‘Best day ever’: Gamblers flock to downtown Las Vegas on first night of casino reopenings



LAS VEGAS – Sergio Portesan’s middle name is Elvis, and he has a tattoo of the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign on his left bicep.

The 26-year-old Colorado man visits this gambling and entertainment mecca every chance he gets, the last time for his birthday in January, weeks before casinos went dark as the coronavirus crisis deepened.

So no one was going to keep him from the reopening party that kicked off Wednesday – except his mother.

She’s a nurse in Minnesota, and Portesan wanted her blessing, given continuing coronavirus concerns.

“I was like, if you tell me no, I’ll cancel,” Portesan said. “She’s like, do it. It’s important to you. It’s historic. You’ll never see it again. You’re young and healthy.”

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Southwest Airlines worker cries talking race with American Airlines CEO


By Amanda Woods

A black Southwest Airlines flight attendant had a heartfelt discussion on race and racism with a white passenger who she only later learned was Doug Parker, the CEO of rival American Airlines — all because she spotted him with a book on the topic.

JacqueRae Hill, 38, of Dallas, drove to work Friday morning with a “heavy heart” over George Floyd’s police-custody death in Minneapolis and the subsequent protests, she told ABC.

But her spirits lifted during the work day when she stopped to speak with Parker — who she didn’t recognize — but was intrigued by the book he had with him, “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism” by Robin DiAngelo.

“So how is the book?” Hill told ABC she began the conversation, as she sat down next to Parker.

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American Airlines CEO Doug Parker and Southwest Airlines flight attendant JacqueRae Hill after their flight landed in Panama City Beach, Florida.
American Airlines CEO Doug Parker and Southwest Airlines flight attendant JacqueRae Hill after their flight landed in Panama City Beach, Florida.


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Universal Studios Hollywood Asks L.A. County to Allow Theme Parks to Reopen

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Click here to read the full article. 

Theme parks in Los Angeles County are urging local officials to allow them to reopen between mid-June and July 1, arguing that they can do so safely.

Karen Irwin, president and chief operating officer of Universal Studios Hollywood, asked the L.A. County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday to allow theme park workers to return to work immediately in order to prepare for a reopening. The county’s amusement parks include Six Flags Magic Mountain and Pacific Park at the Santa Monica Pier.

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She said that it is a “misperception” that theme parks should be among the last facilities to reopen, noting that park visitors spend most of their time outdoors.

“Theme parks actually offer a more controlled environment than beaches, gardens or hiking trails,” said Irwin, speaking at a meeting of the county’s Economic Resiliency Task Force. She said that the industry is developing protective measures that will allow for physical distancing, and noted that parks have the ability to limit capacity and manage guest flow.

“We would like approval to begin the reopening process immediately in order to get our employees back to work,” she said. “L.A. County parks will be ready to begin reopening between mid-June and July 1.”

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Fear and anger grow inside United Airlines, where workers are slamming the company over pay cuts after it took billions in government bailout money

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AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

  • United Airlines has cut work hours for its managers and administrative (M&A) employees, and warned that layoffs are coming.
  • However, workers say that the cuts violate terms of the CARES Act bailout, prohibiting pay cuts or furloughs before September 30.
  • Business Insider spoke with United M&A workers who described stress, anxiety, and frustration with the airline as they prepare for what could be massive job cuts.
  • Are you an employee at United or another airline? Contact this reporter with your thoughts or tips at dslotnick@businessinsider.com.

Two months after United Airlines agreed to terms with the federal government and accepted a $5 billion bailout for payroll support, workers at United Airlines are accusing the airline of breaking its promise.

Earlier this month, United announced that it would require management and administrative (M&A) employees to take 20 unpaid days off between May 15 and September 30. The requirement came as airlines around the globe — including United — reduced flights and grounded portions of their fleets due to a collapse in travel demand during the coronavirus pandemic.

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This casino owner is giving away 1,000 free flights to Las Vegas


Ed Komenda, Reno Gazette JournalUSA TODAYMay 27, 2020, 12:22 PM CDT

LAS VEGAS – In a bid to stimulate Southern Nevada’s paused tourism economy and airline industry, a downtown casino mogul is giving away 1,000 free flights from more than 20 major U.S. cities to Las Vegas as the state reopens amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The flights are available on a first-come, first-served basis on theD.com.

