Daily Dispatches
The Turkish Olympic team marches during Friday’s opening ceremony in Sochi.
Associated Press/Photo by Mark Humphrey
The Turkish Olympic team marches during Friday’s opening ceremony in Sochi.

Midday Roundup: Hijacker orders plane to Sochi with bomb threat


Hijacking attempt. A passenger on board a Pegasus Airlines flight between Kharkhov, Ukraine, and Istanbul tried to force the plane to divert to Sochi, Russia, just as the Winter Olympics opening ceremony was getting underway. The passenger told flight attendants he had placed a bomb aboard the aircraft. After the pilot sent a hijacking signal, he landed at Turkey’s Sabiha Gokcen Airport. Turkish officials are keeping the aircraft in an isolated part of the airport until it can be cleared.

Bank Post Office. A new report from the inspector general of the U.S. Postal Service suggests the struggling quasi-governmental agency could cover its extensive costs by offering bank-like services to customers who don’t have their own checking or savings accounts. The report estimates the Postal Service could make as much as $8.9 billion a year by offering check cashing, reloadable bank cards, and small loans. Last year, the agency lost $5 billion. This is the second proposal in the last year Postal Service leaders have offered to help make the agency solvent. Congress shot down a proposal to drop Saturday delivery. This idea, although it has roots in the Postal Savings System adopted in 1910, might not fare much better. Big banks are already lining up to kill the plan, saying it would take money out of their pockets, literally.

Obamacare strikes again. AOL CEO Tim Armstrong is blaming Obamacare for changes to the company’s benefit program. On Thursday, Armstrong told employees in a conference call secretly recorded and released to the media that AOL would now only match retirement account contributions in one lump sum at the end of the year. Only employees still on the payroll Dec. 31 will qualify for the match. In an interview with CNBC, Armstrong said Obamacare is imposing $7.1 million in new costs on the company, forcing executives to decide whether to pass the costs along directly or make up for the loss with cuts to other benefits. Armstrong also blamed the rise in the company’s medical costs on benefits paid to two employees who had sick babies in 2012. After critics lambasted him for making such a public example of two employees, Armstrong backpedaled a bit, saying the high-risk pregnancies were just an example of how the company supports families in need.

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POW pooch. The Taliban in Afghanistan is showing off its latest prisoner of war: a military dog. The militants claim the dog belongs to U.S. troops and was captured during a firefight. But a U.S. official says the dog belongs to the British military. The militants say they’re treating the dog well but haven’t decided what to do with it. Since the local population view dogs as unclean animals, this poor pooch might not have a happy future ahead.

Leigh Jones
Leigh Jones

Leigh lives in Houston with her husband and daughter. She is the managing editor of WORLD's website.


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