War on Terrorism

Monday, April 13, 2009

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- April 13, 2009

State to practice for new emergencies [KY]
"Brig. Gen. John Heltzel, the head of Kentucky's Division of Emergency Management, is going to practice new scenarios this summer and ramp up rescuers' response times. […] Emergency management officials throughout the state were put to the test already this year when a massive January ice storm paralyzed much of Kentucky. […] Heltzel said emergency officials in Kentucky relied on statewide earthquake training held last March. […] Now, […] Heltzel is preparing authorities for the possibility of dangerous threats of a different sort. Planning for an influenza pandemic sets up the state to respond to other widespread outbreaks of any communicable disease, said Dr. Kraig Humbaugh, director of Kentucky's division of epidemiology and health planning." (Lexington Herald-Leader; 13Apr09; Source: Associated Press; Joe Biesk)

New weapon in BioDefense Research: NanoLogix kit speeds rapid diagnostics of anthrax [sic] and bubonic plague [sic]
"An independent study has found that NanoLogix's BNP(TM) Ultra-Fast Identification Technology allows the viewing of anthrax [sic] cultures four times faster than conventional methods. The study, by one of the foremost bio-defense and biomedical research centers in the U.S., appears in the current online issue of Letters in Applied Microbiology. The authors found that NanoLogix's BNP technology displayed colonies of anthrax [sic] in six hours, as contrasted with the fastest traditional methods, which typically take 24 hours. The study also found that the NanoLogix BNP technology allowed viewing of cultures of bubonic plague [sic], known historically as the 'Black Death,' twice as fast as traditional Petri plate methods." (PR Newswire; 13Apr09; Source: NanoLogix) http://sev.prnewswire.com/health-care-hospitals/20090413/NE9773313042009-1.html

Local responders attend Homeland Security training

"Emergency Responders Kate N. Aseme, M.D., and Cheryl Barnes, both of Forrest General Hospital [MS], recently completed Homeland Security training at the Center for Domestic Preparedness [CDP] in Anniston, Ala. […] Training at the CDP ensures that responders gain critical skills and confidence to be better prepared to effectively respond to local incidents or potential WMD incidents.[…] Many training courses culminate at the CDP's Chemical, Ordnance, Biological and Radiological Training Facility, the nation's only facility featuring civilian training exercises in a true toxic environment, using chemical agents. […] Additional information about CDP training programs can be found at http://cdp.dhs.gov." (Hattiesburg American; 13Apr09) http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/article/20090413/NEWS01/90413010

Earmarks continue to fund Chesco [PA] projects
"Earmarks, the government practice many love to hate, are funding a number of Chester County projects in the public and private sectors. 'There's always been a debate about earmarks,' noted H.L. Perry Pepper, president of Chester County Hospital, which was granted $428,000 for a planned expansion. […] Chester County is often filled to capacity, meaning patients can't access health care at their local hospital. 'This is a national concern,' Pepper said. 'If there is a pandemic, there are not enough beds to take care of the population. I don't feel badly about (receiving earmark funding) at all.'" (Phoenixville News; 13Apr09; Source:
Journal Register News Service; Brian McCollough) http://www.phoenixvillenews.com/articles/2009/04/13/news/srv0000005106833.txt

Coral Cross: pandemic preparedness from the Hawaii Department of Health
"[T]he U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is funding an alternate reality game starting in mid-May at CoralCross.org. As part of a larger public engagement initiative that includes community meetings and a live TV panel, the Hawaii State Department of Heath has contracted with the Hawaii Research Center for Future Studies to produce Coral Cross, a 'playable scenario' on the island of Oahu. According to Judy Kern at the Communications Office of the Hawaii State Department of Health, the goal of the ARG is to 'help encourage public dialogue and elicit input for decision-makers on Hawaii's pandemic priorities.'" (Alternate Reality Gaming Network; 12Apr09; Michael Andersen) http://www.argn.com/2009/04/coral_cross_pandemic_preparedness_from_the_hawaii_department_of_health/

The Blue Mountains [Canada] ready for an emergency
"The Blue Mountains is ready for an emergency whenever it comes. Last Thursday, Steve Conn, the Emergency Management Co-ordinator for The Blue Mountains, said the town had just completed its annual emergency management activities as required by Emergency Management Ontario and the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. The town simulated a serious flu pandemic, Conn explained. 'In addition to several activity requirements, including community risk profiling and public education, the town must successfully participate in an annual exercise, to test its response plans and emergency procedures,' Conn said." (Barrie Examiner; 13Apr09; Source: Sun Media)

