Schumer Urges TSA To Deploy Explosive Detection Technology
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-Brooklyn) revealed yesterday that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) possesses a technology to help detect suicide vests or other strapped-to-the-body explosive devices before they detonate.
Schumer’s push comes amidst a brand new ISIS threat to New York where attacks were threatened and New York City was named, Manhattan specifically. Last week, Bangladesh native Akayed Ullah strapped an “improvised low-tech explosive device to his body” with zip ties and velcro that went off in the 42nd Street passageway between 7th and 8th avenues. The botched terrorist attack injured three people before Ullah was taken into custody according to New York Commissioner James O’Neill.
A new screening technology, known as Stand Off Explosive Detection Technology, will help law enforcement officials detect hidden explosives and whether an individual is wearing a suicide vest. According to the TSA, as an individual passes by the device, it can detect the presence of a potential threat object by passively assessing naturally occurring emissions from the human body. If it identifies the presence of a potential threat it will alarm on the operator’s laptop used to control the device. The TSA says the device can be used by transit agencies, like those that oversee the subways and train stations, to detect potential threats. On Sunday, Schumer urged the TSA to speed up plans and deploy the screening technology to transit hubs across the nation, and specifically here in NYC, where he wants the technology formally tested.
“The fact that we have this new, potentially life-saving technology at our fingertips – an ability to detect concealed explosives worn by cowards looking to do us harm – demands the federal government put both the testing and the perfecting of this technology on the fast-track. We not only want these devices in America’s busiest cities, like New York, but we need them here,” said Schumer.
“So, today, I am urging the TSA to bring these devices to New York City, test them in our subways, in Penn Station, in our airports, and, if they work as well as touted, pursue an expedited seal of approval that gives all of us another layer of security to fend off would be lone wolf terror. As the threats we face evolve our preparedness and response must evolve as well to remain a step ahead of evil doers,” added Schumer.
Menchaca Pushes For Passage of Dream Act
City Council member Carlos Menchaca (D-Red Hook, Sunset Park) will push for the passage of the Dream Act of 2017 at a press conference today.
At the event, Menchaca will be pushing for the City Council to Vote in favor of Resolution 14:84-A: “Denouncing the termination of the DACA program and calling on the state and federal government to extend protections for undocumented youth by passing the NYS DREAM Act of 2017, as well as the federal DREAM Act of 2017. The Council is set to vote on the legislation following the event.
Earlier this year, President Donald Trump decided to phase out Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), ordering the end of a five-year-old executive action protecting young undocumented immigrants from deportation and setting a March 25, 2018 deadline for it’s termination. Trump gave Congress a six-month delay with the hopes that they will pass a replacement in time, including halting all future program applicants. The decision to roll back the Obama-era policy is slated to affect nearly 30,000 New York City residents currently protected under the executive action.
“Every Member of Congress who claims to stand with Dreamers must demand that legislation to protect these incredible young people is passed before Congress goes home for the holiday. Congress must take action to prevent 800,000 Dreamers from being fired from their jobs, ripped out of classrooms, separated from their families, and deported,” said Menchaca.
The event is slated for 10:30 a.m., today. Dec. 18, at the Steps of City Hall in Lower Manhattan.
Deutsch To Participate In Holiday Sock Drive
City Council member Chaim Deutsch (D-Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach, Homecrest) will participate in a sock drive culmination event with the young students of P.S. 255 today.
Each year, the school’s student council collects socks to donate to local homeless shelters and people in need and last year they collected more than 1,500 pairs of socks for children and adults.
The event is slated for 10 a.m., today, dec. 18, at P.S. 255, at 1866 East 17th Street (off of Avenue S) in Sheepshead Bay.
Cumbo To Hold Mayoral Town Hall
City Council member Laurie Cumbo (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights) will host a Town Hall meeting alongside Mayor Bill de Blasio this week.
All residents, local faith and community service organizations, advocates, educators and elected officials from City Council district 35 are invited to attend.
Projects, policies and initiatives affecting the district will be announced. Attendees will be asked to participate in an extended question and answer session with the mayor and his senior administration officials.
This event is presented in conjunction with: Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, U.S. Representative Yvette Clarke, U.S. Representative Hakeem Jeffries, State Senator Velmanette Montgomery, State Senator Jesse Hamilton, and Assembly Member Walter Mosley.
The event is slated for 7 p.m. (Doors open at 6 p.m.), Wednesday, Dec. 20, at University Settlement -Ingersoll Community Center, at 177 Myrtle Avenue in Fort Greene.
Nadler, Jeffries Demand Clarity Over Released FBI Text Messages
Congressman Jerrod Nadler (Manhattan/Brooklyn), House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member, along with Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Bed-Stuy, Brownsville, East New York, Canarsie, Mill Basin, Coney Island, South Ozone Park and Howard Beach) and Jamie Raskin (D-MD) demanded clarity over the weekend on the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) release of inconsistent statements about Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) text messages.
The group sent a letter to the U. S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Public Affairs Director Sarah Flores to demand clarity after she made inconsistent statements regarding the release of text messages between two FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page to the press. Strzok and Page were on special counsel Robert Mueller’s team and were politically opposed to President Trump when the messages were sent.
Last week, more than 300 text messages between senior FBI counterintelligence agent Strzok — who was assigned to the bureau’s investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. election — and in-house attorney Page were provided to Congress after they were provided to the media, according to initial reports. Strzok was having an alleged extramarital affair with Page, with whom he shared anti-Trump sentiments. The Justice Department’s inspector general came across the texts during an assessment of the FBI’s handling of its investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s private email server.
In the letter, the group demanded details on the release of the texts specifically asking for clarification on:
Did the media have access to these text messages prior to their delivery to Congress?
If indeed it happened, why did you omit this unauthorized disclosure from your initial statement to the press?
Did the Department authorize this disclosure? If so, who in the Department authorized this disclosure? If not, who in the Department made or facilitated this disclosure?
You say that you relied on the advice of “career ethics advisers” who “determined there were no legal or ethical concerns” with your release of this material to the press. Please provide all documents and communications that form the basis of this advice.
The group gave the DOJ a Dec. 19 deadline of which they have yet to receive a formal response from the Inspector General or the Public Affairs Director.
PA James To Give Out Holiday Cheer At Toy Event
NYC Public Advocate Letitia James will volunteer with Toys for Hospitalized Children this holiday season to bring smiles and hope to children spending this time in the hospital.
James will join Rabbi JJ Hecht II in handing out toys to children at Kings County Hospital today. Toys for Hospitalized Children brings cheer and joy to 15,000 children in hospitals, special-needs facilities, and educational institutions annually.
The event is slated for 11 a.m., today, Dec. 18, at Kings County Hospital, at 451 Clarkson Avenue in Flatbush.