In the news
Betty on the News: Top Stories
Delta in hot water over signature red dress, Sotomayor hearings begin today, captured U.S. journalists may be released and more
-Kathy Campbell and Carolyn French
1. Hearings begin in Washington D.C. today on Sonia Sotomayor‘s nomination to become the nation’s first Hispanic Supreme Court justice.
After weeks of meeting senators and preparing for tough questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee, the 55-year-old received a good-luck telephone call on Sunday from President Obama.
The hearings are expected to last no more than a week, with time for an opening statement from the Bronx-born judge and two days of questioning from senators. The confirmation process isn’t a walk in the park.
“They can ask you about any part of the law,” said Thomas Goldstein, a leading Washington appellate attorney and founder of scotusblog.com. “And she’s got to be ready for that and be able to sound intelligent answering those questions.” (CNN)
2. North Korea is “seriously interested” in releasing two convicted U.S. journalists according to a scholar who visited Pyongyang.
University of Georgia political scientist Han S. Park said North Korean officials told him that they want the U.S. to acknowledge what they see as Laura Ling and Euna Lee‘s “hostile acts” and then might release the women, who were sentenced last month to 12 years of hard labor for entering the country illegally.
Park said the officials told him Laura and Euna, who work for former U.S. Vice President Al Gore’s Current TV, have not been sent to a prison labor camp and are being kept at a “luxurious” guesthouse in the country’s capital.
“I also think the fact that the sentence has not been carried out suggests that North Koreans are seriously interested in releasing them if the situation warrants,” Park said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press. (Fox News)
3. Airlines across the country are re-examining their policies regarding pets as the nation’s obsession with our four-legged friends continues to grow. This month sees the launch of Pet Airways, the first pet-only airline, which offers an alternative to shipping larger pets in the cargo hold of the plane. Owners can check a bag with their pets and the flights will include potty breaks and animal handlers checking the furry passengers every 15 minutes.
For those who want to fly with their pets, Midwest Airlines lets animals have a seat of their own aboard the plane, giving them a harness that straps them in.
“They are just passengers with four legs instead of two,” said Susan Kerwin, who oversees the pet program at Midwest Airlines.
On the other side of the aisle, one carrier, Frontier Airlines, is catering to allergy-plagued customers who don’t want to share their flights with furry creatures. Last year the airline banned pets from the cabin area. (CNN)
4. A British woman is suing her boss for sexual harassment after he forced her to watch him get a lap dance. Rachel Kelly, 38, claims she wept as she pleaded to be allowed to go home rather than watch her bullying boss get a private lap dance at a London club.
The recruitment consultant says her boss, Danny Whelan, told her to “shut up and stop moaning and that this was the way I had to entertain clients in order to compete with other consultancies.”
She also claimed that a client groped her in a taxi although she had asked her boss not to leave her alone with him. When she complained about the ordeal, Whelan allegedly said it was a good sign that the client would do business with her.
Rachel quit her job at IDPP last October and is said to want almost $300,000 in compensation. (The Sun)
5. Forget about the Facebook quizzes that ask you which Sex and the City character you are, the latest craze on the social networking site involves lying down in crazy places.
Called the Lying Down Game, all it involves is taking a photograph of yourself lying face down with your hands by your sides and toes pointing towards the ground in the weirdest spot possible.
The game has two rules: 1. The more public, the better. 2. The more people involved the better.
There are now almost 5,000 photos of people lying on things as varied as telephone booths, monuments and subway platforms. (Cnet.com)
6. Bigger is better – according to a few infuriated Northwest flight attendants. The union that represents employees who formerly worked for Northwest Airlines before it was taken over by Delta Airlines is outraged about the lack of bigger uniform sizes for its female flight attendants. The signature red dress, designed by Richard Tyler and worn by Delta flight attendants since 2004, only goes up to size 18. The Northwest chapter of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA has filed a complaint with Delta, demanding that the dress to be made available up to size 28.
A spokeswoman for Delta hit back by saying that the company does offer an assortment of outfits in other colors that come in larger sizes. However, Patricia Reller – who deals with grievances for the union’s executive committee – responded that anyone should be able to wear the signature red dress, not just slimmer women.
“I think red is an eye-popping color and it’s not subtle, and to me by not offering it in a size over 18, Delta is saying, ‘We don’t want you wearing that if you are over size 18,'” Reller explained. “But the job isn’t about being sexy. It’s about safety.” (Yahoo! Finance)