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Air Marshal Leaves Gun In Airplane Bathroom

Today, 02:45

(CNN)   A federal air marshal on a transatlantic flight left her loaded service weapon in the airplane's bathroom, where it was discovered by a passenger who gave it to a crew member before it was returned to the federal agent, CNN has learned.

The incident happened aboard Delta flight 221, which was traveling from Manchester, United Kingdom, to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport on April 6, and was reported to the air marshal's management days later.

In a statement to CNN the TSA would confirm only that it is aware of an incident involving a federal air marshal on that date, and it is reviewing the circumstances.

A Delta spokeshuman said the airline is also aware of the incident but declined to provide further comment.

Sources within the Federal Air Marshal Service said the agent in question is a relatively new hire who should have been placed on leave for leaving her gun. Instead, the agent remains on active flight duty, CNN has been told.

A former federal air marshal familiar with the situation told CNN that newly hired air marshals do not currently receive on-the-job training and said this incident might have been avoided if the individual had been paired with a senior air marshal.

"She made a mistake because she wasn't given the appropriate tools to succeed," the former air marshal said.

John Casaretti, president of the Air Marshal Association and a former air marshal, told CNN the TSA should implement additional training for newly hired air marshals.

"These rare incidents must be thoroughly investigated and local managers should take appropriate corrective action," Casaretti said. "A field training officer program and thorough mentorship of new officers can reduce similar performance issues."

"Air marshals work in punishing conditions, labor under poor leadership and have seen their law enforcement functions curtailed by an administration that lacks vision. The problem is not the air marshals, it's the TSA," he added.

The Federal Air Marshal Service has long been criticized for poor management and lack of proof that what they do -- fly undercover to monitor for and respond to threats -- significantly improves security. CNN has been unable to find a single incident in which a federal air marshal deterred or intervened in a terrorist plot since the organization was ramped up after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Although it has an $835 million budget, agents cover less than 1% of US domestic and international flights, sources familiar with the agency's operations said.

A CNN report in 2015 exposed the long hours, chaotic schedules and use of drugs and alcohol among federal air marshals, which has led to suicides and suicide attempts by the agents.

In that report, CNN obtained a now-classified study commissioned by the TSA that revealed 75% of air marshals flying domestic missions were sleep-deficient. The percentage was even higher on air marshals assigned to international assignments, where 84% of agents were identified as sleep-deficient.

According to the 2012 study conducted by Harvard Medical School's division of sleep medicine, "the acute and chronic lack of sleep substantially degrades a federal air marshal's ability to react and think quickly."

TSA officials insisted at the time that air marshals' schedules ensure appropriate rest periods and that agents have access to a "robust health, fitness and wellness program."


How Trump Succeeds Without Succeeding

Yesterday, 03:32

Worth reading, if you want to find out how the guy thinks.  (He lives in an alternate universe.) :surprised:

He has made a career of convincing people that his failures were the exact opposite. Can he pull it off again?


“He’s not successful at what he claims to be successful at,” said Tim O’Brien, the author of TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald. “He is, however, arguably the most successful self-promoter in United States business and political history. And that’s a form of success.”

“He knows of no other way,” former New York Daily News scribe George Rush said, “and that is to spin until he’s woven some gossamer fabric out of”—he searched for the right word—“garbage.”

Even his admirers, who dispute the notion that Trump has not accomplished important things in this first stage of his first term, grant that his ultimate success will depend in no small measure on his ability to convince people that he has succeeded. “I think by the power of persuasion he’s going to end up getting things done,” said Sam Nunberg, a political adviser early in his campaign who credits Trump with the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and a flurry of executive orders that have undone or loosened Barack Obama-implemented policies and regulations. “He certainly could sell ice to an Eskimo—and I mean that as a compliment. He’s the spinner of all spinners.”


Berkeley Campus On Lockdown After Loose Pages From ‘Wall Street Journal’ Found On Park...

22 April 2017 - 08:08

BERKELEY, CA — Advising students to remain in their dormitories and classrooms until the situation was resolved, the University of California, Berkeley declared a campuswide lockdown Thursday after several loose pages from The Wall Street Journal were found on a park bench outside a school building.

“At 11:15 this morning, several pages from two separate sections of today’s Wall Street Journal were discovered spread across a bench outside of Eshleman Hall in Lower Sproul Plaza,” read the urgent alert sent to all students and faculty, emphasizing that while campus security and local police had safely disposed of the pages, there was no way of knowing if others were strewn elsewhere on university grounds.

“As of now, the perpetrator remains at large, so it is vital that you stay where you are until the all-clear is given. In the meantime, notify police immediately if you have any additional information at all regarding this incident.”

At press time, a black-clad group of 50 students were throwing bottles at the bench while chanting, “No Nazis, No KKK, No Fascist U.S.A!”


Analyst Who Predicted Trump’S Ascendancy Bets On Le Pen Win

22 April 2017 - 04:52

Don’t bank on a relief rally in the euro area anytime soon.

Markets are underpricing the prospect of Marine Le Pen emerging victorious in the French election as a sea of undecided voters throws into sharp relief pronounced apathy for center-leftist Emmanuel Macron -- the front-runner by a whisker -- and the backlash against the European Union project.

That’s the conclusion drawn by Charles Gave, founder of Hong-Kong based asset-allocation consultancy GaveKal Research, who predicted the triumph of Donald Trump in the U.S. election, and is now betting on a win for the anti-euro National Front candidate.

“Le Pen’s momentum is a slow-moving reaction against the men of Davos -- as we have seen with Brexit and Trump -- but markets don’t want to believe it,” he said by phone before the first round of the French poll on April 23.

Given the prospect of a Le Pen victory, Gave, who has been researching tactical asset allocation for more than 40 years, is advising clients to adopt long positioning in the pound as the U.K. would benefit from haven bids, and shorts on inflation-linked German bonds amid the risk of deflation in the euro area.


If she emerges victorious, the euro would tank as markets would price in the prospect of its dissolution, rather than focus on Le Pen’s legislative hurdles to exit the single-currency bloc. French and Italian bonds will be “unquotable” given vanishing bids, and the European banking system would be beset by seismic turmoil, he said.


The World's Street-Food Capital Is Banning Street Food

18 April 2017 - 10:53

A month after Bangkok was voted the world's best destination for street food, the Thai capital's administration has announced that all of the city's food vendors will be swept from the streets.

In a bid to improve safety and cleanliness the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) said that vendors would be banned from the city's streets by the end of the year, the Nation reports. And the next areas to be targeted for cleanup: the internationally renowned street-food hot spots Yaowarat (Chinatown) and Khao San Road.

“The BMA is now working to get rid of the street vendors from all 50 districts of Bangkok and return the pavements to the pedestrians,” Wanlop Suwandee, chief adviser to Bangkok’s governor, said on Monday.

“The street vendors have seized the pavement space for too long and we already provide them with space to sell food and other products legally in the market."

The move appears to fly in the face of CNN's glowing appraisal of Bangkok's street-food scene, which voted it the best in the world for a second year. It also runs contrary to a 2015 marketing campaign under the auspices of the Tourism Authority of Thailand called "Pray for Anna," which extols the moreish virtues of Thailand's street food.