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Tight Security For MSG Billy Joel Concert In Wake Of Manchester Attack

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) Security was stepped up Thursday for a Billy Joel concert at Madison Square Garden, in the wake of the deadly bombing at a concert in Manchester, England earlier this week.

As CBS2 s Jessica Layton reported, Joel offered a moving musical tribute to the victims of the tragedy. There was no doubt emotions were still high as the concert went on.

Disgusted with what all that going on those guys, savages, one passerby said. But fans like one man who came with his son refused to be afraid.

I have a lot of friends who are NYPD and all the faith in the world in them, he said. The NYPD was out in force. Counterterrorism officers patrolled alongside the Department of Homeland Security, New York State Police, Amtrak police and Metropolitan Transportation Authority police to guard the Garden,

I just saw them wand am ambulance driver so I feel OK, said Kim Lewis.

There was added protection from vapor wake and explosive detection dogs, trained to sniff out body-worn explosives on moving targets in high-volume areas. It is believed the suicide bomber in Manchester carried the bomb in his backpack. Routine detectors for radiological and chemical weapons were also on hand, CBS2 s Alice Gainer reported. NYPD officials have been in contact with law enforcement in Manchester to tailor a specific plan based on lessons learned overseas. Meanwhile, thoughts of Manchester[1] were not far from some concertgoers minds.

The thought crossed my mind, but I figure it s New York City they re used to this type of performance, and they should be well-prepared for it in any event, said Anita Campbell of Stewartsville, New Jersey.

Security was also stepped up earlier this week at Yankee Stadium and other venues. The NYPD is working with New York State Police, the National Guard, Amtrak police, and Metropolitan Transportation Authority police because they say the layout of Madison Square Garden and Penn Station are very similar to the setup at Manchester Arena.[2]

Fans of the Piano Man said they never had any hesitation about attending the concert Thursday night. Howard Klein of Cherry Hill, New Jersey said it marked his 86th Joel concert. When asked if he had any hesitation about attending given the Monday night terror attack that left 22 people dead at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, Klein said: None whatsoever, because I always find security here is excellent. The metal detectors and look at your bag last time they even checked my keychain.

Wouldn t be here if I felt it was going to be a problem, another fan said.

There have now been a total of eight arrests[3] in connection with the Manchester concert blast so far.

Law enforcement officials carried out raids Thursday morning as they continue to search for others who may have helped suspected suicide bomber Salman Abedi plan the attack.

This continues to be a fast-moving investigation and there has been a significant amount of activity taking place, Chief Ian Hopkins said. Among those in custody is Abedi s father, who was detained in Libya, and two of Abedi s brothers, one in Libya and another in the U.K. British authorities said they expect to carry out more raids as they continue to peel away at the terrorist network involving Abedi.

The NYPD was in contact with authorities in Manchester this week, and tailored part of their security plan based on what they learned from the attack.

They know it could happen, but they re not going to let New Yorkers are tough people, a man said.

References

  1. ^ thoughts of Manchester (newyork.cbslocal.com)
  2. ^ at Manchester Arena. (newyork.cbslocal.com)
  3. ^ There have now been a total of eight arrests (newyork.cbslocal.com)

Flying out of Boise? Here’s how to pack your gun the right way for your trip

Late last week at the Boise Airport, while Transportation Security Administration officials discussed concerns that more people have been trying to carry guns onto planes, a TSA screener found a handgun in a woman s purse. It was the 12th gun caught at the checkpoint this year. Like all but two of the other detected guns, it was loaded. The woman carrying the Smith and Wesson Bodyguard 380 appeared mortified, apologizing while a Boise police officer escorted her to a nearby office. Some of the other passengers heading for midafternoon flights watched, mildly curious, but most didn t seem to realize what had occurred.

It happened in the TSA Precheck lane, reserved for passengers who have gone through a screening process[1] to streamline their trips through security.

It s our trusted-traveler lane, TSA regional spokeswoman Lorie Dankers said. That person is no longer a trusted traveler. Firearms, ammunition, firearm parts and realistic replicas of firearms are always prohibited in carry-on baggage. They may be transported in checked baggage if the traveler declares them to the airline during the ticket counter check-in process, according to TSA regulations. Clips and ammunition can be in the same case but must be removed from the gun. For step-by-step instructions, watch the video above this story. People caught with weapons in their carry-ons face possible criminal charges or civil penalties that could range as high as a $7,500 fine.[2] Most miss their flights, although in the May 18 incident the woman was able to catch her afternoon plane to Las Vegas, Boise police reported.

declassified x-ray image gun in baggage

This image, declassified by the TSA, shows what a handgun concealed in a backpack looks like through an X-ray machine at a security checkpoint. The image is not from one of the incidents at the Boise Airport.

