• ISISTweets reveal how ISIS still inspires low-level attacks

    By analyzing 26.2 million Twitter comments in the Arabic language, researchers found that despite losing territory, ISIS remains successful at inspiring low-level attacks because of its messaging for a “call for lone jihad.”

  • Ghost gunsGhost guns are everywhere in California

    By Alain Stephens

    Feds say nearly a third of firearms recovered in California are homemade, unserialized, and untraceable. Experts say the accessibility of ghost guns is aided by a cottage industry of retailers selling nearly completed firearms that require no screening to purchase.

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  • First respondersSmall device alerts responders to changes to thermal conditions

    When firefighters rush into burning buildings, they know the thermal environment may change in a matter of seconds, exposing them to potentially lethal temperatures. Burn Saver is a body-worn technology that continuously monitors thermal conditions and warns firefighters when those conditions become threatening.

  • Chemical detectionDARPA tests advanced chemical sensors

    DARPA’s SIGMA program, which began in 2014, has demonstrated a city-scale capability for detecting radiological and nuclear threats that is now being operationally deployed. DARPA is building off this work with the SIGMA+ initiative that is focused on providing city- to region-scale detection capabilities across the full chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive threat space.

  • Disaster preparationPreparing low-income communities for hurricanes begins with outreach

    Interviews with economically disadvantaged New Jerseyans in the areas hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy yield advice for future disasters.

  • Ebola DRC Ebola cases exceed 1,800 amid burial team attacks

    Blowing past the 1,800 case mark, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) reported 39 cases over the weekend as well as a pair of assaults on burial teams, along with 10 new infections today, according to the latest official reports, raising the outbreak’s total to 1,826.

  • Democracy watchHacking democracies

    A new report from an Australian think tank offers an in-depth, and sobering, analysis of Russia’s campaign to undermine Western democracies by weaponizing social media, and, to a lesser extent, China’s similar, if lower-key, campaign against neighboring Asian countries. “Democracies need to look at better ways of imposing costs on adversaries,” the report’s authors say.

  • Truth decayEric Oliver on the science of conspiracy theories and political polarization

    The “birthers,” “Pizzagate,” anti-vaxxers. It seems that belief in conspiracy theories is on the rise. At the same time, our polarization is worse than ever. People can hardly even maintain a conversation across political or cultural lines. Could the underlying force driving conspiracy theories also be the same one that’s dividing our country?

  • Hemispheric securityDeath threats and disease drive more Venezuelans to flee

    By Paola Sarta

    There are currently some 3.7 million refugees and migrants from Venezuela worldwide, the vast majority in Latin America and the Caribbean. Given the worsening political, economic, human rights and humanitarian situation in Venezuela, the UN Refugee Agency, now considers that the majority of those fleeing the country are in need of international refugee protection.

  • Hemispheric securityIsraelis rush to aid Venezuelan refugees in Colombia

    By Abigail Klein Leichman

    Israeli NGO begins relief distributions in Colombia as thousands escape worsening conditions across the border daily.

  • GunsThe forensic unknowns of 3D-printed guns

    Proponents of the printed guns – 3D-printed with polymers from digital files – maintain that sharing blueprints and printing the guns are protected activities under the First and Second Amendments. Opponents argue the guns are concerning because they are undetectable and also untraceable since they have no serial numbers.

  • Climate risk mitigationProfitable climate change solution

    A seemingly counterintuitive approach – converting one greenhouse gas into another – holds promise for returning the atmosphere to pre-industrial concentrations of methane, a powerful driver of global warming.

  • PerspectiveDystopian Future Watch: Is San Francisco’s facial recognition ban too little, too late?

    Life just keeps creeping along, leading us step-by-step closer to living in a Philip K. Dick dystopian future—in real-time. And often, in our surveillance culture, we are willing participants to work alongside Big Brother. “Remember how fun it used to be to see facial recognition and retina scanning in sci-fi movies?” Hermon Leon asks in the Observer. “We loved it in RoboCop and Blade Runner, right? Now, many of these biometric technologies have become a nightmarish reality. Let’s take a look.”

