Delta offers Ann Coulter $30 refund for booting her from seat

Delta Airlines has offered conservative firebrand Ann Coulter a $ 30 refund after she flew into a rage Saturday for being booted from her “extra room seat” on a flight. 

“@AnnCoulter We’re sorry you did not receive the preferred seat you paid for and will refund your $ 30,” the airline said in a tweet Sunday night. 

“Additionally, your insults about our other customers and employees are unacceptable and unnecessary,” the airline said in response to Coulter’s tweetstorm. 

The 55-year-old Coulter was dissatisfied with Delta’s reply. 

Ann Coulter blasts NYPD officers as ‘little girls’ on Twitter

“$ 30! It cost me $ 10,000 of my time to pre-select the seat I wanted, investigate type of plane & go back periodically to review seat options,” she tweeted Saturday evening. 

“If you thought it was about $ 30, @Delta, why didn’t you give this woman $ 30 and let me stay in my PRE-BOOKED, ASSIGNED seat?” she wrote, sharing a picture of the woman who was placed in her seat. 

Coulter unleashed her fury against the airline in a Twitter rant that took off about 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

“Just when you think it’s safe to fly them again, the worst airline in America is STILL: @Delta,” Coulter tweeted.

The right-wing commentator followed up the tweet with a photo of the flight attendant she claimed told her to give up the seat for another passenger.

“‘Why are you taking me out of the extra room seat I specifically booked, @Delta?’” Coulter tweeted alongside it. “‘Flight attendant: ‘I don’t know.”

Coulter took her anger to a new level minutes later when she tweeted a picture of a female passenger who apparently got the seat on the New York-to-Florida flight. “@Delta didn’t give my extra room seat to an air marshall (SIC) or tall person. Here’s the woman given my PRE-BOOKED seat,” she wrote.

She continued berating the airline in a stream of tweets, calling Delta the “suckiest” airline and suggesting a new motto for the airline. “[email protected] motto: “How can we make your flight more uncomfortable?”

She extended her insults to other passengers, calling the woman who took her seat “dachsund-legged.”

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S. Korea proposes ‘rare’ military talks with Pyongyang to ‘ease tensions’ on peninsula

Seoul has proposed rare military talks to North Korea for as early as this week, saying that the negotiations may “ease tensions” and establish long-awaited peace on the Korean Peninsula, where the states are technically still at war with each other.

“Talks and cooperation between the two Koreas to ease tension and bring about peace on the Korean Peninsula will be instrumental for pushing forth a mutual, virtuous cycle for inter-Korea relations and North Korea’s nuclear problem,” the South’s Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said at a news briefing on Monday, as cited by Reuters. 

The South Korean Defense Ministry proposed negotiations with Pyongyang on July 21. The talks may be held at Tongilgak, a building at the Panmunjom truce village in North Korea, which was previously used for negotiations between the sides.

The last time talks between Seoul and Pyongyang took place, was in December 2015.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who took office in May this year, has repeatedly vowed to offer a more active diplomatic approach towards North Korea centered on more open dialogue with Pyongyang.

READ MORE: New president wants South Korea to learn to say ‘no to America,’ improve relations with Kim Jong-un

The former human rights lawyer has even said he was ready to travel to his isolated neighbor if it meant ending the decades-long standoff.

“I am willing to go anywhere for the peace of the Korean Peninsula if needed,” Moon said at his formal oath-taking ceremony.

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Sen. Schumer urges Amtrak not to shrink seats

Keep it Amtrak — not Jamtrack.

Sen. Chuck Schumer urged Amtrak on Sunday to put the kibosh on any discussion of trying to make economy seats smaller to squish in more passengers.

An official with the cash-strapped rail system has said it was considering the move as a way to generate more money. Airlines have taken similar steps to create additional seats.

“When it comes to money-making ideas, railroads shouldn’t let the airline industry play conductor, and travelers would agree,” Schumer said.

Amtrak official says Penn Station repairs are ahead of schedule

“In fact, travelers choose Amtrak because it offers a more comfortable traveling experience.

“But if Amtrak starts on the slippery slope of shrunk seating, my view is that it could become the norm to pack people in like sardines.”

On Wednesday, a top-ranking Amtrak official revealed the idea is being studied.

“We are looking at doing some creative things in terms of creating an economy class,” outgoing Amtrak co-chief executive Wick Moorman said at a National Press Club talk in Washington.

Labor Day marks light at end of tunnel for commuter woes: Amtrak

The move would limit leg space.

