War on Terrorism

Saturday, October 17, 2009

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News, October 16, 2009

S[outh] C[arolina] man pleads guilty to plotting to blow up [Navy] brig [near Charleston]
"A South Carolina man accused of threatening to kill President George W. Bush has pleaded guilty to plotting to use biological weapons to attack other government officials and destroy the Navy brig near Charleston. Court records show Steven Cucuzzella of North Charleston pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to mailing a threat to blow up the Naval Brig in Hanahan. Cucuzzella had been charged with making a threat against the president, but that charge was dropped. Cucuzzella has been held in the same Navy brig he threatened to destroy since his arrest earlier this year and will be sentenced later. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine." (Independent Mail, SC; 14Oct09; Source: AP) http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/S/SC_PRESIDENT_THREAT_SCOL-?SITE=SCAND&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

UCLA [University of California Los Angeles] to establish a new preparedness and emergency response resource center
"The UCLA School of Public Health has received a major grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to establish a center that will facilitate research to strengthen the ability of federal, state and local public health agencies to prepare for, respond to and recover from natural and human-induced disasters, including terrorism. The award, which totals $4.8 million over four years, will allow the school's Center for Public Health and Disasters (CPHD) to build on more than two decades of experience in addressing the critical issues faced when a disaster impacts a community. […] The grant will support three independent research projects designed to explore the interorganizational cooperation necessary to create and sustain a public health system that is resilient to disasters. These research projects will: Improve collaboration between local school systems and public health agencies to enhance preparedness; build effective public health partnerships with community-based and faith-based organizations for disaster readiness; and conduct community-based participatory research to develop environmental health emergency resilience. 'A coordinated public health system is critical to ensure an effective, timely response to public health emergencies and disasters,' [Kimberley] Shoaf [associate director of the CPHD and an associate professor of community health sciences] said. 'This new center will enable UCLA to develop evidence-based tools to help local, state and federal entities prepare for, respond to and recover from natural and human-induced disasters.'" (The Medical News; 15Oct09) http://www.news-medical.net/news/20091015/UCLA-to-establish-a-new-Preparedness-and-Emergency-Response-Research-Center.aspx

Wentworth-Douglass Hospital bioterrorism drill in Dover friday [NH]
"The [Wentworth-Douglass] hospital will conduct an emergency preparedness drill focused on the threat of bioterrorism, said WDH spokeswoman Noreen Biehl. The effort is part of the largest public health exercise to ever be held in the state. It is run through the N.H. Departments of Safety and Health and Human Services and seven of the state's 15 All Health Hazard Regions and five acute care hospitals. Operation Rapid Rx is based on a simulated public health emergency and will focus on medical supplies management and distribution, emergency public information and warning, and emergency operations center capabilities, according to DHHS [Department of Health and Human Services] and DOS [Department of Safety]. The drill is designed to exercise New Hampshire's Strategic National Stockpile, Cities Readiness Initiative and Point of Dispensing (POD) plans." (Foster's Daily Democrat; 14Oct09) http://www.fosters.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091014/GJNEWS_01/710149941/-1/FOSNEWS

Clinics to dispense 5,000 free flu shots today [Carson City, NV]
"Carson City's seasonal flu clinics being held today at two locations are first and foremost an opportunity for residents to take advantage of free immunizations. […] The vaccines are for seasonal flu only. […] In addition to being flu clinics, [Carson City Health and Human Services spokeswoman Pam] Graber said today's events are also a massive emergency preparedness exercise involving many agencies. The exercise is designed to train and test a plan for a mass need to protect the health of the community from something such as a bioterrorism attack or naturally occurring disease through dispensing pharmaceuticals, Graber said in a prepared release." (Nevada Appeal; 10Oct09; Sandi Hoover)

Elmira Fire Department to conduct evacuation training [NY]
"The Elmira Fire Department will conduct evacuation training exercises this week using the roof and an exterior wall on the Schweizer Pavilion at the Arnot Ogden Medical Center. Firefighters will practice evacuating individuals from an elevated structure using a mannequin and SKED litter, or flat transport system used to evacuate a patient over land. The exercises are scheduled to take place primarily during morning and early afternoon hours. Neighborhood residents, patients, visitors to the Medical Center and others are asked not to become alarmed or interfere with the exercises should they witness what appears to be an actual evacuation during these times. Arnot Health recently purchased the mannequin in use with grant money from a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services program that enhances the ability of hospitals and healthcare systems to prepare for and respond to bioterrorism and other public health emergencies." (Star Gazette; 11Oct09)

