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Mother Of Teen Shot To Death By Off-Duty Border Agent Speaks Out

PASADENA   (CBSLA.com) —     The mother of a teen fatally shot Friday in an officer-involved shooting is speaking out. The woman’s son was shot along with another teen, a cousin.  A third boy,  who was with the two, was not wounded. The cousin is expected to recover. The three  juveniles were reportedly trying to rob the off-duty agent, he told authorities. The man works for U.S. Custom and Border Patrol at San Francisco International Airport and lives in Arcadia. He says he acted in self-defense after the teens attacked him. He was bruised but did not require medical treatment, officials said. Reshawna Myricks, mother of the deceased, disputes the officer’s account. “I’m hurt,” she told KCAL 9’s Cristy Fajardo. “I’m hurt! I’m hurt, I’m hurt. I’m hurt. You all robbed me to the core..” For the last 24 hours, the mother of 15-year-old Darius Smith of Pasadena has wept but not slept. She says she’s been kept awake by nagging questions over the shooting death of her son. “They going to walk home, they’re going to see their kids tonight. I got to go  back and tell my other three that one of them ain’t coming back no more ,” Myricks said. The Sheriffs Department says the officer told hem at about 8 Friday night, he got off the Gold Line and and so did Smith and the other two teens. He said at Colorado and First they attacked him from behind. He said Smith held a gun to him while another hit him in the head demanding money and valuables. That’s when he says he reached for his own weapon, killing Smith and wounding the 15-year-old cousin. The third teen he said ran away. That teen was later arrested. “Them  boys didn’t do that,” Myricks maintains ,”they aren’t those type of boys to do that.” The Sheriffs Department says the officer was bruised on his face and investigators found what turned out to be a replica handgun at the scene. Smith’s mother says she doesn’t believe the son who loved video games and dreamed of playing in the NFL. would rob anymore. “First, they said there was no crime me committed,” Myrics says, “Now there is a crime committed. Now it’s  a gun, then they said  there was a fight. I don’t know what to believe. All I know is my baby [os] gone and I’ll never know his story.” But deputies are hoping video will tell the entire story. They believe cameras were rolling on the Gold Line and nearby businesses. Deputies said because of the holiday weekend detectives haven’t been able to access the video. Myrics says the family hasn’t been able to speak to Smith’s cousin or the third teen who was arrested. Read More »

Appeals Court Upholds Ruling Against Trump Travel Ban

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban “speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination,” a federal appeals court said Thursday in ruling against the executive order targeting six Muslim-majority countries. In a 10-3 vote, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit said the ban likely violates the Constitution. And it upheld a lower court ruling that blocks the Republican administration from cutting off visas for people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The Richmond, Virginia-based 4th Circuit is the first appeals court to rule on the revised travel ban unveiled in March. Trump’s administration had hoped it would avoid the legal problems that the first version from January encountered. A second appeals court, the 9th U.S. Circuit based in San Francisco, is also weighing the revised travel ban after a federal judge in Hawaii blocked it. White House spokesman Michael Short said the administration was confident that its order is legal. “These clearly are very dangerous times and we need every available tool at our disposal to prevent terrorists from entering the United States and committing acts of bloodshed and violence,” he said. The Supreme Court almost certainly would step into the case if asked. The justices almost always have the final say when a lower court strikes down a federal law or presidential action. Trump could try to persuade the Supreme Court to allow the policy to take effect, even while the justices weigh whether to hear the case, by arguing that the court orders blocking the ban make the country less safe. If the administration does ask the court to step in, the justices’ first vote could signal the court’s ultimate decision. A central question in the case before the 4th Circuit was whether courts should consider Trump’s public statements about wanting to bar Muslims from entering the country as evidence that the policy was primarily motivated by the religion. Trump’s administration argued the court should not look beyond the text of the executive order, which doesn’t mention religion. The countries were not chosen because they are predominantly Muslim but because they present terrorism risks, the administration said. But Chief Judge Roger L. Gregory wrote that the government’s “asserted national security interest … appears to be a post hoc, secondary justification for an executive action rooted in religious animus and intended to bar Muslims from this country.” The three dissenting judges, all appointed by Republican presidents, said the majority was wrong to look beyond the text of the order. Calling the executive order a “modest action” Judge Paul V. Niemeyer wrote that Supreme Court precedent required the court to consider the order “on its face.” Looked at that way, the executive order “is entirely without constitutional fault,” he wrote. Ilya Somin, a law professor at George Mason University, said the partisan split was troubling. If the Supreme Court follows the same kind of partisan divide, the Trump administration may fare better since five of the nine are Republican nominees. Still, he said, it’s difficult to make a confident prediction because “Supreme Court justices don’t always vote in ideological lockstep.” The first travel ban issued Jan. 27 was aimed at seven countries and triggered chaos and protests across the country as travelers were stopped from boarding international flights and detained at airports for hours. Trump tweaked the order after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to reinstate the ban. The new version made it clear the 90-day ban covering those six countries doesn’t apply to those who already have valid visas. It got rid of language that would give priority to religious minorities and removed Iraq from the list of banned countries. Critics said the changes don’t erase the legal problems with the ban. The Maryland case was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Immigration Law Center on behalf of organizations as well as people who live in the U.S. and fear the executive order will prevent them from being reunited with family members from the banned countries. “President Trump’s Muslim ban violates the Constitution, as this decision strongly reaffirms,” said Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, who argued the case. “The Constitution’s prohibition on actions disfavoring or condemning any religion is a fundamental protection for all of us, and we can all be glad that the court today rejected the government’s request to set that principle aside.” (© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Read More »