  • PerspectiveBe afraid of the world, be very afraid

    Who’s right: Cassandra or Dr. Pangloss? Are we on the brink of serious trouble, as Cassandra of Greek myth prophesied, or is all for the best “in this best of all possible worlds,” as the fictional Pangloss insisted in Voltaire’s Candide? “I’m generally a fairly upbeat guy, despite my realist proclivities and my recurring frustrations at the embarrassing state of U.S. foreign policy,” Stephen M. Walt writes in Foreign Policy. “But today I’m going to indulge my inner Cassandra and describe the five bad things that worry me today. I hope I’m wrong.

  • PerspectiveFacebook, Twitter and the digital disinformation mess

    The kind of disinformation now known as fake news has tainted public discourse for centuries, even millennia. But it’s been amplified in our digital age as a weapon of fearmongers, mob-baiters and election-meddlers that can widen social fissures, undermine democracies and bolster authoritarian regimes. Shelly Banjo writes in the Washington Post that as voters in some of the world’s most-populous countries headed to the polls in 2019, governments began to respond. Companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Google have come under increasing pressure to take action.

  • Our picksHacking planes’ landing gear; American Samoa is sinking; slowing down fast 5G, and more

    · The radio navigation planes use to land safely is insecure and can be hacked

    · Earthquake in 2009 intensified American Samoa’s rising sea levels

    · Sinking feeling: Philippine cities facing ‘slow-motion disaster’

    · Border agent charged with hitting migrant with truck called them “subhuman,” feds say

    · Who’s slowing down fast 5G?

    · Can Congress use fines to pry loose the full Trump-Russia report?

    · Cyber Command’s latest VirusTotal upload has been linked to an active attack

    · Anti-vaxxers target communities battling measles

  • China syndromeGoogle cuts Huawei access to Android software updates

    Google said on Sunday it was rescinding Huawei’s license to use Google’s mobile phone operating system Android, and Google services such as Google maps and YouTube. The move will force the Chinese technology company to rely on an open-source version of the software. The move follows a presidential executive order prohibiting American companies from using telecommunications equipment made by “foreign adversaries” viewed as posing a threat to U.S. national security.

  • China syndromeWhy Huawei security concerns cannot be removed from U.S.-China relations

    By Sascha-Dominik Dov Bachmann and Anthony Paphiti

    Huawei’s role in building new 5G networks has become one of the most controversial topics in current international relations. The U.S. is exercising direct diplomatic pressure to stop states from using the Chinese telecoms giant. The U.S. government regards Huawei as a clear and present danger to national security and argues that any ally opting for Huawei will compromise vital intelligence sharing among these countries in the future.

  • China syndromeCoast Guard offers U.S. new tool in disputed South China Sea

    A rare U.S. Coast Guard exercise in the South China Sea this month shows that the United States is broadening its reach in a disputed waterway, a new pressure point between Washington and the sea’s chief claimant Beijing.

  • MeaslesCurrent vaccination policies not enough to prevent measles resurgence

    Current vaccination policies may not be sufficient to achieve and maintain measles elimination and prevent future resurgence in several advanced countries. “Our results suggest that most of the countries we have studied would strongly benefit from the introduction of compulsory vaccination at school entry in addition to current immunization programs,” says the author of a new study.

  • ResilienceCities can save lives, resources by using a vulnerability reduction scorecard

    A new planning tool enables communities to effectively reduce their vulnerabilities to hazards across their network of plans – including transportation, parks, economic development, hazard mitigation, emergency management and comprehensive land use.

  • Climate threatsThe costs of extreme weather

    An expert tells lawmakers that there is one “underappreciated” fact in discussions about the costs of climate change: “small shifts in long-term average conditions — what we call climate — can have a large effect on the frequency of extreme weather events.” Examples: “In 2017, Hurricane Harvey caused an estimated $125 billion in losses, with an estimated 200,000 homes experiencing damage. Ongoing flooding in the upper Midwest is sure to produce agricultural losses alone in the billions of dollars, and extreme drought across much of the U.S. in 2012 caused $33 billion in losses.”