UnNews:Florida evacuated when suspicious item found

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Florida evacuated when suspicious item found

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3 September 2010

Miami at night

Thursday night in Miami the lights were on but there was no one home.

MIAMI, Florida -- The state of Florida was evacuated and an airline passenger was detained after a jetway screener saw something suspicious in a checked bag.

Bomb squads scoured Florida's largest cities, and roads were shut down on Thursday night, police and airport officials said, describing the event as a public safety precaution.

Miami International Airport spokesman Greg Chin said, "Everything is back to normal now."

A written statement from the Transportation Security Administration did not identify the passenger in question, who is now in custody and unavailable for interviews with the press. Nor did officials describe the suspicious object, except to say that it was the shape of a brick and consisted of sheets of paper with words printed on them, a potential implement of terror that would be outside the experience of most jetway screeners.

Floridians widely believe that not just air travel, but daily life in the state, is so inherently risky that they must cede all their rights to privacy. "I don't know what set them off, but they have that right. If it saves just one life, it's probably OK," said Constitutional scholar Emma McIntire, interviewed outside her house trailer in Punta Gorda as she waited for the police to finish with it.

The incident comes in the same week that two passengers in different cities, both changing their travel plans at the last minute, were found with iPods wired to empty bottles in their luggage. But the TSA determined that this posed no security threat and allowed the men to continue their independent journeys to Yemen.

President Obama, who recently told the nation to "turn the page" away from Iraq and toward his inspiring package of election-eve tax increases, had no comment on the events in Florida. But White House spokesman Barry Gibb said that the shutdown of an entire U.S. state is still to be expected. "Although there never was a formal declaration of war, and although we have renamed the War on Terror to 'Recovery Summer!'--technically, yes, the nation still is under martial law."

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