Stories by Haley Britzky

Government shutdown strains U.S. aviation system

Airport lines
Denver airport. Photo: John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images

U.S. air travel is under "enormous strain" as a result of the government shutdown, with many lawmakers speculating that total dysfunction could be the breaking point that leads to President Trump and Democrats eventually striking a deal, Politico reports.

The big picture: The shutdown, which is about to enter its fifth week, has disrupted pilot training, is preventing companies from adding new planes, and is "delaying purchases of bag-scanning equipment," according to Politico. Airports are bracing for a bump in air travel over MLK weekend, with TSA expecting 8 million people to fly this weekend — 10% more than last year. This comes as 6.4% of TSA's baggage screeners called out absent from work on Thursday, citing sickness and — increasingly — financial strain.

4 women convicted of entering refuge to leave water for migrants

The Cabeza Prieta refuge in Arizona. Photo: Caitlin O'Hara/Getty Images

Four women from the No More Deaths advocacy group were convicted on misdemeanor charges Friday for entering a national wildlife refuge without permits to provide life-saving aid to migrants crossing the Arizona border with Mexico, AP reports.

The big picture: Judge Bernardo Velasco's decision was the first conviction of humanitarian volunteers in a decade, according AP. The women — Natalie Hoffman, Zaachila Orozco-McCormick, Oona Holcomb and Madeline Huse — were attempting to leave water and food for migrants traveling through the Cabeza Prieta refuge.

Wife of detained Interpol president applies for asylum in France

Former Interpol President Meng Hongwei. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/AFP/Getty Images

Grace Meng, the wife of the former Interpol president who suddenly resigned and was detained in China last fall, has applied for asylum in France, the New York Times reports.

Details: Meng told the newspaper Libération that she's afraid she'll be kidnapped if she goes back to China, where "such strange things happen" and "fundamental rights are not respected." According to the Times, Meng said she has not had contact with her husband since his arrest, which she believes was "for a political reason."

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