Monthly Archives: February 2018

Chrissy Teigen jokingly flew with an ’emotional support casserole’ and made a point about how bizarre the debate over support animals on planes has become (AAL)

chrissy teigen

  • Chrissy Teigen brought an "emotional support casserole" on an American Airlines flight on Saturday.
  • Teigen documented herself cooking the casserole, asking American and TSA if she could bring it on her flight, and carrying it through airport security.
  • Teigen has written a cookbook, Cravings, and is working on its sequel.

Airline carry-on rules can be confusing, so Chrissy Teigen went on Twitter this weekend to ask if she could bring her "emotional support casserole" on an American Airlines flight. After checking with the Twitter accounts for American and the Transportation Security Administration, she received permission.

Chrissy Teigen

"If I don’t have a carry-on, can I bring a large ceramic casserole dish of scalloped potatoes on the plane? I am not kidding, is this okay? Is it too blunt/heavy an object? I’ll cry if they throw it away," she wrote on Twitter.

chrissy teigen emotional support casserole

"That's a good question, Christine! Scalloped potatoes are allowed in carry-on and checked bags. You can place them in a ceramic casserole dish," the TSA's customer service account replied.

https://twitter.com/chrissyteigen/status/967455241363849216

Teigen documented herself cooking the casserole, asking if she could bring it on her flight, and carrying it through airport security.

"We made it!" she wrote after the casserole made its way through security.

https://twitter.com/AskTSA/status/967458221043699713

While Teigen gained fame as a model, she has written a cookbook, Cravings, and is working on its sequel. She has posted dishes she's made and shared cooking tips on her Instagram and Twitter accounts.

Teigan jokingly bringing an "emotional support casserole" comes at a time when airlines have faced controversy around how they handle emotional support animals.

Delta and United Airlines have introduced revised policies, but recent incidents, including a dog that bit a passenger, an emotional support peacock that was denied boarding, and a customer who claimed she was encouraged to flush her hamster down the toilet, have shown how quickly an emotional support animal can become a public-relations disaster.

So while Teigen's request didn't involve an animal, her use of the words "emotional support" to describe her casserole may have put American Airlines on edge.

SEE ALSO: Airlines want to start charging customers based on who they are — and it means everyone could be paying drastically different prices

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NOW WATCH: You can connect all 9 Best Picture Oscar nominees with actors they have in common — here's how

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Georgia’s lieutenant governor threatens to retaliate against Delta unless it reverses its decision on the NRA

delta airlines us capitol

  • Georgia's lieutenant governor, Casey Cagle, said he would not support a bill that would give Delta a massive tax break unless the airline reversed its decision on Saturday to end its partnership with the National Rifle Association.
  • Delta had faced pressure from gun-control advocates following the mass shooting earlier this month in Parkland, Florida.
  • The bill proposes exempting jet-fuel purchases from Georgia's sales tax and could save Delta about $40 million.

Georgia's lieutenant governor on Monday attacked Delta Air Lines for dropping a partnership with the National Rifle Association.

Delta, which is headquartered in Atlanta, ended a discount program for NRA members on Saturday after public backlash following the shooting earlier this month at a high school in Parkland, Florida.

"Delta is reaching out to the National Rifle Association to let it know we will be ending its contract for discounted rates through our group travel program," Delta said in a statement. "We will be requesting that the NRA remove our information from its website."

In response, Casey Cagle, who is running for governor as a Republican this year, tweeted on Monday that he would block any legislation that includes tax benefits for Delta until the airline renewed the partnership.

"I will kill any tax legislation that benefits @Delta unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship with @NRA," Cagle said. "Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back."

The Georgia legislature is considering a broader tax bill that includes a provision to exempt Delta's purchases of jet fuel from the state's sales tax, a move that could save the airline about $40 million. The exemption was first offered in 2005, when the airline was struggling, and repealed in 2015.

According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Cagle's opposition effectively prevents the tax break from becoming law, as several other Georgia GOP lawmakers have also suggested they will not support it until Delta reverses its decision. The state's Senate blocked the provision on Monday.

Delta attempted to clarify over the weekend that the decision was nonpartisan, painting it as a way to stay out of the debate over guns in the US.

"Delta's decision reflects the airline's neutral status in the current national debate over gun control amid recent school shootings," Delta's statement said. "Out of respect for our customers and employees on both sides, Delta has taken this action to refrain from entering this debate and focus on its business. Delta continues to support the 2nd Amendment."

