Today's Daily Brief
1. Fliers Fume as American Airlines Grounds Another 595 Flights Friday - Fox News
American Airlines, a unit of Fort Worth, Texas-based AMR Corp., canceled another 595 flights Friday, bringing this week's total to nearly 3,100 due to safety inspections of its MD-80s. The carrier said disruptions will continue through Saturday as it works to comply with the federal safety order. Alaska Airlines, Midwest Airlines and Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines Inc. joined the wave, each canceling a small number of flights on MD-80 aircraft Thursday.
At least 250,000 passengers have been affected by the American cancellations this week alone. Other carriers like Continental Airlines Inc., JetBlue Airways Corp., AirTran Airways and Northwest Airlines Corp. said they passed the first round of FAA audits with a clean slate and did not expect extra maintenance work or flight delays. It was impossible to say whether that could change since the FAA is conducting another round of safety audits.
Congress also weighed in Thursday. The Federal Aviation Administration official who ordered safety audits last month, Nicholas Sabatini, faced tough questions from a Senate subcommittee about the agency's lax oversight of airlines and his own accountability for recent breakdowns. The FAA noted that airlines had 18 months to check electrical wiring on MD-80 jets since an initial order was issued in September 2006.
American CEO Gerard Arpey, said Thursday, that the cancellations will cost the airline "in the tens of millions of dollars." Analysts say the toll could easily be that, and perhaps much more. American spokeswoman Andrea Huguely, said the cost probably wouldn't be known until Saturday night, when the carrier expects to have all its MD-80s back in service. The fact that airplanes are flying very full is making it difficult for airlines that cancel flights to find empty seats on other carriers to rebook their passengers. Some travelers looked for other modes of transportation like Amtrak and Greyhound Bus Lines.
· In the name of Jesus, we pray for the airlines to take the personal responsibility of safety codes. May this transportation crisis be a lesson well learned in being diligent in maintaining the safety of aircraft. We ask for the spirit of excellence to prevail over all airlines to provide services the public can be confident in.
· Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; . . . The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. (Prov. 22:29, Phil. 4:9)
2. Frontier Airlines Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy - The Wall Street Journal
Frontier Airlines said it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection following moves by a credit-card processor to increase a hold-back of customer receipts. The airline said it will continue to operate its full flight schedule and pay employees and suppliers throughout its reorganization. The move comes after two other discount carriers, ATA Airlines and Aloha Airgroup, filed for bankruptcy and suspended operations.
· Heavenly Father, You knew before September 11, 2001, that our nation's airlines would be beleaguered with debt and confusion in the aftermath of the destruction of four airliners, their crews and passengers. We ask You to calm and stop America's ongoing air carrier dismantlement and air industry confusion in the unending wake of this terrorist attack. Please comfort and restore all airline employees who have lost their jobs. May they and the remaining airlines turn to You for their needs. And, we pray that all skies will be friendly skies to fly in, once more. For Your Glory we pray. Amen
· "Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen." (Jude 24-25 NKJV)
3. Severe Storms, Tornadoes Rip Through Heartland, Damaging Homes, Flooding Roads - Fox News
A line of severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, and even snow pounded the nation's heartland Thursday, flooding nearly 200 roads in Missouri, closing schools in Arkansas and ripping off the roofs of dozens of houses in Texas. The band of storms stretched from Colorado and Nebraska, which was expected to get up to 10 inches of snow, to Texas, where high winds and driving rain at one point left a quarter-million people without power.
· We ask You, Lord, to comfort and provide for those facing the damages in the storm's aftermath. Comfort the family and friends of the one killed during the storm. Bless the hands of the workers to restore power quickly.
· For He hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him. (Ps. 22:24)
4. Florida Passes Guns at Work Bill - CNSNews.com
Gun rights advocates are praising the Florida Legislature for passing a measure that allows gun owners to have firearms locked in their cars while they are working. The measure prohibits business owners from banning firearms that are kept locked in cars by their employees when those vehicles are parked on company property. The legislation now goes to Republican Governor Charlie Crist. Earlier this year, a similar law was struck down in Oklahoma as unconstitutional.
· Lord, we ask for our legal rights of freedom to continue to stand. Give wisdom to Governor Charlie Crist and may he look to You for counsel.
