US, UK curb electronics on planes from ME, N African airports

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In July 2014, the Homeland Security Department stepped up security of US -bound flights, requiring tougher screening of mobile phones and other electronic devices and requiring them to be powered up before passengers could board flights to the United States.

"There would be a huge disadvantage to having everyone put their electronics in checked baggage", said Price, a professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

The measures took effect Tuesday morning, and in the US they cover about 50 incoming flights a day from the eight countries on the list - Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

The British ban affects all the airports in six countries - Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Turkey.

United States officials would not say how long the ban would last, but the Dubai-based Emirates airline told AFP that it had been instructed to enforce it until at least October 14.

EgyptAir is included in the United States decision, along with Royal Jordanian, Turkish airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airways (Emirati airline), Royal Air Maroc, Kuwait Airways and Qatar Airways. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to disclose the internal security discussions by the federal government.

The Turkish government said the USA ban was wrong and should be reversed, said a BBC report.

While Democrats have criticized Republican Trump's travel ban, Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence committee, said he backed the new precautions as "both necessary and proportional to the threat".

"The (threat) information, has been provided to us by other intelligence communities", added Mr. Garneau.

The official also said that the action has been taken based on intelligence reports and that it has nothing to do with President Trump's travel ban. It means all laptops, cameras, tablets, e-readers, portable DVD players, electronic gaming devices and travel printers or scanners will have to be kept in the cargo hold for the duration of the flight. The change affects six British airlines, including British Airways and EasyJet, and eight foreign carriers.

A spokeswoman said: Passengers travelling to the countries affected may wish to consider leaving their electronic devices at home, although this may be hard for many, especially business travellers and families travelling with children. American officials announced the USA ban early Tuesday, and the British followed later in the day after discussions between the countries.

Several British airlines will be impacted by the British ban - including British Airways and low-priced carrier Easyjet as well as package-vacation carriers Thomas Cook and Thomson. Still, its bound to annoy powerful business people and diplomats, and could affect the travel plans of wealthy tourists sought after by the industry.

The device exploded shortly after takeoff, ripping a hole in the plane's side, but killed only the suspected bomber before the aircraft landed safely.

Senior Trump administration officials said that starting Tuesday morning airlines flying directly to the United States from 10 airports in eight countries could allow only cellphones and smartphones in carry-on bags for USA -bound flights. This relates to the "screening in some countries" for nonstop flights to the U.S.

Airlines will adjust to the electronics policy, she said.