U.S. airlines step up staffing at DC-area airports after unrest
By Tracy Rucinski (Reuters) - United Airlines and American Airlines said they had boosted staffing at Washington-area airports and were working with law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of travelers and crew following unrest in the U.S.
By Tracy Rucinski
(Reuters) - United Airlines and American Airlines said they had boosted staffing at Washington-area airports and were working with law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of travelers and crew following unrest in the U.S. capital on Wednesday.
The moves follow reports of unruly passengers on flights into the D.C. area before supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol building, hoping to overturn his election defeat.
The protesters' actions prompted Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) representing workers at 17 airlines including United, to call for them to be barred from commercial flights out of the region.
"The mob mentality behavior that took place on several flights to the D.C. area (...) was unacceptable and threatened the safety and security of every single person on board," Nelson said in a statement late on Wednesday.
"Acts against our democracy, our government and the freedom we claim as Americans must disqualify these individuals from the freedom of flight," she said.
A United spokesman said on Thursday: "We echo the sentiments of AFA that our first priority must be the safety and security of our passengers and crew."
Delta Air Lines also said it was working with law enforcement agencies to keep people safe at airports and on flights.
The increased staffing by American, which is not serving alcohol on flights to and from the Washington area, is a "precautionary measure," a spokesman said.
Earlier this week, American and United moved their crews away from downtown D.C. hotels, they said.
The Transportation Security Administration, which has authority over U.S. travel security, said late Wednesday it had "multiple layers of security in place," without providing details for security reasons.
The head of the U.S. Travel Association, Roger Dow, condemned Wednesday's disruption.
"The behavior we are witnessing has no place in any peaceful democracy, much less in the country that is supposed to be the foremost example of democratic principles," he said.
(Reporting by Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Peter Cooney, Tom Hogue and Bernadette Baum)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.