TSA, Houston Airports hold news conference as holiday travel ramps up

HOUSTON – Officials with Houston Airports and the Transportation Security Administration are holding a news conference to discuss the upcoming holiday travel season.

Representatives from both sectors will discuss how to travel safely and how to avoid the most commonly made travel mistakes, according to a news release.

KPRC 2 will hold a livestream beginning at 10 a.m.

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Traveler reveals hack that will allow you to watch shows on your phone without having to hold it

FLYING on a plane without a television is not ideal, so if you want to watch a film on a long flight here’s a helpful tip.

This genius hack means you don’t have to hold your phone in front of you while in the air. 

If you've ever struggled with watching television on airplanes, this hack might help you


If you’ve ever struggled with watching television on airplanes, this hack might help youCredit: TikTok/@nickii
This hack uses a barf bag and your phone to make the device a hands-free television


This hack uses a barf bag and your phone to make the device a hands-free televisionCredit: TikTok/@nickii

The video shows the step-by-step process that savvy traveler Nicki Baber uses to transform her phone into a hanging television. 

First, Nicki removed her phone case and placed one end of the in-flight barf bag in the bottom of her case, so that the rest was sticking out to the left of the phone. 

Next, she put her phone back into the case with the bag under it to secure it in place.

For step three, Nicki removed the portrait lock on her phone and held her phone sideways so she could view the screen in landscape mode. 

Finally, she took the free end of the bag and stuck it into the tray on the back of the seat, and locked it into place.

With these steps, her phone was left hanging from the tray ready to play a show or film.

Several users commented that they were excited to try the hack, but many seemed to be more concerned with the fact that her phone was not on airplane mode. 

Others argued back saying she can’t get Wi-Fi for her shows if she’s in airplane mode – which is not true. 

As noted by Business Insider, turning on airplane mode turns off Wi-fi initially, but it can be turned back on without using cellular data.

The internet has provided ample examples of travel trips that make traveling a bit easier.

Previously, a flight attendant made a video detailing the foods she thinks are best to bring to keep her nourished on a long flight.

Some of the things she always makes sure to pack are fruits, vegetables, extra water, and food with protein like protein balls, which are made with protein powder, almond butter, honey, chia seeds, oats, and more. 

Another person encouraged her followers to wear a neck brace while flying rather than a travel pillow, which is supposed to help with awkwardly positioned necks on flights. 

While it may look strange to use a neck brace, the people of the internet branded her hack as “genius.”

This travel hack allows you to watch television on your phone without having to hold it


This travel hack allows you to watch television on your phone without having to hold itCredit: TikTok/@nickii

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Balanced Heat hold off late Mavericks rally, win 125-110

DALLAS (AP) — Four Miami Heat players had 22 or more points for the first time in franchise history to hold off a late Dallas rally and beat the Mavericks 125-110 on Tuesday night for their fifth straight win.

Tyler Herro scored 25 points off the bench, 15 alone in the second quarter when the Heat outscored the Mavericks 46-32 to take a 70-62 halftime lead. Jimmy Butler added 23 points, Kyle Lowry had 22 and Bam Adebayo scored 22 and grabbed 13 rebounds.

Miami’s top scorers did so from all over the court. Butler sank 15 of 17 free throws while Lowry hit six of nine 3-pointers. The Heat shot 52% behind the arc.

“You want to be able to maximize your offense in all the different ways in your menu without feeling like you’re taking turns,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

Luka Doncic scored a season-high 33 points for the Mavericks, who lost for the first time in four home games.

Miami is off to its first 6-1 start since the 2012-13 season, when it won the second of its three NBA championships.

“The Heat, I would consider them the best team in the league right now,” Dallas coach Jason Kidd said.

Dallas’ Jalen Brunson had a season-high 25 points in his first start of the season, necessitated by injuries that have sidelined big men Kristaps Porzingis and Maxi Kleber.

Porzingis missed his fourth straight game with lower back tightness. Kleber, who started Sunday’s win over Sacramento in Porzingis’ place, left that game late in the first period and will be out 7-10 days with a left oblique strain.

The Mavericks got out to a 20-9 lead seven minutes into the game, hitting four of their first six 3-pointers before the Heat pushed back, led by Herro’s second-quarter scoring.

Miami led 97-81 with 2:12 to play in the third quarter when Dallas began its run. The Mavericks pulled within 101-95 two minutes into the fourth period before the Heat held them off down the stretch.

Spoelstra said Herro made his largest improvements over the summer.

“People are noticing now from a lot of work that happened behind the scenes,” Spoelstra said.


Veteran Mavericks guard Trey Burke, who is unvaccinated, missed the COVID-19 testing window for the second time in four games and was unavailable, forfeiting another game check. Kidd said Burke will travel with the team for Wednesday night’s game at San Antonio.

