United has to be relieved - this time it's not them. An American Airlines flight attendant has been suspended after allegedly hitting a woman with her stroller and - according to witnesses - barely missing her two children. A Facebook video shows the second half of the incident on a flight Friday from San Francisco to Dallas. A woman holding a child is crying when a male passenger can be heard saying he's "not going to sit here and watch this." He confronts a male flight attendant, telling him, "You try that with me and I'll knock you flat." The flight attendant then goads the passenger with "hit me" and "bring it on." The video appears to show a female passenger also confronting the flight staff. An American Airlines spokesperson said the incident started over a dispute about whether or not the woman could bring her stroller on the flight. Witnesses say the woman, who had two young children with her, was looking for room to store the foldable stroller when a flight attendant told her she had to check it. Security was requested when she refused to hand over the stroller, and the male flight attendant "violently" took it from her, hitting her in the head and nearly striking her children. The flight attendant has been suspended, and American Airlines says it's investigating. The company says it's "deeply sorry" for the incident. The woman and her family, who were traveling internationally, were upgraded to first class for the rest of their trip. (Jalopnik)
National Treasure Part III?
An amazing find by Harvard researchers has brought the number of known parchment copies of the Declaration of Independence to two: One in DC's National Archives, and one in a tiny records office in the place the US declared independence from. Researchers Emily Sneff and Danielle Allen believe the copy they uncovered in the archives of the town of Chichester, England, once belonged to Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond, known as the "radical Duke" for his support of the American colonists. They made the find after spotting a catalog entry online while doing research for the Declaration Resources Project, which is collecting data on different versions. Allen and Sneff believe the parchment was commissioned in the 1780s by James Wilson, a Pennsylvania lawyer known as a strong nationalist. Allen tells the Harvard Gazette that the copy is unlike any others they have found because it scrambles the order of the signatories instead of grouping them by state. "This is really a symbolic way of saying we are all one people, or 'one community,' to quote James Wilson," she says. (Boston Globe)
Oops...Said the Air Marshal
Oops. Looks like a federal air marshal made a huge boo-boo when she left her gun in the bathroom of a Delta flight from England to New York. It was later discovered by a passenger who fortunately handed it over to the flight crew. Gets worse because the bone-headed air marshal failed to report the incident to her superiors for a number of days and apparently wasn't disciplined when she finally got around to it. The incident could be used as further fuel for critics of the air marshal program, which costs nearly $1 billion per year, covers less than 1% of domestic flights, and has apparently not prevented any acts of terrorism. (CNN)
Come On Down to the Liposuction Barn!
Michigan authorities say a doctor may have endangered patients and the public by performing liposuctions in a barn in the town of Glenn. Allegan County Health Officer Angelique Joynes warned people Friday to seek immediate medical care if they had surgery at the site and show any signs of infection such as fever, redness, and swelling. The health department says the building doesn't have a certificate of occupancy and isn't approved "for any business activities." The Sheriff's Department also expressed concern that the doctor may not have followed appropriate biohazard standards. (Newser)
More Reasons to Run from Diet Soda
Diet soda might help with the waistline, but a new study suggests it's bad for the brain. Researchers in Massachusetts found that those who drank at least one artificially sweetened beverage per day were about three times as likely to experience a stroke or dementia compared to those who did so less than once a week. Specifically, daily diet soda drinkers were 2.96 times more likely to experience an ischaemic stroke and 2.89 times more likely to develop Alzheimer's. The study was published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke. The researchers write: "To our knowledge, our study is the first to report an association between daily intake of artificially sweetened soft drink and increased risk of both all-cause dementia and dementia because of Alzheimer's disease." They emphasized that they found just an association, not a causal link, and say more research is necessary to expound on the results. (Guardian)
Plane Crashes at Airport. No One Notices. What?
How does this happen? A family aboard a 1948 Cessna 170 attempted a takeoff from Florida's Williston Municipal Airport around 3pm Saturday. Instead, they crashed 150 feet before a tree line at the taxiway's north side - and nobody noticed! Even though some 20 to 30 planes took off from the airport later Saturday - and nearby pilots should have registered the signals from the plane's emergency locator transmitter - the crash was only reported to police some 22 hours later. Once they finally arrived at the scene, authorities found Nathan Enders, 37, of Williamson, Ga.; his wife Laura, 42; and their two young sons, Jaden, 7; and Eli, 5. All four were dead. A GoFundMe page has been set up to provide for funeral expenses and a scholarship fund for a surviving son who was not on the plane. Williston's deputy chief of police said, "For all that traffic, no one thought to call us. This is really a huge complacency issue." Nathan's sister expressed her heartache on Facebook: "It is so awful still, thinking of ... what was going through their minds, if they knew what was happening or felt any pain as they sat there [upside down] waiting ... to be found." (Gainesville Sun)
What the What?
Meanwhile over in Shanghai, after encountering a police checkpoint late, one drunk driver came up with a creative way of getting out of failing a breathalyzer test. Less than 100 meters away from the checkpoint, the man fled his black Mercedes and began stumbling up a roadside hill, before slipping and tumbling back down. It was there that police caught up with him. Noticing that he reeked of alcohol, they asked him to take a breathalyzer test, despite the fact that he kept insisting: "I wasn't drinking! I wasn't driving!" He then suddenly started eating grass by the handful. Officers tried to get him to stop but he just kept going. Well, the stunt did save him from taking a breathalyzer test but it did not save him from being taken back to the police station where a blood test found that his blood alcohol content was 0.156, far over the legal limit. (Shanghaiist)