• Hemispheric securityRussia sends military planes to Venezuela

    Russia, a key ally of under-siege President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela, sent two planes with  military supplies and troops to shore up the Maduro regime. Russia had already sent two Tu-160 strategic bombers to Venezuela in December to support Maduro. Three months ago the two nations held military exercises in Venezuela.

  • Killer robotsChances of UN banning killer robots looking increasingly remote

    The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots warns chances of achieving a U.N. treaty banning the development, production and use of fully autonomous lethal weapons, also known as killer robots, are looking increasingly remote. Experts from some 80 countries are attending a weeklong meeting to discuss the prospect of negotiating an international treaty.

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  • Nuclear proliferationDetecting radioactive material remotely

    Physicists have developed a powerful new method to detect radioactive material. By using an infrared laser beam to induce a phenomenon known as an electron avalanche breakdown near the material, the new technique is able to detect shielded material from a distance. The method improves upon current technologies that require close proximity to the radioactive material.

  • Nuclear proliferationSecond edition of Nuclear Nonproliferation Textbook

    Brookhaven Lab has updated and published the second edition of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Textbook, originally published in 2013. The new release describes important changes that have since been implemented in the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) safeguards system for the peaceful use of nuclear energy and documents the IAEA’s verification role in Iran that began in 2015.

  • GunsMore mass shooting in states with permissive gun laws

    States with more permissive gun laws and greater gun ownership have higher rates of mass shootings, and a growing divide is emerging between states with restrictive versus permissive gun laws. According to a new study, researchers found that in most years permissive states had higher mass shooting rates compared to restrictive states.

  • FloodsHistoric, widespread flooding to continue through May

    Nearly two-thirds of the Lower 48 states face an elevated risk for flooding through May, with the potential for major or moderate flooding in 25 states, according to NOAA’s U.S. Spring Outlook issued today. The majority of the country is favored to experience above-average precipitation this spring, increasing the flood risk.

  • Rising seasRapidly melting tall ice-cliffs may trigger faster sea-level rise

    Glaciers that drain ice sheets such as Antarctica or Greenland often flow into the ocean, ending in near-vertical cliffs. As the glacier flows into the sea, chunks of the ice break off in calving events. Although much calving occurs when the ocean melts the front of the ice, and ice cliff above falls down, a new study presents another method of calving: slumping. And this process could break off much larger chunks of ice at a quicker rate.

  • Our picksHacking heart pacemakers; ISIS continuing threat; government cyber jobs, and more

    ·  Two gov notices point to vulnerabilities in devices for heart problems

    ·  Smart grids are essential to prevent old power infrastructure from holding back the US economy

    ·  The Midwest floods are going to get much, much worse

    ·  All ISIS has left is money. Lots of it.

    ·  The “caliphate” is dead, but Americans might not be any safer

    ·  China is spying on Israel to steal U.S. secrets

    ·  What students think of government cyber jobs

  • Breaking News: No Trump-Russia conspiracyAG: Muller did not find that Trump’s campaign “conspired with the Russian government” 2016 election interference effort

    On Saturday afternoon, Attorney General William Barr sent Congress his “principal conclusions” of the Mueller report. Barr quotes the Mueller report to say that “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” The Mueller report does not take a position on whether or not Trump engaged in obstruction of justice. Barr writes: “The Special Counsel… did not draw a conclusion — one way or the other — as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction.” The AG quotes the report to say that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

  • China syndromeDunford: Google’s work with China “challenges” U.S. military advantage

    The top U.S. military officer has called out U.S. technology giant Google for its artificial intelligence venture in China, saying it “creates a challenge” in maintaining a U.S. military advantage over the Chinese.

  • ExtremismAssessing the risk of violence by extremists

    A new directory has been assembled from frameworks that have been developed in recent years to assess aspects of extremist violence, a term used to encompass terrorist violence that is framed by ideology and targeted violence that is framed by idiosyncratic beliefs. A new CREST report published today provides detail on several frameworks that are used to assess risks of extremist violence.

