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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

I hope that you get the same chuckle I did when I read this… Now the big question is:

Who is really telling the truth????

October 22nd, 2008
Posted: 02:50 PM ET

WASHINGTON (CNN) — The federal government’s terrorist watch lists are far smaller than has been reported, the secretary of homeland security said Wednesday.

Michael Chertoff revealed for the first time that 2,500 people are on the “no fly” list and only about 10 percent of those are U.S. citizens. Individuals on this list are barred from boarding an aircraft because intelligence indicates they pose a threat to aviation.

Fewer than 16,000 people are designated “selectees,” he said, and most are not Americans. These people represent a less specific security threat and receive extra scrutiny, but are allowed to fly.

The American Civil Liberties Union has estimated more than 1 million names have been added to the lists since the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington. The FBI, which manages the Terrorist Screening Database, said in August that there were about 400,000 people on its list, but that approximately 95 percent of those people were not U.S. citizens.
–From Jeanne Meserve, CNN Homeland Security Correspondent

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Etihad Airways is looking for new cabin crew members to staff its Airbus 340-600 transcontinental planes. Etihad Airways will be in the U.S. interviewing for cabin crew and onboard F&B manager during the month of June. All new crew members will fly in comfort to their new home in Abu Dhabi aboard one of the new Airbus 340-600’s, the largest passenger airplane ever built. These planes have been repeatedly tested for safety and endurance by the cracker jack flight crews of Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT). You can be assured that working with Etihad Airways will always be an adventure!

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From Natural News

by David Gutierrez

(NaturalNews) The Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is moving forward to institute a rule that would require all passengers to go through a government review process before boarding any airplane that takes off or lands anywhere with in the United States.

The U.S. government already requires international passengers to participate in the Advanced Passenger Information System, providing their full name, gender, date of birth, nationality, country of residence, and travel document type and number to the TSA before boarding. Under the proposed Secure Flight Program, this procedure would also be required on domestic flights.

Currently, individual airlines are responsible for checking the passenger manifests against the “no fly” and “enhanced screening” lists provided by the TSA. The new programs are part of a concerted effort to centralize this process, so that the TSA itself will check all supplied information against these lists, and then instruct the airline or airport staff as to how to proceed.

The Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) has criticized the new Secure Flight rules for their secrecy and lack of accountability. The association has expressed concern that there is no clear appeals process for passengers denied boarding or continually forced to undergo enhanced security screening.

“On the surface, the new Secure Flight program no longer relies on commercial databases and appears to have reduced the number of names on the ‘No Fly’ list,” said ACTE Executive Director Susan Gurley. “It also seems that the responsibility for checking data is no longer abrogated to the airlines. While this is a step in the right direction, it prompts the industry to ask what was the origin of this new data, how is it stored, who has access to it, and how can it be corrected.”

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If and when it hits $4/gallon I, personally, am in trouble. I am a long distance commuter so I consume a lot of gasoline per month. I think I’ll freak…

From PRNewswire

$4 a Gallon Gasoline Will be Tipping Point for Most Consumers

gaspump.jpgKeeping the Car Running Better and Driving it Less is the Trend

BETHESDA, Md., Feb. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — If gasoline prices
hit $4 per gallon as many economists predict, an estimated 65 percent of
American car owners say they will dramatically change their driving
behavior, according to a study commissioned by the Automotive Aftermarket
Industry Association (AAIA).

“While a third of consumers claim they already changed their driving
behavior by curtailing driving or maintaining their vehicle better when gas
prices reached $3 a gallon, the real tipping point is $4 a gallon,” said
Kathleen Schmatz, AAIA president and CEO.

According to a survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation for
AAIA, 91 percent of drivers are driving less and 75 percent are maintaining
their vehicle better because of rising gas prices. Other specific
behavioral changes were carpooling (31 percent), purchasing more fuel
efficient vehicles (30 percent) and making greater use of public transportation (24 percent).

For more information on the survey, e-mail Rich White at
rich.white@aftermarket.org or call 301-654-6664.

For more information on tips and advice for simple vehicle maintenance
and care to improve gas mileage, contact the Car Care Council at
http://www.carcare.org.

