EU will adopt visa exempt screening

June 12, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

LUXEMBOURG, 12 July 2017: EU countries on Friday backed a proposal to adopt new security checks for Europe’s borderless Schengen area, in which visa-exempt travellers will be screened online prior to arrival.

Dubbed ETIAS, the proposal is based on a US system that would allow EU countries to quickly cross check identity documents and other details from visa-exempt travellers with a host of databases.

Nationals from nearly 60 countries currently do not need to have visas to travel the Schengen zone, including those from the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Taiwan, Brazil, Chile, Argentina as well as European neighbours like Albania and Bosnia. Read more

US asks for social media IDs

June 6, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, News

WASHINGTON, 6 June 2017: The United States has begun asking some would-be visitors applying for visas to provide their identities on social media, among other more vigorous screening methods.

A State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP new security procedures had gone into effect last week for travellers deemed to present a risk.

The plan has already raised the concerns of civil liberties advocates, who fear travellers who pose no terrorist threat may be stigmatised for their political or religious views. Read more

No extension of laptop ban

May 31, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, News

WASHINGTON, 31 May 2017: US aviation security officials stepped back, Tuesday, from imposing a ban on carry-on computers on flights coming from Europe, which had been proposed to guard against possible bomb-laden electronics from the Islamic State group.

But the Department of Homeland Security said a ban, already in place for US-bound flights from the Middle East, could still be implemented for Europe if the threat level worsens.

In a phone discussion with European Home Affairs Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos and Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc Tuesday, DHS Secretary John Kelly “made it clear” a ban on passengers carrying tablet and computer-sized electronics on board flights to the United States “is still on the table,” DHS said in a statement. Read more

New York steps up security

May 25, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, News

NEW YORK, 25 May 2017: New York authorities, Monday, stepped up security at sensitive sites after a deadly bomb blast at a concert in Britain, although officials said there was no indication of a threat to US targets.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he was ordering additional patrols at “high-profile locations” including airports and the subway “out of an abundance of caution” after the assault at the show by US pop star Ariana Grande.

“This apparent act of terrorism, targeting a concert attended by thousands of teenagers and young people, is an inexplicable and abhorrent assault on our universal values as human beings,” Cuomo said in a statement. Read more

Security check delays flight

May 24, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, Middle east, News

DUBAI, 24 May 2017: A Virgin Atlantic flight to London was delayed, Tuesday, in Dubai for extra security checks, authorities said, hours after a bombing killed at least 22 people in northwest England.

“Dubai Airports confirms that the departure of a Virgin Atlantic aircraft was delayed, until additional security checks were carried out,” the airport authority said on Twitter.

“These were carried out in close cooperation with Dubai Police and the airline, following which the aircraft was cleared for departure,” it added. Read more

Laptop ban talks continue

May 19, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, EUROPE, News

BRUSSELS, 19 May 2017: Top US and EU officials traded intelligence, Wednesday, on what they called “serious evolving threats” to airline security as Washington mulls banning carry-on computers on flights from Europe.

Both sides said they intended to hold more talks next week in Washington on a possible ban of such equipment.

“Both sides exchanged information on the serious evolving threats to aviation security and approaches to confronting such threats,” a joint statement said. Read more

Manila explosion prompts alert

May 8, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Philippines

MANILA, 8 May 2017: Two explosions in the Quaipo area of Manila were reported during the early evening of Saturday 6 May prompting a new round of travel advisories.

The UK government travel advisory said reports indicate a number of fatalities and serious casualties.

It warns visitors to avoid the area of Quaipo. Read more

Chicago airport security under fire

April 18, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, Aviation, News

CHICAGO, 18 April 2017: As United Airlines struggles to recover from the public relations disaster sparked when a passenger was violently removed from a flight in Chicago, the airport security officers involved in the incident are facing tough scrutiny.

Officials in the mid-west US city are looking at why the three officers — all now placed on administrative leave —  were on the plane in the first place, amid criticism from elected officials and the United pilots’ union.

The officers — who are unarmed and meant to back up local law enforcement — were called by airline employees after the passenger, David Dao Pepper, refused to give up his seat for crew that needed to be repositioned for other flights. Read more

Stockholm still on alert

April 10, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

BANGKOK, 10 April 2017: Swedish authorities are requesting the public to continue to avoid central Stockholm, around Drottninggatan, due to the ongoing investigation and transport disruptions following the vehicle attack on a pedestrian street last Friday.

Travel advisories issued by various nations warn citizens travelling to Stockholm to be vigilant and carry their passports at all time.

The Swedish Government has temporarily introduced stricter border control measures that will remain in place until at least 17 April. Read more

MP forced to take the train

April 7, 2017 by  
Filed under Indonesia, News, South Asia

NEW DELHI, 7 April 2017: An Indian politician who attacked a flight steward after being refused a business class seat caused uproar in parliament Thursday by demanding his ban on air travel be overturned.

Ravindra Gaikwad made national headlines after footage emerged in March of the Shiv Sena politician repeatedly striking a steward with his sandal aboard an Air India flight.

He has admitted whacking the 60-year-old steward roughly two dozen times during the altercation over seating on a flight from Pune to New Delhi. Read more

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