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Here’s a look at what cities are available:

  • Appleton, Wisconsin (ATW)
  • Austin, Texas (AUS)
  • Atlanta (ATL)
  • Boise, Idaho (BOI)
  • Chicago (ORD)
  • Cincinnati (CVG)
  • Dallas (DFW)
  • Denver (DIA)
  • Detroit (DTW)
  • Knoxville, Tennessee (TYS)
  • Louisville, Kentucky (SDF)
  • Memphis, Tennessee (MEM)
  • Milwaukee, (MKE)
  • Minneapolis (MSP)
  • Oklahoma City (OKC)
  • Omaha, Nebraska (OMA)
  • Phoenix (PHX)
  • Portland, Oregon (PDX)
  • San Diego (SAN)
  • San Francisco (SFO)
  • Seattle (SEA)
  • Sioux Falls, South Dakota (FSD)
  • South Bend, Indiana (SBN)
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma (TUL)

Once registered, guests can choose from several flight options and reservations, which will be arranged through the concierge team at the D.

All participants in the promotion must be at least 21.


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Hertz paid top executives $16 million in bonuses ahead of its bankruptcy filing


New York (CNN Business)Hertz paid out millions of dollars in bonuses to its executives just before its bankruptcy — and a month after it started laying off thousands of employees.

Retention bonuses are typical for bankrupt companies that want to prevent their management from abandoning ship. But they’re always awkward: the company can’t pay its employees or its debts to lenders, but it prioritizes payments to its already handsomely paid bosses.

Hertz (HTZ) paid a total of $16.2 million to 340 executives on May 19 as part of a plan to keep them in place while the company attempts to reorganize, the company announced in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The executives will be required to return the money should they leave Hertz on their own before March 31, 2021.

Paul Stone, who was just promoted to CEO three days before the retention bonuses were awarded, got $700,000 under the plan. Chief Financial Officer Jamere Jackson got $600,000, while Chief Marketing Officer Jodi Allen got about $190,000.

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businessman selling his brand-new Bombardier Global 7500 for $70 million, Take a look inside the 3-month-old jet.


A Bombardier Global 7500 for sale.

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  • A businessman is selling his brand new Bombardier Global 7500, one of the newest private jets on the market with an unparalleled range for its class of 7,700 nautical miles.
  • The jet was delivered in February 2020 but the owner hasn’t flown on it or seen it since it was delivered.
  • Complete with 16 seats and a private bedroom, the jet is ideal for long-range jet setters.

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Coronavirus in the Maldives: The couple trapped on never-ending honeymoon


But when they tried to return, they found themselves trapped
But when they tried to return, they found themselves trapped

It began with a wedding in Egypt’s capital Cairo on 6 March: eight years after they first met, 36-year-old Khaled and Peri, 35, married in front of their friends and families.

A few days later, the Dubai-based couple left for Cancún, Mexico, with barely a worry in the world: coronavirus seemed a distant concern, as it had yet to fully spread across the globe.

So while the couple were careful to avoid crowded places, they say they “never expected” travel restrictions to affect their plans.

But by the time they were returning home to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) via Turkey on 19 March, the full scale was becoming apparent.

“While we were on the plane we had access to internet and then we started getting messages from people ‘Are you going to be able to get to Dubai? There’s a new law, they’re banning expats,'” Peri told the BBC.

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Their only option was to fly to a new "honeymoon" destination, the Maldives
Their only option was to fly to a new “honeymoon” destination, the Maldives
Their two month trip has been far from what they thought when they left for Mexico
Their two month trip has been far from what they thought when they left for Mexico

Car rental giant Hertz files for bankruptcy protection


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  • Hertz filed for bankruptcy protection Friday after skipping car-lease payments last month
  • The coronavirus pandemic has crippled the Florida-based company, which was already struggling with billions of dollars in debt
  • The company laid off around 10,000 North American workers amid the coronavirus crisis and their share price has plummeted more than 80% this year 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Car rental company Hertz filed for Chapter 11 on Friday after failing to reach a standstill agreement with its top lenders.  

The Wall Street Journal reports that Hertz has roughly $19billion of debt. 

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Just two survivors in Pakistan plane crash; bodies of 97 passengers and crew recovered

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Ninety-seven bodies have been pulled from smoldering rubble in Karachi, Pakistan, where a plane crashed Friday shortly before 3 p.m. local time. 

Before it crashed, the plane jolted violently in mid-air. Passenger Muhammad Zubair thought it was turbulence. Then the pilot came on the intercom to warn the plane was experiencing engine trouble and the landing could be “troublesome.” 

In a telephone interview from his hospital bed, Zubair, one of only two survivors, told The Associated Press that Pakistan International Airlines flight PK8303 had taken off on time from the eastern city of Lahore at 1 p.m. It was a smooth, uneventful flight until the aircraft began its descent near Karachi. 

Zubair said he survived by launched himself from the burning aircraft. 