About AAIA

AAIA is a Bethesda, Md.-based association whose more than 23,000 member
and affiliates manufacture, distribute and sell motor vehicle parts,
accessories, service, tool, equipment, materials and supplies. Through its
membership, AAIA represents more than 100,000 repair shops, parts stores
and distribution outlets.

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From Ananova

2/23/08 News headlines at 21:33

Passengers travelling on domestic flights or between European Union countries could have to hand over up to 19 pieces of information including their credit card details and mobile phone number.

airflight.jpg

The proposal is revealed in a draft of EU anti-terror plans that would cover every air passenger entering or leaving EU countries seen by the Guardian.

It reports that Britain wants to extend the plan to include sea and rail travel, all domestic flights and those between EU countries.

The Home Office says a pilot of the passenger name record system has already resulted in more than 1,400 arrests, but the scheme has been denounced by civil libertarians and data protection officials.

The newspaper reports that according to a questionnaire circulated to EU members by the European Commission, the UK is the only country of 27 EU member states that wants the system used for “more general public policy purposes” besides fighting terrorism and organised crime.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: “We broadly welcome the commission’s proposal. This is a key opportunity to share data safely and responsibly in order to improve the security and integrity of our borders.”

The scheme would work through national agencies collecting and processing the passenger data and then sharing it with other EU states. The Guardian reports Britain also wants to be able to exchange the information with third parties outside the EU.

Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford told the newspaper: “Where is this going to stop? There’s no mature discussion of risk. As soon as you question something like this, you’re soft on terrorism in the UK and in the EU.”

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As Senators Clinton and Obama prepared to debate in their state, Texans were marching in protest over the NAFTA superhighway known as the Trans-Texas Corridor, or I-69, the primary purpose of which is to speed the delivery of goods coming in from Mexico to proposed inland ports.

The TTC is planned to span the state of Texas from Laredo, on the Mexican border, to Texarkana, on the border with Arkansas, to continue north to Canada. The projected cost is $183 billion over fifty years, with no American companies expressing interest in financing it.

With no public approval required to begin construction, repeated calls against the TTC at public meetings, with seldom a word of support, may easily go unheeded.

“This is about international–global companies that are coming in and having their way with our politicians,” says Terri Hall of TexasTURF. “It doesn’t matter what does to the people in the path,” she continues, “it doesn’t matter what it does to our way of life…”

“Citizens here,” says an unidentified man at a public hearing, “are not going to bear the burden so Wal-Mart can get their cargo into the U.S. cheaper and faster.”

Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) is among opponents of the TTC, doubting the intentions of those planning its construction. He cites millions of acres subject to eminent domain, which the state promises to use against landowners who protest, and also notes that he has yet to encounter a person that supports the TTC.

“Frankly,” says Texas Department of Transportation’s Phil Russell, “we’re in a different day and age right now, and the way we built our roadways fifty years ago simply isn’t keeping up with the congestion that we’re seeing here in Texas now.”

“This is really messing with Texas,” quips an incredulous Lou Dobbs to anchor Bill Tucker. “You can’t tell me that Governor Rick Perry and the head of the Department of Transportation down there–that they’re dumb enough to say that, because all of this traffic’s coming out of Mexico, that Texas citizens should be funding the highway that is needed as a result of that traffic. That’s absolutely idiotic.”

“If people are putting up with this nonsense from their state government, and Governor Rick Perry, and their Department of Transportation,” Dobbs continues, “these aren’t the Texans that I know, and who I respect mightily.”

The report, broadcast on CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight on February 19, 2008, is available to view below.

Vodpod videos no longer available. from rawstory.com posted with vodpod

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What should we make of this folks? I, personally, don’t like the sound of this at all and DHS is right in the thick of things!

Armed officials on flights into the U.S.? Non-U.S. citizens having to apply for permission to come to the U.S.? Our economy will grind to a slow and deadly halt and die.

Bush orders clampdown on flights to US

EU officials furious as Washington says it wants extra data on all air passengers

Ian Traynor in Brussels The Guardian, Monday February 11 2008

nightflight460.jpg

Bush administration is calling for armed air marshals on transatlantic flights. Photograph: Eric Meola/Getty Images

The US administration is pressing the 27 governments of the European Union to sign up for a range of new security measures for transatlantic travel, including allowing armed guards on all flights from Europe to America by US airlines.

