9,600 Flights canceled, 1,300 delayed due to Unknown Computer Blackout in the U.S. On Wednesday

9,600 scheduled flights at 6 a.m. on Wednesday were delayed for three hours at the most by unknown computer problems at the airports nationwide. 1,300 flights were canceled nationwide. United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, and Southwest Airlines all reported 40% or more flight delays or cancellations on Wednesday.

FAA officials along with other government authorities have looked into the outage to a damaged database file and couldn’t find any specific evidence of a cyberattack so far. This advisory was lifted at 9 a.m. EST.

During this time, many travelers were stranded at the airports, and President Biden briefed the nation on this air traffic disaster. “Normal air traffic operations are resuming gradually across the United States following an overnight outage to the FAA’s Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) system that provides safety information to flight crews,” the FAA wrote in its fifth update of the morning.

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Luggage Returns to Owner after 5 Years

Carriers handled almost 393 million bags in 2021, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. They lost over 2 million bags which is 0.51% of all checked bags. Pre-COVID-19 numbers were higher with a 0.59% loss. The percentage loss goes up during busy holiday travel, as of Nov 22, 2022.

An Oregonian lady just received a phone call from United Airlines saying that they found the luggage that belongs to her. According to Narcity USA, The owner of the luggage never found her luggage after she checked onboard a 2018 United Airlines flight. She was told that the luggage showed up in Houston, Texas last week.

In a TikTok video, the owner, Gavin posted on Monday that she was never able to find a suitcase that got lost almost five years ago during a work trip to Chicago, IL and she reunited with it in 2023. The woman said the lost luggage was told to have stopped in Honduras during that span of time. She filed a claim for lost luggage after she couldn’t find hers more than 4 years ago. The luggage was untouched during the international trip.

Airlines do maintain a tracking system for luggage.

If you lose your luggage on United Airlines, the website says:

  • If we’re unable to find your bags after five days, we’ll pay you $1,500 per bag for the value of the bags and its contents without requiring documentation. This includes any fees you paid to check your bags. Contact us at the Baggage Recovery Center to get this process started:

    If the value of your lost bags and their contents is more than $1,500, you can submit a claim form with documentation and receipts to claim up to $3,800 for domestic U.S. flights. This maximum value is $1,900 for international flights.

That being said, it is probably safer to keep the valuables in your carry-ons instead.

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Bolsonaro Supporters Rise in Riot Against the Brazilian Government

Captured from Today.com

Chaos erupted at the capital building on Sunday in Brazil as far-right supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro rushed into various government buildings demanding justice. Former President Jair Bolsonaro lost his bid for reelection against the Leftist party’s Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who was sworn in on Jan. 1,  2023.

President Lula da Silva went to Twitter to condemn the act, saying that a riot is a criminal act and that they are collecting photos of who participated in the Sunday riot.

Authorities used tear gas and arrested more than 400 people in the demonstration. Many demonstrators wore the national colors of Brazil: yellow, and green.

President Biden denounced on his Twitter, “I condemn the assault on democracy and on the peaceful transfer of power in Brazil. Brazil’s democratic institutions have our full support and the will of the Brazilian people must not be undermined. I look forward to continuing to work with @LulaOficial.”

Alberto Fernandez, the Government representative of Argentina, stated that
“Quienes intentan desoír la voluntad de las mayorías, atentan contra la democracia y merecen no solo la sanción legal que corresponda, sino también el rechazo absoluto de la comunidad internacional,” on his Twitter account.

As the former President of Brazil, Bolsonaro is in Florida for 30 days on Visa, and Biden was urged to extradite Bolsonaro to Brazil after the riot, NBC news stated on Twitter.

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8 People Dead in Possible Murder-Suicide in Utah, 5 Of Them Children

On Wednesday, three adults and five children were found shot dead at home in Enoch, Utah. According to the local authorities, the shooting suspect was 42-year-old Michael Haight. Two other adults were identified as Haight’s wife, Tausha Haight (40), and Tausha’s mother, Gail Earl (78). The five victims were identified as the shooting suspect’s children: a 17-year-old girl and 12 years girl, 7 years old girl, a 7-year-old boy, and a 4-year-old boy.

