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Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday said that a federal no-fly list for violent airplane passengers "should be on the table."

Why it matters: Flight crews have to handle hostile passengers at unprecedented rates as travel rebounds to pre-pandemic levels, with the Federal Aviation Administration reporting almost 5,000 incidents of unruly passengers this year.

What they're saying: "Look, it is completely unacceptable to mistreat, abuse or even disrespect flight crews," Buttigieg told host Dana Bash.

  • "There is absolutely no excuse for this kind of treatment of flight crews in the air or any of the essential workers from bus drivers to air crews, who get people to where they need to be," he added.
  • "We will continue to look at all options to make sure that flight crews and passengers are safe."

The big picture: Earlier this year, the FAA announced a new "zero tolerance" policy after seeing a spike in passengers disrupting flights with threatening or violent behavior.

  • Enforcing mask mandates and dealing with drunk passengers ranked among the top causes for escalated interactions. 

Go deeper

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Dec 6, 2021 - Science

Meet NASA's newest class of astronauts

The new astronauts. Photo: NASA

A SpaceX flight surgeon and an elite track cyclist are among the new class of 10 astronaut candidates, NASA announced on Monday.

Why it matters: "These NASA astronauts will plan, train and fly missions to the International Space Station and to the Moon under Artemis, and eventually onto Mars," Vanessa Wyche, the director of NASA's Johnson Space Center, said during an event announcing the new astronaut candidates.

FDA approves AstraZeneca COVID drug for people with immune problems

Photo: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for an AstraZeneca COVID-19 antibody drug for people with compromised immune systems.

Why it matters: The drug, Evusheld, is the first antibody therapy authorized in the U.S. to prevent coronavirus symptoms before virus exposure.

Scoop: U.S. begins denying Afghan immigrants

Afghan refugees on a bus bound for temporary housing after arriving in Greece. Photo: Byron Smith/Getty Images

The Biden administration has begun issuing denials to Afghans seeking to emigrate to the United States through the humanitarian parole process, after a system that typically processes 2,000 applications annually has been flooded with more than 30,000.

Why it matters: Afghans face steeper odds and longer processes for escaping to the U.S., despite the earlier sweeping efforts by the Biden administration to assist its allies. Immigration lawyers and advocacy groups say the government has set untenable barriers to a safe haven in the U.S.