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Family forced to sit in vomit on United flight

Published: Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 6:15 AM
Updated: Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 6:15 AM

            Photo credit: Associated Press
Photo credit: Associated Press

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A Maryland family says they were forced to sit in vomit-covered seats on their United Airlines flight from Orlando, Florida.

Scott Shirley and his family were visiting Disney World as a birthday trip with their 7-year-old son, Phoenix. As they boarded their return flight at Orlando International Airport, they began storing their bags underneath their seats and that's when they noticed a strange smell and their bags were wet.

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“She [Shirley’s wife] reached down and rubbed the ground and goes “the whole ground is wet,” and then she put it to her nose and goes “Oh my god! This is throw up,” Shirley explained to WUSA9.

Shirley's wife suffers from Mysophobia (fear of germs) and began crying hysterically. Mr. Shirley informed the crew who told them a passenger had gotten sick on the previous flight and that they had cleaned the area.

'It was clear that no one had cleaned the area where we were sitting, because there was no evidence of any chemical smell what so ever,' he added. 

With vomit all over their hands and bags, they say the flight attendants gave them two options: take a flight the next day or sit in the vomit-covered seats. Since Shirley's wife works for the Food and Drug Administration and had to be back to work the next day, they had no choice but to stay. The family says there were given blankets to cover the seats but no additional cleaning was done. They were also given trash bags to put their wet luggage in.

'It was completely humiliating walking through the airport with our belongings in trash bags as if we were some sort of homeless family,' said Mr. Shirley. 

United Airlines has apologized and admits the area was not as thoroughly cleaned as it should've been. They've offered each member of the family a $150 voucher as well as additional mileage points. 

Watch video HERE.

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Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe fired two days before retirement

Published: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 11:10 PM
Updated: Saturday, March 17, 2018 @ 7:44 AM

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 13:  Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe listens during a news conference to announce significant law enforcement actions July 13, 2017 at the Justice Department in Washington, DC. Attorney General Jeff Sessions held the news conference to announce the 2017 health care fraud takedown.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 13: Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe listens during a news conference to announce significant law enforcement actions July 13, 2017 at the Justice Department in Washington, DC. Attorney General Jeff Sessions held the news conference to announce the 2017 health care fraud takedown. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions has fired former deputy director of the FBI Andrew McCabe, two days before McCabe was set to retire, according to news reports.

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Sessions said in a statement released Friday night that McCabe was less than truthful while under oath several times, according to The New York Times.

“The F.B.I. expects every employee to adhere to the highest standards of honesty, integrity and accountability,” he said. “I have terminated the employment of Andrew McCabe effective immediately.”

In a statement Friday night, McCabe said his firing was politically motivated.

"This attack on my credibility is one part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally, but to taint the FBI, law enforcement, and the intelligence professionals," McCabe said.

>> Related: Who is Andrew G. McCabe, former Deputy Director of the FBI?

In an earlier interview, McCabe rejected the allegations that he was untruthful during internal hearings, the Times reported.

>> Rex Tillerson out as Secretary of State; Pompeo nominated as replacement

“The idea that I was dishonest is just wrong,” he said. 

“This is part of an effort to discredit me as a witness.”

McCabe is a potential witness in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign

Shortly after midnight, President Donald Trump tweeted about the firing, calling it “a great day for democracy.”

>> Related: Who are key players in the Russia/Trump saga?

McCabe, who had been with the FBI for 22 years, resigned his position in late January, but stayed on at the agency until he was eligible to retire on Sunday.

Andrew McCabe Steps Down As FBI Deputy Director(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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With retirement of acting chief, NASA finds itself in leadership limbo

Published: Saturday, March 17, 2018 @ 1:00 AM

After operating for more than a year with a temporary chief, NASA faces an unprecedented leadership bind as its acting Administrator announced this week that he would retire at the end of April, with no hint that the Senate will vote by then on President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the space agency.

“It has been a long process but we are optimistic that the vote will come soon,” said Sheryl Kaufman, the Communications Director for Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK).

“We hope that happens soon,” said Rep. Bruce Babin (R-TX), as House Republicans and Vice President Mike Pence pressed the Senate for action on Bridenstine.

The problem for Bridenstine is that just one Republican has refused to support him for the job as NASA Administrator – that being Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) – and with only a bare majority, and the absence of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Bridenstine does not have the votes to win.

Since President Trump took office in January of 2017, NASA has been led by Robert Lightfoot, a well-respected NASA veteran who has drawn bipartisan praise.

But with Lightfoot announcing this week that he is retiring – effective April 30 – it’s possible that NASA could be forced to dig deeper down the depth chart for another temporary leader at the space agency.

“Robert Lightfoot has served NASA exceptionally well for nearly 30 years,” said Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), the head of the House Science Committee.

Apart from a couple of major issues, Bridenstine in 2017 did not cast votes on regular legislation in the House – while waiting for his Senate confirmation.

This year has been different – Bridenstine is voting on most legislation in the House, except for measures that deal with NASA.

“He will represent his constituents as fully as possible while awaiting the confirmation vote by the full Senate,” said his spokeswoman.

But without enough support, there’s no hint of a vote on Bridenstine in the Senate.

“The facts of this nomination have not changed,” said Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) back in January – and two months later, that statement is still true.

