War on Terrorism

Monday, April 06, 2009

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- April 6, 2009

CDC [Center for Disease Control and Prevention] promotes partnerships in emergency response
"On March 18, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) three business cooperative agreement grantees, the National Business Coalition on Health, the National Business Group on Health, and the National Safety Council visited the agency to present information on their partnerships and how they help to promote health, prevent disease, and reduce injury. […] Each year, the public faces potential health threats, from pandemic influenza, to hurricanes, to bioterrorism. […] The National Center for Health Marketing's (NCHM) Division of Partnerships and Strategic Alliances (DPSA) collaborated with one of CDC's business cooperative agreement grantees, the National Safety Council (NSC), to create the Emergency Alert Network (EAN). […] EAN has the capacity to reach more than 17,000 businesses with CDC-cleared information in the event of a public health emergency. Collectively, these businesses have the potential to reach 8 million employees and their dependents." (Relief Web; 03Apr09; Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900SID/CJAL-7QRNNU?OpenDocument

State budget unlikely to gouge county programs [NY]
"When it comes to the state budget's effect on Tompkins' County [NY] government, there was some good news and there was some bad news. The good news is $1.6 million in expected state cuts was mostly restored. The bad news is anywhere between $500,000 and $750,000 in state funding won't be in the county budget, sales tax receipts are slumping and there's some speculation that a second deficit-reduction plan could come out of Albany later this year that would further cut funding to municipalities. […] Bioterrorism preparedness funding lost $112,000. The cut in bioterrorism aid, which won't expire until August this year, will mean the county will need to prioritize what aspects of emergency preparedness to [be] ready for." (Ithaca Journal; 03Apr09; Tim Ashmore)

Malaysia to test ability to contain influenza pandemic
"The health ministry, with support from World Health Organisation (WHO)'s Western Pacific Regional Office in Manila, is conducting a joint rapid containment exercise in Kuala Lumpur for two days, beginning Monday [06Apr09]. Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Ismail Merican said the exercise, 'Panstop III 2009' […is designed] to implement measures related to rapid containment, including decision-making, coordination, communication, social and economic disruptions, [and] risk assessment for rapid containment […]." (Bernama; 06Apr09) http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v3/news.php?id=402240

Producers encouraged to provide input on action to prevent swine disease
"The Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon [Canada] is encouraging swine producers to consider their priorities as the pork industry plans action to step up the defense again swine disease. Last week Ottawa unveiled a two year 40 million dollar initiative that will include creating national standards for biosecurity best management, research related to porcine circovirus associated diseases and other emerging diseases and establishing long-term risk management strategies. A national conference is also being planned for July to outline strategy." (Farmscape; 06Apr09; Dr. John Harding)

Ebola scientists eager to be vaccinated, hope vaccine use spurs production
"The emergency use of a Canadian-made Ebola vaccine may have breathed new life into stymied efforts to get experimental vaccines for Ebola and similarly deadly viruses made, scientists say. They are hoping to strike while the iron is hot, using heightened awareness of the risk these dangerous viruses pose to press for production of emergency stocks of vaccine and potentially even expensive human clinical trials. The Ebola vaccine, made at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, was given to an unnamed German researcher last month after she accidentally pricked herself with the needle of a syringe containing Ebola virus. The woman, who did not develop symptoms of the disease, was given the all-clear by her doctors late last week." (Canadian Press; 05Apr09) http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5hKg4zZnVByct63iq22KfEOfFSFag

NZ [New Zealand]'s biosecurity science praised
"New Zealand is a world leader in biosecurity science and management and some of the systems developed in the country could be used as models for the European Union, a Lincoln University academic says. 'As countries in the European Union struggle to deal with an ever-increasing stream of invasive plant and animal species, they could do well to look to New Zealand for biosecurity advice,' the university's Bio-Protection Research Centre Professor Philip Hulme, says. Hulme's paper, 'Will threat of biological invasions unite the European Union?' appears in the publication Science this week." (TVNZ; 03Apr09)

Biotechnology boom raises security fears
"As rapid advances in biotechnology make it easier to develop and produce deadly organisms, experts are calling for better industry oversight to stop that progress benefiting criminals and terrorists. […] In 2002 it took five years to develop the genomic sequence of a polio virus. Three years later it took a week for a team the same size to do the same on a virus of similar length. Such rapid progress has left policymakers wondering how to ensure security in a disparate, thinly regulated industry - a concern that surfaced at a weekend conference in Morocco where experts considered the threat of pandemics and major biological incidents in the Middle East and North Africa." (Reuters; 06Apr09; Tom Pfeiffer)

28 April 2009 deadline for India to destroy declared chemical weapons stockpiles
"The Indian Government is obliged to destroy its declared chemical weapons stockpiles on 28 Apr, as agreed under the 11th Annual Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) of 8 Dec 2006. According to the latest media reports, nearly 90 per cent of the country's chemical weapons stock [have] been destroyed. India signed the Chemical Weapons Convention treaty in 1993. It was ratified in 1995. Under the treaty, Libya has until 31 Dec 2010 to destroy its chemical weapons, Russia until 29 Apr 2012, and the United States until 29 Apr 2012." (News Ahead; 05Apr09; Mohan Balaji) http://www.newsahead.com/preview/2009/04/28/india-28-april-2009-deadline-for-india-to-destroy-chemical-weapons-stockpiles/index.php

