NEWS

Morning Security Brief: Earthquakes in Iran, Identity Theft, U.S. Pressuring Swiss Banks, and More

By Carlton Purvis

►Three hundred people are dead and more than 5,000 injured after two earthquakes in Iran on Saturday. The worst damage seems to be in rural areas, state media reported. Rescue operations ended Sunday and Iranian officials say all of the people who had been trapped under rubble have been freed, despite families who say members are still missing. “Some 130 villages suffered more than 70 percent damage, and 20 villages were completely destroyed,” Reuters reports.

►Hundreds of couples applying to get married in New York have been rejected because records show they were already married, the results of a form of identity theft that shows few red flags. “The thief or an associate will assume the victim’s identity, and for a fee, will get married in the victim’s name to an undocumented immigrant who is seeking United States citizenship,” New York World reports. Of 1,769 rejected marriage licenses since October 2006, 249 people appealed on grounds that the marriages were fraudulent. Sixty-one of the appeals have been granted. More than two-thirds remain unresolved.

►The U.S. is pressuring Swiss banks to give names & financial details of wealthy Americans hiding money in their accounts. “The tension is such that Swiss bankers are afraid they will be personally targeted by U.S. officials if they leave the country, after Credit Suisse and Julius Baer handed over employee names to U.S. authorities,” Reuters reports.

►In other news, the Nigerian Army says it has killed 20 members of Boko Haram during a raid on a hideout in the northeastern city of Maiduguri. Boko Haram says all of those killed were civilians. ♦ Drug gang members stormed a hospital looking to finish off injured police after a shootout with federal authorities, Al Jazeera reports. ♦ And a Norwegian commission report says Anders Behring Breivik’s bomb attack could have been prevented if security measures had been implemented more effectively.

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