U.S. Airline Electronic Ban: What To Know

On Tuesday, March 21st, 2017, U.S. officials ordered 10 airports in eight countries to ban all electronics besides hand-held cellphones. All electronics except for cellphones can no longer be carried onto a flight.

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Hand-held cellphones are the only electronics allowed to be carried onto flights.

Now, electronics such as “laptops, tablets, game consoles, cameras and portable DVD players must be put into passenger’s checked baggage” reported techcrunch.com.

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The list of the airports and countries with the electronics ban reported by the Washington Post.

The nine impacted airlines that are U.S. bound coming out of eight Muslim majority countries are Royal Jordanian, EgyptAir, Turkish Airlines, Saudia, Kuwait Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways. In total, these airlines operate about 50 direct flights to the U.S. every day.

Airlines had until this past weekend to comply with the new ban, and if they did not comply, “We will work with the FAA to pull their certificate and they will not be allowed to fly to the United States,” a senior U.S. official told CNN.

CNN explained the reason for the ban is that “U.S. officials say the move is a response to fears that terrorist groups may target passenger planes by smuggling explosive devices in electronic devices. One official said there’s no specific plot that authorities are aware of, but the U.S. has been considering such a ban for some time.”

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A bomb hidden in a video camera.

The Department of Homeland Security explained in an article on theverge.com that intelligence obtained in recent weeks found that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was perfecting techniques for hiding explosives in batteries and battery compartments, according to a U.S. official. Intelligence also shows growing capability and threats from al Qaeda in Syria, ISIS and Al Shabaab. So, the ban is just for safety precautions.

Overall, there should be no reason to panic. If you get to the airport a little bit earlier than normal and lock all electronics away in checked luggage, you will be fine. On the entertainment side…most overseas flights provide entertainment for its passengers anyway, and if not…read a book!

Dylann Roof Sees No Mercy in Court Decision

Dylann Roof, the shooter during the South Carolina historically black church massacre killing nine people during a prayer meeting, has been sentenced to the death penalty but has until January 24th to appeal.

The Emanual African Methodist Episcopal Church shooting was on June 17th, 2015. Reverend Clementa Pinckney, Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Reverend Depayne Middleton-Doctor, Tywanza Sanders, Reverend Daniel Simmons Sr., Reverend Sharonda Singleton, and Myra Thompson were all of Roof’s victims. Roof was charged with nine counts of murder and one count possession of a firearm which are all felony charges.

“The twelve jurors deliberated for about three hours before sentencing Dylann Roof, 22, to die. To impose the death penalty, they had to reach a unanimous decision. It is the same jury that found Roof guilty of federal hate crimes charges for entering Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in June 2015 and sitting among those at a Bible study in the basement before opening fire on the worshippers,” according to Rebecca Hersher, a writer for NPR.org.

Roof is caught on camera with a gun in hand walking into the church on June 17th. He later confessed to the crimes of slaughtering those people once in custody.

“The fact that anyone would just walk into a church while they’re [the victims] not doing anything and just kill them without remorse is scary. We [the Milton family] go to church often; if you think about it, nothing is stopping someone from doing the same thing, but that’s scary to think about. To kill people who are so innocent and really helpless in a sense makes me feel sick,” said Kamesha Milton, mother of Boys’ Latin student Jalen Milton.

Most of the families of the victims did not hold back their harsh words in regards to Roof.

“You, young man, are among the worst kind of evil. You have said you didn’t have to do this but you felt you had to do this. The fact is, you did not have to do this just as my brother Tywanza urged you not to…One day before your final earthly judgment, it’s going to come to you, and you are going to realize you did not have to do this. And it’s going to hit you hard,” said Shirenne Goss, the sister of victim Tywanza Sanders during an interview for a CNN.com article.

Other family members were even more blunt than that of Ms. Shirenne Goss.

“I want your soul to burn in hell. My mother can’t even step a foot into church. And for you to sit here every day — I was here from the beginning to the end — and never, ever apologize…was hurtful. I pray that your soul goes to hell,” said Gayle Jackson, the niece of victim Susie Jackson during another interview for a CNN.com article.