Provided by TSA

The initial investigation indicated that the gun was inadvertently left in the purse. Police say that is generally true of such incidents at the Boise Aiport. Neither police nor the TSA said any of the Boise incidents involved someone with malicious motives. But Andrew Coose, this airport s TSA federal security director, said the danger is real regardless.

Firearms on board a pressurized aircraft present a significant hazard, he said, whether a gun goes off intentionally or accidentally. Fifteen Boise police officers are stationed at the airport, with generally six officers on duty at a time, according to BPD. Police are summoned the moment a gun is detected.

In last week s incident, as in others, the handgun was booked as evidence and the city prosecutor s office will determine whether charges should be filed, a BPD spokesman said. The woman who owned the gun also could face a separate civil penalty from the TSA. Though the delay at the precheck lane Thursday seemed momentary, it can take significantly longer, said Travis Wahl, lead transportation security officer. When an officer detects a weapon, the bag is held in the X-ray tunnel until a police officer takes custody of it.

Other people are waiting, said Wahl, who has detected six or eight guns in carry-ons during his three years at the Boise Airport. Our lane at that point is at a standstill. It possibly aggravates some passengers behind them, whoever s running late. Most people are. The airport is on pace to eclipse the 18 guns confiscated in 2016 the current record. About twice as many guns have been found so far this year as were found in the first six months of 2016 (seven guns) and 2015 (six), Dankers said. As of May 20, 2016, four guns had been found at the Boise checkpoint.

That s the big concern for us, that there s a trend, and the trend is not a good one, Coose said.

Gun numbers

Between Jan. 3 and May 18 of this year, TSA officers at the Boise Airport found 12 firearms in carry-on bags at the security checkpoint. Two guns were found separately on March 12, and two were found the week of May 15 one on Monday morning and the other on Thursday afternoon. Gun-in-baggage incidents at the Boise Airport have increased steadily in the past five years, from 8 in 2012 to 18 last year. It follows a national trend, TSA regional spokeswoman Lorie Dankers said. Nationally, the number of firearms detected by TSA checkpoints also more than doubled, from 1,549 in 2012 to 3,391 in 2016. In western airports with similar passenger loads, TSA statistics for 2016 show Boise right in the middle. This airport saw about 1.77 million passengers last year. Tucson s airport saw 1.8 million passengers and 16 guns, while Spokane reported 1.74 million passengers and 20 guns.

Of the 12 guns found at BOI so far this year, 10 were loaded. Six including the one found May 18 were Smith and Wesson Bodyguard 380 models.

References

  1. ^ a screening process (www.iflyboise.com)
  2. ^ civil penalties that could range as high as a $7,500 fine. (www.tsa.gov)

‘No collusion’ with Russia, Trump says, as criminal probe moves ahead

An increasingly defiant president, a no-nonsense prosecutor and an uncertain Congress nervous about what might lie ahead turned the nation s capital Thursday into a source of political turmoil for months to come.

The appointment 24 hours earlier of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to lead an inquiry into Russia s meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, and whether it had colluded with President Donald Trump s campaign, offered some relief to lawmakers in both parties. But all sides braced for the political warfare to come between the White House and Congress, which has several of its own ongoing Russia investigations, and between the president and Mueller. All are certain to divert attention from other major issues facing the country, including health care, a tax overhaul and infrastructure. Trump signaled he has little patience for the persistent focus on him and his campaign s alleged ties to Russia.

There was no collusion. Even my enemies have said there is no collusion, the president said during a news conference Thursday afternoon with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, who was visiting the White House.

Earlier in the day, Trump told a luncheon with news broadcasters that the investigations hurt our country. But Trump being Trump constantly nursing a grievance that his election is viewed as tainted his sense of victim-hood always lurks in his rhetoric. It intrudes when he gives a college commencement speech, as he did at the Coast Guard Academy earlier this week and told graduates that no politician in history . . . has been treated worse or more unfairly, and it flavors his early-morning tweets.

This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history! the president told his Twitter followers Thursday morning, reacting to Mueller s appointment.

