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Sat, 10 Jun 2023
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Scammers using wheelchairs to skip airport lines

© Matt Dunham/WPA Pool/GEtty Images
Texas, Houston - A wheelchair request can put you at the front of a long airport line.

Or, at least, that's the angle some fully-abled passengers are using to cut through the winding queues at airport security checkpoints, the New York Times reported. According to the 1986 Air Carrier Access Act, airlines are required to accommodate disabled travelers - who need not show any proof of disability - free of charge.

And this isn't news to airport staffers.

"When [travelers] see that the line is so long, they just ask for a wheelchair," Evelyn Danquah, an attendant for Delta Air Lines, told the Times. She said she has seen some wheelchair fakers stand and walk away as soon as they clear security. Wheelchair attendants - whose salaries range between $9 and $14 an hour, with tips, help to maintain a "don't ask, don't tell" policy regarding the line-hopping strategy in hopes of bolstering their paychecks, the Times reported.

The tactic even spawned a new term among flight attendants: "miracle flights." Where passengers use wheelchairs to board but abandon them when their planes land.

Kelly Skyles, the national safety and security coordinator for the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, told the Times she believes travelers shed their wheelchairs because passengers in wheelchairs are the last to leave the plane.

Black Cat 2

Thieves robbing homes of recently deceased -- during their funerals

  • Minneapolis - St. Paul Police have a warning about thieves who they say stole from the dead.

    Investigators say Jeffrey Lanceman and John Contreras used newspaper obituaries to target homes of people who'd just died, breaking into their homes during their funeral.

    Authorities say it happened in Ramsey, St. Paul, and possibly Edina.

    WCCO-TV talked to the neighbor of a victim who sees this crime as a personal attack. Never did she imagine the nightmare that was happening in her deceased neighbor's home while the family was away at the funeral.

    "What we learned now [The robbers] probably had a sheet or towel hung so you couldn't see what was going on," said the neighbor, who only gave her first name, Colleen.


    New York Times staffers stage walkout

    New York Times
    © Wikimedia
    New York Times building
    Unionized workers at the Gray Lady coordinate a brief protest over contract negotiations.

    Unionized New York Times staffers plan a short walkout on Monday afternoon, reported Katherine Fung at the Huffington Post. The staffers, members of the Newspaper Guild of New York, will meet up and collectively walk outside of the new but iconic New York Times building in Manhattan to protest management's position on contract negotiations.

    Fung reports that "the walkout won't be the first protest that Times' staffers have staged over proposed contract terms. Earlier this year, employees held a silent protest outside a meeting of top editors, and demonstrated outside the company's annual shareholders meeting. Angry staffers also made their demands heard in a series of videos."

    Below is an edited version of the email that the staffers received today from Grant Glickson, the unit chair for the Newspaper Guild at the Times, detailing the background for Monday's protest:


    Florida man dies after winning roach eating contest

    A Florida man died Friday night after consuming "dozens of roaches and worms" during a contest held by a pet store, police report.

    Edward Archbold, 32, collapsed after winning the repulsive contest at Ben Siegel Reptile Store. Archbold, who was competing for a free python, was stricken outside the Deerfield Beach business, according to the Broward County Sheriff's Office.

    Investigators reported that Archbold "wasn't feeling well and began to regurgitate" shortly after the contest's conclusion. "He had consumed dozens of roaches and worms," a sheriff's spokesman noted.

    Archbold was pronounced dead after being transported to an area hospital. An autopsy was conducted, and the Broward County medical examiner is awaiting test results to determined Archbold's cause of death.

    Archbold is pictured above in a mug shot taken in 2004, following his arrest for disorderly conduct and indecent exposure (for which he was convicted).

    Bizarro Earth

    More than 30 civilians killed by Nigeria military

    © Abdulkareem Haruna/The Associated Press
    In this photo taken with a mobile phone, soldiers stand outside a burnt out shopping mall in Maiduguri, Nigeria, Monday, Oct. 8, 2012.
    Nigerian soldiers angry about the killing of an officer shot dead more than 30 civilians Monday in a northeastern city long under siege by a radical Islamist sect.

    The attack came from soldiers attached to a special military unit on guard in Maiduguri, the spiritual home of the sect known as Boko Haram, in an effort to supposedly protect its citizens from the violence gripping the city. The killings likely will further antagonize a population already alienated by checkpoints, security force harassment and the threat of being killed by soldiers who are targets for the sect's increasingly bloody guerrilla attacks.

    An Associated Press reporter in Maiduguri counted the dead while on a tour of the still-smoldering neighborhood Monday afternoon. The journalist saw no weapons or evidence that the dead belonged to the sect. A soldier nearby, who did not identify himself, claimed the attack was a response to a bombing nearby earlier Monday that he said killed a lieutenant.

