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Stepping Up Security

Increased security measures will be in place today when Afghan President Hamid Karzai addresses a joint meeting of Congress, according to a memorandum issued Monday by House Sergeant-at-Arms Bill Livingood.

[IMGCAP(1)]“Due to increased security requirements, additional measures will be in place for the Joint Meeting,” Livingood wrote in a “Dear Colleague” letter issued to lawmakers.

The security measures are similar to precautions taken during previous joint sessions, which have included visits from British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former Spanish President Jose Maria Aznar.

Public and staff-led tours will be suspended from 9 a.m. until approximately 10:30 a.m. Tours conducted by Members of Congress, however, will not be affected.

Additionally, tickets will be required for access to the House galleries, which will open at 8 a.m. Members were scheduled to receive tickets Monday.

Healthy Choice. In an effort to promote Men’s Health Awareness Week, Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Rep. Duke Cunningham (R-Calif.) are inviting fellow male Members and staffers to participate in free health screenings taking place today, Wednesday and Thursday around Capitol Hill.

Participants will receive screenings for prostate cancer, blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and body fat and learn why it’s important for men and boys to get annual check-ups to detect and prevent disease.

Screenings for House Members and their staffers will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today and Wednesday in Rayburn B-344. Check-ups for the Senate side will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday in Hart 124. Crapo and Cunningham will hold a press conference today along with members of the Men’s Health Network and Pfizer Inc. to discuss men’s health issues.

Road Work. Reps. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.), Steven LaTourette (R-Ohio) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) will officially launch the Congressional Caucus on Global Road Safety at a noon luncheon in the Capitol today.

Concerned about growing road safety problems and traffic injuries that claim nearly 1.2 million lives a year, caucus members are hoping to educate lawmakers and staffers on traffic safety and raise the profile of this issue around the globe.

“As one of the world’s leading causes of death … I believe it is vitally important that this issue be addressed at the highest levels of government,” Wexler said in a statement. “It is imperative that the United States Congress and the Bush Administration take immediate action to raise public awareness of this issue so fewer deaths and injuries from traffic-related accidents occur worldwide.”

— Jennifer Yachnin and John McArdle

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