Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 14, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

FOREIGN RELATIONS....Apparently

some people are unhappy about Brazil's new requirement that Americans be photographed and fingerprinted before entering the country:

The pilot of an American Airlines jet was detained Wednesday after making an obscene gesture when being photographed at the airport as part of a newly imposed entry requirement for U.S. citizens, federal police said.

American Airlines is in full grovel mode:

"The company apologizes to the Brazilian government, the airport authorities, the police or anyone else who may have perceived anything they believe to have been disrespectful," [American Airlines spokeswoman Martha] Pantin said.

Did she leave anyone out?

UPDATE: Thanks to commenter Mimir, here's the obscene gesture as published in Folha Online, a Brazilian newspaper. I don't read Portuguese, but via Babel Fish here's approximately what happened:

The others ten members of the crew of the flight, originating in Miami, were isolated in an American Airlines room in the airport. They were prohibited entry into the country after scoffing at the identification procedure and the gesture of the captain.

"The crew followed the gesture of its commander and started to behave in a jocular way, in a way that discredits the attitude of the federal policemen and the Brazilian system of identification," affirmed Castilho.

Although they laughed and joked, they did not commit a crime and will return to the United States this Wednesday.

Or something like that.

Kevin Drum 3:11 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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