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Belligerent Man In A Trump Hat Was Kicked Off A Flight As A Crowd Chanted: ‘Lock Him Up!’

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Out-of-control man in red Trump hat filmed being kicked off United Airlines flight in Shanghai

Like some bizarre parody of a Trump rally, a belligerent man in a “Make America Great Again” hat was booted off a plane in Shanghai Sunday – defiantly waving as a crowd of passengers jeered in the terminal: “Lock him up! Lock him up!”

It’s unclear whether Chinese police did jail the man or who he was. As others on the United Airlines flight described it, he started arguing before he stepped onto the plane.

“Obviously, the hat provoked some of the stuff,” said Alexis Zimmerman, who was flying back to Newark from a business trip.

The man took an aisle seat three rows in front of her. She said he refused to let anyone sit beside him.

“He wanted to sit in the whole row by himself,” Zimmerman said.

Her video shows him leaning back in his seat – hands folded behind his red hat, feet propped on someone else’s arm rest – while a woman in crutches and many others stand in the aisle, snap photos and glare.

“This young lady’s not going to make it to her classes tomorrow and her tests she has to take, thanks to you,” a woman told the man. “Are you proud of yourself?”

“Guess what,” he replied. “In 45 minutes I’m going to collapse for not drinking my soda.”

The man said he was a diabetic, Zimmerman said. But at one point, passengers said, he also dared the flight crew to cuff him and drag him off the plane – reminding other passengers of last month’s infamous deplaning, amid a barrage of in-plane horror stories that have plagued United and the rest of the airline industry in recent years.

But the United crew in Shanghai remained polite and patient throughout Sunday’s ordeal, said Clark Gredoña, another passenger.

“He was trying to explain to the crew and captain . . . because he had points, he felt he deserved an upgrade,” he said. “So this was his way of getting it.”

But he got no upgrade. And before long, as seen in video, the man was waving his arms and shouting: “I have a seat here! . . . Shut up! . . . Moron!”

This went on for the better part of an hour, passengers Gredoña and Zimmerman said. And somehow in all of it, U.S. politics came up.

“I know people don’t like my hat,” Zimmerman heard the man say.

“He berated a female passenger,” Gredoña said. “I think he called her Hillary. Then he called her a lesbian. I think he called a stewardess ‘sweetheart.’ ”
The man became “increasingly disruptive when asked to deplane,” a United spokesman said in a brief statement. “Local law enforcement was called to assist.”

Police had no more luck persuading him than anyone else. So Zimmerman, Gredoña and every other passenger had to return to the terminal and wait for the officers to remove him from the plane.

Zimmerman said that took another two hours. Gredoña, who was partway home from a trip to the Philippines, had by then lost track of time.

He only knows a lot of it passed before the man finally emerged from the plane, escorted by police.

That’s when the whole incident took on a very electoral vibe. Cellphone video shows the man, still in his Trump hat, ascending an escalator – waving what appears to be a seat cushion at dozens of angry onlookers.

Gredoña thinks the chanting started after the man taunted the crowd: “So I succeeded in making you guys waste three-and-a-half hours.”

People then shouted words unprintable.

And one shouted: “Lock him up!”

Then another, and another. “Lock him up, lock him up” – until a Chinese airport terminal sounded much like a latter-day Trump rally, when he and his crowds threatened his presidential campaign opponent, Hillary Clinton, with prison.

“I was one of those chanters,” Zimmerman said. “I didn’t start it. But oh my God, it was so funny, I couldn’t help myself.”

The man remained defiant until the end – jeered in multiple languages, surrounded by police, he finally walked down the concourse and out of sight to an unknown fate.

The plane would take off for the United States that evening, stopping for another delay in San Francisco so new crew could board, but eventually making it to Newark.

In the long and uneventful hours of the journey, passengers wondered who the man was – if he’d ended up in a Chinese jail, or if he’d been trying to provoke something with his political hat and escalating insults.

America

Six shot in Florida, suspect on run

All six victims were adults, Xinhua news agency quoted deputies as saying.

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shooting in Jacksonville, Florida
Picture Credit : @abc3340

Washington, Oct 22 : Six people were shot, leaving three of them in critical condition, in Jacksonville in the US state of Florida, police said Sunday.

All six victims were adults, Xinhua news agency quoted deputies as saying.

Local reports said the incident took place blocks away from where Jacksonville Jaguars were playing against Houston Texans at TIAA Bank Field, the Jaguars stadium.

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Saudi Arabia to hit back if US imposes sanctions

“The kingdom also affirms that if it receives any action, it will respond with greater action,” the report added.

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Donald Trump Saudi Prince

Riyadh, Oct 14 : Saudi Arabia threatened on Sunday to hit back if the US were to impose sanctions on Riyadh in the wake of the disappearance of a Saudi journalist, according to the state-run SPA news agency.

