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Biological Weapons

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WORLD
August 20, 2012 | By Christi Parsons and Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - Conceding that a peaceful resolution in Syria now appears remote, President Obama warned Monday for the first time that use or movement of chemical or biological weapons by forces loyal to President Bashar Assad would constitute a "red line" for U.S. military intervention. Obama acknowledged his frustration that diplomacy has done little to protect civilians or stem the growing bloodshed in the 17-month conflict. International efforts to persuade Assad to step down, to negotiate an effective cease-fire or to facilitate a political transition have been unsuccessful.
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WORLD
August 27, 2013 | By Carol J. Williams
With Western leaders claiming to have irrefutable evidence that Syrian President Bashar Assad used chemical weapons against his own people, support for punitive military action is mounting among nations horrified by what they say was a war crime. The United States, Britain, France, Germany, Israel, Turkey and Syria's concerned Arab neighbors have vowed to act forcefully to deter Syria or any other nation from resorting to use of banned weapons. What remained undecided, analysts said Monday, was the nature, scope and timing of the action to punish Assad for the apparent Aug. 21 gas attacks that may have killed more than 1,000 people.
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NEWS
May 9, 1990 | Reuters
The House of Representatives on Tuesday completed congressional action on a bill designed to combat the spread of biological weapons and sent it to President Bush.
NATIONAL
June 16, 2013 | By David Willman, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - A decade ago, then-Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge oversaw the start of BioWatch, the nationwide system designed to detect airborne releases of anthrax or other biological weapons. In his 2003 State of the Union address, President George W. Bush had announced that BioWatch would "protect our people and our homeland. " Ridge's expectations were not so high. "Everyone knew it was a primitive, labor-intensive, fairly unsophisticated attempt," Ridge recalled in a recent interview.
WORLD
May 11, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
President Fidel Castro denied U.S. charges that his country was trying to develop biological weapons and challenged American authorities to offer evidence. On state television, Castro called on U.S. officials to "present even the most minimum proof." Castro's speech was the Cuban government's first detailed response to the charges U.S. Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton made Monday during an address to the Heritage Foundation, a conservative research group in Washington.
NATIONAL
February 18, 2012 | By Neela Banerjee
The National Security Council is moving to exert greater federal control over scientific studies of highly lethal diseases and toxins in the face of mounting fears that the research could be used by terrorists and rogue states, according to people with knowledge of the process. Under the NSC's guidance, the government plans to issue guidelines for research grants that would give agencies the authority to delay or restrict publication of findings they considered susceptible to "dual use" by terrorists or enemy states.
NEWS
July 3, 1998 | From Times Wire Reports
Three Texas men accused of threatening federal officials with biological weapons were ordered held without bond in Brownsville. Johnnie Wise, 72; Jack Abbott Grebe Jr., 43, and Oliver Dean Emigh, 63, were arrested and charged with federal conspiracy to use "weapons of mass destruction." Prosecutors did not say if the men actually possessed the weapons. Assistant U.S. Atty. Rick Lara said the men wrote and sent a threatening e-mail message on June 26 to federal officials.
NEWS
July 2, 1998 | From Associated Press
Three south Texas men were arrested Wednesday on charges they threatened to use biological weapons against federal agents. The FBI said Johnnie Wise, 72; Jack Abbott Grebe Jr., 43; and Oliver Dean Emigh, 63, were charged with conspiracy to use "weapons of mass destruction." Special Agent John J. DeLeon III said the weapons were biological but he refused to give other details, saying criminal complaints against the suspects were sealed.
NEWS
April 25, 1997 | Associated Press
U.N. inspectors recently discovered a much more extensive Iraqi program to develop biological weapons than Iraq had admitted, the chief inspector said Thursday. "It's hard evidence that they're not telling us everything," said Col. Terence Taylor, assistant director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, who spent two weeks in Iraq this month leading a 21-member inspection team.
NEWS
May 16, 2003 | From Associated Press
An Iranian opposition group claimed Thursday that Tehran has developed biological weapons, including some that could infect people with smallpox. Representatives of the National Council of Resistance of Iran cited clandestine sources within the Iranian government but provided no evidence. They accused Iranian officials of also possessing weapons that could involve anthrax, plague and several other poisons and diseases.
OPINION
August 23, 2012
Re "Obama's 'red line' on Syria," Aug. 21 How can world leaders continue to allow the slaughter of civilians in Syria? There have been many reasons in favor of and in opposition to intervention, either with arms, a no-fly zone, the use of troops or a host of non-lethal support measures. We should provide the rebels with weapons to fend off Syrian President Bashar Assad's warplanes, helicopters and tanks to level the playing field. Once we do that, we will have made a political settlement more likely.
