Some recent homeland security stories that we have been watching, but not finding time to write about:
$42.9 billion HS appropriations approved by Senate
“The Senate on Thursday approved a wide-ranging $42.9 billion measure to pay for improving U.S. border security, clamp down on illegal immigration and beef up cyber security in fiscal 2010. The Senate voted 84-6 for the annual spending bill funding the Department of Homeland Security for the year starting October 1, and now lawmakers must work out differences with a $42.6 billion version of the bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives last month.” (More from Reuters)
Shabbab connection attracts lots of attention
“An examination by The New York Times, based on interviews with close friends and relatives of (several Somali-American) men, law enforcement officials and lawyers, as well as access to live phone calls and Facebook messages between the men and their friends in the United States, reveals how a far-flung jihadist movement found a foothold in America’s heartland.” (More from the New York Times, this was the most prominent story on the Sunday frontpage).
Napolitano pushes focus on bad guys
“Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano imposed strong new standards on Friday for a federal program that lets local police enforce immigration laws, saying the priority is catching and deporting dangerous criminals in the country illegally, not going after illegal immigrants who commit minor offenses.” (More from the Arizona Republic and from DHS)
Really bad guys launch coordinated attack on Mexican police
Gunmen have launched a string of attacks on federal police bases in Mexico, killing five people. At least six cities were hit – all in the western Michoacan state, a stronghold of Mexico’s drug cartels. Three police officers and two soldiers are reported to have been killed when the attackers, armed with grenades and assault rifles, opened fire. (More from the BBC)
While battles rage on several fronts across Pakistan
“Three Pakistan soldiers and 14 Taliban fighters were killed as Islamabad pushed its massive assault against militants in the northwest, officials said Sunday.” (More from DAWN)
And tens of thousands of refugees begin to head home
“Crammed into rickety vans with electric fans and sacks of flour roped to the roof, the first of the two million displaced people have begun returning to their homes after the army said it had expelled Taliban militants from most of their strongholds.” (More from DAWN)
Not exactly the homemade ice cream and fireflies that I remember so clearly from summer Sunday evenings a half-century ago.