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Morning Roundup - June 16th

Tuesday, June 16th Morning Roundup - Featured News and Public Events


News Highlights

From The Associated Press, on the agreement signed yesterday between the U.S. and Mexico on strenghtening border security:




The U.S. and Mexico formalized an agreement Monday to work together to secure legal travel and trade across the countries' shared border.

The agreement is outlined in a letter of intent signed by U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Mexico's Finance Minister Agustin Carstens.

It expands a 2007 agreement and formalizes plans announced earlier this year to search vehicles at border crossings for bulk weapons and cash being smuggled from the U.S. into Mexico where more than 10,800 people have been killed by drug violence since December 2006.

Napolitano said the cooperation will include sharing information such as data about stolen cars.

Officials have said many of the weapons used in cartel violence in Mexico have come from the U.S.

Both countries are responsible for what goes into Mexico from the U.S., Napolitano said Monday at a news conference. "Our view is that we can either point fingers at each other, or we can work together," she said.

Officials said the agreement will improve communication and strengthen coordination on border enforcement. For instance, the U.S. will train Mexican customs agents and dogs and use more technology along the border.

"The more we work together, the better the service and security we provide to our peoples and economies," Carstens said in a statement.

From The New York Times, on a long overdue reunion:
 

Growing up among strangers in a refugee camp in the Darfur region of Sudan, 4-year-old Wesal Adam knew her parents mostly as faces in photographs and voices on the phone.

She knew that her father, Motasim Adam, and her mother, Wejdan Adam, lived in Brooklyn and that Mr. Adam drove a cab. But she did not know what they felt like or smelled like or how much they loved her - if at all.

Wesal did not know why she had been separated by deserts and oceans from her parents, but once she learned to talk she knew that her lack of certain papers was keeping her from them.

But on Monday morning at John F. Kennedy International Airport, Wesal and her father walked off a plane, reuniting the family and bringing a joyful end to a struggle that lasted more than two years.

From The Philadelphia Inquirer, on a big step forward for the Philadelphia International Airport's baggage screening system:
 

Mark Gale, acting Philadelphia Aviation Director, said the total cost of the new baggage handling systems at the airport's international terminal will be $50 million. The balance will be paid from airport funds, primarily bond funds,
Gale said.

The first part of the project for the A-East international terminal is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2010. A second phase will involve construction of an airfield building for rescreening bags arriving on international flights.

Gale said much of the screening by the Transportation Safety Administration is currently done manually, and the new machines will greatly speed the process.

Napolitano said in a statement: "These state-of-the-art baggage screening systems will enhance, airport security, streamline check-in procedures for passengers, and increase safety for TSA employees."



Secretary's Events

1:30PM EDT
Secretary Napolitano and Administrator Fugate will announce FEMA preparedness grants and participate in a media availability
Location: DHS HQ, Washington, D.C.



Public Events

9AM EDT
Customs and Border Protection Aire and Marine reps will participate in a demonstration of a Marine Advanced Concept Technology vessel.
Location:
1900 SE 15th Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL



9:30 AM EDT
US-CERT Director Mischel Kwon will participate in a panel discussion at the Symantec Government Symposium
Location:
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C.



10AM EDT
Under Secretary for Management Elaine Duke will testify before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce and the District of Columbia, on pandemic influenza preparedness and the federal workforce
Location:
342 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C.



10AM EDT
National Protection and Programs Infrastructure Protection Security Division Director Sue Armstrong will testify before the House Committee on Homeland Security about Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS)
Location:
311 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C.



10:30AM CDT
ICE San Antonio Field Office Director, Michael J. Pitts will participate in a press conference with the Webb County Sheriff’s Office announcing the deployment of Secure Communities to six additional Texas counties.
Location:
902 Victoria Street
Laredo, Texas



2PM EDT
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity and Communications Peter Fonash will testify before the House Science and Technology, Subcommittees on Research and Science Education and Technology and Innovation on federal response to the 60-day Cyberspace Policy Review
Location:
2318 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C.



3PM EDT
National Protection and Programs Risk Governance and Support Division Assistant Director Robert Kolasky will deliver remarks about building a homeland security national risk assessment at the Security Analysis and Risk Management (SARMA) Annual Conference
Location:
George Mason University
3401 Fairfax Drive, Room 330
Arlington, VA

Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
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