Nov 23, 2018

Police turn to "explosive odor-pursuit dogs” to stop suicide bomber

A police dog in training. Photo: Philippe Huguen/AFP via Getty Images

A new type of police dog — "explosive odor-pursuit dogs” — are trained to pick up the scent of a bomb hundreds of feet away and then lead their handlers to the source, the N.Y. Times' Ashley Southall reports:

How it works: The dogs "are asked to intercept suicide bombers and other terrorists before they reach targets like concerts, parades and sporting events."

The odor-pursuit dogs, which cost about $50,000 each, "are drawn from pointy-eared breeds like German shepherds and Belgian Malinois, whose traits dovetail with the job. They can pick up scents at longer ranges than other police dogs, and will start a search without waiting for their handlers’ directions."

  • "The handlers give them commands in Dutch, Czech and Slovak, in a nod to their origins: The dogs are bred in the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Slovakia."
  • "The new dogs have a longer range of smell than ... Vapor Wake dogs, which detect the smell of explosives on people near them. Those dogs are primarily Labradors, whose friendly nature allows them to work in crowds."

Go deeper

Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

Trump with Barr and Meadows outside St. John's Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

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The president vs. the Pentagon

Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.

New York Times says Tom Cotton op-ed did not meet standards

Photo: Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A New York Times spokesperson said in a statement Thursday that the paper will be changing its editorial board processes after a Wednesday op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), which called for President Trump to "send in the troops" in order to quell violent protests, failed to meet its standards.

Why it matters: The shift comes after Times employees began a coordinated movement on social media on Wednesday and Thursday that argued that publishing the op-ed put black staff in danger. Cotton wrote that Trump should invoke the Insurrection Act in order to deploy the U.S. military against rioters that have overwhelmed police forces in cities across the country.