• 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.

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  • 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.”

  • Our picksFlying Ginsu weapon; targeting the Islamic State; anti-immigrant fervor, and more

    ·  “Flying Ginsu” missile won’t resolve U.S. targeted killing controversy

    ·  The morning after Maduro in Venezuela

    ·  Targeting the Islamic State, or why the military should invest in artificial intelligence

    ·  How anti-immigrant fervor built in the early twentieth century

    ·  Appeals court rules Trump end of DACA was unlawful

    ·  Tulsi Gabbard’s campaign is being boosted by Putin apologists

    ·  The U.S. system for “skilled” migrants is broken

    ·  What we learned investigating a network of Islamophobic Facebook pages

    ·  Watch what happens when vaccinations drop by 10%

    ·  Venezuela’s collapse is the worst outside of war in decades, economists say

  • Election securityProtecting American Votes and Elections Act of 2019

    The PAVE Act requires paper ballots and statistically rigorous “risk-limiting” audits for all federal elections – two measures recommended by experts in a National Academies of Sciences 2018 report. Election security experts who focus on the engineering, computing, and statistical aspects of election security expressed their support for PAVE. “Paper ballots and risk limiting audits are the only known viable approaches for ensuring that software and hardware attacks cannot alter election results,” said one expert. “As the threats to our elections increasingly includes sophisticated foreign adversaries, it is especially important that these simple, proven safeguards be universally implemented.”

  • Cyber resilienceBolstering cyber resilience

    In December 2015, the first known successful cyberattack on a power grid was carried out in Ukraine, disrupting the electricity supply for hundreds of thousands of customers for several hours. Since then, concerns have grown across the globe about the potential public health, economic and security impacts of widespread power outages in heavily populated regions. Argonne partners with World Economic Forum in important cyber resilience effort.

  • Water securityDutch aquifers bank rainwater to help farmers keep the water running

    Climate change is increasing the risk of water shortages across Europe, but researchers in the Netherlands are hoping to ease pressure by generating a steady supply of clean water and heat from deep underground reservoirs known as aquifers.

  • Planetary securityWandering Earth: rocket scientist explains how we could move our planet

    By Matteo Ceriotti

    In the Chinese science fiction film “The Wandering Earth,” recently released on Netflix, humanity attempts to change the Earth’s orbit using enormous thrusters in order to escape the expanding sun – and prevent a collision with Jupiter. The scenario may one day come true. How could we go about it and what are the engineering challenges?

  • PerspectiveWhen to use the “nuclear option”? Why knocking Russia offline is a bad idea

    On Nov. 6, 2018, the notorious Russian troll farm—the Internet Research Agency or IRA—was silent. In an effort to “prevent the Russians from mounting a disinformation campaign” that would “cast doubt on the results” of the 2018 U.S. midterm elections, U.S. Cyber Command conducted a mysterious cyber operation to knock the organization offline. The news about the Cyber Command operation prompted suggestions that America should respond to cyberattacks with more drastic measures. Robert Morgus and Justin Sherman write in Just Security that even putting the important issues associated with offensive cyber operations, “we write to address a fundamental policy question about this type of cyber operation. Would it even serve the deterrent effect some claim it would?”

  • PerspectiveAnalytic superiority, public-private cooperation and the future of U.S. foreign intelligence

    After years of focusing on counterterrorism, a mainly kinetic threat, the U.S. intelligence community must now adapt to a long-term cyber struggle with nation-state adversaries. This struggle includes election interference and other socio-political disruption, cyber sabotage, theft of secrets, and competition in emerging technologies such as quantum computing and 5G wireless communications. David Kris writes in Lawfare that to succeed against these threats, the intelligence community must shift its approach in two related ways. First, it must focus on analytic superiority as well as cryptographic superiority—terms that I explain below but that basically require a shift in emphasis from accessing data to managing and using data. Second, to achieve analytic superiority, the intelligence community must develop stronger partnerships with the private sector and academia, and a broader base of external support with the American people.

  • PerspectiveThe “smarter” wall: how drones, sensors, and AI are patrolling the border

    In an era of increasingly polarized politics, there are few issues as divisive as President Trump’s proposal to build a physical wall across part of the 2,000-mile US-Mexico border. Shirin Ghaffary writes in Vox that there is another kind of border wall increasingly being talked about — one that proponents pitch as being less costly, less disruptive, and less politically controversial than a physical barrier: a so-called “smart wall.”

