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Delta to Ban Checked Firearms on D.C. Flights: Inaugural Update

Members of the National Guard unload supplies outside the U.S. Capitol on January 14, 2021 in Washington, D.C. Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

(Bloomberg) --Delta Air Lines Inc. is barring checked firearms on Washington, D.C.-bound flights through the Jan. 20 inauguration, except for law enforcement officers. Black Lives Matter activists urged Washington hotels to close for six days surrounding the inauguration. Not all National Guard troops in DC will be armed. The Federal Bureau of Investigation warned that extremist groups may be planning more attacks.

By Bloomberg News
Jan 14, 2021, 2:16 PM – Updated on Jan 14, 2021, 8:57 PM
Word Count: 905
There are six days until Biden’s inauguration.

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Delta to Ban Checked Firearms on D.C. Flights (1:55 p.m.)
Delta won’t allow passengers flying into any of the Washington-area airports to check a firearm starting this weekend as part of extra security steps leading to the inauguration.

The ban, which excludes law enforcement officers authorized to carry a gun, will extend through next week, Chief Executive Officer Ed Bastian told CNBC Thursday. The airline has also increased security in Washington airports.

“We are working closely with the TSA, FAA, law enforcement agencies, our intelligence agencies and sources to understand the threat levels,” Bastian said in a Bloomberg News interview. “Obviously it’s on a higher alert than normal. We’re working very closely on both seen and unseen security measures.”

American Airlines Group Inc. is suspending the sale of alcoholic beverages on flights to and from Washington airports Jan. 16 through 20. The carrier implemented a similar ban, which affects only premium seats, after the attack on the Capitol. The carrier has also moved flight crews to hotels outside of the downtown area and increased staff at airports. –Mary Schlangenstein

BLM Calls For Washington Hotels to Shut Down (12:54 p.m.)
Black Lives Matter D.C. and ShutDown D.C. are calling on hotels in the Capitol area to close beginning Friday and lasting through Jan. 21, a day after President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

If the hotels do not opt to close, the groups will ask D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to extend the emergency order and force them to do so.

The activists urged hotels to pay workers even if they close.

”White supremacists are not welcome in D.C. Let me be clear: White supremacists are not welcome here in D.C.,” activist Neenee Taylor said Thursday at a Washington media event. “To be clear they came Nov. 14, Dec. 12 and then Jan. 6 and these hotels hosted them.”

Airbnb announced it would cancel all reservations in the D.C. area during Inauguration week and block any new reservations from being booked. The company also said it would ban people either associated with hate groups or who were involved in the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

National Guard Troops Won’t All Be Armed (11:35 a.m.)
Not all of the roughly 20,000 National Guard troops deploying in Washington, D.C. to bolster security at next week’s inauguration will be armed.

About 3,000 troops will be armed and issued ammunition, which could be live rounds or rubber bullets. Those armed must be current military police or have experience working in civilian law enforcement, according to a defense official. They must also be currently qualified in self-defense techniques to prevent being disarmed, according to the official.

Most of the armed troops are expected to be stationed at the U.S. Capitol, site of both last week’s riots by protesters supporting President Donald Trump and the main venue for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. But troops will also be dispersed around downtown Washington at key locations. — Tony Capaccio

FBI Warns Capitol Riot May Fuel Future Attacks (10:46 a.m.)
A bulletin issued yesterday by the FBI and other agencies warned that extremists targeting the inauguration may exploit the aftermath of the Capitol breach by conducting attacks to destabilize and force a larger conflict in the U.S., according to a person familiar with it.

The bulletin issued on Wednesday to law enforcement agencies across the country also warned the Jan. 6 siege of the Capitol will be a “significant driver of violence,” the person said. The bulletin was reported earlier by the New York Times. — Chris Strohm

Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez to Perform at Biden Inauguration
Despite being pared down by the coronavirus and security concerns, Biden’s inauguration will feature some marquee entertainment.

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The Presidential Inaugural Committee announced Thursday that Lady Gaga would sing the national anthem at the ceremony. Lopez will also perform a musical number. Leo O’Donovan, a Jesuit priest who served as president of Georgetown University and is a friend of Biden’s, will offer the invocation.

Committee CEO Tony Allen said the participants “represent one clear picture of the grand diversity of our great nation and will help honor and celebrate the time-honored traditions of the presidential inauguration as President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris take the oath of office on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol.”

Inaugurations traditionally draw crowds of hundreds of thousands of supporters to the National Mall and feature days of parties and balls. All of those events have been canceled and Biden backers have been told to stay home due to the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

Also, the ceremony will be taking place under tight security after rioters stormed the Capitol last week in a rampage that left five dead, including a police officer.

–With assistance from Chris Strohm, Tony Capaccio and Mary Schlangenstein.

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • JV SL says:

    “Black Lives Matter activists urged Washington hotels to close for six days surrounding the inauguration.”
    …….Are they planning to burn those who disagree??…as customary??….

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