• ImmigrationDHS considering using National Guard to round up unauthorized immigrants

    A document obtained by the Associated Press show that the Trump administration is considering the option of mobilizing as many as 100,000 national guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants, including millions living in states far from the U.S.-Mexico border. The AP reports that the 11-page memo, written by assistants to DHH secretary John Kelly, calls for the unprecedented use of national guard troops for immigration enforcement as far north as Portland, Oregon, and as far east as New Orleans, Louisiana. The document notes that most of the round up would take place in four states which border on Mexico – California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas – but that round ups would also occur in seven states which are contiguous to those four: Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana.

  • TerrorismJanuary 2017 terrorism: The numbers

    The House Homeland Security Committee has released its February 2017 Terror Threat Snapshot, which details terrorism events and trends in January 2017. The snapshot is a monthly committee assessment of the threat America, the West, and the world face from ISIS and other Islamist terrorists. The document is produced by the Majority Staff of the committee. It is based on information culled from open source materials, including media reports, publicly available government statements, and nongovernmental assessments.

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  • HSNW conversation with Frederic LemieuxApplied intelligence: Providing actionable insights to decision-makers

    Frederic Lemieux is Professor and Faculty Director at the Applied Intelligence Program, School of Continuing Studies, Georgetown University. Georgetown University’s Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Applied Intelligence, blending study and hands-on practice, is designed for professionals who are looking to enter into or advance within a wide range of intelligence-related roles in both the public and private sectors. Students learn how to master strategies for assessing organizational strengths and weaknesses, harnessing large and disparate data sets, and forecasting business competitiveness in both public and private institutions.

  • CybersecurityHow Florida is helping train the next generation of cybersecurity professionals

    By Sri Sridharan

    Our increasingly connected and digital world is vulnerable to attack and needs more skilled professionals who know how to defend it. As connected devices proliferate, particularly smart devices creating what has been called the “Internet of Things,” the problem is getting worse. While we don’t know where and when the next cyber threats will arise, we can be sure that our society’s use of and demand for digital connections will only grow. As a result, we’ll also see the demand for cybersecurity professionals rise – and the opportunities for new ways of thinking, learning and collaborating.

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  • SuperbugsPreventing a “post-antibiotic era”

    A landmark report by the World Health Organization in 2014 observed that antibiotic resistance — long thought to be a health threat of the future — had finally become a serious threat to public health around the world. A top WHO official called for an immediate and aggressive response to prevent what he called a “post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill.”

  • ScienceConcerns about science are unprecedented: AAAS president, CEO

    Researchers are concerned at unprecedented levels about how a new presidential administration may undermine scientific work and delay its benefits, AAAS President Barbara Schaal and AAAS CEO Rush Holt said at a press event at the AAAS Annual Meeting. “It used to be when someone would say they were concerned about the state of science, they were talking about funding for research … these concerns about funding are not the ones being brought to me,” said Holt. “What I hear now are concerns about what I would call an ongoing trend that goes back many years, even decades, where ideology and ideological assertions have been crowding out evidence in public and private debates and policymaking.”

  • SatellitesGalileo satellite signals now more difficult to falsify

    The European Union activated its Galileo satellite navigation system in December 2016. The EU is dedicated to setting this system apart from other navigation systems such as GPS – the U.S. counterpart of Galileo. Researchers have now risen to this challenge as well: they designed authentication features that will make it even more difficult to send out false Galileo signals.

  • SatellitesFirst Israeli nanosatellite launched

    BGUSAT,” the first nanosatellite for Israeli academic research, was launched Wednesday, 15 February as part of a collaboration between Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), and the Israel Ministry of Science, Technology and Space. It will provide researchers with data on climate change, agricultural developments, and other scientific phenomena. The nanosatellite is slightly larger than a milk carton (4x4x12 inches) and weighs only eleven pounds.

  • EnergyCoal and oil demand to peak by 2020: Report

    A boom in the popularity of solar panels and electric cars could spark irreversible changes in the energy sector within three years. By 2020, the global demand for coal and oil could peak and start to decline, according to a new report. The power and road transport sectors account for approximately half of fossil fuel consumption, so growth in the solar panel and electric vehicle markets can have a major impact on demand. The findings of this report could have serious implications for businesses and governments that supply these fossil fuels.

  • Coastal resilienceSea-level rise in Southeast Asia 6,000 years ago relevant for coastal dwellers today

    For the 100 million people who live within three feet of sea level in East and Southeast Asia, the news that sea level in their region fluctuated wildly more than 6,000 years ago is important, according to researchers. This is because those fluctuations occurred without the assistance of human-influenced climate change. Such a change in sea level could happen again now, on top of the rise in sea level that is already projected to result from climate change. This could be catastrophic for people living so close to the sea.

  • Latin America securityVenezuelan vice-president is a major drug trafficker, with terrorism ties: U.S.

    The Trump administration on Monday announced it had imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s vice-president, Tareck El Aissami, charging that he was a major drug trafficker. El Aissami is the most senior Venezuelan official – and one of the most senior Latin American official — to have been charged of drug offenses by the United States. El Aissami has caught the eye of U.S. law enforcement years ago, when, as interior minister in the government of Hugi Chavez, he ordered his underlings to issue dozens of fraudulent Venezuelan passports to people from the Middle East, including members of Hezbollah.