The airline, which employed more than 33,000 people in Georgia in 2015, is one of the largest employers in the state.

A representative for Delta did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

SEE ALSO: More than a dozen companies have cut ties with the NRA — and pro-gun-rights activists are furious

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NOW WATCH: How to make America great — according to one of the three cofounders of Black Lives Matter

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One of the best incentives to buy a Tesla may start to disappear this year (TSLA)

Tesla Model 3

  • In an SEC report filed on Friday, Tesla said it expects to deliver its 200,000th vehicle in the US this year, which means the federal government could start phasing out a tax credit the company's customers receive as soon as this year.
  • The federal government gives people who buy electric vehicles a tax credit between $2,500 and $7,500, but two calendar quarters after a company sells its 200,000th electric vehicle in the US, the tax credit begins to phase out.
  • The loss of the tax credit will hurt demand for Tesla's Model 3, which was designed to appeal to consumers who can't afford the company's Model S sedan and Model X SUV.

Tesla expects to deliver its 200,000th vehicle in the US this year, which means the federal government could start phasing out the tax credit the company's customers receive as soon as this year.

The federal government gives people who buy electric vehicles a tax credit between $2,500 and $7,500, depending on the vehicle's size and battery capacity. As Tesla wrote in an annual report filed with the US Securities and Exchange Committee on Friday, its customers get the full $7,500. But two calendar quarters after a company sells its 200,000th electric vehicle in the US, the tax credit begins to phase out.

For the six months beginning in the second calendar quarter after the 200,000th vehicle is sold, customers are eligible for 50% of the credit. That falls to 25% during the six months after that. Once the second six-month period ends, the company's customers are no longer eligible for that tax credit.

No company has had the tax credit phased out yet, so Tesla could be the first if its projections are correct. In the filing, the company said it expects to reach 200,000 vehicle deliveries to US customers in 2018, which means the phase-out may begin in 2018 if they hit that mark in the first or second quarter.

Losing the tax credit will hurt demand for the Model 3

Since customers don't get to access the tax credit until they receive their vehicle, the vast majority of those responsible for the Model 3's roughly 400,000 pre-orders likely won't be eligible for it. That could lead some potential customers to decide they don't want the vehicle and ask for a refund on their $1,000 deposit.

The Model 3 is Tesla's least expensive vehicle to date (it starts at $35,000), so many of its potential customers are more price-sensitive than those who could afford to pay upwards of $100,000 for a Model S sedan or Model X SUV. Losing a $7,500 discount is significant for the average consumer, and combined with the fact that Tesla hasn't come close to its production targets for the Model 3, some potential customers who would have bought the vehicle with the tax credit and a somewhat timely delivery will do the math and look elsewhere.

The number of consumers who make that decision will go a long way toward determining whether Tesla can transition from a luxury automaker to a mass-market one.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the electric vehicle tax credit begins to phase out the calendar quarter after a company sells its 200,000th electric vehicle.

SEE ALSO: One of Tesla's biggest advantages could become its biggest problem

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NOW WATCH: Goldman Sachs investment chief: Bitcoin is definitely a bubble, Ethereum even more so

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Uber is pushing forward with its flying car plans and will host a Los Angeles event with demonstrations in May

Uber VTOL helipad

  • Uber is hosting an aviation conference, Elevate Summit, in May 2018.
  • The ride-hailing company wants to run a "flying car" trial in three cities by 2020.
  • Its long-term vision is urban aircraft you book with the tap of an app.

Uber is still committed to its dream of flying cars.

In May, the ride-hailing company will host a special conference dedicated to the futuristic vehicles, a sign that Uber's intentions to play a leading role in the nascent industry have not been dampened by the new management and investors who now control the company.

Uber's second annual "Elevate Summit" will take place in Los Angeles — one of the cities where it hopes to launch a pilot project in the next few years.

The invite-only event will feature unspecified "announcements and demonstrations," and Uber execs will discuss "what's coming next for Uber Elevate," a Uber spokesperson told Business Insider by email. A special website that Uber unveiled on Monday for the upcoming event listed numerous recent Uber hires, many poached from NASA and academia, as scheduled speakers.

Flying cars, a longtime staple of science-fiction, are getting closer to reality, with a number of well-funded companies racing to develop the technology, including Boeing, Airbus and Kitty Hawk, a startup backed by Google founder Larry Page.

