What Is The State Of The Airline Industry?

A pilot walks through the Phoenix airport on May 24, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

A pilot walks through the Phoenix airport on May 24, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

As travelers head home this Memorial Day, airline executives are gearing up for an International Air Transport Association meeting in Dublin later this week to look at the state of the industry.

Airlines have benefited from low fuel prices, and last year there were record profits. But there are a lot of concerns right now about long security-lines and terrorism.

Curt Nickisch of Harvard Business Review speaks with Here & Now‘s Meghna Chakrabarti about where the industry is headed.

Read more from Harvard Business Review, “The Reason Air Travel Is Terrible and So Few Airlines Are Profitable.”

Guest

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World Cafe Next: Bonnie Bishop

Bonnie Bishop.

Bonnie Bishop. Jason Lee Denton/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Jason Lee Denton/Courtesy of the artist

  • “Too Late”
  • “Mercy”

Many have discovered Bonnie Bishop through Bonnie Raitt, who recorded Bishop’s song “Not Cause I Wanted To” on her latest album, Dig In Deep. But Bishop’s own new album, Ain’t Who I Was, is a treat in and of itself. Produced by Nashville superproducer Dave Cobb, the album is reminiscent of the sound of Dusty Springfield’s classic Dusty In Memphis in the way it straddles the line between soul and country.

While Bishop had found some success writing an anthem for the ABC show Nashville, she says she’d basically given up on Music City until she and Cobb made Ain’t Who I Was. Bishop may not be who she was — but hearing these two songs will make you glad she is who she is.

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Rich Cohen Tells The Stones Stories You've Never Heard

Rich Cohen's new book is The Sun & The Moon & The Rolling Stones.

Rich Cohen’s new book is The Sun & The Moon & The Rolling Stones. Pascal Perich/Courtesy of the author hide caption

toggle caption Pascal Perich/Courtesy of the author

  • The Rolling Stones, “Brown Sugar”
  • The Rolling Stones, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”
  • Marianne Faithfull, “As Tears Go By”
  • The Rolling Stones, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”
  • The Rolling Stones, “Sympathy For The Devil”
  • The Rolling Stones, “Wild Horses”

While writing for Rolling Stone in the mid-’90s, Rich Cohen got an enviable assignment: basically, to embed himself with The Rolling Stones during their tour behind Voodoo Lounge. It was the start of a relationship that’s given Cohen a unique vantage point to write his new Stones history, The Sun & The Moon & The Rolling Stones. Cohen’s perspective is also shaped — favorably — by the fact that he didn’t grow up with The Rolling Stones’ music in the ’60s and ’70s.

Cohen, who is also a co-writer of the HBO series Vinyl with Mick Jagger and Martin Scorsese, tells his best Stones stories in this interview.

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WWII Veteran, Who Fought To Expose Secret Mustard Gas Experiments, Dies

World War II veteran Charles Cavell — a test subject in the military's secret mustard gas experiments — at his home in Virginia.

World War II veteran Charles Cavell — a test subject in the military’s secret mustard gas experiments — at his home in Virginia. Ariel Zambelich/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Ariel Zambelich/NPR

Charles “Lindy” Cavell could never forget what the U.S. military tried to hide. Cavell, a test subject in secret mustard gas experiments during World War II, died at home Wednesday at 89.

Cavell was featured prominently in an NPR investigation last year that found the Department of Veterans Affairs failed to notify mustard gas test subjects — who had been sworn to secrecy about the testing — of their eligibility for compensation, and routinely denied help to those who qualified for it.

During the last year of his life, Cavell was finally granted additional benefits and some back pay after a 26-year battle with the VA, according to his daughter, Linda Smith.

“I think he felt like he had finally accomplished something, and he was relieved that other service members were being recognized” as a result of the stories he was featured in, Smith said.

Cavell was a 19-year-old Navy recruit fresh out of boot camp in 1945 when a commanding officer offered the chance to participate in a “special program.” The officer gave few details, but said volunteers would get two weeks’ vacation and an award in exchange for participating.

“We were just a bunch of young kids. We didn’t know any better,” Cavell told NPR last year.

More than 60,000 Army and Navy troops raised their hands for the Army and Navy experiments, which ranged in severity from a few beads of toxic gas dropped onto the undersides of their wrists, to full-body inundation.

Cavell said when officers ordered him and 11 other test subjects into a heated gas chamber at the Naval Research Laboratories in Washington, D.C., it was too late to back out.

“We had ceased to be volunteers,” Cavell told NPR last year.

Officers locked the chamber door from the outside and piped in mustard agent.

While in the Navy, Cavell (center, No. 27), then 19, volunteered for the military's secret chemical testing program in exchange for two weeks' vacation.

While in the Navy, Cavell (center, No. 27), then 19, volunteered for the military’s secret chemical testing program in exchange for two weeks’ vacation. Ariel Zambelich/NPR. Original photo: Courtesy of Charlie Cavell hide caption

toggle caption Ariel Zambelich/NPR. Original photo: Courtesy of Charlie Cavell

The military kept the tests off of the troops’ personnel records — and swore the troops to secrecy under threat of dishonorable discharge or court-martial.

Half a century later, in 1990, Cavell and a few other test subjects went public with their stories, pressuring the Pentagon into declassifying the experiments and releasing test subjects from their oaths of secrecy. But even after the secret was out, and despite assurances from the Pentagon and VA, trying to obtain compensation proved futile for many.

The first heart attack hit Cavell at age 40 — and was followed by decades of chronic vascular and respiratory ailments requiring more than 20 operations at the VA hospital near his home in Midlothian, Va. He also developed congestive heart failure and kidney disease.

