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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

New York City (AFP) – The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations says its antiterrorism unit is investigating lasers that have increasingly been targeting commercial airplanes arriving at New York City’s airports.

The incidents — which “can temporarily or permanently blind a pilot and crew” — have increased 17 percent since last year, according to the statement from the federal law enforcement agency dated Friday.

The two latest incidents happened Tuesday. The first, at 7:35 pm local time, involved a flight with regional carrier Shuttle America.

“The aircraft cockpit was illuminated by a green laser” as it approached La Guardia airport, while it was around six miles away, the FBI said.

The laser beam came from the Bronx, according to the crew.

In the second incident, three hours later, a private aircraft reported another green laser coming from Queens, around two miles southwest of La Guardia airport.

No one was injured in Tuesday’s incidents, but “several commercial pilots earlier this year suffered significant injury including a burnt retina,” the FBI said.

The agency “is asking anyone with information about any of these dangerous laser incidents to pick up the phone and call us,” George Venizelos, a top FBI official in New York said.

“Our paramount concern is the safety of aircraft passengers and crew,” he added.

The statement said the agency is offering a reward of an unspecified amount for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

According to the Federal Aviation Authority, laser incidents have been increasing for several years. Across the U.S., some 3,592 incidents were reported in 2011, up from 2,836 incidents the year before.

It is a crime in the United States to point a laser at an airplane — punishable with jail time and a fine up to $11,000.

The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, which is leading the investigation, comprises more than 50 local, state and federal agencies.

Donald Trump Jr.

Screenshot from Twitter

You've probably heard about Donald Trump's claim that his Democratic rival got "a big fat se onhot in the ass" before delivering a nearly perfect performance on a recently televised town hall. Or his more recent demand that Joe Biden get a "drug test" before their debate on Tuesday night. Having spent months lowering expectations for Biden, the Trumps are now busily defaming him as a junkie.

But that particular slur backfired spectacularly over the weekend when the Trump campaign posted a bizarre video of Don Jr. -- seemingly in a condition that called for rehab services. As his father might put it, "many people are saying" that the presidential spud looked and sounded like someone abusing a controlled substance. (His slurred message was disturbed too, something about an "army of able-bodied men and women" to intimidate voters).

It's both funny and sad to watch Don Jr. decompensate on Twitter. (More funny, though.)

Click and judge his condition for yourself.