Augmented Reality Training Brings Nuclear Security to the Next Level

For most, augmented reality is a type of game—one where they can fight bad guys, fly spaceships, or catch Pokémon in a hybrid environment made up of both virtual and real-life elements.

But at Sandia National Laboratory augmented reality has a much bigger purpose—nuclear security.

Computer scientists Tam Le and Todd Noel have adapted augmented reality headsets—originally designed for gaming—as part of the physical security training curriculum Sandia provides in partnership with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) International Nuclear Security programs.

“This technology really enhances our mission, which is to increase and improve the international nuclear security training for those who deal with our nuclear stock piles and weapons and materials,” said Le in an exclusive interview with R&D Magazine. “It really does help to increase and improve this training in so many ways.”

Le and Noel have been incorporating augmented reality elements into Sandia’s nuclear training programs since March 2016. Most notably, they’ve updated the International Training Course on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Nuclear Facilities (ITC), a three-week training session for nuclear materials and facilities professionals worldwide.

Trainings are held at Sandia’s Integrated Security Facility, which was originally designed to protect Category I nuclear material, but now serves as a venue for hands-on physical security training. The incorporation of the augmented reality headsets at the facility allows students to peer through walls and see all the processes needed to handle and protect nuclear material, without having to access actual hazardous material.

Read More

U.N. urges increase in aviation security

UNITED NATIONS - Responding to increasing attacks on airports and aircraft, the U.N. Security Council on Thursday unanimously approved its first-ever resolution to address extremist threats to civil aviation and urge more security.

The U.N.’s most powerful body called for stepped-up screening and security checks at airports worldwide to “detect and deter terrorist attacks.” And it called on all countries to tighten security at airport buildings, share information about possible threats, and provide advance passenger lists so governments are aware of their transit or attempted entry.

“The Security Council has delivered a resounding call to action for the international community,” said the British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. “This is the first U.N. Security Council resolution ever to focus on the threats by terrorists to civil aviation and it demonstrates our joint resolve to protect our citizens from an escalating danger.”

The resolution reflected growing global anxiety following attacks on airplanes and airports from Ukraine, Egypt and Somalia to Brussels and Istanbul.

While aviation security has improved, Johnson said the recent tragedies demonstrate “the urgency of our task” and the dangers posed by “terrorists who probe relentlessly the chinks in our collective armor.”

The British-drafted resolution expresses the council’s concern “that terrorist groups continue to view civil aviation as an attractive target, with the aim of causing substantial loss of life, economic damage” and air links between countries.

Fang Liu, Secretary General of the International Civil Aviation Organization, told the council before the vote that there are more than 100,000 daily flights carrying 10 million travelers, which adds up to 3.5 billion passengers per year plus “one-third of the world’s trade by value” carried by planes.

Read More

Quick thinking security officer saves school from burning down

A quick-thinking security guard kept a building fire at Aquinas College from spreading to other areas of the Ashmore school by grabbing a hose and trying to ­extinguish the flames.

The SMA Security officer helped contain the fire until emergency services from Southport and Hollywell arrived at the school on Edmund Rice Drive.

The fire started just after 1pm yesterday on the upstairs veranda of a two-level building, damaging the roof, walls, floor and the shade sail ­opposite the classroom.

There is also extensive smoke damage to the interior of the classroom although the fire did not penetrate the building.

While the fire has not been labelled arson, it is being treated as suspicious due to the origin of the fire, the lockers of the block.

Principal Peter Hurley turned up a few minutes after the fire was extinguished, ­visibly distressed by the incident.

Mr Hurley, who has only been at the school for six months, told the Gold Coast Bulletin he was thankful for the quick actions of the Gold Coast security guard.

“It’s pretty upsetting that we have had a fire at the school,” he said.

“We will get the area cleaned up to resume classes tomorrow as best as we can.”

He said the cause of the fire would be investigated and contractors would make the area safe before students return to school.

This week Year 12 students will be undertaking their QCS test tomorrow and Mr Hurley assured students and ­parents that disruptions will be kept to a minimum during this stressful testing period.

Southport Station Officer Darryl Hurley said due to possible asbestos from the old building, firefighters were ­decontaminated after the fire, with their gear bagged up to be sent off for cleaning.

Energex officers were also called to the scene to cut off power to the building.

Investigations into the cause of the fire are continuing.

View Source

Feds raid drug ‘super tunnel’ with railway on U.S.-Mexico border

(CNN)-Smugglers on the U.S.-Mexico border have become so sophisticated in moving drugs that one “super tunnel” raided this week featured a railway.

The tunnel stretched the length of eight football fields, from a Tijuana warehouse to a San Diego warehouse, and had a rail system, lighting, electricity, and metal beams to prevent a cave-in.