“Although the crime was committed in 2015 and the ruling process began on Jan. 3rd, the final decision did not come until Tuesday [January 11th],” according to NPR.com

“I don’t know if I agree with the ruling to be completely honest. I usually cannot agree with just killing a man like this, but he says he killed those people on purpose to ‘start a race war’. That is why I don’t really know; I’m pretty torn,” said Milton.

Shots Fired in Fort Lauderdale Airport

On January 6th, 2017, Esteban Santiago opened fire at the Fort Lauderdale Airport. After his flight, he went to the bathroom to privately get his gun out of his suitcase and load it. He then went to baggage claim, took his gun out of his waistband, and started shooting.

At baggage claim, all people want to do is grab their luggage after a long and boring flight. At the Fort Lauderdale Airport, however, people got a scary experience along with their belongings.

People began to panic and fend for their lives. “Santiago confessed to planning the assault that killed five people and left several others wounded,” reporters Steve Almasy and Eliott C. McLaughlin of CNN explained. This tragic event left people not only dead or wounded, but also scared.

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Police are investigating the crime scene at baggage claim in the Fort Lauderdale Airport (NBC News).

This shooting in the airport has affected many people and has changed their opinions of flying. “It was crazy and so unexpected that someone would shoot up the airport,” senior John Kunisch said.

“I’m going to have to be more cautious while flying now, especially to the Fort Lauderdale Airport,” senior Eli Frank said. This shooting is going to make people be more aware of their surroundings and alert.

“It hasn’t changed my view on flying, but the next time I’m at a baggage claim, I’m definitely going to think about this shooting,” sophomore Willie Wright said.

Even people in the Boys’ Latin community can personally relate to this attack because they regularly fly into that airport. “I was just at the Fort Lauderdale Airport, and I could’ve been involved if I was there a couple days later,” junior Will O’Dell said.

This tragedy is seen through a different perspective for some people because of their presence at the crime scene. “I’ve been at the baggage claim where it happened, so I can picture what the setting was like. It is just weird to think about that it could’ve happened to me,” Frank said.

People are also angry because of Santiago’s actions. “I believe that he should stay in jail and possibly face the death penalty,” Kunisch said. He needs to face the consequences for taking the lives of innocent people for no reason.

“Santiago is being held without bond on a murder charge,” reporters Steve Almasy and Ray Sanchez of CNN explained. Along with Santiago being in jail, he was also put on the No-Fly List. The No-Fly List is when the government prohibits someone from ever flying on an airplane again.

“Santiago returned from Iraq a changed man, his aunt told CNN. ‘His mind was not right,’ Maria Ruiz Rivera said. ‘He seemed normal at times, but other times he seemed lost. He changed,’” Almasy and McLaughlin explained.

Chicago Experiences Deadliest Year

Chicago, also known as Chi-raq for its city streets being as dangerous as an Iraqi war zone, has another record-setting bloody year in 2016.

“The Windy City saw 3,550 shooting incidents and 762 murders last year, a grim total that works out to an average of more than two murders and nearly 10 shootings every single day,” according to ABC News.

3,550 incidents all resulting in the loud shot of a gun and bullets hitting the pavement, all in a 365 day period. 762 mother’s children all had to all be buried within a 365 day period.

The city saw 282 more murders this past year than 2015. This fact could really mean a couple of things; for example, guns are becoming easier to access, or Chicago gang violence has risen so much that the streets have become quite more dangerous than in years past.

“Homicides in Chicago jumped to their highest level since 1996, when 796 were recorded, according to historical data from the Chicago Police Department. Last year’s total represents a 57 percent increase over 2015, the biggest spike in murders in Chicago in 60 years,” according to the Associated Press of ABC News.

“I grew up in the south side of the city, a neighborhood I thought was very very safe, but I went to school across town where we had to cut across certain neighborhoods. In the 90s, we knew some particular neighborhoods with gangs. Some neighborhoods had Latino gangs and a couple had some black gangs so we had to take short cuts. But I never felt unsafe at my school, and yes, it was a tough area to be but still I had a great experience,” said Mrs. Kenney, Boys’ Latin guidance counselor and Chicago native.

Nonetheless, nobody has the perfect system to reverse these acts of violence. “I think how purchasing firearms needs to be better managed, but I think they are being purchased illegally which is the big problem. I am also a big advocate for after school programs for safe places for children to go so that they are less likely to choose the street,” said Kenney.

