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Posts tagged ‘Delta Air Lines’

Dick Morris: NFL, Flake Forced Brewer’s Hand.


Image: Dick Morris: NFL, Flake Forced Brewer's HandArizona Gov. Jan Brewer and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell during a Super Bowl host committee handover ceremony in New York.

By Todd Beamon

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a religious protection bill concerning gay rights because she was pressured by the state’s business community and the National Football League, which is scheduled to hold the Super Bowl in the state next year, political analyst Dick Morris told Newsmax late Wednesday.

“I think she vetoed the bill because of pressure from the Arizona business community,” Morris, who served as an aide to President Bill Clinton, told Newsmax in an email. “When Sen. Jeff Flake, a tea party conservative from Arizona, joined his colleague John McCain in urging a veto, it gave her political cover on the right to veto the bill,” Morris said.

Urgent: Is Obamacare Hurting Your Wallet? Vote in Poll 

“I think the [National Football League] had a lot to do with it also,” he said. “By threatening to move the Super Bowl, they epitomized the harm that would flow to Arizona had she signed the bill.

“I don’t think she realistically had any choice. It became a jobs issue — and she had to veto the bill.”

In vetoing the legislation, Brewer said the controversial measure could “create more problems than it purports to solve.”

State Senate Bill 1062 would have allowed business owners to cite their religious beliefs as legal grounds for refusing to serve same-sex couples or any other prospective customer. It was passed by the Republican-controlled Arizona Legislature last week.

“Senate Bill 1062 does not address a specific or present concern related to religious liberty in Arizona,” Brewer said in a brief statement from her office as she announced her decision. “I have not heard one example in Arizona where a business owner’s religious liberty has been violated.”

She then attacked the bill as a broadly worded proposal that “could result in unintended and negative consequences.”

Brewer had come under mounting pressure to veto the measure after both McCain and Flake, both Republicans, opposed it. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential candidate, also spoke against the bill.

Three state Republicans who voted for the bill last week also reversed course and urged Brewer to veto it.

“I appreciate the decision made by Gov. Brewer to veto this legislation,” McCain said in a statement posted on his website. “I hope that we can now move on from this controversy and assure the American people that everyone is welcome to live, work and enjoy our beautiful State of Arizona.”

Flake said on Twitter:

He added in a later post:

The legislation was backed by the Center for Arizona Policy, a socially conservative group that opposes abortion and gay marriage.

Cathi Herrod, the group’s president, said Brewer’s veto marked “a sad day for Arizonans who cherish and understand religious liberty.”

The bill, she said, “passed the legislature for one reason only: to guarantee that all Arizonans would be free to live and work according to their faith.”

“Opponents were desperate to distort this bill rather than debate the merits,” Herrod said. “Essentially, they succeeded in getting a veto of a bill that does not even exist.”

Perhaps the strongest opposition to the legislation came from business leaders. Some who had opposed it threatened to boycott Arizona if Brewer approved it, similar to what many groups did after the state passed a tough anti-illegal immigration law in 2010.

That possibility worried some companies and business organizations, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Among the companies opposing the bill were Apple, American Airlines, Marriott International, and Delta Air Lines.

The Arizona Super Bowl Committee also voiced its opposition to the bill, contending that it would “deal a significant blow” to the state’s economy, the Times reports.

The 2015 Super Bowl is scheduled to be played at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, just outside Phoenix.

In addition, the Hispanic National Bar Association said on Wednesday that it would move its 40th annual convention, scheduled for September 2015 in Phoenix, to another city because of the legislation, the Times reported.

Urgent: Is Obamacare Hurting Your Wallet? Vote in Poll 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 

4 Ways to Evaluate Female Friendships.


two woman talking
(http://www.stockfreeimages.com)

I fly a lot. Maybe too much. It’s how I get to where I need to be to do what I do. Thankfully, I’m on my last regional jet for the year.

There was a time when flying was an adventure, when you boarded large airliners that left on time filled with food, soft blankets and fluffy pillows, which were distributed to all by happy attendants. But that’s not how it looks anymore. Sometimes I feel like hours of my life have been hijacked by the airlines.

