• GunsFirearm deaths, injuries among children

    Nearly 28,000 American children and teens have died because of firearms in the past decade – second only to the 44,800 who died in motor vehicle collisions. But while the number of young people who die each year from car and truck crashes has fallen, it’s stayed about the same for guns.

  • Grid securityUsing game theory to quantify threats of cyberattacks on power grid

    Threat levels for cyberattacks on the power grid are usually labeled high, medium or low, but engineers say this is not good enough: Such judgements are too qualitative and too subjective. Could engineers incorporate scientific methods? Computer algorithms? And given that there are attackers and defenders – just like in a soccer match – could game theory be applied to help with risk assessment, attack-defense modeling and “what-if” contingency analysis that could help mitigate any attacks?

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  • ResilienceStronger buildings could delay wildfire destruction, but not stop it

    Low humidity and strong winds in California mean that this month’s wildfires could strike again. Unfortunately, better building materials and planning can only offer so much protection, says an engineering expert.

  • Coastal perilNew sea-level rise and flood alert network launches

    The City of Imperial Beach is a low-lying coastal community south of San Diego that is one of the most vulnerable in California to sea-level rise. During periods of extreme high tides and winter swell, Imperial Beach experiences flooding that impacts residents, businesses and infrastructure. A new program, called Resilient Futures, will significantly upgrade its flood alert capabilities and better prepare for sea-level rise.

  • TerrorismU.S. considering adding Venezuela to state-sponsors of terrorism list

    The United States is reportedly considering adding Venezuela to the list of terrorism-sponsoring states. The move would impose further financial punishment on the already-collapsing Venezuelan economy, which is staggering under the combined weight of hyperinflation, food and medicine shortages, and a mass exodus of citizens.

  • California firesBetter forest management won’t end wildfires, but it can reduce the risks – here’s how

    By Courtney Schultz and Cassandra Moseley

    President Donald Trump’s recent comments blaming forest managers for catastrophic California wildfires have been met with outrage and ridicule from the wildland fire and forestry community. Not only were these remarks insensitive to the humanitarian crisis unfolding in California – they also reflected a muddled understanding of the interactions between wildfire and forest management. As scientists who study forest policy and community-based collaboration, here is how we understand this relationship.

  • The Russia connectionBannon's Brexit connection

    A recent report in the New Yorker revealed emails show Steve Bannon and Cambridge Analytica played a role in pushing Brexit. Their Leave.EU support may have been an incubator for tactics deployed to propel the Trump presidential campaign.

  • Truth decayAn information “echo chamber” impedes flu vaccination for children

    Parents who decline to get their child vaccinated against the flu may be exposed to a limited range of information, a new national poll suggests. And depending on which sources parents turn to the most, inaccurate information may influence their decision about flu vaccine for their child.

  • Our picksInside the Flat Earth Conference; U.S. water security falls short; adapting to survive future fires, and more

    ·  Inside the Flat Earth Conference, where the world’s oldest conspiracy theory is hot again

    ·  California’s wildfires have spawned a truly weird new conspiracy theory

    ·  Former Trump official pushes conspiracy theory that ISIS and Antifa were involved in Las Vegas shooting

    ·  How the media should respond to Trump’s lies

    ·  How U.S. gun laws allow mass shooters to slip through

    ·  Pentagon, DHS spell out how they’ll cooperate on cyber defense

    ·  How would U.S. prosecutors go after Assange?

    ·  U.S. water security falls short

    ·  How extreme weather is shrinking the planet

    ·  How California needs to adapt to survive future fires

  • The Russia watchDecades of fake news; the Russian disinformation playbook; 2020 elections security concerns, and more

    ·  Weapons of the weak: Russia and AI-driven asymmetric warfare

    ·  Decades of fake news, courtesy of the Kremlin

    ·  Inside the Russian disinformation playbook: Exploit tension, sow chaos

    ·  Facebook’s ex-security chief meets with Hill lawmakers, cites concerns ahead of 2020 elections

    ·  Facebook fallout ruptures Democrats’ longtime alliance with Silicon Valley

    ·  Facebook hired firm with ‘in-house fake news shop’ to combat PR crisis

    ·  Did Facebook merely ‘deflect’ after realizing Russian disinformation?

    ·  How Hungary became a weapon of Russian disinformation

    ·  Here are the MPs that Russian trolls targeted the most

    ·  New evidence emerges of Steve Bannon and Cambridge Analytica’s role in Brexit

  • TerrorismU.S. counterterror official: Iran spends $1 billion annually supporting terrorism

    The United States Coordinator for Counterterrorism said that Iran spends nearly $1 billion annually supporting terrorist groups across the Middle East. Of the total, Ambassador Nathan Sales said that Iran gives $700 million to the Lebanon-based terror group Hezbollah; $100 million to Hamas and other “Palestinian terrorist groups;” and unspecified sums to other terrorist organizations.

  • The Russia connectionU.S. documents suggest charges filed against WikiLeaks founder Assange

    U.S. court documents suggest WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been criminally charged by prosecutors in a case that could be related to the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the U.S. elections. News outlets report that the disclosure was included as part of a court filing in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, in a case unrelated to Assange.

