• U.S.-MexicoMexicans worry Trump's deportation plan will see refugee camps emerge along border

    There are growing worries in Mexico that Trump’s aggressive deportation scheme would lead to refugee camps popping up along the U.S.-Mexico border. Trumps plan called for an immediate start of deportation to Mexico not only of Mexicans – but of all Latin Americans and others who crossed into the United States illegally through Mexico. Earlier U.S. policy called for deportation to Mexico only of Mexican citizens, while “OTMs” – Other Than Mexicans – were flown back to their home countries.

  • Domestic terrorismThreats of violent Islamist and far-right extremism: What does the research say?

    By William Parkin, Brent Klein, Jeff Gruenewald, Joshua D. Freilich, and Steven Chermak

    The 9/11 attacks were perpetrated by Islamist extremists, resulting in nearly 18 times more deaths than America’s second most devastating terrorist attack – the Oklahoma City bombing. More than any other terrorist event in U.S. history, 9/11 drives Americans’ perspectives on who and what ideologies are associated with violent extremism. But focusing solely on Islamist extremism when investigating, researching and developing counterterrorism policies goes against what the numbers tell us. Far-right extremism also poses a significant threat to the lives and well-being of Americans. This risk is often ignored or underestimated because of the devastating impact of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.It remains imperative to support policies, programs, and research aimed at countering all forms of violent extremism.

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  • CybersecurityA computer’s blinking light could transmit data

    A desktop computer’s tiny blinking LED light would hardly arouse the suspicions of anyone working in an office after hours. However, that LED could be silently winking out an optical stream of the computer’s secrets to a data-stealing drone.

  • CybersecurityCybersecurity degree approved for Kennesaw State

    The cybersecurity field in the U.S. will need an additional 1.5 million workers by the year 2020. The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia on Tuesday approved an online Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity at Kennesaw State University. The cybersecurity major includes elements of information technology, information security and assurance, and criminal justice, giving students a combination of technical knowledge and information security management skills.

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  • ZikaDevice rapidly, accurately, inexpensively detects Zika virus at airports, other sites

    About the size of a tablet, a portable device that could be used in a host of environments like a busy airport or even a remote location in South America, may hold the key to detecting the dreaded Zika virus accurately, rapidly and inexpensively using just a saliva sample. While scientists across the world are scrambling to find some sort of immunization, researchers are working to develop a diagnostic tool to reduce the impact of the outbreak until a vaccine is identified.

  • FloodsOver time, nuisance flooding can cost more than extreme, infrequent events

    Global climate change is being felt in many coastal communities of the United States, not always in the form of big weather disasters but as a steady drip, drip, drip of nuisance flooding. Rising sea levels will cause these smaller events to become increasingly frequent in the future, and the cumulative effect will be comparable to extreme events such as Hurricane Katrina or Superstorm Sandy.

  • Water securitySnow science in support of U.S. water supply

    More than one-sixth of the world’s population relies on seasonal snow for water. In the western U.S., nearly three-quarters of the annual streamflow that provides the water supply arrives as spring and summer melt from the mountain snow packs. Right now, predictions of streamflow can vary widely due to limited ground measurement sites. This is one of the reasons scientists and resource managers are interested in a comprehensive view from space of what they call snow-water equivalent — the amount of liquid water contained in snow cover. Scientists use snow-water equivalent to estimate the amount of water that will melt into mountain streams, rivers and reservoirs.

  • Emerging threatsNew climate model predicts likelihood of Greenland ice melt, sea level rise, dangerous temperatures

    A new computer model of accumulated carbon emissions predicts the likelihood of crossing several dangerous climate change thresholds. These include global temperature rise sufficient to lose the Greenland Ice Sheet and generate seven meters of long-term sea level rise, or tropical region warming to a level that is deadly to humans and other mammals.

  • Border securitySupreme Court considering case of Mexican boy killed by Border Patrol agent shooting across border

    The Supreme Court appears to be evenly divided about the question of whether the Mexican parents of a teenager who was shot dead by a Border Patrol officer could use American courts to sue the Border Patrol agent who fired across the U.S.-Mexican border and killed their son. Lower courts dismissed the parents’ lawsuit – but the Supreme Court has taken up the case in order to determine whether non-citizens who are injured or killed outside the United States — by actions of an American from inside the United States — can pursue their case in American courts.

  • GunsAssault weapons not protected by Second Amendment: U.S. appeals court

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth circuit ruled 10-4 to uphold Maryland’s ban on assault weapons, ruling that assault weapons are not protected under the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. “Put simply, we have no power to extend Second Amendment protection to the weapons of war,” Judge Robert King wrote. “Both before and after Newtown, similar military-style rifles and detachable magazines have been used to perpetrate mass shootings in places whose names have become synonymous with the slaughters that occurred there,” he wrote.

  • ISISLoss of territory contributes to significant drop in ISIS funding

    Islamic State’s income has more than halved since 2014, due to its shrinking territory in Syria and Iraq and subsequent losses of significant sources of revenue, according to a new study. Whilst it is impossible to say exactly how much money Islamic State has at its disposal, findings show that the most significant sources of revenue are closely tied to the territory it controls. Most recent evidence suggests that total income from taxes/extortion, oil, kidnapping, antiquities, looting, and confiscations has decreased from up to $2 billion in 2014 to less than $800 million in 2016. There is also no evidence that the group has been successful in creating new sources of revenue.

  • ImmigrationTrump administration directs Border Patrol, ICE to expand deportations

    By Julián Aguilar

    The Trump administration on Tuesday moved one step closer to implementing the president’s plans to aggressively rid the country of undocumented immigrants and expand local police-based enforcement of border security operations.