More often than not, the planes now come in two categories: small and smaller. Flights are so frequently canceled, I’ve learned to rejoice if mine is simply delayed. Food? No way! It’s no longer included in the mix of escalating airfares.

Regional jets don’t have the overhead space for carry-ons (leave it planeside), let alone blankets or pillows. Too often, the wear and tear of travel has taken its toll on flight attendants, and you’ll notice the skies are not so friendly any more. In short, regional jets are cheaper to operate, but they are not equipped to take you very far.

Some relationships feel like regional jets. No matter how many times you enter them, they feel the same: cramped, poorly maintained, easily canceled, often delayed, costly, stingy and short-ranged. Like a regional jet, these relationships do not have the equipment or capacity to take you very far (even though they carry the same price tag as travel on a 747!).

No matter how many times you prove your loyalty (a true frequent flier), it isn’t long before you discover thefriendship is one-sided. You pay; they take. You never truly move forward because the seatbelt sign is always on, preventing you from ever rising to a place of relief.

Life is a journey that is best traveled with friends. As you move into the next year, ask yourself:

  • Am I traveling unfriendly skies?
  • Am I reinforcing a relationship that is not long-range?
  • Do we have the same destination in mind?
  • Am I investing in what is consistently robbing me of one of my most treasured commodities—my time?

Not every relationship will—or should—last a lifetime. Some connections are made for a season. You can’t always know which friendships will be long-range, but you can choose to recognize and invest in the friendships that have the capacity to go far.

Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE/ SPIRITLED WOMAN.

Lisa Bevere is a best-selling author of Fight Like a Girl, Kissed the Girls and Made them Cry, Out of Control and Loving It! and Be Angry and Don’t Blow It! In addition to speaking at national and international conferences, she is a frequent guest on Christian television and radio shows. She and her husband, best-selling author John Bevere, make their home in Colorado.

Murtala Muhammed Airport Arrival Hall Heat Nearly Killed Us, Delta Passengers Say.


 

By SaharaReporters, New York

SaharaReporters wishes to retract a story republished earlier from PM News claiming that the cooling system of a Delta Airline plane into Lagos had failed, forcing passengers coming out of Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA) to take off their clothes, some of them appearing in semi-nude condition.

This retraction follows the retraction of the story by PM News, and SaharaReporters wishes to do same.

Several passengers who were on the flight told SaharaReporters that it was the heat in the arrival hall of the airport, not the aircraft air conditioning system, that made them to take off their clothes and.

They said the heat in the luggage reclaim area as they awaited their luggage was unbearable, forcing them to depart the Customs Hall in ways that shocked relatives and other airport users.

Similarly PM News reporter Simon Ateba who penned the original story told SaharaReporters his newspaper has since found out that the initial reporting was erroneous, and that it will be corrected as early as possible.

SaharaReporters regrets the erroneous report.

The embattled Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, has spent several billions on airport renovation across the country, but little improvement has been noticed.  The customary epileptic power supply and breakdown of infrastructure continues, with MMA retaining its poor reputation as the most hostile airport in the country through which to travel.

High Court to Weigh in on Legislative Prayers.


The Supreme Court said Monday it will hear a new case on the intersection of religion and government in a dispute over prayers used to open public meetings.

The justices said they will review an appeals court ruling that held that the upstate New York town of Greece, a Rochester suburb, violated the Constitution by opening nearly every meeting over an 11-year span with prayers that stressed Christianity.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the town should have made a greater effort to invite people from other faiths to open its monthly board meetings.

The town says the high court already has upheld prayers at the start of legislative meetings and that private citizens offered invocations of their own choosing. The town said in court papers that the opening prayers should be found to be constitutional, “so long as the government does not act with improper motive in selecting prayer-givers.”

Two town residents who are not Christian complained that they felt marginalized by the steady stream of Christian prayers and challenged the practice. They are represented by Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Reacting to the court action Monday, the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director, said, “A town council meeting isn’t a church service, and it shouldn’t seem like one.”

The town is represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizona-based group that presses faith-based cases in courts nationwide. ADF senior counsel David Cortman said the framers of the Constitution prayed while drafting the Bill of Rights. “Americans today should be as free as the Founders were to pray,” Cortman said.

