Soldiers Slammed With Baggage Fees, an Abducted Blogger, and Carmageddon

Adriana Diaz

Delta Airlines charged 34 soldiers returning from Afghanistan $2,800 in extra baggage fees yesterday. Once they were airborne, Staff Sergeants Fred Hilliker and Robert O'Hair recorded their frustration in a video, which they posted to YouTube. The video has gone viral, receiving more than 130,000 views since being posted yesterday. According to the military's agreement with the airline, military travelers are allowed to check three bags for free in Coach and four in First Class. The sergeants in the video appear to be flying coach and say their fourth bags were filled with Army weapons. On its blog, Delta issued an apology to the soldiers and said it would look into the incident. There was no mention of a reimbursement. According to a military spokesperson, the soldiers could potentially be reimbursed by the government.

Social media is abuzz about the openly gay Syrian-American blogger who was reportedly kidnapped. Amina Arraf who writes the blog A Gay Girl in Damascus under the pen name Amina Abdalla, was abducted by armed men while on her way to an opposition meeting, according to an unnamed eyewitness.  Thanks to her blog, Arraf has become a popular figure in the uprising against the Syrian government. Her family and friends have created the Facebook page Free Amina Abdalla to help find her. The page has gained more than 12,000 members in two days. On Twitter, the hashtag #FreeAmina is circulating around the world in tweets of support for the blogger. As of this morning, Arraf is still missing.

And lastly, City of Angels residents have to deal with some of the most painstaking bumper-to-bumper traffic in the country, and it's about to get worse. When Interstate 405 closes for construction July 15 to 17 , Los Angeles is in for what some are calling "carmageddon 2011." The shutdown will leave the 281,000 cars that depend on I-405 high and dry. L.A. residents are so concerned about "carmageddon" that they've devoted Twitter handles and hashtags to the freeway shutdown. Some are calling it the end of the world for L.A. while others are stocking up on bread and milk, thanks to the city's suggestion that drivers stay home during "car-mageddon" weekend.

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