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April 14, 2017


"USA Drops MOAB on Islamic State Target in Afghanistan"
MOAB: massive ordnance air blast weapon aka GBU-43B,unleashes 11 tons of explosives

Washington (AP) and by Amir Shah in Kabul, Afghanistan

U.S. forces in Afghanistan on Thursday, April 13th struck an Islamic State tunnel complex in eastern Afghanistan with "the mother of all bombs," The largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat by the U.S. military, Pentagon officials said. The bomb, known officially as a GBU-43B, or massive ordnance air blast weapon, unleashes 11 tons of explosives. When it was developed in the early 2000s, the Pentagon did a formal review of legal justification for its combat use.

President Donald Trump called a "very, very successful mission." The U.S. military headquarters in Kabul said in a statement that the bomb was dropped at 7:32 p.m. local time Thursday on a tunnel complex in Achin district of Nangarhar province, where the Afghan affiliate of the Islamic State group has been operating. The target was close to the Pakistani border.

The U.S. estimates 600 to 800 IS fighters are present in Afghanistan, mostly in Nangarhar. The U.S. has concentrated heavily on combating them while also supporting Afghan forces battling the Taliban. Just last week a U.S. Army Special Forces soldier, Staff Sgt. Mark R. De Alencar, 37, of Edgewood, Maryland, was killed in action in Nangarhar.

The MOAB is a custom-made Air Force weapon that has been in the arsenal for more than a decade but never used on the battlefield, although it was available throughout the Iraq war. It is designed to hit softer targets such as surface facilities, tunnel entrances and troop concentrations. It is pushed out the rear of the launching aircraft, guided to its target by GPS and slowed by a parachute. A separate non-nuclear weapon known as the Massive Ordnance Penetrator, or MOP, which is larger in its physical dimensions but carries a smaller load of conventional explosives, is designed to take out deeply buried targets like reinforced bunkers. The MOP has never been used in combat. In its 2003 review of the legality of using the MOAB, the Pentagon concluded that it could not be called an indiscriminate killer under the Law of Armed Conflict.  "Although the MOAB weapon leaves a large footprint, it is discriminate and requires a deliberate launching toward the target," the review said. It added: "It is expected that the weapon will have a substantial psychological effect on those who witness its use."

Adam Stump, a Pentagon spokesman, said the bomb was dropped from a U.S. MC-130 special operations transport. He said the bomb had been brought to Afghanistan "some time ago" for potential use. Army Gen. John W. Nicholson, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said in a written statement that the strike was designed to minimize the risk to Afghan and U.S. forces conducting clearing operations in the Achin area "while maximizing the destruction" of IS fighters and facilities. He said IS has been using improvised explosive devices, bunkers and tunnels to strengthen its defenses. "This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS-K," the acronym for the IS affiliate.

Ismail Shinwari, the governor of Achin district, said the U.S. attack was carried out in a remote mountainous area with no civilian homes nearby and that there had been no reports of injured civilians. He said there has been heavy fighting in the area in recent weeks between Afghan forces and IS militants. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said IS fighters had used the tunnels and caves in Achin to maneuver freely. Mr Spicer said, "The United States takes the fight against ISIS very seriously and in order to defeat the group we must deny them operational space, which we did,"

Would significantly alter U.S. policy

NBC News

The National Security Council has presented President Trump with options to respond to North Korea’s nuclear program, including putting American nukes in South Korea or killing dictator Kim Jong-un, multiple top-ranking intelligence and military officials told NBC News. Both scenarios are part of an accelerated review of North Korea policy prepared in advance of President Donald Trump’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping this week.

The White House hopes the Chinese will do more to influence Pyongyang through diplomacy and enhanced sanctions. But if that fails, and North Korea continues its development of nuclear weapons, there are other options on the table that would significantly alter U.S. policy. The first and most controversial course of action under consideration is placing U.S. nuclear weapons in South Korea. The U.S. withdrew all nuclear weapons from South Korea 25 years ago. Bringing back bombs to Osan Air Base which is less than 50 miles south of Seoul, would mark the first overseas nuclear deployment since the end of the Cold War, an unquestionably provocative move.