From 1999 through 2007, and again from January 2009 through June 2010, every meeting was opened with a Christian-oriented invocation. In 2008, after residents Susan Galloway and Linda Stephens complained, four of 12 meetings were opened by non-Christians, including a Jewish layman, a Wiccan priestess and the chairman of the local Baha’i congregation.

A town employee each month selected clerics or lay people by using a local published guide of churches. The guide did not include non-Christian denominations, however. The court found that religious institutions in the town of just under 100,000 people are primarily Christian, and even Galloway and Stephens testified they knew of no non-Christian places of worship there.

The court ruled the town should have expanded its search outside its borders.

Arguments will take place in the fall.

The case is Town of Greece v. Galloway, 12-696.

Also on Monday, the justices voted 6-3 to uphold the Federal Communications Commission‘s authority to try to speed local government decisions on applications to build or expand cell phone towers.

In four other decisions, all unanimous, the court:

— Ruled against the Internal Revenue Service and for companies that want to claim U.S. tax credits to offset millions of dollars in windfall tax payments in Great Britain.

— Allowed a woman to collect attorney’s fees even though she waited too long to file a lawsuit claiming damage from a vaccine.

— Said that convicted murderer Burt Lancaster was not entitled to a new trial, reversing a lower court ruling that said Lancaster should have been allowed to argue that mental illness mitigated his culpability.

— Rejected the Mississippi NAACP’s challenge to the state’s 2011 elections because they were held without adopting new legislative districts to take account of 2010 census results and diluted African-American voting strength.

The justices also:

— Agreed to decide the extent of whistleblower protection for people who report wrongdoing under the Sarbanes Oxley law that tightened accounting regulations in response to corporate scandals.

— Stepped into a dispute between Delta Air Lines and Rabbi S. Binyomin Ginsberg, who sued Delta-owned Northwest Inc. after he was kicked out of its frequent-flier program for complaining too much.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Source: NEWSmax.com

TSA To Delay Lifting Ban on Small Knives.


The U.S. Transportation Security Administration has delayed a decision to allow pocket knives on airliners, according to an internal e-mail sent to agency employees today.

TSA Administrator John Pistole said in the e-mail the agency wanted to further consult with the airline industry before making the change, according to a person familiar with its contents who wasn’t authorized to speak on the record.

The proposed policy change, announced in March, was designed to align U.S. rules with those in Europe and better reflect intelligence on active terrorist threats, the agency said. Instead, the plan provoked protests from flight attendants, air marshals, executives of the largest airlines and the union representing airport screeners.

The decision to delay the April 25 change comes one week after two bombs went off at the Boston Marathon, killing three people and wounding more than 170.

“Last week’s events in Boston underscore our continued focus on explosive devices,” Pistole said in the note to employees.

Transportation security officer training will continue to emphasize these and other evolving threats.”

Pistole said he met today with an advisory committee of industry representatives, which includes flight attendants, pilots, airlines and other parties affected by TSA policy. The decision to “temporarily delay” changes to the prohibited- items list was made to incorporate suggestions and continue the necessary training, he said.

The TSA had said that it intended to ease cabin restrictions of items including knives less than 2.36 inches (6 centimeters) long, hockey sticks and golf clubs to match U.S. rules with those in other parts of the world.

Executives from Delta Air Lines Inc., AMR Corp. and US Airways Group Inc. had condemned TSA’s proposed policy change. Unions representing flight attendants, pilots and airport screeners lobbied Congress for a reversal.

Appearing at a March 14 hearing of the House Transportation Security subcommittee, Pistole defended the new policy and the process that led to it, saying it was necessary for the agency to revise procedures as threats change. He also told lawmakers that responsibility to control passengers rested with the airlines, not the agency.

Pistole drew some key support from House Republicans, including Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul of Texas. A larger group of lawmakers from both parties, including Sens. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, and Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, said they would support legislation to keep knives off planes.

© Copyright 2013 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.
Source: NEWSmax.com

This Is the Week for the US Airways-American Airlines Merger.