Syndromic surveillance for pandemic illness
"Syndromic surveillance is a specific type of call-trend analysis that allows communications personnel to detect those all-important signs and react accordingly. One of the first signs of an event involving a possible weapon of mass destruction or other terrorist act can be an influx of calls that are similar in nature and/or exceed typical call numbers. These can also be used to determine a potential pandemic outbreak. Examples of such calls include an increased surge of medical calls [….and] calls reporting seemingly distinct patterns of illnesses and common symptoms. Noting that these types of calls could […] play a pivotal role in the response to a pandemic incident or potential bioterrorism. Most communications centers today are digitizing their data and replacing outdated, paper-dependent systems with the modern technology offered by computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems, mobile data terminals (MDTs) and other software and computer-based systems. […] Many providers of such technology now offer an electronic syndromic surveillance system that interfaces with a CAD system and offers automated electronic monitoring. These programs assist the communications center and field agencies in call-trend analysis and create an electronic syndromic surveillance system. Most of these programs allow an agency to establish a baseline threshold of normal operations. The program uses these criteria to establish a threshold so it can monitor day-to-day transactions for trends that can be recognized as possible pandemic or outbreak situations or acts of biological or chemical terrorism." (Fire Rescue; 13Oct09; Bob Smith, Director of Strategic Development, APCO International) http://www.firerescue1.com/fire-products/communications/articles/596994-Syndromic-Surveillance-for-Pandemic-Illness/

Anthrax [bacteria] detector can spot H1N1 virus
"A device developed during post-9/11 anthrax scares can quickly and simply detect the H1N1 swine flu virus, according to University of New Mexico and Sandia National Laboratories scientists. In recent years, UNM scientists have modified the device to instantaneously test for other viruses such as HIV and hepatitis A and B [viruses]. […] With instant detection, Larson said hospitals would be able to quickly and efficiently isolate and treat sick patients. Technicians would take a throat or nasal swab sample from a patient and place it onto a metallic chip, then load the chip into the device. The device instantly analyzes the sample and the result pops up on a computer. […] A medical equipment maker is designing a shell for the device components. The device is already under review by the FDA, which could approve the device within a few months." (KRQE News 13; 15Oct09; Jim Winchester)

Huge flu clinic, safety exercise at Portsmouth High School [Fosters, RI]
"Hospital workers, health care representatives, city officials and first responders will join together Saturday to conduct a large scale community flu-clinic and public health exercise. […] Representatives from the fire and police departments will also be on site to take part in the largest public health exercise ever held in the state. […] The exercise is based on a simulated public health emergency and will focus on medical supplies management and distribution, emergency public information and warning, and emergency operations center capabilities."
(Foster's Daily Democrat; 15Oct09; Charles McMahon) http://www.fosters.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091015/GJNEWS_01/710159664/-1/FOSLIFESTYLES

Progress made in disposal of Umatilla chemical weapons [OR]
"U.S. Army efforts to destroy chemical weapons stored at the Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility in Oregon could be completed next year, the Hermiston Herald reported Saturday. 'Nobody knows the date we'll destroy the last chemical munition in the Oregon stockpile and close the depot because safety drives the program,' said Army spokesman Bruce Henrickson. 'But we do provide general estimates of munitions disposal time frames and expectations from time to time to help our off-post partners in their emergency preparedness close-out planning or other efforts.' Recent estimates have put disarmament activities at Umatilla ending between next summer or summer 2011. 'We're reviewing our expectations and estimates and may revise our expected time frames in the coming weeks,' Henrickson said." (Global Security Newswire; 13Oct09) http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20091013_3950.php

Burning question: Army, Chamber say Senate reuse study doesn't signal continued incinerator [Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility, AL] use
"A Senate subcommittee's study into the reuse of the Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility at the Anniston Army Depot is stirring fears in some quarters that chemical weapons as well as other substances could be imported here. […] Army and local leaders have worked to clarify the intention of the subcommittee and to issue reassurances that the facility would be torn down after the destruction of the existing Anniston stockpile. […] Sherri Sumners of the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce and Nathan Hill, the chamber's liaison to the military community, said they had worked with the office of Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa, in requesting the study. […] Both Sumners and Hill insisted that the study's aim is to determine economic benefits of the future use of the land and buildings at the site, not the incinerator. […] 'This is not about the continuation of chemical demilitarization, about continuing to destroy chemical weapons,' Hill said. 'This is about other projects, clean projects, perhaps even green projects. We do not […] want this to be misunderstood. This is about creating jobs and making use of the land, not continuing to use the incinerator.'" (Anniston Star; 11Oct09; John Fleming) http://tinyurl.com/yfsg83y

