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TSA program tracks unsuspecting passengers

In a previously undisclosed Transportation Security Administration program, federal air marshals are tracking American citizens not suspected of a crime, not under investigation or who are not on any terrorist watch list, the Boston Globe first reported and CNN has confirmed.

Posted: Jul 30, 2018 11:38 PM
Updated: Jul 30, 2018 11:53 PM

Want to really know if your significant other is right for you? Take a trip together, because travel really is the ultimate test of a relationship. Here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. California wildfires

A wildfire in Northern California grows bigger and causes more misery by the day. The Carr Fire in Shasta County has killed six people, left at least seven people missing, destroyed almost 900 structures and torched almost 100,000 acres. The fire pretty much doubled in size over the weekend and is only 17% contained. Going forward, the forecast won't be helpful in fighting the flames: high temperatures, low humidity and increased winds -- the perfect recipe for more explosive fire behavior.

The fire is leaving in its wake countless heartbreaking stories, but none as devastating as the one told by Ed Bledsoe, who had only a few precious minutes on the phone with his wife and two great-grandchildren before they died as the fire burned his home. And the fire misery isn't just contained to Shasta County. In addition to the Carr Fire, more than a dozen other large wildfires are burning throughout California, stretching resources.

2. Zimbabwe elections

The polls are open in Zimbabwe for an election that will be the first without strongman Robert Mugabe on the ballot. The former president was pushed out by the military last year after almost four decades of rule. So this gives Zimbabweans a chance to participate in something the country's never had before: a free and fair election. The current interim president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, is on the ballot, along with more than 20 other candidates. In addition to the presidental race, voters will decide seats in parliament as well.

3. White House

President Trump revived his threat to shut down the federal government over the immigration battle. Trump wants funding for his border wall and big changes to the nation's immigration laws. Congress passed a spending bill in March that funds the government through September; the President has said he won't sign a new spending bill unless his demands are met.

Later today, the President welcomes Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to the White House. In Conte, Trump will see a lot of himself: a neophyte politician who rose to power on a populist, anti-immigration platform. The two are set to hold a joint presser after their meetings.

4. TSA

Remember the words to that old song from the 80s -- "I always feel like somebody's watching me?" Guess you can hum that little melody the next time you catch a flight. Details came out over the weekend about a government program where federal air marshals keep track of unsuspecting American citizens in the air. The Transportation Security Administration program, called Quiet Skies, keeps taps on Americans not suspected of a crime, not under investigation or who are not on any terrorist watch list.

In the program, which has been around since 2010, info gleaned from the intel community and previous travel patterns are used to pick which fliers to watch. Air marshals look at things like excessive fidgeting, excessive perspiration, rubbing or wringing of hands, rapid eye blinking or even sleeping during a flight. The TSA says the program is not targeting ordinary Americans or monitoring individuals based on race or nationality.

5. Polar bear death outrage

A German cruise line is under fire after one of its employees shot and killed a polar bear in Norway. A ship from Hapag-Lloyd Cruises had docked on Spitsbergen, an island in Norway, this weekend when a polar bear attacked a guard. The guard had been hired to go on shore before passengers disembarked to make sure the area was safe. Another guard shot the polar bear to stop the attack. The cruise line apologized, but that did nothing to stop the torrent of criticism, including from biologist Adam Hart, who tweeted, "Tourism... again proving itself to be harmful to wildlife." Polar bears are listed as a vulnerable species, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

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Sweet dreams

Need proof the Obamas are living their best lives after leaving the White House? Check out their dance moves at a Beyonce/Jay-Z concert.

All over Down Under

Kangaroos are synonymous with Australia, but they've mobbed back yards, roads and even sports fields in parts of the country because of food shortages.

What's in a name

We've heard of cities renaming streets and schools because of ties to the Confederacy. But renaming an entire city? It's being discussed in Austin, Texas.