Get Ready For More Screening At LAX As Electronic Devices Raise Concern

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Travelers at some U.S. airports are being asked to place electronic devices bigger than a cellphone in separate bins so that they can be examined more closely. The Transportation Security Administration said Wednesday that it has been testing the procedure at 10 airports for more than a year, and it may be expanded nationwide. TSA officials say overstuffed bags take longer to examine with X-ray machines. The pilot program is “an effort to de-clutter baggage,” said agency spokesman Michael England. There are no changes to what is allowed in carry-on bags, and people enrolled in the Precheck program can still leave laptops in their bags during screening, he said. Most travelers already must remove laptops from bags when they go through security checkpoints. In the test lanes at the 10 airports, they are no longer being allowed to lay machines on top of bags or with other electronic devices — each device must have its own bin. Requiring travelers to spread their belongings among more bins could slow down the screening process. TSA said it is testing ways to make screening quicker and more targeted. Unless the pilot program is expanded, most travelers will never experience it. Even if goes nationwide, it would be a far less dramatic change than the ban on laptops and tablets in the cabin of U.S.-bound planes from the Middle East and North Africa. The TSA’s parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security, is considering expanding that ban to flights from Europe to the U.S. but has run into opposition from business travelers, airlines and European governments that fear it will create chaos and delays. The new screening measures are being tested at the following airports: Boise, Idaho; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Detroit Metropolitan Airport; Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida; Logan Airport in Boston; Los Angeles International Airport; Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport in Lubbock, Texas; Luis Munoz Marin International Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico; McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas; and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. (© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Read More »