Puna [a former Army testing] site [Maku'u Farm Lots, HI] due for ordnance removal
"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is moving ahead with plans to clear munitions from the Maku'u Farm Lots. The agricultural Puna subdivision, now leased by the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, was built over a 640-acre bombing range. […] 'The site was reportedly used by the Navy as a target practice area during World War II,' the corps said in response to an inquiry. 'No records document this but ground reconnaissance revealed deteriorating air-to-ground practice bombs onsite.' […] The corps decided […on] the removal and disposal of all munitions-related items from the surface and down 2 feet. The 93-acre bombing target area and the 15-acre maneuver area will both be cleared of vegetation as necessary to allow the use of munitions detectors. Personnel will sweep the ground in lanes 5 feet wide. Also, the corps will begin a public education campaign, which will include periodic public safety awareness meetings and the distribution of educational media to landowners and local businesses. […] The corps issued a $1.56 million contract to Environet Inc. on Sept. 22 to remove the munitions and potential explosives." (Honolulu Advertiser; 12Oct09; Peter Sur, Hawaii Tribune-Herald)

Statement by Ambassador Zhang Jun, Permanent Representative of China to the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons at the 58th session of the Executive Council
"The early and complete elimination of the threat caused by Japanese ACWs [abandoned chemical weapons] for the purpose of ensuring human and environmental safety in China constitutes a core task of and a fundamental security guarantee by the [Chemical Weapons] Convention. […] The destruction of Japanese ACWs has not yet begun. The ACWs have caused human casualties from time to time. […] Japanese ACWs have proven to be a far graver threat in everyday life than other stockpiled CWs. Just a short while ago, an incident of casualties inflicted by Japanese ACWs recurred in China. The delaying in the disposal of Japanese ACWs has now become a bad flaw in the implementation of the Convention. […] The Chinese side urges the Japanese side to show a responsible attitude and honour its obligations earnestly, and to further step up its inputs and launch the destruction at an early date and complete it on time."
(Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China; 13Oct09) http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/eng/wjb/zwjg/zwbd/t620349.htm

Russia reports eliminating 42 percent of chemical warfare materials
"A senior Russian official said yesterday the nation has destroyed nearly 42 percent of its full depository of chemical warfare materials, Interfax reported. A total of 16,705 metric tons of chemical agents have been destroyed to date, Sergei Serbin, head of the international cooperation office for Russia's chemical weapons storage and disposal department, said during a conference near the disposal plant at Shchuchye in the Kurgan region. […] 'The disposal is proceeding as planned,' Serbin said during the event. 'The yearly target for Russia has been accomplished by 77 percent. As for the Shchuchye facility, it has destroyed 86 percent of the yearly target.' Nearly 776 of the 5,450 metric tons of sarin nerve agent stored at Shchuchye have been destroyed." (Global Security Newswire; 15Oct09) http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20091015_2221.php

Emergency services in chemical scare exercise
"Specialist crews from Farnworth Fire Station were called to a major chemical 'scare' which saw about 100 people being exposed to an unknown substance in a simulated exercise. Firefighters from Farnworth were among the 75 from Greater Manchester taking part in a major training exercise at Salford University to test operational systems and equipment put in place as part of the New Dimensions project. The scheme is a network of nationally available resources and equipment designed to increase the emergency services' capabilities to deal with large-scale incidents, outside the norm. Farnworth fire station houses a special decontamination unit. […] The real time scenario involved fire service personnel working Greater Manchester Police, North West Ambulance Service Hazardous Area Response Team and emergency planning agencies to assist cleaning up to 100 people. The Hazardous Area Response Team, is made up of paramedics are trained and equipped to work in high-risk environments, providing advanced life-support, triage and treatment to those affected by a major incident whether it be a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear. Assistant County Fire Officer Tony Ciaramella said: 'Large-scale simulations, involving our partner agencies, ensure we are not only well trained and equipped but are well prepared to work together to help the public.'" (This Is Lancashire; 15Oct09)

