NAACP Issues a National Advisory To Black Travelers About Flying American Airlines

Tuesday Oct. 24, The NAACP issued a national advisory “alerting travelers—especially African Americans—to exercise caution, in that booking and boarding flights on American Airlines could subject them disrespectful, discriminatory or unsafe conditions.”

According to the NAACP‘s advisory, the organization has “for several months now has been monitoring a pattern of disturbing incidents reported by African-American passengers, specific to American Airlines.”

According to the NAACP, some of the incidents include:

1.) An African-American man was required to relinquish his purchased seats aboard a flight from Washington, D.C. to Raleigh-Durham, merely because he responded to disrespectful and discriminatory comments directed toward him by two unruly white passengers;

2.) Despite having previously booked first-class tickets for herself and a traveling companion, an African-American woman’s seating assignment was switched to the coach section at the ticket counter, while her white companion remained assigned to a first-class seat;

3.) On a flight bound for New York from Miami, the pilot directed that an African-American woman be removed from the flight when she complained to the gate agent about having her seating assignment changed without her consent; and

4.) An African-American woman and her infant child were removed from a flight from Atlanta to New York City when the woman (incidentally a Harvard Law School student) asked that her stroller be retrieved from checked baggage before she would disembark.

The Advisory went into effect Tuesday and will remain in effect indefinitely.

The Advisory notes that “Historically, the NAACP has issued travel advisories when conditions on the ground pose a substantial risk of harm to black Americans, and we are concerned today that the examples cited herein may represent only the ‘tip of the iceberg’ when it comes to American Airlines’ documented mistreatment of African-American customers.”

“All travelers must be guaranteed the right to travel without fear of threat, violence or harm,” stated Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP in the advisory. “The growing list of incidents suggesting racial bias reflects an unacceptable corporate culture and involves behavior that cannot be dismissed as normal or random.  We expect an audience with the leadership of American Airlines to air these grievances and to spur corrective action.  Until these and other concerns are addressed, this national travel advisory will stand.”

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Saudi Arabia Grants Women the Right to Drive

Tuesday in a royal decree signed by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Saudi Arabia announced it would allow women to drive in the kingdom.

The decree will go into effect June 24, 2018.

The decree is a positive change for women in the ultraconservative kingdom. Saudi Arabia is under Sharia Law and has Guardianship laws which forbid woman from doing simple things like leaving home or getting an ID without having permission from a man whether it be a father, husband or son.

In 1990 females drove around the capital in protest and were arrested.

Some of the arguments for not allowing women to drive include male drivers wouldn’t know how to handle a women driver in the car next to them, allowing women to drive would collapse the empire and that driving would harm women’s ovaries.

New York Times 

The Guardian

Al Jazeera

Things women still can’t do in Saudi Arabia 

Wednesday, The Trump Administration Announced Its Plans to Cap The Amount Of Refugees to be Resettled in The United States in 2018 at 45,000, The Lowest in decades

Wednesday the Trump Administration announced its plans to cap the number of refugees allowed to resettle in the United States at 45,000 for 2018. This figure is the lowest since the modern refugee admission system was put in place in 1980.

The Obama Administration set the cap at 110,000 for 2017 but only about half that number has been reached due to the Trump Administration’s temporary ban on refugee resettlement. Refugee resettlement agencies are asking for at least 75,000 to deal with the humanitarian needs around the world.

According to CNN, the US plans to admit no more than 45,000 refugees in the coming year, with regional caps of 19,000 for Africa, 17,500 for the Near East and South Asia (which includes most Middle Eastern countries), 5,000 for East Asia, 2,000 for Europe and Central Asia, and 1,500 for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Although the debate is often labeled as between humanitarian goals and national security, the Trump Administration has argued the economic aspect of the matter.

“For the cost of resettling one refugee in the U.S., we can assist more than 10 in their home region,” President Trump said in a speech to the United Nations earlier this month as told on NPR.

Critics argue that refugees help stimulate the economy and that they are some of the most vetted individuals as the refugee screening and resettlement process takes between 18-24 months on average.

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President Donald Trump Waived The Jones Act for Puerto Rico in the Aftermath of Maria

On Thursday Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced the Trump Administration’s plans to waived the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, better known as the Jones act, which experts say has slowed Puerto Rico’s recovery.

On Sept. 20, Hurricane Maria battered Puerto Rico with category 4 winds. The storm left most of Puerto Rico without power due to an outdated power grid. Following shortly after the storm roughly 4 percent of the residents had power.

The Jones Act requires that all goods delivered from the mainland to parts of the non-contiguous United States be transported on U.S. Flagged ships. This subjects foreign ships to high tariffs when they do business with Puerto Rico.

According to Bloomberg, goods shipped from the US mainland to Puerto Rico — often transferred from foreign ships onto US vessels in Florida — are double the price they are in neighboring islands, including the US Virgin Islands, not subject to the Jones Act.

Governor Ricardo Rossello reached out to the president to get the law waived.

Trump recently temporarily waived the Jones Act for Texas and Florida following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

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Paris and Los Angeles Awarded the 2024 and 2028 Olympics Respectively

On Wednesday, the Olympic Committee formally announced that the 2024 and 2028 Summer Olympics would be hosted in Paris and Los Angeles respectively.

Paris and Los Angeles were the last two cities in the running for the bids after Hamburg, Rome and Budapest pulled out due to financial concerns.

According to researchers at Oxford’s Saïd Business School, the overrun cost of the 2016 Olympics was $1.6 billion. Both Paris and LA have most of the facilities needed for the games reducing the cost of hosting the Olympics.

Los Angeles’ planning committee estimates the cost to be around $5.3 billion.

The last time Paris hosted the Olympics was in 1924 and 2024 will mark the city’s 100 year anniversary of hosting the Olympics. The 2024 Olympics will be the third time Paris has hosted the event adding them to the exclusive list of three timers with London.

