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by CSO Contributor

Suicide Attacks in Israel Could Stop; The Ultimate Security Solution; Toronto SARS Battle Continues; Whered That Beef Come From?

May 29, 20033 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Suicide Attacks in Israel Could Stop

According to an AP report in todays Mercury News, Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas said the Islamic militant group Hamas could agree as early as next week to halt deadly attacks on Israelis, and the leader of a second militant group, Islamic Jihad, said Thursday the organization had offered to stop attacks on Israeli civilians, but that it depended on a return promise from Israel to halt military operations against Palestinians. These actions dont go as far as Israel’s demand that Abbas arrest and disarm militants, and the issue will probably be central to summit between Abbas and his Israeli counterpart Ariel Sharon. The meeting today is their second summit in two weeks to discuss the three-phase, three-year blueprint for ending the bloodshed and creating a Palestinian state. The meeting was turning into a preparatory session for the summit with President Bush next week.The Ultimate Security SolutionSunday Times (a daily), comments wryly on Microsoft’s latest IP Security software update for Windows XP. The update, launched this week, was hurriedly withdrawn after it completely switched off Internet connections for some of the 600,000 users who downloaded and installed it. It must be said, Tracy Burrows writes, the update certainly achieved its aimit made PCs secure. Ironically, the latest glitch occurred just as U.S. cybersecurity experts are debating whether the IT industry should be responsible for checking the reliability and security of its updates.

A columnist in South Africas

Toronto SARS Battle Continues Toronto Star, nurses are disappointed that danger pay for nurses working in hospital SARS units is not part of that spending. The quarantine net cast by SARS widened earlier this week and caught up thousands of health-care workers, patients and visitors to four Toronto hospitals as public health officials scrambled to limit any further possible spread of the mystery virus. Another story in the Star reports that public health officials are dealing with eight probable new cases and 26 suspected cases. North York General Hospital, the centre of the latest outbreak, is now effectively closed after suspending all services at three of its sites. Visitors and patients who were at the hospital between April 19 and May 12 have been told to isolate themselves if they have symptoms of SARS, such as a fever and cough. Visitors and patients who were at the hospital between May 13 and 23 are being asked to go into voluntary, 10-day quarantine. The site offers extensive SARS coverage.

Ontario is spending another $320 million on health-related severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) costs, bringing the province’s total bill up to $848 million. According to todays

Whered That Beef Come From?Orlando Sentinel. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s country-of-origin law will mandate labeling of meats as well as fruits and vegetables and give consumers more choice, the Sentinel quotes Ray Gilmer, a spokesman for the Orlando-based Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association. But the language of the labeling regulations have not been drafted, and heavyweight opponents have lined up to point out how they may be hurt, from Florida’s largest supermarkets to Tyson Foods, the big meat producer. The law takes effect Sept. 30, 2004.

The case of mad-cow disease in Canada has given new ammunition to U.S. supporters of a national food-origin labeling law, according to a story in todays