Yank Brexiteer, Trump Nutball Wonk, Detained by FBI debarking at Boston Airport — Subpoenaed by Mueller


Frank Augstein/AP

❝ A controversial London-based academic with close ties to Nigel Farage has been detained by the FBI upon arrival in the US and issued a subpoena to testify before Robert Mueller, the special counsel who is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

Ted Malloch, an American touted last year as a possible candidate to serve as US ambassador to the EU, said he was interrogated by the FBI at Boston’s Logan airport on Wednesday following a flight from London and questioned about his involvement in the Trump campaign.

❝ In a detailed statement about the experience, which he described as bewildering and intimidating at times, Malloch said the federal agents who stopped him and separated him from his wife “seemed to know everything about me” and warned him that lying to the FBI was a felony. In the statement Malloch denied having any Russia contacts.

Malloch said he had agreed with the special counsel’s office that he would appear before Mueller’s grand jury in Washington DC on 13 April.

Dude – you don’t just “agree” to appear before a grand jury when you receive a federal subpoena. This continues to grow into the best corruption jigsaw puzzle since Nixon’s Watergate stupidity.

What can spending on infrastructure do for your state?

❝ Here’s something all of divided America should be able to agree on: Smart infrastructure investment works. For evidence, look at Colorado, where elected officials of both parties trace an economic boom to a decision 27 years ago to spend more than $2 billion on a new Denver airport.

❝ The Denver International Airport was the brainchild of Federico Pena, who was elected mayor in 1983 and who would become the Secretary of the Transportation and Energy departments in the Clinton administration. It was assailed as a boondoggle by some local businessmen in a campaign led by Roger Ailes, then a Republican media consultant and later the impresario of Fox News.

❝ The airport was financed by revenue bonds, which proved to be among the best performers in the market for state and local government debt. Today it is the linchpin of Colorado’s transition to a global 21st-century economy flush with high-paying jobs and enhanced by daily nonstop flights to Asia, Central America and Europe.

Colorado has many economic advantages, from shale to ski resorts and beyond, but state officials say the new airport was the catalyst needed to set off the boom. “It’s foundational,” Governor John W. Hickenlooper said in an interview last month in his statehouse office. “I mean we look at infrastructure” as the central element “to build our new economy around.”

❝ The airport’s…annual economic impact today exceeds $26 billion, more than eight times [the old airport] Stapleton’s in 1984…It has generated more than 270,000 jobs, almost twice the comparable figure for Stapleton 32 years ago, and $295 million in concession gross revenue, compared to $45 million for Stapleton in 1994…Passenger traffic was a record 27.5 million for the six months through June, up 6.8 percent from 2015. Stapleton had 33.1 million passengers in all of 1994…

❝ Colorado’s economy, meanwhile, is leaving behind its reliance on mining and energy. Since 2012, the accommodations and food services industry grew 22.5 percent, faster than in any other state except Texas and California, according to Bloomberg data. Health care and social assistance companies expanded 17.4 percent, the most for any state. Wholesale trade grew 17.7 percent, the fourth best in the U.S. since 2014, and finance and insurance grew 7.4 percent, bettered only by Utah and Nevada. Today, material and energy make up less than 30 percent of the total market capitalization of Colorado’s publicly traded companies, down from 53 percent in 2010.

And that’s the killer for me. Living in New Mexico, everything that was backwards about Colorado in the 1980’s is still alive and well in New Mexico. Our Republican governor has only one response to a budget defined by oil and gas production in a downturn. Austerity, cut the budget for everything from education to social welfare. Infrastructure upgrades started by the previous Democrat governor are still incomplete – mostly because she hates to admit a Democrat did something useful.

And I’m not confident the likely return to a majority Democrat state legislature is going to change our reliance on extractive industries and military subsidies.

Kansas jihadist fails at fundamentalist murder and violence

A Kansas man was arrested today after trying to take what he thought was a bomb onto the tarmac of Wichita Mid-Continent Airport, federal prosecutors and the FBI said.

Terry Lee Loewen, a 58-year-old avionics technician from Wichita, planned to use his access card to conduct a suicide bombing at the airport, government officials said.

There was no danger to the public because the supposed explosives were inert and the man was accompanied by an undercover FBI employee, government officials said. Loewen had been under investigation by the FBI since earlier this year…

Loewen was charged in a criminal complaint with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction against people and property, attempting to use an explosive to destroy property, and trying to provide material support to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

No additional arrests are expected, federal officials said. Loewen would face as much as life in prison if convicted…

The complaint said Loewen left a letter dated Dec. 11 that said, “By the time you read this I will — if everything went as planned — have been martyred in the path of Allah.” It said he added, “I expect to be called a terrorist (which I am), a psychopath and a homicidal maniac.”