Los Angeles hosted the Olympics in 1932 and 1984. The 2028 will be LA’s third has hosted the events adding them to the list with London and Paris.

The U.S. has hosted the Olympics nine times making it the most of any country. The last times it hosted the summer games was in 1996 in Atlanta and it hosted the winter games in 2002 in Salt Lake City.

Olympic.org

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Supreme Court Temporarily Rules That Government Can Block People Who Have Formal Assurances From Resettlement Agencies

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court granted the government’s request to block a lower courts ruling that said the administration cannot prevent refugees who are in the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program or have formal assurances from resettlement agencies.

Hawaii is currently suing the Trump Administration over the travel ban, which prevents citizens from six muslim majority countries and momentarily halts the country’s refugee resettlement plan.

Earlier this month, the 9th circuit prevented the administration from denying entry to grandparents, aunts, uncles and other extended members of the family.

“Common sense, for instance, dictates that close family members be defined to include grandparents,” Judge Derrick Watson wrote. “Indeed, grandparents are the epitome of close family members. The government’s definition excludes them. That simply cannot be.”

The Supreme Court will hear arguments challenging the travel ban on Oct. 10.

The administrations 90 day travel ban will expire in late September and the 120 day ban will end a month later in October.

Currently if you are not a U.S. citizen and have a relative here, have been admitted into an American university or have been hired by a U.S. employer, you can probably still get a visa. Although, relationships with entities must be formal, documented and must be organic. The justices wrote that an immigrant non-profit organization could not simply add a foreign national to a client list just so they can come to the U.S.

The current travel ban would not block people at U.S. airports like the original travel ban but instead deny them a visa.

The Hill

 Fox News

Washington Post – What the Supreme Court’s ruling means

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New York Times

Apple Unveils Their New Iphones

Tuesday Apple unveiled their new Iphones which are set to be released this fall. The Iphones unveiled Tuesday include the Iphone 8 and 8 plus and the Iphone X. Pre-orders for the Iphone 8 models begin Sept. 15 while preorders for the Iphone X model begin Oct. 27.

The Iphone 8 models are similar to their predecessors in design except they are slightly larger sport an all-glass design meaning the front and back are glass. According to Apple, the glass used is some of the most durable glass to ever be used on a smart phone. The phone also sports a color‑matched, aerospace‑grade aluminum band.

The camera on the Iphone 8 models get a slight upgrade with a new sensor that is faster and larger. The retina display now sports True Tone technology which automatically adjusts white balance to match the light around you.

The new Iphone model also adds augmented reality powered by a A11 Bionic chip which according to Apple is the most powerful chip ever put in a phone. The chip is said to be capable of up to 600 billion operations per second. The CPU is supposed to be 70 percent faster than the A10 fusion chips in the Iphone 7. The Iphone 8 model’s battery life is supposed to be similar to their predecessor although a second‑generation performance controller will provide more power when you need it.

The Iphone 8 models will also add wireless charging to its resume. The phone is water and dust resistant and will come with IOS 11.

The Iphone X which comes out after the iphone 8, will sport all of the same features of the Iphone 8 models while adding a few more. The Iphone X will be slightly larger than the Iphone 8 with a 5.8-inch all-screen OLED Multi‑Touch display. The Iphone X entire front is a screen and ditches the home button and touch ID for Face ID which uses a TrueDepth camera to identify your face from millions of others. The Face ID can adapt to changes in your appearance over time and can’t be unlocked with a photo as it uses depth perception to identify facial features.

The TrueDepth camera can also be used to make yourself an emoji with the new Animoji feature on available on the Iphone X. A new portrait selfie mode also allows for pictures with blurred backgrounds on the Iphone X models.

The IPhone X model uses a simple swipe up to take the user back to the home screen versus a home button. The battery life on the X model last about two hours longer than the Iphone 7.

The Iphone 8 starts at $699. The Iphone 8 plus starts at $799. The Iphone X starts at $999

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Scientist Have Successfully Used CRISPR-Cas 9 To Fix Disease-causing Mutations In Embryos For The First Time

An international group of scientist have successfully used a technique that allows scientists to make precise changes to genomes with relative ease called CRISPER-Cas 9. The study was first published in online in Nature journal.

Researchers used a mutation in a gene called MYBPC3, which causes the heart muscle to thicken — a condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. They injected CRISPR-Cas 9 into 54 embryos and after a few days found that 42 or 72.4 percent of the embryos were free of the mutation without any negative side effects.

The researchers speculate that this technology could be used to help families plagued with genetic disease.

This technology is still far from clinical testing.

Opponents of the research argue the ethnics and fear the technology would be used to make designer babies.

Nature

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Putin Expels 755 Diplomats In Response To Tougher Sanctions Placed On Moscow By The White House

Russian president Vladimir Putin declared that by Sept. 1, 755 American diplomats will have to be removed from Russia.

This would bring the number of diplomats to 455, the same number of Russian diplomats and technical staff allowed to remain in the U.S. after sanction applied by President Obama following the 2016 election.

According to multiple reports, Russia will also seize two U.S. diplomatic buildings.

NPR 

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New York Times

North Korea Launches An Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Capable Of Reaching Los Angeles And Chicago

North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching most of the United States on Friday.

According to multiple reports the missile flew 2,300 miles into space and stayed in the air for 47 minutes.

The Pentagon only confirmed that is was a ICBM meaning it is capable of reaching at least about 3,400 miles and was in the air for more than 40 minutes. Other sources have speculated that most of the United States is within range of North Korea’s missiles.

Following the launch, the United States and South Korea ran drills that included The United States Army Traditional Missile System and South Korea’s Hyunmoo-2 Missile. 

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