Morning Security Brief: New Plan for Syria, Mexico’s Elections, Zoo Security, and More

By Carlton Purvis

►A military air tanker crashed while fighting wildfires in South Dakota on Sunday. Details on the status of the aircrew have not been released. This is the second crash of an air tanker fighting fires out west. A tanker crashed in mountainous terrain in western Utah on June 3, killing two pilots, CNN reported.

►Secretary of State Hilary Clinton expressed cautious optimism about a new agreement that would help move Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad out of power. The plan calls for the creation of a transitional government, but political groups in Syria say that plan is too vague and would allow Bashar to stay in power. Clinton says Assad and his inner circle would be excluded for any transitional government. “Both sides have to agree on the membership of the interim body,” CNN reports.

►Early election results put Enrique Pena Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party on track to win the race for president of Mexico. “By far the most high-profile issue in the new president's in-tray is security,” the BBC reports. “The next president will also need to bring greater pressure to bear on Washington to reduce the demand for drugs in the US and stem the flow of weapons south. Tackling organized crime is clearly going to be a daunting task. [And] Impunity is still a massive problem, with an estimated 97 percent of drug-related murders going unpunished.”

►The security practices of Lake Superior Zoo in Duluth, Minnesota, are being questioned after 14 animals drowned and a polar bear escaped during flash floods two weeks ago. The zoo's director of animal management said the lack of a guards on the grounds the night of the flood was “the reason for multiple communication failures.” Some say having guards at the zoo during the flooding may have put their own lives at risk because of the “incredible amount of water coming down the creek and it was pitch-black.” Since the flood, 24-hour guards have been stationed on the grounds.

►In other news, DHS Announces More Than $1.3 billion in preparedness grant awards. ♦ The ATF is offering $10,000 rewards in two separate homicides involving children. ♦ And TSA re-issues tips for traveling with crematory remains.



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