“For us as the Mavs, we can only talk (to him) about it,” Kidd said. “He has the responsibility to show up on time.”


Herro has 157 points off the bench in the season’s first seven games. That’s more than any player has scored coming off the bench since 1975, when the NBA began charting stats by whether a player started a game or was a reserve. The previous mark through a team’s first seven games was 156 by Jason Terry (2007-08) and Michael Brooks (1980-81).


Heat: Spoelstra’s 613rd career win tied him for 26th most in NBA history. … Duncan Robinson has hit 3-pointers in 55 consecutive games, beginning last Feb. 11. It’s the second-longest streak in franchise history to Robinson’s 57 straight from Nov. 25, 2019, to Aug. 12, 2020.

Mavericks: Doncic shot 3 for 9 behind the line and is hitting 25.5% this season coming into the season at 32.9% during his first three seasons. He passed his coach and moved into 14th place on the franchise points list with 5,283 to Kidd’s 5,258.


Heat: Host Boston on Thursday in the first of two consecutive games at home, where they are 3-0 this season.

Mavericks: At San Antonio on Wednesday night to close second back-to-back in the season’s first eight games.


More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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U.S. Travel Association to hold news conference at IPW trade show

The U.S. Travel Association will hold a press conference Tuesday morning as the international IPW travel trade event continues at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The association bills IPW as a “national showcase of America, where U.S. travel exhibitors connect with travel buyers and media from more than 70 countries to promote their product, negotiate future business and build relationships.”

It says the international inbound travel trade show drives $5.5 billion in future travel to the United States.

Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, kicked off the 52nd IPW with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday at the convention center’s new West Hall.

“We are thrilled to reconnect with our travel colleagues face to face over the next few days, igniting new business and inspiring a fierce comeback for international inbound travel, an effort that we will achieve through our work together,” he said at an opening ceremony.

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How to Hold Onto Post-Lockdown Joy: Practice Gratitude

When pandemic rules began to loosen earlier this year, I felt a small burst of joy each time I did something that had been off-limits for months. With the rollout of the vaccines, once-mundane activities became almost wondrous.

Hugging my parents and friends. Getting a haircut. Wandering the aisles of the grocery store.

But as my new routine became, well, routine, that extra boost of pleasure faded away.

This, for better or worse, is human nature. We tend to adjust quickly to change, with our happiness levels returning to baseline even after major setbacks and achievements, Sonja Lyubomirsky, a psychology professor at the University of California, Riverside, told me.

It’s key to our success as a species. Adapting makes us resilient in the face of challenges, such as divorces and injuries, and keeps us striving for more after good things happen, she said.

But there’s a way to replicate that post-lockdown delight — by practicing gratitude.

Here was Lyubomirsky’s advice: Once a day, stop and appreciate what you’re able to do now that you weren’t last year. You can make a mental note, tell your partner, text your friend or write it down in a journal.

The method doesn’t matter, as long you’re making a deliberate effort to acknowledge that things have improved. This is a version of what psychologists call “savoring” — appreciating small things around us to try to increase happiness.

Over Labor Day weekend, while celebrating a friend’s birthday at a park in Los Angeles, I started a conversation about what we were doing at the same time last year. We realized that last September in L.A., there was a record-breaking heat wave, dangerously smoky air and the pandemic felt much scarier.

For a few moments at least, I felt thankful for what my life looks like now.

So while 2021 did not deliver the wild, carefree summer for which we’d hoped, chances are that you’re still leaving the house more than you were a year ago. And there’s room in that to be grateful, and happier.

Practicing gratitude is linked to fewer health problems and less depression, better sleep and higher levels of happiness. Feeling thankful for the little pleasures in our lives can add up to make us happier people overall, Lyubomirsky said.

Months from now, we might not be able to feel quite as good as we did the first time we returned to a restaurant or visited our relatives after being apart. But the pandemic can teach us how to find joy in small things that, without it, we may have overlooked.

For more:

In her latest newsletter, The Times’s California restaurant critic Tejal Rao shares three recipes for lentil dal.

Today’s travel tip comes from Mimi Kramer, a reader who lives in San Diego. Mimi recommends visiting the small town of Julian in eastern San Diego County:

You can visit a historic hotel or tour a cidery. Not to mention get some of the BEST apple pie around.

Tell us about your favorite places to visit in California. Email your suggestions to CAtoday@nytimes.com. We’ll be sharing more in upcoming editions of the newsletter.

Between the wildfires, pandemic and drought, this summer in California hasn’t been easy.

So with Sept. 22 marking the end of the season, I’m asking for you to share what has helped you make it through. Maybe it was a vacation you had postponed, a trashy TV show, a delicious meal you cooked or your nightly stroll.