An outrageous statement, said Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois. On Capitol Hill, a current of tension coursed through its marbled corridors. Few knew where the various investigations would lead and what could result. With a president as unpredictable as Trump, the political terrain is treacherous.

Mueller is viewed as a white hat by both parties and his square-jawed propriety is seen as a welcome balm to the division the Russia investigation has sowed. But his work has raised questions about the direction of Congress own inquiries and how it could affect and even restrict them. The fallout was almost immediate. An attorney for ousted White House National Security adviser Michael Flynn told the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday morning that his client would not honor the committee s subpoena to produce documents related to the Russia investigation.

We ll figure out on Gen. Flynn what the next step, if any, is, said Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, who chairs the panel.

I suspect that he believes he s a target, and he s got the right to protect himself and the lawyer has probably advised him not to do it, said Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, a member of the Intelligence Committee. Nobody can force you to do this. After emerging from a briefing about the Russia investigation Thursday afternoon, Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who is leading his own inquiry through the Senate Judiciary Committee, said, It seems to me now to be considered a criminal investigation.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller, led the 45-minute briefing for all 100 members of the chamber. Rosenstein endured a wave of criticism for his memo to Trump justifying the firing last week of former FBI Director James Comey. Comey had been overseeing the investigation into Russia and Trump s campaign. Trump subsequently said he had planned to fire Comey anyway, seeming to dismiss the Rosenstein memo. But at his news conference Thursday, the president seemed to shift his story again.

I also got a very, very strong recommendation, as you know, from the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, he said. Flynn, who served as a key adviser to Trump during his presidential campaign and transition and ended up in a top White House post, albeit briefly, has become a key figure in the probe into Russia s role in the presidential election and whether Russia had colluded with Trump s campaign.

Flynn appeared to be serving two masters, the incoming president and Turkey, for whom he had been a paid lobbyist. Washington was abuzz with speculation Thursday about his role, driven by a McClatchy report that as a Trump adviser Flynn had rejected [1]an Obama administration Syria war plan that was opposed by Turkey, whose interests Flynn later acknowledged he d been paid to represent. Flynn s work on Turkey s behalf at the same time he was Trump s principal foreign-policy adviser was not publicly known until March, when he belatedly filed as a foreign agent with the Justice Department nearly a month after he d left the Trump administration. But The New York Times reported Wednesday [2]that Flynn had told Trump s transition team that his Turkish connection was under federal investigation. Yet he still emerged as the newly sworn-in president s national security adviser.

[RELATED: Trump transition was told of Flynn s lobbying, congressman s letter to Pence shows[3]]

Trump fired Flynn 24 days later, only after it had become public that federal prosecutors had informed the White House not long after the new president s inauguration about Flynn s involvement with Russia and suggested he could subject to blackmail. The Russia investigation is now assured of remaining a mainstay of Washington political life for some time. With its dramatic twists and turns and evolving cast of characters, it is playing out like so many previous Washington editions of bad behavior except this one is focused on a character, Trump, whose willingness to undercut his aides messages via Twitter and other media is unlike previous presidents.

With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special counsel appointed! Trump tweeted Thursday. Yet, like his claim that former President Barack Obama had Trump Tower wiretapped during the campaign or that Trump had a tape of a dinner conversation he had with Comey, the president offered no proof.

Meanwhile, the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday asked the Justice Department and the FBI for documents, also requested by other congressional panels, that involve Trump s firing of Comey and any related memos. Comey apparently kept memos of his interactions with top officials and he reportedly wrote that during a conversation with Trump in February, the president said of the Flynn investigation, I hope you can let this go. [4]

Various lawmakers and legal experts have suggested that the comment could amount to obstruction of justice

House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, worked hard at a news conference Thursday to demonstrate that the Russia-gate hubbub was not preventing Congress from pushing forward on other fronts.

It s always nice to have less drama, Ryan said. But the point I m trying to make . . . people in the country need to know that we are busy at work trying to solve their problems.

David Lightman contributed to this story.

References

  1. ^ McClatchy report that as a Trump adviser Flynn had rejected (www.mcclatchydc.com)
  2. ^ The New York Times reported Wednesday (www.nytimes.com)
  3. ^ Trump transition was told of Flynn s lobbying, congressman s letter to Pence shows (www.mcclatchydc.com)
  4. ^ I hope you can let this go. (www.nytimes.com)
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