Welcome to the Skyport

Uber is best-known for its on-demand ride-hailing app, but in recent years has talked up the promise of Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft — flying vehicles capable of launching without a runway, and sometimes referred to as "flying cars" — for transportation in urban areas.

In November 2017, the company's head of product Jeff Holden shared a number of details about the "Uber Elevate" project, The Verge reported at the time. It hopes to launch tests in Los Angeles, Dallas-Fort Worth and Dubai by 2020, and envisions customers booking seats on an aircraft via the app, much like a regular taxi, then catching it from a rooftop "skyport."

Uber, one of the world's dominant ride-hailing services, has for years invested in futuristic technology including self-driving cars and flying cars under the leadership of Travis Kalanick, the former CEO and cofounder. Kalanick was replaced as CEO by Dara Khosrowshahi in August, following a rocky year at Uber.

Despite the change in management, Uber appears to be moving forward with its plans for flying cars.

Subjects due to be discussed at the Elevate event, which will take place at LA's Skirball Center on May 8 and 9, include "Moving Cities," "Airspace & Enabling Operations," and "Vehicles, Batteries and Key Technologies."

For now, the line-up of speakers is exclusively Uber employees, including Holden and CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. It also highlights a number of Uber's recent hires from elsewhere in the industry, including Celina Mikolojczak, director of engineering, energy storage solutions (joined in January 2018, formerly at Tesla); Rob McDonald, head of aircraft engineering (joined in January 2018, formerly at California Polytechnic State University); and Thomas Prevot, director of airspace systems (joined in July 2017, formerly at NASA).

SEE ALSO: The amazing life of Uber's new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi — from refugee to tech superstar

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NOW WATCH: What it's actually like to hear voices in your head

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THE CROWDSOURCED DELIVERY REPORT: How crowdsourcing is helping to improve the troublesome last mile of e-commerce delivery

Retailers and BrexitThis is a preview of a research report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about BI Intelligence, click here.

As the steady rise of e-commerce pushes logistics companies and their retail partners to deliver more parcels, faster, speedy delivery is becoming a major competitive advantage.

And no company has capitalized on this opening like Amazon, which has made a name for itself in fulfillment with its Prime and Prime Now delivery offerings. Now, Amazon’s retail competitors — and their logistics partners — are exploring new models and technologies in a race to meet consumers’ growing demand for faster delivery. Crowdsourced delivery is one model gaining popularity — it leverages local, nonprofessional couriers to get packages to customers’ doors, sometimes in less than an hour.

This model allows companies to satisfy consumers' growing demand for faster online deliveries. Younger consumers, in particular, who have grown up in a digital, on-demand economy have high expectations for fast delivery. A survey released earlier this year by American Express and Forrester found that 57% of North American internet users aged 23-27 said same-day delivery would make them more loyal to a retailer’s brand, and 56% of respondents aged 16-22 said the same.

These Gen Z and younger Gen Y consumers will make up the bulk of shoppers within the next decade, with Gen Z alone expected to be the largest generation by 2026, according to A.T. Kearney. Additionally, 25% of online shoppers surveyed in a study by research firm L2 said they'd abandon a shopping cart if a retailer didn’t offer same-day delivery. This growing demand will drive up same-day delivery volumes to account for $200 billion in US online sales — about 25% of the US e-commerce market — by 2025, according to McKinsey.

Many crowdsourced delivery startups, like Postmates, Instacart, and Deliv, have sprung up around the world, and have collectively attracted several billion dollars in investment. Each works in a slightly different way, but they all follow a similar blueprint for executing deliveries:

  • Once an order is placed on a crowdsourced delivery company’s app — either by the customer or a retailer — the delivery is assigned to one of the part-time couriers using the app. Couriers can either bid to accept a delivery, or may be automatically assigned one based on their proximity to the pickup location.
  • After the order is picked and packed, the assigned courier delivers it to the recipient, using their own vehicle. The pickup and delivery can be made “on-demand,” meaning right away, or scheduled for a specific time window, such as between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.
  • The recipient or courier then confirms that the order has been safely delivered, and the courier receives compensation from the delivery company.