At the press conference in the morning on Thursday, “the evidence suggests that the suspect took his own life after killing his 7 family members.” The state medical’s office will conduct autopsies to determine the victims’ official cause of death, Enock City Manager, Rob Dotson said.

According to Dotson, the welfare check took place after “someone with whom (the mother) had an appointment” notified the police she did not show up.

Dodson said a divorce petition was filed on Dec. 21 by the suspected shooter’s wife. Investigators with the Enoch Police Department and Iron County are among some of the agencies working together to determine what took place inside the home.

“We don’t know what happened,” Dotson said. “They were [our] friends, they were our neighbors and we loved them.”

The White House released a statement for this tragic incident, “The President and First Lady are mourning with the Enoch City, Utah community in the wake of a tragic shooting that has reportedly claimed the lives of five children and multiple adults in their family home.

Too many Americans have lost loved ones or had their lives forever changed due to gun violence, and gun violence remains the leading cause of death for children in America. Less than one month after we marked 10 years since the Sandy Hook tragedy, another mass shooting has claimed the lives of five more children in Enoch City.”

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Free Home Covid-19 Tests Available until January 14, 2023 at Local Public Libraries

Prince William County in Virginia announced that it will give away free Covid-19 test kits for home use until January 14, 2023 at local libraries during operation hours.

Anyone interested can reach out to the following libraries to check availability:

Bull Run: 703-792-4500

Central: 703-792-8360

Chinn Park: 703-792-4800

Dale City: 703-792-5670

Dumfries: 703-792-5678

Haymarket Gainesville: 703-792-8700

Independent Hill: 703-792-5668

Lake Ridge: 703-792-5675

Manassas City: 703-792-8820

Montclair: 703-792-8740

Nokesville: 703-792-5665

Potomac: 703-792-8330

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Idaho University Murder Suspect Waives Extradition

Suspect Bryan Cohberger (28) was arrested last week from his parents’ home in Pennsylvania. He is the main suspect behind the murder of 4 university students near the University of Idaho in the city of Moscow, Idaho. He is expected to receive a trial in a court within Idaho’s jurisdiction.

On Tuesday, at a brief hearing in the court in Pennsylvania where he has been detained since his arrest, he waived his extradition rights. He is expected to face four counts of first-degree murder and burglary count if he is convicted and proven guilty by an Idaho Court.

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Omicron XBB rapidly spreads in the United States this Holiday season

Data from CDC

With a total death count of 1,088,481 accounting for 10% of the total infection count of 100,622,056 in the United States as of December 29, Covid-19 continues to mutate into many variants and subvariants.

The variant of Omicron subvariant XBB has quickly spread throughout the United States during the Holiday season. According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), before December 24, the dominant variant of omicron was BQ.1 or BQ.1.1. Data gathered on December 24 now shows an Omicron variant called XBB becoming one of the most dominant strains.

Here is the data showing the rise in the XBB subvariant since December 2022. XBB subvariant is known to be a trigger of a new COVID-19 this winter. Also, XBB variant illnesses will be slightly different from those recorded in earlier outbreaks because the XBB subvariant is the most immune-evasive form of SARS-CoV-2, and the CDC has been closely tracking this variant.

Health Officials and CDC recommend wearing masks indoors to minimize getting this XBB subvariant this winter. Since the pandemic started, all Americans aged 5+ may take vaccines and boosters to protect themselves from the worst symptoms caused by the Covid-19 virus, including death.

Currently, 47,146,355 Americans which is only 15.1% of the total population are vaccinated with booster shots. The vaccines and the two boosters are available free of charge, but the 2023 booster may be the last free booster shots available for Covid-19. Better get them while they are still free. Please check your eligibility and availability at https://www.vaccines.gov/. Don’t struggle with multiple variants and subvariants of Covid-19, especially when some of them are becoming immune-evasive.