Reuters

After weeks of waffling and speculating, several news outlets report that the $11 billion merger between US Airways and American Airlines will arrive as soon as this week. This news follows a number of reports late last week that this was almost a done deal. If approved, the merger would create the nation’s largest airline, ahead of Delta and United, which merged with Continental in 2010, and would reportedly put US Airways chief Doug Parker as CEO of the new company, which would keep the name American Airlines. It would also get to keep that fancy new branding that American unveiled a couple of weeks ago.

Beyond those details, however, things get a little bit complicated. American Airlines, for instance, filed for bankruptcy protection 14 months ago, and so, 72 percent of its stock int he new company would belong to American’s creditors who would also have to approve the deal. The deal will also need the approval of both boards, a bankruptcy judge in New York as well as federal regulators. Futhermore, airline mergers are just complicated to begin with. “Airline mergers are often rocky,” explains The New York Times‘s Jad Mouawad, “involving complex technological systems, big reservation networks as well as large labor groups with different corporate cultures that all need to be combined seamlessly.” Reuters’ sourceswarned, “Negotiations are continuing and could still be delayed or fall apart.”

This is all to say, this is a good week for the big US Air-American Air merger to finally go through. It is also, however, a week during which many things can go wrong. From the consumer’s point of view, though, not much will change. Sure, you’ll have fewer airlines to choose from, but the rapid consolidation of the airline industry has been happening for years. At least we know from experience that the shrinking number of choices won’t make flying more expensive, though.

Source: YAHOO NEWS/ THE ATLANTIC WIRE.

ADAM CLARK ESTES

On Yet Another Encounter With The SSS By Okey Ndibe.


Columnist:

Okey Ndibe

As I approached an immigration officer at the Murtala Muhammed Airport on January 12, I had this sense that a now familiar routine – a brief detention by officials of the State Security Service (SSS) – was going to play out. It had happened during my last four passages through the Lagos airport. Yet, a part of me hoped that it would be different this time.

I had had little sleep the two nights preceding my trip. To worsen matters, flying in on Delta Airlines from Atlanta, other passengers and I had endured a rather stressful flight. Our flight was scheduled to depart Atlanta at 11:50 p.m. and arrive in Lagos about 5 p.m. the next day. However, after the plane had taxied close to the runway, ready for take-off, the pilot announced that he’d caught some cockpit light that indicated there was an issue with the plane’s engine. He was going to return the plane to the hangar to enable mechanics to figure out the problem and to fix it.

Most passengers took it well, but a few edgy ones were visibly agitated. One man sought out a flight attendant and furiously demanded to be let off the plane, even if the engine problem were identified and addressed. My take – and it seemed the consensus of most passengers – was to trust the pilot and flight crew. Once they were satisfied that the plane was flight-worthy, that would be enough for me.

At some point, we were all asked to disembark and process back to the departure hall. Earlier, I had greeted Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka who was traveling on the same flight. I went to him and we talked briefly about literary and political matters. He seemed shocked when I voiced my suspicion that the SSS would, once again, take an interest in me on my arrival in Lagos. Since I hadn’t written about the issue after my first encounter in January, 2011, he didn’t know that the harassment had continued – four times altogether.

Eight or so hours past our original departure time, we were ushered into a different plane to continue the flight to Lagos. I had spent the time between reading, writing or talking to other passengers (certainly not sleeping). I slept fitfully during the flight. By the time the plane landed in Lagos, close to midnight, I was terribly tired, and looked forward to a deserved rest.

True to my suspicion, the immigration officer took one look at my passport, asked me to hold on, and then whispered to an agent of the SSS. Soon, I was ushered to a seat just behind the immigration kiosks and asked to wait. The time was 11:52 p.m. About an hour and a half later, a rather courteous female agent told me that the agency’s airport director was on his way to the baggage claim area to see me. An hour later, I asked why the director hadn’t arrived. “He’s coming,” I was told.

At 3:30 a.m., three and a half hours after my arrival, a male SSS officer asked me to come with him. We were headed upstairs, he said. My impression was that the director was waiting in his office for me. As two SSS agents and I meandered through the airport’s ill-lit, dilapidated arteries, it suddenly hit me: the Murtala Muhammed Airport was the dirtiest, ugliest, most run-down airport I had seen anywhere! There was a little consolation: the elevators were working. It wasn’t the case the last time, in June 2011, I had passed through. Even so, the elevators were so dingy, disheveled and scratched that entering them filled me with a sense of embarking on a reckless adventure.

