• Nuclear accidentsData May Point to Second Blast at Russian Test Site

    Researchers at a Norwegian institute believe that there may have been two explosions, not one, at the Russian naval test site on the White Sea earlier this month, an incident that killed at least five people and raised new questions about Russia’s weapons research.

  • Extremism onlineMapping Model Tracks How Hate Spreads and Adapts Online

    Online hate thrives globally through self-organized, scalable clusters that interconnect to form resilient networks spread across multiple social media platforms, countries and languages, according to new research. Researchers developed a mapping model to track how these online hate clusters thrive. The model outlines challenges to dismantling online hate groups worldwide.

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  • Extremism onlineDespite YouTube Policy Update, Anti-Semitic, White Supremacist Channels Remain

    For years, YouTube has officially prohibited content which promoted or condoned violence or incited hatred against individuals or groups based on core characteristics such as ethnicity, gender and sexual identity, and religion. In June 2019 it updated that policy with specific prohibitions against ideologies like white supremacy, which asserted the superiority of one group in order to justify discriminating against or persecuting other groups. An analysis by ADL’s Center on Extremism found that a significant number of channels on YouTube’s platform continue to disseminate anti-Semitic and white supremacist content despite the company’s June 2019 crackdown on hate speech.

  • Influence operationsConcerns Growing that China's Influence Operations Getting Bolder

    By Jeff Seldin

    The U.S. intelligence community has warned that the battle for information dominance has been joined. Until now, much of the focus on been on Russia for its use of social media to meddle in a number of Western elections, including the 2016 U.S. presidential elections and, more recently, the 2018 congressional elections. But top U.S. intelligence officials have repeatedly warned Russia is not alone, and that other U.S adversaries would be using lessons from Moscow’s successes for their own purposes.

  • Influence operationsRussia’s and China’s Political Warfare Campaigns: How the West Can Prevail

    The United States and its allies are facing an unprecedented challenge: Russia and China, two authoritarian states possessing substantial human, economic, technological, and other resources; armed with conventional and nuclear forces which, in many respects, rival those held by the Western allies; and working actively to undermine the core interests of the West. Their operations are designed to subvert the cohesion of the Western allies and their partners; erode their economic, political, and social resilience; and undermine the West’s strategic positions in key regions. The Russian and Chinese regimes have made substantial progress towards these goals during the last two decades without conducting conventional military operations. Rather, Moscow and Beijing have employed sophisticated political warfare strategies and a wide range of mostly non-military instruments.

  • Preventable diseasesTexas Cities More Susceptible to Measles Outbreaks

    The growing number of children arriving at Texas schools unvaccinated makes the state increasingly vulnerable to measles outbreaks in cities large and small, according to a new study. The findings indicate that an additional 5 percent decrease in vaccination rates, which have been on a downward trend since 2003, would increase the size of a potential measles outbreak by up to 4,000 percent in some communities.

  • Climate threatsStudy: Climate Change Could Pose Danger for Muslim Pilgrimage

    By David L. Chandler

    For the world’s estimated 1.8 billion Muslims — roughly one-quarter of the world population — making a pilgrimage to Mecca is considered a religious duty that must be performed at least once in a lifetime, if health and finances permit. The ritual, known as the Hajj, includes about five days of activities, of which 20 to 30 hours involve being outside in the open air. , because of climate change there is an increasing risk that in coming years, conditions of heat and humidity in the areas of Saudi Arabia where the Hajj takes place could worsen, to the point that people face “extreme danger” from harmful health effects.

  • Sinking coastsGovernments Mull “Managed Retreat” of Coastal Towns Before Rising Seas Claim Them

    More and more governments around the world are advised by experts to prepare to make a “managed retreat” from coasts as sea levels rise because of climate change. Scientists say that a decision to leave the coasts should not be “seen largely as a last resort, a failure to adapt, or a one-time emergency action.” Rather, it should be viewed as an opportunity to build better communities away from the rising waters.

  • PerspectiveA How-To Guide for Identifying Terrorists by Their Behavior

    Terrorism is not owned by a particular organization or ideology. Rather, it’s a tactic deployed by anyone looking to use violence for some political or religious aim. And having not only government officials but everyday people understand that is key to catching additional would-be attackers before it’s too late.

  • PerspectiveThe Fight in the Right: It Is Time to Tackle White Supremacist Terrorism Globally

    Robert Levinson, who served as the deputy director of U.S. Southern Command’s office in Washington, writes that after 9/11, it was made clear to the Southern Command that the fight against Al Qaeda would receive many more resources and much more attention that the effort to contain the FARC – the Marxist insurgency which had operated in Colombia since the early 1960s. The reason: The FARC was not considered a terrorist organization of “global reach.” You fight local terrorists by strengthening local governments and governance, while global terrorists involve much broader and more complicated efforts. Levinson writes: “By now it may be time to consider whether terrorism variously categorized as being inspired by white supremacy, white nationalism, Neo-Nazi, etc., and its various manifestations and adherents, has reached the threshold of “terrorists of global reach” who are now claiming victims in the United States homeland.”

  • PerspectiveRansomware Attacks Are Testing Resolve of Cities Across America

    Ransomware is hardly new, but it is in fashion. Two years ago such attacks were still relatively rare. But now they are far more targeted, and as companies and towns have shown an increased willingness to pay ransoms, criminals have turned to new and more powerful forms of encryption and more ingenious ways of injecting the code into computer networks. Only this summer did the United States begin to see multiple simultaneous attacks, often directed at government websites that are ill-defended.

