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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.

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Iran warns OPEC against raising oil output

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OPEC

Tehran, July 17 Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said Monday that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) would suffer if its members do not adhere to their commitment regarding the oil output.

The decision made at the 174th OPEC Conference did not grant the member states the right to exceed their production level above the allocated quota, or the right to redistribute the production cut quota among the members, said Zanganeh in a letter to OPEC President Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, Xinhua reported.

However, according to the OPEC’s latest monthly report, some member countries’ production level in June 2018 was far above the agreed production level allocated to them, Zanganeh said.

This is a violation of their commitment, he said, adding that “we are concerned that this violation may continue in the remaining months and in contradiction with the agreement adopted at the OPEC conference.”

The US State Department announced in June that the United States had been pushing its allies to stop oil imports from Iran by November 4.

US President Donald Trump asked Saudi Arabia to increase its oil exports to compensate for the shortage in the market demand in case Iran’s crude exports drop.

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Lava bomb hits Hawaii tour boat, 23 injured

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Lava Bomb Kilauea volcano
Kilauea is one of the world's most active volcanos and one of five on the island.

Honolulu, July 17: At least 23 people were injured when a lava bomb hit a tour boat in Hawaii, according to fire officials.

The lava bomb or a flying chunk of molten rock, punctured the boat’s roof on Monday after which it returned to Wailoa Harbour, CNN quoted the Hawaii County Fire Department as saying.

Of the injured, one woman in her 20s was in serious condition with a fractured femur.

It was unclear exactly where or when the incident occurred. But from where lava from the Kilauea volcano is hitting the ocean to the harbour is about an hour’s boat ride, depending on waves.

Kilauea erupted in early May, sending a smouldering flow of lava into residential areas on the Big Island.

Kilauea was still erupting lava as of Sunday, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).

Meanwhile, the lava has also created a tiny new island off the coast of Hawaii.

The island is part of the lava flow that extends underwater away from the coastline, according to the USGS.

If the lava flow stays active, the island will probably connect to the coastline. If not, it might erode away because of wave action.

The agency said the island is just a few metres offshore, and about 20 to 30 feet in diameter.

IANS

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US challenges five WTO members for imposing retaliatory trade tariffs

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US-President-Trump

Washington, July 17: The US on Monday launched a dispute at the World Trade Organization (WTO) challenging five WTO member countries for applying trade tariffs in retaliation for US President Trump’s recent actions on the aluminum and steel trade.

According to a US Department of Commerce statement, the US has launched separate disputes at the WTO against China, the European Union, Canada, Mexico and Turkey, challenging the alleged “illegal” tariffs each of these WTO members imposed in response to President Trump’s actions on trade in aluminum and steel in order to protect US “national security” interests, Efe reported.

“The actions taken by the President are wholly legitimate and fully justified as a matter of US law and international trade rules,” said the statement quoting US secretary of Commerce, Robert Lighthizer.

In recent months, Donald Trump has increased tensions among traditional US partners and allied trading blocs such as the EU, Canada, and Mexico, with a focus on trade issues.

Last June, the US administration decided to terminate its steel and aluminum tariff waivers on imports from the EU, Canada, and Mexico. Said action was responded with similar retaliatory moves by these WTO members.

Washington’s move on Monday coincided with another formal challenge issued hours before by Beijing against the US, after President Trump decided to impose, earlier this year, $ 200 Billion in additional tariffs on a list of Chinese products.

These new US trade tariffs will be more comprehensive than those already in effect, to the tune of $ 34 Billion, that drove China to issue on July 6 a WTO complaint.

“The US will take all necessary actions to protect our interests, and we urge our trading partners to work constructively with us on the problems created by massive and persistent excess capacity in the steel and aluminum sectors,” US Secretary of Commerce Lighthizer concluded.

IANS

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