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Before You Go

For Sunday, July 13, 2014

By McClatchy News Services


TSA reports rise in credit card knives

The flood of weapons uncovered by airport screeners continues to grow, despite repeated warnings by the Transportation Security Administration.

In May the TSA discovered a record 65 firearms on passengers in one week, including 45 loaded guns.

The TSA is now seeing a surge in a new, harder-to-detect weapon: credit card knives.

The weapon looks like a thick credit card but becomes a knife with a steel blade once the blade is folded out. The remaining section of the card snaps together in the shape of a handle.

So far this year, the TSA has discovered 491 credit card knives on passengers, through the use of metal detectors and full-body scanners, said Ross Feinstein, spokes­man for the TSA.

That averages out to about 20 card knives a week.

TSA officials would not speculate why the knives are showing up at airports.

The knives are sold online for $4 to $15 from various retailers. Iain Sinclair, a British manufacturer of one of the most popular devices, describes them as "lightweight surgical knives" that can cut through seat belts in case of emergency. The company could not be reached for comment.


The U.S. was eliminated from the World Cup two weeks ago, losing worldwide bragging rights when it comes to soccer.

But Americans can brag about being No. 1 when it comes to tipping service workers.

A survey of more than 25,000 people from around the world named Americans as the most likely to tip, with 60 percent of U.S. travelers saying they always tip for service while on vacation. In contrast, only 49 percent of Germans said they always tip, followed by 33 percent for Brazilians, 30 percent of Spaniards, 28 percent for Rus­sians, 26 percent for British and 15 percent for the French.

According to the survey by the travel site, 23 percent of Americans feel guilty if they don't tip, and 34 percent leave a tip even when they get poor service.

Americans tip restaurant staff 97 percent of the time, according to the survey, while pool staff get tipped the least, only 2 percent of the time.

Hugo Martin, Los Angeles Times

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