A New Round of Airline Industry Mishandlings, Obama Under Pressure, and More: News Roundup

In the news this week: the airline industry faces new issues related to religion, 18 states do not provide Medicaid funding for circumcisions, and President Obama is pushed on faith-based hiring rules.

Delta Airlines is working to secure an alliance with Saudi Arabian Airlines. Once completed, the alliance would enable Delta to offer direct flights to Saudi Arabia, but only to passengers that are not Jewish or do not possess a passport issued in Israel. Delta has protected their position of following the Saudi restrictions by stating that they are bound by the individual laws of any destination country. Many in the U.S. are speaking out, arguing that by entering this alliance Delta is breaking U.S. discrimination laws, engaging in religious discrimination, and indirectly promoting anti-Semitism. (The Blaze)
 
In another example of an internationally based company conflicting with U.S. laws, an Air France employee in Washington was allegedly sent home because she refused to remove her hijab. The employee was apparently told that the hijab did not meet the company’s dress code. (Sacramento Bee)
 
Eighteen states have or are considering cancelling Medicaid funding for circumcisions in order to close budget gaps. Colorado recently took this step, which they believe could save the state over $150,000 annually. By doing so they join states such as South Carolina, Arizona, California, Maine, and Florida. According to one expert, Jewish populations are unlikely to be affected by such a decision, as Jewish circumcisions are typically performed by specialist trained in Jewish ritual rather than a hospital physician. (Sacramento Bee)
 
In 2002, President Bush introduced a policy meant to give faith-friendly organizations greater access to federal funding. In doing so, he allowed organizations that practice discriminatory hiring practices based on religion to have access to government money. Many religious organizations hailed the decision while staunch supporters of the separation of church and state decried it. Critics are now saying that Obama has yet to fulfill a campaign promise to reverse Bush’s policy and are pushing for answers. (USA Today)
 
In other news:
Sharia bill is based on a false premise    The Guardian (UK)