• Coastal perilExplaining rapid sea level rise along the East Coast

    Sea level rise hot spots — bursts of accelerated sea rise that last three to five years — happen along the U.S. East Coast thanks to a one-two punch from naturally occurring climate variations, according to a new study. The study shows that seas rose in the southeastern U.S. between 2011 and 2015 by more than six times the global average sea level rise that is already happening due to human-induced global warming.

  • Coastal perilSea-level rise accelerating along U.S. East Coast

    Sea level rise on the East Coast has been much less than 1 millimeter (mm) per year for the entire period 0 AD to 1800 AD, and, since then, it has skyrocketed. In fact, the rate of sea level rise on the East Coast is the highest it has been for at least 2,000 years, and the rate of global sea level rise is above 1.7 mm per year. In New York City, the rate of sea level rise is more than 3 mm per year in an area that currently houses more than $25 billion of infrastructure at less than 1 meter above sea level.

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  • Alt-right & the mediaHow online hate infiltrates social media and politics

    By Adam G. Klein

    In late February, an anti-Semitic website known as the Daily Stormer — which receives more than 2.8 million monthly visitors — announced, “Jews Destroy Another One of Their Own Graveyards to Blame Trump.” The story was inspired by the recent desecration of a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia. To whom, and how many, this example of conspiracy mongering may travel is, in part, the story of “fake news,” the phenomenon in which biased propaganda is disseminated as if it were objective journalism in an attempt to corrupt public opinion. Looking at the most-visited websites of what were once diminished movements – white supremacists, xenophobic militants, and Holocaust deniers, to name a few – reveals a much-revitalized online culture. When he was asked about the Philadelphia vandalism, President Trump told the Pennsylvania attorney general the incident was “reprehensible.” But he then went on to speculate that it might have been committed “to make others look bad.” That feeds the very doubt that extremist groups thrive on. And the cycle continues.

  • TerrorismAt least 13 killed, dozens injured in a terrorist attack in Barcelona, Spain

    At least thirteen people were killed and scores injured when a terrorist drove a rented van into a crowded sidewalk in one of Barcelona’s busiest streets. The attack took place early evening Spain’s time (mid-day EST). In March 2004 Spain was hit by the deadliest jihadist attack in Europe, when bombs exploded on commuter trains in Madrid, killing 191 people. Al Qaeda took responsibility for the attack, saying it was in retaliation for Spain joining the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

  • Alt-rightAnti-Semitism on full display in Charlottesville

    Alongside the racism, nativism, and xenophobia on display at Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, the event was also an expression of the animating power of anti-Semitism. Marchers threw Nazi salutes as they waved swastika flags, proudly wore swastika pins and shirts, and shouted “sieg heil!” A sign carried by rally-goers warned that the “Jewish media is going down;” another declared that “Jews are Satan’s children.” “Blood and soil,” which the white supremacists chanted several times, is the translation of the Nazi slogan, “Blut und Boden.” these were only the external trappings of anti-Semitism. The entire Unite the Right rally was built on racial and conspiratorial anti-Semitism.

  • Alt-rightThe focal point: White supremacy

    The weekend clashes between white nationalist demonstrators and counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Virginia., which killed a 32-year-old woman and injured others has reignited long-simmering fears that racist hate groups are resurgent nationally and now may feel emboldened to push their goals publicly. Bart Bonikowski, an associate professor in Harvard’s Sociology Department, has studied the discourse of populist movements in the United States and Europe, with an emphasis on the processes that animate nationalist political movements. He says that he doubts that he doubts that the widespread public backlash suggests these groups might dial back their incendiary efforts. “It’s hard to predict the future, but I doubt that this will be the case. As I mentioned, these movements thrive when they receive attention in the media, regardless of whether it’s good or bad. And in this case, they’re getting the media attention as well as support from the president. So, if anything, this is likely to give them an incentive to hold more rallies and become more extremist in their practices.”

