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Morning Roundup - September 1st

From Federal News Radio, on the 2nd Quadrennial Homeland Secuirty Review dialogue:

The Department of Homeland Security has opened up phase two of its Quadrennial Homeland Security Review.

DHS yesterday launched the web component of the review's second phase. And the agency is asking the blogosphere to spread the word about the process.

Alan Cohen, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Strategic Plans at DHS says that in phase one a task force of DHS staffers used the website to solicit suggestions on topics for discussion as part of the first annual Review.

"For the second national dialogue," he told a reporter teleconference on Monday, "we're focusing here on the groups taking their goals, breaking their goals into strategic objectives, and we've distilled those objectives down to a short and pithy description that you'll see on the site. We're asking folks to assign a priority level to the objective: do you think that these priorities should be higher than others?"

Thus far, Cohen says, DHS has gathered more than 20,000 comments, suggestions and ratings from people who participated in part one of the review process. And they've even been able to revise and adjust the format of the review, from a radio button-style click-through questionnaire form to more of a dialogue box comment format, based on feedback from all those people who have participated in the review process so far.

From the Associated Press, on Operation Twisted Traveler:

Three men expelled from Cambodia are facing charges in the U.S. as part of a crackdown on Americans who travel overseas to have sex with children, authorities said Monday.

The three previously convicted sex offenders were the first to be charged under "Operation Twisted Traveler," an initiative targeting problems in Cambodia, which authorities described as ground zero for the crimes.

"Let their arrests serve as notice to any other person who might be tempted to evade justice by victimizing children outside of this country," said John Morton, head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "Boarding a plane to a foreign land is no protection."

From the New York Times, on new accusations in a credit card fraud investigation:

The five men operated thousands of miles from Manhattan, under aliases like "the Viver," "Inexwor" and "DoZ." And with their true identities obscured on the Web, Manhattan prosecutors said, these men were able to play intimate roles in a cybertheft that resulted in more than 95,000 stolen credit card numbers and $4 million worth of fraudulent transactions.

The men, all from Eastern Europe, were the latest suspects to be identified by Robert M. Morgenthau, the Manhattan district attorney, in a 17-defendant, 173-count enterprise corruption indictment dating to November 2007.Mr. Morgenthau said at a news conference on Monday that the men were involved in a vast conspiracy known as the Western Express Cybercrime Group, which trafficked in stolen credit card information through the Internet and used it for things like forging credit cards and selling goods on eBay. The defendants often hid their identities by using digital currencies like e-gold and Webmoney, Mr. Morgenthau said.

From Forbes, on how to fight the flu this fall:

Last week, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, a group of the nation's leading scientists and engineers, released a report on the H1N1 flu virus. The forecast seemed grim.

A more aggressive mutation of the virus, they said, could infect 30% to 50% of the population, lead to as many as 1.8 million hospitalizations and cause between 30,000 to 90,000 deaths compared to the annual number of 36,000.

Yet to Dr. Philip Alcabes, an epidemiologist and professor at Hunter College School of Health Sciences in New York, the estimate is a "plausible scenario," not a prediction.

"Should the public be alarmed?" he says. "Absolutely not." Besides, it's impossible to know whether the virus will mutate until the day it happens.

In Depth: How To Fight The Flu This Fall

Jean Gallagher, a 46-year-old alumna of St. Francis Preparatory School in Fresh Meadows, N.Y., which was the epicenter of a New York City H1N1 outbreak of this spring, says she's not concerned about contracting the virus this fall. Gallagher, who is on leave from her job as a professor of English at the Polytechnic Institute of NYU, says she'll get her one-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Maggie, vaccinated this fall and wash both of their hands frequently, but plans to take no additional precautions.

Leadership Events
11:15 AM CDT
Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute and Chairman Bennie Thompson will participate in a media availability
Jackson State University, The Jackson Medical Mall
350 West Woodrow Wilson, Room 131
Jackson, Miss.

4:30 PM EDT
Secretary Napolitano, Mayor Fenty, Governor O’Malley and Governor Kaine will participate in a media availability
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Press Room
Ronald Reagan Building, Concourse Level - Room C.1-47
1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, D.C

Public Events
8 AM MDT
U.S Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will participate in an Enforcement Expo forum to showcase vital new techniques as well as to view and compare the latest equipment necessary to enforce our immigration and customs laws
Columbus Convention Center
Columbus, Ohio

10 AM PDT
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Public Affairs Manager Suzanne Trevino will conduct a media event and press availability with Continental Airlines representatives on paperless boarding pass technology
San Francisco International Airport
San Francisco, Calif.

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