  • Hate groupsHate groups increase for second consecutive year, while Patriot groups decline

    The number of hate groups in the United States rose for a second year in a row in 2016, according to the SPLC annual census of hate groups and other extremist organizations, released yesterday. The most dramatic growth was the near-tripling of anti-Muslim hate groups — from 34 in 2015 to 101 last year. Figures compiled by the FBI dovetail with those of the SPLC – and the latest FBI statistics show that hate crimes against Muslims grew by 67 percent in 2015, the year in which Trump launched his campaign. In contrast to the growth of hate groups, antigovernment “Patriot” groups saw a 38 percent decline — plummeting from 998 groups in 2015 to 623 last year.

  • Border securityTrump’s border plan for Canada? So far, not a wall

    By Jessica Trisko Darden and Stéfanie von Hlatky

    President Donald Trump has said little about the world’s longest undefended border – the one between the U.S. and Canada. The cooperative relationship between the U.S. and Canada is deeply institutionalized on both the economic and security fronts. But, while Canadians largely reject Trump’s rhetoric, the Canadian economy is heavily reliant on free trade with the U.S. This is a bargaining advantage that Trump is unlikely to ignore when he looks to renegotiate with his northern neighbor.

  • HezbollahUN warns Lebanon against arming Hezbollah

    The United Nations warned Lebanese President Michel Aoun against arming Hezbollah, a day after Aoun said that the Iran-backed terrorist organization was essential to Lebanon’s security. UN Council Resolution 1701, which was adopted unanimously to end the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, called for the disarming of all militias in Lebanon and the re-establishment of the Lebanese government’s authority over the southern part of the country, and prohibited the transfer of arms to any entity other than the government in Lebanon. Hezbollah’s continued armed presence in southern Lebanon violates these three elements of the resolution.

  • PandemicsActing fast: Two months to stop pandemic X from taking hold

    Over the past several years, DARPA-funded researchers have pioneered RNA vaccine technology, a medical countermeasure against infectious diseases that uses coded genetic constructs to stimulate production of viral proteins in the body, which in turn can trigger a protective antibody response. As a follow-on effort, DARPA funded research into genetic constructs that can directly stimulate production of antibodies in the body.

  • Financial crisesEarly warning system flags global financial crises

    Researchers have developed a new “early warning system” that could help policymakers around the world take action to avert or lessen the impact of financial crisis. Existing prediction systems failed to forecast the global crash of 2008, which led to several governments bailing out their banks and European nations, such as Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Spain, being plunged into a sovereign debt crisis.

  • Coastal resilienceLast year’s El Niño resulted in unprecedented erosion of the Pacific coastline

    Last winter’s El Niño might have felt weak to residents of Southern California, but it was in fact one of the most powerful climate events of the past 145 years. If such severe El Niño events become more common in the future as some studies suggest they might, the California coast — home to more than twenty-five million people — may become increasingly vulnerable to coastal hazards. And that’s independent of projected sea level rise.

  • Emerging threatsHumans now affect Earth system more than natural forces

    Humans are causing the climate to change 170 times faster than natural forces, new research finds. The study for the first time came up with a mathematical equation to describe the impact of human activity on the Earth system, known as the Anthropocene equation. Over the past 7,000 years the primary forces driving change have been astronomical — driving a rate of change of 0.01 degrees Celsius per century. “Human-caused greenhouse gas emissions over the past forty-five years have increased the rate of temperature rise to 1.7 degrees Celsius per century, dwarfing the natural background rate,” the researchers say.

  • RussiaRussia violates landmark arms-control treaty by secretly deploying banned cruise missile

    The Trump administration may be facing its first challenge from Russia as news emerged that Russia had secretly deployed a new cruise missile. The development and deployment of the cruise missile violates a landmark arms control treaty, signed in 1987 – the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) — which prohibited the development and deployment by the United States and Russia of land-based intermediate-range missiles.

  • DoomsdayTrend: Americans building “doomsday bunkers” in large numbers

    It may be a fad of the moment, or an indication of a deeper trend, but people across the United States are building and buying “doomsday bunkers” in large numbers. It is not exactly a new business, but demand for underground bunkers is at an all-time high according to industry insiders. A Texas bunker company saw its sales increase 400 percent in the past two months.

  • TerrorismFormer Iranian hostage asks feds to seize New York skyscraper to pay for damages

    A former hostage of the Iran-backed terror group Hezbollah has asked the federal government to seize a New York City skyscraper that he alleges is a front for the Iranian government in order to collect on his multi-million dollar court judgment against the Islamic Republic.

  • Disaster recoveryRecovering from disasters: Social networks matter more than bottled water and batteries

    By Daniel P. Aldrich

    Almost six years ago, on Friday, March 11, 2011, Japan faced a paralyzing triple disaster: a massive earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdowns that forced 470,000 people to evacuate from more than 80 towns, villages and cities. My colleagues and I investigated how communities in the hardest-hit areas reacted to these shocks, and found that social networks - the horizontal and vertical ties that connect us to others - are our most important defense against disasters. As communities around the world face disasters more and more frequently, I hope that my research on Japan after 3/11 can provide guidance to residents facing challenges. While physical infrastructure is important for mitigating disaster, communities should also invest time and effort in building social ties.