Pentagon weighs possible delay in new transgender recruits

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon said on Friday it was reviewing recommendations from the U.S. military chiefs that included calls for more time to implement plans to allow new transgender recruits to join the U.S. armed forces.

‘Pokémon GO’ Is Rolling Out Its Raids Fast: Level Requirement Down To 28

Yesterday, ‘Pokémon GO’ unveiled raids, but only for the most elite players. Now it seems the developer is rolling them out for everyone else quicker than expected, and we’re getting a glimpse at what they’re like.

SeaWorld subpoenaed on disclosures about ‘Blackfish’ impact

(Reuters) – SeaWorld Entertainment Inc said on Friday it received a subpoena from the U.S. Department of Justice in connection with an investigation over disclosures made about the impact of the “Blackfish” documentary and trading in the company’s securities.

This Airline Lets You Pay A Little Extra For ‘Neighbor-Free’ Seats

Seatmate uncertainty is one of the most daunting parts of air travel. Who knows if you’ll be assigned a spot next to someone smelly and annoying, or nobody at all?!

Etihad Airways lets passengers guarantee the latter with “neighbor-free” seating in economy class, it announced this week. The program lets travelers pay extra to keep the seats surrounding theirs empty to secure some extra elbow room or even an entire row for lie-flat napping.

Here’s how it works: Before a flight, a passenger can place a bid online for one, two or three seats next to theirs, depending on the type of plane and how full it is. It’s not guaranteed they’ll score any extra space, according to Etihad, but they’ll receive a confirmation 32 hours before the flight. If the bid is accepted, the passenger pays for keeping the extra seat or seats empty and enjoys some bonus space. If not, they’re out of luck.

An Etihad spokesperson wouldn’t confirm how much “neighbor-free seats” are going for. There are minimum and maximum bidding amounts for each flight, according to the carrier’s website, but it doesn’t specify what those prices are.

“Neighbor-free” bidding is among moves the Abu Dhabi-based airline is making to generate more revenue streams in a difficult Middle East market, Bloomberg notes. Etihad flies into the U.S. through Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Dallas and Washington, D.C.

Indeed, airlines have found all sorts of creative ways to play with profits lately, like shrinking seats to fit more passengers and introducing “no frills” tickets that come at a cheaper upfront cost but tack on extra fees for necessities like checked bags.

This latest offer, however, has us intrigued. And ready for some elbow room. 

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Illinois governor signs bill targeting repeat gun offenders

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Repeat gun offenders in Illinois will face longer prison sentences under a bill Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law on Friday that aims to curb gun violence in Chicago, which has long struggled with street shootings and violent crime.

Uber has seen a sharp drop in new driver retention this year: Apptopia

 Uber has seen a sharp drop in retention rates for new drivers in the U.S., according to analysis of the Uber driver app provided to TechCrunch by app analytics firm Apptopia. Read More

Venezuela: death of a protester

CARACAS (Reuters) – Over months of protests Carlos Garcia Rawlins has been on Venezuela’s streets daily, documenting increasingly violent clashes with security forces, experience that helped put him within eyeshot of a soldier who fatally wounded a young activist at close range.