November 24th, 2010
For travelers this holiday season, make sure to pack light, keep a sense of humor during an intrusive pat down and, apparently, don't drink too much water.
It's unclear if this is was classified as a terror alert yellow or brown, but authorities took it seriously enough to evacuate the plane.
The U.S. Airways flight was checked by K-9 units when it landed in Denver and the unnamed passenger, reportedly of Middle Eastern descent, was detained momentarily and questioned.
The flight started at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, stopped in Charlotte and then continued to Denver. It's unclear if the passenger was on at the beginning of the flight or got on later.
Nothing suspicious was found on board or in the bathroom. Officials also didn't say how many times the passenger went to the bathroom.
"Per standard procedures, law enforcement and TSA personnel met the flight. The passenger was questioned and released and the plane was swept, both with negative findings," TSA spokesperson Carrie Harmon said in a statement.
Passengers told authorities the passenger was "acting weird" and that set off the terrorist alert in their minds. A check of airplane protocol doesn't appear to suggest that diarrhea or excessive urination are signs of terrorist activity, but better safe than sorry.
The person was not arrested and authorities apparently flushed the concerns.
OK, no more toilet humor. Happy traveling.
November 24th, 2010
ORLANDO, Fla. -- The head of the Transportation Security Administration said the agency will look further into allegations that two male TSA workers picked a woman for additional screening because of her breasts.
Eliana Sutherland recently flew from Orlando International Airport and told Local 6 she felt the two male TSA workers were staring at her breasts and chose her for additional screening because of their size.
"It was pretty obvious. One of the guys that was staring me up and down was the one who pulled me over," said Sutherland. "Not a comfortable feeling."
Experiences like Sutherland's have been reported across the country, leaving many people to join a group planning to boycott the TSA's new full body scan in an effort to clog security lines on the day before Thanksgiving. Whether it's pat-downs or full-body scans, the changes are making some people question who gets chosen and why.But it appears out of the tens of thousands going through security, only a small part of them may have to deal with this controversial checkpoint.
And while some may try to clog the system by opting-out of the scans, Local 6 found they might not make an impact because most people prefer the scans. According to the latest survey done by USA Today/Gallup, it appears most people do not mind the body scans.
Colleen Moskaly went through a full body scan recently while her security agents performed a pat-down on her infant son. She said, "I'm not good with people touching me and touching my son. The only person that sees the screen is the security guy."
The TSA said people are chosen for additional screening at random and strictly for security reasons.
The Orlando International Airport officials suggest travelers arrive at least two hours before their flight.
More From Click Orlando
November 24th, 2010
"About trade settlement, we have decided to use our own currencies," Putin said at a joint news conference with Wen in St. Petersburg.
The two countries were accustomed to using other currencies, especially the dollar, for bilateral trade. Since the financial crisis, however, high-ranking officials on both sides began to explore other possibilities.
The yuan has now started trading against the Russian rouble in the Chinese interbank market, while the renminbi will soon be allowed to trade against the rouble in Russia, Putin said.
"That has forged an important step in bilateral trade and it is a result of the consolidated financial systems of world countries," he said.
Putin made his remarks after a meeting with Wen. They also officiated at a signing ceremony for 12 documents, including energy cooperation.
The documents covered cooperation on aviation, railroad construction, customs, protecting intellectual property, culture and a joint communiqu. Details of the documents have yet to be released.
Putin said one of the pacts between the two countries is about the purchase of two nuclear reactors from Russia by China's Tianwan nuclear power plant, the most advanced nuclear power complex in China.
Putin has called for boosting sales of natural resources - Russia's main export - to China, but price has proven to be a sticking point.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, who holds sway over Russia's energy sector, said following a meeting with Chinese representatives that Moscow and Beijing are unlikely to agree on the price of Russian gas supplies to China before the middle of next year.
Russia is looking for China to pay prices similar to those Russian gas giant Gazprom charges its European customers, but Beijing wants a discount. The two sides were about $100 per 1,000 cubic meters apart, according to Chinese officials last week.
Wen's trip follows Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's three-day visit to China in September, during which he and President Hu Jintao launched a cross-border pipeline linking the world's biggest energy producer with the largest energy consumer.
Wen said at the press conference that the partnership between Beijing and Moscow has "reached an unprecedented level" and pledged the two countries will "never become each other's enemy".
Over the past year, "our strategic cooperative partnership endured strenuous tests and reached an unprecedented level," Wen said, adding the two nations are now more confident and determined to defend their mutual interests.
"China will firmly follow the path of peaceful development and support the renaissance of Russia as a great power," he said.
"The modernization of China will not affect other countries' interests, while a solid and strong Sino-Russian relationship is in line with the fundamental interests of both countries."