· I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons. (Ps. 16:7)
5. Dangerous Animal Virus On U.S. Mainland? - Fox News The Middle East in Focus 1. Several Palestinians dead in Gaza clashes with IDF - ICEJ News 2. Carter 'outrages' Israel with plans to meet Mashaal - ICEJ News 3. Satellite reveals Iranian long-range missile site - ICEJ News 4. Swedish FM shocks Israel with pro-Palestinian remarks - ICEJ News
The Bush administration is likely to move its research on one of the most contagious animal diseases, Foot-and-Mouth virus, from an isolated island laboratory to the U.S. mainland near herds of livestock, raising concerns about a catastrophic outbreak. The new site could be selected later this year, and the lab would open by 2014.
Foot-and-mouth virus can be carried on a worker's breath or clothes, or vehicles leaving a lab, and is so contagious it has been confined to Plum Island, N.Y., for more than a half-century - far from commercial livestock. The existing lab is 100 miles northeast of New York City in the Long Island Sound, accessible only by ferry or helicopter. Researchers there who work with the live virus are not permitted to own animals at home that would be susceptible, and they must wait at least a week before attending outside events where such animals might perform, such as a circus.
· Because You see the beginning from the end Lord, we pray for wisdom and discernment to be the foundation of where to locate the research lab. We do not trust in our abilities or facilities. We trust in the name of our Lord. We pray for the Bush administration to seek Your guidance in providing the safe place for our research lab.
· Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. ( Prov. 2:5-7)
This week, for all the headlines cited below, please join us in proclaiming THIS DECREE:
"Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for you are My servant: I have formed you; you are My servant: O Israel, you shall not be forgotten of Me." (Isaiah 44:21)
IDF forces launched air strikes and ground operations inside Gaza on Friday, engaging in clashes with terror militia members that left as many as seven Palestinians dead, including a 12-year-old boy, Palestinians sources claimed.
Top Israeli officials said they are "outraged" at former US President Jimmy Carter's planned meeting in Damascus next week with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal. The meeting is to take place during his Middle East study tour for the Atlanta-based Carter Center's initiative to support "peace, democracy, and human rights in the region."
Recent satellite imagery has revealed a site in Iran for developing ballistic missiles with a range of 6000 kilometers. Such a missile could reach any destination in the Middle East, Europe, China and most of India.
In an interview with a Swedish radio station, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt equated Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu to Hamas. When asked how it was possible for Israel to achieve peace in the Middle East with Hamas controlling the Gaza Strip, Bildt answered: 'It is possible to make peace without Hamas the same way it is possible to make peace without Netanyahu on the Israeli side.' Israeli Foreign Ministry officials were outraged at the statement and one said that it displays complete ignorance about the Middle East. "He (Bildt) clearly does not understand the difference between the leader of an Israeli political party and a group that is engaging in terror that threatens Europe as much as Israel," the official said. Other Israeli diplomats have condemned the comparison as "chutzpah," noting that this was not the first pro-Palestinian statement that Bildt has publicly made, The Jerusalem Post reported Thursday.
Pope Benedict XVI Visits D.C., NYC Next Week
POPE'S U.S. VISIT COULD HAVE POLITICAL RIPPLES
Benedict XVI arrives in Washington next week
The Middle East in Focus
1. Several Palestinians dead in Gaza clashes with IDF - ICEJ News
2. Carter 'outrages' Israel with plans to meet Mashaal - ICEJ News
3. Satellite reveals Iranian long-range missile site - ICEJ News
4. Swedish FM shocks Israel with pro-Palestinian remarks - ICEJ News
Although he will meet with President Bush at the White House during his East Coast swing, Pope Benedict XVI is not expected to overtly speak of the campaign or U.S. politics. But his positions on burning social issues facing Americans are well- known, and political parties courting Roman Catholic votes may seek to take advantage of the publicity surrounding his words and actions.
The pope, as the ultimate arbiter of Catholic teaching, adamantly opposes abortion as well as stem cell research, same-sex marriage and any policy that in the church's view undermines the traditional family. These are positions that find most resonance in the Republican Party.
However, the pope also has been an outspoken critic of the war in Iraq, a country he said last year was being "torn apart by continual slaughter as the civil population flees." He has voiced support for immigrants and denounced "inhumane" capitalism that hurts the poor and weak. Democrats might find something to cleave to in these views. (LA Times 4/9/08)
April 15-17 - Arrives in Washington, DC.; Vespers service at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and meet with American bishops; Celebrates Mass at Washington's baseball stadium; Visits Catholic University.
April 18-20 - Flies to New York, where he will address the UN General Assembly; Celebrates Mass at St. Patrick's cathedral; Visits to pray at the "Ground Zero" memorial to the victims of the 9-11 terrorist attack; Celebrates Mass in Yankee Stadium. Returns to Rome on Sunday evening. (Catholic World News)
[Reported by: Intercessors for America]