The Hit List: March 12, 2019

  1. Black boxes have been recovered from the Ethiopian Airlines crash site. Witnesses of the crash say the plane was making a rattling noise and smoke and debris were coming out of it as it crashed into a cow pasture. Before crashing, the pilot had asked air traffic control for permission to return to the airport.
  2. he American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports that cosmetic surgeries and minor procedures were up in 2018, to 17.7 million procedures. Only 1.8 million of those were full surgical operations. The rest were things like Botox and lip fillers, that are less permanent but don’t require going under the knife.
  3. Police have arrested a transgender woman who reportedly approached a couple, asked the woman if she’s white, then sprayed her with pepper spray.  The victim tells CBS2 New York, “It really sucked because I knew it was a hate crime.” The attacker is suspected in other similar attacks against people in Manhattan who were sprayed with “unknown chemical substance[s]” last week.
  4. While the Connecticut legislature held hearings on gun control, one woman was kicked out after a reported snapped a picture of her texting a friend, named “Sally” in her phone: “If I had a gun, I’d blow away Sampson (a state legislator) and a large group of NRA” — the message appears to be unfinished. After the reporter tweeted a pic of the woman sending the message, she was escorted out.
  5. Last month a Dutch researcher hacked into a Chinese government database that stores information on its citizens, and he’s still uncovering what’s inside. One indicator is “BreedReady” status for women, indicating whether they’re able to have children.
  6. New York City will soon be home to the tallest outdoor observation platform in the Western Hemisphere, CNN reports. At 1100 feet high and spanning 7,500 square feet, the “Edge” viewing platform will be part of the Hudson Yards building, and will also be the 5th-tallest in the world. Viewers will be able to walk over a glass floor looking 100 feet down to the ground. Group bookings are now open for the first quarter of 2020.
  7. Voters are so far happy with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obador, who goes by AMLO, his initials. On top of shirking perks like his jet,  expansive security detail, and palatial residence, his daily 7am press briefings are hits across the country, having become must-watch TV more so than morning chat shows. Though he won election with 53% of the vote, one poll now gives him an 80% approval rating.
  8. The digital boom continues to hit retail stores:  in total, 4,810 store closures have already been announced in 2019. Last year, 5,524 stores in total shuttered. Gap will shut down 230. Abercrombie shut down 29 last year and will close up to 40 this year. And Payless ShoeSource is putting the kibosh on all 2500 of its North American stores, CNBC reports.
  9. The Department of Homeland Security is implementing facial recognition software at twenty major airports, that will scan all passengers coming and going on roughly 16,300 flights each week. That amounts to 100 million passengers being scanned and logged, concerning many privacy advocates.
  10. A crashed tractor-trailer in Maryland spilled 20,000 bottles of ranch dressing last week. 8,000 of those bottles made it into the Little Conococheague Creek, creating a disaster for cleanup crews. Of those, 3,000 were recovered. The rest spilled the tasty dressing into the water or floated way.