Flight Attendant Accused Of Smuggling Rat In Her Underwear

What the what? You read that headline correctly. Coworkers have accused American Airlines flight attendant Louann Giambattista of smuggling a rats aboard a flight. In her underwear. A pilot tells the NY Post he “saw a bulge in [her] pocket” and believes it was a live pet, and a fellow flight attendant is saying she believes Giambattista “fed her pet rats” from a cup on the subsequent flight from St. Martin to Miami.

The story doesn’t end there. Giambattista claims the “absurd” charges have caused her “debilitating anxiety” and blacklisting, and she’s suing the airline for unspecified damages. Giambattista says she’s “an admitted animal lover,” but denies bringing her furry friends along for a ride. We want to believe her, but can’t shake the nightmare of rats on a plane.

[via nymag.com]

Overseas France: Or Where You Can Find France Outside Of France

The days of colonial empires may be long over, though the United States, United Kingdom, France, Netherlands and Denmark continue each to administer a smattering of overseas territories.

Among these, France has arguably the most interesting and wide-ranging set of territories. Overseas France includes tiny St. Pierre and Miquelon off the coast of Newfoundland (population around 6,000), the Caribbean overseas departments of Guadeloupe and Martinique, the smaller Caribbean “overseas collectivities” of St. Martin and St. Barts, the South American overseas department of French Guiana, the Indian Ocean overseas departments of Réunion and Mayotte, and French Polynesia, New Caledonia, and Wallis & Futuna in the South Pacific.

Officially, overseas France is divided into “overseas departments” (French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, and Réunion), “overseas collectivities” (French Polynesia, St. Barts, St. Martin, St. Pierre and Miquelon, and Wallis and Futuna), and New Caledonia, which has a special status unto itself.

There are also two uninhabited French territories – a vast, noncontiguous territory with the grand name of Territory of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands, inhabited only by researchers, and, most curious of all, the uninhabited island of Clipperton, which sits off Mexico and is administered directly by the Minister of Overseas France.

Tourism is a huge economic driver in many of these territories. St. Martin, St. Barts, and French Polynesia are particularly well known to Americans. Francophone tourists are also familiar with the islands of Guadeloupe, Martinique, New Caledonia, and Réunion.


[Flickr image via Rayced]