To curb coal traffic between the two countries

A fleet of North Korean cargo ships is heading home to the port of Nampo, the majority of it fully laden, after China ordered its trading companies to return coal from the isolated country, shipping data shows. Following repeated missile tests that drew international criticism, China banned all imports of North Korean coal on Feb. 26, cutting off the country’s most important export product.

To curb coal traffic between the two countries, China’s customs department issued an official order on April 7 telling trading companies to return their North Korean coal cargoes, said three trading sources with direct knowledge of the order.

We we react strongly to nuclear threats, China says

Kit Daniels

China said it will “react strongly” to the rogue nation’s nuclear threats, reported China’s state-run Global Times. They said Beijing will not “remain indifferent”to North Korea’s warmongering and "Pyongyang’s aggravating violation of the UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution." A powerful statement given that China has already put its troops on nationwide high alert over the situation.

“More and more Chinese support the view that the government should enhance sanctions over Pyongyang’s nuclear activities. If the North makes another provocative move this month, the Chinese society will be willing to see the UNSC adopt severe restrictive measures that have never been seen before, such as restricting oil imports to the North.”

“Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program is intended for securing the regime, however, it is reaching a tipping point. Pyongyang hopes its gamble will work, but all signs point to the opposite direction.” This isn’t just rhetoric by China.  The Chi-coms may have already deployed nearly 175,000 troops on its border with North Korea who are likely not just there to deal with refugees but also for a possible invasion combined with the US striking North Korea from the sea. China’s warning comes only days before North Korea’s April 15th, Day of the Sun, national holiday, a symbolic date Pyongyang may use to test another intercontinental ballistic missile.

It’s speculated that US Special Forces are already deploying to North Korea to sabotage some of the country’s military capabilities in advance of a potential sea-based strike by a US carrier group. And China is sending coal back to North Korea, which is North Korea’s biggest export to China. Additionally, some have said that North Korea’s Organization and Guidance Dept. has long been the power behind the throne and doesn’t necessarily back Kim Jong-un’s incessant saber rattling. The OGD may use China’s help to initiate a coup inside North Korea.

"You're falling for the dumbest thing I've ever seen"

Paul Joseph Watson

A Marine veteran told Donald Trump that he is being “duped” on Syria and that the vast majority of the president’s supporters will not endorse regime change. Trump said that he was considering military intervention in response to a chemical weapons attack in Idlib province, while Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said “steps are underway” to create an international coalition to topple Bashar Al-Assad.

Former Marine Angelo John Gage, who served two tours in Iraq, took to Twitter to warn Trump that he was being deceived. Asserting that Trump was cozying up to the same media and the deep state that has tried to destroy him at every turn, Gage said he voted for Trump “to make America great again, not make the Middle East great again. “We have no interest in Syria….we have to focus on our own country and you’re being distracted and duped – it’s so obvious – it’s blatantly obvious how ridiculous this narrative is and how fake it is,” said Gage.

“They lied about your taxes, they lied about Russian collusion, they lied about DNC rigging, they lied about everything and you’re falling for this – now they’re telling the truth about Syria, magically just for you,” he added. “A lot of us voted for you because you’re supposed to be the ‘no war’ candidate – Hillary would have gotten us to war, you know that – yet here you are four months into your administration and you want to consider military action?” asked Gage.

The vet went on to question why Trump immediately chose to trust the same intelligence sources who have repeatedly lied in the past about weapons of mass destruction. “You work for us, Mr. President – we voted for you because you were supposed to take care of us – none of us want to go to Syria…... even if it was true it has nothing to do with us,” added Gage, opining that the jihadist rebels were the likely culprits behind the gas attack. “You should know better, you’re supposed to be the strategic mastermind, but you’re falling for the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen – be smart, do the right thing and put America first,” he concluded.

