• Iran’s nukesU.S. Ending Sanctions Waivers on Iran's Civilian Nuclear Program

    The United States has announced it will end sanctions waivers that allow Russian, Chinese, and European firms to carry out civilian nuclear cooperation with Iran, effectively scrapping the last remnants of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, a move dismissed by Tehran as “desperate.”

  • Iran’s nukesSnapback of Sanctions under the Terms of the Nuclear Deal Is Fully Justified Today

    By David Albright

    “If Iran today wants a serious discussion about sanctions relief, it should start by abandoning the key threat Tehran poses to international peace and security: its uranium enrichment program,” writes David Albright, a nuclear weapons expert and the president of the Institute for Science and International Security. “Instead, Iran holds its own people hostage over the deadly coronavirus outbreak in a cynical campaign for wholesale sanctions relief.” The willingness of Iran’s leadership to refuse epidemic aid and thus dramatically, and unnecessarily, increase the number of sick and dying Iranians; the willing of the leadership to intensify and deepen the severe economic deprivation and misery across the country – and do all that in order to grow an economically nonviable, menacing uranium enrichment program — “That alone should lead all to consider just what is the real purpose of Iran’s enrichment program,” Albright writes.

  • RulesAs States Reopen, Tensions Flare Between the Rule Followers and Rule Breakers

    By Michele Gelfand

    As countries reopen their economies, tensions escalate between those who believe it is safe now to resume normal business activity – and even ignore social distancing and the need to wear face masks – and those who prefer a more cautious, slower path toward something resembling pre-coronavirus life. These differences aren’t just random personality types; they reflect our primal social mindsets – what I call “tight” and “loose” mindsets. And unless these differences are better understood, it will be that much more difficult to navigate life under COVID-19.

  • Protective gearTaking a Cue from Nature to Create Bulletproof Coatings

    Shrimp, lobsters and mushrooms may not seem like great tools for the battlefield, but three engineers from the University of Houston are using chitin – a derivative of glucose found in the cellular walls of arthropods and fungi – and 3D printing techniques to produce high-impact multilayered coatings that can protect soldiers against bullets, lasers, toxic gas and other dangers.

  • DisastersDisaster Responders Grapple with Planning for Extreme Weather in the Time of COVID-19

    Last week the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted an above-normal 2020 hurricane season, with the possibility of three to six major hurricanes this summer looming over millions of Americans. In Michigan, record rainfall caused two dams to fail in quick succession, triggering an evacuation of over 10,000 nearby residents. In the time of COVID-19, crowding into an emergency shelter with thousands of others seems unsafe, if not impossible.

  • HurricanesThe USGS Prepares to Respond During the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season

    The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season starts1 June, and the U.S. Geological Survey says it is prepared to provide science that can help guide efforts to protect lives and property if a major storm makes landfall this season. USGS brings many capabilities to help communities deal with hurricanes: the ability to forecast coastal change; track storm surge, river and stream levels and flow; capture high-resolution ground elevation and topographic data; create detailed maps that can be used by disaster teams responding in the aftermath of storms; and measure coastal and inland flooding across entire regions.

  • PerspectiveFacebook Knew Its Algorithms Promoted Extremist Groups, but Did Nothing: Report

    A Facebook Inc. team had a blunt message for senior executives. The company’s algorithms weren’t bringing people together. They were driving people apart. “Our algorithms exploit the human brain’s attraction to divisiveness,” read a slide from a 2018 presentation. “If left unchecked,” it warned, Facebook would feed users “more and more divisive content in an effort to gain user attention & increase time on platform.” The Wall Street Journal reports that the main reason behind Facebook’s decision to do nothing was the fear that any content moderation measures would disproportionately affect right-wing pages, politicians, and other parts of the user base that drove up engagement. The company also wanted to stave off accusations of bias against conservative posters.

  • Our picksISIS Resurgence | Vaccination and Coronavirus | WhatsApp Alternative, and more

    ·  How China Is Planning to Win Back the World

    ·  Rubio Warns Fellow Republicans of Russian Disinformation amid Push to Probe Obama Officials

    ·  Feds Charge Ex-Venezuelan Politician with Recruiting Terrorists to Attack U.S. Interests

    ·  The Children Left Behind in West Africa’s Conflict-Torn Regions

    ·  Coronavirus Claims Life of Sweden’s Leading Terror Recruiter

    ·  ISIS Prisoners Threaten U.S. Mission in Northeastern Syria

    ·  Vaccination and Coronavirus: Where the Public Good Clashes with Choice and Freedom

    ·  Israeli Cyber Chief: Major Attack on Water Systems Thwarted

    ·  Deepfakes Are Going to Wreak Havoc on Society. We Are Not Prepared.

    ·  Is This New Signal Feature Enough to Make You Ditch WhatsApp?

  • China syndromeCanada-Detained Senior Huawei Executive a Step Closer to Being Extradited to U.S.

    A Canadian judge has rejected efforts by a senior Huawei executive to evade extradition to the United States to face a series of charges. Meng Wanzhou was arrested in December 2018 on a U.S. warrant while on a stopover at the Vancouver international airport. Meng is charged with lying to prospective investors by hiding the fact that Huawei was selling communication gear to Iran in breach of U.S. sanctions. The Canadian investors would have been legally and financially exposed to U.S. penalties because their investment in Huawei would have made them unwitting participants in breaching the sanctions.

  • ExtremismU.S. Domestic Islamist Extremism 2019

    There was a 50 percent increase in arrests and plots linked to domestic Islamist extremism in 2019, according to data released last week by ADL’s Center on Extremism. There were a total of 30 arrests linked to domestic Islamist extremism, nine of which were for terror plots. Of the nine individuals arrested for plotting attacks, seven were U.S. citizens. While there were no attacks or murders linked to domestic Islamist extremism last year, the findings indicate that Islamist extremism still poses a significant threat to the United States.