  • Terrorists & social mediaSocial media create a spectacle society that makes it easier for terrorists to achieve notoriety

    By Stuart M. Bender

    The shocking mass-shooting in Christchurch last Friday is notable for using livestreaming video technology to broadcast horrific first-person footage of the shooting on social media. The use of social media technology and livestreaming marks the attack as different from many other terrorist incidents. It is a form of violent “performance crime.” That is, the video streaming is a central component of the violence itself, it’s not somehow incidental to the crime, or a disgusting trophy for the perpetrator to re-watch later. In an era of social media, which is driven in large part by spectacle, we all have a role to play in ensuring that terrorists aren’t rewarded for their crimes with our clicks.

  • TerrorismExploring how propaganda is used to recruit terrorists

    How do terrorists use propaganda to entice people to join their ranks? Which personality types are the most influenced by it and what types of messaging are most effective in countering these recruitment campaigns? A DOD-funded research hopes to stem recruitment of individuals to terrorist cells – particularly young people age 18 to 26, the most targeted demographic.

  • BiothreatsBiotechnology advances offer opportunities for actors with malicious intent

    Over the past decade, the biotechnology economy has experienced remarkable growth, resulting in the rapid expansion of biological knowledge and application. These advances create openings for actors with malicious intent to harness readily available tools and techniques to create biological threats or bioweapons.

  • Truth decay“It's not all about autism”: Analyzing a Facebook-fueled anti-vaccination attack

    Social media has given those espousing anti-vaccination sentiments an effective medium to spread their message. However, an analysis of a viral Facebook campaign against a Pittsburgh pediatric practice reveals that the movement isn’t “all about autism.” Instead, new research finds that anti-vaccination arguments center on four distinct themes that can appeal to diverse audiences.

  • GridModernize the energy grid software

    The grid is an intricate, highly complex system. One that has gotten even more complex with the increasing use of renewable energy resources like wind and solar. At some point, something will go wrong. A line will get cut. A generator will fail. There might be a hurricane or a cyberattack. How do you quickly correct for that failure to avoid a cascading blackout?

  • Energy securityOffshore wind energy potential not exploited by U.S. energy companies

    When it comes to wind energy, the United States is sitting on a gold mine, so to speak. It’s a moment of untapped potential that, if harnessed properly, could transform the way the U.S. uses energy, one expert says.

  • Our picksEscalation in cyberspace; secret weapon: immigrants; KKK-inspired sheriffs?, and more

    ·  What a U.S. operation against Russian trolls predicts about escalation in cyberspace

    ·  Secret weapon: Immigrants help America keep its technological edge

    ·  GoFundMe bans anti-vaxxers who raise money to spread misinformation

    ·  Inside the Energy Dept.’s new $96M Infrastructure-Security Office

    ·  International terrorism prosecutions during winter 2019

    ·  A group of sheriffs is refusing to enforce gun laws based on a 1960s constitutional theory from the KKK

    ·  HHS uses AI tools to help battle diseases

    ·  Facebook: hundreds of millions of passwords were stored in plaintext on internal networks

  • LockerbieFormer East German agents questioned in Lockerbie bombing probe

    Hundreds were killed when Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over the Scottish village of Lockerbie in December 1988. Libya later took responsibility and paid compensation to the victims’ families — and one of its secret agents spent eleven years in jail for the attack. Scottish and German investigators, acting on newly revealed information, are now looking onto the possibility that agents of STASI — East Germany’s secret police — were involved.

  • MassacresBosnian massacre survivors hail UN court ruling on Karadzic sentence

    Relatives of victims of the Srebrenica massacre have hailed a UN court decision that ordered Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic to serve the rest of his life in prison on genocide and war crimes charges. Karadzic was found guilty for his role in the July 1995 Srebrenica massacre of more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys by Bosnian Serb forces. It was the worst atrocity in Europe since World War II.

  • MassacresSatellite technology detects, and may prevent, genocide

    Many of the world’s worst human rights abuses, including genocides, occur in areas that are difficult to observe. “Smallsat” — short for small satellite — technology can detect human rights abuses and violations. The information collected by this technology provides evidence that can be used to corroborate refugee accounts of atrocities in international courts.

  • ExtremismCorbyn comments from 2011 lamenting creation of Israel due to “Zionist forces” surface

    The British Labour Party faced fresh accusations of anti-Semitism on Wednesday amid reports that leader Jeremy Corbyn accused Britain of “conceding to Zionist forces” in allowing the creation of the State of Israel.