It is clear that many people have given up on the city and lost hope but that may have been a little premature. “City officers made 10% more gun arrests in 2016 and confiscated 8,300 guns, a 20% increase from 2015,” according to a Christian News Article.

Chicago is taking baby steps in the right direction, but they still have a long way to go. It is hard to see which direction the city will turn this year, but optimism is key.

“A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities, and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties,” once said Harry Truman, the 33rd President of the United States. The city needs more optimists with it to progress.

Attack at Ohio State Leaves 11 Hospitalized

On Monday, November 28, Abdul Razak Ali Artan jumped a curb at the Ohio State campus driving into a group of students standing on the sidewalk. Artan got out of his car and proceeded to stab anyone he saw nearby before he was shot dead by Ohio State Police Officer Alan Hurojko.

According to CNN, Artan’s attack lasted all for two minutes before it was cut short by Officer Hurojko. The attack left 11 students hospitalized and also raised questions about the purpose of the attack

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Abdul Razak Ali Artan. Photo courtesy of http://bestfbkl.blogspot.com

The immediate reaction from the public was that this was a solo terror attack. FBI investigators are still looking into that angle, and police are looking towards Artan’s recent Facebook posts as evidence to see if he was “self-radicalized.” According to Fox News, the posts made by Artan urged America to stop interfering with foreign countries, such as the Muslim Ummah and expressed that they are not weak.

One of Artan’s Facebook posts also stated: “Every single Muslim who disapproves of my actions is a sleeper cell, waiting for a signal. I am warning you Oh America!”

Artan was Somali-born and had just transferred to Ohio State this past year. He was interviewed by the school newspaper about the diversity at Ohio State University. According to the newspaper, Atran expressed that he was genuinely afraid of showing his Muslim culture in public.

So far, this is only some of the evidence that police and investigators are looking into for the motive of this attack.

The day after the attack, Fox News showed that ISIS posted on their social media page that Artan was a “soldier of the Islamic State.” However, local Ohio News 10tv stated that FBI investigators will look into Artan’s electronic devices for evidence that the attack was inspired by Anwar al-Awlaki propaganda journals rather than the ISIS claim. The reason behind it is because ISIS will take credit for pretty much anything they can based on attacks from Muslims in other countries.

With news and people who saw the attack, many are jumping to conclusions as to the purpose of the attack.

However, OSU President Dr. Michael V. Drake made a statement letting people know that the purpose of the attack is still a mystery and that there is no link to a specific community yet.

According to CNN, Drake stated, “We all know when things like this happen that there’s a tendency sometimes for people to put people together and create other kinds of theories. We don’t know anything that would link this to any community. We certainly don’t have any evidence that would say that’s the case.”

The White House has even taken action to make a statement to the American people urging them to not jump ahead of themselves and not assume this was a terror attack before all of the evidence is identified.

According to the Washington Times, White House Press Secretary John Earnest expressed the feelings everyone in the White House has about the attack.

“Our response as a country to this situation matters. If we respond to this situation by casting aspersions on millions of people that adhere to a particular religion, or if we increase our suspicion of people who practice a particular religion, we’re more likely to contribute to acts of violence than we are to prevent them.”

With such a vicious attack that took place on the Ohio State campus, local police and national news make sure to express that everything is still out in the open and nothing has been finalized.

Mannequin Challenge Becomes Newest Trend

Many social media trends sweep the nation, and the mannequin challenge is the newest one. People love watching all the different challenges because of their uniqueness and entertaining qualities.

The mannequin challenge is when a group of people stand still, posing. The different poses and facial expressions show a wide variety of emotion, making no mannequin challenge the same. “Some popular poses are dabbing, flexing, or acting like you are on your phone,” senior Evan Ellwanger said.

Music also enhances the challenge. Most of the time, the song that is playing in the background is “Black Beatles” by Rae Sremmurd. “The song makes the video more intense and it gives the mannequin challenge an identity,” senior Nate King said.

The song fits the challenge well because it has a fast tempo to it that hypes the video up. The mannequin challenge gets even more hyped when the group of people start dancing when the beat drops. Dancing when the beat drops usually only happens when there is a big group of people.