In this report, BI Intelligence examines the rise of the crowdsourcing model in the last-mile delivery space, which is becoming a crucial segment of the logistics industry with the growth of e-commerce. We detail the top use cases for crowdsourced deliveries, as well as the benefits and challenges of using this model for delivering online orders. We also provide some insights into how crowdsourced deliveries can be better optimized for retail e-commerce deliveries. And lastly, we explain the long-term potential of the startups populating the crowdsourced delivery space as automation starts to play a bigger role in the last mile.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

  • Retailers are looking for ways to deliver goods faster to consumers' doorsteps to stave off Amazon's threat and meet customer expectations.
  • To accomplish that, retailers and delivery providers are zeroing in on the "last mile" of fulfillment, the most expensive and time-consuming part of the delivery process, which is when a package reaches the customer's address.
  • Startups like Postmates, Instacart, and others are looking to disrupt the last-mile delivery space by leveraging the "Uber model," and connecting businesses to nonprofessional couriers who can deliver goods instantly.
  • Crowdsourcing can drastically speed up deliveries in urban areas, where there is a high density of deliveries and potential couriers to be matched.
  • However, as delivery volumes increase, crowdsourced delivery startups will need to further optimize their deliveries to improve cost efficiencies.
  • Many of the deliveries these startups perform today will likely be automated in the future, raising the possibility that these startups may eventually look to incorporate new technologies like delivery drones or self-driving delivery vehicles.

In full, the report:

  • Details the factors driving investment and growth in crowdsourced delivery startups.
  • Examines the benefits and drawbacks of using crowdsourcing to deliver online orders.
  • Explains how crowdsourced delivery startups can improve their cost efficiencies to tackle greater delivery volumes
  • Explores the role that crowdsourcing will play in the future of delivery once automated delivery options, like drones and robots, arrive.

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Original Article

13 cities that are starting to ban cars

stuttgart 2331646_960_720

On Tuesday, Germany's highest administrative court ruled that, in an effort to improve urban air quality, cities can ban cars from some streets.

As The New York Times notes, the ruling could open the floodgates for cities around the country to go car-free.

Stuttgart and Düsseldorf — German cities with high pollution levels — will likely enact the first bans in the fall. Stuttgart, home to Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, has recently favored such bans. In 2017, Stuttgart announced that starting this year, it will keep diesel vehicles that don't meet emissions standards from entering the city on high-pollution days.

But German cities are not the only ones getting ready to take the car-free plunge. Urban planners and policy makers around the world have started to brainstorm ways that cities can create more space for pedestrians and lower CO2 emissions from diesel.

Here are 13 cities leading the car-free movement.

SEE ALSO: 12 of the most beautiful public spaces in the world, according to urban designers

Oslo, Norway will implement its car ban by 2019.

Oslo plans to permanently ban all cars from its city center by 2019 — six years before Norway's country-wide ban would go into effect.

The Norwegian capital will invest heavily in public transportation and replace 35 miles of roads previously dominated by cars with bike lanes.

"The fact that Oslo is moving forward so rapidly is encouraging, and I think it will be inspiring if they are successful," said Paul Steely White, the executive director of Transportation Alternatives, an organization that supports bikers in New York City and advocates for car-free cities.

Madrid's planned ban is even more extensive.

Madrid plans to ban cars from 500 acres of its city center by 2020, with urban planners redesigning 24 of the city's busiest streets for walking rather than driving.

The initiative is part of the city's "sustainable mobility plan," which aims to reduce daily car usage from 29% to 23%. Drivers who ignore the new regulations will pay a fine of at least $100. And the most polluting cars will pay more to park.

"In neighborhoods, you can do a lot with small interventions," Mateus Porto and Verónica Martínez, who are both architects and urban planners from the local pedestrian advocacy group A PIE, told Fast Company. "We believe that regardless of what the General Plan says about the future of the city, many things can be done today, if there is political will."

People in Chengdu, China will be able to walk anywhere in 15 minutes or less.

Chicago-based architects Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill designed a new residential area for the Chinese city. The layout makes it easier to walk than drive, with streets designed so that people can walk anywhere in 15 minutes.

While Chengdu won't completely ban cars, only half the roads in the 80,000-person city will allow vehicles. The firm originally planned to make this happen by 2020, but zoning issues are delaying the deadline.

See the rest of the story at Business InsiderOriginal Article

This airline has $99 tickets for flights from the US to Europe — but there’s a major catch

WOW Air Airbus A320

  • Iceland's WOW Air is offering 800 heavily discounted tickets from New York to Europe.
  • The tickets range from $99 to $149 for flights from Newark Liberty International Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport.
  • Destinations include London, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, and Reykjavik, Iceland.

