Good dog, bad dog … Delta wants to know before you board

Delta Air Lines will soon require owners of service and support animals to provide more information before their animal can fly in the passenger cabin, including an assurance that it’s trained to behave itself.

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The airline says complaints about animals biting or soiling plane cabins have nearly doubled since 2016.

Starting March 1, Delta will require owners to show proof of their animal’s health or vaccinations at least 48 hours before a flight.

Owners of psychiatric service animals and so-called emotional-support animals will need to sign a statement vouching that their animal can behave. But owners will be on the honor system — they won’t have to show, for example, that their dog graduated from obedience school.

The new requirements don’t apply to pets that stay in under-seat kennels during flights.

Delta’s policy change arrives with the number of animals in the cabin increasing.

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John Laughter, the airline’s senior vice president of safety and security, said there are insufficient rules in place to screen animals for health and behavior issues. He said Delta sought a balance “that supports those customers with a legitimate need for these animals” while maintaining safety.

Delta’s new rules are aimed at two categories: service animals, which receive specific training to help blind or disabled passengers; and so-called emotional-support animals, which require no training at all. Both fly for free and are not required to be caged during the flight.

The emotional-support group has been growing rapidly, and it is the target of most of the new Delta procedures. Last June, a 70-pound dog flying as a support animal bit another passenger several times in the face on a Delta plane in Atlanta. The victim was hospitalized.

Federal regulators have interpreted a 1986 access-to-travel law to allow support animals in airplane cabins and in apartment buildings that do not allow pets. That has created a cottage industry of online companies that help people establish their pet as an emotional support animal. The classification spares the owner hefty airline charges.

Airlines must allow support animals in the cabin, although they can require owners to present a letter from a doctor or other medical provider who can vouch that the human traveler is helped by having the animal there. Delta will now ask to see those letters 48 hours in advance.

Delta, the second-biggest U.S. airline by revenue, said it transports about 700 service and support animals every day, nearly 250,000 per year. More than two-thirds are emotional-support animals. That does not include animals for which owners pay a fee to keep in a carrier under their seat during flights.

Although exact figures aren’t available, airline employees say dogs and cats are the most common animals on planes, but there have been sightings of pigs, snakes and turkeys too.

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David Koenig can be reached at http://twitter.com/airlinewriter

Stocks rise despite looming US government closure

Stock markets rose Friday as investors looked past the threat of a U.S. federal government shutdown and focused on a strong underlying economy. The price of oil fell on a report saying U.S. production is set to rise further above 50-year highs.

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KEEPING SCORE: Germany’s DAX was up 1.1 percent to 13,424 and France’s CAC 40 rose 0.5 percent to 5,521. Britain’s FTSE 100 gained a more modest 0.3 percent to 7,720 after data showed retail sales fell sharply in the holiday spending month of December. Wall Street was poised to open higher: Dow futures added 0.3 percent and the broader SP 500’s futures edged up 0.2 percent.

SHUTDOWN: U.S. House lawmakers voted for a stopgap funding bill to keep agency doors open and federal workers at their jobs until mid-February, but Senate Democrats and some Republicans were expected to block it on Friday. A shutdown could hurt consumer spending and rattle markets, though it’s unlikely to cause widespread economic damage, Credit Suisse economists said in a note on Thursday.

TRADER TALK: Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trading at OANDA, said that some investors maybe cautious about the U.S. shutdown “but in the bigger scheme of things this case of hiccups is likely to pass as quickly as it arrived.”

GLOBAL OUTLOOK: Mostly, investors are driving stock indexes higher — many to record highs — on optimism over the global outlook and corporate earnings. Next week brings a raft of economic data along with meetings by the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank.

ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 edged 0.2 percent higher to 23,808.06 and South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.2 percent to 2,520.26. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ended 0.4 percent higher at 32,254.89 while the Shanghai Composite in mainland China added 0.4 percent to 3,487.86. Australia’s SP/ASX 200 dipped 0.2 percent to 6,005.80. Shares were mixed in Southeast Asia and Taiwan’s benchmark rose.

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ENERGY: Oil futures retreated after the International Energy Agency said U.S. oil production would rise strongly this year. Benchmark U.S. crude lost 67 cents to $63.28 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, sank 73 cents to $68.58 a barrel.