Putin prankster

Somebody switched out Donald Trump's portrait for Vladimir Putin's in the gallery of US presidents at the Colorado state Capitol building.

Courteous culprit

Yes, the teen was wrong for breaking into a California couple's home. But at least he woke them up to ask for their Wi-Fi password.

Ebony and ivory

There's no harmony in New Zealand after the government ordered the ivory key tops of a 123-year-old piano to be removed and dumped.

HAPPENING LATER

Major meeting

The board of directors at CBS meets today to form a special committee to look into sexual harassment allegations against CEO Les Moonves.

THIS JUST IN

Mystery continues

A new report out this morning on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 says Malaysia is "unable to determine the real cause" for the plane's disappearance.

AND FINALLY ...

Over the top

Nothing like a friendly game of fetch with a friendly dog, even if the fence is in the way. (Click to view)

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 479326

Reported Deaths: 9353
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison32779484
Hinds30924582
DeSoto30319353
Jackson23542341
Rankin21235366
Lee14803219
Madison14120271
Jones13327223
Forrest13078236
Lauderdale11501303
Lowndes10377176
Lamar10163130
Pearl River9008217
Lafayette8193137
Hancock7404111
Oktibbeha6909122
Washington6900150
Monroe6459159
Neshoba6441201
Warren6387163
Pontotoc623093
Panola6203125
Bolivar6072144
Marshall6068121
Union571386
Pike5574135
Alcorn533289
Lincoln5283131
George466072
Scott454796
Leflore4444140
Prentiss443377
Tippah442180
Itawamba441599
Adams4376116
Tate4327101
Simpson4313112
Wayne430766
Copiah429587
Yazoo419686
Covington413292
Sunflower4123104
Marion4073104
Leake395486
Coahoma391098
Newton367274
Grenada3543104
Stone350359
Tishomingo333288
Attala324286
Jasper313162
Winston303091
Clay294173
Chickasaw286265
Clarke279890
Calhoun263940
Holmes261387
Smith248048
Yalobusha219647
Tallahatchie217550
Walthall209958
Greene206845
Lawrence205732
Perry198553
Amite197651
Webster195042
Noxubee177739
Montgomery171654
Jefferson Davis167442
Carroll161437
Tunica150834
Benton141533
Kemper138039
Claiborne126134
Choctaw126026
Humphreys125937
Franklin116328
Quitman103426
Wilkinson101536
Jefferson87333
Sharkey62320
Issaquena1926
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 778549

Reported Deaths: 13665
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1105871747
Mobile704651206
Madison49152610
Baldwin35946479
Shelby35796302
Tuscaloosa33410532
Montgomery32906672
Lee22231216
Calhoun20791397
Morgan19605326
Etowah18837449
Marshall17465272
Houston16452368
St. Clair15233293
Limestone14376182
Cullman14348246
Elmore14241256
Lauderdale13298278
Talladega12699230
DeKalb12036233
Walker10430323
Autauga9568133
Blount9555152
Jackson9235146
Coffee8728169
Colbert8426179
Dale8410170
Escambia6526114
Tallapoosa6501172
Covington6396163
Chilton6293141
Russell598555
Franklin5719100
Chambers5315133
Marion4734115
Dallas4665182
Clarke457076
Pike456294
Geneva4315116
Winston417192
Lawrence4086108
Bibb401680
Barbour341968
Marengo323183
Butler314988
Monroe314652
Pickens300470
Randolph299955
Henry298356
Hale289383
Cherokee284652
Fayette275672
Washington244848
Crenshaw235168
Clay225163
Macon217657
Cleburne217149
Lamar192140
Conecuh179646
Lowndes170158
Coosa166432
Wilcox155736
Bullock147742
Perry136036
Sumter124136
Greene120142
Choctaw72826
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Tupelo
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Columbus
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Oxford
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Starkville
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Fall has started off exactly as you would have anticipated and it looks like we should have a number of dry days still ahead, but this isn’t a permanent switch, because heat is pegged to return.
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