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Standing, instead of sitting on airline flights being studied
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Standing, instead of sitting on airline flights being studied

Standing, instead of sitting on airline flights being studied
Photo Credit: Aviontinteriors S.p.A.
Futuristic airline seats

Standing, instead of sitting on airline flights being studied

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The man who invented the idea for the "standing cabin," says it could revolutionize air travel.

"I stumbled across the idea when I was looking into ways to reduce the flight ticket price," Fairuz Romli told CNN.

Romli figures the configuration would lead to a 21% increase in passenger capacity and force ticket prices down nearly 50% in a plane like the widely used Boeing 737.

"I'm a frequent flier and most of the times during domestic flights. It feels like the flying time is very short that the aircraft is already descending for landing before you can unfasten your seatbelt after takeoff," he commented.

Romli went on to ask, “do we really need to sit down?"

It turns out his idea wasn’t new. Ryanair, Airbus, and Spring Airlines have all looked into the concept.

When Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary and his company looked at the idea in 2012, he said, “the problem with aviation is that for 50 years it's been populated by people who think it's a wondrous sexual experience when it's really just a bus with wings."

Even so, all three companies decided the idea wouldn’t “fly.”

“We don’t believe there are good market opportunities for this idea,” said Mark Hiller of Recaro Aircraft Seating, one of the biggest suppliers of airline seats. Romli published his findings in the International Journal of Engineering and Technology.