CURRENCIES: The dollar weakened to 110.54 yen from 111.07 yen in late trading Thursday. The euro strengthened to $1.2262 from $1.2237.

Amazon effect steamrolling the restaurant industry

Retailers are in the throes of adapting to a shopping environment completely revolutionized by e-commerce giant Amazon (AMZN), but restaurants are now facing the same challenge thanks to what has become known as the “Amazon effect.”

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Delivery apps, including Amazon Restaurants, Uber Eats and Grubhub (GRUB) are transforming the dining experience for consumers, and participation isn’t usually a choice for those restaurants hoping to survive.

“You have to be where the eyeballs are,” Peter Riggs, president and CEO of quick-service restaurant franchise Pita Pit, told FOX Business. “You have to be where the customers are looking for you.”

Consumer partialities toward delivery are only expected to strengthen throughout the years to come. A Cowen analyst predicts delivery will grow to $76 billion by 2022, up from $43 billion in 2017. That breaks down to a 12% annual increase.

While engaging third-party delivery services can increase brand awareness for some restaurants, it often carries some negative financial consequences at a time when the hospitality industry is battling existing obstacles.

“Big tech companies are making a lot of money off of our back,” Willie Degel, founder and CEO of Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse and host of “Restaurant Stakeout,” told FOX Business. “[They’re] taking, from some restaurants, 30% off the top.”

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Mike Wior, co-founder and CEO of Omnivore, reiterated the 30% figure, saying “that’s a big, big margin for this industry. It’s very difficult for many restaurants … to survive that kind of margin hit.”

Another new cost, according to Degel, essentially stems from extortion by tech companies for advertising placement. Big companies such as Grubhub have a stronghold in major metropolitan markets, forming what Degel referred to as a monopolies.

“They basically tell you ‘if you want to come up on our search engine more, [pay more]’ … [they’re] jacking up your fees and holding people hostage,” he said.

Restaurants are also losing money in the form of tips, Wior noted. Instead of servers receiving gratuities from meals, mobile ordering passes that cash off to the third party.

These technologically-driven changes come at a time when restaurants are also struggling to keep pace with rising labor costs. As previously reported by FOX Business, 18 states lifted their minimum wage at the start of January, with three more expected to do the same throughout the course of this year.

More on this…

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But in an age where consumer convenience is becoming a top priority, a trend promulgated by America’s largest generation – the millennials, restaurateurs know they need to find a way to make it work.

“The reality is it’s our responsibility to be there for the guest,” Riggs said. “It’s not about just what we want to do … it may be more difficult and there may be some unusual costs associated with doing business with some of these third parties [but] … we have to participate.”

And it may not necessarily be all doom and gloom for restaurants. Wior sees tremendous opportunity for the industry to leverage what made Amazon so successful and apply it themselves. That would likely result in a more individualized dining experience, where consumer tastes and preferences are known and accounted for.

Riggs, for one, is already concentrating on the need to cater to the customer and her rapidly changing preferences.

“Imagine if somebody like Amazon had said we’re only going to focus on grocery delivery … Amazon wouldn’t be the behemoth that it is,” he said. “[Pita Pit wants] to be flexible enough to say ‘hey, if your preferences change, we want to change with you.’”

Just like in retail, however, some restaurants have not been able to change with the times. Last year a number of restaurant chains made the difficult decision to close locations, including Bloomin’ Brands (BLMN), the parent company of Outback Steakhouse and Carrabba’s Italian Grill, which closed 43 restaurants; Howard Johnson’s, which closed for good; and Pollo Tropical, which shuttered 30 stores.

Members of far-right Storm Alliance attend Trudeau’s town hall in Quebec City

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau swung into Quebec City for the second leg of his cross-country town hall tour Thursday, fielding questions on the state of Canada’s immigration system and how to combat racism as members of a far-right group looked on.

In the crowd at École secondaire De Rochebelle were about 10 members of the Storm Alliance — a group that identifies as “ultranationalist” but which claims to eschew ties to far-right white nationalists.

Members of the group have staged a series of protests across Quebec in recent months against the Liberal government’s immigration policies, raising concerns about an influx of Muslims.

