• RenditionsU.K. government must face kidnapping, torture claims in rendition case: U.K. court

    The U.K. highest court has ruled that former foreign secretary Jack Straw, MI6, and the U.K. government must stand trial for their participation in the 2004 kidnapping of a Libyan dissident and his wife. The unanimous ruling by the seven justices said that the rendition and torture of Abdel Hakim Belhaj breached rights enshrined in the Magna Carta, and should be put before an English court.

  • European securityEU’s counterterrorism laws are Orwellian: Amnesty

    Sweeping new laws are driving Europe into a deep and dangerous state of permanent securitization, Amnesty International said on the publication of a comprehensive human rights analysis of counter-terrorism measures across fourteen EU member states. Amnesty International says that its latest report — Dangerously disproportionate: The ever-expanding national security state in Europe — reveals how a deluge of laws and amendments passed with break-neck speed, is undermining fundamental freedoms and dismantling hard-won human rights protections.

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  • CybersecurityCanadian Institute for Cybersecurity launched

    The worldwide cybersecurity market is large and growing, with market sizing estimates ranging from $75 billion in 2015 to $170 billion by 2020. The size of the market is a response to the rising global cost of cyberattacks, which is expected to grow to $2.1 trillion by 2020. The Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity, aiming to be a hub for research, training, and industry collaboration, opened at the University of New Brunswick on Monday with more than $4.5 million in funding and the establishment of a research partnership with IBM.

  • CybersecurityGCHQ Cyber Accelerator selects first cyber security start-ups

    Seven start-ups, focusing on online security issues and threats, will join the new GCHQ Cyber Accelerator, powered by Wayra UK. The accelerator will be part of a government-funded cyber innovation center aiming to help keep the United Kingdom secure online. Each start-up will receive benefits including access to technological and security expertise, networks, office space, and mentoring. The accelerator aims to help the United Kingdom take the lead in producing the next generation of cybersecurity systems, boosting the country’s tech sector.

  • Mass murderIs mass murder becoming a form of protest?

    By Lisa Wade

    If there’s one thing Americans can agree upon, it might be that people – no matter how angry they are – shouldn’t be indiscriminately firing guns into crowds. Yet mass shootings are on the rise, with the shooting at the Fort Lauderdale airport just the latest example. I’m fearful that what we’re seeing isn’t just an increase in violence, but the normalization of a habit, a new behavior recognized as a way to express an objection to the way things are. That is, I’m afraid that mass murder may be becoming – to the horror of almost all of us, but to the liking of a violent few – a form of protest. The terrifying part is that once protest tools become part of the repertoire, they are diffused across movements and throughout society. Perhaps that’s why we see such a range of motivations among these mass murderers. It has become an obvious way to express an objection, and the discontented know they can get their point across.

  • SuperbugsDrug-resistant “nightmare bacteria” can diversify, spread

    A family of highly drug-resistant and potentially deadly bacteria may be spreading more widely — and more stealthily — than previously thought. CRE, which tend to spread in hospitals and long-term care facilities, cause an estimated 9,300 infections and 600 deaths in the United States each year, according to the DCD.

  • InfrastructureOur crumbling infrastructure

    By Christina Pazzanese

    The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that the nation’s highways and bridges face an $808.2 billion backlog of investment spending, including $479.1 billion in critically needed repairs. More than two-thirds of the nation’s roads and nearly 143,000 bridges are classified in “dire need” of repair or upgrades. U.S. ports are clogged and need dredging to improve the flow of goods; railroad tracks need modernizing; airport communications technology needs updating and expansion; and urban mass transit is old and inadequate. As president, Trump wants to rebuild America’s core; here are the likely smooth roads and potholes ahead.

  • Emerging threats Warming temperatures in Northeast U.S. decades ahead of global average

    Temperatures across the northeastern United States will increase much faster than the global average, so that the 2-degrees Celsius warming target adopted in the recent Paris Agreement on climate change will be reached about twenty years earlier for this part of the U.S. compared to the world as a whole.

  • TerrorismFBI arrests wife of Orlando shooter Omar Mateen

    Noor Salman, the wife of Omar Mateen, the gunman who carried out the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history when he killed forty-nine people at an Orlando, Florida, night club, was arrested by the FBI in San Francisco. she is expected to face charges of aiding and abetting and obstruction of justice.

  • TerrorismTunisian police deliberately delayed responding to 2015 terrorist massacre at beach resort

    An inquest into the shooting rampage in Tunisia that killed thirty Britons and other victims, was told that Tunisian security forces deliberately slowed down responding to the terrorist attack on holidaymakers in a beach hotel. A local investigation in Tunisia criticized the police for stalling on purpose as they made their way to the scene of the killings.

  • Sanctuary citiesSix years after first attempt, fight over anti-sanctuary cities bill has changed

    By Julián Aguilar

    Bills targeting “sanctuary cities” failed to pass the Texas Legislature in 2011 and 2015, but similar efforts this session have better chances of making it to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk.

