Saturday, February 07, 2004

Is there something about pressurized jet-cabin air that turns some people into self-important, self-righteous jerks who can’t tolerate difference of opinion?

The second American in a month was arrested while entering Brazil for making an obscene gesture while being photographed by an immigration official, police said on Saturday.

Federal police in Foz do Iguacu on Brazil's border with Argentina and Paraguay said retired U.S. banker Douglas Allan Skolnick, 56, was jailed overnight for flipping his middle finger in a photo now required to be taken of all U.S. tourists entering Brazil.

Brazil began fingerprinting and photographing Americans entering the country in January after the U.S. government imposed a similar process on foreigners, except for those from 27 mostly European countries....


An American Airlines pilot flying passengers to New York asked Christians on board to identify themselves and suggested the non-Christians discuss the faith with them, a spokesman for the Fort Worth-based airline said today.

Flight 34 was headed from Los Angeles to John F. Kennedy Airport on Friday afternoon, said spokesman Tim Wagner. The pilot, whose identity was not released, had been making flight announcements and then asked that the Christians on board raise their hands, Wagner said.

The pilot told the airline that he then suggested the other passengers use the flight time to talk to the identified Christians about their faith, Wagner said.

The pilot later told passengers he would be available at the end of the flight to talk about his first announcement.

Wagner said the airline was investigating the incident, and that the company had guidelines about appropriate behavior. He said the pilot had just returned to work from a weeklong mission trip to Costa Rica.

"It falls along the lines of a personal level of sharing that may not be appropriate for one of our employees to do while on the job," Wagner said.