Members of far-right Storm Alliance gathered at the meeting. Pictured, taking the selfie, is the group’s leader, Dave Tregget. (CBC)

Storm Alliance, and other far-right groups, have said the federal government is too tolerant of the cultural practices of minorities and that they consider multiculturalism to be “collective suicide.”

Roughly seven members of the RCMP stood between the Storm Alliance, who positioned themselves at the back of the room, and other members of the audience who sat around the prime minister.

Dave Tregget, the group’s leader, was seen snapping a selfie before the event began. The group wore black hoodies with the initials “SA” on their chests and matching toques. The group watched the town hall peacefully as Trudeau studiously avoided picking them for a question.

Trudeau was briefly interrupted by a heckler — the same man who had also disrupted, and was removed from, his town hall in London, Ont. last week. He unfurled a Canadian flag that was defaced with Nazi symbolism and the words “evil empire” and “fig leaf.”

The man was quickly escorted out of the room by police officers. There was no apparent connection between the disruption and Storm Alliance.

Trudeau, tongue planted firmly in cheek, said “Nice to see you again,” as the man was hauled off.

Trudeau faces off with a heckler during the meeting. The same man disrupted the prime minister’s town hall in London, Ont. last week. (CBC)

One woman in the audience, troubled by the sight of the swastika symbol, asked the prime minister what more can be done to fight racism.

Trudeau said he remembers being in the same city a year ago this month, in the wake of the Ste-Foy mosque shooting, when he saw thousands of Quebecers take to the streets to oppose such an act of hate. He said Quebecers are open and generous people.

“We must show, in a tangible way, that our country’s success is even greater if we embrace our diversity, and that’s a lesson that the world has to learn if we’re going to get through the 21st century,” he said.

Audience member Anne-Claire Charette said she was satisfied with Trudeau’s answers.

“I think people are concerned about their identity, about the security of our country. Overall I thought the answers were pretty good. There were a few different opinions, but I think the prime minister was able to juggle the different opinions and bring consensus,” she said.

But someone else in the crowd was looking for more. Juan Carlos Higuerey-Custodio told Trudeau that since his family arrived in Quebec from Venezuela, they haven’t been able to get work. He asked the prime minister what’s being done to help newcomers get hired.

“He didn’t actually answer it. He just said, ‘Oh yeah, we’re working on that. There are opportunities, you just need to wait. They’re gonna come,'” Higuerey-Custodio told CBC after the event. “I see my mom struggling, my dad struggling, my sister struggling. It’s important for me to feel supported by the prime minister, knowing that he was actually doing something at the moment to know that there’s a problem and he needs to fix it. That would give me some hope.”

Questions on constitution, Senate, Phoenix pay system

One woman asked Trudeau if he thought it was time to finally secure Quebec’s signature on the Canadian Constitution, an old sticking point in a province that rebuffed Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s overtures in 1982. She asked if it was time to put the “debate to bed” after some 35 years, and jump-start constitutional negotiations.

Trudeau, who has previously said he has no intention of holding such talks during his mandate, again rejected the suggestion.

“The political energy that would have to be deployed and the conversations to which this would lead and all of the constitutional debates that would absorb all of the political oxygen within our system for several years, from my point of view… perhaps it’s better to take that same energy and oxygen and deploy it to deal with issues that are of concern to citizens on a daily basis rather than deal with the Canadian constitution,” he said in French.

Trudeau speaks the town hall meeting. Some questions were similar to those asked at stops in English Canada. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)

Halfway through the event, the prime minister fielded a question from a Syrian refugee, who came to Canada under the Liberal government’s resettlement program. While grateful to be in his new country, the man said he strongly opposes the country’s embrace of medical-assistance in dying. Others asked about local issues, including repairs to the Pont de Quebec and layoffs at the Davie Shipyard.

Other questions were similar to those asked at stops in English Canada, including pleas for the prime minister to do more to help immigrants with foreign credentials find work in their field in Canada.

Another questioner, a public servant at Environment and Climate Change Canada, asked the prime minister to do more to help fix the disastrous Phoenix pay system that has mangled the paychques of tens of thousands of federal government workers. Trudeau said the former Conservative government was to blame for the system’s sorry state, but pledged more money to resolve the nearly two-year old problem.

