Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III’s Call With Norwegian Minister of Defence Frank Bakke-Jensen
Pentagon: Press Secretary John Kirby
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III spoke by phone today with his Norwegian counterpart, Minister of Defence Frank Bakke-Jensen, to reaffirm the strategic defense relationship between the United States and Norway.
Secretary Austin thanked Minister Bakke-Jensen for hosting rotational U.S. Marines for cold weather training and underscored the importance of continued training, operations, and cooperation in the High North. Notably, the U.S. recently announced that it would deploy a B-1 Lancer Bomber squadron for Bomber Task Force missions out of Ørland Air Base to improve interoperability with our allies and partners in the High North and across Europe.
Minister Bakke-Jensen congratulated Secretary Austin on his new position and expressed appreciation for our long-standing military cooperation and shared values.
Secretary Austin and Minister Bakke-Jensen agreed to meeting in person at the earliest opportunity but noted they looked forward to speaking at the upcoming NATO Defense Ministerial.
Valentine’s Day Flowers Insect-Free
US Customs and Border Protection: Press Release
NEW YORK, NY (February 10, 2021) – Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Agriculture Specialists, working at the New York/New Jersey area ports of entry, are busy making sure that imported flowers used in Valentine’s Day bouquets are free from insects, pests, and diseases that could harm the agricultural and floral industries throughout the United States.
“Valentine’s Day flowers can be a lovely present for that special someone, however they can carry pests that could cause serious damage to our Nation’s agriculture and natural resources,” said New York Field Operations Acting Director, Marty Raybon. “This is why our CBP Agriculture Specialists are poised every holiday season to prevent the introduction of harmful insects and diseases in the United States.”
So far in Fiscal Year (FY) 2021, leading up to Valentine’s Day, CBP Agriculture Specialists in New York processed approximately 30,000,000 cut flowers from more than 54 countries, consisting of various types of flowers, such as jasmine, tuberose, roses, tulips, and orchids.
(The chart below show the numbers of stem-cut flowers inspected by CBP Agriculture Specialists at each port under the direction of the New York Field Office for FY2021, which began on October 1, 2020.)
At international ports of entry, land borders, and mail facilities, CBP Agriculture Specialists are the front line in the fight against the introduction of harmful insects, pests, and diseases into the United States.
Philadelphia CBP Discovers Five Unemployment Debit Cards on Passenger Returning from Jamaica
PHILADELPHIA – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers discovered five unemployment benefit cards bearing other beneficiaries’ names in the possession of a traveler returning from Jamaica at Philadelphia International Airport on Wednesday.
CBP is not releasing the man’s name because he was not criminally charged. An investigation continues.
CBP officers selected the traveler, a 29-year-old U.S. citizen, for a secondary examination after he arrived on a flight from Montego Bay, Jamaica. During the examination, the traveler extracted five Visa Debit cards from his jeans pocket. Officers realized that all five cards displayed names different than the traveler’s name. The traveler was uncooperative and alleged he found the cards on the ground in Philadelphia.
CBP officers contacted the bank listed on the Visa debit cards and learned that the cards were unemployment benefit cards. Three cards held balances, but had not yet been activated. CBP officers detained all five cards.
“Financial fraud and theft takes many forms, but they all have one thing in common – it causes severe hardship to its victims. The theft of the financial benefits from these cards is especially painful during this pandemic with many people struggling to pay bills and feed their families,” said Keith Fleming, Acting Director of Field Operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office. “This is an instance where our border security mission helped our State partners identify and prevent financial crimes and other illicit enterprises that are taking place in our communities.”
CBP officers from the Office of Field Operations conducts the agency’s border security mission at our nation’s ports of entry. CBP officers screen international travelers and cargo and search for dangerous drugs, unreported currency, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, prohibited agriculture, and other illicit products that could potentially harm the American public, U.S. businesses, and our nation’s safety and economic vitality. Learn what CBP accomplished during “A Typical Day” in 2019.
President Biden To Announce Creation of a PEntagon Review of National Security
“President Biden is expected Wednesday to announce the creation of a Pentagon review of the national security aspects of the administration’s China strategy as part of a broader administration effort to determine its approach to countering Beijing, administration officials said.” WSJ
Unconstitutional Impeachment Trial of President Donald J. Trump
Pursuant to the US Constitution only a sitting US President can be impeached.
The Impeachment Managers intent is to use more videotapes and personal tweets of private citizens “and lean away from in-person arguments — amounts to a tacit acknowledgment that the lawyers Trump has enlisted to defend him during his second impeachment trial are failing to inspire confidence. Among the tape Trump’s team is now scrambling to assemble are clips of Democrats who also lost elections but declined to immediately concede.”