Wednesday, January 23, 2008

CA Terror Drill, DARPA, Purdue U, FEMA +

Terror drill scheduled for county disaster unit
CHULA VISTA: More than 100 officers, deputies, firefighters and hazardous-materials personnel will be at Coors Amphitheatre tomorrow to practice responding to a potential terrorist attack.
The drill, by the San Diego region's Metropolitan Medical Strike Team, will be held from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. or later at the amphitheater and Knott's Soak City on Entertainment Circle near Heritage Road, sheriff's Lt. Phil Brust said.
The team consists of firefighters, emergency medical workers and peace officers from agencies throughout San Diego County. The drill will use up to 100 emergency vehicles, Brust said. –M.A.

NATO AWACS coming to San Diego for exercise
SAN DIEGO, Calif. — A German E-3A Component aircraft is coming to San Diego for a weeklong joint training exercises with U.S. naval forces off the California coast, military officials said Tuesday.
The NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control System aircraft is coming from its home base in Germany with a NATO trainer cargo aircraft and about 80 crew members and support personnel representing 12 nations, NATO officials said in a news release. They will provide air control and air surveillance as the “eyes in the sky” during the at-sea exercises, scheduled through Jan. 31.

Defence research: Still in the lead?
Half a century after its creation, the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is considered a paragon of government innovation. But some question whether it is still relevant. Sharon Weinberger reports.

Cell Phone Sensors Detect Radiation To Thwart Nuclear Terrorism (Purdue Again!)

Purdue physics professor Ephraim Fischbach, at right, and nuclear engineer Jere Jenkins review radiation-tracking data as part of research to develop a system that would use a network of cell phones to detect and track radiation. Such a system could help prevent terrorist attacks with radiological "dirty bombs" and nuclear weapons by blanketing the nation with millions of cell phones equipped with radiation sensors able to detect even light residues of radioactive material. Because cell phones already contain global positioning locators, the network of phones would serve as a tracking system.

Bush Administration Lied 935 Times About Iraq Before Invasion: Study
For years, the Bush administration has faced charges that it bent the truth or flat-out misled the public about Iraq's alleged stockpile of weapons of mass destruction in the lead-up to the 2003 invasion of the country. Now, a study by two nonprofit journalism organizations claims that President Bush and top officials in his administration issued nearly 1,000 false statements about the security threat posed by Iraq in the wake of 9/11…..

Are Pakistan's nuclear weapons safe?
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has dismissed fears that his country's nuclear weapons could be acquired by Islamist militants.

Advance Nanotech Adds Homeland Security Expert to Its Board of Directors

Don't rely on drugs to delay flu pandemic
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Vaccines and drugs will not be enough to slow or prevent a pandemic of influenza, according to a U.S. government report released on Tuesday.
The report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office confirms what most experts have been stressing for years -- that the pharmaceutical industry cannot be relied on alone to protect the world from bird flu.
The GAO, the investigational arm of Congress, reached its own conclusion independently.
"The use of antivirals and vaccines to forestall the onset of a pandemic would likely be constrained by their uncertain effectiveness and limited availability," the GAO report reads.
Health experts almost universally agree that a global epidemic -- a pandemic -- of influenza is inevitable and even overdue. Flu is always circulating but, every few decades, a completely new strain emerges and makes millions sicker than usual.

Emergency response plans restore local authority (FEMA),0,2692850.story
WASHINGTON - In the first overhaul of emergency response planning since the botched response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff unveiled a blueprint yesterday that restores authority to state and local officials, emphasizes preparedness and strengthens the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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