- - Sunday, August 14, 2011


Bill aims to upgrade power plant security

ALBANY — A loophole in the law doesn’t require workers hired at most power plants to undergo FBI background checks even though a federal report warns that the plants are likely routes for terrorists, Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, said Sunday in announcing legislation that would change that.

Mr. Schumer cited a Homeland Security Department report that found disgruntled former employees have sensitive inside information that terrorists might want. The report also says unidentified outsiders have solicited current employees.

Last fall, al Qaeda urged recruits to take jobs in potential terrorist targets such as power plants, where they could inflict significant damage and chaos quickly and easily, the federal report said.

“Power plants and utilities present a tempting and potentially catastrophic target to extremists who are bent on wreaking havoc on the United States, which is why thorough background checks on all workers with access to the most sensitive areas of these operations are a must,” Mr. Schumer said.

“The DHS report is a wake-up call that we must ensure those with access to our most critical infrastructure — and our power supplies — are not compromised by extremist influences.”

His bill would require FBI background checks on all employees of major power plants, Mr. Schumer said.


Cain encouraged by 5th place in Iowa poll

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain said he got a lot for his money in Iowa’s straw poll.

Mr. Cain said his campaign for the Republican nomination spent nothing on ads for TV and radio and had just four buses to bring people to participate in Saturday’s vote.

The Georgia businessman ended up with 1,456 votes, or 9 percent. That was good enough for fifth place among 10 contenders. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota won the poll with 29 percent.

Mr. Cain told CNN’s “State of the Union” that his showing is encouraging and that his campaign’s momentum is growing. He said he still believes he can win the nomination and the presidency.


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