Your Must-See News Headlines for Today, October 19

Pilots have taken off on the longest non-stop flight route in the world, from New York to Australia. Researchers are testing the impact on passengers before offering the flight to real customers. Details below.

Johnson & Johnson recalls its popular baby powder after a sample tested positive for asbestos.

And Tropical Storm Nestor is moving across the Florida Panhandle.

Here’s what you need to know in the daily roundup.


TOP STORY: World’s Longest Non-Stop Flight Takes Off In Experimental Trip

Could you stand to be on a plane for 20 straight hours? A team of researchers is onboard a flight from New York Sydney to Sydney, Australia right now to determine the impact on passengers as well as pilots. At about 10,200 miles, it’s the longest non-stop commercial flight in the world. The endeavor is called Project Sunrise.

Qantas Flight 7879 took off last night (Friday) from JFK Airport at 9 p.m. ET. As explained in a news release, the purpose of the flight is to “conduct scientific research on passengers and crew…with the aim of increasing health and wellness, minimizing jetlag and identifying optimum crew rest and work periods.”

Project Sunrise

Project Sunrise research flights

Four pilots are rotating during the flight. Qantas explained that the pilots are wearing brain monitoring equipment and giving urine samples to test their alertness and to see how their melatonin levels change during the flight.

The volunteer passengers are undergoing various exercises to combat jet lag. The researchers are also giving the passengers different foods and drinks and adjusting the lights in order to encourage them to either go to sleep or stay awake at optimal times. For example, the passengers are being given spicier food once they reach daytime in Australia. Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said in August, “Flying non-stop from the East Coast of Australia to London and New York is truly the final frontier in aviation, so we’re determined to do all the groundwork to get this right.”

The plane is carrying a maximum fuel load, which encompasses nearly half of the plane’s loaded weight. Qantas says that if this route is approved, it would save customers up to four hours of travel time. Flights could be offered as soon as 2022 if regulators give it the go-ahead.


WHAT’S BUZZING THAT HAS EVERYONE TALKING: Popular Baby Powder Recalled Due to Risk of Asbestos

baby powder

GettyJohnson & Johnson baby powder

Do you have Johnson & Johnson baby powder in the cabinet? The company has issued a recall of the product “out of an abundance of caution” after a sample tested positive for asbestos.

According to a release shared by the Food and Drug Administration, the contamination was found in a single bottle from an online retailer. The amount of asbestos was described as being no greater than 0.00002%.

Johnson & Johnson is investigating whether the single contaminated bottle was actually made by the company or if it was a counterfeit. They’re also looking into whether the sample was taken from a bottle with an intact seal, or if it was a false positive.

The recall comes as Johnson & Johnson battles thousands of lawsuits from customers who alleged that its products, including baby powder, contained chemicals linked to cancer.


WHAT WE’RE WATCHING: Tropical Storm Nestor Moves Over Florida

Tropical Storm Nestor is moving inland across portions of Florida today, dumping heavy rain and bringing powerful wind gusts. The National Hurricane Center says that Nestor will move across the Panhandle and impact the southeastern United States as well.

Forecasters say portions of Georgia, the Carolinas, and Florida could see up to 8 inches of rain. The Orlando Sentinel reported that as of 5:10 a.m. Saturday, Daytona Beach had already broken its daily record for rainfall. More than 3 inches had already fallen in that area and more was coming.

Tornado watches were also issued across northern and central Florida as Nestor inched closer to the mainland, according to the Weather Channel. Nestor is expected to drop to post-tropical cyclone status by Sunday.


DAILY NEWS ROUNDUP

GettyElijah Cummings

  • Rep. Elijah Cummings will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday ahead of a funeral in Baltimore. He passed away on October 17.
  • Marlon Anderson says he was fired from his job at a school after telling a student not to call him the n-word.
  • Authorities in Mexico are defending the decision to release Ovidio Guzmán López, the son of “El Chapo,” after cartel members attacked security forces.
  • A burglar hid in a Costco for nearly five hours, waiting for the store to close, and stole $13,000 worth of jewelry.
  • TV meteorologist Tracy Hinson’s response went viral after she clapped back at a body-shamer.

CHECK THIS OUT

There’s a new version of Barney in the works. Actor Daniel Kaluuya, who starred in Black Panther and Get Out, is on tap to produce a full-length film for the big screen. The project is a collaboration between Mattel films and Kaluuya’s production company called 59%.

Kaluuya explained in a statement, “Barney was a ubiquitous figure in many of our childhoods, then he disappeared into the shadows, left misunderstood. We’re excited to explore this compelling modern-day hero and see if his message of ‘I love you, you love me’ can stand the test of time.”

The children’s show Barney & Friends first premiered on PBS in 1992 and ran through 2009. The show featured Barney and his buddies such as Baby Bop and Riff, along with a cast of schoolchildren/

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