Altairnano to conduct nanosensor research for the U.S. Army
"Nanotechnologies, Inc. […] today announced it has signed a research agreement with the U.S. Army RDECOM Acquisition Center for a cost reimbursement contract that could be worth up to $1.75 million. The terms of the contract were signed on September 3, 2009 and run through September 2, 2010. Under the agreement, Altairnano will conduct primary research of sensitive and selective nanosensors in order to determine how single sensing molecules combined with nanoparticles respond to airborne nerve agents and toxic industrial chemicals. Altairnano will also work on incorporating the technology into a portable sensing device that could one day help to protect men and women of the U.S. Army from the threat of chemical weapons. 'This is another important milestone in our work with the military,' said Terry M. Copeland, Altairnano's CEO. 'We believe Altairnano's technologies are uniquely positioned to help the U.S. Army in the development of portable, life-saving sensors that could one day be utilized on the battlefield. Altairnano is proud to help improve the effectiveness and safety of the men and women defending our nation.'" (Cloud Computing Journal; 13Oct09)

By consensus, OPCW Executive Council recommends H.E. Mr Ahmet Uzumcu of Turkey for appointment as Director-General
"The 41-member Executive Council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) decided today to recommend H.E. Mr Ahmet Uzumcu for appointment as the Organisation's next Director-General. The Executive Council reached its decision to recommend Mr Uzumcu by consensus on the final day of its 58th Session this morning in The Hague. The recommendation will be considered by the 14th Session of the Conference of the States Parties when it convenes from 30 November to 4 December 2009 in The Hague. The incumbent OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Rogelio Pfirter, congratulated the Executive Council for its decision. […] 'With its consensus decision today the Executive Council reaffirmed the OPCW as an example of successful multilateralism, and has recommended a candidate of sterling personal and professional qualities to lead the Organisation into the future,' Director-General Pfirter said. 'This is indeed a proud moment for the OPCW, one that demonstrates the maturity and profound unity of purpose which the Organisation has attained in its mission to create a world free of chemical weapons.'" (OPCW; 16Oct09) http://www.opcw.org/news/news/article/by-consensus-opcw-executive-council-recommends-he-mr-ahmet-uezuemcue-of-turkey-for-appointment-as/

Barbados designates OPCW national authority
"Barbados has designated a focal point within the Ministry of the Environment, Water Resources and Drainage to assume the functions of CWC National Authority. In compliance with its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), Barbados has informed the OPCW that it has designated a focal point within the Ministry of the Environment, Water Resources and Drainage to assume the functions of CWC National Authority. A National Authority is crucial to ensuring the effective implementation of the Convention within each State Party's national jurisdiction. […] The National Authority has the responsibility of implementing the provisions of the CWC at the national level. […] State Parties are also obliged to declare and eliminate all chemical weapons stockpiles and production facilities they may possess." (OPCW; 14Oct09) http://www.opcw.org/news/news/article/barbados-designates-opcw-national-authority/

Lebanon designates OPCW national authority
"In compliance with its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), Lebanon has informed the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) that it has designated a focal point within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to assume the functions of CWC National Authority. A CWC National Authority is crucial in ensuring the effective implementation of the CWC within each State Party's national jurisdiction. The National Authority has the responsibility of implementing the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) at the national level. […] State Parties are also obliged to declare and to eliminate all chemical weapons stockpiles and chemical weapons production facilities." (OPCW; 16Oct09) http://www.opcw.org/news/news/article/lebanon-designates-opcw-national-authority/

Radioactivity meters proposed for Cape [MA]
"Steve Jones, a house painter from Salt Lake City, Utah, who summers on Chappaquiddick, […] is pitching local public safety officials with a simple credit-card size device that detects radioactive fallout. […] Jones volunteers for Arizona-based Physicians for Civil Defense, a nonprofit group trying to provide officials with information on what to do in case of a nuclear detonation. Having helped distribute radiation detection meters to fire and police officials on Martha's Vineyard and in Arizona, Jones now has his sights set on the rest of Massachusetts. On the Cape, Jones is handing out samples of RADTriage cards to public safety officials. The cards, he says, could help reduce panic as much as they could help determine if there is radiation in the air, he said. […] He hopes the cards and a 4-inch-by-3-inch yellow training sheet will allay some panic during a nuclear detonation or power plant accident. The training sheets provide information people might recognize from the Cold War when preparation for nuclear attacks included actions like getting under a desk. […] The cards detect ionizing radiation, the type of radiation that passes through the body and causes damage, [Fay] Crowe [owner of Crowe and Co., the company that distributes RADTriage cards to Jones' group] said. Radiation causes the cards to turn colors much like light affects a photograph, she said. They cost $21 each and can be stockpiled for up to five years if frozen. If not, they may start to change color after a year because of background radiation, she said." (Cape Cod Times 15Oct09; Patrick Cassidy)

