• Iran’s nukesIran “quadruples production” of enriched uranium amid tensions with U.S.

    Nuclear experts said Monday that Iran has quadrupled its uranium enrichment production capacity amid tensions with the U.S. over Tehran’s illicit nuclear and non-nuclear activities. This means the Islamic Republic could quickly exceed the stockpile limit set under the 2015 nuclear accord.

  • Election securityThe many faces of foreign interference in European elections

    By Etienne Soula

    Citizens of the European Union’s 28 member states go to the polls this week to choose their representatives to the European Parliament. Following Russian interference in several high-profile elections over the past three years, European governments are on high alert for signs of such meddling on social media or in electoral IT systems. Recent events in Austria and Italy show that foreign authoritarian actors are finding other under-examined, but equally insidious ways to infiltrate campaigns and harm democracy in Europe.

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  • RadicalizationCan John Walker Lindh be deradicalized?

    John Walker Lindh, the former jihadi dubbed the “American Taliban,” was released from prison Thursday after completing 17 years of a 20-year sentence for supporting the Afghan insurgent group. Unlike other Western nations, the U.S. has no rehabilitation programs for former jihadists, leaving them largely to their own devices.

  • CrimeCrime fighting got easier as burglars reveal all

    The expertise of experienced burglars puts them streets ahead of householders, and even well ahead of other criminals, according to a new study. The results could lead to a step-change in how we fight this crime.

  • Disaster preparationEarthquakes or tiger attacks: understanding what people fear most can help prevent disasters

    By Hanna Ruszczyk.

    Understanding what people worry about is crucial to preparing for natural hazards such as earthquakes and mitigating their effects. To prevent disasters, local people, municipal authorities and national governments all need to pull in the same direction – especially when budgets are low for disaster planning. But if residents feel that their everyday fears are ignored by those in power, they may disengage, leaving authorities unable to influence their behavior in a time of crisis.

  • Public healthStatistical model helps predict future disease outbreaks

    Researchers have created a statistical method that may allow public health and infectious disease forecasters to better predict disease reemergence, especially for preventable childhood infections such as measles and pertussis.

     

  • Public healthScent-based strategy blocks mosquito transmission of disease

    Could it be that your scent is just a bit too attractive? It is known that mosquitoes are drawn to certain human chemical odors that lead the insects to sources of food. New technology would temporarily modify skin microbiome to reduce attraction of disease-causing mosquitos by altering human scents.

  • PerspectiveThe 5G fight is bigger than Huawei

    The latest salvos in the Trump administration’s campaign against Huawei may prove, at best, to be a Pyrrhic victory—or, at worst, directly undermine U.S. interests and objectives. At the moment, it remains unclear how the recent executive order, which creates sweeping authorities to bar and exclude companies or technologies linked to a “foreign adversary” from the United States, and the addition of Huawei to the government blacklist known as the Entity List will be implemented in practice. Elsa B. Kania writes in Foreign Policy that it is not too late for U.S. President Donald Trump to recalibrate toward the smarter approach needed for such a complex challenge. In the process, the U.S. government should also pursue more proactive policies that concentrate on ensuring future American competitiveness in 5G, the fifth generation of mobile networks.

  • PerspectiveThe Kremlin’s “tools of malign political influence” undermine democracy

    Russia’s “sweeping and systematic malign influence operations” support anti-democratic and anti-Western forces in Europe and the United States, using a variety of tools, from corruption to influence operations, said Heather A. Conley, CSIS senior vice president for Europe, Eurasia, and the Arctic, and director of the Europe Program, in a testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, Energy, and the Environment, during hearings on “Undermining Democracy: Kremlin Tools of Malign Political Influence.” “The Kremlin undermines and weakens democracies, rendering them unable to respond promptly to Russian military actions or making them beholden to the Kremlin to such a point that a democratic country will support Russia’s interests over its own,” she testified. She highlighted two specific areas in which she is “particularly concerned U.S. citizens and organizations, wittingly or unwittingly, will come under increasing threat of Russian malign influence”: (1) faith-based and ultra conservative
    organizations; and (2) opaque financial support for key U.S. influencers.

