NEW YORK -- While much of the government's and the public's attention is focused on the security of commercial airlines and the threat of another terrorist attack, observers of the shipping trade are concerned that there's a major vulnerability in...
NEW YORK--While much of the government's and the public's attention is focused on the security of commercial airlines and the threat of another terrorist attack, observers of the shipping trade are concerned that there's a major vulnerability in the nation's security system that's getting little attention: cargo containers.There are about 11 million cargo containers that enter the U.S. from abroad each year, and the government has little way of knowing whether one of the 40-foot boxes is being used to smuggle weapons or terrorists, according to speakers at a conference held in New York last month by the American Association of Exporters and Importers.On Monday, the Department of Transportation said it would grant $92.3 million to 51 U.S. ports to improve security."Protecting seaports and port facilities against the threat of terrorism is imperative," said Transportation Secretary Nor-man Mineta.Steven Flynn, a retired Coast Guard official and current senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, said a terrorist organization that wanted to smuggle a weapon of mass destruction into the U.S. could do so with relative ease by buying a small foreign company with a history of exporting goods to the U.S. and hiding the weapon inside a container used for regular shipments."We still continue to have literally no credible way to sort out the bad and the good among the people and goods that cross our borders," he said. The U.S. Customs system was built for efficient importing and exporting, he added, but "we're struggling to come up with means to make it secure."Richard Biter, acting director of the office of intermodal transportation at the Transportation Department acknowledged, "We need to get a better handle on what is going on right now."Speakers at the conference, held May 20-21 at the Marriott Marquis in Manhattan, suggested one important step in improving cargo security would be to mandate electronic seals on containers that could inform authorities when a container is opened, possibly verify the contents of the container and be used as a tracking device.Biter noted that the transportation industry currently tracks not the containers that carry goods, but the vehicles those containers are being transported on--boats, trains and trucks. That leaves open the possibility of shipments being tampered with or containers with consumer products being switched with ones that contain terrorist materiel."Our heads are still in the sand on this," said Flynn, of the council, who argued that the limits of current cargo security pose a danger not just of physical attack, but are a vulnerability to the whole U.S. economy.He said the government's response to cargo security in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, closing the ports, amounted to "an economic blockage of our own economy," and suggested that response couldn't be used repeatedly without serious economic repercussions."Standing down our surface and maritime transportation system is an order of magnitude greater challenge," than shutting down the airlines--as was done for several days following Sept. 11, he said.The government needs to come up with a way of knowing when a container has been loaded with dangerous materials or tampered with so that it can respond effectively to threat reports, he said."When we have an incident--and we will have an incident--then we need to show that what happened is we have had a correctable breach of security, not an absence of security," he said. "If it's a breach of security, then we will pause the system and then turn it back on."Otherwise, there is a danger of public panic, he added.Biter of the DOT suggested the government also needs to work with foreign trading partners to insure greater levels of security screening at overseas ports."We need to deploy detection equipment as close to the point of origin as possible," he said. "If it's coming into the U.S. ports, and we're talking about a weapon of mass destruction, then it's too late."
There'll be no rest for those headed to Europe for men's, as Paris just closed the gap with Milan. According to a provisional calendar released by the Chambre Syndicale, Paris Men's Week will now open a day earlier on January 16. See new highlights on the official lineup on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
BREAKING: Jonathan Saunders is leaving @DVF. The designer has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday. At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director. The British designer joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories. #wwdnews
For @versace_official’s spring ad campaign, the brand emphasized the archival prints from the spring tribute collection dedicated to the late Gianni Versace. Closing out the show were five of Gianni’s favorite models: Cindy, Naomi, Carla, Helena, and Claudia. Bowing on December 18, the new campaign is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by @iamnaomicampbell, @cturlington, @gisele and more. #wwdfashion
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has been waiting 20 years to play Gloria Graham in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which will be released on December 29. The movie about Graham – a Hollywood star known for her controversial relationship with a younger Englishman named Peter Turner – is based off a memoir Turned wrote. "She felt vulnerable to him, because she loved him, she really did love him. And anyone that we really truly are in love with, we re vulnerable to in a very deep way," said Bening. Read our full interview with the modern icon of an actress on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @ninebagatelles; Styled by @cristinaehrlich)
The crisp white button down: a staple that can be dressed up or down and accessorized throughout the decades. Here, on a Art Basel-goer in 2017 on the left and on the iconic Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” in 1953 on the right. #tbt #wwdfashion (📷: Andrew Morales)
Known for her work with @victoriassecret, 25-year-old model @georgiafowler is raising her profile in Hollywood. Fowler stars in @vincecamuto’s holiday campaign, which launched in partnership with “Pitch Perfect 3.” “Almost every shoot with Vince Camuto, I’ve had to face a fear…It was definitely a challenge. I’m so grateful for it, though. I’ve always wanted to be a pop star, so that was the perfect chance,” Fowler said. Head to WWD.com to read about Fowler’s experience modeling, including at the #VSFashionShow, and her relationship with Nick Jonas. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
EXCLUSIVE: Huda Kattan just became the first beauty influencer to land a major beauty deal. Kattan's business, @hudabeauty, has received a minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. The brand, which industry sources say is on track to do $200 million in retail sales for 2017, will receive support on product, retail and geographic expansion through the deal. Get all the details on the deal and read @_a_collins' interview with Kattan on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Peruvian model @juanaburga_official – who is known for walking the runways of @rodarte, @viviennewestwood and @torybuch – is making the move to the big screen with drama “Los Últimos.” The film premiered in Argentina in November and arrives in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. On making the switch from modeling to acting, Burga told WWD: “It’s a completely different thing – a lot of people think it’s similar or try to connect things, especially like getting used to the camera or being looked at all the time or playing these different characrers, but film is a completely different story.” #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)