7 trucks, 18 drivers placed out of service [TN]
"The Tennessee Highway Patrol this morning, concluded Operation United Stop, a 24-hour truck inspection and terrorism deterrence effort at the I-81 Scales complex in western Greene County. The event, which began at 6 a.m. Wednesday, continued until 6 a.m. today, according to Lt. James McKenzie, who commands the Scales complex. 'Despite inclement weather during the operation, 4,442 trucks passed through the I-81 Scales,' Lt. McKenzie said. A total of 272 truck drivers were contacted and 95 truck inspections were conducted. Seven trucks were placed out of service for equipment defects, and 18 truck drivers were placed out of service for violations of hours of service regulations, McKenzie said. […] In addition, 41 K-9 walk arounds (of trucks by drug and bomb-detecting dogs) were performed and 109 radiological sweeps were conducted. McKenzie said the high visibility of the event at the I-81 Scales 'was designed to send a defining message to potential terrorists, and drivers of any unsafe truck planning to operate on Tennessee highways.'" (Greenville Sun; 15Oct09; Bill Jones)

NNSA provides radiation training to medical responders through IAEA course
"The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) offered radiation medical emergency training at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today in Vienna as part of its ongoing commitment to nuclear and radiological incident response. Medical personnel from 20 countries received training on procedures and methods to minimize the spread of radioactive contamination when treating and transporting patients and procedures to address injuries to personnel who are contaminated. The IAEA, Brazil and France also provided lectures on actual radiological incidents. 'Radiation medical emergency training is part of NNSA's comprehensive approach to nuclear and radiological incident response,' said NNSA Associate Administrator for Emergency Operations Joseph Krol. […] The training also prepares the medical response community to effectively respond to radiological terrorism." (NNSA; Oct1609) http://www.nnsa.energy.gov/news/2659.htm

[Tamil Nadu] Govt prepares to tackle dirty bomb attack [India]

"The Union government has alerted the Tamil Nadu government to be prepared in the event of a 'dirty bomb' attack, according to sources. The State government is planning to work out standard operating procedures to face any eventualities during a nuclear, biological or chemical attack, the source said. The Tamil Nadu government has sought the help of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) to learn how to handle radiological emergencies, he added. The security personnel posted at airports, railway stations, bus terminals, economic nerve centres, entertainment and religious venues, schools, shopping and sports complexes and business centres are the first line of defence and they have been sensitised in handling these situations, the source said." (Express Buzz; 09Oct09; C. Shivakumar)

Airport tests full body x-ray system [Manchester, England]
"Future passenger security checks at airports may no longer include pat-downs with a new full-body imaging technology undergoing trials at Manchester Airport. Manchester Airport's Terminal 2 is trialing the Secure 1000 Single Pose, which uses back-scatter technology and proprietary image processing software to produce a ghost-like outline of an individual's body. A concealed threat such as a knife or gun would be clearly detectable on the image. […] Tim Raynor, the European Union (EU) government affairs technical director for the company, said that the imaging system is different to normal X-ray machines. The Rapiscan system works by bouncing X-rays off an individual's skin to produce an outline image of the person's body, he added. A normal X-ray imaging system detects X-rays that are generated through a person. […] The system now includes an additional sensor so that a person's front and back can be scanned at the same time." (Engineer Online; 14Oct09) http://www.theengineer.co.uk/Articles/313581/Airport+tests+full-body+X-ray+system.htm

CERN [Centre Europeenne pour la Recherche Nucleaire] scientist under terror[ism] inquiry
"A French court placed a physicist working at CERN, the huge nuclear research center in Switzerland, under formal investigation on Monday for suspected conspiracy with a terrorist enterprise. […] An official with direct knowledge of the investigation identified him as Adlène Hicheur, a French particle physicist of Algerian birth. […] Dr. Hicheur, 32, and a younger brother were arrested on Thursday in his home in Vienne, France, on suspician of having contacts with members of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, a Sunni extremist group based in Algeria that affiliated itself with Osama bin Laden's terrorist network. The brother has been released. Dr. Hicheur has not been charged with a crime, and the French authorities have not said what evidence they have in the case. […] Under French law, a person in a terror case can be held under provisional detention with no time limit. […] Dr. Hicheur is part of a 49-member team from the Laboratoire de Physique des Hautes Energies at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne." (New York Times; 13Oct09; Dennis Overbye) http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/14/world/europe/14cern.html?hp