  • How governments and companies can prevent the next insider attack

    By Matthew Bunn and Scott D. Sagan

    Insider threats could take many forms, such as the next Edward Snowden, who leaked hundreds of thousands of secret documents to the press, or the next Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood mass killer. Indeed, in today’s high-tech and hyperconnected world, threats from insiders go far beyond leakers and lone-wolf shooters. A single insider might be able to help adversaries steal nuclear material that terrorists could use to make a crude nuclear bomb, install malware that could compromise millions of accounts or sabotage a toxic chemical facility to cause thousands of deaths. How can we better protect against the enemy within, no matter what it is that needs to be protected? In our high-tech society, the insider threat is ever-present. High-security organizations, governments and companies alike need to take action to counter the organizational and cognitive biases that often blind us to the insider danger – or future blunders will condemn us to more disasters.

  • Trade securityPreferential trade agreements bolster global trade at the expense of its resilience

    The global commodity trade is a complex system where its network structure, which may arise from bilateral and multilateral agreements, affects its growth and resilience. At time of economic shocks, redundancy in this system is vital to the resilience of growth.

  • Public healthContact tracing, targeted insecticide spraying can curb dengue outbreaks

    Contact tracing — a process of identifying everyone who has come into contact with those infected by a particular disease — combined with targeted, indoor spraying of insecticide can greatly reduce the spread of the mosquito-borne dengue virus. The new approach of using contact tracing to identify houses for targeted insecticide spraying was between 86 and 96 percent effective in controlling dengue fever during the Cairns outbreak. By comparison, vaccines for the dengue virus are only 30 to 70 percent effective, depending on the type of virus — or serotype — involved.

  • STEM educationIncreasing awareness of engineering technology as a field of study, employment

    In 2014, there were nearly 94,000 four-year engineering degrees, nearly 18,000 four-year ET degrees, and more than 34,000 two-year ET degrees awarded in the United States. While workers in the engineering technology (ET) field play an important role in supporting U.S. technical infrastructure and the country’s capacity for innovation, there is little awareness of ET as a field of study or category of employment in the U.S., says a new report from the National Academy of Engineering.

  • DeportationsDetails of Trump’s policy of massive deportations emerge

    A couple of memos signed by DHS secretary John Kelly late last week offer details of the administration’s plans for what both current and former government officials describe as a massive roundup of undocumented immigrants. Immigration experts note that many of the ideas in Kelly’s two memos are already part of a bill passed by Congress in 1996 — but which policy makers from both parties, law enforcement agencies, and ICE officials disregarded because they considered these clauses in the bill as either unenforceable or absurd. The Kelly plan calls for hundreds of thousands of illegal border crossers who are not Mexicans  — they are Guatemalans, Hondurans, Salvadorans, Brazilians, Ecuadorans, and Haitians – to be forced back into Mexico, and those among them who wish to apply for asylum in the United States would do so via videoconference calls with U.S. immigration officials from facilities in Mexico.

  • BioterrorismTerrorists could kill 30 million people within a year using bioweapons: Bill Gates

    Bill Gates, in a speech at the Munich Security Conference, compared the dangers to nuclear war and bioterrorism. “The next epidemic could originate on the computer screen of a terrorist intent on using genetic engineering to create a synthetic version of the smallpox virus, or a super contagious and deadly strain of the flu,” he said. “Whether it occurs by a quirk of nature or at the hand of a terrorist, epidemiologists say a fast-moving airborne pathogen could kill more than thirty million people in less than a year.”

  • Arms salesIncrease in arms transfers driven by demand in the Middle East, Asia

    The volume of international transfers of major weapons has grown continuously since 2004 and increased by 8.4 percent between 2007–11 and 2012–16, according to new data on arms transfers published today by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Notably, transfers of major weapons in 2012–16 reached their highest volume for any five-year period since the end of the cold war.

  • HezbollahLebanese media: Hezbollah given “game-changing” Iranian arms, has tunnels on Israeli border

    Iran has sent “game-changing” weapons to its proxy group Hezbollah, which has been actively building tunnels and fortifications along Lebanon’s border with Israel, a knowledgeable observer said. “Israel reads the map and realizes that Hizbullah’s weapons arsenal has steadily grown, and is now several times larger than it was in 2006, and that the kind of weapons that the enemy tried and is still trying to prevent the resistance from acquiring – namely, what Israel calls ‘game-changing’ weapons – is available to it in great amounts,” he added.

  • The Russian connectionRussia, Trump and the 2016 election: What’s the best way for Congress to investigate?

    By Jordan Tama

    Exactly how will the U.S. conduct a fair and accurate investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and links with President Donald Trump’s campaign? U.S. congressional leaders are discussing options. At a time when Congress is sharply polarized along partisan lines, congressional investigations tend to become microcosms of that polarization. This is all the more true when an investigation involves an issue about which the president is vulnerable to political embarrassment or attack. If the intelligence committee proves unable to conduct a thorough and bipartisan investigation of Russian meddling and Trump’s campaign, pressure will build on America’s leaders to establish a more independent probe. Hanging in the balance could be whether the United States can forge consensus about what happened and how to prevent it from happening again.

  • The Russian connectionU.S. intelligence: a “truth-devoted” culture

    Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, now a senior fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, was director of intelligence and counterintelligence at the U.S. Department of Energy and was a decorated CIA intelligence officer. He discusses the nature of intelligence work, the belief structure that drives those who do it, the probe of Russian interference in the election, and the friction between the Trump administration and the intelligence agencies.