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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 149)

Ryan Reynolds In The Audience Rattles Will Ferrell During ‘Saturday Night Live’ Monologue

Westlake Legal Group 5dda3c331f00000a14def4b6 Ryan Reynolds In The Audience Rattles Will Ferrell During ‘Saturday Night Live’ Monologue

Will Ferrell was tooling along with his monologue in his fifth time hosting “Saturday Night Live” when he spotted a face in the audience that looked surprisingly familiar.

“Excuse me, but you look a lot like Ryan Reynolds,” Ferrell said.

“I get that a lot,” Ryan Reynolds replied.

That’s when Ferrell’s monologue hit the skids as he pretended to be flustered by the fact that Reynolds and wife Blake Lively — watching at home — are big fans.

Reynolds finally told Ferrell to stop looking at him and get back to the monologue. But Ferrell then insisted it was terrible and began to deliver a mangled impression of former “SNL” cast member and “30 Rock” star Tracy Morgan — who also suddenly appeared.

Ferrell frequently pulls out the odd impression to calm him down when he’s nervous, he explained. Morgan backed up Ferrell on stage. “Anything for you, Ferrell,” Morgan said. “But you talk like me again, I’m going to bust your ass.”

Check it out in the video up top.

Later in the show, Reynolds appeared with Alex Moffat in a steamy “Weekend Update” sketch on dating tips. Colin Jost — who’s engaged to Reynolds’ ex-wife, Scarlett Johansson — wrapped up the scene by calling Reynolds and Moffat his “two best friends.”

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New York man in military gear, 28, surrenders after 7-hour standoff with police

Westlake Legal Group Crime-scene-iStock New York man in military gear, 28, surrenders after 7-hour standoff with police fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox-news/tech/companies/instagram fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio article 45cf49df-60fe-5b56-8e47-09214272e34d

A New York man wearing military gear who barricaded himself inside a home after a dispute with his wife – and then posted updates on social media – surrendered Saturday night after a seven-hour standoff, authorities said.

Comments from Instagram followers only made the situation worse, police said, according to News 12 in Westchester County, north of New York City.

IOWA MAN CHARGED IN POLICE STANDOFF TELLS JUDGE, ‘I AM JESUS’

“This is a person in crisis, having mental illness, having issues and he didn’t need the people on social media telling him that his rights are being violated,” Chief Michael Cazzari of the Carmel Police Department told the station. “He needed help. Medical help.”

Police were called to the scene in Mahopac, part of Carmel, in Putnam County, around 2 p.m., WNBC-TV of New York City reported. Sources told the station the suspect suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), though it was unclear whether he had served overseas.

Negotiators were aware of the suspect’s mental condition as they tried to convince him to surrender, according to the station.

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The suspect ultimately surrendered peacefully around 9:30 p.m., News 12 reported.

Separately, a state trooper was grazed by a bullet during an unrelated seven-hour standoff in September with a man in Wappinger, Putnam County. That incident also was sparked by a domestic dispute, the Putnam Daily Voice reported.

Westlake Legal Group Crime-scene-iStock New York man in military gear, 28, surrenders after 7-hour standoff with police fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox-news/tech/companies/instagram fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio article 45cf49df-60fe-5b56-8e47-09214272e34d   Westlake Legal Group Crime-scene-iStock New York man in military gear, 28, surrenders after 7-hour standoff with police fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox-news/tech/companies/instagram fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio article 45cf49df-60fe-5b56-8e47-09214272e34d

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With Boeing in Cross Hairs, Lion Air Gets a Pass on Poor Safety Record

Westlake Legal Group 00lionair-promises-facebookJumbo With Boeing in Cross Hairs, Lion Air Gets a Pass on Poor Safety Record Regulation and Deregulation of Industry Politics and Government Pilots Lion Air Indonesia Corruption (Institutional) Boeing Company Boeing 737 Max Groundings and Safety Concerns (2019) Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters Airlines and Airplanes

When things go wrong, those in power often promise to make it right. But do they? In this series, The Times investigates to see if those promises were kept.

JAKARTA, Indonesia — When Lion Air Flight 610 took off in clear skies a year ago, the 737 jetliner carried with it an anti-stall system designed by Boeing that would propel the plane into a nose-dive minutes after takeoff, killing all 189 aboard.

But the plane was saddled with another safety burden. Flight 610 was operated by Lion Air, a low-cost Indonesian carrier that has benefited from its political connections to become one of the world’s fastest growing airlines, despite a questionable safety record.