  • CrimeDeadly thoughts of offenders may hold answer to reducing crime

    It’s a figure of speech many of us have likely said during an argument or frustrating situation without really meaning. For a small percentage of the population though, the phrase, “I could kill you,” is not so meaningless. Identifying criminal offenders with homicidal ideation – thoughts of committing deadly violence, regardless of action – could change how we sentence and treat some of the most serious offenders.

  • EspionageWhether or not Trump claims are true, Russia is still using sex for spying

    By Dan Lomas

    Plenty of observers have justifiably questioned the accuracy of the story about the dossier the Russian intelligence services are supposed to be holding, a dossier allegedly containing compromising personal and business information about Donald Trump. The story’s claims are, after all, both remarkably lurid and conveniently topical, and it is notably light on specific sources. Whatever the truth regarding allegations against Trump, sexual entrapment was, and is, a tool frequently used by the Soviet intelligence services and their modern-day Russian descendants. The claims in the dossier are lurid and unproven, but they draw on very real precedents.

  • Water securityAffordable water in the U.S.: A looming crisis

    If water rates continue rising at projected amounts, the number of U.S. households unable to afford water could triple in five years, to nearly 36 percent, a new study finds. A variety of factors, ranging from aging infrastructure to climate change to population decline in urban areas, are making residents’ ability to afford water and wastewater services a burgeoning crisis.

  • Emerging threatsChanging climate caused giant Middle East dust storm, not human conflict

    In August 2015, a dust storm blanketed large areas of seven Middle East nations in a haze of dust and sand thick enough to obscure them from satellite view. The storm led to several deaths, thousands of cases of respiratory ailments and injuries, and canceled airline flights and closed ports. At the time, the storm’s unusual severity was attributed to the ongoing civil war in Syria. Now, researchers who experienced the storm while in Lebanon, have found a more likely cause for the unprecedented storm — it was not human conflict, but a combination of climatic factors and unusual weather.

  • ImmigrationU.S. ends preferential treatment of Cuban migrants

    The Obama administration has decided to end a 20-year-old preferential treatment of Cuban immigrants – a policy known as Wet Foot, Dry Foot – which allowed most Cuban migrants who reached the United States – typically on boats – to receive a Green Card after one year. Ending the policy means that undocumented Cuban immigrants will from now be treated the same way as migrants from all other countries who enter the United States without proper papers.

  • TerrorismHigh likelihood of large-scale terrorist attacks in 2017: WEF

    The World Economic Forum (WEF) said that large-scale terrorist attacks – not only lone-wolf attacks — are among the likely threats for which states must prepare in 2017. This is the first time large-scale terrorist attacks have made it to the WEF’s annual “Global Risks” report since the report was first launched a dozen years ago:

  • Iran’s nukesUranium deal raises concerns about Iran’s nuclear ambitions

    A deal to provide Iran with stockpiles of natural uranium that “significantly exceed” its needs raises concerns about the nature of Tehran’s nuclear program, Olli Heinonen, the former deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said.

  • SuperbugsNevada woman killed by superbug resistant to every known antibiotic

    A 70-yer old woman in Nevada has died after a superbug which infected her proved resistant to every available type of antibiotic. The woman was already infected in India, where she had an extended stay, and was hospitalized there several times. She returned to Nevada in August 2016. She was admitted to a hospital shortly after her return, but died a month later after treatment with twenty-six different antibiotics was futile.

  • Public healthOld antibiotics, new tools to combat bio agents

    More than 100 antibiotic compounds have been discovered since Alexander Fleming invented penicillin in 1928, but none within the past thirty years. Now a joint venture is exploring a new class of tetracycline that could combat biological threats to our warfighters.

  • Public healthInfluenza: The search for a universal vaccine

    By Ian Setliff and Amyn Murji

    No one wants to catch the flu, and the best line of defense is the seasonal influenza vaccine. But producing an effective annual flu shot relies on accurately predicting which flu strains are most likely to infect the population in any given season. It requires the coordination of multiple health centers around the globe as the virus travels from region to region. Once epidemiologists settle on target flu strains, vaccine production shifts into high gear; it takes approximately six months to generate the more than 150 million injectible doses necessary for the American population. With current technology, there may never be a “one and done” flu shot. And epidemiological surveillance will always be necessary. However, it is not inconceivable that we can move from a once-per-year model to a once-every-10-years approach, and we may be within just a few years of being there.

  • Natural disastersNatural catastrophe losses at their highest for four years

    A number of devastating earthquakes and powerful storms made 2016 the costliest twelve months for natural catastrophe losses in the last four years. Losses totaled US$ 175 billion, a good two-thirds more than in the previous year, and very nearly as high as the figure for 2012 ($ 180 billion). The share of uninsured losses – the so-called protection or insurance gap – remained substantial at around 70 percent. Almost 30 percent of the losses, some $ 50 billion, were insured.