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HOMELAND SECURITY

01 Feb 07. Civil Support Teams Certified for Five States. The Department of Defense notified Congress today that Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Teams (WMD-CST) of the New Hampshire, Vermont, Delaware, North Dakota and Montana National Guard are now certified. The 12th WMD-CST of Concord, N.H., the 15th WMD-CST of South Burlington, Vt., the 31st WMD-CST of Wilmington, Del., the 81st WMD-CST of Bismarck, N.D., and the 83rd WMD-CST of Fort Harrison, Mont., are fully ready to assist civil authorities in responding to a domestic weapon of mass destruction incident, and possess the requisite skills, training and equipment to be proficient in all mission requirements. The five teams certified today bring the total number of teams certified by DoD to 47. Congress has authorized a total of 55 WMD-CSTs, which is enough to field at least one team in every state, territory and the District of Columbia. The remaining eight teams will be certified by September 2007.

28 Jan 07. Sinn Fein votes to support police. Mr Adams said the vote was truly historic. Sinn Fein members have voted to support policing in Northern Ireland for the first time in the party’s history. About 900 party members voted on the motion at a special party conference (ard fheis) in Dublin which was attended by about 2,000 people. Sinn Fein support for policing and DUP commitment to power-sharing are seen as essential to restoring NI devolution. A six hour debate was cut short as the leadership forced a vote which was carried with almost unanimous support. Speaking after the vote, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said the decision was truly historic. (Source: BBC)

30 Jan 07. IRA ‘dismantling its structures’. The report said the IRA continued to disband paramilitary structures. The Independent Monitoring Commission says the IRA leadership has continued to dismantle its structures and remains committed to a political path. The body also said Sinn Fein’s endorsement of the police was a major step forward in the IRA’s move away from paramilitarism. The organisation set up to monitor levels of paramilitary activity said it was “a very major development”. Its 13th report covers the period 1 September to 30 November 2006. NI Secretary Peter Hain said the latest report from the ceasefire watchdog demonstrated the Provisional IRA’s “commitment to the political path”. The Irish Government welcomed the IMC’s “very positive assessment” of the PIRA’s commitment to democratic politics, and added that power-sharing should not be delayed any further. (Source: BBC)

29 Jan 07. The first purpose designed escape hood to protect against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) agents, has been recommended by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and the Police Federation to equip all the UK’s operational police officers at times of heightened security awareness. The EH20 escape hood developed by Avon Protection, a division of Avon Rubber plc, is entering service with a number of UK police forces as well as police services in other countries. The UK National Health Service has also procured the hood to provide escape protection to operatives who are potentially at risk, such as ambulance crews.

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