  • Alt-rightThe First Amendment and the Nazi flag

    In the wake of the 12 August confrontations between protesters and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, some progressives are calling for legal restrictions on the display of the Nazi flag. These arguments are entirely understandable, but they often misapply existing First Amendment law, and they suppress free speech values that progressives — more than anyone else — should want to defend, says a Constitutional law expert.

  • EncryptionPopular messaging apps: Encrypting is easy but authenticating is hard

    Most users of popular messaging apps Facebook Messenger, What’sApp and Viber are leaving themselves exposed to fraud or other hacking because they don’t know about or aren’t using important security options. Even though What’sApp and Viber encrypt messages by default, all three messaging apps also require what’s called an authentication ceremony to ensure true security — but because most users are unaware of the ceremony and its importance.

  • CybersecurityMSU cybersecurity scholarship program receives $3.11 million grant

    Mississippi State University will receive $3.11 million through a National Science Foundation grant to continue the university’s role in the CyberCorps Scholarship for Service program, which prepares qualified cybersecurity professionals for entry into the government workforce. As part of the grant, which will support the program for four years, East Mississippi Community College students planning to attend MSU are eligible to receive scholarships and support.

  • DetectionDetecting concealed weapon, threat is not easy, and experience is no help to police officers

    Detecting potential threats is part of the job for police officers, military personnel and security guards. Terrorist attacks and bombings at concerts, sporting events and airports underscore the need for accurate and reliable threat detection. However, the likelihood of a police officer identifying someone concealing a gun or bomb is only slightly better than chance, according to new research. Officers with more experience were even less accurate.

  • Food securityMillions may face protein deficiency as a result of human-caused CO2 emissions

    If CO2 levels continue to rise as projected, the populations of eighteen countries may lose more than 5 percent of their dietary protein by 2050 due to a decline in the nutritional value of rice, wheat, and other staple crops. Researchers estimate that roughly an additional 150 million people may be placed at risk of protein deficiency because of elevated levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. This is the first study to quantify this risk.

  • Our picksDe-funding extremism research; hate groups elude Feds; earthquake early warning, and more

    Trump aide Katharine Gorka urged DHS to pull grant for group fighting white supremacy: Report; Revocation of grants to help fight hate under new scrutiny after Charlottesville; Domestic hate groups elude feds; ‘He was radicalized online’: Nephew of white nationalist speaks; Congress needs a bipartisan panel on violent extremism. Now.; Denmark says ‘hug a jihadi’ program is working; U.S. Geological Survey makes moves to expand, improve earthquake early alert system.

  • TerrorismTerrorist attack deaths increase in Iraq, the West, despite decrease worldwide

    The number of terrorist attacks and resulting deaths worldwide decreased in 2016, but an increase in activity in Iraq and the ongoing violence of tISIS curbed the reduction, according to a new report from the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism’s Global Terrorism Database (GTD). In 2016, more than 13,400 terrorist attacks took place around the world, resulting in more than 34,000 total deaths, including more than 11,600 perpetrator deaths. This represents a 9 percent decrease in the total number of terrorist attacks, and a 10 percent decrease in the total number of deaths, in comparison to 2015.

  • Domestic terrorismFar-right extremists far greater threat than left-wing militants: Experts

    Leaving aside the moral issues raised by President Donald Trump’s unsettling insistence on equating neo-Nazis and anti-Nazis, experts say that the president’s assertion, in his Tuesday’s press conference, that left-inspired violence in the United States is as bad as violence generated by the extreme right, is patently false. The FBI, DHS, and state and local law enforcement consider right-wing extremists to be an order of magnitude more dangerous to public safety in the United States than left-leaning extremists. Domestic security experts estimate that there are 400,000-500,000 Americans who are affiliated, in one way or another, with various right-wing extremist groups, compared with a few thousand Antifa, Black Box, and other militant left-wing activists.