Authorities confiscated at least 12 tons of marijuana with a street value of $6 million and arrested 22 people in San Diego and Tijuana in connection with the one of the largest tunnels uncovered in recent years.

“We see a super tunnel open for business once every year or so,” U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy of Southern California said in a statement. “Just when traffickers think they’re ready to move, we put them out of business.”

The newly constructed tunnel was discovered as part of a six-month investigation that began last May and involved an undercover agent who helped transport buckets filled with dirt from the tunnel warehouse and thThe San Diego end of the tunnel is located just a half-mile from the Otay Mesa border crossing.

On Wednesday, the defendants told the undercover agent about moving loads of marijuana from the tunnel warehouse to another warehouse. Authorities believe this would have been the first time that a significant amount of drugs would have been moved through the tunnel.

But by Wednesday night, authorities seized control of the “sophisticated cross-border super tunnel,” authorities said in a press release.

The tunnel is the tenth large-scale drug smuggling tunnel discovered in the San Diego area since 2006. In all, authorities have found more than 75 cross-border smuggling tunnels, mostly in California and Arizona, prosecutors said.

Man smuggles cocaine between U.S. and Mexico through underwater tunnel offered to transport and store drugs for the defendants, authorities said.

View Source

Jamaica security certification enables employment in Caribbean and Europe

Kingston Jamaica March 28 2016 Security guards will soon receive training which will enable them to seek employment in the Caribbean and Europe.

Evening and week-end classes for a 12-week training programme are scheduled to begin in May 2016 at the Excelsior Community College (ECC) main campus, 137 Mountain View Avenue, Kingston 3.

The school is collaborating with Security Administrators Limited (SAL) to start the programme.

Principal of ECC Philmore McCarthy and Managing Director of SAL, Captain George Reynolds, recently formalized the partnership with the signing of a memorandum of understanding at the main campus of EEC.

Marketing Manager of ECC, Trudy-Anne Riley told JIS News that the idea to start the training course came about, because of a need to give accredited certification to guards and persons with an interest in a security career.

She said the Private Security Regulation Authority (PSRA) Act 1992 has mandated that all security guards be certified and to submit evidence of their training and certification in the form of a certificate from an approved PSRA Trainer, effective January 1, 2016.

“They had given them a timeframe in which to get the certification. So based on the fact that we are a community college that responds to the needs of the community, we saw it fit to partner with Security Administrators Limited to offer a certification course for security guards,” she said.

Read More

Arizona: Pro-Gun Bills Scheduled for Hearings Tomorrow

“This week, the Arizona State Legislature has scheduled hearings for several important pro-gun bills. Bills scheduled for hearings include:

Senate Bill 1266, sponsored by state Senator Steve Smith (R-11), would improve the state firearms preemption law to ensure consistency throughout the Grand Canyon State. This would be done by providing a mechanism to declare unlawful regulations null and void in addition to providing penalties for knowing and willful violations by localities. SB 1266 is a much-needed protection that will help law-abiding gun owners ensure they are in compliance with the law. SB 1266 is scheduled for two hearings on Wednesday, February 3. The first hearing is at 9:00am in the Senate Public Safety, Military and Technology Committee and the second at 2:00pm in the Senate Government Committee.

Senate Bill 1257, sponsored by state Senator John Kavanagh (R-23), makes changes to existing law and expands the list of places where law-abiding gun owners can exercise their fundamental right to self-defense to include some additional public areas where certain security measures are not in place. SB 1257 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Government Committee at 2:00pm on February 3.

House Bill 2446, sponsored by state Representative David Livingston (R-22), makes necessary revisions to Arizona’s current definition of a “prohibited weapon” to exclude all firearms or devices that are legally possessed in compliance with the National Firearms Act (NFA). The technical correction made by HB 2446 changes the registration of NFA items from the Treasury Department to the appropriate Federal Agency in order to be compliant with current federal law. HB 2446 is scheduled for a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee at 9:00am on Wednesday, February 3.

House Bill 2494, sponsored by state Representative Steve Montenegro (R-13), would offer a tax credit for the costs incurred during the taxable year for training courses taken by the taxpayer, a spouse or a dependent, in order to apply and qualify for a permit to carry a concealed weapon in Arizona. HB 2494 was scheduled for a hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee​ yesterday, and is now being held in committee for further consideration.”

View Source

TSA Moves Closer to Rejecting Some State Driver’s Licenses for Travel

As soon as next year, a driver’s license may no longer be enough for airline passengers to clear security in some states, if the Department of Homeland Security has its way.

