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KQED Radio

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And the Boeing company we are sorry deeply and truly sorry Michael still mo was in the audience that day his daughter Samuel was on the Ethiopian airlines flight the second plane which crashed in March since then he's been working to hold bone accountable for what happened and calling for changes in how the industry is regulated welcome thank you first what's your reaction to Boeing's decision today more than a year after the first crash to fire the CEO it's a good first step more is needed there should be resignations on the board itself with the private equity board members in the celebrity ambassador board members low quality board you say it's a low quality board I know you've been really critical of the whole culture at Boeing where the company shifted from a focus on engineers and safety to what you characterize the focus on business executives and profits do you think that broader cultural shift at the company is responsible for the events that led to your daughter's death absolutely David Calhoun is now the head of the board he's been around since two thousand nine under the McNerney era the prior CEO and now Mollen Berg unit in Rocha quality then when they fired engineers they outsourced to low cost countries outsourced software writing and all the while we're extracting wells and doing financial engineering but not innovation and safety engineering so this is the kind of criticism that you're leveling of the company goes far beyond two crashes or even a single model of airplane to that the fundamentals of the company itself do you think that this kind of activism can make as deep and systemic the changes as as you were looking for I don't know if you call what I'm doing activism make you they blow all my family they kill Sam yeah and and we're we're starting to figure out why but I do know that when you have the things that you know we now know they knew if you are a manufacturing CEO and you find these things are going on in your plan you fix it now you go and you clean house you put in systems to detect the stuff before it gets out of hand you do not sweep it under the rug it is bad management and it kills people in this case you've also been critical of the role of government regulators the Federal Aviation Administration what kind of change do you think is necessary at the FAA sure we simply need to move delegation back to the way it was just before two thousand five when Congress passed a law requiring the S. eight eight two source virtually all certification and design work to the manufacturer when you're for two thousand five you're talking about a shift where there used to be investigators with a relative degree of independence inspecting the safety at Boeing and that was replaced by investigators who reported directly to Boeing managers that's right in before five the safety culture could stop the process if there was a problem happening after two thousand five increasingly they could not because they were overruled by Boeing managers who wanted to keep it quiet the country right now is having a debate over the role and size of government where democratic presidential candidates are pushing for tighter controls on corporations and Republicans including president trump are saying the American economy is strong because companies have been given more room to breathe how do you situate the fight that you are having with Boeing with the FAA into this larger national conversation more regulation versus less regulation is the wrong frame make there's no awesome should be gotten rid of some shouldn't but in this case everybody flies we know what now happens after these planes that Boeing is been allowed to self certify self regulate and we have found as families that both Republicans and Democrats congressmen and senators they fly their families fly their staff flies and they don't want to die in a plane that's Michael stew mow his daughter Samir was killed when a Boeing seven thirty seven Max flight crashed earlier this year thank you for speaking with us today thank you Americans are dying younger and what's driving that downward trend in life expectancy is higher death rates among people who should be in their prime people from twenty five years of age to sixty four one major cause of that's is a spike in fatal drug overdoses NPR's Melissa block went to the Ohio River valley which has seen some of the largest increases in mid life mortality to meet some of the people directly affected I drive along this stretch of the Ohio River between West Virginia and Ohio takes you past the whole king rusted.