Wen said Beijing is willing to boost cooperation with Moscow in Northeast Asia, Central Asia and the Asia-Pacific region, as well as in major international organizations and on mechanisms in pursuit of a "fair and reasonable new order" in international politics and the economy.
Sun Zhuangzhi, a senior researcher in Central Asian studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the new mode of trade settlement between China and Russia follows a global trend after the financial crisis exposed the faults of a dollar-dominated world financial system.
Pang Zhongying, who specializes in international politics at Renmin University of China, said the proposal is not challenging the dollar, but aimed at avoiding the risks the dollar represents.
Wen arrived in the northern Russian city on Monday evening for a regular meeting between Chinese and Russian heads of government.
He left St. Petersburg for Moscow late on Tuesday and is set to meet with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday.
Agencies and Zhou Wa contributed to this story.
November 23rd, 2010
Conservative Refocus/The Examiner
By Barry Secrest
As the electoral fallout from the election continues to create havoc within both the Democratic Party and even the Republican Party to a lesser degree, we can begin to now see that the elections were nothing more nor less that an immense voter volcano of Righteous retribution. The people of America, in essence, blew their collective tops after immeasurable pressure had built up within the Civil Society over the course of several years as a result of Obama's increasingly outed unconventional agenda. Luckily, this pressure had a conventional means of quickly venting in the form of the People's eruptive vote.
This outburst of votes has performed the little discussed powerful and beneficent feat of sweeping a large number of the witless Democrats out of State offices. State Legislature after State Legislature fell to the magma that is the people's retributive anger in addition to the Federal Government's Democratically controlled grip being severely compromised. As is so often the case, leaders Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi were able to avoid the voter's pyroclastic flow of derision by a number of unusual means, but those who dwelled within the lower realms were unable to escape. In all the Democratic Party lost 65 seats and 6 in the Senate at this writing, a tectonic shift in which one would have to reach back over 70 years to find as a similar occurrence in American history.
November 23rd, 2010
Politics Daily/AOL News
If you're planning to fly after the new year, you may find a familiar face next to you on your next flight to San Francisco. That's because Speaker Nancy Pelosi will no longer have access to military aircraft and will instead fly commercial to her district after she becomes House minority leader, her office confirmed to Politics Daily.
For the last four years, Pelosi has had access to Air Force planes to jet home to her California district, one of the many perks that come along with being the most powerful member of the House of Representatives and second in line to the presidency after the vice president.
Pelosi's predecessor, former Speaker Dennis Hastert, also used military jets to travel back and forth to his Chicago district, but Rep. John Boehner, the next speaker, announced earlier this month that he will fly commercial home to Ohio, a move that will help him avoid the political heat Pelosi has taken for using the ultra-convenient option of skipping commercial flights home.
But if Pelosi's flying experience is anything like Boehner's in the future, she still won't have to worry about pat-downs and security lines. The New York Times reported last week that Boehner skipped the security line at Washington's Reagan National Airport before a trip to Cincinnati because of a Transportation Security Administration regulation that lets congressional leaders or members of Congress with armed security details bypass security check points.
The other changes that Pelosi and her fellow Democrats in the leadership can expect next year will come in the form of reduced resources, specifically the offices where they'll work in the Capitol and allowances to hire staff. For staffing, the House allocates a lump sum to each party's leadership for salaries and expenses, which the leaders divide among themselves. Based on the current allocations, Pelosi can expect to have her staff allowance cut by about 40 percent to lead the smaller Democratic caucus.
And instead of the elegant suite of offices that Pelosi's team currently occupies, complete with french doors to an outdoor balcony, wood-burning fireplaces, and a majestic view of the National Mall, Pelosi and her staff will squeeze into a significantly smaller set of rooms overlooking the far less glamorous Library of Congress.
If there's any good news for Pelosi, besides the fact that she is still the leader of her party in the House, it's that her move to minority status may not be permanent.
History buffs will remember that Texas Democrat Sam Rayburn, the longest-serving House speaker in history, won and lost the speakership three times, trading power and perks with Republican minority leader and then Speaker Joseph Martin Jr. in the 1940s and 50s. The two swapped roles so many times that Rayburn eventually told Martin to keep the mall-facing speaker's offices, even after Rayburn won back the majority, because he had tired of packing and unpacking his boxes every time he won or lost an election.
The plush office suite remained in the minority's hands until the Republican revolution of 1994, when Newt Gingrich took over as speaker and decided that the prime real estate should belong to the speaker once again.
From Politics Daily
John Boehner Skipping Military Jets, Will Fly Commercial (take that! Pelosi)
$65 Million Spent on Election Ads Targeting Nancy Pelosi ( It wasn't enough)