  • ImmigrationAdministration’s immigration plan prioritizes skills, merit over family

    President Donald Trump is scheduled to announce his long-awaited proposal on immigration Thursday, a plan that aims to move the immigration approval process away from family-ties and humanitarian needs. Administration official said the plan will bolster border security and create a merit-based system, insisting that it is a “competitiveness issue.”

  • CybersecurityHow to break our bad online security habits – with a flashing cyber nudge

    By Emily Collins and Joanne Hinds

    The number of cyberattacks is estimated to have risen by 67 percent over the last five years, with the majority of these data breaches being traced back to human error. The potential risks of such attacks are vast and can have a serious impact on both organizations and individuals. But protecting ourselves against cyber security threats can be extremely complicated.

  • CybersecurityWill the next cyberattack be in the hospital?

    By Brian Blum

    You may not think of hackers targeting hospitals, but this is where our wired world may be most vulnerable, and the results could be deadly. Israeli startup Cynerio aims to stop hackers from targeting medical devices, a potent new danger in our connected world.

  • Extremism & social mediaWhistleblower: Facebook deceived public on extent of extremist content removal

    According to a whistleblower’s complaint to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that was recently revealed in an AP investigation, Facebook has been misleading the public and its shareholders about the efficacy of its content moderation efforts.

  • Truth decayThe mainstreaming of conspiracy theories

    Is paranoia running rampant? Are believers getting the upper hand? The idea that the moon landing was fake is too exotic for most of us. But who truly believes that global warming is a hoax, or that dark forces rule the world? Quite a few people, according to a researcher of conspiracy theories.

  • Truth decayHow are conspiracy theories adopted, and what are their risks?

    Why do people adopt conspiracy theories, how are they communicated, and what are their risks? A new report examines these questions, drawing on research in psychology, information engineering, political science, and sociology.

  • Acoustic detectionLocating a shooter from the first shot using cellphone

    In the past several decades, militaries have worked hard to develop technologies that simultaneously protect infantry soldiers’ hearing and aid in battlefield communication. Now a French researcher has developed a proof of concept that uses the microphones in a TCAPS system to capture a shooter’s acoustic information and transmit this to a soldier’s smartphone to display shooter location in real time.

  • MeaslesPredicting top 25 U.S. counties at risk for measles outbreaks

    A team of researchers has identified 25 U.S. counties that are most likely to experience measles outbreaks in 2019. As of late May, the U.S. has seen more than 800 [cases of measles this year, the highest number in decades. Although measles was officially eliminated from the U.S. in 2000, the ongoing outbreak shows that the nation remains at risk.

  • PerspectiveRussia is targeting Europe’s elections. So are far-right copycats.

    Less than two weeks before pivotal elections for the European Parliament, a constellation of websites and social media accounts linked to Russia or far-right groups is spreading disinformation, encouraging discord and amplifying distrust in the centrist parties that have governed for decades. Matt Apuzzo and Adam Satariano write in the New York Times that the activity offers fresh evidence that despite indictments, expulsions and recriminations, Russia remains undeterred in its campaign to widen political divisions and weaken Western institutions. “The goal here is bigger than any one election,” said Daniel Jones, a former F.B.I. analyst and Senate investigator. “It is to constantly divide, increase distrust and undermine our faith in institutions and democracy itself. They’re working to destroy everything that was built post-World War II.”

  • PerspectiveAnti-vaccine advocates spread misinformation at an anti-vaccine rally amid raging measles outbreaks

    Andrew Wakefield, Del Bigtree, and other prominent anti-vaccine advocates unleashed fear and toxic misinformation on Monday, 13 May, at a well-attended symposium in New York’s Rockland County, the location of one of the largest and longest-standing measles outbreaks in the country. Beth Mole writes in ArsTechnica that the event was billed as being a “highly informative night of science and discussion addressing your concerns, fears, and doubts,” but that the speakers made numerous unsubstantiated and egregiously false claims—as usual. In one instance, Brooklyn Orthodox Rabbi William Handler reportedly made the unsubstantiated claim that getting measles, mumps, and chickenpox reduces the risk of cancer, heart disease, and stroke by 60 percent. He did not provide a citation.