The prime minister was also forced to defend his record on electoral reform. Trudeau said he couldn’t agree to a proportional representation system — one of his key campaign promises in 2015 — as he feared it would be bad the for the country, fostering small, one-issue parties on the federal scene who would wield too much power to the detriment of big tent, national parties.

‘Ottawa bubble’

Trudeau embarked on a similar tour last year in an effort to leave the “Ottawa bubble” — a nickname often assigned to the parliamentary precinct that is populated by politicians, the media, lobbyists and other stakeholder groups — and hear what concerns regular Canadians as the Liberal government readies for the last two years of its mandate.

While Liberal organizers have touted the event as a chance to talk about the economy, a friendly subject for the prime minister as Canada enjoys a booming economy with low unemployment rates not seen in a generation, questions have been wide-ranging including a number about Indigenous affairs, the $10.5 million payment to Omar Khadr, concerns about the state of Canada’s immigration system, and how best to support women in the workforce.

The events have been interrupted by hecklers, some concerned about the Khadr payment, with others worried about the passage of M-103, a non-binding motion passed by the Commons last year that condemns Islamophobia, and the return of ISIS fighters.

Trudeau made a stop in Quebec last year — in the bilingual Eastern Townships — but he answered only nine French questions. Quebec City is overwhelmingly francophone and typically returns federalist politicians; it is an area where the Liberals made major inroads in the last election to the detriment of the Conservatives and NDP. All of the questions Thursday evening were in French, and simultaneous translation was provided.

Trudeau will also make stops in Winnipeg and Edmonton later this month before parliament’s return on Jan. 29.

‘This is torture’: Ottawa elder abuse case part of rising incidence of mistreatment in long-term care homes

Diana Pepin never expected to capture abuse when she installed a camera in her mother’s room in an Ottawa long-term care home. She wanted to keep an eye on her mother and, as a former nurse, monitor the staff’s handling of her mother’s hygiene. Instead what she captured was these words:

“Die, die you bitch. You’ve got to die now.”

The words were spoken to Pepin’s disabled mother, Viola, 86, by the personal support worker (PSW) who had been caring for her for years. Viola cannot move or speak due to a traumatic brain injury, but Pepin says she can understand.

“My mother had to go to sleep, had to go to bed that night, be tucked in by this person … and this is her primary evening caregiver,” says Pepin. “This is torture.”

Verbal abuse captured on camera at Ottawa nursing home0:37

The City of Ottawa says the PSW involved in the incident was fired, along with two other staff members who witnessed the abuse and failed to report it.

A year-long CBC Marketplace investigation reveals this case is not isolated.

Marketplace compiled six years of data from Ontario’s long-term care facilities, including critical incidents involving abuse and neglect that each home reports to the government. The number of incidents was compared with the number of licensed beds in each home to calculate a rate of abuse.

The investigation reveals that staff-to-resident abuse increased 148 per cent from 2011 to 2016, the most recently available data.

In 2016, there were 2,198 reported incidents of staff-on-resident abuse. This means, on average, that six seniors at long-term care homes in Ontario are abused every day.

Jane Meadus, a lawyer and institutional advocate with the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly says family members come to her with abuse reports all the time.

‘Every time we’d ask for an explanation from the facility, we would be told that there was no documentation.’
– Daniel Nassrallah, lawyer

“We hear stories of people being illegally detained, of being left in bed for days, filthy conditions, cockroaches, assault,” says Meadus.

Pepin started having concerns about her mother’s care at Peter D. Clark Long-Term Care home when she noticed her mother had bed sores and her basins weren’t being cleaned.

Daniel Nassrallah is a lawyer who is now representing Pepin in her fight against her mother’s long-term care home. Nassrallah had installed a camera in the room of his own 89-year-old grandfather, Georges Karam, at the Garry J. Armstrong Home in Ottawa after he noticed bruises and lesions on his grandfather’s body.

“Every time we’d ask for an explanation from the facility, we would be told that there was no documentation, there’s no information to elaborate or to clarify or shed light on what occurred,” says Nassrallah.

“I’d had enough, the family had had enough, and we said, you know what, you need something to use as an investigative tool and potentially a deterrent to determine what’s really going on here,” he says.

The camera caught a PSW punching Karam 11 times in the face while he lay in his bed.