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Biden signs Native Hawaiian Survivors of Gender-Based Violence Law

President Biden signed into law legislation led by Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) to allow Native Hawaiian survivors of gender-based violence to access critical programs and resources provided by Congress through the Violence Against Woman Act (VAWA). According to the News release, The reauthorization of VAWA-which was signed into law in March, 2022-provides funding to Native Hawaiian survivors of all types of sexual and gender-based violence, including sexual assault, sex trafficking, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.

Senator Hirono’s legislation amends VAWA to ensure Native Hawaiian organizations can serve the Native Hawaiian community. This bill passed the Senate unanimously last month and passed in the House on a voice vote earlier this month.

According to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, more than two-thirds of sex trafficking victims in Hawaii are Native Hawaiian women and girls, and only 37% of child sex trafficking cases are reported. Recently, the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women released the “Holoi a Nalo Wahine Oiwi” report says “further underlines the disproportionate impacts” that sex trafficking, sexual exploitation, and domestic violence have on Native Hawaiian women and girls.

Senate Hirono has been working against these gender-based sexual crimes. She raised a voice to the legislatures to protect the Native Hawaiian community from sexual exploitation at a full Judiciary Committee hearing and emphasized the need for the FBI to include the Native Hawaiian community. She addresses the missing and murdered indigenous people crisis and violence against Native communities.

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U.S Airlines have cancelled and delayed flights due to the “Arctic Blast”

Over 3,000 flights were canceled and 5,000 were delayed as of Tuesday night in the U.S. Southwest Airlines is one of them. Southwest Airlines canceled 2,886 flights on Monday that indicated 70% of the flight schedule. Travelers were stranded at the airports and couldn’t make their Christmas dinner tables on time.

DOT is investigating Southwest Airlines and looking into this travel mayhem as a whole. “USDOT is concerned by Southwest Airlines’ disproportionate and unacceptable rate of cancellations and delays as well as the failure to properly support customers experiencing a cancellation or delay,” the department said.

Southwest declined to comment late on Monday on the USDOT statement but pointed to a statement it issued earlier offering “heartfelt apologies” and said, “with consecutive days of extreme winter weather across our network behind us, continuing challenges are impacting our customers and employees in a significant way that is unacceptable.” According to Reuters.com.

Winter blizzards hit the U.S. significantly hard this Christmas weekend from coast to coast and especially in West New York, Erie county, and Buffalo city. They each got a historical century winter storm that left dozens of people dead in the freezing cold. Kathy Hochul, the governor of NY stated at the news conference, to not travel to west NY, as it is like a warzone. The Governor of NY has issued a state of emergency.

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Sam Bankman-Fried released on $250 million Bail

The FTX founder, Sam Bankman-Fried (30) was released on Thursday with $250 million bail. He awaits trials for eight federal criminal charges related to alleged fraud which led to his crypto companies collapsing. He is under house arrest, and he will stay with his parents in California. Bankman-Fried was extradited from the Bahamas to Westchester County in New York on Wednesday night.
Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang, the two top executives of FTX pleaded guilty Wednesday related to fraud at FTX. Bankman-Fried’s lawyer and prosecutors agreed to issue the $250 million bond. On January 3, he will face his next hearing, enter his plea, and be arraigned.
Until his crypto empire collapsed, He was one of the billionaires in the world. He filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for FTX and Alameda Research. His net worth went up to $26 billion and his net worth was $ 10.5 billion.
On November 11, 2022, Bankman-Fried was considered as having no material wealth, According to Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Bankman-Fried donated to the political campaigns. On December 12, 2022, Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas and extradited to the United States on December 21, 2022. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York charged against Bankman-Fried, with wire fraud, commodities fraud, securities fraud, money laundering, and campaign finance law violations. Bankman-Fried faces up to 115 years in prison if he is convicted on all eight counts.
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