“When the plane caught fire. I unfastened my seatbelt and saw a light. I came out of the plane, I jumped from nearly 10 feet high,” he said in a video interview with TRT World.

“I had to jump down about 10 feet”

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Pakistan jet with 98 aboard crashes in crowded neighborhood


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KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — A jetliner carrying 98 people crashed Friday in a crowded neighborhood near the airport in Pakistan’s port city of Karachi after an apparent engine failure during landing. Officials said there were two survivors from the plane but they also found at least 57 bodies in the wreckage.

It was unknown how many people on the ground were hurt as the Pakistan International Airlines jet, an Airbus A320, plowed into an alley and destroyed at least five houses.

The pilot was heard transmitting a mayday to the tower shortly before the crash of Flight 8303, which was flying from Lahore to Karachi and carrying many traveling for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr.

Video on social media appeared to show the jet flying low with flames shooting from one of its engines.

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Southwest to limit seats sold on each flight through July -CEO


Tracy RucinskiReutersMay 21, 2020, 10:54 AM CDT

By Tracy Rucinski

(Reuters) – Southwest Airlines Co <LUV.N> will continue to limit bookings on its flights through at least July to give passengers space between seats, CEO Gary Kelly told shareholders on Thursday, mirroring a plan by competitor Delta Air Lines Inc <DAL.N>.

Social distancing on planes has become a topic of debate as airlines weigh safety measures to restore confidence in air travel that has collapsed during the coronavirus pandemic.

“You won’t see full flights on Southwest at least through the end of July, and if we do have more demand for that flight, we’ll add additional flights to meet demand,” Kelly said at its annual shareholders’ meeting, which was held virtually.

Delta also plans to continue limiting the number of passengers on each flight through at least July, people told Reuters this week.

Airlines have been operating about 90% fewer flights than normal but are gradually adding flights back to their schedules as demand begins picking up.

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Florida Panhandle Beach Named Top in US by ‘Dr. Beach’


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What to Know

  • Stephen “Dr. Beach” Leatherman, a coastal scientist and professor at Florida International University, has been ranking the nation’s beaches for 30 years
  • It is one of two Florida beaches that were on the 2020 list released Thursday, along with Caladesi Island State Park at No. 6
  • Leatherman says he gives bonus points for beaches where smoking is banned and that are staffed with lifeguards

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NFL player files lawsuit against United Airlines over alleged sexual assault on cross-country flight

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An NFL player has anonymously filed a lawsuit against United Airlines over an alleged sexual assault that took place in February. In the lawsuit, which was obtained by Bleacher Report’s Master Tesfatsion, the anonymous player is seeking damages for sexual assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, negligence and negligent hiring, training, supervision and retention by United. 

The player used the alias of “John Doe 1” to file the lawsuit. The player was sitting next to another man, “John Doe 2,” who is also a part of the lawsuit. The alleged sexual assault took place on a red-eye flight between Newark and Los Angeles that took place on February 10. In the lawsuit, the unidentified player claims that an “intoxicated” woman grabbed his penis and ripped off a mask that he had been wearing over his mouth and nose. The player had been wearing the mask for protective measures during the early stages of the Coronavirus pandemic. 

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‘Don’t Come’: Hawaii Enforces Strict Lockdown Measures


 Ryan Beene and Ari Natter

Venturing out of a hotel room in Hawaii right now might land you in handcuffs.

Just ask one of the roughly 20 people who’ve been arrested for violating Governor David Ige’s two-week quarantine imposed on all who arrive in the state or travel between its islands.

Hundreds more have been arrested or issued citations for violating other aspects of the state’s emergency orders to combat the coronavirus, which are among the nation’s strictest and have helped to drive down the rate of infection to the second lowest in the country.

State parks and Hawaii’s famous beaches have been closed. Hotels are issuing single-use keys, forcing quarantined guests who leave their rooms to go to the front desk and explain why. Airlines have been encouraged to suspend incoming flights. The state’s visitors bureau has asked media organizations to “refrain from publishing any stories about Hawaii that might encourage people to travel to the islands.”

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© Catalyst A couple sits on an empty section of Waikiki Beach in Honolulu on Saturday, March 28, 2020. Like many cities across the world, Honolulu came to an eerie standstill this weekend as the coronavirus pandemic spread throughout the islands. But Hawaii officials went beyond the standard stay-at-home orders and effectively flipped the switch on the state’s tourism-fueled economic engine in a bid to slow the spread of the virus. As of Thursday, anyone arriving in Hawaii must undergo a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine. The unprecedented move dramatically reduced the number of people on beaches, in city parks and on country roads where many people rely on tourism to pay for the high cost of living in Hawaii. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)