Monday’s Headlines: New Airport Screening Rules Begin Today
Starting Monday, citizens from 14 nations, including those that the United States considers “state sponsors of terrorism,” will face more stringent security guidelines when traveling through American airports. The Obama administration announced over the weekend that passengers from these countries — including Yemen, Pakistan and Nigeria — will be required to submit to full-body searches and more intensified scrutiny of their carry-on bags, while also undergoing body scanning if the technology is available.
Read the Transportation Security Administration directive here. The countries affected are: Afghanistan, Algeria, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
In Yemen, the U.S. embassy remained closed for the second straight day in response to threats from al-Qaida groups in the country. Yemeni forces fought militants in the early hours of Monday morning, killing two people linked to the embassy scare, [reported the Washington Post](http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/04/AR2010010400837.html). On Sunday, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced that body scanners will become the norm in Great Britain, about one week after the Netherlands announced it will begin scanning travelers headed for the United States, [reported the New York Times](http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/04/us/04webtsa.html). American passengers traveling domestically will notice more bomb-sniffing dogs and additional checks of carry-on bags, reported the Times. “Behavioral” officers will also be on hand to detect anything out of the ordinary. For the most part, the TSA will keep screening largely the same for U.S. citizens traveling within the country. Officials estimate that the screening will actually speed up boarding for international flights and will increase security beyond the typical X-rays and metal detectors. But the heightened security is already causing outcry among civil rights groups. Nawar Shora, legal director at the [American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee](http://adc.org/), told the Times that while extra screening is necessary after the attempted bombing of a Northwest flight on Christmas Day, the new procedures are “extreme and very dangerous.” “All of a sudden people are labeled as being related to terrorism just because of the nation they are from,” Shora said. * Heavy fighting over the weekend in Afghanistan left one British and four American soldiers dead, marking the [first fatalities of 2010.](http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100104/ap_on_re_as/as_afghanistan;_ylt=AgOk4hol4Env7UF2eDF1rJys0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNlOGFnNWdlBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTAwMTA0L2FzX2FmZ2hhbmlzdGFuBGNjb2RlA21vc3Rwb3B1bGFyBGNwb3MDMgRwb3MDNgRwdANob21lX2Nva2UEc2VjA3luX3RvcF9zdG9yeQRzbGsDYWZnaGFuYXR0YWNr)
The Afghan Defense Ministry also announced that its soldiers killed more than 10 Taliban fighters in northern Kunduz, which borders Tajikistan. One Afghan soldier was wounded during the fighting.