  • PerspectiveChina’s Orwellian war on religion

    China is experimenting with Orwellian surveillance technology, including the Ministry of Public Security’s mass surveillance system and a “Social Credit System” that can create a blacklist for those who don’t pay debts or who cheat on taxes, break traffic rules or attend an unofficial church. Nicholas Kristof writes in the New York Times that blacklisted individuals can be barred from buying plane or train tickets: Although the system is still being tested in different ways at the local level, last year it barred people 17.5 million times from purchasing air tickets, the government reported. It could also be used to deny people promotions or assign a ring tone to their phone warning callers that they are untrustworthy.

  • Climate threatsCan we prepare for climate impacts without creating financial chaos?

    By Geoff Dembicki

    Likely sooner than we think, the destruction that warmer global temperatures are inflicting — through record floods, wildfires, droughts, and hurricanes — could physically overwhelm our ability to maintain many communities in their existing form. Communities face a tricky dilemma as climate changes: How to prepare for impacts without scaring away homeowners and investors and setting off a damaging economic spiral.

  • Our picksNew Assange charges; undercover Fascist; terrorism & domestic violence, and more

    ·  If we start to link terrorism and domestic violence, we might just stop the next attack

    ·  U.S. charges Assange with publishing classified information, a move unprecedented in American history

    ·  Correcting course: Avoiding the collision between humanitarian action and counterterrorism

    ·  If Huawei loses ARM’s chip designs, it’s toast

    ·  The undercover Fascist

    ·  Why the internet is so polarized, extreme, and screamy

    ·  42 countries agree to international principles for AI

    ·  Fox News’ Tucker Carlson accused of parroting Russian propaganda about 5G health fears

  • Truth decaySprawling disinformation networks discovered across Europe ahead of EU elections

    Investigation uncovers flood of disinformation aiming to influence to forthcoming EU elections. The revelations led Facebook to take down pages with more than 500 million views. The mainly far-right disinformation pages which were shut down by Face book had three times the number of followers than the pages of more established right wing, populist, and anti-EU partiers such as Lega (Italy), Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) (Germany), VOX (Spain), Brexit Party (U.K.), Rassemblement National (France), and PiS (Poland).

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • PerspectiveChina raises threat of rare-Earths cutoff to U.S.

    With a simple visit to an obscure factory on Monday, Chinese President Xi Jinping has raised the specter that China could potentially cut off supplies of critical materials needed by huge swaths of the U.S. economy, underscoring growing concerns that large-scale economic integration is boomeranging and becoming a geopolitical weapon. Keith Johnson and  Elias Groll write in Foreign Policy that Beijing could slam every corner of the American economy, from oil refineries to wind turbines to jet engines, by banning exports of crucial minerals.

  • PerspectiveCounterintelligence responsibilities and the 2020 election: What are the rules of the road?

    The attorney general has now directed John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, to examine how the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election began, along with related investigations of Trump campaign affiliates. In an interview with Fox News, the attorney general that while it’s important to look at foreign influence, it’s also important to look at whether government agents abused their power. He further defended his use of accusations that “spying” took place. And the president has accused former officials of “treason”. Carrie Cordero writes in Lawfare that despite these comments by the president and the attorney general, there are serious reasons to conduct a review of policies and procedures governing national security investigations involving political campaigns. It is important to ensure that investigators have the proper legal guidance, policy direction and rules of the road to do their jobs as the country approaches the 2020 election. But the administration’s rhetoric diminishes the legitimate value that this review could bring.

  • PerspectiveCyber-enabled election interference occurs in one-fifth of democracies

    Cyber-enabled election interference has already changed the course of history. Fergus Hanson and Elise Thomas write in The Strategist that whether or not the Russian interference campaign during the US 2016 federal election was enough to swing the result, the discovery and investigation of the campaign and its negative effects on public trust in the democratic process have irrevocably shaped the path of Donald Trump’s presidency.

  • Our picksAllowing composting of human bodies; Huawei drama & U.S. tech companies; “Junk” news, and more

    ·  Washington becomes 1st state to allow composting of human bodies

    ·  A Russia scandal even populists couldn’t stomach

    ·  Trump was right not to sign the Christchurch call

    ·  ‘Junk news’ gets higher engagement before E.U. elections, Oxford study finds

    ·  Michael Cohen called CEO tied to Russian oligarch hundreds of times, according to FBI

    ·  DHS backup border funding plan would take millions from TSA, other agencies

    ·  Federal efforts to secure key cities from mass terror attack found faulty

    ·  Millions of people and animals are at risk of naturally occurring anthrax

    ·  The Huawei drama is a gift to U.S. tech companies

    ·  QAnon teams up with alleged cult leader