Federal officials said Loewen spent months preparing for an attack and communicating over the Internet with a person he didn’t realize was an FBI employee…

Loewen said he wanted to kill as many people as possible, and he explained where to park a vehicle full of explosives to accomplish that, the complaint said. He provided components to make a bomb and worked with a second undercover FBI employee to assemble it, it said.

Loewen was arrested today while trying to get into a security gate at the airport…

Idiot – most of all because of his commitment to terrorism as some sort of positive political tactic. It never has been. Hitler’s initiative dive-bombing the civilians of Madrid, LBJ and Nixon carpet-bombing Indo-China, jihadists murdering office workers in New York City, neo-Confederate racists lynching civil rights activists in the South – they all achieved nothing more than mustering the forces you would expect to band together against evil.

Idiot – because his reason for living became a monomaniacal focus on murder. Not the killing that accompanies war. The indiscriminate murder of civilians who most likely aren’t participants in any political conflict. Sectarian justification for wholesale murder.

Explosive breast implants are now a realistic terror threat

Was this an Al-Qaida rehearsal?

Al-Qaida’s chief bomb-maker Ibrahim al-Asiri is rumored to have developed explosives that can be concealed in implants or body cavities, and are undetectable by airport scanners.

Staff at London’s Heathrow Airport have reportedly been warned to be on the lookout for explosive breast implants, with one staff member saying “there are genuine fears over this.”

“We have been told to pay particular attention to females who may have concealed hidden explosives in their breasts,” the airport worker said.

“This is particularly difficult for us to pick up but we are on a very high state of alert.” The warning has led to long lines at Heathrow now near the end of summer travel season.

Since body scanners pick up objects outside the body, it’s not clear whether women are being frisked by hand…

Explosives expert Andy Oppenheimer said there is “great fear” that al-Qaida will put these medically-implanted explosives to use before too long.

It’s pretty top secret and potentially very grisly and ghastly,” Oppenheimer said.

Is there a jiggle factor that might be measurable?

Glowing polymer detects explosives


William Dichtel and Deepti Gopalakrishnan

Detecting bombs in places such as airports could be getting easier, thanks to a new fluorescing polymer. While you might expect the material to glow in the presence of explosives, they actually cause it to stop glowing.

The polymer was developed at Cornell University by chemist William Dichtel and his graduate student, Deepti Gopalakrishnan.

Ordinarily, its random cross-linked structure lets it absorb light, transport the energy through itself, and ultimately release that energy back out as light. Should the energy meet up with even a single molecule of explosive as it moves through the polymer, however, it will be released as heat instead of light. This causes the polymer to promptly cease fluorescing.

It is now hoped that the polymer could be incorporated into low-cost hand-held sensors, which could be used with or instead of bomb-sniffing dogs.

This is definitely better than using X-Rays to peer beneath my underwear.

18 human heads found in Chicago’s O’Hare airport shipment

Investigators probing a shipment of 18 human heads intercepted at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport have determined they came from bodies donated for scientific research and were being transported for disposal…

U.S. Customs agents discovered the grisly package, which was shipped to Chicago from Italy shortly before Christmas, on Monday. Because the shipment’s paperwork was not in order, agents confiscated the heads and sent them to the Cook County Medical Examiner for safekeeping, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner said.

The heads, which had been used by a medical research facility in Rome, were properly embalmed, wrapped and labeled when they arrived at the airport, said Mary Paleologos, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner. Foul play has been ruled out, she said.

Phew!

On Tuesday, the cremation company that was supposed to take delivery of the heads and dispose of them presented the missing paperwork to the medical examiner, Paleologos said.

The medical examiner said the remains would not be released to the company until federal authorities verified the paperwork.

In the meantime, the medical examiner is photographing and x-raying the embalmed heads for record-keeping purposes, Paleologos said.

One of my several careers was in logistics. In fact, some of that time spent at an International Airport. Never – I repeat, never – was I called in to examine and record a shipment like this one.

You really think Greece is competent to sort out their economy – when a child’s balloon can knock Athens airport radar offline?

A child’s helium balloon caused a power failure that knocked out Greece’s main civil aviation radar and snarled flights for more than an hour over the weekend…

The balloon knocked out the “heart” of the Athens flight information region (FIR) radar that oversees Greek airspace, claimed the Ta Nea newspaper.

Officials at Greece’s civil aviation authority and the electricity distribution network confirmed the problem but declined to comment on the report.