The City of Ottawa has developed a “continuous improvement plan” in response to their incidents last year. The plan includes abuse-prevention training, updating residents’ care plans, upgrading technology, and the launch of a third-party review of its long-term care services to provide recommendations aimed specifically at preventing incidents of abuse.

The report is expected to be presented to city council by April of this year.

This is part of Marketplace’s year-long investigation Crying Out for Care.  If you have a story you want to share, email Marketplace@cbc.ca.

California couple plead not guilty to torturing children, bail set at $12M each

The parents of 13 children and young adults have pleaded not guilty in a California court to numerous charges that they tortured and abused the siblings for years.

David and Louise Turpin were each ordered held on $12-million US bail after entering their pleas Thursday and were scheduled to return to court on Feb. 23.

Police officers found the children malnourished, undersized and with cognitive impairments after visiting the home after one of the siblings escaped and contacted law officials.

‘Severe, emotional, physical abuse. This is depraved conduct.’
– Mike Hestrin, DA

“Severe, emotional, physical abuse,” Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said in announcing charges against David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49. “This is depraved conduct.”

Prosecutors filed 12 counts of torture, seven counts of dependent adult abuse, six counts of child abuse and 12 counts of false imprisonment against the couple. David Turpin was additionally charged with one count of a lewd act on a child under age 14.

The Turpins’ children range in age from two to 29. The charges involve acts alleged to have taken place in Riverside County dating back to 2010.

The torture and false imprisonment charges do not include the two-year-old, Hestrin said.

Riverside County district attorney Mike Hestrin takes questions from the media at a news conference Thursday. He said a 29-year-old woman rescued weighed just 82 pounds. (Damian Dovarganes/Associated Press)

The district attorney said the couple chained their children as punishment.

He called it “pervasive, prolonged child abuse.”

A 17-year-old daughter who climbed out a window on Sunday and called 911 on a cellphone had plotted her escape for two years, he said. Another sibling escaped with her but turned back out of fear.

Hestrin said all the siblings were severely malnourished and as a result some have cognitive impairment and a lack of basic knowledge. He said the oldest, a 29-year-old woman, weighed 82 pounds.

The victims were not allowed to shower more than once a year, he said.

In an interview, grandparents of the children said their son’s family looked happy and healthy when they last visited California six years ago.

Parents charged with torturing their children1:57

“They were just like any ordinary family,” said Betty Turpin, the 81-year-old mother of David Turpin. “And they had such good relationships. I’m not just saying this stuff. These kids, we were amazed. They were ‘sweetie’ this and ‘sweetie’ that to each other.”

Betty Turpin and her husband, James Turpin, of Princeton, W.Va., visited her son’s family for five days at their previous home in Murrieta, Calif.

Betty Turpin told the Southern California News Group on Wednesday that they were still in shock from learning that her son and his wife were arrested.

‘They were model Christians’

Betty Turpin said her son told her he had so many kids because God wanted him to. She said her son shared her Pentecostal Christian faith but he wasn’t affiliated with a church in California.

“I feel they were model Christians,” she said. “It’s hard to believe all of this. Over the years, the Lord knows what happened.”

Media converged on the couple’s home Monday after news of the children’s rescue came to light. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

James Turpin said during their visit, “they all looked to me well-adjusted. They weren’t skinny or nothing. They were joyous to see us.”

He said they were dealing with social workers in attempting to connect with their grandkids, who are hospitalized as they recover from their years-long ordeal.

On Wednesday, authorities searched the couple’s current home in Perris, 98 kilometres southeast of Los Angeles. Investigators removed dozens of boxes, what appeared to be two safes and pieces of a bed frame.

Some siblings were shackled to furniture in the foul-smelling four-bedroom home that looked perfectly normal from the outside.

Police had no prior contact with family

The Turpins have lived in two Riverside County communities since moving to California in 2010, and police said they were never called to either home, nor were any reports fielded by child protective services.

It’s not clear what motivated the Turpins to live a secluded life with their large brood or what went on in the house.

‘The power that must have been exerted to keep an entire family like that for so long must have been pretty sophisticated.’
– Dr. Bruce Perry, psychiatrist

Psychiatrists say that even in cases of extreme deprivation, it’s common for feelings of helplessness or confusion to lead to staying in place despite opportunities to flee.