  • Alt-rightThe seeds of the alt-right, America’s emergent right-wing populist movement

    By George Michael

    Over the past year, far-right activists – which some have labeled the “alt-right” – have gone from being an obscure, largely online subculture to a player at the very center of American politics. Long relegated to the cultural and political fringe, alt-right activists were among the most enthusiastic supporters of Donald Trump. Former Breitbart.com executive Steve Bannon – who declared the website “the platform for the alt-right” – is the president’s chief political strategist. To its critics, the alt-right is just a code term for white nationalism, a much-maligned ideology associated with neo-Nazis and Klansmen. The movement, however, is more nuanced, encompassing a much broader spectrum of right-wing activists and intellectuals. Unlike old-school white nationalist movements, the alt-right has endeavored to create a self-sustaining counterculture, which includes a distinct vernacular, memes, symbols and a number of blogs and alternative media outlets. Now that it has been mobilized, the alt-right is gaining a firmer foothold in American politics.

  • Alt-rightNew edition of Ten Ways to Fight Hate guide released

    In response to recent events, including the deadly white nationalist violence in Charlottesville this weekend, the SPLC released a new edition of Ten Ways to Fight Hate, its guide for “effectively – and peacefully – taking a stand against bigotry,” as the organization describes it. The guide, which has been updated for 2017, sets out ten principles for taking action, including how to respond to a hate rally that has targeted your town.

  • Presidential war powersThe gift Bush and Obama gave Trump: Expanded war-making powers

    Thanks to the military interventions by the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations, the former presidents have effectively expanded executive authority for Donald Trump to go to war, a new study says. The study of U.S. military interventions between 2001 and 2016 found considerable similarities in the way Bush and Obama navigated around consultation and authorization protocols with Congress and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

  • CybersecurityUSB connections less secure than has been thought

    USB connections, the most common interface used globally to connect external devices to computers, are vulnerable to information “leakage,” making them even less secure than has been thought. Researchers tested more than 50 different computers and external USB hubs and found that over 90 percent of them leaked information to an external USB device.

  • CybercrimeCybercriminals are not as “anonymous” as we think

    Understanding a cybercriminal’s backstory - where they live, what they do and who they know, is key to cracking cybercrime. Online crime is of course online, but there is also a surprisingly strong offline and local dimension. Cybercriminals are often seen as faceless, international, computer masterminds, who are almost impossible to identify or understand as a result. But contextualizing their threat and motivations is key to stopping them.

  • ImmigrationImmigrant detention centers are referred to as “family centers” but resemble prisons

    Despite federal officials labeling centers where immigrant women and their families are held as family detention centers or release programs as “Alternative to Detention.” Researchers found the detention complexes function like jails and prisons and that ATD programs are essentially expanded surveillance schemes.

  • Our picksRussia targets voting machines; “megafires” are coming; terrorism in Africa, and more

    Russian cyberattack targeted elections vendor tied to voting day disruptions; Boulder author warns of more “megafires” on nation’s horizon; Oroville Dam: Six months after disaster, a race to repair before next winter; Oroville Dam: Six months after disaster, a race to repair before next winter; Fewer immigrants are being deported under Trump than under Obama; With terrorism worsening, Africa’s Sahel countries need more than another military coalition; UK businesses “unprepared for a cyber shock”; “Every country should have a cyber war”: What Estonia learned from Russian hacking; Obama warned about ‘Russian cyber attacks and election interference as early as 2014’.

  • Home-grown terrorismWhite House needs clear action plan in wake of Charlottesville: ADL

    The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called on President Donald Trump to follow up his words on Monday with a strong plan of action that will ensure the kind of white supremacist violence and anti-Semitic and racist incitement witnessed in Charlottesville will not happen again. Trump’s statement came two days after the events, and after a disappointing initial reaction from the president that seemed to equate the haters with counter protesters. “This is a moment when we desperately need leadership,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “But I think we should expect our leader in the highest office in the land to step above the lowest possible bar. Statements are not sufficient at this stage in the game. We need to move from words to action. The threat is not over.”