While Boeing has faced intense scrutiny after two fatal crashes in less than five months, Lion Air has escaped similar attention, despite obvious failings that contributed to the disaster of Flight 610.

An investigation by The New York Times, based on interviews with dozens of officials and airline employees, including pilots and members of maintenance teams, found that Lion Air has a track record of working its pilots to the point of exhaustion, faking pilot training certification and forcing pilots to fly planes they worried were unsafe, including the plane that crashed.

Despite making vague promises of improvements after last year’s accident, the air carrier has neither fully acknowledged nor expeditiously addressed the concerns that have been raised about its safety practices, both by government investigators and whistle-blowers interviewed by The Times.

“The Boeing issue was an absolute godsend for Lion Air,” said John Goglia, a former member of the United States National Transportation Safety Board and an aviation safety expert. “It means Lion Air doesn’t have to deal with what is clearly failure after failure after failure and make the changes needed.”

Of the nine factors that caused the crash according to the final report issued by the Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee last month, a fatal Boeing design flaw in an automated system was what captured the world’s attention, especially after the crash of another plane in Ethiopia linked to its anti-stall system.

Although the report documented lapses on Lion Air’s part, like shoddy maintenance and undertrained pilots, examples of Lion Air’s culpability were underplayed when the report was presented, dismaying critics who note that Indonesia, the world’s fourth-most populous country, struggles with endemic corruption.

“You get the sense that the raw data that makes Lion look bad is buried in the report for whatever political reasons,” Mr. Goglia said.

And Lion Air has not accepted responsibility for the failures listed in the report, and it dismissed most of the safety issues raised to The Times by current and former employees.

In a response attached to the final report, the airline wrote that it was “aware of efforts that have been made to criticize the Lion Air pilots, engineers and maintenance personnel who operated or worked” on the aircraft.

The carrier said “such criticisms are misplaced and should not be considered as contributing factors of the Flight JT610 accident.”

Despite the life-or-death urgency of some of the government report’s safety recommendations, including making improvements to Lion’s hazard-reporting process and its safety training, the company seems to be mulling its next steps, rather than taking immediate, decisive action.

“Give me time,” Daniel Putut, Lion Air’s managing director, said in an interview, when asked how quickly the carrier could implement the recommendations. “Let’s say another one or three months because we need to study it to learn if there are things we need to change.”

“The report,” he added by way of explaining the delay, “is 323 pages long.”

While denying that the deficiencies cited in the report played a part in the crash, Mr. Putut said that Lion Air has “tried to improve” how it identifies safety hazards since the disaster.

“The accident hurt us so we have done a deep study of our operational safety to prevent something from occurring again,” he said.

At the same time, however, Mr. Putut defended Lion Air’s business culture, which critics say prioritizes growth over safety.

A former Lion Air chief pilot, Jimmy Kalebos, said that refusing to acknowledge problems was symptomatic of the company’s approach to safety before the crash. That it continues to do so after so many deaths, he added, does not bode well.

“How can you fix a problem,” Mr. Kalebos asked, “if you don’t admit it exists?”

What We Found

In the view of some of the company’s most important employees — its pilots — Lion Air has not taken steps to fix numerous flaws since the crash.

The safety culture at Lion Air has “absolutely not improved,” a pilot said. Like other current and former Lion Air staff members, he agreed to speak only on condition of anonymity to protect his career.

Not a single Lion Air employee has been fired as a result of last year’s accident, according to both government investigators and current and former employees. Mr. Putut refused to confirm or deny if anyone had been let go.

Just as the company does not seem pressed to adopt changes from the report (which is actually 322 pages long), Indonesian officials were quick to defend a carrier that has had 11 accidents and incidents since its founding in 1999, according to the Aviation Safety Network.

In comparison, Spirit Airlines, the American low-cost carrier founded in 1980, has suffered two in its history, one in 2002, the other in 2005. Neither was fatal.

What’s more, many additional serious safety lapses at Lion Air were never investigated by the government because the carrier downplayed them or failed to divulge their likely causes, pilots and maintenance workers at the airline said.

In one case in 2016, a Lion Air jet suffered a total loss of engine oil, forcing the pilot to shut down the engine in flight, according to former employees. Yet the Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee was never called in to investigate.

“What we see in the news is only the visible part of the iceberg,” one pilot said.

But members of the Indonesian government seemed sanguine about the airline’s safety.

“Lion Air maintenance is good,” said Luhut Pandjaitan, a government minister whose portfolio includes oversight of Indonesia’s transportation network. “Lion pilots have no problem. Lion Air facilities are very good.”

He said much of the criticism was fueled by “Western arrogance.”