The civil aviation authority YPA said the radar controlling the Athens and Macedonia region had sustained a “loss of image” around midday on Saturday for more than an hour due to an electrical failure that followed a power outage.

And a source at state electricity distributors DEDIE said that an “aluminised” helium balloon had caused a 13-minute power failure in the area near YPA’s headquarters in southern Athens, some 40 minutes before the radar shutdown.

YPA insisted that aviation safety was not impaired for the duration of the power failure though delays in takeoff and landings were caused.

“Traffic controllers here remained in radio communication with the aircraft and radar remained operational at Athens International Airport and regional airports,” a civil aviation source told AFP.

A committee was formed to investigate the causes of the malfunction.

That’s like Congress holding hearings to come up with recommendations on balancing the budget for the next 10 years. The hearings will last 10 years.

In the end, the Party-formerly-known-as-Republican will offer a bill banning abortion.

Dumb [and drunk] tourist trick of the day

The 36-year-old, who has not been named, arrived at the international terminal of Italy’s busiest airport at the end of last month with a backpack and a can of beer in his hand.

The Norwegian was due to check in for a flight to Oslo and when he found no one on duty at the airline desk he leapt across the counter and fell into a deep asleep on the baggage belt with his bag beside him.

As the belt began to move the unsuspecting tourist reportedly travelled for 15 minutes through the secure baggage area in Terminal 3 before officials spotted his body curled up in a foetal position in an X-ray image on their monitors.

He slept through the whole episode and airport police had trouble waking him when they were called to the scene to investigate what had happened…

A senior officer with Fiumicino airport police said…it was not the first kind of incident involving “drunks or people with psychological problems”…”There’s usually an episode like this once a year and we are alert,” the official said. “In this case we were notified we sounded the alarm immediately and we took action…”

Concerned about the tourist’s exposure to the powerful X-rays, police took him to a nearby hospital before reporting him to prosecutors at Civitavecchia for causing alarm at the airport.

Har.

I must admit to something similar – though I fell asleep underneath a conveyor belt I’d been assigned to repair – instead of atop. A significant amount of alcohol was also involved in the course of a shop holiday celebration.

Cocaine bust + cocaine butt = drugs arrest at Rome airport


Another example of how NOT to dress for a casual stroll through customs

A stunning model proved to be more than meets the eye after she was arrested by Italian police trying to smuggle more than £250,000 of cocaine into the country inside breast and buttock implants.

The 33-year-old woman, identified only by the initials MFM, was held by officers as she tried to distract them with her plunging neckline and tight-fitting outfit at Rome’s Fiumicino airport. But her plan backfired as they were so captivated by her looks they pulled her over for questioning and discovered the drugs when she failed to explain why she had been to South America.

The woman had flown to Rome from Sao Paolo in Brazil and a search by female officers revealed the fake breast and buttock implants she was wearing had also been used to hide 5.5lbs of cocaine…

”She had tried to distract them with a plunging neckline and tight outfit but they stopped her for questioning because she was so alluring and her story about why she was in South America just fell apart.

‘She actually became quite aggressive and was taken away for more detailed questioning by two female officers and that’s when the drugs were found hidden in the plastic breast and buttock implants.

‘The extremely pure cocaine crystals were found moulded into the implants that she was wearing…’

Commenters almost everywhere seem to agree it was a nutty attempt to sneak the drugs through – by making this babe look even more curvaceous. I would think that NOT attracting attention makes more sense than focusing the eyeballs of customs coppers on her bosom and butt.

American Airlines finds Jack the Cat at JFK

The cat that vanished in baggage claim at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and whose plight became an online sensation has been found after being missing for two months.

“American Airlines is happy to announce that Jack the Cat has been found safe and well at JFK airport,” the carrier wrote in a post on the “Jack the Cat is Lost in AA Baggage at JFK” Facebook page Tuesday evening.

“Jack was found in the customs room and was immediately taken by team members to a local veterinarian. The vet has advised that Jack is doing well at present.”

The airline plans to fly the cat to California to be reunited with his owner, Karen Pascoe.

The saga started on August 25, when Pascoe was flying from New York to San Francisco with Jack and a second cat as part of a job relocation. But Jack escaped his kennel and was last seen at JFK’s inbound baggage claim…

When a search failed to turn up Jack after a few days, Pascoe became frustrated with American Airlines and started the Facebook page “to help us put pressure on AA to step up their efforts.” She also urged fliers to “do whatever they can do to keep their animals out of cargo.”

American even hired a pet detective and issued a pet Amber alert in hopes of locating the feline. I’m not quite certain how a pet Amber alert functions – but, I am glad they found Jack.