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Morning Security Brief: Black Boxes Handed Over, Food Safety Scare in China, Border Protection, and More

By Holly Gilbert Stowell

► Pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine turned over the black boxes from the downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 to investigators today, after facing “mounting world pressure” from the United Nations. The Wall Street Journal reports the devices, which contain flight-recorder data, are in “good condition.” They will be handed over to international investigators once an official team is formed. The U.N. Security Council passed a resolution unanimously on Monday afternoon that “condemns in the strongest terms” the attack that brought down the Boeing 777 jet, which the White House says was the result of a surface-to-air-missile launched from separatist-controlled territory. The resolution also calls for an “international investigation with the United Nations civil aviation agency,” and demands “that armed groups at the crash site allow unfettered access,” according to the New York Times. Meanwhile, the bodies of 282 of the 298 crash victims arrived in the Ukrainian city of Kharviv, controlled by the Ukranian national government, by train en route to Amsterdam where they will undergo forensic investigation. The majority of the victims were from The Netherlands. CNN is reporting that Ukraine’s director of informational security, Vitaly Nyda, told the network that he is “certain a Russian officer personally pushed the button to shoot down” the flight. Moscow is denying that claim.  

► CNN Money is reporting that American fast food companies in China are being affected by a food safety scare, including Papa John’s and Burger King. On Monday, a local Chinese television station aired footage of workers at the Shanghai Husi Food plant “using their bare hands at the food plant to process expired meat, and even food that had fallen on the floor.” McDonald’s and Yum Brands (which produces Pizza Hut and KFC foods) immediately announced they had stopped all orders from the factory, which is a subsidiary of OSI Group based in Illinois. Today, Papa John’s and Burger King announced they were pulling food from that factory from their shelves as well. OSI Group has launched a safety investigation into the matter, and “local food regulators in China have shut down the factory and launched an investigation."

► U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBA) announced yesterday that they are making strides in their partnership related to the agencies’ joint Trusted Traveler and Trusted Trader programs. According to the official press release, “the two countries are delivering on key Beyond the Border Action Plan commitments,” which includes the launch of the eGate pilot project, which permits NEXUS members “extended expedited passage at the Peace Bridge port of entry in Fort Erie, Ontario.” The CPB’s NEXUS program provides expedited border entry for low-risk travelers going to and from Canada and the United States, the equivalent of the CBP’s Trusted Traveler program. The CBA is also now allowing U.S.-based importers to apply for the CSA importer program, Customs Self Assessment-Platinum, which demonstrates trade compliance.  

► In other news, Egypt’s foreign minister attempts to reestablish peace talks as the fighting between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip continues, and Israel confirms that one of its soldiers is missing after a seven-hour battle on Sunday in East Gaza. ⇒ And The Center for a New American Security has released a report by White House Intelligence Advisory Board member Richard Danzig that outlines recommendations for establishing a national security standard for cyberspace.

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