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  • Long before his short stints in jail turned into years behind bars, Khalid Masood was known as Adrian Elms, with a reputation for drinking and an unpredictable temper. At least twice he was convicted of violent crimes, well before he stabbed a police officer to death Wednesday with a motion one horrified witness described as like 'playing a drum on your back with two knives.' But as he checked out of his hotel to head toward London for his deadly rampage, the manager said he was struck by his guest's friendly and outgoing manner. Within hours, Masood drove his rented SUV across the crowded Westminster Bridge, leaving a trail of dead and wounded. Then he jumped out and attacked the officer at Parliament with a blade in each hand, before being shot to death by police. In all, he killed four people and left more than two dozen hospitalized in what authorities called a terrorist attack. Masood, who at 52 is considerably older than most extremists who carry out bloodshed in the West, had an arrest record dating to 1983. The violence came later, first in 2000 when he slashed a man across the face in a pub parking lot in a racially charged argument after drinking four pints of beer, according to a newspaper account from the time. The victim, Piers Mott, would keep the scar the rest of his life, said his widow, Heather. The last conviction was in 2003, also involving a knife attack. It's not clear when he took the name Masood, suggesting a conversion to Islam. Heather Mott said Masood appeared to come out of jail 'even worse.' She said she got chills when she learned the identity of the London attacker. 'And it makes you feel even sicker when you think, God, that was the guy who lived here. What a pity they didn't realize he was a nutter,' she said. Police are combing through 'massive amounts of computer data' and have contacted 3,500 witnesses as they look for clues as to why the British-born man launched the deadly attack. 'Clearly that's a main line of our investigation is what led him to be radicalized: Was it through influences in our community, influences from overseas or through online propaganda? Our investigations and our arrests will help in that, but the public appeal will make a big difference if people come forward with more information,' said Britain's top counterterrorism officer, Mark Rowley. Prime Minister Theresa May said Masood was 'investigated in relation to concerns about violent extremism' years ago. But she called him 'a peripheral figure.' The Islamic State group described Masood as 'a soldier,' claiming responsibility for the attack. Rowley said police are investigating whether he 'acted totally alone inspired by terrorist propaganda, or if others have encouraged, supported or directed him.' Ten people remained in custody Friday on suspicion of preparing terrorist acts. Detectives have searched 21 properties in London, Brighton, Wales, Manchester and the central English city of Birmingham in one of Britain's biggest counterterrorism operations in years. Wednesday's attack was the deadliest in Britain since suicide bombers killed 52 commuters on London's transit system on July 7, 2005. Once Masood's identity became known, police and the media began tracing his final hours. The manager of the Preston Park Hotel in the beachside city of Brighton where Masood stayed the night before the attack said he seemed unusually outgoing and mentioned details about his family, including having a sick father. 'He was normal, in fact friendly, because we spent possibly five or 10 minutes talking to him about his background and where he came from,' Sabeur Toumi told Sky News. He was 'laughing and joking, telling us stories about where he lived,' Toumi said. Police raided the room, searching for clues about Masood. Among the items seized were the trouser press and the toilet paper holder. Masood's mother lives in rural Wales, according to a website on which she sells handmade creations like cushions and handbags. The listings on Folksy by Janet Ajao have been taken down, but in an archived version of the site, she describes living in 'rural west Wales with my husband, border collie and a few chickens.' Calls to the home in remote Trelech, Wales, went unanswered Friday. When Masood was in school, he took his stepfather's name, Ajao. He was athletic and popular in high school, known as someone who liked to party, according to Stuart Knight, a former classmate who said the young man was one of only two black students in the school of 600. 'I am in shock — that is not sympathy for what he has done — he was a nice guy and I'm surprised he turned and did what he did,' Knight said. In one of the last places Masood lived, a home in Birmingham, neighbors recalled him as a quiet man whose wife was veiled and who wore traditional Muslim clothing. But the neighborhood is not among one of the city's many Muslim enclaves, suggesting he was not deeply embedded in his religious community. Moazzam Begg, a former Guantanamo prisoner who was born and raised in Birmingham, said details emerging of the attacker's life raised questions about whether he had strong ties to the Muslim community and where he may have been radicalized. Since British authorities began cracking down on mosques, many people were instead being radicalized online, he added. 'He did not live in a Muslim neighborhood. In my mind, in my analysis, he was probably a drifter,' said Begg, adding that no one he knew in the community had met Masood. 'I'd also be surprised if he had any connection with a mosque, because sadly they are places where you can no longer discuss politics or air grievances.' Cultural and religious alienation can fuel such violence, he said. Begg helps run a group called Cage that has encountered extremists who spoke of their alienation before they committed attacks. Begg said his group did not know of any impending attacks. 'I've always felt negative radicalization is part push and pull,' Begg said. 