But Ahmadji Sumankidjo, one of the minister’s own deputies, said there was an unwritten government preference for civil servants to avoid flying Lion Air.

“You can fly Lion Air,” he said, “but you need to pray to God.”

What We Found

Few airline businesses grew as quickly as Lion Air Group, which oversees several carriers in addition to Lion Air. In 1999, Rusdi Kirana started a low-cost carrier with a few rickety jets. By the time of the crash, Lion Air Group had signed deals for 450 brand-new planes from Boeing and Airbus.

On many routes within Indonesia, whose sprawling archipelago makes air travel an everyday necessity, Lion Air was often the only choice, making its peremptory motto oddly appropriate: “We make people fly.”

The Indonesian government has hailed Mr. Kirana as a visionary whose company employed 30,000 people. A Christian in a Muslim majority country, Mr. Kirana took on a leadership position in an Islamic political party with ties to the government and was named ambassador to Malaysia.

As Lion Air grew, all those new planes needed captains, and the company soon suffered from a dangerous shortage of pilots, according to those who watched the company transform.

In 2016, for example, Lion Air had about 3.5 flight crews (a chief pilot and first officer) for each plane in its fleet, according to company insiders, while the industry norm for airlines operating similar kinds of routes with similar planes is at least twice that.

“Do the math,” said Mr. Kalebos, the former Lion Air pilot. “It just doesn’t add up to safety being No. 1.”

While that ratio has since improved, according to current and former employees, the conditions for pilots remain onerous.

Under Indonesian law, pilots are not allowed to fly more than 110 hours a month. But faked logs of flying hours were rampant at the company, according to former and current pilots.

Eki Adriansjah, a former chief pilot at Lion who also served as a flight instructor, said he once worked 300 hours in a month and was chided by government regulators.

“I told them, ‘Why are you catching me and not the company?’” he said. “Lion was the one pushing me to work like that.”

Airline representatives denied its pilots were overworked.

The carrier also hired pilots with contracts that tied them to the carrier for up to 20 years unless they paid a hefty release fee.

“We are all tired,” said a current Lion Air pilot bound by such a restrictive contract. “I want to stop but I can’t.”

On Nov. 18, a co-pilot for Wings Air, another airline within the Lion Air Group, committed suicide after receiving a termination letter from the carrier telling him he owed $500,000 in penalties for the training he had received. In a statement after his death, Wings Air said it had taken employment actions against an “undisciplined” employee.

Some Lion Air pilots say the workload has improved since last year’s crash, with a computerized system, strengthened after the catastrophe, making it harder to cheat on flying hours.

“This was a problem at Lion, but now not so much,” said Koko Indra Perdana, a Lion Air chief pilot and secretary general of the Indonesian Pilots Professional Association.

Others are skeptical.

“I talk to my friends, and they say it’s the same now, they’re just more careful about hiding it,” Mr. Kalebos said.

What We Found

Current and former pilots at Lion Air recounted dozens of instances, both before and after the crash, in which they felt pressured to fly, despite concerns about the weather, the plane’s airworthiness or even their own alertness.

In two cases, pilots said they were ordered to fly to airports near where forest fires were raging and smoke obscured visibility.

“The manager told me, ‘Oh, you don’t need to see the runway because we have instruments that can see for you,’” said Mr. Eki, the former Lion pilot.

In another case, a Lion Air maintenance crew signed off on a plane as good to go. But the pilot wasn’t confident the plane was fit to fly, and he refused to take off.

Frustrated, a member of the maintenance team contacted a top executive at Lion Air. The pilot soon took to the skies.

Lion Air also had trouble giving its pilots the training necessary to pass a safety audit by the International Air Transport Association, which helps formulate global aviation standards.

Allowing the pilots time for training was hard because the understaffed airline needed them in the air, not in classrooms.

When it became clear that Lion Air would not be able to meet its training targets, a new solution was found, multiple people with the airline at the time said: faking documentation that training had been conducted.

“Fake certificates and a fake attendance list,” said one pilot who was party to the deception. “Now, magically, the S.M.S. training is compliant on paper,” the pilot added, referring to safety management system training. Lion received its I.A.T.A. safety certification in 2016.

Mr. Putut, the carrier’s managing director, said he was not aware of any falsified paperwork. “I’ve never heard about it, these fake certificates,” he said. “I need to check on that.”

What We Found

The Indonesian report on the crash notes how the plane experienced problems with speed and altitude readings for several days before the Oct. 29 crash.

On the morning of Oct. 28, a different flight crew aboard the doomed plane was told to fly it to the island of Bali because an engineer said a fix would be more easily found there.