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US and other countries say they will hold Taliban to promises to let people leave Afghanistan after August 31

“We are all committed to ensuring that our citizens, nationals and residents, employees, Afghans who have worked with us and those who are at risk can continue to travel freely to destinations outside Afghanistan. We have received assurances from the Taliban that all foreign nationals and any Afghan citizen with travel authorization from our countries will be allowed to proceed in a safe and orderly manner to points of departure and travel outside the country,” the statement said in part.

“We will continue issuing travel documentation to designated Afghans, and we have the clear expectation of and commitment from the Taliban that they can travel to our respective countries. We note the public statements of the Taliban confirming this understanding,” it continued.

The statement comes amid international concern over what will happen to those still in Afghanistan after the US and other countries withdraw forces from the country under Taliban control.
Biden administration pledges 'safe passage' for Americans in Afghanistan after withdrawal deadline
US national security adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN earlier Sunday that the Biden administration is committed to a “safe passage” of Americans and Afghans who helped the US government after the US withdrawal deadline from Afghanistan.

“August 31 is not a cliff. After August 31, we believe that we have substantial leverage to hold the Taliban to its commitments to allow safe passage for American citizens, legal permanent residents and the Afghan allies who have travel documentation to come to the United States,” Sullivan told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.” “We will use that leverage to the maximum extent and we will work with the rest of the international community to make sure the Taliban does not falter on these commitments.”

French President Emmanuel Macron has said he intends, alongside the United Kingdom, to submit a resolution to an emergency session of the UN Security Council that would focus on the creation of a “safe zone” in Kabul for Afghans leaving the country.

“Our draft resolution aims to define, under UN protection, a safe zone in Kabul that would allow humanitarian operations to continue,” Macron told French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche, adding that he intends to “maintain pressure on the Taliban” in doing so.

It is not clear if or when the 15-member Security Council will consider the proposed resolution. A meeting between UN Secretary-General António Guterres and the five permanent members of the Security Council is expected to take place Monday evening, UN diplomats told CNN.

This story has been updated with additional information Sunday.

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Route 22 widening project is still on hold, but infrastructure bill could change that

There’s not enough money right now for the Route 22 widening project that would take the Lehigh Valley’s busiest traffic artery from two to three lanes.

But with the proposed federal infrastructure bill allotting $1 trillion in potential transportation dollars, local officials want to be prepared in case the money does become available.

It was almost two years ago when the Route 22 project, the biggest ticket item in the Valley, was put on hold indefinitely. Adding travel lanes was supposed to follow replacing the highway’s bridge over the Lehigh River and reconfiguring the interchanges at MacArthur Road and Fullerton Avenue.

The timing wasn’t because of a lack of traffic. That same year, Route 22 beat Interstate 78 as the busiest Lehigh Valley road. The stretch between Airport Road and the Lehigh River bridge hit 101,000 vehicles daily, according to PennDOT’s traffic volume maps.

Since then, the Lehigh Valley Transportation Study (LVTS) has moved ahead to finish preliminary engineering or risk losing that money as well. The study is also planning to replace the Fifth Street bridge in Whitehall Township. That bridge was torn down as part of the Fullerton Avenue interchange work.

Before the pandemic, officials said they would consider dividing the widening project into smaller pieces, so the lower-priced jobs would have a better chance of getting funding.

PennDOT Project Delivery Engineer Scott Vottero said Wednesday the project could probably be broken up into three pieces.

“We’re going to look and see if we can put this on the long range plan and see if we can find sources to do small pieces of the project,” Vottero said. The plan could wind up on the next Transportation Improvement Program, or TIP, which should start this fall.

Kufro said preliminary engineering has been ongoing and officials are close to having environmental clearances for the entire project.

“Final design and construction are not funded on the TIP,” Kufro said during Wednesday’s LVTS meeting.

“Yet,” added Rick Molchany, Lehigh County’s director of general services and a member of the LVTS.

Molchany said the Route 22 widening project is extremely important to the Lehigh Valley and he plans to bring it back to the table for funding.

Our journalism needs your support. Please subscribe today to lehighvalleylive.com.

Sarah Cassi may be reached at scassi@lehighvalleylive.com.

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Hawaii To Hold Goat Lottery To Save Historical Park

If you live on the island of Hawaii, have access to a 16-foot horse trailer, and want some live goats for free, this could be your lucky summer.

Later this month, Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will hold a lottery to distribute more than 700 live goats that have overrun the Puʻuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park. The department’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) will trap the goats, remove them from the park, and “distribute these animals to permitted members of the public,” DLNR announced.

A Culturally Significant Site

Goats are not native to Hawaii. It’s believed that they were brought to the Hawaiian islands in 1778 by Captain Cook and Captain Vancouver and given to the Hawaiian people as gifts, a Big Island Now article explains.

