January 4, 2010
Posted: 1727 GMT
Hello everyone and welcome to the first IDesk note of 2010!
Topping our show today: the continuing fallout from that attempted Christmas day attack on an American airliner. Yemen is again in the spotlight today, as a third Western embassy – France – joins the United States and Britain in closing operation in the country.
There are real fears from embassy staff that threats against Western targets are putting employee lives at risk and they're not taking any chances.
The suspect in the botched bombing of a US airliner spent several months in Yemen in the time preceding the attack. We will look into what investigators say about how much of a threat Al Qaeda networks in that country really are.
Also today, we will look at new security directives issued to airports around the world for all travelers flying to the United States. There is a separate list of 14 countries, including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, that are required to perform "enhanced security" screenings of all travelers.
But there are already reports that airports are not following the new American guidelines. Critics are already blasting the new, backward-looking measures. Wouldn't a terrorist just fly out of another airport? And, weren't all major terrorist attacks launched – including 9-11 – out of Western airports, not on that list?
And will airport screeners actually perform the kind of pat-down that would catch a man with an underwear bomb?
We'll ask all the questions for you with our team of reporters and special guests throughout the hour.
We'll take you to Dubai, the tiny emirate with the giant debt crisis, where authorities have just unveiled the world's tallest skyscraper, the Burj Khalifa. Will this new over-the-top (literally) project bring more enthusiasm to the Dubai real estate industry, whose bubble burst so spectacularly a few moths ago?
We are also live in Baghdad, Islamabad and Kabul for the latest.
And will have your sports, business and weather headlines, as always.
See you at the IDesk!
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