Friends of the pilot said he was uncomfortable with the decision, given that on the previous leg, the plane had given him highly irregular data readings. But he flew there anyway on the plane that would crash the next day. The pilot did not respond to queries for comment.

“In any other country, making a pilot fly an unsafe plane like that is illegal,” said Mr. Goglia, the former National Transportation Safety Board member. “I don’t have words to describe how bad it is.”

At the Bali airport, a vane, known as an angle of attack sensor, was replaced.

Crash investigators were presented with photographs supposedly showing that a mandatory test was done after the vane had been replaced. But upon further inspection, investigators concluded the photos were from a different aircraft.

“This is a test that Lion Air was required to do, and they didn’t,” said John Cox, an aviation safety consultant.

If the test had been done, engineers likely would have realized the vane was calibrated incorrectly by 21 degrees. The misalignment would prove fatal because it mistakenly catalyzed Boeing’s anti-stall system, forcing the plane into its final plummet.

No government action has been taken related to the doctored photographs.

Questionable decisions continued after the plane took off from Bali on its next-to-last flight. While in the air, the faulty sensor and the automated anti-stall system kept compelling the plane’s nose down.

But once on the ground in Jakarta late on Oct. 28, the flight crew failed to document the full extent of the problems in the plane’s log, 31 pages of which were missing when it was presented to investigators, a breach for which Lion Air was never chided.

As the plane took off on its final flight, the crew of Flight 610 had no idea of all the troubles faced by the pilots a few hours earlier.

“That plane was unairworthy for days,” Mr. Goglia said. “It continued to be unairworthy because Lion Air didn’t take proper corrective action. It was an accident waiting to happen, and it happened.”

What We Found

In Indonesia, there are close ties between airlines and regulators, which industry experts believe have muted criticism and influenced investigations.

Last year, Nurcahyo Utomo, a lead investigator for the National Transportation Safety Committee, repeatedly said at a news conference that the crashed plane was “unairworthy” on its second-to-last flight.

Lion complained. The next morning, the government agency released a statement saying that Mr. Nurcahyo had “NEVER said” what he had, in fact, said.

Government employees in the aviation sector need to fly to keep their pilot licenses. To do so, they fly for and get paid by airlines like Lion Air. This money can outstrip their government paychecks.

The flow of staff from airline to government — and back again — occurs in management ranks, too.

The lead investigator of Lion Air’s first fatal accident, in which 25 people died in 2004 after a pilot overshot the runway, was Ertata Lananggalih. Four years after releasing a report that critics said underplayed Lion Air’s culpability in the crash, he joined the company, working his way up to managing director. He left Lion Air in 2012 and returned to government work as a senior air safety investigator.

“Indonesia is a corrupt country, but the corruption at Lion is the biggest of all,” said Wicaksono Budiarto, a former pilot for the airline who joined 17 others, including Mr. Eki and Mr. Kalebos, in a lawsuit against the company for dismissing them after they refused to fly in what they considered unsafe flying conditions.

The pilots won significant damages, but Lion Air has refused to pay.

“Nothing’s going to change,” Mr. Wicaksono said. “Lion has too much power.”

The Takeaway: After a crash, a company — and a government — deny problems, deflect blame and drag their feet on improvements.

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Fred Armisen’s Bloomberg Tips Doorman $30 Million To Crash Hilarious ‘SNL’ Dem Debate

Westlake Legal Group 5dda27bf2500004f19d2e048 Fred Armisen’s Bloomberg Tips Doorman $30 Million To Crash Hilarious ‘SNL’ Dem Debate

Woody Harrelson, Larry David, Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen reprised their killer candidate roles for another Democratic debate on “Saturday Night Live,” this time on who can beat President Donald Trump.

Armisen’s Michael Bloomberg crashed the party by tipping the doorman $30 million. But he still wasn’t sure if he was running. “Maybe, maybe not. I’d be hard to beat,” he mused. “I’d love to see those Trump supporters come up with a conspiracy theory about a Jewish billionaire with his own media company. Good luck making that stick.”

Colin Jost as a very young-looking Pete Buttigieg — in a suit from his first Communion — boasted of the diversity of his backers, running the gamut from “white to eggshell.” David’s Bernie Sanders referred to his recent health crisis, but was proud to note that he was the “first heart attack patient to show up to the emergency room in a city bus.”

Joe Biden, played by Harrelson flashing extremely white teeth, was scary. “I see the faces you all make when I talk. You’re scared — scared I’ll say something off-color or even worse, on-color. What I want you to know is you should be scared because I’m always one second away from calling Cory Booker ‘Barack.’”

