Barbara Bush hospitalized for bronchitis, President Bush remains in ICU

The former first lady said through a spokesperson she "feels 1,000 percent better," while doctors are hopeful the 41st president will be moved out of the ICU in a few days.
By Stephen Feller   |   Jan. 19, 2017 at 9:37 PM
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Former first lady Barbara Bush was hospitalized in Houston earlier this week for bronchitis, joining her husband, former President George H.W. Bush, who has been in the hospital receiving treatment for an respiratory problem linked to pneumonia since Saturday.

Barbara Bush has been receiving treatment at Houston Methodist Hospital for bronchitis since Tuesday, but doctors say she has responded well to treatment and is feeling much better.

President Bush has been in the intensive care unit since Wednesday, when he was put on a ventilator to help him breathe, but is reportedly stable and doctors are discussing removing the tube to allow him to breath on his own because his condition has improved.

"President Bush had a good night's rest and remains in stable condition in the ICU at Houston Methodist Hospital," Bush family spokesman Jim McGrath said in a statement.

McGrath also said Barbara Bush, 91, was brought to the hospital on Tuesday with symptoms diagnosed as bronchitis. She was admitted and has been treated with "antibiotics and some good rest," and McGrath said she "feels '1,000 percent better this morning.'"

President Bush, 92, has been at the hospital since Saturday, where he went with "an acute respiratory problem stemming from pneumonia." Early Wednesday morning, Bush underwent a procedure to protect and clear his airway and is currently breathing with the help of a ventilator.

Doctors thought President Bush would be able to return home by the end of the week, however they have kept him hospitalized and are currently debating whether or not to remove the breathing tube.

"We are hopeful he will be discharged from the ICU in a few days," McGrath said, though there is no timetable for the 41st president's release from the hospital.

© 2017 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.

Rideshare company Uber to pay $20M for exaggerating drivers' pay

Federal regulators said Uber overshot claimed median incomes by tens of thousands of dollars.
By Doug G. Ware   |   Jan. 19, 2017 at 8:53 PM

Jan. 19 (UPI) -- Smartphone-based shuttle service Uber on Thursday agreed to pay $20 million to resolve federal charges that alleged the company misled potential drivers by overstating the incomes they can earn.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission said Uber greatly exaggerated yearly and hourly driver earnings by tens of thousands of dollars. For example, regulators said, the company stated the yearly median income for an UberX driver in New York City was about $90,000 -- when the figure is actually closer to $60,000.

Similarly, claims of about $74,000 per year in San Francisco are really about $53,000, officials said.

"Less than 10 percent of all drivers in those cities earned the yearly income Uber touted," the FTC said in a news release. "Uber made high hourly earnings claims in job listings, including on Craigslist, but that the typical Uber driver failed to earn those advertised hourly amounts in various cities."

Also, the federal charges accused Uber of also misleading prospective drivers with its Vehicle Solutions Program, which offers drivers auto financing.

The settlement was filed in federal court in San Francisco.

"Many consumers sign up to drive for Uber, but they shouldn't be taken for a ride about their earnings potential or the cost of financing a car through Uber," Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement announcing the settlement Thursday. "This settlement will put millions of dollars back in Uber drivers' pockets."

Claims about the company's auto assistance program underestimated amounts drivers would have to pay to finance or lease a vehicle, the charges said.

"We're pleased to have reached an agreement with the FTC," Uber said in a statement. "We've made many improvements to the driver experience over the last year and will continue to focus on ensuring that Uber is the best option for anyone looking to earn money on their own schedule."

On Uber's website, it tells potential recruits they can "make great money" by driving fares around town. The entire process is transacted through the firm's smartphone app.

The $20 million settlement will go toward refunds for affected drivers across the United States.

Thursday's agreement also prohibits Uber from engaging in similar deceptive promises about incomes and financing in the future.

© 2017 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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