“When it comes to money-making ideas, railroads shouldn’t let the airline industry play conductor, and travelers would agree,” Sen. Schumer said.

(JIM LO SCALZO/EPA)

“There will be some other things that just don’t make it quite as comfortable,” Moorman said.

Schumer said that will turn off customers.

“Amtrak should not throw out one of the best things about Amtrak and train travel,” he said. “And that is you can at least get a seat you can sit and be comfortable in.”

Trump’s air traffic control plan may increase prices: Schumer

Amtrak last year carried 31.3 million passengers, with many riding along the Northeast Corridor, records show.

That helped the rail line generate $ 3.2 billion in total revenue.

But it still tallied an operating loss of $ 227 million, the smallest since 1973, records show.

Schumer believes skimping on space will only cause more losses.

NJ Transit train track in Penn Station was already up for repair

“I am sympathetic to Amtrak,” he said. “I understand they need to save money but not with things that are counterproductive like this.”

Not Released (NR)

Many Amtrak travelers choose the high speed railway because of the comfort the trains provide.

(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The Senate minority leader urged Amtrak to look at other ways to increase profits.

“Look for other ways to make money,” he said. “The Northeast Corridor is very profitable. It makes over half a billion dollars a year.”

It’s not all about belt-tightening at Amtrak.

Schumer vows to monitor HUD review of Trump Brooklyn housing

On Monday, the rail system ducked a major proposed budget cut by the Trump administration.

The U.S. House Appropriations Committee panel blocked a suggested $ 630 million reduction in federal subsidies used to run long-distance train service.

Instead, the House panel approved a $ 1.4 billion financial plan for the rail system, similar to last year’s budget.

The panel also set aside an added $ 900 million for a plan to build a new train tunnel under the Hudson River close to New York City. That Gateway rail project is expected to cost a total of $ 24 billion.

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Aussie woman killed by police in US after dialing 911 to report disturbance

Police officer in South Minneapolis, Minnesota, shot dead a 40-year-old woman from Sydney shortly after she dialed 911 to alert of a possible alley assault. The woman’s family now demands answers for what they say was unprovoked violence.

In the wake of the shooting, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension issued a statement confirming that two officers were responding to a 911 call implying that an assault could have been taking place in in the alley off West 51st Street, between Washburn and Xerxes Avenues, around midnight on Saturday.

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Protesters rally in Tulsa Oklahoma after the shooting death on unarmed motorist Terrence Crutcher by police, Tulsa, Oklahoma © Nick Oxford

“At one point one officer fired their weapon, fatally striking a woman,” it said in a statement, without revealing any further details on what provoked the police to use a deadly force against the woman.

The officers were wearing bodycams at the time the altercation unfolded, but they were not turned on, according to the statement.

The vehicle dashcam also “did not capture the incident,” the police said. They noted that an investigation has been launched into the incident, which is currently “in its early stages.”

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges released a statement on Facebook, saying that she “heartsick and deeply disturbed” by the incident, vowing to share as more information concerning the circumstances of the incident as soon it will be available.

Hodges in particular promised to press the investigators to answer why the bodycams were disabled at the time of the incident in a press conference she hold together with police on Sunday, as cited by the Start Tribune.

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A still photo taken from a dashcam video shows the July 2016 police shooting of Philando Castile, a black motorist, during a traffic stop in Ramsey County, Minnesota, U.S., by officer Jeronimo Yanez released June 20, 2017. © Reuters

Meanwhile, the death of the woman, identified as Justine Ruszczyk, originally from Sydney, Australia, sparked a wave of indignation among the local community, with residents gathering at the scene of the suspected crime to demand police accountability.

The woman was due to marry her fiancé, Don Damond, 50, in August. While the pair was not legally husband and wife just yet, Ruszczyk was preferred to be referred to by her would-be husband’s surname, Damond.

Justine Damond’s stepson Zach Damond said in a Facebook video he released on Monday morning, that he “demands answers” from the police for what he described as unprovoked violence.

“Basically my mom was shot for reasons I don’t know,” he said, adding that woman called the police after she allegedly heard “a sound in the alley.”

“She probably thought something bad was happening and then next thing I know they take my best friend’s life,” the young man said, urging those who want to help him to shed light on the death of his stepmother to “just call the police and demand answers.”

“I’m so done with all this violence. It’s so much bulls**t. America sucks,” he said.

