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Senate panel to consider port security bill

[JURIST] The US Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee [official website] will vote in April on legislation [S. 2008 text] to improve port security at American ports, according to committee chair Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) [official website]. Collins hopes that the recent controversy over the purchase of control of several major US ports [JURIST report] by Dubai-based DP World [corporate website] will encourage passage of the bill. The bill was written last year by Collins and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and is supported by Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT), ranking Democrat on the Senate Committee. The bill would authorize $835 million per year for five years to improve port security, would create an office of cargo security policy and would require more stringent examination of inbound cargo. The bill would also call for creation of an emergency plan in event of a terrorist attack upon US ports. There is no current plan.

DP World's purchase of terminal operations from British company P&O [corporate website] moved forward Monday after British courts rejected objections [JURIST report] by Miami firm Eller & Co. P&O has announced that the takeover will become effective on Thursday [press release, PDF]. Amy Fagan of the Washington Times has more.

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