Firm [Peanut Corp. of America] tied to salmonella ran unlicensed Texas plant
“A peanut processing plant in Texas run by the same company blamed for a national salmonella outbreak operated for years uninspected and unlicensed by government health officials, The Associated Press has learned. The Peanut Corp. of America plant in Plainview [TX] was never inspected until after the company fell under investigation by the Food and Drug Administration, according to Texas health records obtained by AP. […] [N]ew details about that plant — including how it could have operated unlicensed for nearly four years — raised questions about the adequacy of government efforts to keep the nation's food supply safe. Texas is among states where the FDA relies on state inspectors to oversee food safety.”
(Associated Press; 03Feb09; Brett J. Blackledge) http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jeLgwCG-FEEYH8KZ7Tt45zOdSIKgD964AIG80
Counties recognized for emergency preparedness
“The National Association of County and City Health Officials has named158 local health departments in the country to be ‘Public Health Ready’ for major emergencies, including bioterrorism and pandemic flu. The El Paso County Department of Health and Environment [TX] was cited, and some of the department's procedures will be featured as best practices that other counties and cities could emulate, a spokeswoman for the health department said.” (SmartBrief; 03Feb09; Source: Colorado Springs Gazette)
Delaware County council discusses pandemic plan
“There is an old boxing credo that everybody has a plan for their opponent — until they get hit in the face. ‘We’re certainly not trying to alarm people, but we have to be prepared, we have to have a working plan in place,’ said County Council Vice Chairman Jack Whelan. ‘It will go a long way, certainly, to minimize the impact of any public health crisis, whether we’re talking about a biological attack, the avian flu … or a natural disaster such as Hurricane Katrina.’ […] [A]ccording to county Emergency Services Director Ed Truitt, there is not a lot of detail about the plan that can be released, even to local elected officials, because it also covers a response to terrorism.” (Delaware County Times; 04Feb09; Alex Rose) http://www.delcotimes.com/articles/2009/02/04/news/doc49890e476d0cc266797121.txt
Chemical warfare lotion approved for EU
“The European Union has approved U.S. company RSDecon's chemical warfare decontamination lotion for distribution in the 27 EU countries. RSDecon announced its RSDL chemical warfare agent skin lotion has met the requirements of EU medical authorities and has received the European CE mark. With the EU approval RSDecon's RSDL, a liquid chemical warfare decontaminant used in the counter-terrorism and military markets, can now be distributed across the EU. RSDecon says its RSDL also recently received approval from Australia by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for distribution in Australia. Additionally the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the decontaminant lotion. Officials say RSDL neutralizes dangerous chemical warfare agents from the skin of emergency responders.” (United Press International; 02Feb09) http://www.upi.com/Security_Industry/2009/02/02/Chemical_warfare_lotion_approved_for_EU/UPI-69871233615605/
Princeton professor [Frank von Hippel] lectures on nuclear weapon challenges [NY]
“Prof. Frank von Hippel, public and international affairs at Princeton University, lectured yesterday at the A.D. White house [at Cornell University, NY] on the challenges of a global cleanout of nuclear-weapon materials, namely highly enriched uranium and plutonium. Von Hippel, who is co-chair in the International Panel on Fissile Materials, began his lecture with a background on nuclear weapons. According to the professor, the design of the uranium bomb dropped on Hiroshima was simple and easy to copy. The simplicity of the design has been a concern for the U.S. government, which is threatened by terrorists’ attempts to create a bomb based on the same design. […] Von Hippel [said] that he was not against nuclear power as an energy source but was against nuclear reprocessing as a way of managing nuclear waste. ‘Reprocessing increases the danger of nuclear terrorism,’ [he] said.” (Cornell Daily Sun; 03Feb09; Byungkwan Park)
[Former Vice President] Dick Cheney: closing Guantanamo makes terror attack more likely
“Dick Cheney said that the previous administration's anti-terror apparatus had prevented another incident on a par with the September 11, 2001, attacks. […] He viewed the risk of a dirty bomb attack as high. The ‘ultimate threat to the country,’ was a ‘9/11-type event where the terrorists are armed with something much more dangerous than an airline ticket and a box cutter - a nuclear weapon or a biological agent of some kind’ that is deployed in the middle of an American city that could kill perhaps hundreds of thousands of people.” (Telegraph; 04Feb09) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/4514929/Dick-Cheney-closing-Guantanamo-makes-terror-attack-more-likely.html
[Opinion] Bring back the draft: why a return to mass conscription is the only way to win the war on terror
“[…] In the event of new terrorist attacks on U.S. soil on the scale of 9/11, let alone the unimaginable consequences if American cities were struck by nuclear or biological weapons, the arguments against conscription would vanish overnight, and there would be a crash program to build up the armed forces, similar to the aftermath of attack on Pearl Harbor. The country would be in a far stronger position if it put these forces in place now, rather than waiting until a catastrophe occurred.
Moreover, if the United States had such larger standing forces, they would provide a credible deterrent against states that currently support, tolerate, or ineffectively suppress terrorist groups. Indeed, the reinstatement of the draft is not an invitation for more war; it may be the best chance for peace.” (Foreign Policy; Feb09; William L. Hauser and Jerome Slater)
[Chembio-resistant products company Warwick Mills, NH] doing well in a down economy
“So, what does it take to prosper in a down economy? […] In 2008, Warwick won a contract with the U.S. Department of Defense to produce chemical and biological weapons-resistant tents that the U.S. Army will use in Afghanistan and Iraq. In January, said John Cronin, the company's program manager, Warwick won a contract worth more than $600,000 with the New York State Department of Correctional Services to provide slash-resistant gloves […].” (Concord Monitor; 03Feb09; Source: Monadnock Ledger-Transcript; Priscilla Miller) http://www.concordmonitor.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090203/LEDGERTRANSCRIPT/902030444/1265/BUSINESS
New Mexico man [Richard Leon Goyette] charged in white-powder mailings
“Infuriated by losses in the stock market, a New Mexico man sent financial institutions […] dozens of threatening letters containing suspicious powder, federal authorities said Tuesday. Richard Leon Goyette, 47 years old, who also uses the name Michael Jurek, was arrested at the airport in Albuquerque, N.M., on Monday. He is charged with the federal crime of conveying false information, which carries a penalty of up to five years in prison per offense. Federal authorities said that last fall, Mr. Goyette sent envelopes filled with white powder to multiple offices of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.'s Chase bank, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
and the Office of Thrift Supervision.” (Wall Street Journal; 03Feb09; Stephanie Simon) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123370629471045641.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
CNS ChemBio-WMD Terrorism News is prepared by the Chemical and Biological Weapons Nonproliferation Program of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in order to bring timely and focused information to researchers and policymakers interested in the fields of chemical, biological, and radiological weapons nonproliferation and WMD terrorism.