Last week, the Senate grilled and shamed Dr. Mehmet Oz for hawking miracle pills on his popular syndicated TV talk show. On Sunday's Last Week Tonight, John Oliver did the same, but much more amusingly. "Name me one case where a man named Oz claimed mystical powers and led people horribly astray," Oliver joked at one point.
The literary references didn't stop there. Oliver also drew on folk tales like "Jack and The Beanstalk" and "The Emperor's New Clothes" to demonstrate the problem with talking up unproved or even unsafe dietary supplements — and when Dr. Oz mentions them, sales climb skyward. "The only problem with the Dr. Oz effect is that magic pills don't, technically, exist, and Dr. Oz knows that," Oliver said.
Like the Senate used Dr. Oz as an example, so does Oliver — a jumping-off point to explain, in his John Oliver way, the problems with the lucrative supplement industry, and how it soundly defeated FDA regulatory attempts with the help of lots of money, angry letters, Mel Gibson, and Sens. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). As always, some language is mildly NSFW, and the ending is brilliant. --Peter Weber
Iraqi officials say that ISIS extremists have used heavy vehicles to demolish more ancient artifacts in Iraq, this time razing the Assyrian site of Nimrud.
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) March 5, 2015
Nimrud, 20 miles south of Mosul, is home to ruins dating back to the 13th century BC, Iraq's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said in a statement. Government officials have been worried about the site since ISIS took over large sections of the Nineveh province in 2014, the Los Angeles Times reports. The damage took place a week after ISIS released a video showing militants destroying priceless statues in Mosul's national museum.
A report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the suicide rate for girls and young women between the ages of 10 and 24 is increasing, and at a pace faster than for males in the same age group.
Suicide rates since 2007 have been on the rise; there were 4,320 deaths that year, and 5,264 in 2013. Although the suicide rate for boys and young men is three times higher than the female rate for that age group, the increase for females has been steadier, The Associated Press reports. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people 10-24 years old in the United States, and experts say more girls and young women are hanging themselves or using other forms of suffocation.
Actor Harrison Ford was injured on Thursday when the World War II training plane he was flying crashed on a golf course in Mar Vista, California.
— Circa (@Circa) March 5, 2015
Sources tell NBC News he was stabilized on the scene before being taken to a hospital, and has lacerations to the head and possible fractures. It is not yet known what caused the plane to crash. His son, Ben Ford, wrote on Twitter that his father is "battered, but OK." Ford is believed to have been the only passenger onboard the vintage plane.
Syrian state media is reporting that the commander of the al-Nusra Front, Abu Homam al-Shami, was killed during a "unique operation" carried out by the Syrian army.
— Feras O Kilani (@feraskilani) March 5, 2015
On social media, the militant group confirmed that al-Shami was killed in an air strike along with three other leaders. State media said they were targeted while meeting in northern Idlib province. Al-Nusra is considered an affiliate of al-Qaeda, and on Wednesday attacked the Air Force Intelligence headquarters in Aleppo. The militants detonated explosives in a tunnel under the building, the BBC reports, and then fighters launched a ground assault against government forces, who forced them back. Twenty soldiers and militiamen and 14 rebels are believed to have been killed.
The nation's largest banks are all financialy strong enough to weather an economic crisis, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday. Thirty-one banks in all passed the Fed's annual stress test, meaning they had enough available capital to withstand a theoretical depression in which unemployment soars to 10 percent amid collapses in the housing and stock markets.
However, it was only the first stage of stress testing. Next week, the Fed will announce whether banks pass a second test to determine if they are fit enough to buy back stock and distribute dividends to shareholders.
Astronomers have discovered what is only the second known planet living in a family of four stars.
While still rare, the find means four-star systems with planets are much more common than previously believed. Discovery News notes that the discovery could have significant implications about how planets form in multi-star systems.
Scientists had previously identified the planet, but thought it was part of a three-star system. Only recently did astronomers discover a fourth star, a red dwarf, lurking there.
"Star systems come in myriad forms. There can be single stars, binary stars, triple stars, even quintuple star systems," Lewis Roberts from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory told Discovery News. "It's amazing the way nature puts these things together."
Scientists now believe that four percent of solar-type stars are part of four-star systems. The findings about the new four-star system, named 30 Ari, will be published in the Astronomical Journal.
Because of liability concerns, lots of cities across the U.S. have banned sled-riding in public places. And residents of our nation's capital are taking it lying down — literally.
The Hill reports that protesters upset over the sledding ban on the west lawn of the Capitol — prime sledding real estate — planned to stage a ''sled-in'' today. An online petition to get the Capitol Board Police to lift the ban had more than 800 signatures by noon on Thursday.
A police official told The Hill, ''For security reasons, the Capitol grounds are not your typical neighborhood hill or playground.''
Defiant sledders are reportedly being told to leave the premises ''brusquely'' by police.
As a former local news anchor and current executive vice president of Marriott International, Kathleen Matthews has a lot going for her besides a famous husband. And it looks like she'll try to add to that impressive resume.
Politico reports that the wife of Chris Matthews, the firebrand host of MSNBC's Hardball, has begun "talking to Democratic activists and interviewing potential consultants'' about running for Rep. Chris Van Hollen's (D-Md.) seat, as he leaves to seek retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski's seat.
According to Politico, Kathleen Matthews has worked to improve Marriott's sustainability and to make the company friendlier toward the LGBT community. She also earned kudos from former President Bill Clinton, who recently attended the opening of a Marriott in earthquake-damaged Haiti, an effort Matthews spearheaded.
Mark Lippert, the American ambassador to South Korea, said Thursday he was upbeat and on his way to recovery after an attacker slashed his face with a knife.
"Doing well & in great spirits," he wrote on Twitter.
On Wednesday, a knife-wielding attacker stabbed Lippert during a breakfast lecture in Seoul. South Korean authorities said the assailant, Kim Ki-jong, was a fringe nationalist who acted alone, and President Park Geun-hye condemned the incident as an "intolerable attack on the South Korean-United States alliance."