Gage’s rant is in line with sympathies held by active duty and military veterans before Barack Obama’s 2013 threat to invade Syria when the United States came perilously close to embroiling itself in yet another disastrous attempt at regime change. Back then, servicemembers posted images on social media vowing that they would not act as “Al-Qaeda’s air force” to help jihadists capture the country.

"They plan to plant chemicals in Damascus and accuse the Syrian government of an attack”.

Steve Watson

Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed that the recent chemical attack in Idlib province in Syria was a false flag operation, and that more ‘provocations’ are being prepared. "We have reports from multiple sources that false flags like this one – and I cannot call it otherwise – are being prepared in other parts of Syria, including the southern suburbs of Damascus.” Putin said during a joint press conference with Italian President Sergio Mattarella in Moscow. Mr Putin added, “They plan to plant some chemicals there and accuse the Syrian government of an attack,” Putin told media representatives, that he has “trusted sources”.

Putin went on to compare the situation in Syria to Saddam Hussein’s non existent weapons of mass destruction, indicating that he may believe that the US is either behind the false flag, or at least actively pushing such propaganda, while anti-government rebels in Syria carried out the attack.

“President Mattarella and I discussed it, and I told him that this reminds me strongly of the events in 2003, when the US representatives demonstrated at the UN Security Council session the presumed chemical weapons found in Iraq.” Putin said. “The military campaign was subsequently launched in Iraq and it ended with the devastation of the country, the growth of the terrorist threat and the appearance of Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS] on the world stage,” Putin added.

“All incidents reminiscent of the chemical attacks that took place in Idlib must be thoroughly investigated,” Putin concluded, also clarifying that he has no scheduled meeting with Rex Tillerson, who is on his way to Russia. In addition, the Russian general staff has said that Syrian forces posses no chemical weapons, and that further US Syria strikes will be viewed as unacceptable.

Met with the Russian president just hours into his trip to the country this week

Kaitlan Collins | Daily Caller

Rex Tillerson met "unexpectedly" with Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the Kremlin in Moscow on Wednesday. A State Department official confirmed that Donald Trump’s secretary of state met with the Russian president. There has been tension between the two countries after the USA launched a missile attack against a Syrian air base last week. The White House senior administration officials said, it was clear that the Russian government is trying to cover up Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian regime’s culpability for the chemical attack in the country that left at least 80 people dead.

“This reminds me very much of the events of 2003, when U.S. representatives in the Security Council showed alleged chemical weapons discovered in Iraq,” Putin said in response. “The exact same thing is happening now.”

Three Russian Tu-95 Bear bombers took off from a base in eastern Russia

Fox News

For the first time in nearly three months, Russia flew nuclear-capable “Bear” bombers near Japan, Wednesday, the latest sign of increasing tensions in the region. The officials said three Russian Tu-95 Bear bombers took off from a base in eastern Russia flying in the Sea of Japan and remained in international airspace. One U.S. official described the Russian bomber flight as “clearly meant to send a message.” This latest provocation from Russia comes as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visits Moscow, Wednesday, the first visit by a cabinet member to Russia since President Trump assumed office.

'I still believe we should have done a no-fly zone'

Adan Salazar

Democrat presidential loser Hillary Clinton emerged from the woods Thursday to pledge her support for military intervention in Syria. The defeated secretary of state called for the Trump administration to bomb Syrian air fields during an interview at the Women of the World Summit in New York. “I still believe we should have done a no-fly zone,” she said. “We should have been more willing to confront Assad.” “Assad has an air force, and that air force is the cause of most of these civilian deaths as we have seen over the years and as we saw again in the last few days,” Clinton stated. “And I really believe that we should have and still should take out his air fields and prevent him from being able to use them to bomb innocent people and drop sarin gas on them,” she said, raising her voice to applause.

The Trump administration weighed military options in Syria after a suspected chemical weapon was used in Idlib, southeast of Aleppo. While sarin gas has been suspected in the attack, the actual chemical used has not been confirmed. Key ally Russia has called for an investigation into the charges against the Syrian regime, while Syrian government officials have denied carrying out the act.