Funds For Route 66 Towns May Be At Risk

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Route 66, the historic American roadway that linked Chicago to the West Coast, soon may be dropped from a National Park Service preservation program, which would end years of efforts aimed at reviving old tourist spots in struggling towns. A federal law authorizing the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program is set to expire in two years, and some lawmakers are working to save the program or get Congress to designate Route 66 as a National Historic Trail. That designation would set aside preservation funds annually. The deadline, first reported by The Herald-News in Joliet, Illinois, also has Route 66 enthusiasts and preservation advocates scrambling to make sure the program or an alternative is maintained for the “Mother Road.” The program is credited with helping bring back to life forgotten landmarks along the route, many in disrepair because of sharply lower Route 66 traffic. Development of the interstate highway system after World War II diverted motorists away from Route 66 and economically hurt communities along the road. A bipartisan bill in Congress to designate Route 66 as a National Historic Trail, sponsored by Rep. Darin LaHood, an Illinois Republican, is supported by 12 other members of Congress from Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma and California. New Mexico has the longest stretch of Route 66 passing through urban communities, but state Tourism Secretary Rebecca Latham said she did not know whether the program would have an adverse impact on the state if it is not eventually refunded. Preservationists fear that small towns along Route 66’s 2,500-mile (4,020 kilometer) path will miss out in much-needed investment if the funding program is not extended or if the route does not get the historic trail designation, said Frank Butterfield, director of the nonprofit group Landmarks Illinois. “Route 66 runs through a lot of very small towns where there is not a lot of economic development,” Butterfield said. “It’s been quite impactful so it would be a great loss to the town where Route 66 passes.” The uncertainty comes as the Trump administration is proposing deep cuts to domestic spending and various agencies. Established in 2001 by Congress, the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program began as an effort to save aging landmarks and dilapidated structures. The program has given out $2 million for nearly 150 projects and has generated another $3.3 million in matching funds, said Kaisa Barthuli, program manager for the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The program has helped fund projects like the El Vado Motel neon sign restoration in Albuquerque, New Mexico and the Baxter Springs Independent Oil and Gas Station restoration in Baxter Springs, Kansas. Other grants are being used to repair the roof of the Historic Navajo County Courthouse in Holbrook, Arizona and restore a free-standing neon sign of the Donut Drive-In in St. Louis, Missouri. Some places that have received preservation funding are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Tourism and local officials believe the grants help revitalize forgotten structure and spur tourism, especially by international visitors who flock to Route 66. Decommissioned as a U.S. highway in 1985, Route 66 went through eight states, connecting tourists with friendly diners in welcoming small towns. It was once an economic driver for small towns from Illinois to California. Nat King Cole famously sang “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66” in a 1946 hit that has been remade by countless other groups. Use of Route 66 dropped significantly after highways were built as part of the interstate system, forcing businesses to close and leaving others in disrepair. Barthuli said the program has funded 20 projects in New Mexico and given out $340,000 in grants, including $8,000 to help fix up the windows and neon sign of the historic Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico. That grant helped attract an additional $27,000 for restoration. Read More »

Report: Qantas Plane Returns To LAX After Engine Mishap

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) – A Qantas Airways flight from Los Angeles to Melbourne was forced to turn around and return to Los Angeles International Airport for an emergency landing early Saturday morning following an engine mishap, according to a report. Qantas Flight 94 departed LAX at 10:21 p.m. Friday and returned to Los Angeles at 2:56 a.m. Saturday, according to the flight tracking website FlightAware. In a Twitter response, Qantas confirmed that the flight was “diverted back to LAX due to operational reasons.” A Qantas spokesperson told the Herald Sun that the Airbus A380 carrying 480 passenger experienced a loss in power in one of its four engines and turned around. “The pilots followed standard procedure, shut down the engine, and the flight landed normally in LA at around 3am local time on Saturday,” the spokesperson told the Herald Sun. “Engineers are now inspecting the aircraft.” No further details were confirmed. @gpyman Hi Geoffrey QF94 has been diverted back to LAX due to operational reasons. Sam — Qantas (@Qantas) May 20, 2017 #QF94 redirected back to LAX due to blown engine. @QANTAS crew were fantastic pic.twitter.com/l7Uz50eWOo — Larry (@larry_deee) May 20, 2017 Read More »

LAX Airline Terminal Reshuffle Wraps Up

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com)  — A massive reshuffling of terminals is ahead of schedule at Los Angeles International Airport, as five airlines complete their moves to new gates Wednesday. The shuffling of airlines, called “LAX on the MOVE,” began Friday night. By the time it is completed Wednesday morning, 15 airlines will have relocated terminals. The final moves planned for Wednesday are: — Delta Air Lines will complete its relocation to Terminals 2 and 3; — Air Canada will move from Terminal 2 to Terminal 6; — JetBlue will move from Terminal 3 to Terminal 5; — Hawaiian Airlines will move from Terminal 2 to Terminal 5; and — Southwest will move its international flights to the Tom Bradley International Terminal, with passengers checking in at Terminal 1 and bused to TBIT. Passengers are being urged to arrive at LAX earlier than usual – three hours for a domestic flight and four hours for international trips. New signage at the airport will be updated to reflect the moves and new airline terminal locations. Volunteers in green vests will also be on hand on both the upper and lower-level roadways to help guide travelers to their correct terminals. For more information on the terminal relocation, visit laxishappening.com . The moves are a precursor to the Delta Sky Way at LAX — the airline’s $1.9 billion plan to renovate Terminals 2, 3 and the Tom Bradley International Terminal over the next seven years. (© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.) Read More »