Rudolph’s Kamala Harris was fun, while Cecily Strong’s Tulsi Gabbard was sinister.

“The funt is back, baby; America’s fun aunt,” said Rudolph. “I’m also America’s cool aunt: the cah — you know what? Let’s not do that. Tonight, I’m not going to worry about the polling numbers. I’m just going to have fun and see if I can get some viral moments. Mama needs a GIF.”

“Gabbard” told viewers: “I smell your fear and it makes me stronger.”

Will Ferrell played an unblinking Tom Steyer, who explained he was running to become the Democratic nominee for president because “it’s fun and it gets me out of the house.” 

Kate McKinnon’s Elizabeth Warren explained she’s got “mom-hosting-Thanksgiving energy. I’m a little overwhelmed because I thought 10 people were coming and now there’s 30 million.”

She added: “C’mon, America, put a ring on it.”

Check out the clip up top. Don’t miss the wicked “quivering bang” of Rachel Dratch’s Amy Klobuchar.

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‘Sopranos’ convention in New Jersey brings tracksuits, old cast members and a tribute to James Gandolfini

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-51102011 'Sopranos' convention in New Jersey brings tracksuits, old cast members and a tribute to James Gandolfini fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc Brie Stimson article 9751ffb0-bf27-55bd-851e-c2780287661e

At least 10,000 fans of “The Sopranos” packed the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, N.J., on Saturday for the first SopranosCon celebrating the 20th anniversary of the iconic HBO show.

The fans, many dressed in tracksuits and bathrobes, were greeted by more than 54 actors from the 1999-2007 show, including Tony Sirico (Paulie Walnuts); Vincent Pastore (Big P—-); and Kathrine Narducci, (Charmaine Bucco), NorthJersey.com reported.

NEW YORK GAS EXPLOSION DEFENDANTS CONVICTED; BLAST DESTROYED ‘SOPRANOS’ STAR’S APARTMENT

A large mural of series star James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano) hung over the convention and his widow, Deborah Lin, came to pay tribute to her late husband who died of a heart attack at age 51 in 2013.

“It’s overwhelming,” Lin told NJ.com. “We’re really touched. The fans are so generous. They say it’s a community. It’s nice to see that everyone cares about and is passionate about something they recognize. Hopefully, it will live on for another 20 years.”

Gandolfini’s son, Michael, is set to star as a younger Tony Soprano in a prequel movie scheduled for next September, titled “The Many Saints of Newark.”

“It’s not about the whacking, not about the hitting, not about the Mafiosi, not the card games. It’s about when Tony comes home and A.J. had a bad report card. It’s about the day in, day out of everything,” gold tracksuit-wearing fan Drew Jones who flew in from Chicago for the convention told NorthJersey.com. “It’s about the banal of life.”

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The convention was started by three fans: Joe Fama, Danny Trader and Michael Mota.

“This event will be an experience no true fan will want to miss,” Fama told WBOC-TV of Salisbury, Md., in August. “We have spent years designing sets, exhibits, and more for this event. There will certainly be something for everyone.”

The convention concludes Sunday.

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-51102011 'Sopranos' convention in New Jersey brings tracksuits, old cast members and a tribute to James Gandolfini fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc Brie Stimson article 9751ffb0-bf27-55bd-851e-c2780287661e   Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-51102011 'Sopranos' convention in New Jersey brings tracksuits, old cast members and a tribute to James Gandolfini fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc Brie Stimson article 9751ffb0-bf27-55bd-851e-c2780287661e

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Veterans Join Airlines in Pushback Against Conduct Unbecoming a Support Dog

Westlake Legal Group 00dc-animal-promo-facebookJumbo Veterans Join Airlines in Pushback Against Conduct Unbecoming a Support Dog Transportation Department (US) Service Dogs and Other Animals Chao, Elaine L Assn of Flight Attendants Animal Behavior Airlines and Airplanes

WASHINGTON — It seemed, in retrospect, a bit of a low point — a medium-size dog racing through an airplane at 30,000 feet, spraying diarrhea toward passengers throughout the cabin.

But according to some transportation officials, it was an increasingly typical scene that has stemmed from the growing use of comfort animals on airplanes — a situation that some injured veterans say is making life harder on them.

The airline industry, which has been working to curb the number of comfort animals onboard, has recently found an ally among the nation’s war wounded. Some veterans and service dog organizations say the overuse of untrained dogs, pigs, rodents and amphibians — and, at least once, a small sloth — as emotional support companions has made it difficult for veterans to get acceptance for their properly trained service animals on airplanes and beyond.