Eventually, the domesticated animals escaped and reproduced rapidly. They can now be found on all major Hawaiian Islands.

The problem is that the goats have overrun Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau, which is an important cultural and historical location.

The park explains that fugitives “could seek refuge and forgiveness” there. What’s more, “in the event that war was declared, families of combatants could seek refuge and safety” there, and “be assured to return home unmolested on cessation of battle regardless of the outcome.”

How To “Win” Goats

OK, here’s how you can “win” live goats. First, you’ll need to apply for a permit. Permit applications must be received by DOFAW — or be postmarked — before July 21, a Honolulu Star-Advertiser article explains. You can learn more and apply for a permit here

Then, DOFAW will hold a lottery on July 28. The department will publish the results of the lottery online on the next day. The winners will be selected for 30-minute slots on August 11 when they can enter the park to pick up the live goats, DNLR explains.  

The department will distribute between 20 and 50 goats per permit on August 11 and expects at least 700 goats will be humanely trapped and removed from the park.

Finally, it’s important to note these details. Lottery winners must have an enclosed trailer that is at least 16-feet long — and is suited for horses — to pick up goats. The trailers must be fully closed to ensure the goats cannot escape. You can learn more about the project here.
While you’re thinking about Hawaii, be sure to check out all of our Hawaii coverage, including our Hawaii (Big Island) coverage.

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State health department, CDC travel to Mesa County as Delta variant takes hold in Colorado

DENVER – Epidemiologists from the state and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) arrived in Grand Junction this week to investigate a growing number of outbreaks of the Delta variant at nursing homes in Mesa County – including some cases among fully vaccinated people.

Dr. Rachel Herlihy, the state epidemiologist, said cases of the Delta variant (B.1.617.2), first identified in India in December of last year, have been rapidly increasing and are now estimated to “be greater than 50% of cases” in Colorado.

Herlihy said the state was turning to the CDC to investigate how and why the Delta variant is spreading in Western Colorado, causing outbreaks at nursing homes, high hospitalization rates, as well as “some vaccine breakthrough cases” – cases of reinfection among people who’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) shows that for the week ending on June 13, cases of the Delta variant amounted to 75% of all cases across the state. A month prior, cases of the variant – believed to be the most transmissible variant yet – amounted to only 19.51%.

The first Colorado case of the Delta variant was officially identified in Mesa County on May 5. By June 22, the variant was present in 28 of Colorado’s 64 counties, according to the CDPHE.

“As of June 22, 54% of Delta variant cases in Colorado so far have been identified in Mesa County through genomic sequencing. In addition, Colorado is starting to see more cases of the Delta variant outside of Mesa County,” state health officials said in a news release.

prevalence of covid-19 variants in colorado.png

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

This graph from the state’s COVID-19 website shows the rapid spread of the Delta variant, first identified in India in December 2020, across Colorado. The variant, also known as B.1.617.2, was first identified in our state on May 5.

CDPHE also said 90% of people admitted to the hospital with a confirmed case of COVID-19, but who may have gone to the hospital seeking treatment for the virus during the week of June 6-June 12, 2021, had not yet received a shot of the vaccine.

A breakdown of which variants are prevalent throughout the state show Mesa County has the highest prevalence of the Delta variant with 288 cases reported as of Thursday. It’s worth noting that the state doesn’t run genomic sequencing on all tests it receives, so the actual number of cases may be higher than what is officially reported.

Here are other counties with confirmed cases of the Delta variant in Colorado:

  • El Paso County: 103
  • Garfield County: 27
  • Douglas County: 20
  • Moffat County: 18
  • Arapaho County: 12
  • Boulder County: 12
  • Adams County: 10
  • Denver County: 6
  • Eagle County: 2

Studies indicate the Delta variant causes more severe disease, with roughly double the hospitalization rate of the Alpha variant (B.1.1.7) which was first identified in the United Kingdom, according to the CDPHE.

Earlier this week, the New York Times reported other evidence suggests the variant may be able to partially evade protection provided by natural immunity after infection or protection provided by vaccination, and that the variant “may also render certain monoclonal antibody treatments less effective.”

Additionally, Israel’s health ministry director-general this week told state broadcaster Kan Bet that about 40 to 50% of new cases in the country associated with the Delta variant appeared to be among people who had been fully vaccinated, according to Business Insider, though cases were less severe.

Still, health experts stressed that getting vaccinated provides the best protection against severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19.

“Current data suggests that getting vaccinated reduces the spread of infection, leading to fewer opportunities for new variants to develop and spread,” state health officials said.

On Thursday, Delta County – which had no recorded cases of the Delta variant – reported its first two confirmed cases of the variant after genomic sequencing of test samples.

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