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International travel in the Trump era

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 4:56 pm    Post subject: Air travel in the Trump era Reply with quote

Americans Traveling to Europe This Summer May Need a Visa
Mental Floss

A dispute between the U.S. and the European Union (EU) could impact Americans planning to vacation in Europe this summer. As TIME Money reports, the European Parliament has voted to impose visa requirements on Americans traveling within the 28-nation bloc by May. The decision was a response to restrictions the U.S. currently places on five European countries. Citizens of Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland, and Romania—combined, about 14 percent of the EU population—currently need to acquire visas before visiting the United States. EU lawmakers have taken a hard stance against these constraints by moving to make visas necessary for U.S. citizens entering the union, where only passports were required …
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 4:58 pm    Post subject: The Most Desirable Passports On Earth Don’t Include US's Reply with quote

The Most Desirable Passports On Earth Don’t Include America’s
Justin Bachman

A passport allows one to be a citizen of the world—but some think it should also work for you. As in, if you’re wealthy and well-traveled, it should be a bit like an exclusive invitation-only credit card: lots of benefits, lots of perks, lots of points.
That’s the view of Nomad Capitalist, a firm that recently ranked 199 countries corresponding to their “value of citizenship.” In addition to visa-free travel options, this uses a weighted approach that considers the amount of taxes a country levies on citizens who live abroad, along with the nation’s overall global reputation, civil and personal freedoms, and the ability to hold multiple passports simultaneously. And no, America, you’re not even in the top 20.

Atop the list is Sweden, followed by a bevy of other European Union nations. A Swedish passport allows visa-free travel to 176 countries or territories, just one fewer than world leader Germany. Moreover, Swedish expats can easily “get out of the high taxes in Sweden and go live somewhere else where there are lower taxes without a lot of headaches,” says Andrew Henderson, the veteran traveler, entrepreneur, and blogger who founded Nomad.
“Not too many people are getting into fights with the Swedes,” Henderson said in a video posted on Wednesday.

Nomad aims to help wealthy adventurers reduce their tax burden by relocating abroad, obtain residence permits, and invest in other countries as a way to “grow their wealth faster.” It also advises people to obtain a second passport whenever possible.

Viewed through this prism, the British, German, and U.S. passports once billed as the world’s “best” rank below several European nations. (Of the top 43 passports on Nomad’s list, 33 are European.) The common denominator among all these countries is a lack of tax on citizens’ income regardless of where they live. The U.S., by comparison, taxes citizens’ income no matter where it’s earned.

Last year, more than 5,400 people renounced their American citizenship, setting a new annual record and a 26 percent increase from 2015, according to a law firm report Among other things, the escalation of offshore penalties over the last 20 years is likely contributing to this increased incidence of U.S. expatriation.

When it comes to passport desirability, America finds itself tied for 35th with Slovenia, both having visa-free travel to 174 nations. The U.S. earned low marks because of its taxation stance toward nonresidents and the world’s perception of America. This last measure was assigned a value based on how a country and its citizens are received around the world, as in when its passport holders are refused entry or “encounter substantial hostility.”

“A U.S. citizen that has to pay tax on their worldwide income, and abide by a bunch of regulations, and whose emails can be spied on—that passport might be a little less valuable than an equivalent European passport that doesn’t have some of those other restrictions,” Henderson, a Cleveland with several homes abroad, said in his video.

In its freedom gauge, Nomad considered mandatory military service, government surveillance, laws that target nonresident citizens, incarceration rate, and the World Press Freedom Index and Economic Freedom Index. (Sweden on Thursday reimposed compulsory military service, due to Russian military activity along the Baltic Sea. So the 2018 list may already be in for a switch at the top.)

“We believe that freedom of speech and of the press is a good thing, and imposing laws on nonresident citizens is generally a bad idea,” Nomad wrote in its report, citing America’s far-reaching Foreign Corrupt Practices Act as an example of a law that applies to nonresident citizens. The anti-bribery law covers foreign businesses, American citizens tied to a foreign bribe, and foreign firms with U.S.-listed securities.

“Being a U.S. citizen isn’t all it’s cracked up to be,” Henderson said. “Quite frankly, I’d much rather be a citizen of a country with a B+ passport, without all those restrictions, than a citizen of the U.S., which has an A passport but comes with a lot of baggage.”
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:48 pm    Post subject: Airport Security Reply with quote

TSA is out of control and its sickening methods of abuse are getting worse...

Mom Outraged at TSA, Claims They Treated Her Young Son and Family 'Like Dogs'

A mother is venting her anger at the TSA after she claims they spent an hour at a checkpoint, resulting in a missed flight to California.