“Fortunately and unfortunately, due to this extended war we’ve been having, service dogs have come to the fore to show the amazing benefits they provide medically,” said Jason Haag, a retired Marine captain who runs an organization that matches service dogs to veterans of the post-Sept. 11 wars.

Mr. Haag said he was barred from a flight with his dog because airline workers did not believe it was a legitimate service animal. He said that ill-behaved emotional support animals, which have not undergone the rigorous training that service dogs receive, “make it harder for us to gain access” with dogs when a veteran may not have visible disabilities.

“My dog is specifically task-trained to help with flashbacks,” Mr. Haag said. “I do not have any physical injuries that you can see. It does make it more difficult to say what is my dog is for.”

Over 80 veterans and disability groups recently wrote to Elaine Chao, the secretary of transportation, seeking new rules that would require that emotional support animals be trained if allowed on planes. A number of websites offer “certification” for emotional support animals, for a fee. States and some businesses have begun to fight the proliferation of their use.

Mr. Haag and other groups that train service animals for veterans have become advocates for changes to the law for taking animals on planes, and would like to see local or federal regulations that make animal certification a requirement for public spaces.

“There needs to be standards to hold people accountable,” said Lori Stevens, the founder of Patriot Paws, which works with Texas prisoners to train service dogs for veterans.

One small dog bit a service dog that was lying under a seat at the gate, causing that dog to be spooked and taken out of commission for its veteran owner, she said. Other veterans have drawn unfriendly looks when they take their dogs into public places.

“We have someone who has had 21 brain surgeries, but if you look at him, you can’t see he has a mobile disability,” she said.

Some airlines are sympathetic to the concerns of veterans, and have adapted individual policies to make it harder for those suspected of looking for free rides for their animals.

Over the last three years, there has been an explosion of emotional support animals, which seems to have coincided with websites that tell people how to get their pets on board and not have to pay for it,” said Sara Nelson, the international president of the Association of Flight Attendants. We have been very familiar with service animals for a very long time. Those animals are some of the best passengers we have ever had.”

But untrained dogs, like the one with digestive issues, have sullied too many flights.

A few months ago, Ms. Nelson said, a flight attendant needed stitches after being bitten by a dog that was menacing another passenger. A pit bull in a comfort vest rested himself across a row of first-class seats. A duck and a hedgehog made for some miserable middle seating.

“For a while there it looked like we were operating Noah’s Ark,” she said.

The Transportation Department is expected to revise its regulations this year to clarify the definition of a service animal, aimed at reducing the use of support animals on planes. Since 2016, the number of behavior-related service animal problems, “including urinating, defecating or biting,” has increased 84 percent, according to one airline that reports to the agency.

“Initially, when we started cracking down on abuse of emotional services animals, there was a backlash from the disability community and veteran groups,” Ms. Nelson said. “But those groups have come around because their members have been subjected to discriminatory behavior.

“We want clear guidance from the Department of Transportation,” she added. “We need to be matching species that are able to fulfill those service functions and that’s not a peacocks and that’s probably not a sloth.”

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Tennessee students stage walkout over N-word assignment after teacher placed on leave

Westlake Legal Group iStock-classroom Tennessee students stage walkout over N-word assignment after teacher placed on leave fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/tennessee fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/first-amendment fox-news/us/education/teachers fox-news/us/education/high-school fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio article 06e8f577-40b1-5a03-a2c9-97fe14d0514f

A teacher in Tennessee who was recently placed on leave over an assignment about the use of a racial epithet received some support Friday from a group of students.

The students at Cane Ridge High School in Antioch staged a walkout, saying their English teacher was “being persecuted for trying to prepare us for the real world.”

Photos and videos posted online showed students rallying outside the school, with some holding placards with messages of support for the teacher.

COLORADO HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT RESPONDS TO CONTROVERSIAL CLASS ASSIGNMENT

The assignment in question came as part of a class discussion of the play “Fences,” about a black man struggling to provide for his family. The play includes several mentions of the N-word, and the school assignment was designed to examine the racism behind the word and the ways people have used it, Nashville’s WTVF-TV reported.

Students were also asked to write a short essay about the word.

The written instructions had included the n-word fully spelled out, according to a copy provided to WTVF.

Some parents found the assignment to be inappropriate for their children, prompting school officials to place the teacher on leave, according to the station.

One student then launched an online petition in support of the teacher, and other supportive students staged a walkout Friday.

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The teacher has been with Metro Nashville Public Schools since 2015 and had no prior history of being disciplined, WTVF reported.