In short, the airport struck me as a metaphor for Nigeria, a country conceived in hope but reared into near-hopelessness. The airport was as broken, as misshapen, as scarred by neglect and as visually unattractive as much of Nigeria. My eyes wandered to the ceilings, the floors, the walls and saw everywhere evidence of shameless, criminal neglect. An international airport affords the foreign visitor a quick, snap portrait of a country, its people, and their ethos. The MM airport paints a sordid, harsh and unflattering portrait.

After taking one elevator, then another, and then logging my two suitcases up a dusty, chipped flight of stairs, we finally arrived at an office on the fourth floor. One of the agents unlocked the key and I was led into a room with a whiny, ineffectual air-conditioner and two or so couches with torn, discolored leather.

“Sit and relax,” one of the agents told me, as if he had a macabre sense of humor.

“So where’s the director?” I asked.

“He’s coming,” the agent said.

“When will he get here?”

“He can come in any time.”

“What does that mean?” I demanded.

“Just relax. He can come in any time.”

Frustrated by his hedging manner of speaking, I rang two relatives and friends and told them I was again being detained by the SSS. Then the agent glowered at me and told me I was not supposed to make phone calls. He asked to see my phone, and proceeded to switch it off. For the first time, I lost my cool. Who did he think he was, I asked, some dictator? I told him I found his action insulting and disrespectful. Then I demanded that he immediately turn on the phone and return it to me. Just that moment, another officer entered the room, took the phone from him, turned it on, and gave it back to me. Just in time – because a friend had tried to reach me, found my phone turned off, and was about to alert an international news agency. I told him to wait.

I stayed in the room for more than six hours, awake all through despite my tiredness. The director finally arrived just after 9 a.m. Thirty or so minutes later, I was ushered into his office. He was a genial man and appeared quite professional. He immediately apologized profusely for my more than ten-hour detention, and promised to see to it that my name was finally removed from the agency’s watch list.

I told him that, seeing the state of the airport/Nigeria, I had no apologies to offer about my commentary on the country. I explained that I had no plans to write a petition to be removed from the agency’s list. I had not asked to be put on the roll to start with, and – as a matter of principle – I will never plead to be removed from it. As a law-respecting person, I deserve my freedom from all forms of state harassment. And, in the spirit of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, I’m not one to beg for my rights.

In all this drama of detention and release, the immigration did not stamp me in as having arrived in the country. Two days later, I was in Calabar visiting a relative when I received a telephone call from an SSS officer. He asked that I come to the airport after my trip to Cross River and Anambra states to have the immigration anomaly rectified. When I did, the immigration department insisted on stamping me in, not on the day of my actual arrival – Saturday, January 12 – but on the day I showed up again.

Such inconveniences can be grating. Yet, my reaction to the whole experience was not complicated. On the one hand, I could put it all in perspective. Many writers, including Soyinka, had paid and continue to pay much harsher prices. But I also believe that an innocent citizen should not be put upon, not even for one second. And certainly not with so many prominent criminals allowed to strut the stage in freedom, often protected by the country’s law enforcement and security agents! Fear never entered the equation. I believe that, in the end, fear can be a choice – and I have chosen not to fear.

I permitted myself, instead, to entertain some hope, perhaps a fantasy. I told the SSS director that I hoped the day would come – soon – when the SSS and other law enforcement agencies would be re-organized along sound professional lines. Once that happens, these agencies would start going after Nigeria’s real enemies, the criminals who rig elections, plunder and embezzle public funds, and commit other acts that jeopardize Nigeria’s present and future and leave its once proud, prim airport in wretched disrepair. Unless the SSS and other security apparatuses of the Nigerian state learn to tackle the true enemies of Nigeria, whether these enemies are serving or ex-governors, ministers, legislators or presidents; whether they hold such grand-sounding but hollow honorifics as GCFRs, GCONs, MFRs, CONs, and even if they are regaled with equally empty, so-called chieftaincy titles – unless this starts happening (and urgently), Nigeria’s doom is certain to proceed.
(okeyndibe@gmail.com)

Please follow me on twitter @ okeyndibe

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

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