“This happens all the time. The number of individuals who would immediately respond to an opportunity where they could get away is very small compared to the number of people who would have that paralysis and insecurity and confusion about what to do,” said Dr. Bruce Perry, a psychiatrist and senior fellow at the Child Trauma Academy in Houston.

The vulnerable girl might have been shamed, beaten or threatened with violence, and only after many missed opportunities did she probably work up the courage to act, Perry said.

“It’s pretty remarkable that she’d do that,” he said. “The power that must have been exerted to keep an entire family like that for so long must have been pretty sophisticated.”

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here are some details on how

In one of several testy exchanges during a U.S. Senate hearing this week, the country’s secretary of homeland security was pressed to explain a new policy that allows customs agents to examine the cellphones of travellers at the border.

“I want to make sure I understand this. I live an hour’s drive from the Canadian border,” said Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy.

“If I go to Canada and visit some of my wife’s relatives, and I come back … they [can] say, ‘We want your laptop and your phone and your pass code.’ And I say, ‘Well, do you have any reason?’ They say, ‘We don’t need one.’ Is that correct? They can do that?”

“Welcome to America,” Leahy added sarcastically.

Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen explained some of what the new policy does and doesn’t do. Some key details:

Background: Searches of phones were skyrocketing. Border agents inspected 30,200 phones and other devices last year — an increase of nearly 60 per cent from 2016. U.S. officials say it remains a minuscule percentage of overall travellers — 0.007 per cent, or roughly one per 13,000. The Department of Homeland Security says it’s necessary to combat crimes like terrorism and child pornography.

Customs agents have broad power: Immigration lawyer Henry Chang notes that one of his own colleagues once complained about a search, fearing a breach of attorney-client privilege: “The officer said, ‘I don’t care,”‘ Chang says. He said border guards can easily refuse someone entry: “There’s ways they can mess with you,” he said. “They can just declare you an immigration risk … detain you, turn you away until you co-operate…. That’s enough to scare people into co-operating.”

Border agents inspected 30,200 phones and other devices last year — an increase of nearly 60 per cent from 2016. (Elaine Thompson/Associated Press)

—The new directive: On Jan. 4, U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued a new directive titled, “Border Search of Electronic Devices.” It actually set new limits on agents, establishing criteria for when they can conduct extensive searches — like downloading documents stored in the cloud, or uploading files into a storage drive for analysis.

—Your password: Agents can demand a password to open your phone, without probable cause, Nielsen confirmed during the hearing. 

—The cloud: Here, there are new limits. Agents can’t just start downloading old files from the cloud: “They can search the data that is apparent on the phone,” Nielsen said. “They can’t use the phone to access anything that might be stored remotely.”

—Airplane mode: Officers are supposed to ask travellers to shut off their signal. That’s to ensure remote files don’t get downloaded accidentally. If warranted by security concerns, the Jan. 4 directive says officers can themselves perform the task of shutting off connectivity.

To ensure remote files don’t get downloaded accidentally, border agents should place devices in airplane mode, or turn off mobile data and Wi-Fi. Travellers may want to turn off their phones before border inspections. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

—Advanced search: An officer may judge it necessary for national security purposes, such as cases where the traveller is on a watch list, to connect a phone to a hard drive, then copy its contents for analysis. The directive says this requires the approval of a certain rank of supervisor.

—Detention: If they can’t access a device, officers can detain it for a multi-day period. Detentions beyond five days must be approved by management. To detain a device, officers must fill out a form.

—Sensitive info: Lawyers can claim attorney-client privilege, citing which specific files are sensitive, and the officer must consult with customs legal counsel and the U.S. attorney’s office to determine which files should be isolated from the regular search. Medical records, proprietary business information, and journalists’ notes must be handled in accordance with U.S. law, like privacy and trade-secrets legislation.

—Accountability: Travellers can be present during a search, though they can’t ask to see the screen. Travellers must be notified of the purpose for a search. There are national-security exceptions on those rights. But travellers must be given information on where they can complain. Searches must be documented, with statistics kept and regularly published. Regular audits must keep track of whether agents are following rules.

A traveller talks to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection official near the exit of the international arrivals terminal at Newark Liberty International Airport, Oct. 26, 2017, in Newark, N.J. . (Julio Cortez/Associated Press)

—Destruction of records: Any copies of information held by U.S. customs must be destroyed, and any electronic device returned — unless there’s a security threat and probable cause for an exception.