“I stress to you once again: the Syrian army has not, did not, and will not use this kind of weapons – not just against our own people, but even against the terrorists that are targeting our civilians indiscriminately,” Syria’s foreign minister Walid Muallem said at a press conference in Damascus Thursday.

Evidence Mounts Syrian WMD Attack Was False Flag

The mainstream media news outlets have done nothing but push the total war agenda after the chemical attack, but who really stands to gain from the overthrow of the Assad regime in Syria. Evidence Mounts Syrian WMD Attack Was False Flag.

"I don’t want to support people who hate our country"

Steve Watson

Senator Rand Paul has urged the President to stick to the position on Syria that he espoused before taking office – that military intervention will do more harm than good. The Senator retweeted a tweet from Trump posted in August of 2013, when a similar chemical weapon attack to this week’s was blamed on the Syrian government. At the Time Trump tweeted , “What will we get for bombing Syria besides more debt and possible long term conflict? Obama needs Congressional approval." What will we get for bombing Syria besides more debt and a possible long term conflict? Obama needs Congressional approval. While he condemned the reported attacks in the Syrian city of Idlib, Paul noted that what Trump wrote “remains true today as it was in 2013. Both parts.”

The president said that the attack “crossed a lot of lines for me” and that his “attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much.” After saying last week that it was up to the Syrian people, rather than outsiders to decide what to do about Assad, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he now believes that Russia needs to reconsider its support of the Assad regime.

In a further interview Senator Paul reminded viewers that the support provided by the US government to Syrian rebels in the past has led directly to the current situation in Syria. “I think it’s also important to note that on the rebel side that McCain wants to support, are radical Islamists, who hate America and hate Israel. And I don’t want to support people who hate our country" Paul noted.

“I don’t want to support people who say when they’re done with Assad they are going to attack Israel and not ISIS. So it’s a complicated situation. And it may be — may well be a war that has no friends in it. And that makes it a difficult position to watch.” the Senator added. “But I think also we have actually allowed the situation by pushing Assad back and being part of that. We allowed a vacuum to let ISIS fill that — that’s been a mistake.” Paul urged.

Neil Gorsuch Was Sworn In As The 113th Justice Of The Supreme Court Of The United States
President Trump addressed the assembled crowd at the Rose Garden before the swearing-in

by Ian Mason

Justice Anthony Kennedy, under whom Gorsuch clerked upon graduating law school more than two decades ago, administered the oath of office to now-Justice Gorsuch. Judge Gorsuch’s ascendance will give the Supreme Court its full compliment of nine justices for the first time since Justice Antonin Scalia, passed away last February. In attendance were President Donald Trump, other top administration officials, and all eight sitting justices of the Supreme Court. Monday’s swearing-in comes after a protracted confirmation fight that saw both the first threatened partisan filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee and a resort to the “constitutional option” of changing Senate rules to prohibit such filibusters. The administration’s triumph in that fight came as a major boost to morale, fulfilling a campaign promise to deliver Justice Scalia’s seat to a conservative jurist.

Alluding to the confirmation fight, he thanked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) for their efforts to bring Gorsuch to this day.

The president also referenced Scalia’s legacy, which Gorsuch now is poised to defend, nodding to the late justice’s widow, Maureen, who was also in attendance. “The Ceremony has special meaning as Justice Gorsuch is filling the seat of one of the greatest Supreme Court judges in American history, and that’s Antonin Scalia,” he said. Justice Gorsuch replied in his own address, assuring the crowd that that legacy was safe. “I won’t ever forget that the seat I inherit today is that of a very, very great man,” he said. Gorsuch also promised to be a “faithful servant of the Constitution and laws of this great nation.”

PostNord to stop delivery of mail in Swedish migrant suburb of Rinkeby because it's "not safe".

Zero Hedge

Rather than help the police arresting a suspect in Friday’s horrendous terrorist attack in Stockholm, migrant residents of the suburb of Rinkeby apparently decided instead to pelt the arresting officers with rocks. Of course, the incident was just one more example of the unintended consequences of Sweden’s ‘open border’ policies and a direct contradiction of arguments from senior Swedish officials suggest that the influx of migrants hasn’t made towns like Rinkeby any less safe.

