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Los Angeles airport pushes to build special terminal just for celebrities — and the 1 percent

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Special suite at LAX will let stars and the world’s wealthy glide directly from their limo to their first-class seat without having to interact with the public

Welcome to the 1%’s new airport terminal. Los Angeles international airport on Thursday won approval to build a special terminal to allow celebrities, sports stars and the world’s wealthy to glide directly from their chauffeur-driven limo to their first-class seat without having to interact with any of the general travelling public.

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The airport’s Board of Airport Commissioners unanimously approved LAX’s plan to redevelop a cargo hangar into the US’s first terminal dedicated to the rich and famous. The airport said the Los Angeles Suite, which will allow celebrities and diplomats to avoid paparazzi, or protesters, by allowing cars to drop off guests behind closed doors, will be operational at a temporary facility within six months.

It will cost $1,500-$1,800 per trip to use the new terminal, which will include exclusive lounges, dedicated catering and separate security and border checkpoints. When it’s time to board, guests will be driven directly to their plane. The plans promise that guests using the new terminal will have to walk about 60 steps, compared to as many as 2,200 from street to plane seat via the public terminals.

Airport officials said the new terminal is aimed at attracting more celebrities and business executives to LAX, and represented a much more cost-effective solution for them to avoiding unwanted attention than spending tens of thousands of dollars chartering a private jet.

Deborah Ale Flint, executive director of Los Angeles World Airports which operates LAX, said allowing celebrities a private route through the airport will also make travelling more pleasant for the general public, who have often been caught up in media scrums.

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LAX said the new 43,750ft terminal, which will be built and run by celebrity security firm Gavin de Becker & Associates, will bring in additional revenue of $3.7m in the first year and $34m over the 10-year lease.

DeBecker said that if the project proves successful his firm plans to introduce similar facilities at New York’s JFK and possibly San Francisco, Miami, Chicago and Dallas.

The Los Angeles Suite is modelled on the Windsor Suite at London’s Heathrow, which was once reserved for the royal family and visiting heads of state and diplomatic visits but opened up to those with big wallets in 2008 after the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) cut its funding. Now access is available for anyone for a minimum of £2,000.

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The Heathrow VIP service offers personal shoppers to go out and brave the mayhem of duty free on behalf of guests and promises to take a firm approach with paparazzi. “Should we be aware of paparazzi at the airport or surrounding public areas, the airport team will request they cease and move on,” it says in its frequently asked questions.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Ex-Houston cop is charged with murder after his fraudulent search warrant got a couple killed

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Former Houston police officer Gerald Goines has been indicted on felony murder charges in relation to a drug raid in January that left a couple dead, the Houston Chronicle reported this Friday.

Questions about the raid, which took place January 28, began to swirl when it was revealed that Goines had lied to obtain the search warrant. The raid resulted in a shootout that killed 58-year-old Rhogena Nicholas and 59-year-old Dennis Tuttle. Goines was also wounded in the shootout as were four other officers.

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‘Making things worse’: National Farmer’s Union chief unloads on Trump in blistering statement on trade war

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Roger Johnson, the president of the National Farmers Union, delivered a blistering rebuke to President Donald Trump after he responded to new tariffs from China by issuing a purported "order" telling American companies to look for alternative places to manufacture their goods.

In an official statement, Johnson pointed out that farmers so far have felt the brunt of the president's trade war, as China has slapped heavy tariffs on key agricultural products such as soybeans.

He also crushed the president for failing to make any progress on reopening the Chinese market to American goods.

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‘Pretty brutal day on Wall St’: CNN explains impact of Trump’s trade wars and Twitter tirades

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On Friday, President Donald Trump went on a Twitter tirade against China.

....better off without them. The vast amounts of money made and stolen by China from the United States, year after year, for decades, will and must STOP. Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing..

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2019

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