Federal officials said they would soon determine whether Transportation Security Administration agents would start enforcing a 10-year-old law that required states to comply with a set of federal standards when issuing driver’s licenses.

The issue is quickly intensifying, and the debate over identification and privacy has grown after the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and California.

But some states have bitterly opposed these requirements out of privacy concerns, and more than a dozen have passed laws barring their motor vehicle departments from complying with the law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The new standards require more stringent proof of identity and will eventually allow users’ information to be shared more easily in a national database.

Privacy experts, civil liberty organizations and libertarian groups fear the law would create something like a national identification card.

Federal and state officials have been arguing for years about the merits of the law, called the Real ID Act, which was enacted by Congress in 2005 on the recommendation of the 9/11 Commission. Its proponents argue that it is a necessary tool to reduce identity theft and fraud, and enhance the nation’s security.

The federal government cannot force states to adopt these identification standards, but it can gain compliance in other ways. In October, it began requiring that visitors to military bases, nuclear plants and federal facilities produce a driver’s license from a state that complies with the law, or show another form of government ID, like a passport.

But the biggest leverage the government has over the states is commercial air travel.

The Department of Homeland Security said it would provide a schedule by the end of this year for when airport screeners would start accepting only driver’s licenses that complied with federal standards. It said that 120 days’ notice would be given before starting to enforce the law at airports.

Read More

FBI Seeking Special Agent Applicants

Do you have what it takes to be a special agent? The FBI is now accepting applications from talented and motivated individuals who want to embrace this challenging and rewarding opportunity to serve their country and communities.

Special agents bring with them a variety of experience and skills, from computer science and engineering to law and accounting. The FBI is looking for diversity of perspective to effectively achieve its mission.

Applicants must successfully complete the Special Agent Selection System (SASS), a mentally and physically challenging process designed to identify the most capable candidates. The SASS includes an online application to screen for eligibility and willingness, followed by a number of exams, interviews, and background evaluations. Applicants are rated on their individual competitiveness and the professional needs of the FBI. The process can take six months to a year.

Becoming a special agent isn’t easy. In fiscal year 2014, the Bureau received more than 20,000 applications for approximately 700 special agent vacancies.

Before you apply, make sure you meet the preliminary standards (with some exceptions):

Be a U.S. citizen
Be between 23 and 36 years of age
Possess a bachelor’s degree
Have at least three years of full-time work experience
Have lived in the United States or its territories for three of the last five years.

For more information, visit https://www.fbijobs.gov/special-agents

View Source

Puerto Rico Police Seize $5.4 Million Drug Shipment

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Authorities were searching Sunday for three suspects who allegedly attempted to smuggle $5.4 million worth of drugs into Puerto Rico from the Dominican Republic.

Police said they arrested Teofilo Tineo Gonzalez, a 36-year-old Dominican man, after seizing about 518 pounds (235 kilograms) of cocaine and heroin and a 22-foot (6.7-meter) boat on the coast west of San Juan, but three other suspects got away.

Police Superintendent Jose Caldero said authorities were hunting for three others they believe were aboard the boat that left the Dominican Republic for the U.S. territory on Wednesday night.

A hotel security guard alerted police around 10 p.m. Saturday about four people unloading packages from the boat in a suspicious manner. Police were interviewing the arrested man before turning him over to federal authorities.

The superintendent said police this year have seized about 14,300 pounds (6,500 kilograms) of drugs, mostly cocaine, more than what was seized in 2013 and 2014 combined.

The U.S. Coast Guard is also having a record year. Last month, it seized $41 million worth of cocaine and marijuana during Caribbean interventions.

View Source

U.S. attorney general Lynch lauds Seattle police for reform efforts

Seattle will receive $1.5 million to combat human trafficking, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said during a visit to the city.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch came to Seattle Thursday to praise the progress of police reforms, meet with community organizers and announce a $1.5 million grant to help fight human trafficking.

It was Lynch’s first visit to Seattle since being named the country’s top law-enforcement officer, and it coincided with the release of the latest report by a federal monitor overseeing Department of Justice-mandated (DOJ) reforms of the city’s police department. The report found the SPD had reached initial compliance with three out of four key reforms involving the use of force by officers.

However, the report by federal court-appointed monitor Merrick Bobb said the department still has a lot of work before it reaches full compliance with a 2012 consent decree between the city and the DOJ to curb the use of excessive force and avoid biased policing. Thursday’s report dealt with the first four of 15 initial assessments the monitor will conduct over the next several months.

Lynch’s visit was part of a six-city tour to promote Community Oriented Policing, a concept at the core of the efforts to reform the SPD. The department came under investigation after community groups complained about harsh methods and lack of accountability that had resulted in a loss of confidence.

Read More