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Port security legislation still looms after Dubai company withdrawal from deal

[JURIST] New legislation aimed at improving security at American ports remained very much on the policy agenda of Republican and Democratic lawmakers Friday even in the wake of an announcement [JURIST report] from United Arab Emirates-owned Dubai Ports World [corporate website], read out by Sen. John Warner on the Senate floor Thursday, that it would transfer its newly-acquired operating rights over six US ports to a US firm, effectively avoiding further political controversy [JURIST new archive] and a legislative confrontation [JURIST report] between the Congress and President Bush. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told reporters that "The problem of the political moment has passed, but the problem of adequate port security still looms large," while Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) noted in a press statement that "There are gaping holes in cargo and port security that need to be plugged." AP has more.

Meanwhile TIME magazine has reported that another Dubai-owned firm - Inchcape Shipping Services [corporate website] - provides piloting, tug and stevedoring services in 12 US ports as well as security services to the US Navy.

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