Morning Security Brief: Food Allergy Liability, Algerian Hostage Crisis Update, Pharmacy Bait Bottles, and More

By Carlton Purvis

►Restaurants may soon be held accountable for when they ignore a person’s special request because of food allergies under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass., settled with the Justice Department last month and after students complained about the lack of gluten-free foods on campus. The agreement says that severe food allergies could constitute a disability under the ADA. “Under the Justice Department agreement, Lesley University says it will not only provide gluten-free options in its dining hall but also allow students to pre-order, provide a dedicated space for storage and preparation to avoid cross-contamination, train staff about food allergies and pay a $50,000 cash settlement to the affected students,” the Associated Press reports.

►The Algerian hostage crisis may be winding down. Sources tell AFP that the Amenas gas site has been secured and Algerian security forces have surrounded the remaining hostage takers. After a well-coordinated attack by members of Mokhtar Belmokhtar, an al Qaeda affiliate, on Wednesday, the group took an unknown number of hostages. Reuters says that 30 hostages and 11 of their captors were killed when Algerian troops attacked them. Around 60 hostages are unaccounted for.

►New York wants pharmacies to hide fake pill bottles fitted with GPS among their inventory to catch people stealing prescription medicines, especially painkillers. “A bait bottle looks like a sealed prescription bottle and is designed to even sound like one when shaken … But instead of tablets, it has a device that begins emitting a signal as soon as it's removed from its own special base,” the Associated Press reports. The NYPD will be making visits to the city’s 1,800 pharmacies to suggest additional security measures.

►In other news, a new report says from 2004 to 2010 at least 11 CDC workers were infected with dangerous pathogens while working. None died, however. ♦ Spouses and children of vets with PTSD are starting to show the same symptoms. ♦ And a new phishing attack makes it look like you’re logging in to Google, but it’s really stealing your credentials.


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