—So what to do: Chang offers three pieces of advice — before crossing the border, delete private material or transfer it to the cloud; at the border, turn on airplane mode yourself; and, finally, be prepared, unless you have some really compelling privacy reason, to just turn over your phone.

“You’ve got to choose your battles,” he said.

Border agents cannot stop U.S. citizens from entering the country, even if they refuse to unlock their device or provide the password. However, EFF says, “agents may escalate the encounter if you refuse. For example, agents may seize your devices, ask you intrusive questions, search your bags more intensively, or increase by many hours the length of detention.” 

If a foreign visitor doesn’t comply, agents may deny them entry, EFF says.

U.S. Customs and Immigration officers use their own phones at the arrivals level at Los Angeles International Airport, June 29, 2017. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

Pope shocks Chile by accusing sex abuse victims of slander

Pope Francis accused victims of Chile’s most notorious pedophile of slander Thursday, an astonishing end to a visit meant to help heal the wounds of a sex abuse scandal that has cost the Catholic Church its credibility in the country.

Francis said that until he sees proof that Bishop Juan Barros was complicit in covering up the sex crimes of the Rev. Fernando Karadima, such accusations against Barros are “all calumny.”

F

The Pope’s remarks drew shock from Chileans and immediate rebuke from victims and their advocates. They noted the accusers were deemed credible enough by the Vatican that it sentenced Karadima to a lifetime of “penance and prayer” for his crimes in 2011. A Chilean judge also found the victims to be credible, saying that while she had to drop criminal charges against Karadima because too much time had passed, proof of his crimes wasn’t lacking.

“As if I could have taken a selfie or a photo while Karadima abused me and others and Juan Barros stood by watching it all,” tweeted Barros’s most vocal accuser, Juan Carlos Cruz. “These people are truly crazy, and the pontiff talks about atonement to the victims. Nothing has changed, and his plea for forgiveness is empty.”

Juan Carlos Cruz says he and another teen boy were sexually molested by Rev. Fernando Karadima. (Matt Rourke/Associated Press)

The Karadima scandal dominated Francis’s visit to Chile and the overall issue of sex abuse and church cover-up was likely to factor into his three-day trip to Peru that began late Thursday.

Karadima’s victims reported to church authorities as early as 2002 that he would kiss and fondle them in the swank Santiago parish he ran, but officials refused to believe them. Only when the victims went public with their accusations in 2010 did the Vatican launch an investigation that led to Karadima being removed from ministry.

The emeritus archbishop of Santiago subsequently apologized for having refused to believe the victims from the start.

Francis reopened the wounds of the scandal in 2015 when he named Barros, a protege of Karadima, as bishop of the southern diocese of Osorno. Karadima’s victims say Barros knew of the abuse, having seen it, but did nothing. Barros has denied the allegations.

‘It’s all calumny. Is that clear?’

His appointment outraged Chileans, badly divided the Osorno diocese and further undermined the church’s already shaky credibility in the country.

Francis had sought to heal the wounds by meeting this week with abuse victims and begging forgiveness for the crimes of church pastors. But on Thursday, he struck a defiant tone when asked by a Chilean journalist about Barros.

The bishop of Osorno, Juan Barros, takes part in an open-air mass celebrated by Pope Francis. Francis on Thursday strongly defended Barros. (Vincezo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images)

“The day they bring me proof against Bishop Barros, I’ll speak,” Francis said. “There is not one shred of proof against him. It’s all calumny. Is that clear?”

Francis had defended the appointment before, calling the Osorno controversy “stupid” and the result of a campaign mounted by leftists. But The Associated Press reported last week that the Vatican was so worried about the fallout from the Karadima affair that it was prepared in 2014 to ask Barros and two other Karadima-trained bishops to resign and go on a yearlong sabbatical.

Bishop not recognized by many priests

According to a Jan. 31, 2015, letter obtained by AP from Francis to the executive committee of the Chilean bishops’ conference, the plan fell apart and Barros was sent to Osorno.

Juan Carlos Claret, spokesperson for a group of Osorno lay Catholics who have mounted a three-year campaign against Barros, questioned why Francis was now accusing the victims of slandering Barros when the Vatican was so convinced of their claims that it planned to remove him in 2014.