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Australia & US test-fire multimillion hypersonic missile (VIDEO)

A hypersonic glider capable of moving at a speed eight times faster than sound has launched from a rocket range in the town of Woomera, South Australia.

The launch was performed as part of a research project which features the US military and Boeing.

The rocket blasted off through Australian skies on an unspecified date in early July.

The video of the launch was posted by the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture & Information Technology of the University of Queensland, a partner in the HIFiRE (Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation Program) program, on July 13.

The experimental flight codenamed HyShot 5 or HiFiRE 4 is a joint effort by researchers from Queensland University, Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Group – a unit of Australia’s Department of Defence – the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and a number of high-profile private companies, including Boeing and BAE Systems.

READ MORE: Report warns Pentagon of hypersonic ‘missile gap’ with Russia, China

A series of launches have been already carried out within the US$ 54m project, including tests conducted in Hawaii and Norway in 2012, according to The Drive.

The latest test came amid criticisms voiced by some members of the US Congress over the lack of response by the Pentagon to the alleged development of the hypersonic capabilities by Moscow and Beijing, The Drive noted.

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RS-18 (SS-19 Stiletto) intercontinental ballistic missile © Sergey Kazak

In May, US Navy Admiral Harry Harris, head of the US Pacific Command, said at a Congress hearing that Washington will have to counter a potential threat to the US associated with this trend.

“What we can do is to develop our own hypersonic weapons and improve our defenses against theirs,” he said, as cited by the The Drive.

In a congratulatory statement from July 10, Australia’s Defense Minister Marise Payne called the launch “a success” that “takes us one step closer to the realization of hypersonic flight.”

Payne specifically highlighted the role of the launch in raising the military potential of the Australian Defense Force, saying that having mastered the technology of hypersonic flight, Canberra would be better equipped to respond to “future threats.”

The range in Woomera, a remote town in South Australia’s Far North region, housing the Australian Defense Force base and Woomera Test Range, was chosen because of its “vast area and ability to support continuous telemetry collection during the flight,” Payne said.

Saying the July launch would mark the end of the tests performed as part of the HiFiRE series, Payne said Australia aims to maintain its position “at the leading edge of hypersonic research” and looks forward to arranging further hypersonic flight experiments in cooperation with the US.

While the designed speed of the hypersonic missile of Mach 8 (8000 km/hr) nears that of a typical intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the hypersonic glider’s advantage lies in its enhanced maneuverability.

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Councilman Vincent Gentile makes pitch in race for Brooklyn DA

Councilman Vincent Gentile sat down with a group of clergymen and local leaders to let them know he is not like the other five candidates in the race for the next Brooklyn district attorney.

“Of all the six candidates, I’m in the best position to pick up the mantel and lead the legacy of Ken Thompson because, as I said, I have no connection to the Brooklyn DA’s office,” said Gentile.

Gentile, 58, is running against Acting Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez, Ama Dwimoh, Marc Fliedner, Patricia Gatling and Anne Swern who are all former prosecutors under Charles Hynes.

“I have no connection to the prosecutors, there’s no connection to the detectives in the cases, I have no connection to the cases themselves, unlike the others who come through the office including the acting DA,” said Gentile who submitted over 9,000 nomination signatures to the city’s Board of Elections last week.

Councilman Vincent Gentile to run for Brooklyn District Attorney

Over a dozen men and women met with the long term councilman of the city’s 43rd district on Saturday to discuss their concerns about real estate fraud, wrongful convictions, community-police relations and anti-violence initiatives within the Canarsie, East New York and Brownsville communities.

The meet and greet was hosted by Rev. Kevin McCall, the crisis director with National Action Network.

“The voters should ask themselves: ‘Do we give the Brooklyn DA’s office back to someone who spent most of their years under Joe Hynes when all these things were happening or do we look for someone who can be independent enough like Ken Thompson to continue to uncover wrongful convictions?'” Gentile said to the group.

Gentile publicly backed Hynes during the 2013 race against Thompson, two weeks after the office announced investigating over 50 homicide cases where former Detective Louis Scarcella’s police tactics were questioned.

Working Families Party endorses Eric Gonzalez for Brooklyn DA

Despite Gentile’s previous support for Hynes, he posthumously praised Thompson’s work with the Conviction Review Unit (CRU) which overturned 21 wrongful convictions before his death in October.

A week before his passing, Thompson appointed Gonzalez, his second-in-command, to lead the third largest district attorney’s office in the country.