Better prepared for emergency [British Columbia, Canada]
"Delta's first responders now have more tools at their disposal in the event of an emergency involving hazardous materials. [...] The [emergency response] agencies were able to purchase the [new] equipment through the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program (JEPP), a federal government cost-sharing initiative aimed at enhancing emergency preparedness and response capabilities across the country. 'Delta is susceptible to various natural emergencies such as floods, storms and earthquakes, but there are also man-made dangers such as chemical spills, [...] and terrorists that could affect us,' said firefighter Michel Lattendresse [...] Through JEPP, the Delta fire department was able to purchase a decontamination tent, something it would not have been able to afford without the government assistance, said Paul Scholfield, acting captain of the department's hazardous materials (HAZMAT) team." (Delta Optimist; 04Apr09; Jessica Kerr)

Community safety is everyone's business [TN]
"Behind the scenes, the first responder community has been involved in added training and planning for all hazards. The Madison County Sheriff's Department, Madison County Fire Department, EMS personnel, Madison County Health Department and Jackson Police and Fire departments all have participated in the ongoing preparedness. Local neighborhood and church groups have come together to form Community Emergency Response Teams. […] Two major training sessions for approximately 110 law enforcement and fire personnel in preparation for the possible emergencies are normally overlooked: Rural Railcar Incident training (eight hours) for hazardous materials, sponsored by the local EMA and Jackson Fire Department, plus a weeklong Radiological Response Training sponsored by the Jackson Police Department." (Jackson Sun; 05Apr09; Marty Clements)

Text of [speech by] President Obama in Prague
"'Finally, we must ensure that terrorists never acquire a nuclear weapon. […] Today, I am announcing a new international effort to secure all vulnerable nuclear material around the world within four years. We will set new standards, expand our cooperation with Russia, and pursue new partnerships to lock down these sensitive materials.[…] Because this threat will be lasting, we should come together to turn efforts such as the Proliferation Security Initiative and the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism into durable international institutions. And we should start by having a Global Summit on Nuclear Security that the United States will host within the next year.'" (Associated Press; 05Apr09) http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gkyWk2MK7xeDw2b1jPhFS6KsvPegD97CGUG00

Dallas-Fort Worth [TX] 'modern survivalists' are ready for layoffs - or war
"Theirs is a different breed of survivalist, far from the right-wing militants or religious extremists who hole up in bunkers, live off the land and wait for the apocalypse. Preppers are regular people with regular jobs who decided […] that they can't rely on someone else to help them if something goes awry […] What exactly preppers are preparing for isn't specific. It could be a layoff, tornado, global pandemic or nuclear war.
[…] Walton McCarthy, owner and principal engineer of Radius Engineering International, builds underground disaster shelters that protect against nuclear, chemical and biological warfare, among other things. He said his business has tripled since July […]." (Star-Telegram; 05Apr09; Melody McDonald)

Issued by the heads of state and government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council
"We, the Heads of State and Government of the member countries of the North Atlantic Alliance, have gathered in Strasbourg and Kehl to celebrate the 60th anniversary of NATO. […] Our nations will continue to contribute to the full implementation of relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions (UNSCR), in particular UNSCR 1373, as well as of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. […] We will intensify our efforts to deny terrorists access to Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and their means of delivery as underscored in UNSCR 1540. […] We also remain committed to strengthening information and intelligence sharing on terrorism, particularly in support of NATO missions and operations."
(Defence Professionals; 05Apr09)

What does N. Korea's missile test mean for Asia?
"Has North Korea changed the security outlook in Asia? […] Greg Thielmann of the Arms Control Association said the [recent North Korean] rocketry advance 'pales in comparison with the threat posed by the retention and expansion of North Korean abilities to produce fissile material for those warheads.' […] North Korea retains significant artillery, short-range missiles and chemical and biological weapons stocks that have been viewed as a greater threat to its close neighbors than the intercontinental ballistic missiles." (Reuters; 05Apr09)

Deputies: anthrax [sic] hoax meant to be April fool's prank
"To Jerron Mario Moffitt, authorities say, it was an April Fool's prank: randomly placing envelopes containing a white powder on dozens of vehicles in a [FL] hospital parking lot and in mailboxes in his own neighborhood and beyond. […] Moffitt, 20, said he even put an envelope in his own mailbox to fool his father, an arrest report states. […] Moffitt was being held today on 79 counts of possession of a hoax weapon of mass destruction, the Highlands County Sheriff's Office said. Each charge carries a prison sentence of up to 15 years. His bail was set at $790,000 on those charges." (Tampa Bay Online; 05Apr09; Gary Pinnell) http://www2.tbo.com/content/2009/apr/04/041344/anthrax-hoax-meant-be-april-fools-prank/

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.

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