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Flight attendant leaves her cocaine and Guccis behind

 
Published March 23, 2016

Los Angeles

Flight attendant leaves her cocaine and Guccis behind

A flight attendant allegedly left behind a few precious valuables after an unceremonious departure from Los Angeles International Airport last Friday night. Airline crew members are not generally searched, but Transportation Security Administration officers pulled aside one flight attendant that evening for a random screening. Authorities said Monday that the flight attendant was taken to a secondary screening room. The woman, who has not been identified, appeared nervous, officers told NBC. After being asked for work identification, she grabbed her bags and bolted. The luggage was apparently weighing her down, however, as she quickly dropped it along with her Gucci heels and proceeded to run barefoot down an up escalator. The root of her angst was revealed shortly afterward, as police found 69 pounds of cocaine in the abandoned bag. The flight attendant is reported to work for JetBlue Airways. The company has not commented. "With her bringing this amount of narcotics in the airport, chances are this wasn't her first time through," said Marshall McClain, head of the LAX police officers union. The union said in a statement that all airport employees should be screened. The woman faces felony drug charges, Special Agent Timothy Massino of the Drug Enforcement Administration said. She remains at large.

Washington

U.S. says airstrike kills militants in Yemen

In one of the largest U.S. airstrikes in Yemen in some time, "dozens" of al-Qaida fighters were killed when American aircraft struck an al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula training camp Tuesday morning, the Pentagon said. Press secretary Peter Cook said that more than 70 fighters were using a training camp located in the mountains when it was struck. The strike used both manned and unmanned aircraft, according to Chris Sherwood, a Pentagon spokesman. "We continue to assess the results of the operation, but our initial assessment is that dozens of … fighters have been removed from the battlefield," Cook said in a statement. The Pentagon's justification for the strike was that it hindered al-Qaida's ability to use the base to launch attacks against "U.S. persons." Cook has used similar language in past months to describe recent strikes in Northern Africa and the Middle East that have also targeted terrorist training camps.

Washington

Court sympathetic to Puerto Rico debt case

Four liberal justices on a short-handed Supreme Court seemed sympathetic Tuesday to arguments that Puerto Rico officials should be allowed to restructure the debt of the island's financially struggling public utilities. Some of those justices expressed early doubts about Puerto Rico's position as arguments in the case began. But by the end of the one-hour session, they appeared open to the idea that federal bankruptcy law does not prevent the island from passing its own measure offering debt relief to local municipalities. The issue has roiled the island, which is going through the most severe economic crisis in its history. It is mired in a decade-long recession and its governor announced last year that it cannot pay $72 billion in public debt. The case was argued before only seven justices, and the court's four liberals could control the outcome. Justice Antonin Scalia died in February and Justice Samuel Alito recused himself. Alito owns shares in a tax-free fund that invests in Puerto Rican bonds and is involved in the case. At issue is how the court should interpret a 1984 amendment to the nation's federal bankruptcy laws. While states are allowed to let their cities and utilities seek bankruptcy relief, federal law specifically excludes Puerto Rico, a territory, from doing so.

Quick take:

Myanmar: Myanmar's president-elect on Tuesday proposed an 18-member Cabinet that will include party leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the former dissident who campaigned for decades to replace the military junta with a democratically elected government.

Times wires