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Airport security: Four passengers removed from flight in Baltimore

Law enforcement is questioning three men and one woman who were removed from a Chicago-bound flight from Baltimore Tuesday morning after a fellow passenger alerted flight crew to suspicious activity as the plane taxied toward the runway. Spirit Airlines Flight 969 returned to the gate at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, where all aboard were temporarily deplaned, according to ABC 7’s Suzanne Kennedy[1], a passenger on the flight.

Psgrs had carry on luggage. Several backpacks Appeared to be in early 30s and of middle eastern descent

Suzanne Kennedy (@ABC7Suzanne) November 17, 2015[2]

Crew asked police to remove four passengers, who are being interviewed. Maryland Transportation Authority representative Sgt. Jonathan Green told the Baltimore Sun that none of them were under arrest[3] as of 9:30 Tuesday morning. Spirit Airline said that the flight, originally scheduled to depart at 6 a.m., had been cleared by the Transportation Security Administration and took off after 9 a.m..

Airport Security: Four Passengers Removed From Flight In Baltimore Airport Security: Four Passengers Removed From Flight In Baltimore

On Sunday, two passengers were removed from an American Airlines flight at nearby Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. In that case, the pair were questioned, then put on another flight[4]; no charges have been filed. The crash of a Russian charter plane in Sinai, Egypt last month, which Russian officials now say was due to a homemade bomb[5] explosion, raised alarm in US airports, which moved to tighten security[6]. Worries over airport safety escalated after last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris, which killed more than 120 people, and an Islamic State video released on Monday which threatens similar violence in Washington, DC. In Atlanta, the busiest airport in the world, security increased for both passengers and 40,000 staff[7], stepping up employee screening and cutting the number of access points to secure areas.

Atlanta passenger Blake Alford says he accidentally flew to Chicago with a loaded semi-automatic pistol in his carryon, which airport security overlooked.

“People need to know TSA needs to tighten up[8],” Mr. Alford told CBS 46. “They’ll take toothpaste. They’ll make people get out of wheelchairs. They’ll make me take off my belt buckle and my shoes. How did my gun go through?”

This report contains material from the Associated Press.

References

  1. ^ ABC 7’s Suzanne Kennedy (twitter.com)
  2. ^ November 17, 2015 (twitter.com)
  3. ^ none of them were under arrest (www.baltimoresun.com)
  4. ^ the pair were questioned, then put on another flight (www.bostonglobe.com)
  5. ^ due to a homemade bomb (www.csmonitor.com)
  6. ^ raised alarm in US airports, which moved to tighten security (www.csmonitor.com)
  7. ^ security increased for both passengers and 40,000 staff (www.11alive.com)
  8. ^ TSA needs to tighten up (www.cbs46.com)

Want women to protect themselves from assault? Give ’em guns

Violence against women is out of control. As a country we ve hit a saturation point even the most shocking stories don t seem to jolt us any more than tonguing a new battery would, and what does have the power to put a bad taste in our mouths is easily chased by the next news cycle. Progress is hard fought for, and even harder won. What small respite there is for those who fight can quickly be usurped by people in positions of power, like Calgary Judge Robin Camp, who have seemingly been steeped in the patriarchy for so long, they re poached.

Last week, Judge Camp was in the news due to comments he made in a sexual assault case he adjudicated in 2014 that appeared to have left him truly flabbergasted: throughout the trial, he asked the victim a gamut of personal questions gems such as, Why couldn t you just keep your knees together? and “Why didn’t you just sink your bottom down into the basin so he couldn’t penetrate you?” Some might argue he was confused, others have said he s simply behind the curve[1]. Personally, I lean toward complete mental break as a reasonable explanation for Camp s behaviour. But the fact remains that he s not the exception in Canada, he remains the rule. Judge Camp isn t a bad egg, he s just a regular old shitty egg, operating in a system where much of the onus is still placed on women to remain vigilant at all costs to prevent sexual assault from happening (not to mention the pressure on victims of violence and assault to report it and to stand before the justice system with trust and confidence). We re making some headway in terms of public discourse, yet the message to women in Canada from local[2] to national[3] news remains a tired sense of deja vu[4], that the conversations we re trying to have about our safety remain ours to hold in a vacuum. And we re tenacious! But we re getting killed. Every six days a woman in Canada is killed by her partner[5], and odds like that are just what s being reported[6]. The cost to women is too high[7] to maintain the same shitty rhetoric, the same tired discourse: that we should hang in there, keep our heads down, our eyes open and hope for the best. So it s time for something different: give women guns.

Every woman in the country, cis, trans, any body identifying as a woman, give em a gun. You want us to take care of ourselves so badly, fine but karate (ablest), working diligently and cooperatively for progressive change (tiring), sticking our keys out from between our clenched fingers and only walking in places we know at night (accidentally slashing our friends) isn t cutting it, so pony up and give Canadian women the ability to do the thing you re all such a fan of protect themselves. The implementation of this new national security measure could be handled quickly and easily, with little cost to taxpayers and nary new fodder for naysayers. Roll out guns like Green Bins in the GTA, and then roll out Green Bins to everyone in Canada who doesn t have one yet (seems overdue to be honest). Deliver the two together, gun rattling triumphantly inside Green Bin, with matching serial numbers on each tied to the owner. Household waste production would see an easy 80 per cent drop in family homes alone, with new built-in, no cost enforcement to better separation of common trash and green waste care of kids now nervously enthusiastic to do their chores. Speaking of kids, the legal age in Canada to apply for a gun license is only 12 years old, which seems a ripe old age to start giving girls guns. For the initial country-wide G-day (that s what it would be called: already a Toronto Sun appropriate headline and highly riffable, not to mention easy to track on social media) all women up to 80 years of age would be the recipient of a new firearm. Any woman wishing to not pack heat is welcome to do so, and all firearms at any time may be dropped into specially marked Canada Post mailboxes where they will be accessed by female mail carriers only (via pheromone sensors) and returned to the national gun registry to be redistributed. Likewise, any woman who has given up the glock can request a replacement at any time. After 80 years of age, all Canadian women are sent on an all-inclusive vacation to the destination of their choice for the rest of their days, using the surplus of money saved on cuts to law enforcement now deemed unnecessary and archaic.

