Daily Dispatches
British police officers guard one of the entrances to the Houses of Parliament in central London.
Associated Press/Photo by Lefteris Pitarakis
British police officers guard one of the entrances to the Houses of Parliament in central London.

Midday Roundup: Britain raises threat level amid fears terrorism will spread from Syria

Newsworthy

Heightened security. Conflict escalation in Iraq and Syria led Britain to raise its terror threat level from substantial to severe Friday. The new threat level, the second-highest of five tiers, means a terrorist attack is considered highly likely. It doesn’t mean an attack is imminent, Home Secretary Theresa May said, but British authorities are asking the public to help identify potential terrorists. The possible involvement of a British national in the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley has called attention to the threat posed by Islamic extremists traveling between Britain and the Middle East.

Still looking. Malaysia has not given up hope of finding Flight 370, which disappeared over the Indian Ocean on March 8 with 239 people onboard. Malaysia and Australia are gearing up for the second phase of an underwater search. Analysis of a failed satellite phone call from Malaysia Airlines to the plane showed the flight might have turned south earlier than the search teams thought. Starting in September, vessels will scour 23,000 miles of the ocean floor—roughly the size of West Virginia—using sonar and video equipment. They are looking for the plane’s black box, about the size of a shoebox. The search is estimated to cost $48 million and could take up to a year. 

Air friction. Another airplane had to make an unplanned landing Wednesday night after passengers got into a fight over a reclined seat. The flight from Miami to Paris diverted to Boston after a French passenger, Edmund Alexandre, confronted the person sitting in front of him. Alexandre then accosted a crew member who attempted to calm him. Two undercover federal air marshals arrested Alexandre, who was taken into police custody in Boston. Earlier this week, a plane from Denver to Newark landed in Chicago when a fight broke out after one passenger used a knee defender to keep the seat in front of him from reclining. 

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The man in tan. With crises unfolding around the world, President Barack Obama gave a press conference Thursday that likely will be remembered not for the speech he gave, but the suit he wore. Obama departed from his usual dark grays and navies to don a tan suit, and Twitter exploded. The suit has inspired new catch phrases such as “The Audacity of Taupe,” a parody of the title of Obama’s 2006 book, and “Yes We Tan.”

Lynde Langdon
Lynde Langdon

Lynde lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. She holds degrees from the University of Missouri in journalism, Russian, and business administration. She is in a long-term, committed relationship with the Lutheran church. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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