HONG KONG, 2 March 2011 – The Macau unit of casino giant Las Vegas Sands has come under a US criminal investigation after its sacked head alleged he was told to spy on government officials in the Asian gambling hub.
Sands confirmed Wednesday it had received a subpoena from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for documents relating to compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
The law, which prohibits US companies from bribing foreign officials, carries a penalty of as much as five years in prison.
WASHINGTON, 7 January 2011 – Former presidential candidate Ralph Nader on Thursday said body scans and enhanced security pat-downs at US airports are eating away at Americans’ freedoms and called the agency that conducts them a “basketcase.”
“The TSA is a basketcase, collectively,” Nader said at the first US conference on controversial new security measures that are being rolled out at airports around the United States.
These include X-ray scanners that produce a graphic image of a person’s naked body, genitalia and all, and body searches including a frisk of the private parts of travelers who refuse to go through the scanners.
MANILA, 23 December 2010 – The Philippines’ chief aviation regulator has abruptly quit, the government said Tuesday, after he blamed President Benigno Aquino for keeping the country on an international flight safety blacklist.
Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines director-general Alfonso Cusi tendered his resignation effective 31 December.
SYDNEY, 15 December 2010 – US talk-show legend Oprah Winfrey Tuesday named herself Australia’s new global ambassador, saying her much-touted visit Down Under would reap huge rewards for the country’s image and tourism coffers.
Winfrey, recording episodes outside the United States for the first time in her show’s 24-year history, said her visit with more than 300 US audience members would mean massive publicity for the huge nation.
SYDNEY, 7 December 2010 – Oprah Winfrey’s ecstatic audience arrived in Sydney Tuesday for their much-hyped tour Down Under with the talk show queen, kicking off a week-long showcase of Australia’s beaches, cities and wildlife.
Australia paid US$2.3 million to lure Winfrey, ranked the world’s most powerful celebrity by Forbes magazine this year ahead of actress Angelina Jolie and singer Beyonce Knowles.
TOKYO, 30 November 2010 – The head of Japan’s All Nippon Airlines has voiced “great disappointment” at repeated delays by Boeing in delivering its hi-tech 787 Dreamliner, a report said Monday.
ANA, Japan’s second largest airline after troubled Japan Airlines, is to be the launch customer for the Dreamliner, which features a lightweight part-carbon composite structure for greater fuel efficiency.
But the project has suffered a number of setbacks, including a fire on a test flight this month.
WASHINGTON, 26 November 2010 – The United States is planning to replace its color-coded terror alert system drafted in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks with detailed threat advisories, US media reported Thursday.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has drafted a proposal sent to the White House to end its five-colored system — mocked by critics as a relic of post-9/11 frenzy that caused alarm without explaining the reasons for the alerts.
CHICAGO, 25 November 2010 – US airline passengers seemed resigned to invasive security screening early Wednesday, the busiest travel day of the year, as a much-hyped, if loosely organised call for protests against intensive security went largely unheeded.
The online organiser of National Opt Out Day was urging holiday travelers to request full-body pat-downs rather than submit to what he calls a “naked body scanner” to “send a message to our lawmakers that we demand change.”
WASHINGTON, 22 November 2010 – A pair of top Republican lawmakers protested Friday new “overly intrusive” full-body x-ray scanners and body pat-downs in US airports, in a letter to TSA administrator John Pistole.
The Transportation Security Administration has come under fire in recent weeks for new procedures that critics slam as an affront to privacy, and House members John Mica and Thomas Petri called on the agency to reconsider the move.
WASHINGTON, 17 November 2010 – The US official leading the introduction of controversial full-body x-ray scanners and body “pat-downs” in US airports defended the practice Tuesday, insisting they were “the best technology” to protect against terrorist attacks.
Independent Senator, Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security that held a hearing on the issue, was also quick to support the “difficult” and “sensitive” effort, maintaining “it is necessary” to ensure aviation safety.