  • Our picksHow to Combat Domestic Terrorism | Ransomware Epidemic | Flooding from Below, and more

    · Wave of Shooting Threats Renews Debate over How to Combat Domestic Terrorism

    · Brazil President Blames NGOs for Record Amazon Wildfires

    · Ailing Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Puts “Professor” Abdullah Qardash in Charge of ISIS

    · Democrats Press FBI, DHS on Response to White Supremacist Violence

    · Flooding from Below, a Year After Historic Wisconsin Rains

    · Cyberhackers Hold 22 Cities to Ransom

    · The Pentagon Is Turning to Nature to Solve Its Most Complex Problems

    · How Do We Stop Driverless Cars and Autonomous Delivery Drones from Becoming Weapons?

    · Ottawa to Fund Research on Far-Right Extremism in Quebec

    · The Tit-for-Tat Dynamics of 21st Century Extremism

  • Migrant childrenU.S. to Allow Indefinite Detention of Migrant Children

    The administration said on Wednesday that it would remove limits on how long migrant children can be detained. The move would allow for migrant families detained at the Mexican border to be held until their asylum case is processed, which can take up to several months. In order to allow for indefinite detention, DHS said it would terminate the 1997 Flores Settlement Agreement, a legal ruling that barred the government from holding migrant children in detention for more than twenty days.

  • SurveillanceFacial Recognition: Ten Reasons You Should Be Worried About the Technology

    By Birgit Schippers

    Facial recognition technology is spreading fast. Already widespread in China, software that identifies people by comparing images of their faces against a database of records is now being adopted across much of the rest of the world. It’s common among police forces but has also been used at airports, railway stations and shopping centers. The rapid growth of this technology has triggered a much-needed debate. Activists, politicians, academics and even police forces are expressing serious concerns over the impact facial recognition could have on a political culture based on rights and democracy.

  • SurveillanceFacial Recognition “Epidemic” in the U.K.

    An investigation by the London-based Big Brother Watch has uncovered what the organization describes as a facial recognition “epidemic” across privately owned sites in the United Kingdom. The civil liberties campaign group has found major property developers, shopping centers, museums, conference centers and casinos using the technology in the United Kingdom.

  • First respondersHazmat Challenge Tests Responders’ Skills in Simulated Emergencies

    Ten hazardous materials response teams are testing their skills in a series of graded exercises Aug. 19-23 at Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Hazmat Challenge. “Toughest scenarios yet” plus an obstacle course help hazmat teams hone their abilities.

  • EarthquakesImproving ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning System for the West Coast

    The U.S. Geological Survey has awarded more than $12.5 million to seven universities and a university-governed non-profit to support operation, improvement and expansion of the ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system for the West Coast of the United States.

  • EarthquakesThe Big One: Back to the Future on the San Andreas Fault

    Maybe you’ve heard that the “Big One is overdue” on the San Andreas Fault. No one can predict earthquakes, so what does the science really say? Where does the information come from? And what does it mean? Earth scientists have been gathering data at key paleoseismic sites along sections of the San Andreas Fault to figure out the past timeline of earthquakes at each spot.

  • PerspectiveProposed Bills Would Help Combat Domestic Terrorism

    “Left of boom” is a phrase frequently used by FBI agents to describe the FBI’s post-9/11 strategy to detect, disrupt and dismantle terrorist threats before acts of violence occur. Imagine a timeline where “boom” represents the moment the bomb goes off or an attack occurs: “Left of boom” means sometime before that moment. In the international terrorism arena, the U.S. has federal statutes that permit intervention left of boom, such as terrorism transcending national boundaries, providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization and attempt and conspiracy provisions for each. These statutes permit investigators to identify criminal behavior earlier in the timeline, and intercept subjects before their plans reach completion. No such laws exist for domestic terrorism.

  • PerspectiveCorporate Defenses Against Information Warfare

    When asked about Russian election interference during his congressional testimony last month, Robert Mueller said: “They’re doing it as we sit here.” To defend the nation against information warfare, the U.S. government has adopted a policy—by default, not by design—of relying on the private sector to police itself, with limited behind-the-scenes government assistance. Facebook’s website says: “Our detection technology helps us block millions of attempts to create fake accounts every day and detect millions more often within minutes after creation.” These numbers sound impressive, but they do not tell the whole story. To assess the effectiveness of company defenses, we must distinguish among three types of fake accounts: bots, fictitious user accounts, and impostor accounts. Russian agents have created and operated all three types of accounts.

     

  • PerspectiveRisks Grow as Countries Share Electricity Across Borders

    Increasing interconnection of electricity systems both within and between countries has much promise to help support clean energy power systems of the future. If the sun isn’t shining or wind isn’t blowing in one place, an electricity grid with high voltage transmission lines can move electricity to where it is needed. This shared infrastructure and increased trade can possibly serve as a basis for peace between neighbors in conflict, but it may also serve as a tool of coercion if the electricity can be cut off by one party.

  • Our picksThwarting Mass Shootings | Cities Unprepared for Disasters | Cybersecurity as a Team Sport, and more

    ·  Which U.S. Cities Are Least Prepared for Climate Disaster?

    ·  For U.S. Government, Cybersecurity Is Becoming a Team Sport

    ·  China’s South China Sea Militarization Has Peaked

    ·  Pumping Water from under Sea of Galilee May Have Caused Quakes

    ·  Only the Right Can Defeat White Nationalism

    ·  Police Thwarted Six Mass Shootings and White Supremacist Attacks Since El Paso