The teacher’s administrative leave ended Thursday but the employee will be required to undergo training by the school system’s Diversity and Equity team, the report said.

Click here for more from WTVF-TV of Nashville.

Westlake Legal Group iStock-classroom Tennessee students stage walkout over N-word assignment after teacher placed on leave fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/tennessee fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/first-amendment fox-news/us/education/teachers fox-news/us/education/high-school fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio article 06e8f577-40b1-5a03-a2c9-97fe14d0514f   Westlake Legal Group iStock-classroom Tennessee students stage walkout over N-word assignment after teacher placed on leave fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/tennessee fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/first-amendment fox-news/us/education/teachers fox-news/us/education/high-school fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio article 06e8f577-40b1-5a03-a2c9-97fe14d0514f

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Veterans Join Airlines in Pushback Against Conduct Unbecoming a Support Dog

Westlake Legal Group 00dc-animal-promo-facebookJumbo Veterans Join Airlines in Pushback Against Conduct Unbecoming a Support Dog Transportation Department (US) Service Dogs and Other Animals Chao, Elaine L Assn of Flight Attendants Animal Behavior Airlines and Airplanes

WASHINGTON — It seemed, in retrospect, a bit of a low point — a medium-size dog racing through an airplane at 30,000 feet, spraying diarrhea toward passengers throughout the cabin.

But according to some transportation officials, it was an increasingly typical scene that has stemmed from the growing use of comfort animals on airplanes — a situation that some injured veterans say is making life harder on them.

The airline industry, which has been working to curb the number of comfort animals onboard, has recently found an ally among the nation’s war wounded. Some veterans and service dog organizations say the overuse of untrained dogs, pigs, rodents and amphibians — and, at least once, a small sloth — as emotional support companions has made it difficult for veterans to get acceptance for their properly trained service animals on airplanes and beyond.

“Fortunately and unfortunately, due to this extended war we’ve been having, service dogs have come to the fore to show the amazing benefits they provide medically,” said Jason Haag, a retired Marine captain who runs an organization that matches service dogs to veterans of the post-Sept. 11 wars.

Mr. Haag said he was barred from a flight with his dog because airline workers did not believe it was a legitimate service animal. He said that ill-behaved emotional support animals, which have not undergone the rigorous training that service dogs receive, “make it harder for us to gain access” with dogs when a veteran may not have visible disabilities.

“My dog is specifically task-trained to help with flashbacks,” Mr. Haag said. “I do not have any physical injuries that you can see. It does make it more difficult to say what is my dog is for.”

Over 80 veterans and disability groups recently wrote to Elaine Chao, the secretary of transportation, seeking new rules that would require that emotional support animals be trained if allowed on planes. A number of websites offer “certification” for emotional support animals, for a fee. States and some businesses have begun to fight the proliferation of their use.

Mr. Haag and other groups that train service animals for veterans have become advocates for changes to the law for taking animals on planes, and would like to see local or federal regulations that make animal certification a requirement for public spaces.

“There needs to be standards to hold people accountable,” said Lori Stevens, the founder of Patriot Paws, which works with Texas prisoners to train service dogs for veterans.

One small dog bit a service dog that was lying under a seat at the gate, causing that dog to be spooked and taken out of commission for its veteran owner, she said. Other veterans have drawn unfriendly looks when they take their dogs into public places.

“We have someone who has had 21 brain surgeries, but if you look at him, you can’t see he has a mobile disability,” she said.

Some airlines are sympathetic to the concerns of veterans, and have adapted individual policies to make it harder for those suspected of looking for free rides for their animals.

Over the last three years, there has been an explosion of emotional support animals, which seems to have coincided with websites that tell people how to get their pets on board and not have to pay for it,” said Sara Nelson, the international president of the Association of Flight Attendants. We have been very familiar with service animals for a very long time. Those animals are some of the best passengers we have ever had.”

But untrained dogs, like the one with digestive issues, have sullied too many flights.

A few months ago, Ms. Nelson said, a flight attendant needed stitches after being bitten by a dog that was menacing another passenger. A pit bull in a comfort vest rested himself across a row of first-class seats. A duck and a hedgehog made for some miserable middle seating.

“For a while there it looked like we were operating Noah’s Ark,” she said.

The Transportation Department is expected to revise its regulations this year to clarify the definition of a service animal, aimed at reducing the use of support animals on planes. Since 2016, the number of behavior-related service animal problems, “including urinating, defecating or biting,” has increased 84 percent, according to one airline that reports to the agency.

