U.S. might ban laptops on all flights into and out of the country
by UNTV News | Posted on Monday, May 29th, 2017
FILE PHOTO – A TSA worker loads suitcases at the checked luggage security screening station at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California, U.S. on September 7, 2011. REUTERS/Jonathan Alcorn/File Photo
The United States might ban laptops from aircraft cabins on all flights into and out of the country as part of a ramped-up effort to protect against potential security threats, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said on Sunday.
In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Kelly said the United States planned to “raise the bar” on airline security, including tightening screening of carry-on items.
“That’s the thing that they are obsessed with, the terrorists, the idea of knocking down an airplane in flight, particularly if it’s a U.S. carrier, particularly if it’s full of U.S. people.”
In March, the government imposed restrictions on large electronic devices in aircraft cabins on flights from 10 airports, including the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Turkey.
Kelly said the move would be part of a broader airline security effort to combat what he called “a real sophisticated threat.” He said no decision had been made as to the timing of any ban.
“We are still following the intelligence,” he said, “and are in the process of defining this, but we’re going to raise the bar generally speaking for aviation much higher than it is now.”
Airlines are concerned that a broad ban on laptops may erode customer demand. But none wants an incident aboard one of its airplanes.
“Whatever comes out, we’ll have to comply with,” Oscar Munoz, chief executive officer of United Airlines (UAL.N), told the company’s annual meeting last week.
Airlines were blindsided in January when President Donald Trump issued an executive order banning entry for 90 days to citizens from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, sending airlines scrambling to determine who could board and who could not. The order was later blocked in the courts.
In the case of laptops, the administration is keeping the industry in the loop. Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) said in a statement it “continues to be in close contact with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security,” while Munoz applauded the administration for giving the company a “heads up.”
“We’ve had constant updates on the subject,” he said. “We know more than most. And again, if there’s a credible threat out there, we need to make sure we take the appropriate measures.”
MORE SCRUTINY OF CARRY-ONS
Among the enhanced security measures will likely be tighter screening of carry-on items to allow Transport Security Administration agents to discern problematic items in tightly stuffed bags.
Kelly said that in order to avoid paying fees for checking bags, people were stuffing them to the point where it was difficult to see through the clutter.
“The more stuff is in there, the less the TSA professionals that are looking at what’s in those bags through the monitors can tell what’s in them.”
The TSA has begun testing certain new procedures at a limited number of airports, requiring people to remove additional items from carry-on bags for separate screenings.
Asked whether the government would expand such measures nationwide, Kelly said: “We might, and likely will.” — By Toni Clarke | WASHINGTON
(Reporting by Toni Clarke in Washington; Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu in Washington, David French in New York and Alana Wise in Chicago; Editing by David Gregorio and Peter Cooney)
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said about 51,000 illegal firearms, a fifth of all illegal guns in the country, were surrendered in a three-month amnesty ending on Friday.
“And as you’ve just seen some of the 51,000 firearms that have been handed in as part of the national firearms amnesty. This has been a three-month amnesty. It is an example of the way in which we are relentless in doing everything we can to keep Australians safe,” said Turnbull.
The illegal weapons surrendered will be destroyed.
Turnbull said Australia’s tough gun ownership laws, which ban all semi-automatic rifles and semi-automatic shotguns, severely limits the chances of a Las Vegas style mass shooting that killed 58 people before killing himself.
The shooting has focused attention on gun ownership rules in the United States.
“Every single one of those 51,000 guns could be used, could’ve been used in a crime where Australians could be killed. now they can’t. They’ve been collected and they will now be destroyed. Every single one of them will now be off the streets and out of harms way,” said the Australian prime minister.
Australia’s tough gun ownership laws were introduced after the massacre of 35 people by a lone gunman at the former prison colony of Port Arthur in the island state of Tasmania in 1996.
The country has had no mass shootings since. — Reuters
The U.S. gun lobby, which has seldom embraced new firearms-control measures, voiced a readiness on Thursday to restrict the use of bump-stock devices that allow semi-automatic rifles to operate as if they were fully automatic machine guns, which are otherwise outlawed in the United States.
Authorities said Stephen Paddock’s ability to fire hundreds of rounds per minute over the course of 10 minutes was a major factor in the high casualty count of 58 people killed and hundreds wounded.
The White House said on Thursday it welcomed efforts by both political parties to address the use of “bump stock” gun accessories.
“We know that both – members of both parties and multiple organizations are planning to take a look at bump stocks and related devices. We certainly welcome that, would like to be part of that conversation, and we would like to see a clear understanding of the facts. And we’d like to see input from the victims’ families, from law enforcement, from policymakers. And we’re expecting hearings in other important fact-finding efforts on that,” said White House Spokeswoman Sarah Sanders.
The influential National Rifle Association, which staunchly opposed moves to tighten gun control laws, said that bump stocks, which remain legal, “should be subject to additional regulations.”
Democrats are already urging new legislation, as the shooting reignited the long-standing U.S. debate over regulation of gun ownership.
U.S. Representative Steve Scalise, a member of the Republican House leadership who is himself a victim of gun violence, voiced concern that hasty congressional action to restrict bump stocks could lead to wider limits on “the rights of gun owners.” — Reuters
by UNTV | Posted on Thursday, September 28th, 2017
After personally meeting each other at the United Nations General Assembly, Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and his American counterpart U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held a bilateral meeting at Washington DC in the United States this week.
“We have a number of important issues on which to discuss, not the least of which is the important upcoming East Asia Summit in Manila, so, welcome Mr. Secretary,” said Tillerson.
Secretary Cayetano told Secretary Tillerson that the Philippines is ready to allow independent observers or investigators to scrutinize Philippine’s problem on illegal drugs, and the administration’s war on drugs.
However, Cayetano requested for an honest conduct of investigation that is not tainted with politics.
The Philippines’ Foreign Affairs secretary emphasized to Tillerson that the Philippines does not allow state-sponsored killings, especially of drug suspects.
Cayetano also expressed gratitude to the United States for helping the Duterte administration in its campaign against illicit drugs, noting that the Philippines remains open to receiving more aid from the Washington.
Before his bilateral meeting with Tillerson, Cayetano participated in a forum at the headquarters of the central for strategic and international studies, a think tank group based in Washington DC. He discussed the current foreign policy of the Philippines, including the controversial issue of North Korea.
According to the former senator and now diplomat, the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs is coordinating with Philippine embassies and consulates near North Korea regarding preparations in the event the tension between Washington and Pyongyang further escalates.
“Well as much as humanly possible, all our embassies and posts are preparing in areas that can be reached by the missiles of North Korea. As you know, they mentioned Guam and then, of course, South Korea then Japan. But we will join in prayers for such an incident not to happen,” said Cayetano. — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue
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