Moreover, air marshals, security guards, transit police, off-duty cops paid overtime to guard movie sets or parade routes would all be rendered obsolete, being that at least 50 per cent of the population is locked and loaded at all times. Policing in Canada would get a much-needed, long overdue overhaul, given its most intelligent and emotionally cognizant populace now uphold the law in most circumstances via citizen s arrests and good common sense and damn do they look good doing it. The military, too, would become a safe space to all women and their LGBT allies with Don t Ask, Don t Tell fading instead to an annual, well-regarded candygram program that takes place on army bases right around Valentine s Day. An initial argument against the armament of all Canadian women will likely be: sure, but how much is it gonna cost us to teach roughly 17.2 million women to shoot? The answer is: nothing. Sure, it might be a little rocky at first, but there ll be plenty of chances for ladies to collectively perfect their aims with the steadily rising for now number of violent crimes and unchecked assaults against women. These incidents will naturally drop as assailants begin to be better and more easily recognized due to things like parts of their ears missing, garish lines traced across their faces by stray bullets, missing fingers, etc. A more reliable, visible, violent sex offender registry will be created at no extra cost to the Canadian government. Bullets of course will be subsidized by each province at no added cost to taxpayers using all the money stockpiled over the years by the now defunct luxury tampon tax. Turns out a $14,000 white gold bullet is very luxurious. Strain on our healthcare system will decrease as will violent crime. The funding once used to prop up flailing emergency rooms will be redirected into groundbreaking research for all types of cancer, stroke, heart disease, lung disease you name it since ERs would mainly be visited on Halloween by guys in too-small sexy versions of costumes that have cut off their circulation. Not to mention better elder care and free child care, given that many police stations naturally become half-staffed and are renovated into daycares and community centres. There will basically be one public pool for every 20 Canadians.

An inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women would be launched and solved in under a year, given that women would have tools to police themselves and their own well-being. The energy once invested into fighting tooth and nail for basic humanitarian recognition would be redirected into local communities. Allyship too would take on a new meaning, as women begin to feel they can finally help enforce toothless laws or simply speak up without fear of vitriol or violence. The government, simply put, would become as transparent as the limited edition Hudson s Bay Arctic Ice Initiative crystal ankle holster created in honour of Canada s 150th anniversary. With the strain removed from our healthcare system and countrywide crime and violence basically non-existent, plus all the other economic, social and environmental benefits, Canada would enter its most prosperous, peaceful and green years yet. It will turn out, at a surprise mostly to lunatics like Judge Camp, that people who ve been oppressed in one way, shape or form for most of their waking lives make for very benevolent, thoughtful enforcers. Of course ushering in the era of a gun-filled Canada is going to take some time. As sound a plan as it is, the system it will change overnight isn t going to change overnight. In the meantime, there are executable tools by women, for women, that exist right now to achieve some of the same aims in women s safety and basic welfare. Tools like the Safety Information System (SIS)[8] app by Metrac allow women to report sexual violence and harassment in real-time, and track what may have already been reported in their communities.

Perhaps what s most unfortunate, aside from there not being a mandatory age of retirement for old judges and lawmakers, is that implementing a Canada of armed women would see as much knee-jerk rejection and outrage as a Canada of women armed with real equality. Maybe it s time for more untraditional tactics.

References

  1. ^ behind the curve (www.cbc.ca)
  2. ^ local (www.cbc.ca)
  3. ^ national (www.ottawasun.com)
  4. ^ deja vu (www.thestar.com)
  5. ^ killed by her partner (ottawacitizen.com)
  6. ^ what s being reported (www.canadianwomen.org)
  7. ^ too high (www.cbc.ca)
  8. ^ Safety Information System (SIS) (www.metrac.org)
  9. ^

Secret Service officer appears in court in sexting case

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) – A Secret Service officer charged with trying to solicit a 14-year-old girl for sex made an initial appearance Monday in federal court, where he was told he could face 10 years in prison if convicted of trying to transfer obscene material to a minor. The hearing was held just hours after Lee Robert Moore, 37, was released from a Delaware state prison into the custody of U.S. Marshals. Moore appeared in court wearing blue jeans, sneakers and a long-sleeve shirt commemorating the 2001 Army-Navy football game. He nodded and smiled at his parents and wife, who was holding the couple’s infant son, as they walked into the courtroom. The judge later agreed to delay the hearing for about 15 minutes while Moore’s wife tended to the baby.

Magistrate Judge Sherry Fallon agreed to appoint a federal public defender to represent Moore, based on a financial affidavit he submitted to the court.