The demand to put armed air marshals on to the flights is part of a travel clampdown by the Bush administration that officials in Brussels described as “blackmail” and “troublesome”, and could see west Europeans and Britons required to have US visas if their governments balk at Washington’s requirements.

According to a US document being circulated for signature in European capitals, EU states would also need to supply personal data on all air passengers overflying but not landing in the US in order to gain or retain visa-free travel to America, senior EU officials said.

And within months the US department of homeland security is to impose a new permit system for Europeans flying to the US, compelling all travellers to apply online for permission to enter the country before booking or buying a ticket, a procedure that will take several days.

The data from the US’s new electronic transport authorisation system is to be combined with extensive personal passenger details already being provided by EU countries to the US for the “profiling” of potential terrorists and assessment of other security risks.

Washington is also asking European airlines to provide personal data on non-travellers – for example family members – who are allowed beyond departure barriers to help elderly, young or ill passengers to board aircraft flying to America, a demand the airlines reject as “absurd”.

Seven demands tabled by Washington are contained in a 10-page “memorandum of understanding” (MOU) that the US authorities are negotiating or planning to negotiate with all EU governments, according to ministers and diplomats from EU member states and senior officials in Brussels. The Americans have launched their security drive with some of the 12 mainly east European EU countries whose citizens still need visas to enter the US.

“The Americans are trying to get a beefing up of their visa-waiver programmes. It’s all contained in the MOU they want to put to all EU member states,” said a diplomat from a west European country. “It’s a very delicate problem.”

As part of a controversial passenger data exchange programme allegedly aimed at combating terrorism, the EU has for the past few months been supplying the American authorities with 19 items of information on every traveller flying from the EU to the US.

The new American demands go well beyond what was agreed under that passenger name record (PNR) system and look certain to cause disputes within Europe and between Europe and the US.

Brussels is pressing European governments not to sign the bilateral deals with the Americans to avoid weakening the EU bargaining position. But Washington appears close to striking accords on the new travel regime with Greece and the Czech Republic. Both countries have sizeable diaspora communities in America, while their citizens need visas to enter the US. Visa-free travel would be popular in both countries.

A senior EU official said the Americans could get “a gung-ho frontrunner” to sign up to the new regime and then use that agreement “as a rod to beat the other member states with”. The frontrunner appears to be the Czech Republic. On Wednesday, Richard Barth of the department of homeland security was in Prague to negotiate with the Czech deputy prime minister, Alexandr Vondra,

Prague hoped to sign the US memorandum “in the spring”, Vondra said. “The EU has done nothing for us on visas,” he said. “There was no help, no solidarity in the past. It’s in our interest to move ahead. We can’t just wait and do nothing. We have to act in the interest of our citizens.”

While the Czechs are in a hurry to sign up, Brussels is urging delay in order to try to reach a common European position.

“There is a process of consultation and coordination under way,” said Jonathan Faull, a senior European commission official involved in the negotiations with the Americans.

To European ears, the US demands sound draconian. “This would oblige the European countries to allow US air marshals on US flights. It’s controversial and difficult,” an EU official said. At the moment the use of air marshals is discretionary for European states and airlines.

While armed American guards would be entitled to sit on the European flights to the US, the Americans also want the PNR data transfers extended from travellers from Europe to the US to include the details of those whose flights are not to America, but which overfly US territory, say to central America or the Caribbean.

Brussels has told Washington that its demands raise legal problems in Europe over data protection, over guarantees on how the information is handled, over which US agencies have access to it or with whom it might be shared, and over issues of redress if the data is misused.

The Association of European Airlines, representing 31 airlines, including all the big west European national carriers, has told the US authorities that there is “no international legal foundation” for supplying them with data about passengers on flights overflying US territory.

The US Transport Security Administration has also asked the European airlines to supply personal data on “certain non-travelling members of the public requesting access to areas beyond the screening checkpoint”.

The AEA said this was “absurd” because the airlines neither obtain nor can obtain such information. The request was “fully unjustified”.

If the Americans persevere in the proposed security crackdown, Brussels is likely to respond with tit-for-tat action, such as calling for visas for some Americans.

European governments, however, would probably veto such action, one official said, not least for fear of the “massive disruption given the huge volume of transatlantic traffic”.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2008

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