'If a person feels like he doesn't belong ... this can be part of the push.' While in prison, Begg said he saw others who succumbed to radicalism. He said that groups like the Islamic State have exploited people's weaknesses and criminality. Further details of the London rampage continued to emerge Friday. A former British Army officer told the BBC that rescuers held the hand of Constable Keith Palmer and talked to him as they tried in vain to save his life after he was stabbed. Mike Crofts, a former Army captain who served in Afghanistan, said he was in the courtyard outside Parliament following a meeting with politicians about using boxing to engage young men when the attack took place. 'I rushed towards the scene,' he said, and began first aid along with Staff Sgt. Tony Davis, one of Crofts' instructors at Sandhurst, Britain's military academy. Ultimately, 20 to 30 people tried to save Palmer's life. 'Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we were unable to save him,' Crofts said. 'Palmer at the time was surrounded by a whole host of colleagues who really loved him. We held his hand through the experience. We talked to him throughout, but unfortunately, he passed away.' ___ Hinnant reported from London, where Associated Press writers Danica Kirka, Jill Lawless and Gregory Katz contributed.
  • A Cherokee County middle school teacher died Thursday morning after his pickup truck went off a 100-foot embankment on I-575, officials said. The driver of the F-150 was identified as Kevin White, 37, of Canton. He was a chorus teacher at Booth Middle School in Woodstock. The incident happened on the southbound side of the interstate at Little River Bridge near Ridgewalk Parkway in Woodstock. The truck was found upside down. “It’s a significant drop,” Cherokee County sheriff’s Lt. Jay Baker told Channel 2 Action News. “It appears they were traveling at a pretty high rate of speed (considering) the distance where the car went airborne.” Baker said the truck veered into the median and went through a construction zone before striking a gravel embankment that caused it to become airborne. The accident caused major delays during the morning commute. The Cherokee sheriff’s office and Woodstock police are investigating. In other news:
  • U.S. stocks are falling as the struggling Republican health care bill again dominates investors' attention. House Republicans say the proposal doesn't have enough support to pass in a vote this afternoon. That's casting some doubt on President Donald Trump's business-friendly agenda and stocks are on track for their biggest weekly loss since the presidential election. KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 10 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,339 as of 3:15 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 122 points, or 0.6 percent, to 20,535. It rose as much as 61 points early on. The Nasdaq composite dipped 8 points, or 0.4 percent, to 5,809. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks fell 4 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 1,349. The VIX, known as Wall Street's 'fear gauge,' is up for the sixth day in a row and is at its highest level this year, although it's not high by historic standards. Some of the companies that have done the best since Trump's election, including banks and industrial and materials companies, are falling. HEALTH BILL HOLDUP: Hospital operators like HCA Holdings and Universal Health Systems rose, and so did insurers that do a lot of business with Medicaid, like Centene and Molina Healthcare. When the act was introduced, those stocks traded lower because investors were concerned hospitals would have to take in more patients who lack insurance and that insurers would get less money from Medicaid. The largest national health insurers are down Friday. The legislation would provide tax credits for people buying their own insurance and would scale back the government's role in helping people afford coverage. It would likely leave more Americans uninsured and would make big changes to Medicaid, a joint federal-state health program for low-income Americans. IDLING: While investors weren't panicking about the state of Trump's agenda, there were some signs of concern that his proposals of tax cuts, infrastructure spending, and regulatory cuts will take longer. Those are aspects of Trump's proposed agenda Wall Street is excited about. Basic materials makers fell the most. Construction materials company Vulcan Materials sank $3.56, or 3.1 percent, to $111.83. Martin Marietta Materials, which sells granite, limestone, sand and gravel, lost $6.39, or 3 percent, to $207.10. Steel maker Nucor declined $1.76, or 2.9 percent, to $59.50. Construction and machinery companies also stumbled. Engine maker Cummins shed $1.85, or 1.2 percent, or $1.2 percent, to $150.37 and truck leasing company Ryder System sank 88 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $71.96. THE QUOTE: Michael Scanlon, a portfolio manager for Manulife Asset Management, said investors will be glad if the administration moves on to other issues. 'You're going to see a very quick pivot to corporate tax reform and that's regardless of whether this passes or fails,' he said. A corporate tax cut could give stocks a large boost by increasing profits, and it might also raise tax revenues. Scanlon said it's important that the administration and Congress actually reform taxes, however. 'Something needs to be done with a permanent solution, not just one of these holiday things,' he said, because 'the goal is to be a stimulus for domestic investment.' MAKING A SPLASH: SeaWorld Entertainment jumped after a big investment from China. SeaWorld said real estate holding company Zhonghong Zhuoye Group bought a 21 percent stake from Blackstone Group. It said the Chinese firm paid $23 a share, and an executive will join SeaWorld's board. The stock has struggled in recent years because of controversy over the condition of SeaWorld's killer whales, which hurt attendance. The stock gained 89 cents, or 5.1 percent, to $18.20. FULL STOP: Video game retailer GameStop disclosed weaker-than-expected revenue as consumers cut back on shopping while they waited for companies to introduce the next generation of game systems. GameStop's forecasts for this year fell far short of analyst forecasts. The stock dropped $3.20, or 13.4 percent, to $20.76. BONDS: Bond prices rose slightly. