FROM Robert Ditchey
Turbulent Times for America's Airlines Since deregulation, America's airlines have expanded by a factor of ten and there has not been a major crash since 2001. But the recent grounding of thousands of flights, which stranded hundreds of thousands of passengers, and evidence that the Federal Aviation Administration is too cozy with the companies it regulates have raised concerns about safety. Whistle-blowing FAA inspectors told Congress that Southwest Airlines had been allowed to skip inspections for fuselage cracks for as long as nine months. Southwest was fined $10 million, and the FAA began an "industry-wide audit." Meantime, smaller airlines have gone under or filed for bankruptcy, and big ones are talking about mergers. Is the agency trying to reassert itself and reassure the flying public that all is well? Were passengers really at risk? With airlines folding, going bankrupt and looking at mergers, are the industry and its passengers in for a troubled future?
JetBlue Fighting the Valentine's Day Blues Jet Blue was an American success story, until a massive storm hit the East Coast on Valentine's Day. Most airlines cancelled flights, but JetBlue took a gamble , which left passengers trapped for hours on planes iced-in at airports. At other airports, security forces had to be called to deal with passengers outraged at an airliner that's been tops in service and customer satisfaction since its founding in 1999. Full operations should be resumed by Wednesday, but the founder-CEO says he's "humiliated and mortified." Former airline executive, Robert Ditchey, says the public shares part of the blame.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.