Morning Security Brief: Isaac Update, UKBA Targets London University, Hazmat Database for First Responders, and More
Hurricane Isaac is weakening after dropping 20 inches of rain and producing three tornadoes. The UK Border Agency revokes a university’s ability to issue student visas, calling it “threat to immigration control.” And more.
►Thousands of Gulf Coast residents are evacuating the area and others are trapped after Hurricane Isaac dropped more than 20 inches of rain. In addition to flooding, the hurricane also spawned three tornadoes. More than 840,000 people are without power and under boil water advisories. Curfews are in effect in some areas. Isaac continues to weaken as it moves north.
►More than 2,000 students face deportation after London Metropolitan University’s authorization to issue student visas is revoked . “Announcing the move on Wednesday night, the UK Border Agency said London Metropolitan University had "failed to address serious and systemic failings" identified six months ago,” the BBC reports. The UK Border Agency in a past report called the university a “threat to immigration control,” because more than 100 students were still in the country without proper visas, there was no evidence that students were meeting mandatory English levels, and university attendance records made it “impossible for the university to know whether students were turning up for classes or not.”
►A pilot program in New Jersey aims to build a geographic database of hazardous materials stored in abandoned buildings. “The data will allow responders access a property's profile when called to one of the buildings and immediately pinpoint any hazards that may exist,” Firehouse.com reports. Other than fire hazards the database will include injury hazards like needles and syringes and biological hazards like animals, mold, blood, and feces.
►In other news, the U.S. has deployed around 200 Marines to Guatemala to assist Guatemalan troops in countering drug cartels. This phase of the US-led counter-narcotics strategy in Central America is called Operation Martillo. ♦ “Thugs who terrorize both the public and fellow riders” are infiltrating the bodaboda industry in Africa, says an AllAfrica.com columnist calling for more regulation of the popular bike taxis to prevent riots, surveillance by criminals, and use of bodaboda by terrorists. ♦ And recent research by the cybersecurity company FireEye says cyberattacks are up 200 percent from 2011.