“Initially, when we started cracking down on abuse of emotional services animals, there was a backlash from the disability community and veteran groups,” Ms. Nelson said. “But those groups have come around because their members have been subjected to discriminatory behavior.

“We want clear guidance from the Department of Transportation,” she added. “We need to be matching species that are able to fulfill those service functions and that’s not a peacocks and that’s probably not a sloth.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Veterans Join Airlines in Pushback Against Conduct Unbecoming a Support Dog

Westlake Legal Group 00dc-animal-promo-facebookJumbo Veterans Join Airlines in Pushback Against Conduct Unbecoming a Support Dog Transportation Department (US) Service Dogs and Other Animals Chao, Elaine L Assn of Flight Attendants Animal Behavior Airlines and Airplanes

WASHINGTON — It seemed, in retrospect, a bit of a low point — a medium-size dog racing through an airplane at 30,000 feet, spraying diarrhea toward passengers throughout the cabin.

But according to some transportation officials, it was an increasingly typical scene that has stemmed from the growing use of comfort animals on airplanes — a situation that some injured veterans say is making life harder on them.

The airline industry, which has been working to curb the number of comfort animals onboard, has recently found an ally among the nation’s war wounded. Some veterans and service dog organizations say the overuse of untrained dogs, pigs, rodents and amphibians — and, at least once, a small sloth — as emotional support companions has made it difficult for veterans to get acceptance for their properly trained service animals on airplanes and beyond.

“Fortunately and unfortunately, due to this extended war we’ve been having, service dogs have come to the fore to show the amazing benefits they provide medically,” said Jason Haag, a retired Marine captain who runs an organization that matches service dogs to veterans of the post-Sept. 11 wars.

Mr. Haag said he was barred from a flight with his dog because airline workers did not believe it was a legitimate service animal. He said that ill-behaved emotional support animals, which have not undergone the rigorous training that service dogs receive, “make it harder for us to gain access” with dogs when a veteran may not have visible disabilities.

“My dog is specifically task-trained to help with flashbacks,” Mr. Haag said. “I do not have any physical injuries that you can see. It does make it more difficult to say what is my dog is for.”

Over 80 veterans and disability groups recently wrote to Elaine Chao, the secretary of transportation, seeking new rules that would require that emotional support animals be trained if allowed on planes. A number of websites offer “certification” for emotional support animals, for a fee. States and some businesses have begun to fight the proliferation of their use.

Mr. Haag and other groups that train service animals for veterans have become advocates for changes to the law for taking animals on planes, and would like to see local or federal regulations that make animal certification a requirement for public spaces.

“There needs to be standards to hold people accountable,” said Lori Stevens, the founder of Patriot Paws, which works with Texas prisoners to train service dogs for veterans.

One small dog bit a service dog that was lying under a seat at the gate, causing that dog to be spooked and taken out of commission for its veteran owner, she said. Other veterans have drawn unfriendly looks when they take their dogs into public places.

“We have someone who has had 21 brain surgeries, but if you look at him, you can’t see he has a mobile disability,” she said.

Some airlines are sympathetic to the concerns of veterans, and have adapted individual policies to make it harder for those suspected of looking for free rides for their animals.

Over the last three years, there has been an explosion of emotional support animals, which seems to have coincided with websites that tell people how to get their pets on board and not have to pay for it,” said Sara Nelson, the international president of the Association of Flight Attendants. We have been very familiar with service animals for a very long time. Those animals are some of the best passengers we have ever had.”

But untrained dogs, like the one with digestive issues, have sullied too many flights.

A few months ago, Ms. Nelson said, a flight attendant needed stitches after being bitten by a dog that was menacing another passenger. A pit bull in a comfort vest rested himself across a row of first-class seats. A duck and a hedgehog made for some miserable middle seating.

“For a while there it looked like we were operating Noah’s Ark,” she said.

The Transportation Department is expected to revise its regulations this year to clarify the definition of a service animal, aimed at reducing the use of support animals on planes. Since 2016, the number of behavior-related service animal problems, “including urinating, defecating or biting,” has increased 84 percent, according to one airline that reports to the agency.

“Initially, when we started cracking down on abuse of emotional services animals, there was a backlash from the disability community and veteran groups,” Ms. Nelson said. “But those groups have come around because their members have been subjected to discriminatory behavior.

“We want clear guidance from the Department of Transportation,” she added. “We need to be matching species that are able to fulfill those service functions and that’s not a peacocks and that’s probably not a sloth.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Prominent Conservative Lawyers: Barr’s Views on Executive Power Are ‘Incongruous’ with Checks and Balances

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