  • ExtremismGermany Sees Rise in Anti-Semitic, Political Crimes

    Germany saw a rise both far-right and far-left crimes in 2019, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer announced at a press conference in Berlin on Wednesday. The country’s police recorded just over 41,000 cases of politically motivated crime last year, representing a rise of 14.2 percent compared to 2018, when there were just over 36,000. “The biggest threat comes from the far-right, we have to see that clearly,” Seehofer said.

  • WildfiresWildfires New Algorithm Predicts the Difficulty in Fighting Fire

    When facing an uncontrolled fire blazing through hundreds of hectares, many questions arise that need urgent answers: Where should we start? What place presents less difficulty? What areas are already lost? How can we prioritize management tasks? Researchers have developed an algorithm which is able to respond to these questions and has turned mathematics into a real ally for firefighting.

  • FloodsRising Tide: Seeking Solutions to S.C.’s Mounting Nuisance Floods

    While a rising tide may lift all boats, it spells trouble for South Carolina coastal communities where flooding has already long been a fact of life. Low-lying areas such as the state’s more than 2,000 miles of coastline are increasingly prone to floods and storm surge as sea levels rise — driven by a more variable global climate system. Researchers are examining green solutions to help those communities fight back.

  • Climate crisisApril 2020 Was Earth’s 2nd Hottest April on Record

    Global warming is continuing unabated, with April becoming the third month in a row to rank second-hottest on record for the globe — after the year kicked off with the hottest January ever recorded in 141 years of record-keeping. The average global temperature in April was 1.91 degrees F (1.06 degrees C) above the 20th-century average.

  • PerspectiveMapping the China Debate

    The debate over U.S. foreign policy toward China is often reduced into the usual hawk-versus-dove metaphor. Hawks see U.S.-China great power competition as requiring a more aggressive posture, while doves worry about the downsides of an adversarial relationship. Ganesh Sitaraman writes that this dualist frame glosses over the fact that neither camp has a shared set of views. Rather, both hawks and doves contain a variety of subgroups—and some subgroups disagree with others on critical policy questions. “But without tractable categories for analysis, the debate over policy toward China is too often imprecise and confusing.”

  • Our picksSelf-Screening at Airports | Hackers' Pivot to Medical Espionage | Pandemic & WWIII, and more

    ·  How the Pandemic Is Helping the Military Prep for World War III

    ·  COVID-19 Infodemic: EU Grapples with Conspiracies

    ·  TSA Considers Temperature Screening, Thermal Imaging

    ·  Passenger Self Screening Systems for Aviation Checkpoint

    ·  DHS’s Cyber Division Has Stepped Up Protections for Coronavirus Research, Official Says

    ·  Defense Department Cuts Funding for Border Wall Section in Yuma

    ·  How 9/11 Changes the Way the Federal Government Manages Crises

    ·  Lessons from Operation “Denver,” the KGB’s Massive AIDS Disinformation Campaign

    ·  Hurricanes and Other Extreme Weather Disasters Prompt Some People to Move and Trap Others in Place

    ·  Inside Hackers’ Pivot to Medical Espionage

  • TerrorismIS Returnees Should Be Charged with War Crimes: EU Agency

    More than 13,000 citizens of European countries traveled to Syria and Iraq to join, fight, or work with ISIS. In addition to former fighters, this figure includes women and children. A new report from an EU-backed genocide investigation body says that adding war crimes and genocide to terrorism charges for IS fighters returning to the EU will lead to tougher sentences and “more justice” for victims.

  • TerrorismHow the Coronavirus Increases Terrorism Threats in the Developing World

    By Nisha Bellinger and Kyle Kattelman

    As the coronavirus reaches developing countries in Africa and Asia, the pandemic will have effects beyond public health and economic activity. As the disease wreaks its havoc in areas poorly equipped to handle its spread, terrorism likely will increase there as well.

  • CrimeAs Crime Dips Worldwide, Agile Syndicates Adapt to Pandemic

    By Jamie Dettmer

    Countries around the world are reporting a dip in criminal activity. Due to stay-at-home orders and fewer opportunities for crime, there has been a noticeable decline in burglary, assault, murder, robbery and grand larceny. But law enforcement officials and analysts say a second look reveals a more complicated and disturbing picture. Cybercrime has exploded, with mounting reports of an increase in ransomware attacks. Headline crime may have dropped, and the statistics may have improved, but analysts say that as the pandemic reorders geopolitics and economics, it is doing the same in the world of crime.

  • Countering counterfeitsHigh-Security Identification that Cannot Be Counterfeited

    High-security identification should be exceptionally resistant to counterfeiting. Unfortunately, identity thieves eventually learn how to duplicate even highly complex patterns. The only way to permanently defeat identity thieves is to create a pattern that is impossible to duplicate.

  • ResilienceNeeded: A New Approach to U.K. Resilience

    Experts are calling for a new approach to U.K. resilience. They believe that as well as lessons learnt from the response to COVID-19 there is a much wider lesson to be learnt about how the U.K. identifies, prepares and responds to threats and risks, such as to our safety, our national security and from climate change.

  • ResilienceHurricanes: From Resilience to Adaptation

    Natural disasters are getting worse. According to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration the years 2016, 2017 and 2018 have been historic: in each of those years, the average number of disasters costing at least $1 billion was more than double the long-term average. As the number and cost of disasters continue to increase, communities are looking for ways to adapt and become more resilient.