Thompson was 50.

To date, the CRU has exonerated 23 cases — six involving Scarcella.

Brooklyn clergymen blast DA candidate for poor track record

“I am the only one who is independent enough to pick up where Ken Thompson left off because I have no loyalties to anything in the DA’s office like Ken who went in without fear and called the shots the way he wanted,” said Gentile.

The DA hopeful assured the group that he will commit to increasing the office’s budget in order expand the CRU and real estate fraud unit and create a housing unit to specifically investigate developers and landlords.

Gentile, who joined in the fight to release the grand jury minutes regarding the death of Eric Garner, would also advocate in Albany to make NYPD officers’ disciplinary records available, enhance the Gun Buy Back program and support community groups that keep the youth off the streets.

Election Day is Nov. 7.

DA Gonzalez launches campaign, plan to ditch old summons warrants

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Idaho news station apologizes to BLM activist over ‘bank robbery’ picture blunder

A TV station has apologized to a well-known Black Lives Matter activist after mistakenly attaching his photograph to a local story about a bank robbery.

Tweets posted to CBS-affiliate KBOI in Idaho showed police restraining DeRay Mckesson, an activist and former Baltimore mayoral candidate, underneath the headline: “Would-be robber arrives early at banks to find doors locked.”

The image had been taken during a July 2016 protest in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Mckesson later shared the tweet along with the caption: “I haven’t been anywhere near a bank robbery. FYI.”

KBOI then deleted the original tweet and posted an apology to its Twitter feed.

“We messed up,” the tweet read. “We mistakenly tweeted a photo of @deray with an unrelated story link about a bank robbery. We at KBOI are very sorry.”

American Civil Liberties Union executive Kristen Clarke also weighed in on the controversy, pointing out that the suspect in the robbery case was not African-American.

Asked for his reaction, Mckesson told Raw Story: “I’m confused as to how the image of my arrest in Baton Rouge was affixed to a story about a bank robbery in Idaho, especially given that the suspect wasn’t even black.”

Furious commenters noted that the picture was also used for another story carrying the headline: “Officer wounded in deadly ambush sues Black Lives Matter.”

Some have even pointed to ties between the Sinclair Broadcasting Group – the owners of KBOI – and US President Donald Trump, a critic of the Black Lives Matter movement, as reason for the tweets.

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Iranian FM says ISIS, Al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda get their money & ideology from US allies

The Iranian Foreign Minister has accused Washington’s allies in the Middle East of sponsoring terrorism. Mohammad Javad Zarif was speaking to CNN, commenting on US President Donald Trump’s apparent anti-Iranian policy in the region.

In an exclusive interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, Zarif said Trump’s stance towards Iran, which includes accusations of Tehran sponsoring terrorism, represented a “misplaced and misguided policy.”

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© Global Look Press

“We know where the terrorists are coming from. We know those who attacked the World Trade Center were citizens of which countries in the region – I can tell you none of them came from Iran,” Zarif said.

The FM added that “none of the people who engaged in acts of terrorism since 2001 came from Iran,” pointing out that “most of them came from US allies.” 

Out of the 19 terrorists who hijacked planes on September 11, 2001, fifteen were Saudi Arabian citizens, two were from UEA while the rest were Egyptian and a Lebanese.

“Look at ISIS [Islamic State, IS], look at Nusra [Al-Nusra Front terrorist group], look at Al-Qaeda, look at other terrorist organizations… none of them have anything to do with Iran and all of them receive not only their ideology but their financial assistance, their weapons, their arms from others who call themselves US allies,” Zarif said.

Trump has branded Iran the main sponsor of terrorism during his US presidential campaign.

READ MORE: Iran holds ‘Trumpism’ cartoon contest mocking US president (PHOTOS)

During his landmark visit to Saudi Arabia this May, the US president said “until the Iranian regime is willing to be a partner for peace, all nations of conscience must work together to isolate Iran.”

Following the twin IS-linked terror attacks on the Iranian parliament and the mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in early June, which left 14 dead and 42 injured, Trump went as far to say that it was Tehran’s own fault: “We underscore that states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote.”

Zarif dismissed the US leader’s remarks as “repugnant,” while saying that “Iranians counter terror backed by US clients.”

The US accuses Tehran of supporting various Shia militant groups in the Middle East and North Africa – including Hamas in Palestine, Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen. 

