CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 12, 2013 |
Janet Napolitano, the U.S. secretary of Homeland Security and former governor of Arizona, is being named as the next president of the University of California system, in an unusual choice that brings a national-level politician to a position usually held by an academic, The Times has learned. Her appointment also means the 10-campus system will be headed by a woman for the first time in its 145-year history. Napolitano's nomination by a committee of UC regents came after a secretive process that insiders said focused on her early as a high-profile, although untraditional, candidate who has led large public agencies and shown a strong interest in improving education.
July 2, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The official in charge of investigating potential misdeeds at the Department of Homeland Security is under investigation on allegations of nepotism, abusing his position and covering up details about a Secret Service prostitution scandal. Senate investigators are looking into allegations that Deputy Inspector Gen. Charles K. Edwards was "susceptible to political pressure" and that he changed and withheld information for reports on the misconduct of U.S. Secret Service agents who hired prostitutes in Cartagena, Colombia, during a visit before a 2012 presidential trip, according to a letter two senators sent to Edwards on June 27. "Numerous" complaints from fellow employees allege that Edwards improperly employed his wife, Madhuri Edwards, as a supervisory auditor in his office, that he arranged for her to telecommute from India for seven months, and that he took "retaliatory action" against people who objected, according to the letter from Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat who chairs the oversight subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and the subcommittee's top Republican, Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.
July 2, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - America's largest commercial ports have failed to shore up defenses against potential cyber attacks, a new study contends, raising concerns about the vulnerability of computer networks that help move energy, foodstuff and other goods to market. Coast Guard Cmdr. Joseph Kramek, who spent a year as a fellow at the Brookings Institution, examined some of the nation's most heavily used ports: Los Angeles and Long Beach; Baltimore; Houston and Beaumont in Texas; and Vicksburg, Miss., on the Mississippi River.
June 18, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Homeland Security Department planners have privately rejected a central premise of BioWatch, the nation's decade-old system for detecting biological weapons released into the air, according to government documents and testimony Tuesday at a congressional hearing. Although BioWatch was designed with the belief that hostile foreign governments could sponsor large-scale germ attacks on American cities, the Homeland Security planners said they no longer saw this as the primary threat.
June 18, 2013 |
In its current form, the so-called Gang of Eight immigration bill increases funding for border security by up to $6.5 billion. When it comes to technology and equipment , the Senate bill doesn't go into much detail on how the government should spend its funds. But the bill is clear about one thing: It calls for 24/7 drone surveillance along the 1,950-mile southern border. The unarmed Predators, which cost $18 million, operate at about $3,000 per hour. Doing the math, we find that it would cost more than $26 million a year to keep just one drone in the air 24/7.
June 17, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton announced his resignation Monday after more than four years at the head of the agency. A senior Department of Homeland Security official familiar with the matter said that Morton's departure was voluntary but acknowledged that the Obama administration was surprised by the timing as Congress is in the middle of debating a comprehensive overhaul of immigration laws. “ICE has truly come of age and become an innovative, leading force in federal law enforcement,” Morton said in a memo announcing his exit to agency employees.
June 2, 2013
Re "Raising an alarm - and his income," May 19 Your article alleging that I didn't adequately reveal a conflict of interest doesn't mention that the "About the Author" page of my 2003 bioterrorism report explicitly stated that I was "a director of the Human Genome Sciences Corporation. " Moreover, readers who pursue your article to its 58th paragraph will find that it acknowledges that in the 2003 report, far from obscuring any conflict, I wrote: "As a member of the Board of Directors of Human Genome Sciences, a NASDAQ listed company, I have encouraged the company in its efforts to develop an anthrax antitoxin.
May 24, 2013 |
TUCSON - A federal judge has ruled that the immigration enforcement policies of the man who calls himself "America's toughest sheriff" violated the Constitution by using racial profiling. For years, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has ordered his deputies to detain people they suspect of residing in the country illegally and to hold them for federal authorities. The 142-page ruling issued Friday by Judge G. Murray Snow came as part of a lawsuit brought on behalf of Latino plaintiffs who asserted that race was a major factor in initiating immigration enforcement stops.
May 22, 2013 |
MOORE, Okla. -- As bulldozers cleared great piles of debris where homes once stood, some residents took stock of the wreckage and pondered their next decisions: move or rebuild? For many, including those near the Plaza Towers Elementary School, where seven children died, it is hard to imagine rebuilding, or moving on. "You sign that 30-year note thinking you'll be here for 30 years," said Willie Gouge, who returned to a house with a shredded roof and a perforated living room.
May 7, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - As a sweeping immigration bill moves forward in the Senate, Republicans are demanding stronger border security measures than those agreed upon during four months of bipartisan negotiation. The process of toughening the bill could win additional votes from the GOP, but there is also a risk of losing Democratic support if the amendments go too far. "If, in fact, the American people can't trust that the border is controlled, you're never going to be able to pass this bill," Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, the top Republican on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, told four officials from the Department of Homeland Security during a hearing Tuesday.