Midday Roundup: Flights still sluggish after sabotage in Chicago

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 9/29/14, 11:48 am

Air traffic jam. Flights in and out of Chicago are still being cancelled or delayed after a worker set fire to an air-traffic control center there on Friday. The contract employee started the fire and then attempted to commit suicide. More than 2,000 flights were canceled that day at O’Hare and Midway international airports, disrupting travel nationwide. The Federal Aviation Administration estimates it will take two weeks to get the center fully functioning again. About 300 flights were canceled today at O’Hare, and Midway was experiencing delays of about 40 minutes.

Hindsight. In an interview that aired Sunday night on 60 Minutes, President Barack Obama said the United States underestimated the threat of terror groups inside Syria during the country’s civil war. Those groups include ISIS, which gained enough strength to take over large parts of Syria and Iraq. U.S. officials also overestimated the ability of the Iraqi military to defend its territory, Obama said. He also said the American-led air campaign in Syria helps dictator Bashar al-Assad, a man the UN has accused of war crimes. But Obama said he had no choice but to order U.S. air strikes on al-Assad’s enemies, including ISIS and the Khorasan Group because, “those folks could kill Americans.”

Still troubled. Bouts of unrest continue to spring up in Ferguson, Mo., over the shooting death of Michael Brown. On Friday afternoon, police cleared an encampment of protesters from the parking lot of a closed-down restaurant. The group had been staying there since the onset of protests, and the property owner wanted them to leave. Meanwhile, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported the U.S. Department of Justice encouraged Ferguson police officers to always wear their name tags and to stop wearing bracelets that say “I am Darren Wilson” while on duty.  Wilson is the officer who shot Brown. “These bracelets reinforce the very ‘us versus them’ mentality that many residents of Ferguson believe exists,” said a letter from the Justice Department to the police. Meanwhile, police are searching for a man who shot and wounded a Ferguson police officer Saturday night. The suspect was not part of any protests. 

Water woes. A judge in Detroit ruled against low-income residents who want to stop the city from turning off their water when they don’t pay their bills. Detroit recently implemented a strategy to put delinquent customers on two-year payment plans, starting with a 10 percent down payment. About 30,000 customers now are enrolled. The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department has cut water service to about 19,000 homes in recent months, the Detroit Free Press reported. Customers appealed to the judge overseeing the city’s bankruptcy case to stop the shutoffs while they worked out an affordability plan with the city, but the judge said the matter was outside his jurisdiction.

Parental guidance. To curb negative parent behavior at youth sports events, a league in southern Ohio practiced “silent soccer” this past weekend. Parents at games of the Thunder United Metro Football Club could clap or hold signs, but were not to whistle, yell, or make other noise. The silent sideline movement is catching on in leagues around the country that increasingly have to deal with belligerent and verbally abusive parents. While some parents complained about how hard it was to stay quiet at a sporting event, the players said they loved it. “I could hear and communicate with my teammates and not have parents tell them what to do,” 11-year-old Drew Forte told the Cincinnati Enquirer

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital’s managing editor and reports on popular and fine arts. She lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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