US President Donald Trump had warned on Saturday that his administration could severely punish Saudi Arabia, a key US ally, if the kingdom was found responsible for the disappearance and possible murder of Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, reports Efe news.

“The kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it whether by threatening to impose economic sanctions, using political pressures or repeating false accusations,” the report by SPA said, citing an unnamed official source.

“The kingdom also affirms that if it receives any action, it will respond with greater action,” the report added.

Earlier on Sunday, the Saudi stock market plunged nearly seven percent amid fears of imminent US sanctions.

Before Saturday’s comments, Trump had been reluctant to criticize Saudi Arabia and had said on Thursday that he was against cancelling the $110 billion US-Saudi arms deal over the journalist’s disappearance.

The possible murder of Khashoggi, a US permanent resident in self-imposed exile who had written critically against the Saudi monarchy, has generated a far stronger international backlash against the kingdom than the ongoing Saudi-led war in Yemen, which has caused widespread famine in the already impoverished Arab country.

IANS

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Sugar mills worry over surplus, talk of ‘industry collapse’

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sugarcane

New Delhi, Oct 14 : With the availability of sugar set to reach an unprecedented level of 44 million tonnes thanks to huge unconsumed stock from last year and expected higher production this year, an imminent threat of “industry collapse” is being talked about. This has pushed mills to consider producing globally-accepted high-quality refined sugar as the most promising way to dispose off the surplus.

The decision of Brazil, the world’s largest sugar producer, to lower production this year has given Indian industry an opportunity to fill the space. However, it will have to live up to global expectations, the National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories (NFCSF) has said.

It said the mills are planning to boost their exports by improving quality of sugar to 45 ICUMSA grade, a high quality refined grade and considered one of the highest purity levels globally.

“Currently, we produce sugar whose grade is between 100-150 ICUMSA. Till now, the domestic consumption offset the domestic output. So Indian sugar mills never bothered about producing high refined quality sugar as per the global standards,” NFCSF Managing Director Prakash Naiknavare told IANS.

ICUMSA is a global body and its rating is an international unit for expressing the purity of the sugar, which is directly related to the colour of the sweetener.

Brazil has decided to cut down sugar production by earmarking more cane for manufacturing ethanol, so India finds a space where the domestic surplus can be accommodated.

“To achieve it, we will have to produce sugar of 45 ICUMSA grade. It will take minimal efforts and capital to upgrade the existing machinery,” Naiknavare said.

India has a surplus (opening stock) of 10.5 million tonnes from the last season and it is expected to produce around 33.5 million tonnes of the sweetener in 2018-19 starting October.

So the total availability of sugar this year will be around 44 million tonnes against the expected domestic consumption of 26 million tonnes, thus putting a “burden” on the mills to clear huge sugar stocks in the backdrop of depressed retail prices — around Rs 37 per kg in the national capital compared to around Rs 40-43 a year ago.

As the sugar output in Brazil is to go down by almost 10 million tonnes, India is set to become the largest sugar producer in the world this year.

Naiknavare said it was “a god-sent” gift, which had provided India “with an opportunity to make perception that India can be a great destination” for high-quality refined sugar.

As per the initial estimates of the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), which represents private sugar mills in the country, India is set to produce around 35 million tonnes in the 2018-19 season starting October against 32.25 million tonnes in the previous year.

The NFCSF, however, said that the 2018-19 production figures would be around 33.5 million tonnes owing to the infection of white grub in Maharashtra and Karnataka, which damages roots leading to the death of cane.

The government can store three million tonnes. It will also help mills to export five million tonnes under the Minimum Indicative Export Quota (MIEQ) by compensating expenses towards internal transport, freight handling and other charges.

“The government’s assistance and incentives have been helpful to the industry. Even if we take all these into account, including 26 million tonnes of domestic consumption, there will be surplus of 10 million tonnes. If it is not disposed, the industry will collapse,” said Naiknavare, adding all stakeholders, including the ISMA, had started brainstorming on how to dispose the surplus.

The government, while announcing a bail-out package for the industry in June this year, had fixed minimum selling price (MSP) at the mill gate of Rs 2,900 per tonnes to ensure that retail prices do not fall further.

The average price sugar received at global market in last 15 days is roughly Rs 2,200- 2,400 per tonne.

However, the prices have been on the increase from last few days — 10.97 cents per pound on September 28 to 13.11 cents per pound on October 9 according to the International Sugar Organisation — a trend the Indian sugar industry finds positive.

Acting on the industry’s request, the central government had given a subsidy of Rs 55 per tonne of sugarcane to help mills to clear cane farmers’ arrears.

(Saurabh Katkurwar can be contacted at [email protected])

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