Less than 24 hours later, the Swedish postal service has been forced to suspend service to Rinkeby after declaring the area “unsafe” for workers. So if the no-go zones in Sweden are simply ‘fake news’, as the mainstream media would suggest, perhaps they should give the ‘all clear’ to Rinkeby’s postal workers who are refusing to even go outside. Maria Ibsen, press officer at PostNord says that they currently do not know how long the protective stop will continue. Dialogue continues with several parties but the hope is to be able to resolve the unsafe situation in the future.

Björn Schenholm, property manager at Einar Mattsson, who manage the properties in Hjulsta, estimates that about 120 households affected by the stoppage.

Of course, we don’t suspect you’ll read about this service interruption from any MSM outlets as they’re too busy fulfilling their obligations to suppress ‘inconvenient’ facts that may hinder their pro-globalist agendas. Morris Cabrioli of a Swedish news agency said that he was “frustrated” by the news that last week’s terrorist attack was carried out by a migrant who wasn’t even supposed to be in the country. Mr Cabriol added that, "Not a single mainstream media reported the death of Ebba Åkerlund, 11 years old, killed in the Stockholm terror attack."  It’s a small admission but the first step is admitting you have a problem.

Wrath of Ben Carson – Housing and Urban Development in Big Trouble Over What Carson has Uncovered at Agency
Over $520 billion in bookkeeping errors- Hundreds of billions of dollars in bookkeeping errors that are so bad an audit can’t even be completed and multiple instances of a failure to comply with laws and regulations?

LN Buzz Team

It’s no secret that Ben Carson is a small government conservative. While his primary campaign performance might have been a little low key or lackadaisical for some, his honest narratives were heartfelt and spot on. His positions were clear and difficult to argue. He is the real deal. Now that Dr Carson in charge of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) he isn’t messing around. He’s getting right to work and one of the first big news items to come out of it is an explosive unearthing of huge waste of taxpayer dollars.

What makes this worse is that HUD’s financial books are in bad shape. HUD’s Inspector General (IG) can’t complete an audit even after HUD officials corrected $520 billion in bookkeeping errors, according to a new IG report.”

“Officials at HUD fixed $3.4 billion in errors from its 2015 books and $516.4 billion in December was unable to issue an opinion on either year’s financial statements and highlighted 11 material weaknesses, 7 significant deficiencies and 5 instants of failure to comply with laws and regulations.” Hundreds of billions of dollars in bookkeeping errors that are so bad an audit can’t even be completed and multiple instances of a failure to comply with laws and regulations?

EU threatens independence of nations

Jamie White

The European Union Commission has threatened to take defiant EU member states like Hungary and Poland to court if they continue to defy their migrant relocation policy.Hungary and Poland have so far refused to take part in the EU’s scheme to move 160,000 migrants from Italy to Greece – the main entry points –  to elsewhere in the EU.

“If member states do not increase their relocations soon, the Commission will not hesitate to make use of its powers for those which have not complied,” stated a Commission spokesman.

Hungary has filed its own lawsuit against the migrant relocation policy and a hearing at the European Court of Justice is due next month.The Commission’s legal threats apply especially to Hungary due to an emerging bill that could shut down a Budapest university founded by globalist billionaire George Soros as part of a wider crackdown of groups he started in Europe. “Taken cumulatively, the overall situation in Hungary is cause for concern,” First Vice President Frans Timmermans said at a news conference, adding that the Soros-backed Central European University (CEU) was a “pearl” that must be protected.

The EU has “resolved to use all the instruments at our disposal under the Treaties to uphold the values on which our Union is grounded,” Timmermans said. “The vision of an open society, of a diverse society is under threat.”

The EU has threatened member states before, with several policy chiefs saying that the bloc could fine them €250,000 for every migrant they refuse to accept. For those of us in the USA at today's rate of exchanges that would amount to $265,412.50 for every migrant - think about that! The EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has made it clear that the bloc has no intention of sealing the borders to reduce the overflow of Muslim migrants. “Let me be totally clear from the very beginning: Europe does not and will not close its doors,” she said.

