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Photo: Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A coalition of airline industry partners asked the Justice Department on Monday to begin prosecuting disruptive passengers.

Why it matters: Increased political divisions and conflict over pandemic guidelines have led the Federal Aviation Administration to take some form of enforcement action over 400 times in the first five months of 2021, compared to 146 in all of 2019, according to the coalition.

What they're saying: "These incidents pose a safety and security threat to our passengers and employees, and we respectfully request that the Department of Justice ... commit to the full and public prosecution of onboard acts of violence," wrote the group, which is comprised of trade organization Airlines for America and various airline unions.

  • "Aviation safety is a federal matter that impacts passengers and crewmembers across the country as well as in interstate travel; it is not a local issue subject to jurisdictional variations," according to the letter sent Monday to Attorney General Merrick Garland.
  • The airlines and unions urged the DOJ to "commit to taking action, along with coordination with the FAA, to ensure that egregious onboard conduct is fully and criminally prosecuted, sending a strong public message of deterrence, safety and security."

Worth noting: The coalition also sent a letter to the head of the FAA asking the agency to refer "abhorrent cases" to the Justice Department "so that the federal government may fully, swiftly and publicly prosecute criminal acts to the fullest extent of the law and deter this dangerous and concerning behavior," Reuters reports.

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The new faces of NBC's Olympics coverage

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Cy Cyr/PGA Tour via Getty Images

A new(ish) face will be leading NBCUniversal's prime-time coverage of the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games: veteran sportscaster Mike Tirico.

Why it matters: It's Tirico's first run as prime-time host for the Summer Olympics. Legendary broadcaster Bob Costas hosted 12 Olympic Games between 1988 and 2016 for NBC before handing over the prime-time spot to Tirico in 2018.

Ina Fried, author of Login
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Behind the scenes at the COVID Olympics

Photo illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios, Photo: Steph Chambers/Getty Images

TOKYO — The COVID rule-breaking was obvious at Friday's opening ceremony, when athletes were clearly visible on TV with masks below their noses, but an athlete tells Axios that the rule-breaking has been going on well before that.

  • It's been happening at least since athletes arrived in the Olympic Village, where masks were dropped below noses and different teams were forced to share buses.
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Axios AM Deep Dive: The Covid Olympics

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Welcome to our Axios AM Deep Dive behind the scenes of the Tokyo Olympics detailing the impact of the COVID pandemic, led by Ina Fried, who's on the ground in Tokyo, plus Kendall Baker, who's covering the Games every day in his Axios Sports newsletter.