Our picksEco-radicals & bioterrorism; how humans sank New Orleans; immigration policies hobble crime fight, and more

Published 8 February 2018

· What a wall won’t fix on the U.S.-Mexico border

· Bioterrorism: Eco-radicals are the largest threat

· How humans sank New Orleans

· Tech entanglement—China, the United States, and artificial intelligence

· Police: Immigration policies making it harder to catch criminals

· Assad is still using chemical weapons in Syria

· What you should do if Border Patrol asks for your papers

· Drones emerge as new dimension in cyberwar

· Prepare and survive a winter disaster

What a wall won’t fix on the U.S.-Mexico border (Todd Rosenblum, Cipher Brief)
The assumption that a longer, higher wall along the U.S. border with Mexico will improve the nation’s security is wrong. Extending the nearly 700 miles of existing wall will help reduce the number of economic migrants entering the United States, but it will do little to stop the flow of illicit goods, dangerous people or even potential terrorists.

Bioterrorism: Eco-radicals are the largest threat (Danielle Preskitt, RealClearDefense)
A motivation to engage in terrorism is important, but capability is even more important. Education, resources, laboratory equipment, laboratory employees, wealth, and a delusional mentality combine to form a very specific type of person or organization. Eco-radicals are a loosely affiliated organization of domestic terrorists who commit illegal acts to protect the Earth. Examples of more violent and motivated groups are Earth Liberation Front (ELF), Earth First!, and Coalition to Save the Preserves (CSP). These members are normally highly educated, resourceful, isolated, associated with a lab, and maintain “God-like delusions,” making the individual members perfect candidates for proliferation. According to experts, “Gram-for-gram, biological weapons are the deadliest weapons ever produced.”

How humans sank New Orleans (Richard Campanella, The Atlantic)
Engineering put the Crescent City below sea level. Now, its future is at risk.

Tech entanglement—China, the United States, and artificial intelligence (Elsa B. Kania, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists)
Although great powers disagree on the future of the international order, they still share at least a basic commitment to strategic stability—and recognize the undesirability of unintended conflict. This commitment can and should serve as a starting point for engagement on pragmatic, risk-mitigating parameters surrounding artificial intelligence—perhaps including fail-safes, robust testing, or redundancies in sensitive systems.

Police: Immigration policies making it harder to catch criminals (Bernice Yeung, Reveal)
A majority said it has become harder to investigate cases of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking involving immigrant victims.

Assad is still using chemical weapons in Syria (Krishnadev Calamur, The Atlantic)
Neither the threat of U.S. action nor an Obama-era agreement appears to deter Bashar al-Assad.

Mikhail Klimentyev / Sputnik / Reuters

Surf’s up? False alert warns of tsunami headed for Destin, Fla. (Annie Blanks, Northwest Florida Daily News)
AccuWeather sent out the blast to thousands of people Tuesday morning warning them a tsunami was headed to each of their areas.

What you should do if Border Patrol asks for your papers (Allie Conti, Vice)
An expert explains the laws behind those viral videos of agents stopping buses and trains to look for undocumented immigrants.

Drones emerge as new dimension in cyberwar (Patrick Howell O’Neill, Cyberscoop)
Companies are selling drones that hack and hacks for drones.

Prepare and survive a winter disaster (Tim McCarthy, Wicked Local North)
Here are some major takeaways and tips from the guide you can use to help you and your family prepare.