New Luxury Airport Terminal For Celebrities At LAX Opens

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sorry, paparazzi. Celebrities who are sick of being stalked by photographers at Los Angeles International Airport can now find some privacy — not to mention luxury — at a new terminal. The facility called the Private Suite opened Monday and offers an exclusive entrance, one-on-one security screening and plush lounges. And privileged travelers get a private car ride across the tarmac to and from the aircraft, head-of-state style. The terminal is available to anyone who can afford fees up to $4,000 for a single flight. Here are some things to know. ____ PRIVACY PLUS CONVENIENCE It’s being called “premium class” — a terminal far from the crowds and lines of public concourses. Celebrities, executives and other wealthy travelers are greeted on a driveway that’s behind gates to keep photogs at bay. A team of eight attendants handle their luggage and whisk them through a dedicated security gate into one of more than a dozen suites. There VIPs can nap on daybeds, watch TVs, snack from stocked refrigerators and use their own private bathrooms. When it’s time to catch their flights, passengers get a ride in shiny BMW sedans across the runway and straight to the planes. Private Suite officials estimate the typical LAX passenger takes 2,200 steps from car seat to plane seat. For those who pay for the pampering, it’s a mere 70 footsteps, according to the service. It’s available for all departing and arriving commercial flights at LAX. ____ COMFORT AT A PRICE Access to the Private Suite is available for a fee of $3,500 for each domestic flight or $4,000 for each international flight. That covers up to four passengers. Those who purchase an annual membership for $7,500 will get a discount of about $1,000 on per-flight fees. ____ PRIVATELY RUN The new facility was built for $22 million by Gavin de Becker and Associates , a security consulting firm, at no cost to the airport or taxpayers. The Los Angeles company said it’s the first terminal of its kind in the U.S. — but it’s based on a facility at London’s Heathrow Airport that offers private high-end service for members. Private terminals also can be found at international airports in Dubai, Munich, Zurich and other cities. De Becker said it’s in negotiations to open a similar one at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. The company said the terminal has created 125 new jobs and will generate $35 million in revenue for the airport over the next nine years. The terminal benefits the airport, the company said, because it reduces the potential for drama and delay from celebrities and other attention-getting VIPs moving through public areas. (© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed.) Read More »