Most of the time, viewers will see the participants start dancing when the beat drops at a concert. Rae Sremmurd did a mannequin challenge at one of his concerts with the crowd. When the beat dropped, the whole audience went crazy and started dancing.

The poses are another aspect that makes the mannequin challenge so appealing. The poses that the individuals do show some attributes about themselves and can allow them to be seen in a different way than usual. “It is fun to watch mannequin challenges with your friends in them,” senior Gideon Endalkachew said.

The BL varsity football team did a mannequin challenge one day after practice. The Boys’ Latin community got to see a mannequin challenge, below. Video courtesy of junior Devon Brewer.

In the BL varsity football team’s mannequin challenge, everyone did a different pose from one another. For example, senior Victor Dimukeje was flexing, junior Jack Morton was acting like he was throwing a football, and senior Desmond Banks was doing the free Kodak sign.

The mannequin challenge is so popular because anyone can do it. There are no certain skills that are needed to partake in this challenge, so it makes it enjoyable for everyone. “Anyone can do the mannequin challenge, and it is fun to see all these different people make them,” King said.

Even though anyone can do the mannequin challenge, it is mostly done by the younger generation. Most of the videos include children, teenagers, and middle-aged adults.

Along with anyone being able to do this challenge, it can also be done in any location. There is no specific place where this challenge needs to be done, making the options of the setting endless. “The mannequin challenge can be done anywhere, but you need to have a good amount of people to make it good,” senior Cooper Nalley said.

People are getting creative as to where they do their mannequin challenges. The settings range from classrooms, locker rooms, gyms, concerts, pools, sporting events, etc. The settings have varied more since this challenge became more popular.

Along with friends doing the mannequin challenge, sports teams doing them are fun to watch as well. “I enjoy watching sports teams do mannequin challenges, especially our football team, because they are funny and cool to see the athletes’ approach to this challenge,” senior Evan Gaines said.

Sports teams have been partaking in this challenge recently. For example, football teams at Penn State and Clemson and in Baltimore and Pittsburgh team have all made a mannequin challenge.

President Trump: How Did This Happen?

Heading into last Tuesday, anyone who thought Donald Trump still had a chance to stop Hillary Clinton from becoming the first female president of the United States would have been thought of as crazy. Almost every poll leading up to election day had Clinton up anywhere from 1 to 5 points. In-fact, just two weeks before election day, polls were showing Clinton with a seemingly insurmountable lead.

According to CNN, “Hillary Clinton has a 12-point lead over Donald Trump and has reached 50% support nationally among likely voters, a new ABC News tracking poll shows.”

Despite these polls showing Clinton with an undeniable lead, Trump took an expected early lead on November 8th after the first few polls closed quickly, securing Kentucky and Indiana but losing three electoral votes in Vermont to Clinton. The night swayed back and forth showing states leaning one way one minute and switching the next minute.

The night started to look a lot better for Trump when he took a huge swing state. According to  usmagazine.com at 11/8 7:21 p.m. ET, ”One major swing state is just about locked up. CNN projects Trump to win Florida, with 51 percent to Clinton’s 46.6.”

This was only the first of an avalanche of swing states and electoral votes that went to Mr. Trump. He took Ohio and North Carolina, and he also picked up the heavily republican state of Texas to acquire massive amounts of electoral votes.

At this point, it seemed like this was anybody’s game with Trump doing better than expected in many of the swing states. After crunching some numbers, it showed that if Clinton could hold the proverbial blue wall of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and the entire northeast of America, she would still be the winner with over the needed 270 electoral votes to win.

Trump, however, held out his slim lead in Wisconsin which broke the blue wall. Now the election looked like a Trump presidency was imminent.

The election was far from over, but Trump now had the lead going into the final few hours of the night. He only had to win one or two more states to clinch the win and move on to the White House in January.

Then at 1:36 AM on November 9th, @AP reported on twitter that Trump had won Pennsylvania giving Trump more than the 270 electoral votes needed to secure the presidency.

Clinton called Trump early in the morning on the 9th to privately concede the election. Trump then delivered his acceptance speech early that morning after the call from Clinton.