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Morning Security Brief: Kabul Airport Attack, Biolab Concerns, Infrastructure Funding, and More

By Lilly Chapa
A pre-dawn attack on Kabul International Airport in Afghanistan this morning closed the facility for hours and set off a firefight between security forces and the militants, according to the Telegraph. Four of the attackers were killed and there were no civilian or police casualties, Kabul police chief Mohammed Zahir said. The militants stationed themselves near the airport in two buildings that were under construction and fired rockets and guns toward the airport and planes flying overhead. Several rockets hit the airport but no planes were damaged. The attack comes as a recount is being conducted over the disputed second round of Afghanistan’s presidential election, according to the article. 
 
A hearing on biosecurity protocols at high-containment laboratories was held yesterday before the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations to address recent biosecurity incidents. Dr. Nancy Kingsbury, managing director of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) Applied Research and Methods division, discussed the GAO’s oversight of high-containment laboratories and emphasized the need for governmentwide strategic planning, national standards, and oversight for such facilities. Kingsbury pointed out that since the labs are often owned by different agencies or organizations, there is no coordinated oversight or evaluation required. “Without this information, there is little assurance of having facilities with the right capacity to meet our national needs,” Kingsbury said.
 
A national spotlight on long-term investment in infrastructure is heating up as President Obama is expected to announce a new executive action to increase private sector spending on infrastructure today at the Port of Wilmington in Delaware. Congress passed a short-term patch to sustain transportation funding over the summer, but Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware says these temporary proposals hurt infrastructure planning overall. “I fear it will indefinitely continue the harmful cycle of short-term extensions,” Carper told Delaware Online. “The time for Congress to act is now.”
 
Natural gas prices in the U.K. have increased as much as 3.7 percent over the past two weeks after the U.S. and the European Union imposed aggressive sanctions on Russia, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Russia fulfills about 30 percent of Europe’s gas needs, and the tensions between the countries is cause for concern, experts say. “These latest U.S. sanctions will potentially be the first since the crisis started to have a direct impact on the energy sector,” said Trevor Sikorski of Energy Aspects Ltd. In London.

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