From: Homeland Security News Wire
To: Scott Jenkins,
Subject: Border security boondoggles | Incentives for new antibiotics | New Mexico radiation worries
Date: Mon May 19 11:04:54 MDT 2014
Body:
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DAILY REPORT
Sunday 18 May 2014 vol. 8 no. 115

In Today's Issue

Border security
Lawmakers criticize DHS’s spending on border security projects

Lawmakers last week raised concerns about what they described as DHS undisciplined spending on various birder security projects. The hearing was held a week after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report citing DHS as a "high risk" for government waste. The DHS Acquisition Accountability and Efficiency Act, which aims to improve the department's discipline, accountability, and transparency in acquisition program management, will be considered by the full House after the Committee on Homeland Security gave its recommendation to the act last week.

Records show Border Patrol agents typically not disciplined for abusing immigrants

Records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by the American Immigration Council(AIC) found that of 809 abuse complaints reported to the Border Patrol’s internal affairs unit between January 2009 and January 2012, only thirteen led to disciplinary action, and most of the agents cited for disciplinary action were only ordered to undergo counseling. One expert on unauthorized migration says that Border Patrol agents are not properly trained or disciplined by the agency."People are not being held accountable for their actions," he said. He conducted a survey in which he found that 10 percent of migrants reported abuse by Border Patrol agents when they were found illegally crossing the border.

Superbugs
Bill would encourage development of drugs to treat antibiotic-resistant bacteria

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) reported that two million Americans are infected by antibiotic-resistant pathogens every year, and the pathogens cause 23,000 deaths annually. In 1990, about twenty pharmaceutical companies had large antibiotic research and development programs, but today only three large firms and a few small companies are investing in antibiotic research. A new proposed bill, the Developing an Innovative Strategy for Antimicrobial Resistant Microorganisms Act, would encourage pharmaceutical companies to develop new drugs to treat antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Radiation risks
New Mexico demands clarifications, reassurances on WIPP radiation leaks

New Mexico's environment secretary Ryan Flynn has ordered the Department of Energy (DOE) to explain how it will protect public health and the environment while it investigates a radiation leak at the underground Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). The plant has not been in compliance with various permit requirements since the February underground fire and radiation leak, which eventually led to a plant shutdown.

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Oxide conversion
Problems continue to plague the Oxide Conversion Facility at Y-12

Oxide conversion is critical to recycling weapons-grade uranium, making it useful in nuclear warheads or for other purposes. The Oxide Conversion Facility (OCF) at the Y-12National Security Complex has been operating inconsistently in recent years. A report by the staff of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board(DNFSB) said there was a plan to resume operations the week of 7 April 2014, but that did not happen.

Firearms
New technology tests ammo while saving joints

Firing and testing thousands of rounds of ammunition weekly can challenge the human body -- even ones in top physical condition -- causing debilitating stress injuries and chronic nerve and joint pain. DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), with the help of agents from ICE Office of Firearms and Tactical Programs (OFTP) Armory Operations Branch (AOB), has taken an important step forward in reducing or eliminating these injuries by developing of the “Virtual Shooter.”

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Encryption
New algorithm revolutionizes cryptography

Researchers have solved one aspect of the discrete logarithm problem. This is considered to be one of the “holy grails” of algorithmic number theory, on which the security of many cryptographic systems used today is based. They have devised a new algorithm which calls into question the security of one variant of this problem, which has been closely studied since 1976.

Energy
Abundant shale gas, by itself, not likely to alter climate projections

While natural gas can reduce greenhouse emissions when it is substituted for higher-emission energy sources, abundant shale gas is not likely substantially to alter total emissions without policies targeted at greenhouse gas reduction, a new study finds. If natural gas is abundant and less expensive, it will encourage greater natural gas consumption and less of fuels such as coal, renewables and nuclear power. The net effect on the climate will depend on whether the greenhouse emissions from natural gas -- including carbon dioxide and methane -- are lower or higher than emissions avoided by reducing the use of those other energy sources.

Also noted

NSA row sparks rush for encrypted e-mail | Lawmakers file conference report on $8.2B water bill | Florida's biometric school ban passes into law | New Polish network ditches bank cards for vein-scanning | New biometric software bringing ear recognition to smartphones | House Republicans offer road map for the future of terrorism insurance | How safe is nuclear waste? | Priorities set for reactor earthquake studies | Two coal companies stop using chemical found in West Virginia spill | How vulnerable is America’s power grid? | Y-12′s Oxide Conversion Facility remains out of operation; impact unclear | New Mexico seeking assurances on WIPP safety | China arms giant says never exported chlorine gas to Syria | GAO faults Pentagon sorting of biggest bioweapon threats | NNSA rejects mandate to provide cost-savings details

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Homeland Security, Criminal Justice, Law & Public Policy - Master of Science Legal Studies 100% online - CALU Global Online
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Progress and Modernity in Arab Societies
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