From CNN, on Pakistan's crackdown on the Taliban:
The Pakistani government's crackdown on the Taliban has helped U.S. security, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Friday.
Janet Napolitano says that "anything that cracks down on the Taliban helps."
"The key concept is, you just can't start protecting the homeland at the borders of
the United States," she said.Napolitano said she was in Pakistan to discuss with Pakistani leaders the fight against terrorism, as well as how the two countries share information.
Asked what impact the Pakistani government's recent crackdown on the Taliban, centered in the Swat region of North West Frontier Province, has had on U.S. security, she said, "anything that cracks down on the Taliban helps. ..."
From the Associated Press, on the upcoming H1N1 Summit:
The White House is planning a summit to talk about preparations for swine
The White House on Thursday announced details for a July 9 meeting at the National Institutes of Health. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Education Secretary Arne Duncan plan to participate. White House homeland security adviser John Brennan also plans to joint the group.
President Barack Obama will be in Italy that day attending meetings of the G-8. Sebelius says the swine flu threat could worsen in the fall and the administration wants to start a national campaign to help stem a serious outbreak.
Duncan says everyone needs to play a part in keeping the flu from spreading.
1 PM EDT
Secretary Napolitano will participate in a media availability with U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham
1050 Register Street
North Charleston, S.C.
9 AM PDT
CBP-Border Patrol Sector Chief Mike Fisher will participate in the opening ceremony of Smuggler’s Gulch
San Diego, Calif.
H1N1 now exists in over 100 countries around the world, and experts say that the virus may worsen this fall when the traditional flu season starts in the Northern Hemisphere.
Continued cooperation among all federal departments, as well as with state, local, and tribal governments and medical, academic, and business sectors (yes, all of the above) will be vital as we continue to tackle this national public health issue.
The Flu Preparedness Summit will bring government officials and health professionals, emergency managers and educators, non-profit organizations and business executives, together in one room. They'll have a forum to talk about their lessons learned from H1N1 thus far, and importantly, discuss the next steps in assessing and building on current pandemic plans.
The initial news blitz has largely subsided, but the simple fact remains that H1N1 flu is still with us. We'll keep you up-to-date on the summit, and on the department's continuing role in dealing with H1N1.
From the Latin American Herald Tribune, on the Secretary's visit to Spain:
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano started her official visit to Spain on Wednesday by honoring the victims of the March 11, 2004, terrorist attacks in Madrid.
Napolitano placed a wreath bearing the colors of the U.S. flag at the monument to the victims of the commuter-train bombings at Madrid's Atocha station that left 191 people dead.
The U.S. official observed a minute of silence at the monument along with Spain's secretary of state for security, Antonio Camacho, and Madrid Mayor Alberto Ruiz
Napolitano met with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, as well as with Spain's interior and justice ministers, to discuss cooperation in fighting illegal immigration and terrorism.
From the New York Times, on immigration enforcement:
The Obama administration began investigations of hundreds of businesses on Wednesday as part of its strategy to focus immigration enforcement on the employers who hire illegal workers.
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency told Congress in an e-mail message that it had begun notifying businesses of plans to audit the documents known as I-9 forms, which employers fill out for every worker. The Department of Homeland Security said 625 businesses had been told they would be audited, compared with 503 for last year.
12 PM EDT
FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate will participate in a media availability with Delaware Governor Jack Markell, U.S. Senator Tom Carper, U.S. Senator Ted Kaufman, and U.S. Representative Mike Castle about the importance of emergency preparedness
Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Company
219 Rehoboth Avenue
Rehoboth Beach, Del.
10 AM PDT
ICE Seattle Special Agent in Charge Leigh Winchell will participate in a joint ICE-DEA media availability to discuss arrests made in a drug trafficking operation
400 2nd Ave W
Seattle, WA 98119
Sean Smith is the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security
In the 16 months since the pilot began, the IAP has identified hundreds of people with improper documentation, intercepted 23 persons with fraudulent documents, and importantly, stopped 10 terrorism-related suspects from heading to our shores.
The preliminary success of the IAP encourages further cooperation between the U.S. and Spain on this issue.
“Protecting our nation from terrorism requires close coordination with our international allies,” said Secretary Napolitano. "This agreement enhances the capabilities of the United States and Spain to facilitate legal travel and deter dangerous people attempting to enter our country.”
From the AFP, on the agreement signed yesterday between the U.S. and Portugal:
The United States and Portugal signed Tuesday a bilateral agreement to cooperate in the battle against terrorism and organised crime during a visit by Washington's homeland security chief.
"We have signed an important agreement on the prevention and fight against terrorism and organised crime," Portuguese Foreign Minister Luis Amado said in a news conference alongside US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
Napolitano said the agreement allows the two countries to share information to stop serious crimes."The agreement we signed today will help us to achieve this goal," she said.
From CNN, on increased cooperation between ICE and ATF:
The two federal agencies most responsible for stemming the flow of firearms to Mexico agreed Tuesday to improve cooperation after they were sharply criticized by a congressional report for lack of coordination.
The agreement between Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will result in a more effective fight against the flood of U.S. weapons that provide Mexican drug cartels with more than 90 percent of their firearms. Top federal law enforcement officials were in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to sign documents pledging to work together.
The agreement is expected to result in increased seizures of trafficked weapons and more prosecutions and convictions, said David Ogden, the deputy attorney general.
But "it's hard to say when we'll see results," he added.
Ogden, along with ATF Director Ken Melson and John Morton, assistant secretary for ICE, expressed confidence the duplication and confusion between the agencies would end.
11 AM Local
Secretary Napolitano will tour Atocha Train Station, site of the 2004 train bombing
Atocha Train Station
1 PM Local
Secretary Napolitano and Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Pérez
Rubalcaba will sign of Declaration of Principles formalizing the Immigration Advisory Program (IAP) and participate in a media availability
Ministry of Interior
Paseo de la Castellana 5
8 AM EDT
Director of the Control Systems Security Program (CSSP) in the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications Sean McGurk will deliver remarks at the 2009 Chemical Sector Security Summit on the topic, “Roadmap to Secure Control Systems in the Chemical Sector.”
The Baltimore Marriott Waterfront
700 Aliceanna Street
10 AM EDT
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Public Affairs Manager Dwayne Baird will participate in a media event about the inline baggage system
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
19631 International Blvd.
1:30 PM EDT
Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) Deputy Director Taylor Heard will deliver remarks at the New York State Public Safety Interoperability Symposium: Focus of Governance
The Desmond Hotel and Conference Center
660 Albany Shaker Road
4 PM EDT
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will participate in a media availability about the importance of preparedness.
New York City Hall
City Hall Park – Opposite 250 Broadway
New York, N.Y.
This morning, Secretary Napolitano visited the site of the 2004 train bombing in Madrid. She laid a wreath at the memorial to honor the victims of that attack.