• Coastal perilRising seas disrupt local economies

    Impacts from climate change are not always easy to see. But for many local businesses in coastal communities across the United States, the evidence is right outside their doors – or in their parking lots. High-tide flooding resulting from climate change is already disrupting the economy of Annapolis, Maryland. As sea levels rise, the impacts are expected to get worse for coastal communities.

  • National security challengesOn rogues and peers: Russian, Chinese challenges to U.S. national security

    Russia and China represent distinct challenges to U.S. national security. Russia is not a peer or near-peer competitor but rather a well-armed rogue state that seeks to subvert an international order it can never hope to dominate. In contrast, China is a peer competitor that wants to shape an international order that it can aspire to dominate.

  • CybersecurityHow far should organizations be able to go to defend against cyberattacks?

    By Scott Shackelford

    Organizations can and should be encouraged to take passive defense measures, like gathering intelligence on potential attackers and reporting intrusions. But in my view they should be discouraged – if not prevented – from acting aggressively, because of the risk of destabilizing corporate and international relations. If the quest for cyber peace degenerates into a tit-for-tat battle of digital vigilantism, global insecurity will be greater, not less.

  • China syndromeHuawei espionage arrests in Poland: A wake-up call to Europe

    By Thomas Morley and Matt Schrader

    U.S. and European intelligence services have been warning that Huawei, a jewel in the crown of the China’s growing technology industry, cannot be trusted in its protestations that it does not cooperate with the country’s intelligence agencies, or that it respects the rule of law and the intellectual property of its competitors. European governments should exclude Huawei from their telecommunications infrastructure before the company becomes too enmeshed in the continent’s 5G systems to be fully, securely, and painlessly removed at a later date. Failure to do so would give China truly unprecedented tools to corrupt, influence, and subvert Western democracies and the rule of law that is so vital to their continued health and the health of the post-War international system.

  • Skilled-work visasReform of U.S. skilled-worker visa program wins praise

    The Trump administration’s new rules for a U.S. visa program widely used for technology workers are getting cautious praise from Silicon Valley amid surging demand for high-skill employees. The H-1B visa program, which admits 85,000 foreign nationals each year, will give higher priority to people with postgraduate degrees from U.S. universities, under a final rule the Department of Homeland Security published in January.

  • ImmigrationGermany needs 260,000 immigrants a year to meet labor demand: Study

    Germany needs at least 260,000 new migrant workers per year until 2060 in order to meet growing labor shortages caused by demographic decline. Since migration to Germany from other EU countries is declining, at least 146,000 people each year would need to immigrate from non-EU member states.

  • Considered opinion: The Russia connectionRussia is attacking the U.S. system from within

    By Natasha Bertrand

    A new court filing submitted last Wednesday by Special Counsel Robert Mueller shows that a Russian troll farm currently locked in a legal battle over its alleged interference in the 2016 election appeared to wage yet another disinformation campaign late last year—this time targeting Mueller himself. Concord Management and Consulting is accused of funding the troll farm, known as the Internet Research Agency. But someone connected to Concord allegedly manipulated the documents and leaked them to reporters, hoping the documents would make people think that Mueller’s evidence against the troll farm and its owners was flimsy. Natasha Bertrand writes that “The tactic didn’t seem to convince anyone, but it appeared to mark yet another example of Russia exploiting the U.S. justice system to undercut its rivals abroad.”

  • Africa watchQatar plays key role for peace in the Horn of Africa

    The past year’s unexpected outbreak of peace between former rivals Ethiopia and Eritrea in the Horn of Africa was the result of a decade of patient diplomacy, investment, and military peacekeeping by several regional states, most notably Qatar. The small, oil-rich Emirate in the Persian Gulf has now emerged as a significant regional power.

  • Border fencesDenmark starts building anti-swine border fence

    In a controversial move, Denmark, hoping to stop the crossing of disease-carrying German swine into the hog farming region on Denmark, has begun building a border fence along its 40-mile border with Germany. Denmark says the fence is essential for saving the Danish hog farming industry from collapsing. Denmark is the only European country where pigs outnumber people. The country exports about €4 billion of pork each year.

  • Nuclear safetyNRC weakens a critical safety regulation, ignoring Fukushima disaster lessons

    The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC), in a 3-2 vote, approved a stripped-down version of a rule originally intended to protect U.S. nuclear plants against extreme natural events, such as the massive earthquake and tsunami that triggered meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan in March 2011. The decision will leave U.S. nuclear plants dangerously vulnerable to major floods and earthquakes.

  • Hemisphere watchRussia's ties to Venezuela give it “nuisance power” over the U.S.

    As the political standoff in Venezuela escalates, Moscow has become increasingly ardent in its support for embattled socialist President Nicolas Maduro since Washington and other capitals recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido’s claim to being Venezuela’s interim leader. “Establishing close relations with Venezuela gives Moscow a certain nuisance power in relation to the United States, and that can be used as a bargaining chip in future dealings with the United States. It also can be kind of a showcase for Russia’s aspirations to be considered a global power,” says a Latin America expert.

  • Hemisphere watchHelms-Burton’s Title III: Impact of inching towards implementation

    By Nicolas J. Gutierrez Jr.

    The Trump administration’s recent suspension of the Title III right-of-action provision of the Cuban Liberty & Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1996 (more commonly referred to as the Helms-Burton law) has put traficekrs dealing in stolen U.S. properties on notice. The move foreshadows a fundamental shift in U.S. policy toward Havana. If this historic opportunity to right past wrongs is squandered, however, then the same muddled, “business as usual” approach toward Cuba will prevail, permitting an open season for trafficking in the stolen properties of American citizens in Cuba.

  • Virtual terrorismInterview with "Virtual Terror" author Daniel Wagner

    By Russell Whitehouse

    “One of the characteristics of Virtual Terrorism is that it allows countries like North Korea (and Iran) to punch well above their weight in the cyber arena, and conduct their own form of ‘diplomacy’ on the cyber battlefield. These countries have already attacked the U.S. and other countries – all countries with the capability to do so, do so,” says Daniel Wagner. “The best way to fight it is to help ensure that as many people as possible understand what it is, what some of the challenges are in fighting it, and what can we do about it.”

  • PrivacyCloaking location on mobile devices to protect privacy

    We agree to give up some degree of privacy anytime we search Google to find a nearby restaurant or use other location-based apps on our mobile devices. The occasional search may be fine, but researchers says repeatedly pinpointing our location reveals information about our identity, which may be sold or shared with others. The researchers say there is a way to limit what companies can glean from location information.

  • PrivacyOn Facebook and Twitter, even if you don’t have an account, your privacy is at risk

    Individual choice has long been considered a bedrock principle of online privacy. If you don’t want to be on Facebook, you can leave or not sign up in the first place. Then your behavior will be your own private business, right? A new study shows that privacy on social media is like second-hand smoke. It’s controlled by the people around you.