The U.S. Department of State is warning against travel to Saudi Arabia, reminding Americans that targeted attacks against U.S. citizens has resulted in deaths, injuries and a kidnapping. It strongly urges any private U.S. citizens there to depart. State also is asking that Americans defer all nonessential travel to Indonesia. Anyone who does travel there should register with the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, U.S. Consulate in Surabaya or the Consular agent in Bali. Americans are asked to keep a low profile and avoid crowded areas, especially during the July 5 2004 presidential election when demonstrations may occur.
U.S. is to test program to speed air travel security. The government will seek voluntary personal information, fingerprints and eye scans from thousands of frequent fliers as part of an experiment this summer to speed travelers through airport security, officials said on June 16 2004. The Transportation Security Administration's registered traveler pilot program will begin this month in Minneapolis and will include Northwest Airlines customers. The agency plans to expand the effort to Los Angeles and Houston next month, and then to Boston and Washington's Ronald Reagan National Airport by the end of the summer. United Airlines, Continental Airlines and American Airlines will also participate. The registered traveler initiative has been on the drawing board for two years. It has been approved by Congress but has stalled once already over concerns that it would not be practical or economical.
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has agreed to launch a pilot program later during June 2004 that would help speed frequent travelers through airports. Known as the Registered Traveler Program, the TSA will initially enroll up to 10,000 travelers to participate at five major airports. The travelers will volunteer for prescreening that will allow them to be approved before they travel, and should expedite the security process. The National Business Travel Association (NBTA) has been advocating such a system for more than two years. NBTA president and CEO, Carol Devine, said the association has offered volunteers, and hopes to work directly with the TSA on this effort.
The U.S. House Subcommittee on Railroads intends to introduce a bill on Thursday June 17 to tighten security for passenger and freight rail. It is apparently prepared to provide the financial resources necessary to improve security against terrorist attacks by...