Iraqis drop WMD claim against American company
"The Nashville-based Kurdish National Congress and five expatriates filed the dismissal notice Friday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. Thermo Scientific is based in Waltham, Mass. The action leaves just one defendant - Alcolac Inc., a unit of the Paris-based Rhodia group. Alcolac is seeking dismissal of the lawsuit." (Fox News; 12Oct09; Associate Press) http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,564763,00.html?test=latestnews

Surprise [Fire Department] to buy special firetruck with $500K grant [AZ]
"A federal grant will allow the Surprise Fire Department to buy a truck equipped to deal with the worst. The chemical-, biological-, radiological-, nuclear-, explosive-response vehicle will make it easier for Surprise firefighters to team with other agencies in times of crisis, Division Chief Brendan Espie said. The Fire Department received a $500,000 Urban Area Security Initiative grant which helps cities purchase equipment needed to respond to regional disasters or high-priority calls. The truck can be used to respond to hazardous materials situations. […] The new vehicle will be useful in situations that require a response from several fire departments because the Surprise truck will have the same features as other agencies' vehicles, Espie said." (Arizona Republic; 15Oct09; Lisa Halverstadt) http://www.azcentral.com/community/surprise/articles/2009/10/15/20091015gl-nwvfiregrant1016.html

Tiny motes [sensors] sniff out chemical, biological threats
"Research to develop a new method to detect biological and chemical threats may also lead to new approaches for removing pollutants from the environment. The research effort, led by Dr. Hai Xiao of Missouri University of Science and Technology, involves the development of tiny sensors - each about the size of a pinhead - that could be used to detect and identify chemical or biological agents. Xiao, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, along with colleagues from Missouri S&T and the University of Cincinnati are using a porous crystal known as zeolite to develop the sensors. Zeolite's molecular structure and unusual properties allow it to detect certain chemicals and trap them, Xiao says. […] The researchers are developing prototypes of the sensors, a process for manufacturing them and a means for deploying them in a battlefield or urban warfare situation. The zeolite sensors would be deployed in the battlefield via motes developed by Xiao's co-investigator, Dr. Jagannathan Sarangapani, the William A. Rutledge-Emerson Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering. These are small, battery-powered devices that would hold perhaps a dozen or so sensors and have the ability to communicate with one another via a wireless network." (Missouri Science and Technology; 12Oct09) http://news.mst.edu/2009/10/tiny_motes_sniff_out_chemical.html

In joint war games, U.S. pitches the Stryker to India
"Under the 18-day [Indo-US joint wargames] Yudha Abhyas 09 that began on Monday. […] The armies of [the] US and India are undergoing training to share useful experience in peacekeeping operations and humanitarian activities during disaster management. Of the artillery lot, the Stryker is reportedly the star attraction, as the infantry vehicle is the US Army's first new armoured vehicle in the last 20 years. […] The Stryker is an eight-wheeled all-wheel-drive armored combat vehicle that is known for its lightweight and easy maintenance. […] Each Stryker costs around $1.5 million. […] The Stryker is equipped with advanced weapons, CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) protection and C4I (command, control, communications, computers and intelligence) systems." (Rediff News Bureau; 13Oct09) http://news.rediff.com/report/2009/oct/13/in-war-games-us-pitches-the-stryker-to-india.htm

Pentagon seeks to clarify WMD response role
"The U.S. Defense Department [DOD] should work with other agencies to clarify its role in responding to domestic WMD strikes ahead of the Pentagon's inclusion in an interagency federal disaster planning system, congressional investigators wrote in a report released yesterday. The Government Accountability Office [GAO] reported […that] the Pentagon should work with the Homeland Security Department [DHS], Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA] and other federal entities to define 'interim goals, objectives and planning assumptions' for its role in responding to a major attack, the report states. Responding to the recommendation, the Defense Department indicated it had established a new advisory group that would, in consultation with other U.S. agencies, propose changes to Pentagon policies aimed at assisting civil authorities in preventing or responding to [WMD] incidents. 'We believe the panel DOD described will be a suitable mechanism for coordinating with DHS, FEMA or any other relevant federal agency in addressing the substance of our recommendation,' GAO auditors wrote. The Pentagon generally concurred with other GAO recommendations on its WMD response strategy, but warned that cost constraints could prevent it from conducting regular drills involving the snap deployment of thousands of troops." (Global Security Newswire; 08Oct09) http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20091008_5343.php

