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Posts tagged ‘George Smitherman’

Rep. Radel: Substance Abuse Never Interfered With My Work.


Image: Rep. Radel: Substance Abuse Never Interfered With My Work

By Courtney Coren

Republican Rep. Trey Radel of Florida says he plans to return to work after completing drug and alcohol rehabilitation, but emphasizes that his substance abuse never interfered with his work in Congress.

“It never interfered with my congressional obligations,” Radel wrote on Facebook on Sunday. “However, it led me down a path that chipped away at my relationship with my wife, my child, and God.”

The freshman congressman was arrested in October after purchasing cocaine from an undercover agent of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Washington.

On Nov. 20, he pleaded guilty to the charges against him and entered a voluntary rehabilitation program for treatment of alcoholism and drug abuse.

“My recovery is under way and ongoing,” he said. “I have and will continue to build a support system to rely on for the rest of my life. While in a voluntary rehabilitation program, I began a step-by-step process that will aid me in recovery one day at a time.”

He said his main struggle is with alcohol.

“To be clear, alcohol is the problem for me,” the Florida Republican said. “It was selfishly fun, but became an issue when it led to poor choices and missed opportunities.”

While he made it clear in his Facebook post that he plans to remain in office, Florida Republican leaders have said they want Radel to resign.

At least two Republican candidates have said they are ready to run in a special election if needed.

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Use of Biometric Security Technology at Airports Raises Concerns.


Image: Use of Biometric Security Technology at Airports Raises Concerns

By Courtney Coren

As airports around the world move to more automated airport security functions, concerns are increasing over whether computers will rise to the challenge of actually identifying potential terrorists.

“If you’re sweating profusely, for example, the person checking your ID would notice,” says Arnold Barnett, an aviation-security expert and Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor. “But that computer taking an iris scan wouldn’t.”

Part of keeping travelers safe is “looking at all kinds of things that can’t be captured by an algorithm,” Barnett told  The Wall Street Journal.

About 28 percent of airports around the world are using biometric technology as part of their airport security, which allows airports to streamline the screening process using machines that can verify identities by scanning faces, irises, or fingerprints. Advocates say the technology could make boarding passes obsolete.

London Gatwick Airport conducted an experiment this year with 3,000 British Airways passengers using biometric scanners instead of boarding passes. The machines scanned the irises of the passengers’ eyes when they first checked in, which allowed cameras to identify the travelers at security checkpoints and gates automatically.

While advocates of the technology say that automating some of these processes would free up security personnel to focus on monitoring travelers for suspicious behavior, other experts like Barnett worry that screeners will become too dependent on the technology and it will only serve to dull their senses.

European airports have been much quicker to embrace the biometric technology than American airports, the Journal reported. However, the Transportation Security Administration does currently use the technology for checking employees into some areas and for travelers enrolled in its PreCheck program. It is also used by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at U.S. airports.

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