Egypt Declares State of Emergency, as Attacks Undercut Promise of Security
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for explosions at two Coptic Christian churches in Egypt on Palm Sunday

by Magdy Samaan reported from Tanta and Declan Walsh from London

Two suicide bombings killed 44 people at Coptic churches in Egypt on Palm Sunday raised the specter of increased sectarian bloodshed led by Islamic State militants.The attacks constituted one of the deadliest days of violence against Christians in Egypt in decades and presented a challenge to the authority of the country’s leader, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who promptly declared a three-month state of emergency. Security is the central promise of Mr. Sisi, a strongman leader who returned on Friday from a triumphant visit to the United States where President Trump hailed him as a bulwark against Islamist violence. Mr. Trump made it clear that he was willing to overlook the record of mass detention, torture and extrajudicial killings during Mr. Sisi’s rule in favor of his ability to combat the Islamic State and defend minority Christians.

On Sunday, Mr. Sisi found himself back on the defensive, deploying troops to protect churches across the country weeks before a planned visit by Pope Francis. Mr. Sisi rushed to assure Christians, who have traditionally been among his most vocal supporters and now fear that he cannot protect them against extremists. “I won’t say those who fell are Christian or Muslim,” Mr. Sisi said in a speech shown on state television on Sunday night. “I will say that they’re Egyptian.”

One attack on Sunday struck at St. Mark’s Cathedral, the seat of the Coptic Church in Alexandria, where the bomber blew himself up at the church gates as the Coptic patriarch, Pope Tawadros II, led a Palm Sunday service inside. The other struck in the Nile Delta city of Tanta, where the attacker slipped past security to the front pews of the church and blew himself up, turning a religious celebration of joy into a ghastly scene of bloodshed and death.

The Islamic State, which claimed responsibility for the attacks through its Aamaq news agency, signaled in December its intention to step up attacks on Christians when a suicide bombing at a major Cairo church hundreds of Christians fled their homes in north Sinai after a concerted campaign of assassination and intimidation in the area.

Although Mr. Sisi had already stepped up security at churches, Sunday’s bloodshed underscores the difficulty of stopping suicide attacks. More starkly, it highlighted the failure of Egypt’s powerful intelligence agencies to anticipate a coordinated wave of devastating attacks. St. George’s church, where the authorities had already sealed the main door to prevent attacks. The bomber managed to slip past security measures, including a metal detector, at one of the side doors, and blew himself up near the altar. At least 27 people were killed and 78 others injured, officials said. Children, their parents and deacons — lay Christians who help with the service — accounted for many of the dead. Hours later, victims’ relatives stood silently outside the city morgue, waiting to identify and collect the remains of their loved ones. The Rev. Daniel Maher, a priest who had been leading the Mass, was still wearing his bloodstained white vestments. The priest said he had not been harmed in the attack, but he lost his son, Bishoy, who was to get married later this year. “What can I say? Thank God,” he said in a cracking voice. Next to the priest, a young woman sat on the sidewalk, sobbing as a group of women tried to comfort her. “God, what did he do to deserve this?” she asked, bemoaning the loss of her own loved one.

The second attack occurred just over two hours later in the coastal city of Alexandria, where a suicide bomber tried to enter St. Mark’s Cathedral. Hours later, Mr. Sisi convened a meeting of the National Defense Council, which includes the prime minister and commanders of the Egyptian armed forces, in response to the bombings. He then declared a three-month state of emergency, though it was not immediately clear what extra powers he required, given that his government enjoys largely unfettered powers, has already imprisoned or exiled thousands of political opponents, and oversees a Parliament that is dominated by his supporters.

In his televised speech, Mr. Sisi indicated that news media coverage of attacks that embarrass his authority could be restricted. “The media discourse has to be responsible,” he said. “It’s not acceptable to have the incident aired repeatedly on television stations all day.” Egyptians are used to such moves. The country was officially under a state of emergency for all of Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule, and again for three months in 2013.