Nunn-Lugar reforms included in defense budget bill
"A defense authorization bill moving through Congress contains language that would update a program established in 1991 to secure and eliminate weapons of mass destruction in former Soviet states, U.S. Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) announced yesterday. The legislation, set for consideration by the Senate and House of Representatives, would authorize the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program to take financial support from foreign governments and other international entities. The bill would also enable the Defense Department in some cases to spend as much as one-tenth of the program's budget on unanticipated nonproliferation operations. […] In addition, language in the budget legislation would enable Congress to provide as much as $424 million for the program in the fiscal year that began Oct. 1, $20 million more than the Obama administration had requested." (Global Security Newswire; 16Oct09) http://gsn.nti.org/gsn/nw_20091016_8437.php

Nuclear security focus of U.S., Russia, and U.K. workshop
"U.S., Russian and U.K. officials today concluded a two-day nuclear security best practices workshop in Paris designed to exchange expertise on steps taken to ensure that nuclear weapons and materials do not fall into the hands of terrorists. The workshop is part of a series held between the United States and Russia pursuant to the goals of the Joint Statement on Nuclear Security by President Obama and President Medvedev. […] 'This workshop is an example of the high level of cooperation between our nations as we work together to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and to keep these weapons out of the hands of terrorists,' said Brad Peterson, NNSA's Chief of Defense Nuclear Security. […] Representatives from the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), U.K. Ministry of Defense, and Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation 'Rosatom' exchanged best practices in mitigating the insider threat, vulnerability analysis tools, performance testing, and physical protection. […] Past workshops have focused on topics such as sustainability, risk management, and personnel reliability programs. This was the second workshop between the three nations on nuclear security best practices." (NNSA; 16Oct09) http://www.nnsa.energy.gov/news/2657.htm

Cambodia approves law of non-proliferation of nuclear, chemical weapon
"Cambodian National Assembly on Wednesday approved the law of non-proliferation of nuclear weapon, bio-chemical weapon, radioactive weapons and chemical weapon. 'This law bans on producing, recycling, transferring, transporting the kinds of these weapons in the country, and we will create authority for controlling and investigating the chemical substances as well as a laboratory for observing these substances in the country,' said Tea Banh, deputy prime minister and minister of national defense. […] 'We need peace and good environment in the country and we experienced the disaster of the weapons in the world,' said Oeung Noeng, chairman of the committee of national defense, interior, investigation and clearance of the National Assembly. […] He also expressed his concerns for some countries in the world that produced nuclear weapons because they could destroy the world and threaten security of the world." (People's Daily Online, China; 14Oct09) http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90777/90851/6783505.html

Commission hope to see action plan adopted by year end
"The European Commission hopes an action plan designed to improve the EU's defences against the threat of a chemical, nuclear or bioterrorist attack will be adopted by member states by the end of the year. The plan […] contains 113 measures grouped into three packages to prevent dangerous material from falling into the hands of terrorists, improve detection of such weapons and ensure the EU has a speedy and efficient response to any attack. A budget of 100 million euros is foreseen to finance the plan over four years, starting in 2010. […] 'The action plan is not a legal instrument, it's a political commitment,' [said Patrick Dietz, policy officer at the Commission's Directorate-General for Justice, Freedom and Security. […] Dietz spoke at a conference on bioterrorism organised by the Security Defence Agenda think tank, on 14 October, where the EU faced criticism over its level of preparedness in the face of a possible germ warfare attack. […] Although the Commission stressed that the primary responsibility for defence against weapons on mass destruction remains with EU member governments, it said there is a need for increased cooperation, information sharing and joint planning. […] Among specific proposals in the plan are developing greater security awareness for staff handling dangerous material; closer scrutiny of trade in chemicals and pathogens; developing minimum EU-wide detection standards; and wider public awareness campaigns."(European Affairs Daily; 15Oct09; Paul Ames) http://www.europolitics.info/sectorial-policies/commission-hopes-to-see-action-plan-adopted-by-year-end-art251290-13.html

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