For decades, the VA refused to cover his medical expenses, saying Cavell hadn’t proved his participation in the tests — even though he had more proof than most: From the Navy, he’d obtained copies of the laboratory notebooks from the experiments. They described the tests in great detail, including the temperature and humidity levels inside the gas chamber. Down the left side of the page, the names of test subjects are listed, with Cavell’s name written in neat handwriting. But that wasn’t enough for the VA.

“They say, ‘We need more information,’ ” Cavell told NPR last year. “It doesn’t make sense.”

Cavell and his wife, Hilda Cavell, at their home in January 2015.

Cavell and his wife, Hilda Cavell, at their home in January 2015. Ariel Zambelich/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Ariel Zambelich/NPR

Cavell waged a steady fight for benefits while he worked long hours at the TV repair shop he owned, to support his wife Hilda and four daughters.

“He never wanted us to be involved in any of that. But behind the scenes he was working on paperwork,” according to his daughter Linda Smith.

Her father loved people, Smith told NPR, but he was a quiet presence at home. During retirement, he often spent time in the garage, sitting at an old metal desk under fluorescent tube lights, fixing household appliances.

“He didn’t share a whole lot. I think the tinkering and working on computers kept the mind away,” Smith said.

But sometimes the memories of being inside a gas chamber overcame him.

As part of NPR’s reporting on mustard gas experiments during World War II, we put together a searchable database with more than 3,900 test subjects who had “full body exposure” to the gas. Were you or someone you know exposed? Courtesy of the families hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the families

“There was no handle on the door. You couldn’t get out,” he told NPR last year. “And that’s what I have problems with today. If I go to a locked door, I panic sometimes to try to get out.”

Cavell’s health declined rapidly in the final years of his life, according to his family.

Earlier this month, he chose to go off of dialysis because of the pain.

Five days before he died of kidney failure, he took his final project out to the garage — a white Sunbeam toaster that wouldn’t engage — but never got to finish it.

He is survived by his wife, Hilda Cavell, and three daughters — Linda, Mary and Joan. His daughter Margaret died in 2010.

A warm sun blanketed his family at his funeral in Richmond, Va., on Saturday. Two Navy officers folded an American flag and presented it to his wife while a third played taps.

In his obituary, Cavell’s daughter Smith wrote that her father “went on a new journey to a place where there are no more wars to fight mentally or physically.”

Cavell holds his wife Hilda's hand during a visit to the VA facility in Richmond, Va., in May 2015 for a series of exams to re-evaluate whether he can qualify for disability benefits after being exposed to mustard gas testing during his time in the military.

Cavell holds his wife Hilda’s hand during a visit to the VA facility in Richmond, Va., in May 2015 for a series of exams to re-evaluate whether he can qualify for disability benefits after being exposed to mustard gas testing during his time in the military. Ariel Zambelich/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Ariel Zambelich/NPR

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Kidnapped Mexican Footballer Is Safe, Following Government Rescue

Rescatan sano y salvo al futbolista Alan Pulido https://t.co/uLl8rV5fnb pic.twitter.com/TLYWkGyXby

— GCTamaulipas (@GCTamaulipas) May 30, 2016

A kidnapped Mexican soccer player was rescued overnight after local and federal Mexican authorities launched a huge operation to secure his return.

Alan Pulido, who plays for the Greek soccer club Olympiakos, appeared before cameras in the early hours of Monday wearing a shorts and a tank top and with his right hand bandaged.

“What’s most important is that he is here with us,” Tamaulipas Gov. Egidio Torre Cantú told reporters.

Rescatan sano y salvo al futbolista Alan Pulido pic.twitter.com/drHNOnPyAQ

— GCTamaulipas (@GCTamaulipas) May 30, 2016

When asked how he was doing, Pulido said, “Very good. Thank God.”

According to Univision News, Pulido was kidnapped on Saturday after he left a party. Following the news, local and federal Mexican authorities launched huge operative that ended late Sunday.

The AP adds:

“[Pulido] made his professional debut with the club Tigres of Monterrey, Mexico, but after four seasons there signed a 2014 contract with Olympiakos. He since has been embroiled in a legal dispute with Tigres over whether his Mexican contract remains valid.

“National team coach Carlos Osorio recently said Pulido has the quality to be in his Copa America squad but was omitted because of his contract troubles. He had scored three goals in earlier call-ups for Mexico. He scored five goals in limited action for Olympiakos last season.”

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Anti-Islamic State Forces Launch Attack In Effort To Retake Fallujah

Forces fighting against the Islamic State have launched an offensive to retake Fallujah.

NPR’s Alison Meuse reports that international aid groups have seen hundreds of civilians fleeing, but they represent only a fraction of those still trapped in the city.

Alison filed this report for our Newscast unit:

“Lieutenant General Abdel Wahab al-Saadi—who heads Fallujah operations—tells NPR by phone his forces are now on the southern edge of the city. The drive to enter Fallujah began at dawn, with air support from the U.S.-led coalition. In northern Iraq, U.S.-backed Kurdish forces are pushing to get closer to Mosul.

“Mosul and Fallujah are the last bastions of the Islamic State in Iraq.

“The Norwegian Refugee Council meanwhile warns tens of thousands of civilians remain trapped in Fallujah. Some 3,000 have managed to escape since the offensive began. But the council says it may not have enough drinking water for all of those displaced.”

As the New York Times‘ Tim Arango explained on Morning Edition, Fallujah has been fought over for more than a decade. The current siege is being driven by militias, Arango said, who have started by clearing the agricultural outskirts of the city. This has been underway since December.

The siege, Arango said, has increased worries about the humanitarian situation inside the city.

“The refugee agencies say they have registered one single family from the center of the city that has been able to escape,” Arango said. “In the center of the city, all the words that we get, is that ISIS will not let them leave and so they are terrified of leaving for being shot at by ISIS.”

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