Travelers Contend With Massive LAX Terminal Relocation

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) – Eight airlines were at different terminals at Los Angeles International Airport Saturday as part of the largest terminal relocation in its history. “LAX on the MOVE” began Friday night. When it is completed next week, 15 airlines will have relocated their operations. The airlines in new locations as of Saturday will be Allegiant and Frontier, which have both moved from Terminal 3 to Terminal 5; Boutique Air, which has moved from Terminal 3 to Terminal 6; Sun Country, which has moved from Terminal 2 to Terminal 5; and Virgin America, which has moved from Terminal 3 to Terminal 6. Virgin Australian will now check-in passengers at Terminal 2, but continue to stage aircraft at the Tom Bradley International Terminal. Volaris will continue to check in passengers at Terminal 2, but stage its aircraft at the Tom Bradley International Terminal. Delta is in the midst of a three-night transition from Terminals 5 and 6 to Terminals 2 and 3. There will be Delta flights arriving and departing from Terminals 3, 5 and 6 Saturday morning. Delta is in the midst of a $1.9 billion renovation project that includes constructing a sky bridge to the Tom Bradley International Terminal. “Our future in Los Angeles is bright with our $1.9 billion plan for the Delta Sky Way at LAX, an unprecedented public-private partnership through which Delta will undertake the second largest private infrastructure project in the LA basin and completely redevelop Terminals 2 and 3,” said Ranjan Goswami, a vice president for Delta. Many travelers were trying to take the changes in stride. “Well, I started apparently at Terminal 2, and then they told me to walk all the way around — take the shuttle — which everybody is doing, it’s pretty crazy, so going to Terminal 6 now to catch my flight,” flier Sean Leedy told KCAL9 Saturday morning. Other changes, past and future, include: — Air Canada, T2 to T6, Wednesday; — American, T4/T6 to T4/T5, took effect Jan. 31; — Avianca, T2 to Tom Bradley International Terminal, with T3 check-in and passengers walking from T3 to TBIT, Monday; — Copa, TBIT (T6 check-in) to TBIT (T3 check-in), with passengers walking from T3 to TBIT, took effect April 7; — Hainan, T2 to TBIT, took effect April 14; — Hawaiian, T2 to T5, Wednesday; — InterJet, T2 to TBIT (T3 check-in), with passengers walking from T3 to TBIT, Monday; — JetBlue, T3 to T5, Wednesday; — Qatar, T2 to TBIT, took effect May 1; — Southwest (International), T2 (T1 check-in) to TBIT (T1 check-in), with passengers bused from T1 to TBIT, Wednesday; — Spirit, T3 to T5, Monday; — Thomas Cook, T2 to TBIT, took effect May 1; and — XL France, T2 to T6, June 4. Passengers are strongly encouraged to check in, print or download boarding passes before leaving for the airport so they can arrive at the correct terminal for their departure. They are also encouraged to arrive earlier than usual — three hours for a domestic flight and four hours for an international flight. Passengers should look at new signage that will be updated nightly to reflect the moves and identify the new airline terminal locations. Travelers are reminded to ask for help if they have problems finding their flights. More than 200 volunteers will be on duty to assist passengers, many wearing green vests matching a green-wrapped shuttle bus that will run on both the upper- and lower-level roadways to help take passengers to their correct terminal. More information on the terminal relocation is available here. (©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.) Read More »

Airlines Begin Moving Operations At LAX

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com)  — Fifteen airlines will begin moving their operations Friday, as part of the largest airline terminal relocation in the history of Los Angeles International Airport. The moves will make way for the Delta Sky Way at LAX – the airline’s $1.9 billion plan to renovate Terminals 2, 3 and the Tom Bradley International Terminal over the next seven years. Delta is moving operations from Terminal 5 and 6, and between Saturday at Tuesday will operate from as many as four terminals — 2, 3, 5 and 6. The changes will affect more than the 15 airlines moving their terminal numbers for check-in counters, gates or both. Another seven airlines are changing ticket booth locations within their existing terminals, and some have already been relocated. Here is a schedule of the changes: — Air Canada, T2 to T6, Wednesday; — Allegiant, T3 to T5, Saturday; — American, T4/T6 to T4/T5, took effect Jan. 31; — Avianca, T2 to Tom Bradley International Terminal, with T3 check-in and passengers walking from T3 to TBIT, Monday; — Boutique Air, T3 to T6, Saturday; — Copa, TBIT (T6 check-in) to TBIT (T3 check-in), with passengers walking from T3 to TBIT, took effect April 7; — Delta, T5/T6 to T2/T3, Saturday; — Frontier, T3 to T5, Saturday; — Hainan, T2 to TBIT, took effect April 14; — Hawaiian, T2 to T5, Wednesday; — InterJet, T2 to TBIT (T3 check-in), with passengers walking from T3 to TBIT, Monday; — JetBlue, T3 to T5, Wednesday; — Qatar, T2 to TBIT, took effect May 1; — Southwest (International), T2 (T1 check-in) to TBIT (T1 check-in), with passengers bused from T1 to TBIT, Wednesday; — Spirit, T3 to T5, Monday; — Sun Country, T2 to T5, Saturday; — Thomas Cook, T2 to TBIT, took effect May 1; — Virgin America, T3 to T6, Saturday; — Virgin Australia, TBIT (T3 check-in) to TBIT (T2 check-in), with passengers bused from T2 to TBIT, Saturday; — Volaris, T2 to TBIT (T2 check-in), with passengers bused from T2 to TBIT, Saturday; and — XL France, T2 to T6, June 4. Traveler Shirley Grover said she planned ahead, but there was still some confusion about where exactly she was going to be in order to meet her Lyft driver. “We googled Allegiant to know where to come in, so we told our Lyft driver Terminal 6, but that’s where it’s moving to, so technically today, it’s still Terminal 3,” Grover said. Most of the moving will happen overnight between Friday night and Wednesday, but passengers are being warned to check their tickets carefully because many airlines will soon be located at different terminals. “It all comes down to our guests being informed and taking the necessary actions to make sure they are in the right place at the right time to catch their flights,” Los Angeles World Airports CEO Deborah Flint said. Travelers were advised to arrive at LAX even earlier than normal, after checking in online, printing or downloading boarding passes, and checking terminal and gate information. Once at the airport, travelers should one more time check flight and gate status on flight information display boards in each terminal to make sure they are in the correction location. (© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.) Read More »