Iceland's WOW Air is offering a limited number of heavily discounted tickets from New York to Europe this spring.

The one-way tickets range from $99 to $149 and depart from two airports for Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Paris, or Reykjavik, Iceland.

But there's a catch: The low-cost carrier says it will sell only 800 of the discounted tickets — so if you want to book a cheap flight from the New York area, you'll need to act fast.

The 800 tickets will be divided between Newark Liberty International Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport, where the airline is expected to begin service on April 27.

Here's a list of the available deals:

  • $99:
    • JFK and Newark to Reykjavik
  • $149:
    • JFK and Newark to Amsterdam
    • JFK and Newark to Paris
    • JFK to London
    • Newark to Berlin

The discounted tickets are available starting Tuesday on WOW Air's website for flights departing between April and June.

"We are excited by the success of our Newark Liberty International Airport partnership and are looking forward to offering New Yorkers more flight options with John F. Kennedy International Airport," Skuli Mogensen, WOW Air's CEO and founder, said in a statement.

"As always, our goal is to make travel more affordable and accessible, providing high-value to those looking to expand their horizons through traveling the world," he said.

WOW Air's low-cost model means the airline regularly offers cheap fares, and buyers can generally get affordable tickets year-round.

The carrier has also become known for its sales in which it offers a limited number of tickets at extremely discounted prices.

SEE ALSO: There's a simple phrase you can use when asking for a flight upgrade that could help you land a first-class seat — but there’s a catch

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NOW WATCH: Amazon is shaking up a healthcare industry that's ripe for disruption

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Trump strikes $3.9 billion deal for two presidential Boeing 747s — here’s a look back at the incredible history of Air Force One (BA)

Air Force One

  • The White House and Boeing have agreed to an informal deal for two Boeing 747-8I airliners.
  • The $3.9 billion dollar deal will see the two aircraft converted to the nation's new presidential transports.
  • The planes will take on the call sign Air Force One when the President of the United States is on board.

Boeing and the White House have agreed to a $3.9 billion deal for two 747-8 Intercontinental commercial airliners that will be converted over to serve as the nation's next generation presidential transports.

The White House confirmed on Tuesday that US President Donald Trump agreed to the informal deal with Boeing.

The two brand-new jumbo jets were abandoned after Russia's Transaero airline bust in 2015. At the time, Boeing had already built two of the four 747s Transaero had on order. So instead of delivering the planes, Boeing completed flight testing and sent them to the California desert where they have been waiting for a new buyer. Now the planes are now destined to take on the call sign, Air Force One.

Air Force One is instantly recognizable — both as the airplane of the President of the United States and as a flying symbol of American military and economic might. With its hand-polished blue, white, and silver livery, it boldly proclaims the arrival of the powerful man in the world.

What many people don't know is that there isn't one, but two nearly identical Boeing jets that serve as the official transport of the president. Normally, the planes are referred to by their tail numbers — 28000 and 29000 — but when the Commander and Chief steps on board, they take on the call sign "Air Force One." In fact, presidential airplanes didn't begin using the Air Force One designation until 1959.

The president's pair of Boeing VC-25A jets is operated by the Presidential Airlift Group out of Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. While the current Boeing 747-based planes have been in service for more than two decades, they're simply the latest in a long line of flying White Houses.

Here's a look back at the history America's presidential airplanes.

SEE ALSO: Emirates Airline boss reveals that the nastiest feud in the airline industry could kill his $76 billion Boeing order

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Today, presidential air travel is a massive, highly coordinated operation. However, this wasn't always the case.


It all started with Theodore Roosevelt — a true American pioneer. The 26th president was the first to fly in an airplane. More than a year after leaving office, he flew in a Wright Flyer on October 10, 1910.

Smithsonian

It wasn't until 1933 that the government actually acquired an aircraft specifically for presidential travel. That year, a Douglas Dolphin amphibious plane — similar to the one pictured below — was specially outfitted for President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Unfortunately, FDR never flew in the Dolphin.

Popular Mechanics

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Georgia Republicans are stuck in a philosophical crisis on taxes amid the battle between Delta and the NRA

delta airlines plane

  • Republicans in the Georgia Senate blocked a bill on Monday that would have given Delta Airlines a major tax break.
  • The block stemmed from the airline's decision to end a partnership with the National Rifle Association.
  • The decision has opened up a fault line in the state between Republicans attempting to prove conservative credentials by attacking Delta and pro-business Republicans who think the break will help grow the economy.