Iran is also a strong ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, whom Washington wanted to be removed from power. The CNN interview focused on the “endgame” in Syria, which Zarif believes must come with a ceasefire, without preconditions and Syrians deciding for themselves who they want as a president.

Zarif also rejected claims from a group of senators that Iran has violated the nuclear deal, pointing out that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is the monitoring body in accordance with the deal, has verified that Tehran has been in full compliance with the agreed scaleback of its nuclear program.

READ MORe: ‘Scorpion & frog’: Haley uses fable to blast Iran as UN & EU say Tehran complies with nuclear deal

Zarif accused Washington of violating its part of the deal by calling other states not to do business with Tehran.

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Chinese-American student arrested in Iran on charges he was spy

A Chinese-American student at Princeton University was arrested in Iran and sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges that he was a U.S. spy, officials said Sunday.

Xiyue Wang, a graduate student in history, vanished months ago in Iran, where he was doing research for a doctoral thesis. Though Wang, 37, had been missing since August, the Iranian government did not officially acknowledge his arrest until after the arrest.

In a news conference, a spokesman for Iran’s judiciary, Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, called Wang one of “America’s infiltrators.”

“It was verified and determined that he was gathering (information) and was involved in infiltration,” Ejehi said.

Ejehi did not mention the student by name. Instead, the judiciary’s Mizan News Agency released the name, alleging that Wang had “spider connections” with American and British intelligence agencies.

The news agency accused Wang of recording 4,500 pages of digital documents, and passing them on to the U.S. State Department and to a British outlet.

The State Department did not have any immediate information about the arrest..

The agency warns Americans who travel to Iran that they risk arrest or may be barred from leaving the country.

Wang, a history student studying 19th- and early-20th-century Eurasian history, is one of several Americans in Iranian custody, including Iranian-American art gallery manager Karan Vafadari and his wife, and Iranian-American art gallery manager Karan Vafadari.

“The Iranian regime continues to detain U.S. citizens and other foreigners on fabricated national-security related changes,” the State Department said in a statement. “We call for the immediate release of all U.S. citizens unjustly detained in Iran so they can return to their families.”

Meanwhile, Iran also detained President Hassan Rouhani’s brother over allegations of financial misconduct, authorities said .

Hossein Ferydoun, a top presidential aide, was accused of money laundering and misappropriation of government funds.

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Bob Wolff, legendary sports broadcaster, dies at 96

Legendary sports broadcaster Bob Wolff died on Saturday in South Nyack, N.Y., at the age of 96.

Wolff spent eight decades as a sports broadcaster, calling memorable moments such as Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series and the 1958 NFL championship game between the Giants and Colts.

He was a broadcaster at Madison Square Garden for more than 50 years, calling Rangers and Knicks games.

Wolff was inducted into the broadcasting wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1995 and is enshrined in the National Sportscasters-Sportswriters Hall of Fame and the Madison Square Garden Walk of Fame.

He was the recipient of the Curt Gowdy media award from the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008, joining Gowdy as the only two sportscasters to be in both the basketball and the baseball halls.

In 2012, Wolff was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as having the longest career of any sports broadcaster.

Wolff recently served as a sports commentator for News 12 Long Island, which he joined in 1986. He also hosted the Con Edison Scholastic Sports Award program on WHUD Radio in Westchester.

Wolff was born in New York City on Nov. 29, 1920, and began his broadcasting career in 1939 as a student at Duke University.

A year later, he started doing play-by-play for the Washington Senators.

Wolff interviews Babe Ruth.

Wolff interviews Babe Ruth.

In the early 1960s, he joined Joe Garagiola as NBC-TV’s voices for baseball’s Game of the Week.

“Bob Wolff’s iconic, Hall-of-Fame broadcasting career was matched by his class and character,” the Yankees said in a statement. “Beyond his lifetime of professional accomplishments, he was a man of great grace and dignity, serving his country with honor, and proudly calling New York home.

“Bob was a dear friend of the Yankees organization and he will be deeply missed.”

He was play-by-play man for the championship Knick teams of the 70s, teaming with Cal Ramsey on TV broadcasts.

“Bob Wolff was not only one of the seminal figures in American sportscasting, but was part of the very fabric of Madison Square Garden, the New York Knicks, and the New York Rangers, for more than six decades,” the Madison Square Garden Company and MSG Network said in a statement.

Wolff served in the Navy as a supply officer in the Pacific during World War II.

He is survived by his wife, Jane Hoy; his sons, Rick and Robert; daughter, Margy Clark; nine grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren. 

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