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Some Chinese takeout has as much salt as 5 McDonald’s Big Macs, health experts warn

Published: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 10:22 PM

A pile of table salt.
A pile of table salt.(Pixabay)

Worried about high blood pressure? You may want to stay away from Chinese takeout.

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Health experts have called for warning labels on Chinese takeaway and ready-made meals following a new survey revealing often "astonishing and harmful" salt levels.

The survey, published this week by a group of specialists from the United Kingdom-based organization Action on Salt, revealed that some Chinese takeaway dishes contain as much salt as five McDonald's Big Macs. Others contain more than half of the recommended daily allowance of salt for adults.

When it comes to ready-made Chinese meals in supermarkets, more than 40 percent of 141 that were analyzed had "high" levels of salt, meaning they contained more than 1.8 grams per portion. Some store-bought rice dishes have more salt than 11 bags of salted chips, the analysis revealed.

>> Related: Half of US adults now have high blood pressure, based on new guidelines

"Considering how many millions of takeaways and ready meals are eaten ... the food industry must be held to account, with new salt targets set by the government to ensure the salt content of these meals is reduced to much lower levels, and fast," Sarah Alderton, assistant nutritionist at Action on Salt, said in a press release.

Sonia Pombo, the organization’s campaign manager, called for the industry to make changes to their products.

"Our data shows that food can be easily reformulated with lower levels of salt, so why haven't all companies acted responsibly?" Pombo said. "We are asking everyone, including the food industry, to think first and use less salt."

Hemini Bharadia of Blood Pressure UK described the findings as "very concerning."

>> Related: These are the best diets for 2018

"We are all eating too much salt. This can lead to high blood pressure causing strokes and heart attacks, most of which could be avoided through better lifestyle choices," Bharadia told The Guardian.

Consuming high levels of salt has been linked to a variety of serious health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease and strokes.

"Salt is the forgotten killer as it puts up our blood pressure, leading to tens of thousands of unnecessary strokes, heart failure and heart attacks every year," Graham MacGregor, the chairman of Action on Salt and a professor of cardiovascular medicine at Queen Mary University of London, said. "Reducing salt is the most cost-effective measure to reduce the number of people dying or suffering from strokes or heart disease."

As activists in the UK call for salt warning labels, New York City is leading the charge on raising awareness about the risks. In 2015, it became the first city in the United States to require high-sodium warning labels on restaurant menus.

>> Related: High-salt diet could cause dementia, study finds

According to the city government's health web page, New York is conducting "an unprecedented public-private partnership to help prevent heart disease and strokes by reducing the amount of sodium in packaged and restaurant foods."

"The National Salt Reduction Initiative (NSRI), a partnership of more than 100 state and local health authorities and national health organizations, set voluntary targets for salt levels in 62 categories of packaged food and 25 categories of restaurant food to guide food company sodium reductions in 2012 and 2014,” the city government shared on the site.

While this new survey from the U.K. may have highlighted the high levels of salt in Chinese food takeout and ready-made dishes, it’s important to note that high levels of sodium are common in many fast food favorites and snacks Americans consume on a daily basis.

>> Related: 7 ways to lower your blood pressure without medication

New York City's Deputy Health Commissioner Sonia Angell, who is also a physician, told NPR that many people just don't know there's a link between excessive salt intake, high blood pressure and heart disease.

“The majority of salt in our diet doesn't come from the salt shaker — it's already in the food when we purchase it," Angell said. "And that makes restaurants a really important place to give people guidance about how they might be making decisions — if they choose to do so — that might protect their health and their heart."

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Michigan U.S. Senate candidate wants to arm the homeless with shotguns

Published: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 5:26 PM

Michigan U.S. Senate Candidate Wants Homeless Armed With Shotguns

A U.S. Senate candidate in Michigan has a plan to arm homeless people in an effort to reduce violent crime.

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Candidate Brian Ellison, a Libertarian, is trying to raise $10,000 to put his plan “Arm the Homeless,  plan into action to train and provide weapons to the homeless in metro Detroit, according to

Ellison said the homeless need to be able to protect themselves. "Homeless people are people too, and they have a right to defend themselves," he told MLive.

Ellison said in an interview with the Guardian he thinks the best weapon for a homeless person is a pistol.

“But due to the licensing requirements in the state we’re going to have a hard enough time getting homeless people shotguns as it is,” he said.

“Getting them pistols is probably next to impossible. The pistols need to be registered, people have to have addresses.”

Ellison also told the Guardian he isn’t worried about people walking around town with loaded shotguns and he doesn’t think it presents any additional danger. Giving the homeless ammunition along with a gun is part of his plan, too.

“Are you worried about the police being armed with military weapons?” Ellison asked.

“I am,” he said. “The world we live in is a scary world, where the police who used to dress in short-sleeved shirts and carry a revolver now have long rifles with scopes and bulletproof vests and armored vehicles.” 

“And quite frankly that scares me much more than a homeless person trying to defend themselves with a shotgun,” Ellison told the Guardian.

>> Related: NYT: Democrat Conor Lamb wins PA’s special election, beating Rick Saccone in a Trump stronghold

Ellison is running against popular incumbent Democrat Debbie Stabenow and three Republican candidates, Sandy Pensler, Bob Carr and John James.


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