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.40 percent from 2.42 percent. ENERGY: U.S. crude oil futures rose 27 cents to $47.97 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 24 cents to $50.80 a barrel in London. OTHER ENERGY TRADING: Wholesale gasoline gained 2 cents to $1.60 a gallon. Heating oil rose 1 cent to $1.50 a gallon. Natural gas added 3 cents to $3.08 per 1,000 cubic feet. CURRENCIES: The dollar inched down to 110.80 yen from 111.07 yen. The euro edged up to $1.0808 from $1.0786. METALS: Gold rose $1.30 to $1,248.50 an ounce. Silver jumped 16 cents to $17.75 an ounce. Copper lost 1 cent to $2.63 a pound. OVERSEAS: In Germany, the DAX added 0.2 percent and the French CAC 40 dropped 0.2 percent and Britain's FTSE 100 index dipped 0.1 percent. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.9 percent following recent losses. The Kospi of South Korea shed 0.2 percent while Hong Kong's Hang Seng reversed earlier losses to finish 0.1 percent higher. ___ AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/journalist/marley-jay
  • A judge has dismissed a large part of the case against the man accused of holding six women against their will inside a Sandy Springs mansion.Kenndric Roberts appeared before a judge Thursday and heard the extensive case against him.Channel 2's Mike Petchenik was inside the courtroom and live-tweeted the hearing as a detective went on the stand to detail the investigation.We'll have more on the new details released in the case on Channel 2 Action News starting at 4Roberts was facing 14 felony charges, including six counts of human trafficking and six counts of false imprisonment, and weapons charges.Charges that remain are:1. False Imprisonment 2. False Imprisonment 3. Weapons charge Prosecutors said Roberts held six women against their will at a mansion and forced them to dance at the Pink Pony strip club.They said he took their money, by one account, $78,000, for just two months of work. RELATED STORIES: Woman held captive was forced to dance at strip clubs, mother says Man accused of holding women captive faces 14 felony charges Man accused of holding 6 women captive in Sandy Springs mansion Investigators also said he also threatened harm to the women if they left him.'He took her phone, we found her passport in his bedroom,' said detective Justin Clutter. 'Basically she was in fear because she saw firearms. He ended up sending her to Dominican Republic to get a breast augmentation and a butt lift. And he started making threats.'Roberts attorney called him a 'poor man's Hugh Hefner,' who had legit contracts with these women to pay them for the work they were doing for him.He argued Roberts lavished them with expensive gifts as part of their payment and that they were free to leave as they wanted. Minute by minute coverage of the case: Judge also sets a bond for Kenndric Roberts. D.A. arguing victims weren't notified about potential bond.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Breaking: Judge dismissed all but three charges against Kenndric Roberts. pic.twitter.com/v0Op6UrYqS-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Defense attorney argues women weren't held against their will, wanted to partake in the lavish lifestyle Kenndric Roberts was providing.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Prosecutor: Roberts threatened to cut the breast implants out of a victim if she tried to leave him.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Attorney: 'My client is a poor man's Hugh Hefner.'-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Attorney points out Kenndric Roberts has no previous arrest record, despite allegations of gang affiliations.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Attorney: 'They were living pretty high off the hog, weren't they?' Det: 'That's debatable.'-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Attorney says Roberts paid for health insurance for the woman, provided them vehicles, expensive jewelry.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Attorney says women had housing, personal chef, tanning contracts and beauty salon stipends while working for Roberts.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Defense attorney argues all the girls had contracts with a 'termination clause' in it.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 I obtained this handwritten note Roberts' attorney says he wrote showing items he says he gave one woman who worked for him. pic.twitter.com/uFQUsoiWLw-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Det. testifies Roberts forced the women to dance at the Pink Pony in Brookhaven, then took all their tips.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Det: Kenndric Roberts put vehicles in the name of one victim who had good credit.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Det.says one human trafficking victim wrote an e-mail to the Attorney General's office laying out allegations of abuse at the home.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Det. says Roberts wouldn't allow the women to keep any money on them at all.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Detective says Roberts stole $78k from women he forced to work at strip clubs.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Detective testifies Roberts sent victim to Dominican republic to have breast work and butt lift.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 A #SandySprings special investigator is testifying in human trafficking case. pic.twitter.com/Z4GGAli63x-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Kenndric Roberts is in court for his prelim hearing on human trafficking charges. pic.twitter.com/w0eXros87D-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017