Disabled Woman Kicked Out Of Airline Lounge Because Of Service Dog

SANTA CLARITA (CBSLA.com) —  A Santa Clarita woman in a wheelchair said she was kicked out of an airline lounge because of her service dog. Micaela Bensko was in tears, crumpled in pain when she said she was denied access to the Virgin Atlantic lounge at JFK International Airport in New York because she had a service dog. In 2011, Bensko’s spine was severely injured in an accident, leaving her in a wheelchair. Service dog, Blue Bell, helps pull her. She cannot sit for more than 30 minutes, That is why she said she paid for the Virgin Atlantic lounge so she could lie down before her flight. But a lounge employee said no and Bensko caught it on video, which showed the employee saying: “With Virgin Atlantic policy with any service animal, you have to have some sort of paperwork.” But according to the Americans with Disabilities Act, no documentation is needed, and disabled people with service dogs can go anywhere the public is allowed to go. Bensko said the lounge was practically empty at the time but was still refused entry. “I’m in too much pain. I’m sorry I can’t wait any longer. You guys are unbelievable,” Bensko said in the mobile phone video she recorded. The employee called a manager. But Bensko said after 20 minutes, she had no choice but to lie down on the concrete floor at her terminal. “This was death by a thousand cuts. I couldn’t take it anymore,” she told CBS2’s Andrea Fujii. The mother of four said she did not want compensation from the airline; she just wanted to be a spokesperson for all who are disabled. “Bring humanity back to traveling. That’s what I’m interested in,” Bensko said. “As soon as we were made aware of this incident, we sent an urgent reminder to our Clubhouse teams to clarify the policy around support dogs, and will be investigating further to improve the way the situation was handled. It is never our intention to disappoint our customers, and we’re keen to speak directly with the customer to understand what improvements we can make to ensure this doesn’t happen again, and to offer our heartfelt apologies,” according to a statement released by Virgin Atlantic. Read More »

Angry Passengers Left Stranded By Spirit Airline Cancellations

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com)  — Hundreds of travelers were caught on video erupting in angry shouts after discounter Spirit Airlines canceled nine flights out of Florida. The flight cancellations were not due to any passenger disruptions or overbooking issues, as has been the problem involving other airlines recently, but a contentious labor negotiation between Spirit and the pilots association. Riot erupted over canceled flight at #FLL to #LGA on @SpiritAirlines pic.twitter.com/osvN63i71H — Jose L. Rodriguez (@asg749d) May 9, 2017 Three people were arrested and another was detained after what some say was a riot at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Monday night, according to CBS Miami . Spirit Airlines says the melee was “a result of unlawful labor activity by some Spirit pilots designed to disrupt Spirit operations for our customers by canceling multiple flights across our network.” The pilots association said in a statement that they are not engaged in a job action, but that “Spirit pilots are continuing to do everything possible to help restore the company’s operations, which have experienced significant problems over the past several days.” #spirit #spiritairlines #Spirit is the worst airlines. My flight has been delayed six times, and they overcharge for bags and every thing — DAWN NOEL (@DAWNPIGNUOLA) May 8, 2017 Hector Hatch was at Los Angeles International Airport early Tuesday morning, trying to get back to New York for work. He said the airlines agents were unresponsive to his inquiries about his flight’s status. “They’re not trying to help you,” Hatch said. “They’re not trying to help you to go to another airline or anything like that, so I don’t know what to do. At least two Spirit Airlines flights headed for Los Angeles was canceled, while another was delayed. Read More »