    "They killed our officer!" the soldier shouted. "We had no options!"


    Suspect arrested with explosives, bizarre plan to blow up churches

    Gregory Arthur Weiler II
    © The Associated Press
    Gregory Arthur Weiler II. Prosecutors have filed charges against the Illinois man accused of plotting to bomb nearly 50 Oklahoma churches. Weiler has been charged under the state's anti-terrorism act.
    Miami, Oklahoma - A court document alleges that a 23-year-old man arrested Thursday afternoon at a motel in Miami, Okla., had gathered materials for 50 Molotov cocktails and constructed a list of local churches that he may have been planning to bomb.

    Gregory A. Weiler II was taken into custody at the Legacy Inn & Suites and charged Friday with being a threat to use an explosive device and violating the state's anti-terrorism law.

    Police were called to the motel at 11:12 a.m. Thursday regarding suspicious items found in a trash bin. Officers were shown a green military sailor's bag that contained 50 brown glass bottles with duct tape and sections of cloth attached, according to a probable-cause affidavit filed Friday in Ottawa County District Court.

    A funnel, strips of cloth torn from sheets, yet another brown glass bottle and "an unknown green object" also were found inside the bag, and a 5-gallon can of gas believed to be associated with the other items was located by officers, according to the affidavit.

    Police were called back to the motel at 3:21 p.m. when similar items were spotted inside Room 127, the affidavit states. A search warrant consequently was sought and served at 5:56 p.m.

    Heart - Black

    Republican Charlie Fuqua supports parental death penalty for kids

    Republican Charlie Fuqua
    © Unknown
    Republican Charlie Fuqua
    Republican candidate Charlie Fuqua, who is running for the Arkansas House of Representatives, has written a book, God's Law, in which he supports the death penalty for "rebellious children".

    Fuqua, who is pro-life, says that sentencing a child to death is described in the Old Testament of the Bible and would require court approval. Fuqua believes that such a law in the U.S. would stop rebellious children, reports the HuffingtonPost.com.


    Jurors sentence ex-Houston police officer to life in prison for raping waitress

    An ex-Houston police officer broke down in tears after he was sentenced to life in prison Monday for raping a waitress in the back of his patrol car.

    Abraham Joseph stood stunned when he heard the sentence. He stared at the jury as he tried to process what just happened to him, then began crying.

    The former cop's wife collapsed into the arms of another family member in the back of the courtroom.

    The jury last week convicted Joseph of aggravated sexual assault by a public servant after a month-long trial.

    During the sentencing phase, jurors heard from three other women who said Joseph also assaulted them and threatened to have them deported if they told anyone.


    The Maimed

    © Mr.Fish
    Chris Hedges gave this talk Sunday night in New York City at a protest denouncing the 11th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan. The event, at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, was led by Veterans for Peace.

    Many of us who are here carry within us death. The smell of decayed and bloated corpses. The cries of the wounded. The shrieks of children. The sound of gunfire. The deafening blasts. The fear. The stench of cordite. The humiliation that comes when you surrender to terror and beg for life. The loss of comrades and friends. And then the aftermath. The long alienation. The numbness. The nightmares. The lack of sleep. The inability to connect to all living things, even to those we love the most. The regret. The repugnant lies mouthed around us about honor and heroism and glory. The absurdity. The waste. The futility.

    It is only the maimed that finally know war. And we are the maimed. We are the broken and the lame. We ask for forgiveness. We seek redemption. We carry on our backs this awful cross of death, for the essence of war is death, and the weight of it digs into our shoulders and eats away at our souls. We drag it through life, up hills and down hills, along the roads, into the most intimate recesses of our lives. It never leaves us. Those who know us best know that there is something unspeakable and evil many of us harbor within us. This evil is intimate. It is personal. We do not speak its name. It is the evil of things done and things left undone. It is the evil of war.


    Arizona Sheriff Larry Dever of Cochise County "legally drunk" in deadly crash

    © www.cochise.az.gov
    Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever
    An autopsy report shows the Cochise County sheriff who lost control of his vehicle in northern Arizona and died was legally drunk at the time. The report released Monday indicates Larry Dever's blood-alcohol content was .29 -- more than three times the state's legal limit. Dever had been driving along a gravel road near Williams on Sept. 18 to meet family members for a camping and hunting trip when his pickup rolled. His speed was marked at 62 mph, but the road doesn't have a speed limit.

    The autopsy report also showed that Dever's seat belt wasn't buckled, and authorities noted he had beer and liquor in his vehicle. Coconino County authorities said last week that Dever had alcohol in his system. But his exact blood-alcohol content wasn't released until Monday.

    Comment: Arizona Sheriff Who Exposed Obama Administration on Border Arrests is Dead