When Pope Francis arrives in Egypt, he will find a country where the Islamic State is intent on driving a wedge between Islam and Christianity. The pontiff offered his condolences to the Copts and all Egyptians, and in his statement from Rome he referred to the Coptic patriarch as his “brother.” Francis’ scheduled visit to Egypt has been billed as the latest step in a long-running effort to forge stronger ties between the Roman Catholic Church and Muslim leaders.

United Passenger Knocked Out and Dragged from Flight After Refusing to Give Up his Seat for Airline Staff
Airlines regularly sells more seats than it actually has available

Those of us who travel a lot are all too familiar with the overbooking scenarios. This very scenario unfolded in Chicago when a United flight from O’Hare to Louisville required four seats for employees who needed to be in Louisville for a flight they would work from there. All four seats were held by paying customers who booked their flights and were seemingly well within their rights to travel as planned. The airline employees offered a few hundred bucks plus hotel to any volunteers who would give up their seat. When no passengers took the offer, the airline increased the deal to $800. No passengers volunteered.

So the airline then used a computer system to randomly select four passengers to kick off the plane to make room for the employees. One of the passengers chosen was a doctor who needed to get home to see scheduled patients. And he was in no mood to give up the seat he booked/paid for. But that didn’t stop the airline. United contacted airport security who showed up and physically ripped the man from his seat. In the process of doing so they appear to have knocked him out before dragging him off the plane.

The other passengers were upset about what happened as it could have been anyone of them that were manhandled. The entire situation has left black cloud surrounding the airline for the way the situation was handled.

The airline industry seems to be the only industry that legally sells something they don’t have. They can sell seats on flights they technically don’t have to offer since in many cases passengers simply don’t show up or miss their connections, then they offer those seats to anyone flying stand-by. Airlines are actually trying to compensate by over selling seats. But that doesn’t change the fact that they still don't reserve enough seats for the crew members who are trying to get to work in another city. What happens when the pilot can't get to work? The plane doesn't fly nor do any of the passengers. That means a lot of rebooking of tickets and a lot of stranded passengers flying stand-by. This winter's extremely nasty weather has caused many flights to be cancelled, hence even more over booked flights and more people flying stand-by including the crew. A policy change is needed starting with Airport Security and TSA.

Flight from San Francisco to Shanghai diverted after Russia denies entry to airspace

Chuck Ross | Daily Caller

A United Airlines flight from San Francisco to Shanghai, China was diverted from flying over Russian airspace for “diplomatic reasons” early Wednesday morning, passengers on the flight say. Those diplomatic concerns forced the flight to refuel at Tokyo’s Narita airport, the flight’s captain told passengers, several of whom posted about it on social media. One passenger said that the airplane almost ran out of fuel before landing at Narita.

It is not entirely clear what diplomatic concerns may have forced the diversion. The most obvious explanation would be the tense relationship between the U.S. and Russia over Syria. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is also currently in Russia. He met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday and will meet with Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.

It is unclear if any other flights were re-routed and whether the diversions are Temporary. Flight logs tracked on the website FlightAware show that the flight from San Francisco was diverted at 7:32 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. The flight, which normally takes less than 13 hours, was delayed nearly three hours. It left San Francisco’s airport at 2:10 p.m. local time on Tuesday and arrived in Shanghai at 8:22 p.m. local time. A spokesman for United Airlines confirmed that the flight was re-routed and that because the airplane “required a longer route,” it was forced to refuel. The spokesman declined to comment on whether diplomatic concerns were at play. He said that United is in communication with air traffic control, including the Federal Aviation Administration, to determine the reason for the diversion. A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration sent this statement after publication:  “A U.S. flight was routed around Russian airspace Tuesday. These kinds of reroutes are routine and most often occur when there are issues with the paperwork that is filed to obtain clearances to access that airspace.”

In 2014, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev "floated the idea" of denying Western airlines access to Russian airspace in response to sanctions.



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