FBI Steps in After Needles Found in Sandwiches on Delta Flights
Airplane food has long been the butt of hacky comedian jokes and traveler woes for good reason—it’s usually unappealing. But it seems that the in-flight meals on recent Delta Air Lines flights hit a new level of unpleasantry after several passengers were served turkey sandwiches laced with sewing needles.
In all, six needles were found across four Delta flights heading to the US from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport on Sunday. Two Atlanta-bound passengers on separate flights and two passengers on a flight to Minneapolis discovered needles in their sandwiches.
Two additional needles were found during a check of sandwiches on a flight to Seattle.
Most of the travelers were not injured, but one of the Minneapolis passengers said that he bit down on a needle that punctured the roof of his mouth. After being questioned by authorities for three hours once the plane landed, the man declined medical treatment.
Police at Schiphol Airport and the FBI have launched investigations to figure out exactly how the needles got into the sandwiches in the first place.
Gate Gourmet, the vendor that prepared the sandwiches at a facility in Amsterdam, has released a statement assuring that it has launched its own “full-scale investigation.”
“The authorities involved have our complete support, and we are working closely with our customers, to include heightening our safety and security procedures,” Gate Gourmet said. “Nothing is more important to Gate Gourmet than the safety and well-being of our customers and their passengers.”
For its part, Delta has said that it has “taken immediate action” with its Amsterdam in-flight caterer “to ensure the safety and quality” of the food it serves, starting by replacing sandwiches on Amsterdam-US flights with sealed, pre-packaged food. (The passengers on the needle-discovery flights were treated with pizza).
While the exact origin of the needles or a motive for planting them is not yet clear, there is one thing we do know. There’s no need to cancel your summer travel plans, as the TSA says it does not believe the incident is a breach of national security.
G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve
Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration.
Who are the G7?
The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like.
The merry band comprises:
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.
Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda.
When was the ‘G’ formed?
Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s.
Why does the G7 exist?
At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted.
The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability.
It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations.
Where is the 2021 G7 summit?
This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall.
What will be discussed this year?
After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”
The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values.
According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.”