Stop, decontaminate and listen: Vanilla Ice tweets from Emirates NYC flight

Vanilla Ice was okay because he was on the upper deck. (AFP)
Updated 06 September 2018
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Stop, decontaminate and listen: Vanilla Ice tweets from Emirates NYC flight

  • Vanilla Ice was on the plane, but in the safe confines of the upper deck
  • His video has since gone viral, attracting even more attention than the original story

DUBAI: It was a case of Ice – not so nice – baby for the 1990s hip hop sensation Vanilla Ice – as the Emirates plane he was traveling on from Dubai to New York became the center of a health scare on Wednesday.

The 14-hour long flight on the Emirates A380 hit the headlines when several passengers fell ill – but at the time, what many people were unaware of was that the rapper-cum-TV presenter was on the upper deck.

He had been traveling from Dubai after a day’s stopover from South Africa when the plane was met at JFK Airport by a fleet of emergency service vehicles.

Like all good 21st century celebrities Vanilla Ice’s first reaction was to take to Twitter and tell his people what was happening.

“So I just landed in New York coming back from Dubai and now I’m stuck on the runway with like 1000 police, ambulances, fire trucks, this is crazy,” he tweeted.

His claim of 1,000 police was somewhat over the top – but that didn’t stop it receiving hundreds of likes.

Of course, this didn’t stop him, and moments later he was back on Twitter with an update, reassuring us of his wellbeing.

“This is crazy. Apparently there is over 100 people sick on the bottom floor, so happy I’m up top, it’s a double-decker plane 380.”

Obviously concerned for the passengers down below in standard, he then whipped out his phone to produce a viral video which he also tweeted from the comfort of his flatbed chair.

Adding the comment: “So I just landed from Dubai and now there is like tons of ambulances and fire trucks and police all over the place”

Vanilla Ice rose to fame with his hit single “Ice Ice Baby. He later disappeared from pop stardom, but made a comeback with his own DIY show “The Vanilla Ice Project.”

At the peak of his music career he dated the Queen of Pop Madonna, but the couple split up in 1992.

It is not clear why he spent the day in Dubai, but in an earlier tweet he said it was the longest he’d ever flown for.

“Most flying I’ve ever done in my whole life, 29 hours in the air to South Africa and over to Dubai for one day then back home ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ exhausted,” – which seems odd, given he was once embarking on world tours.

An Emirates airline spokeswoman said 10 passengers fell ill on the flight from Dubai to New York. New York media outlets – and Vanilla Ice - had earlier put the number at about 100 passengers.

“Emirates can confirm that about 10 passengers on board flight EK203 from Dubai to New York were taken ill,” the spokeswoman said. “On arrival at JFK, as a precaution, they were immediately checked by local health authorities and those needing medical attention will be attended to.”

A later statement from the airline said three passengers and seven crew were transferred to hospital for medical care and that all passengers had disembarked from the aircraft.

Eric Phillips, spokesman for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, said it appeared that some of the ill passengers had come from Mecca, which is experiencing a flu outbreak.

“Health officials are processing tests now to determine the cause. Symptoms still pointing to the flu,” he tweeted.

Later it was revealed the cause of the illness was “probably influenza,” New York City acting Health Commissioner Dr Oxiris Barbot said.

He said tests had been taken by officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and most of the passengers were cleared to continue their travels.

In a statement, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said that Emirates flight 203 landed at 9:12 a.m. “with a report of multiple sick passengers.”

“The plane was taken to a location away from the terminal so that medical personnel from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could board the aircraft to evaluate the situation and provide immediate assistance,” it added.

The plane’s return journey to Dubai was delayed by three hours.

Now let's remind ourselves of what he was best known for so Stop.... Collaborate... And listen:


Weinstein in search of a lawyer as trial approaches

Updated 39 min 45 sec ago
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Weinstein in search of a lawyer as trial approaches

  • He is accused of harassment by more than 80 women
  • Weinstein’s first lawyer withdrew from the case in January

NEW YORK: The main lawyer for Harvey Weinstein has asked a judge to be removed from the case, leaving the disgraced movie mogul without counsel as his sexual assault trial approaches in September.
Weinstein has been charged over the alleged assaults of two women — a rape in 2013 and an incident of forced oral sex in 2006. He faces life in prison if convicted, and is also accused of sexual misconduct with dozens of other women.
Weinstein’s first lawyer, Benjamin Braufman, withdrew in January after which Weinstein hired two other high-profile attorneys, Ronald Sullivan and Jose Baez.
Sullivan, who also teaches at Harvard, pulled out in May after coming under fierce criticism on campus for defending the man seen as giving rise to the #MeToo movement.
Once one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, Weinstein has been accused of harassment and assault by more than 80 women, including stars such as Angelina Jolie and Ashley Judd.
Then last week Baez asked to withdraw from the case, New York news outlets reported. He did so in a letter to State Supreme Court Justice James Burke, who is overseeing the case.
“First, Mr. Weinstein has engaged in behavior that makes this representation unreasonably difficult to carry out effectively and has insisted upon taking actions with which I have fundamental disagreements,” Baez wrote.
“For example, he has engaged outside counsel to communicate with myself and my co-counsel and has decided to have another attorney threaten legal action against this firm,” Baez said, adding that since May 15 or earlier Weinstein has known that Baez probably could not stay with the case.
Neither Baez, nor a spokesman for Weinstein nor the Manhattan prosecutor’s office responded to AFP’s requests for comment.
No hearing is scheduled until September 9, when jury selection is scheduled to begin in a trial that promises to be a media sensation.
It is not clear if the trial might be postponed because of Weinstein’s lawyer problems.