Railroad agency orders signal changes after fatal NY derailment; FDA approves Sovaldi

December 6, 2013
New York
Changes ordered after fatal train crash

Responding to the deadly crash of a commuter train that was speeding through a difficult turn in the Bronx, the Federal Railroad Administration on Friday ordered the rail line to modify its signal system to ensure that speed limits are obeyed.

The move comes as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered transit officials to adopt stricter safeguards, including accelerating efforts to install technology that can automatically bring a train to a stop if it is exceeding the speed limit.

On Sunday, a Metro-North train was traveling 82 mph when it entered a curve near the Spuyten Duyvil station in the Bronx, the National Safety Transportation Board said. The speed limit for the curve was 30 mph. The train derailed, killing four passengers and injuring more than 60 people.

— Los Angeles Times

Sovaldi approved to treat hepatitis C: The Food and Drug Administration said Friday it approved the pill Sovaldi in combination with older drugs to treat the main forms of hepatitis C that affect U.S. patients. Current treatments for hepatitis C can take up to a year of therapy and cure only about three out of four patients. In clinical trials, Sovaldi cured roughly 90 percent of patients in just 12 weeks when combined with the older drug cocktail. Between 3 and 4 million Americans are estimated to carry the blood-borne virus. Hepatitis C symptoms might not appear until two or three decades after infection, but the virus can cause liver failure, cirrhosis and cancer if left untreated.

Donor pledges $5 million to protect Detroit’s art: A former Detroit university professor is pledging $5 million, hoping it will spark a wildfire of private financial support to protect valuable art from being sold to pay creditors in the city’s bankruptcy. A. Paul Schaap said he wants to help the Detroit Institute of Arts as well as retirees whose pensions could be cut as part of the city’s plan to eventually exit Chapter 9 bankruptcy. New York auction house Christie’s said art purchased with city money is worth $450 million to $870 million. It’s 5 percent of all art at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

— From news services

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