Angry Passengers Left Stranded By Spirit Airline Cancellations

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com)  — Hundreds of travelers were caught on video erupting in angry shouts after discounter Spirit Airlines canceled nine flights out of Florida. The flight cancellations were not due to any passenger disruptions or overbooking issues, as has been the problem involving other airlines recently, but a contentious labor negotiation between Spirit and the pilots association. Riot erupted over canceled flight at #FLL to #LGA on @SpiritAirlines pic.twitter.com/osvN63i71H — Jose L. Rodriguez (@asg749d) May 9, 2017 Three people were arrested and another was detained after what some say was a riot at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Monday night, according to CBS Miami . Spirit Airlines says the melee was “a result of unlawful labor activity by some Spirit pilots designed to disrupt Spirit operations for our customers by canceling multiple flights across our network.” The pilots association said in a statement that they are not engaged in a job action, but that “Spirit pilots are continuing to do everything possible to help restore the company’s operations, which have experienced significant problems over the past several days.” #spirit #spiritairlines #Spirit is the worst airlines. My flight has been delayed six times, and they overcharge for bags and every thing — DAWN NOEL (@DAWNPIGNUOLA) May 8, 2017 Hector Hatch was at Los Angeles International Airport early Tuesday morning, trying to get back to New York for work. He said the airlines agents were unresponsive to his inquiries about his flight’s status. “They’re not trying to help you,” Hatch said. “They’re not trying to help you to go to another airline or anything like that, so I don’t know what to do. At least two Spirit Airlines flights headed for Los Angeles was canceled, while another was delayed. Read More »

LAX Set To Undergo Massive Reconfiguration

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) – If you are flying out of Los Angeles International Airport in the coming months, you should be prepared for significant changes to its layout. From Friday, May 12 to Tuesday, May 16, the airport will undergo a realignment process for 15 airlines, the largest such realignment in LAX history. Fliers are advised to arrive early and monitor terminal and gate information closely. According to Los Angeles World Airports, over that five-day period, each of the 15 airlines will transfer its operations to a new location overnight. Some will be moving to entirely new terminals. “The passengers will actually not see the move at all,” Los Angeles World Airports CEO Deborah Flint said Friday. “But what will happen is an operation that is one terminal, on say, the night of the 11th. Starting on the 12th, that operation will be in a different terminal.” One of those airlines is Delta. From May 13 to May 16, Delta will be operating out of four terminals: 2, 3, 5 and 6. Fliers are advised to download the Fly Delta app prior to coming to LAX in order to stay informed on any changes. When the process is complete May 17, Delta will have moved out of terminals 5 and 6 and into terminals 2 and 3. Several other airlines currently in terminals 5 and 6 will be moving into terminals 2 and 3, essentially trading places with Delta, which is in the midst of a $1.9 billion renovation project that includes constructing a sky bridge to the Tom Bradley International Terminal. “During the relocation and in the weeks following, passengers are advised to check-in online, print or download boarding passes, and check terminal and gate information before coming to LAX,” L.A. Board of Airport Commissioners President Sean Burton said in a statement. “They should also arrive to the airport earlier than normal.” In total, 21 airlines will be affected by the upcoming realignment. They are: Air Canada Allegiant American Avianca Boutique Air Copa Delta Frontier Hainan Hawaiian InterJet JetBlue Qatar Southwest Int’l Spirit Sun Country Thomas Cook Virgin America Virgin Australia Volaris XL France The realignment process began in January. In total, 28 of LAX’s nearly 70 airlines are involved. The realignment is part of a $14 billion LAX rebuild which started in 2006 and is expected to continue through 2023, is the biggest public works project in L.A. history. The largest portion of the project’s budget, however, is going to build the Landside Access Modernization Project. It will include an elevated people mover more than two miles long. Passengers will be whisked to pick up and drop off spots, a metro station and a new rent-a-car facility. Read More »