WORLD
August 20, 2012 | By Christi Parsons and Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - Conceding that a peaceful resolution in Syria now appears remote, President Obama warned Monday for the first time that use or movement of chemical or biological weapons by forces loyal to President Bashar Assad would constitute a "red line" for U.S. military intervention. Obama acknowledged his frustration that diplomacy has done little to protect civilians or stem the growing bloodshed in the 17-month conflict. International efforts to persuade Assad to step down, to negotiate an effective cease-fire or to facilitate a political transition have been unsuccessful.
WORLD
July 23, 2012 | By Patrick J. McDonnell and Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times
BEIRUT - With mounting international alarm about Syria's cache of chemical and biological weapons, the embattled government in Damascus said Monday that its "unconventional" arms stockpiles were secure and vowed not to use them - unless provoked by an outside attack. Syria publicly ruled out using such weapons against domestic rebels, but also seemed to explicitly threaten their use if foreign powers were to attack, sparking a new international outcry. "No chemical or biological weapons will ever be used, and I repeat, will never be used, during the crisis in Syria," Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said during a news conference broadcast from Damascus.
NATIONAL
February 18, 2012 | By Neela Banerjee
The National Security Council is moving to exert greater federal control over scientific studies of highly lethal diseases and toxins in the face of mounting fears that the research could be used by terrorists and rogue states, according to people with knowledge of the process. Under the NSC's guidance, the government plans to issue guidelines for research grants that would give agencies the authority to delay or restrict publication of findings they considered susceptible to "dual use" by terrorists or enemy states.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 18, 2011 | By Miles Corwin, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Over the last few decades the intelligent thriller has become an oxymoron. The thriller aspect of many of these books has eclipsed the intelligent narrative. However, "Spiral" by Paul McEuen represents a return to form. McEuen, a physics professor at Cornell University and a first-time novelist, does a fine job of braiding science, story and suspense to create an engaging and fast-paced novel. The prologue is set in 1946 when Liam Connor, a young Irish biology prodigy in the Royal Navy, is dispatched to a U.S. vessel in the Pacific after a group of sailors aboard another ship contracted a lethal fungal virus.
OPINION
April 11, 2010
Nuclear foolishness Re "New nuclear policy walks careful line," April 7 President Obama's nuclear arms initiative is ill-conceived and very dangerous for our country. It is foolish to pledge that we would not use a nuclear bunker-busting weapon to retaliate against the leadership of a country that attacked us with chemical or biological weapons. It is even more foolish to declare that we will abandon efforts to develop more modern nuclear weapons. It should be clear to anyone with a map that we have some potential enemies with whom we cannot compete on the basis of the number of ground troops.
OPINION
November 12, 2002
You'd think the U.S. would be eager to embrace the goal of a summit on biological weapons that convened Monday in Geneva: to strengthen the Biological Weapons Convention, a treaty drafted in 1972 and since ratified by 146 nations, including this one, to ban the development, production and stockpiling of biological weapons.
BOOKS
October 28, 2001 | MILTON LEITENBERG, Milton Leitenberg, a senior fellow at the Center for International and Security Studies, School of Public Affairs, University of Maryland, is one of the principal authors of the multi-volume "The Problem of Chemical and Biological Warfare," published by Oxford University Press
Just how serious are the threats of bioterrorism and biological weapons? Since Sept. 11, public anxiety has spread in the wake of anthrax contaminations in New York, Washington and elsewhere. To properly assess the current predicament and the threat biological weapons pose, a little history is useful. There are four reasons--aside from the obvious--why biological weapons development compels serious attention among policy-makers and ordinary citizens.
OPINION
December 12, 2009
The Obama administration has embraced many troubling national security policies adopted by the Bush administration, but in most of these cases -- such as the regrettable decision to continue the "rendition" of captured terrorism suspects to foreign countries -- it at least had a reasonable-sounding explanation. When it comes to this week's misguided ruling on biological weapons, though, administration officials couldn't even dream up a good excuse. The Biological Weapons Convention outlaws the production and use of deadly bioweapons such as anthrax and smallpox.
NATIONAL
November 30, 2008 | Washington Post
The threat of biological terrorism is growing, according to a congressionally ordered study that calls for aggressive defenses on par with those used to prevent nuclear terrorism. Due for release this week, a draft of the study warns that bioterrorists might one day make synthetic versions of killers such as Ebola, or germs genetically modified to resist vaccines and antibiotics. The bipartisan report says that the Bush administration has devoted insufficient resources to the threat and that U.
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