  • California firesThe bitter lesson of the Californian fires

    By David Bowman

    California is burning, again. Dozens of peoples have been killed and thousands of buildings destroyed in several fires, the most destructive in the state’s history. The California fires are just the most recent in a series of major wildfires, including fires in Greece in July this year that killed 99 people, Portugal and Chile in 2017, and Australia. Why do wildfires seem to be escalating? Despite president Donald Trump’s tweet that the California fires were caused by “gross mismanagement” of forests, the answer is more complex, nuanced, and alarming.

  • Terrorism & social mediaUsing social media to weaken impact of terrorist attacks

    Governments and police forces around the world need to beware of the harm caused by mass and social media following terror events. In a new report, leading counter-terrorism experts from around the world offer guidance to authorities to better manage the impacts of terror attacks by harnessing media communication. “People only know what they see or read, so the immediate panic social media – and then on the news – perpetuates rumors and creates fear. This is exactly what terrorists want,” says one expert.

  • CybersecurityWorld’s biggest student-led cybersecurity games announce winners of CSAW 2018

    A team of four computer science students from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) once again took home top honors at the 15th anniversary edition of  Cyber Security Awareness Week (CSAW), the world’s largest student-run cyber security event.

  • Chemical weaponsPreventing chemical weapons as sciences advance and converge

    Revolutionary advances in science and technology are threatening the ability of the Chemical Weapons Convention to prevent the development, possession and potential use of chemical weapons. Scientists warn of this increased chemical weapons risk, which is the result of rapid scientific change. Alarming examples of the dangers from chemical weapons have been seen recently in the use of industrial chemicals and the nerve agent sarin against civilians in Syria, and in the targeted assassination operations using VX nerve agent in Malaysia and novichok nerve agent in the U.K.

  • FloodsHouston's urban sprawl dramatically increased rainfall, flooding damage during Hurricane Harvey

    Houston’s urban landscape directly contributed to the torrential rainfall and deadly flooding experienced during Hurricane Harvey in August 2017, according to Princeton and University of Iowa researchers. The researchers report that Houston’s risk for extreme flooding during the hurricane — a category 4 storm that caused an estimated $125 billion in damage and killed 68 people — was 21 times greater due to urbanization.

  • Infrastructure protectionTechnology assesses bridge safety after powerful storms

    Hurricanes and heavy rains often cause strong, overflowing river currents that can damage critical infrastructure, such as bridges. For example, after Hurricane Katrina, many National Guard convoys loaded with aid did not drive on bridges for fear the bridges could not support the heavy trucks. To safely transport, they had to use roundabout roads or boats to reach Katrina survivors. Loose or loosening soil is often the culprit in weakening bridge stability. Thus, an instrument that can quickly assess the soil conditions around bridge pillars is a top priority.

  • Climate risks mitigationNatural solutions can reduce global warming

    Restoring the United States’ lands and coastal wetlands could have a much bigger role in reducing global warming than previously thought, according to the most comprehensive national assessment to date of how greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced and stored in forests, farmland, grasslands and wetlands.

  • Our picksWas your voting machine hacked?; surveillance kills freedom; anatomy of a conspiracy theory, and more

    ·  China violated Obama-Xi cyber pact banning cyber-enabled economic espionage: NSA official

    ·  Was your voting machine hacked? Without more user-friendly devices, we may not know

    ·  The new politics of climate change

    ·  How the generals are routing the policy wonks at the Pentagon

    ·  Anatomy of a conspiracy theory

    ·  Inside the shady PR firm that attacked George Soros to help Facebook

    ·  Warren, 2020 Dems target private immigration detention center operators

    ·  Surveillance kills freedom by killing experimentation

  • The Russia watchInformation attacks on democracies; refunding the Alaska purchase?; Russian trolls & toxic politics, and more

    ·  Information attacks on democracies

    ·  Russian trolls prey on the toxic way we do our politics

    ·  Russia asserts immunity in the DNC case

    ·  Delay, deny, deflect: Facebook’s Russian propaganda crisis playbook

    ·  Facebook can’t explain the difference between its PR operation and Russian troll farms

    ·  Schumer told Warner to back off of Facebook: report

    ·  Alaska purchase: Kremlin’s trolls suggest a refund

    ·  Britain presses for sanctions against Russian spy chiefs

  • U.S. militaryWith military edge eroding, U.S. may lose military conflict with Russia or China

    A commission investigating Donald Trump’s defense strategy has said the United States could lose a military conflict with China or Russia. It argued that the U.S. ability to defend itself and its allies was in doubt. The report suggested that if the U.S. went to war with countries such as China and Russia, it may not win. “The U.S. military could suffer unacceptably high casualties and loss of major capital assets in its next conflict. It might struggle to win, or perhaps lose, a war against China or Russia,” the commission said. “The United States is particularly at risk of being overwhelmed should its military be forced to fight on two or more fronts simultaneously.”