Police detain a protester dressed as a priest as Pope Francis arrives in Santiago, Chile. (Carlos Vera/Reuters)

“Isn’t the pastoral problem that we’re living [in Osorno] enough to get rid of him?” Claret asked.

The reference was to the fact that — guilty or not — Barros has been unable to do his job because so many Osorno Catholics and priests don’t recognize him as their bishop. They staged an unprecedented protest during his 2015 installation ceremony and have protested his presence ever since.

‘He has just turned back the clock’

Anne Barrett Doyle, of the online database BishopAccountability.org, said it was “sad and wrong” for the Pope to discredit the victims since “the burden of proof here rests with the church, not the victims — and especially not with victims whose veracity has already been affirmed.”

“He has just turned back the clock to the darkest days of this crisis,” she said in a statement. “Who knows how many victims now will decide to stay hidden, for fear they will not be believed?”

Pope Francis smiles as he walks to the altar at Lobitos Beach in Chile. He is now in Peru on the last leg of his South American trip. (AFP/Getty Images)

Indeed, Catholic officials for years accused victims of slandering and attacking the church with their claims. But up until Francis’s words Thursday, many in the church and Vatican had come to reluctantly acknowledge that victims usually told the truth and that the church for decades had wrongly sought to protect its own.

German Silva, a political scientist at Santiago’s Universidad Mayor, said the Pope’s comments were a “tremendous error” that will reverberate in Chile and beyond.

Scandal strongly affected Chileans

Patricio Navia, political science professor at Diego Portales University in Santiago, said Francis had gone much further than Chilean bishops in acknowledging the sexual abuse scandal, which many Chileans appreciated.

“Then right before leaving, Francis turns around and says: `By the way, I don’t think Barros is guilty. Show me some proof,”‘ Navia said, adding that the comment will probably erase any good will the Pope had won over the issue.

Navia said the Karadima scandal had radically changed how Chileans view the church.

“In the typical Chilean family, parents [now] think twice before sending their kids to Catholic school because you never know what is going to happen,” Navia said.

Dubai Islamic Bank said to issue $750m sukuk soon

Dubai Islamic Bank, the largest sharia-compliant bank in the United Arab Emirates, is expected to issue as soon as next week a US dollar-denominated Islamic bond in the region of $750 million, sources familiar with the matter said.

The bank, which this week reported a 26 percent increase in fourth-quarter net profit, has appointed a group of banks including HSBC and Standard Chartered for the planned Islamic bond, or sukuk.

The bank’s chief executive Adnan Chilwan said on Wednesday during a conference call to discuss the lender’s fourth-quarter results that Dubai Islamic Bank was considering capital raising options in 2018, including a rights issue and an Islamic bond.

A spokeswoman at the bank declined to comment on the sukuk plans.

In February last year, the bank issued a $1 billion five-year sukuk which was arranged by a group of nine banks comprising Bank ABC, Dubai Islamic Bank itself, Emirates NBD Capital, HSBC, KFH Capital, Maybank Investment Bank, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Sharjah Islamic Bank and Standard Chartered.

The issuance was part of a $5 billion sukuk programme. Dubai Islamic Bank is rated A3 by Moody’s and A by Fitch.

Revealed: Emaar’s new Dubai island destination

Emaar Development on Thursday unveiled a private gated island destination in the Arabian Gulf, offering residents the opportunity to experience Miami beach style living in Dubai.

Providing exclusive access for residents to a 1.5km private beach, the new 10 million square feet Emaar Beachfront destination will feature a wide range of leisure and lifestyle attractions including FB outlets, beachside play areas and retail pop-ups set along a promenade.

Emaar said it is now offering the first residences for sale at a twin-tower development of 33-storeys and 26-storeys, Beach Vista.

Customers can choose from a selection of 1 to 4-bedroom apartments that will have access to facilities such as swimming pools, gyms and parking areas at the podium.

Ahmad Al Matrooshi, managing director of Emaar Properties, said: “Emaar Beachfront is a one of its kind private island development that offers the opportunity to experience a new lifestyle by the Arabian Gulf.

“Its unique selling proposition is its location and the free access it offers for residents to a private beach.”

Emaar said it will launch the sale of Beach Vista homes on January 20.