central California today. But the power outages are on purpose. Read on for more on why the utility is turning off the lights.
Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay $8 billion to a man who says the company failed to warn that a drug would cause him to grow breasts.
And the star of the Bachelor had to take a trip to the hospital because of an accident during filming.
Here’s what you need to know in the daily roundup.
TOP STORY: The Power Was Shut Off In Northern California to Prevent Wildfires
Hundreds of thousands of people in northern and central California woke up in the dark today as Pacific Gas & Electric shut off the power. The utility company is turning off the lights for approximately 800,000 customers in 34 counties as part of a massive effort to prevent wildfires before they can spark.
Several school districts have canceled classes. Officials say public transportation services are also impacted by the electric shut-down. PG&E says customers could be without power for up to a week. Stay up-to-date on the outages and see real-time interactive maps showing PG&E’s progress here. The map for determining if your address will be affected is here.
PG&E’s decision to preemptively shut off the power on such a large scale is unprecedented. It’s happening now because northern California is facing a severe risk for wildfires due to heavy winds and dry, hot conditions. Powerful wind gusts could damage utility equipment and power lines, and spark a fire.
Senior vice president of PG&E, Michael Lewis, explained in a news release, “The safety of our customers and the communities we serve is our most important responsibility, which is why PG&E has decided to turn power off to customers during this widespread, severe wind event. We understand the effects this event will have on our customers and appreciate the public’s patience as we do what is necessary to keep our communities safe and reduce the risk of wildfire.”
PG&E has been blamed for the 2018 Camp Fire, which destroyed the city of Paradise and killed 85 people. It was the most destructive wildfire in California’s history. Investigators said the utility delayed repairs on transmissions lines and that equipment failure was responsible for the Camp Fire.
Southern California Edison is also considering shutting off the power in southern California, according to the Los Angeles Times.
OFF-BEAT: Johnson & Johnson Ordered to Pay $8 Billion Over a Drug That Caused Man to Grow Breasts
A jury in Philadelphia has ruled that the pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson should pay a man $8 billion for failing to warn that a prescription drug would cause him to grow breasts. Nicholas Murray, who is now 26, began taking the antipsychotic drug Risperdal in 2003 after he was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
The Food and Drug Administration approved the drug in the early 1990s to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorders in adults, Reuters reported. But according to the lawsuit, Johnson & Johnson was accused of marketing Risperdal to treat children and teenagers. The company has denied this accusation.
One of the side effects of Risperdal is enlarged breasts in males. Murray was awarded $680,000 in damages in 2018. But a Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas jury agreed that Murray was entitled to far more in punitive damages.
Murray’s attorneys told Reuters that the $8 billion in damages awarded by the jury sends the message that Johnson & Johnson needs to be held accountable for putting “profits over safety.” Representatives for Johnson & Johnson called the damage amount “grossly disproportionate” and plans to appeal.
WHAT’S BUZZING THAT HAS EVERYONE TALKING: Bachelor Peter Weber Split His Face Open In Costa Rica
Peter Weber, ABC’s pick to be the next Bachelor, is recovering after he had to be rushed to a hospital during the filming of the popular franchise. On Monday, Weber was already in Costa Rica while the remaining women competing on his season made their way to the Caribbean.
Weber went golfing and had an accident on the green. The reality star was carrying two cocktail glasses and tripped as he was getting into a golf cart.
Weber hit the glasses as he fell and split his face open. He needed 22 stitches after arriving at a hospital, which was two hours away from where production was set up.
Host Chris Harrison has reassured fans that Weber is recovering and that production has continued. Harrison told Entertainment Tonight that Weber is “still the dashing, handsome pilot we’ve all dreamed of.” The new season of the Bachelor is scheduled to debut in early January.
DAILY NEWS ROUNDUP
- The central United States can expect snowstorms and temperatures to plunge by as much as 60 degrees over the next few days.
- Journalist Brooke Nevils, a former NBC News employee, says Matt Lauer sexually assaulted her and is now speaking publicly.
- Rainè Riggs, Senator Bernie Sanders’ daughter-in-law, passed away two days after she diagnosed with cancer at the age of 46.
- Police say Joseph Schumacher, a supporter of President Trump, pulled a gun on a woman over her bumper sticker supporting Senator Elizabeth Warren.
- Instagram Dark Mode is now available on iOS and Android operating systems.
CHECK THIS OUT
Be sure to check out the night sky this evening. The Southern Taurids meteor shower will peak tonight into Thursday morning, according to the American Meteor Society.
There are typically fewer than 10 meteors visible per hour. But AMS says the Southern Taurids are easily visible, describing the Taurids as “rich in fireballs and are often responsible for increased number of fireball reports from September through November.”
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