1. Uber shooter passed a background check.
Uber has come under scrutiny after one of its drivers in Kalamazoo, Mich., James Dalton, was taken into police custody on Sunday after allegedly going a four-hour shooting spree resulting in the deaths of six, says the New York Times. Dalton reportedly ferried passengers before and after shooting his victims.
Uber released this statement following the incident:
"We are horrified and heartbroken at the senseless violence in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Our hearts and prayers are with the families of the victims of this devastating crime and those recovering from injuries. We are reaching out to the police to help with their investigation in any way that we can."
Dalton had passed a background check, according to an Uber official. The shooting follows two recently settled class-action lawsuits accusing Uber of inflating “the safety of its background checks,” says the Washington Post.
2. Trump sweeps South Carolina.
"I'll win states that aren't in play. I'll win states that Republicans don't even think of," said Donald Trump after winning the South Carolina Republican primary by a third of the votes on February 20. Marco Rubio narrowly edged Ted Cruz out of second place.
Hillary Clinton gained sure footing by winning the Nevada Democratic Caucus that same day.
It's looking more and more like a Trump vs. Clinton showdown this year after all.
3. Virgin Galactic shows off upgraded private spaceship.
The new-and-improved version of Virgin Galactic’s private spaceship leading the way for private space tourism was unveiled Mojave Air and Spaceport in California on February 19. The spaceship has been christened as the VSS Unity and is replacing the former vehicle that crashed during a test flight in 2014, killing one pilot and injuring the other.
The VSS Unity has new fail safes in plaxe to protect the pilots from errors but has yet to be tested in flight -- which is scheduled to happen later this year. In spite of the whole crashing thing, “more than 700 people have paid the $250,000 price to reserve a seat on the sub-orbital spaceplane,” reports The Verge. “Future passengers include numerous celebrities like Ashton Kutcher, Leonardo DiCaprio, Angelina Jolie, and Justin Bieber.”
4. Exploding e-cigs send four to Seattle ER.
“I just think that if people really knew this could explode in your face, they would consider twice putting a device like this to their mouth,” says Dr. Elisha Brownson, a trauma and burn critical-care fellow at Harborview Hospital in Seattle, Wash., who’s tracking the issue of exploding e-cigarettes.
The Seattle Times talks about the trend exploding e-cigarette-related accidents that have sent four people to the hospital since last October. The articles goes on to say, “A report from the U.S. Fire Administration found 25 injuries in the U.S. caused by e-cigarette explosions between 2009 and 2014. found 25 injuries in the U.S. caused by e-cigarette explosions between 2009 and 2014.”
The majority of e-cigs aren’t regulated by the FDA, which will likely change. At least one of the e-cigarette victims, 24-year-old waiter Daniel Pickett, who lost the use of his right hand, is reportedly suing.
5. Wins and losses.
Let's start with the losses: The world suffered two big literary losses recently with the passing of Harper Lee -- best known for "To Kill a Mockingbird" -- and Umberto Eco, Italian author of the medieval monk tome "Name of the Rose."
In winning news, first-time victor Denny Hamlin nabbed first place in the Daytona 500 on Feb. 21, beating out Martin Truex Jr. by a few inches in the closest race ever in the Daytona 500’s 58-year history.