Jennifer Williamson posted a video of her 13-year-old son’s pat-down on Facebook Sunday at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

“We were treated with utter disrespect as if we were criminals,” Williamson told CBS This Morning Tuesday. "We were treated like dogs. I am livid."

Williamson said the two-minute pat-down came after agents found a laptop in her son's carry-on bag as it went through the scanner.

She said her teenage son, Aaron, suffers from a "sensory processing disorder," which makes him extremely sensitive to touch. She claims that she asked the TSA to search him some other way.

"I believe he was patted down excessively." Williamson said. "They went over his sensitive areas, a little more than necessary, especially given that he wasn’t wearing bulky clothing or anything like that."

In the upset mother’s Facebook video, the agent explains the procedure for patting Aaron down and his supervisor observed the situation.

Read: United Airlines Takes Heat After Refusing to Allow 2 Teens in Leggings to Board Plane (seen next post)

Williamson told CBS This Morning that her son’s first question to her was, "Why they did this?"

"To me that was a sign of trauma for him to think that he had done anything wrong," Williamson said.

The TSA claims the proper protocols were executed in Aaron's case.

"All approved procedures were followed," the agency said in a statement to Inside Edition. "The pat down took approximately two minutes, and was observed by the mother and two police officers who were called to mitigate the concerns of the mother."

Watch: CNN Commentator Says She Was Subjected to Humiliating TSA Pat-Down: 'The System Is the Problem'
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:49 pm    Post subject: United Airlines Defends Right To Block Girls In Leggings Reply with quote

We already had the ban on PC and cameras, now clothing . What's next ?

United Airlines Defends Right To Block Girls In Leggings
United Airlines is defending its right to block passengers over their attire after it was called out for stopping girls in leggings from boarding a flight.

The airline replied with rules about its dress code to several people on Twitter on Sunday after a witness tweeted that she saw gate agents blocking three girls from boarding a flight because they were wearing leggings.

The witness, prominent anti-gun violence activist Shannon Watts, accused United Airlines of policing female bodies and sexualizing young girls, one of whom she described as a 10 year old in gray leggings. One of the passengers’ fathers, she pointed out, was wearing shorts and allowed on the flight without question.

United Airlines responded to Watts first by pointing to a rule in its Contract of Carriage that gives it the right to refuse transport to passengers “who are barefoot or not properly clothed.”

The rule does not elaborate on the definition of proper attire, but the airline tweeted that it leaves that up to

In a second response to Watts ― and several other Twitter users enraged by the airline’s policy ― United Airlines said the leggings-clad passengers were “pass travelers,” or passengers traveling as relatives or dependents of a United employee, and therefore subject to a stricter dress code.

The airline sent the same defense to several outraged people, including actress Patricia Arquette.

She snapped back at them after they responded to her stating that pass travelers must dress in “ good taste ”

Other social media users promised United Airlines they’d show up for their next flight with the airline in the the stretchy pants ― which are no stranger to contriversy in recent years as schools have moved to ban the “distracting” pants on campus.
Meanwhile, supermodel Chrissy Teigen, who has no problem challenging companies’ double-standards when it comes to women’s bodies, said she’ll skip a top all together on her next United Airlines flight.

In response, the airline posted a statement offering more insight into the issue:

We care about the way we present ourselves to you, our customers, as we believe that is part of the experience on board our flights. One of the benefits of working for an airline is that our employees are able to travel the world. Even better, they can extend this privilege to a select number of what we call “pass riders.” These are relatives or friends who also receive the benefit of free or heavily discounted air travel – on our airline as well as on airlines around the world where we have mutual agreements in place for employees and pass riders.

When taking advantage of this benefit, all employees and pass riders are considered representatives of United. And like most companies, we have a dress code that we ask employees and pass riders to follow. The passengers this morning were United pass riders and not in compliance with our dress code for company benefit travel. We regularly remind our employees that when they place a family member or friend on a flight for free as a standby passenger, they need to follow our dress code.

To our regular customers, your leggings are welcome.

UPDATE: Story updated to include a statement issued by the airline.
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Joined: 03 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:26 am    Post subject: Airport security Reply with quote

TSA Under Fire After Mother Posts Video Of Her Son’s ‘Horrifying’ Pat-Down

The TSA is under fire after a video of a teenage boy getting patted down at a Dallas airport went viral after being posted by the boy’s mother. The mother says she requested an alternative screening for her son, who has special needs, but says they were “treated like dogs” instead


People Outraged Over New Video Exposing TSA's Treatment of a Child


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