Tamil protesters take their message to [Australian Prime Minister] Kevin Rudd
"On Sunday night, more than 1500 protesters gathered outside Kirribilli House. […] A spokeswoman for the Tamil community, Sam Pari, said 3500 civilians had been killed this year [in Sri Lanka] because of sustained bombing inside and outside the designated 'safe zone' near the town of Mullaitivu in the northeast. Dr Pari also said reports received by the Tamil diaspora suggested the Sri Lankan military was using chemical weapons in its attacks, although this remained unverified." (Australian; 14Apr09; Joe Kelly) http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25330896-5013871,00.html

New tests for detecting bioterrorism agent ricin
"In a development that could help safeguard people against potential acts of terrorism involving ricin, two groups of scientists in Georgia and New York are reporting the development of faster, more sensitive tests for detecting the deadly poison. One can detect one billionth of a gram of toxin in a single droplet of fluid in just five minutes, the scientists say. Reports on the tests - the most sensitive to date for detecting ricin - appear in ACS' Analytical Chemistry, a semi-monthly journal. […] Although earlier researchers have developed tests capable of identifying ricin by protein recognition methods, existing tests are generally slow, cumbersome, and inaccurate." (Huliq; 13Apr09; American Chemical News) http://www.huliq.com/11/79637/new-tests-detecting-bioterrorism-agent-ricin

Massachusetts CST [Civil Support Team] trains on Soviet naval ship
"A Weapons of Mass Destruction team from the Massachusetts National Guard recently swept a former Soviet naval ship for radioactive material here at the Battle Ship Cove naval ship display.The 1st Civil Support Team (CST) used the ship to conduct a radioactive material training exercise. Prior to the exercise, the CST conducted a two-day course about rapid radiological assessments. The purpose of the exercise was to train the team through all stages of an alert with an emphasis on dealing with a radiation hazard and to build upon their previous maritime operations training." (National Guard; 11Apr09; James Lally) http://www.ngb.army.mil/news/archives/2009/04/041309-Massachusetts.aspx

Is Canada safe from terrorism?
"The intervening years [since September 11, 2001] have seen no major attacks on North American soil. But does that mean we're safe? Graham Allison, an expert on the threat of nuclear terrorism and director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, puts the answer this way: 'If the U.S. and other governments just keep doing what they are doing today, a nuclear terrorist attack in a major city is more likely than not by 2014.' […] [A]uthorities in this country have taken several steps to make life harder for terrorists. […] All told, we're now spending $25 billion a year on national security […]." (Walrus Magazine; 13Apr09; Daniel Stoffman) http://www.walrusmagazine.com/articles/2009.05-security-are-we-safe-yet/

Feds provide $37M for emergency prep [LA]
"Louisiana will receive about $37.7 million from the federal government to improve emergency preparedness, The money will go toward projects at the Port of New Orleans and area businesses. The funds come from the Department of Homeland Security and will be sent to the state through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said 1st District Congressman Ahn 'Joseph' Cao. Amounts designated in the allotment include $30.4 million for the Port of New Orleans and more than $3.5 million for Morgan City and Port Fourchon to improve security and put in place worker ID programs. The state will receive $1.2 million to upgrade security at chemical facilities and nuclear power plants." (New Orleans City Business; 13Apr09)

Nations must unite to tackle international terrorism: Obama
"US president Barack Obama on Saturday asked countries around the world to come together to meet the common global challenge of terrorism which has been claiming lives of innocent people from Manhattan to Mumbai. […] But, working with other nations, the US can lead the way in overcoming these challenges, Obama said […] 'That is why I laid out a strategy in Prague for us to work with Russia and other nations to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons; to secure nuclear materials from terrorists; and ultimately, to free the world from the menace of a nuclear nightmare,' Obama said." (DNA India; 11Apr09; Source: PTI)

83.4B for 2009: the last supplemental?

"Vowing that it will be the last wartime supplemental, U.S. President Barack Obama sent Congress an $83.4 billion bill April 9 to cover the costs of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan for the second half of 2009. […] Obama said that war funding after this will be included in the regular defense budget. The annual defense budget receives much more scrutiny on its way through Congress than wartime supplementals have. […] The Army would receive $8.1 billion to buy equipment, including $1.7 billion for combat vehicles such as Strykers and upgrades to Bradley Fighting Vehicles and M1 tanks. Other Army equipment to be funded ranges from communications gear to UAVs, night-vision systems, mine-clearing vehicles, chemical and biological weapon sensors, and soldier protection equipment." (Defense News; 10Apr09; William Matthews) http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=4034386&c=AME&s=TOP

Madrid closed the third plenary [of Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly] \
"As a result of the meeting held at the third plenary session of the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly (EuroLat), held in Madrid between 6 and 8 April 2009, participating countries came to the signing of the 'Charter for the Euro Peace and Security.'[…] The signatories believe that the new common threats that affect both the European Union and Latin America specifically include poverty, pandemics and infectious diseases, […] anti-proliferation and possible use of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, terrorism, international organized crime, drug trafficking and human trafficking." (Euroalert; 13Apr09)

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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