Facebook To Hire 3,000 To Review Videos Of Crime & Suicide

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook plans to hire another 3,000 people to review videos and other posts after getting criticized for not responding quickly enough to murders shown live on its service. The hires over the next year will be on top of the 4,500 people Facebook already has to identify crime and other questionable content for removal. CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote Wednesday that the company is “working to make these videos easier to report so we can take the right action sooner — whether that’s responding quickly when someone needs help or taking a post down.” Videos and posts that glorify violence are against Facebook’s rules, but Facebook has been criticized for being slow in responding to such content, including live videos of a murder in Cleveland and a killing of a baby in Thailand. The Thailand video was up for 24 hours before it was removed. In most cases, content is reviewed and possibly removed only if users complain. News reports and posts that condemn violence are allowed. This makes for a tricky balancing act for the company. Facebook does not want to act as a censor, as videos of violence, such as those documenting police brutality or the horrors of war, can serve an important purpose. LIVE STREAM CHALLENGES Policing live video streams is especially difficult, as viewers don’t know what will happen. This rawness is part of their appeal. While the negative videos make headlines, they are just a tiny fraction of what users post every day. The good? Families documenting a toddler’s first steps for faraway relatives, journalists documenting news events, musicians performing for their fans and people raising money for charities. “We don’t want to get rid of the positive aspects and benefits of live streaming,” said Benjamin Burroughs, professor of emerging media at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. Burroughs said that Facebook clearly knew live streams would help the company make money, as they keep users on Facebook longer, making advertisers happy. If Facebook hadn’t also considered the possibility that live streams of crime or violence would inevitably appear alongside the positive stuff, “they weren’t doing a good enough job researching implications for societal harm,” Burroughs said. FUNHOUSE MIRROR? With a quarter of the world’s population on it, Facebook can serve as a mirror for humanity, amplifying both the good and the bad — the local fundraiser for a needy family and the murder-suicide in a faraway corner of the planet. But lately, it has gotten outsized attention for its role in the latter, whether that means allowing the spread of false news and government propaganda or videos of horrific crimes. Videos livestreaming murder or depicting kidnapping and torture have made international headlines even when the crimes themselves wouldn’t have, simply because they were on Facebook, visible to people who wouldn’t have seen them otherwise. As the company introduces even more new features, it will continue to have to grapple with the reality that they will not always be used for positive, or even mundane things. From his interviews and Facebook posts, it appears that Zuckerberg is aware of this, even if he is not always as quick to respond as some would hope. “It’s heartbreaking, and I’ve been reflecting on how we can do better for our community,” Zuckerberg wrote on Wednesday about the recent videos. It’s a learning curve for Facebook. In November, for example, Zuckerberg called the idea that false news on Facebook influenced the U.S. election “crazy.” A month later, the company introduced a slew of initiatives aimed at combating false news and supporting journalism. And just last week, it acknowledged that governments or others are using its social network to influence political sentiment in ways that could affect national elections. WHAT TO DO Zuckerberg said Facebook workers review “millions of reports” every week. In addition to removing videos of crime or getting help for someone who might hurt themselves, he said the reviewers will “also help us get better at removing things we don’t allow on Facebook like hate speech and child exploitation.” Wednesday’s announcement is a clear sign that Facebook continues to need human reviewers to monitor content, even as it tries to outsource some of the work to software due in part to its sheer size and the volume of stuff people post. It’s not all up to Facebook, though. Burroughs said users themselves need to decide how close they want to be to violence — do they want to look at the videos that are posted, and even circulate them, for example. And news organizations should themselves decide whether each Facebook live-streamed murder is a story. “We have to be careful that it doesn’t become a kind of voyeurism,” he said. (© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Read More »

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