Republicans in Georgia have become entrenched in a ideological intraparty battle, debating over free market ideals and gun rights with Delta Airlines and the National Rifle Association in the middle.

It has come as Delta dropped a discount program for the NRA and seen their tax benefits in the state come into question. Republicans have been left to decide whether to back the long-standing conservative ideal of easing the tax burden on businesses or appearing stronger on gun rights. The debate has become inextricably linked to the state's upcoming midterm elections.

Last weekend, Delta scrapped a program for NRA members that provided discounted flights to members who planned to travel to Atlanta for one of the gun group's major conferences.

Delta attempted to paint the move as an apolitical one and an attempt to stay above the fray in the gun debate, which has been reignited after this month's shooting at a high school in Florida.

"Delta's decision reflects the airline's neutral status in the current national debate over gun control amid recent school shootings," Delta's statement said.

But several Republicans said in response they would not back a provision in a larger tax bill that would give Delta a significant tax break — it would exempt from state sales taxes some jet fuel purchased at the Atlanta-Hartsfield Jackson Airport. Though the break would benefit several airlines, an estimated $40 million of the $50 million in savings would go to Atlanta-based Delta.

The Republican push reached a fever pitch when Lt. Gov. Chris Cagle, a candidate for governor in the upcoming GOP primary, said he would block a broader tax bill that included the measure.

"I’m tired of conservatives being kicked around on our values," Cagle said Monday. "It’s time we stand up and fight and show corporations that conservative values are important, not just to Georgia but to the entire nation."

Other GOP primary candidates also blasted Delta's move, attempting to solidify their conservative credentials before the May 22 vote.

The pro-business faction fights back

On the other side of the argument is the more establishment-minded GOP's desire for lower taxes on businesses, particularly the state's largest employer.

While current Gov. Nathan Deal has so far been mum on the fight, he previously touted the jet fuel exemption as a way to keep the Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport competitive and drive business growth for airlines there.

"Georgia and our businesses are global competitors; we need direct air travel to provide our companies with immediate access worldwide," Deal said in a statement on February 6. "By removing the sales tax on jet fuel, we can level the playing field for our airports and airlines to compete."

According to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, Deal attempted to assuage the concerns of conservative Georgia Senate members on Monday, but was unsuccessful.

Even some Democrats blasted statements from Cagle and others, saying it shows Republicans prioritize the NRA over Georgia's economy. Priyanka Mantha, a spokesperson for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, said it proved Cagle was "in the pocket of the gun lobby."

"@CaseyCagle would sacrifice thousands of jobs, endanger our state's economy, & stick a finger in the eye of a huge employer in our state just to satisfy his buddies at the NRA," Mantha tweeted.

SEE ALSO: Georgia's lieutenant governor threatens to retaliate against Delta unless it reverses its decision on the NRA

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NOW WATCH: Henry Blodget: Will arming teachers with guns help stop school shootings?

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Inside the world’s largest plane, which has a wingspan longer than a football field and will debut in 2019

stratolaunch

  • The Stratolaunch is the world's largest aircraft.
  • Its 385-foot wingspan is longer than a football field.
  • The aircraft recently completed a runway test in anticipation of its debut flight, which is planned for 2019.

The world's largest plane is so big, it needs two fuselages with separate cockpits.

It's called the Stratolaunch, and it's designed to launch rockets into space in what is known as low-Earth orbit, which means the spacecraft is between 99 and 1,200 miles above the Earth's surface. (Most space flights, as well as satellites and the International Space Station, are in low-Earth orbit.)

Since it was unveiled in June 2017, the Stratolaunch has undergone a series of tests before it makes its first flight in 2019. On Monday, the Stratolaunch YouTube page posted a video of runway tests that saw the aircraft reach a top speed of 46 mph.

Here's a look at the Stratolaunch, and why businesses might want to use it.

SEE ALSO: Trump strikes $3.9 billion deal for two presidential Boeing 747s — here's a look back at the incredible history of Air Force One

Stratolaunch Systems is owned by Paul Allen, who cofounded Microsoft.


Allen's goal for the company and its namesake aircraft is to "provide convenient, reliable, and routine access to low-Earth orbit."


It would do so by launching rockets toward space from mid-air, which the company hopes will be less expensive than current, commercial space launch options.



See the rest of the story at Business InsiderOriginal Article