• 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.

  • HSNW conversation with Kathleen GriggsGunshot localization system improves emergency services response to active shooter events

    Kathleen Griggs is president of Databuoy. Databuoy Corporation began in 2006 as a defense contracting company specializing in event-driven command and control operations. It has now realigned itself to focus on public safety in the private sector. Databuoy Corporation’s ShotPoint gunshot localization system is a technology aiming to improve the response of emergency services to an active shooter event. ShotPoint uses networked acoustic sensors that automatically detect, locate, and reports the exact time and location of the source of gunfire.

  • Pathogens$1.87 million for biothreat vaccine research

    CUBRC, Inc. two weeks ago announced that CUBRC’s Biological and Medical Sciences team, in collaboration with EpiVax, Inc., has received a four-year grant worth $1.87 million from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) within the Department of Defense (DoD). CUBRC, EpiVax, and scientists at the University of Florida will be investigating immune cells from patients that were previously infected with Burkholderia pseudomallei to understand how this bacterium evades the human immune system and use that information to engineer an effective vaccine.

  • Public safetyElbit Systems, NOA secure Uruguay municipalities

    Uruguay recently inaugurated a $20 million video surveillance monitoring center using Israeli technologies from NOA security and Elbit Systems. The Maldonado District Administration in Uruguay turned to Israeli technology for the Safe District project, that spans across six municipal authorities including the well-known Punta Del Este tourist resort.

  • PrivacyLegacy travel booking systems do not protect travelers’ private information

    Travel bookings worldwide are maintained in a handful of systems. The three largest — Global Distributed Systems (GDS) Amadeus, Sabre, and Travelport — administer more than 90 percent of flight reservations as well as numerous hotel, car, and other travel bookings. The most important security feature lacking from all three GDSs is a proper way to authenticate travelers.

  • TerrorismTrump Towers or Trump Targets?

    By A. Trevor Thrall

    Donald Trump’s election ushers in a new challenge for homeland security and counterterrorism both at home and abroad. Trump owns, has a stake in, or has lent his name to scores of properties all over the United States and the world. A terrorist could decide to target a Trump Tower in Stuttgart, a Trump hotel in South Korea, or a Trump golf resort in Dubai. A terrorist might even decide to target the famous carousel in Central Park, which Trump also owns. These are “soft targets” without any of the serious security measures surrounding American embassies or other government buildings. Even better (for the terrorists), most of these targets have the president’s name on them in huge letters. Clearly the symbolic damage of such an attack would be immense.

  • TourismNewspaper apologizes for saying terror links prevented U.K. Muslim family from going to Disneyland

    The Mail Online, the Web site of the British newspaper Daily Mail, has issued an apology for running stories depicting a Muslim family as extremists, after family members were denied entry to the United States last year for a vacation in Disneyland. Two articles by Mail reporter Katie Hopkins suggested that Mohammed Tariq Mahmood and his brother, Mohammed Zahid Mahmood, were extremists with links to al Qaeda.The Mail Online has agreed to pay “substantial damages” totaling £150,000 to the Mahmood family. Hopkins also tweeted an apology on Monday.

  • CybersecurityDHS S&T transitions eighth cybersecurity technology to commercialization

    DHS S&T has announced the eighth cybersecurity technology transitioning to commercialization as a part of its Cyber Security Division’s (CSD) Transition to Practice (TTP) program. ZeroPoint has spun off as a startup company called ZeroPoint Dynamics.

  • First-response technologyIdentifying, fast-tracking development of first responders technology

    First responders face challenging conditions while often carrying heavy and outdated equipment. Wearable technology is on the rise, estimated at a $10 billion dollar commercial market, and advances are happening in the health and fitness area every day. The first responder community stands to benefit from integrating some of this otherwise heavy and outdated equipment into wearable technology, improving both upon efficiencies and responsiveness as well as continuing to prioritize their own safety on the frontlines of often dangerous situations.

  • AnthraxEmergent BioSolutions to supply up to $1 billion of anthrax vaccine to the Strategic National Stockpile

    Emergent BioSolutions signed follow-on contract with CDC valued at up to $911 million to supply to the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) approximately 29.4 million doses of BioThrax through September 2021. BARDA issued notice of intent to separately procure approximately $100 million of BioThrax for the SNS over twenty-four months from contract award, which is expected in 1H 2017. These actions, together with the recently awarded BARDA contract for NuThrax, reflect the U.S. government’s intention to transition the stockpile of anthrax vaccines from BioThrax to NuThrax.

  • Migration & businessPost Brexit sharp fall in migration to U.K. could shrink GDP per capita by more than 3%

    EU migration to the United Kingdom could fall by well over half over the period from now to 2020, resulting in net EU migration falling by more than 100,000, a new study estimates. According to the research the fall in migration would also lead to a significant reduction in GDP per capita – up to 3.4 percent over the period to 2030 — whilst providing a modest boost (less than 1 percent) to low paid Brits in the most directly affected sectors.

  • CybersecurityBen-Gurion University, PayPal join forces in cybersecurity research

    Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and PayPal announced a new partnership this morning in order to conduct joint research and development in the fields of big data, machine learning and cyber security. It is the first such collaboration between PayPal and an Israeli university. PayPal’s involvement in big-data and machine learning technology has been supported by its significant R&D activity in Israel, starting with the acquisition of Fraud Sciences in 2008 and the establishment of a global risk and data sciences R&D center in Tel-Aviv.

  • BiosecurityImproving biosafety, biosecurity in West Africa

    The Defense Threat Reduction Agency and United States Strategic Command Center for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction (DTRA/SCC-WMD) have selected CH2M to lead efforts in West Africa to broaden its Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP) on the African continent and reduce the threat of infectious diseases. The CBEP, developed by the Department of Defense to address global health security issues, was used in 2014 to support international efforts to combat the Ebola virus outbreak and other threats to global health security.

  • DisastersHuman, economic costs of disasters underestimated by up to 60 percent

    The impact of extreme natural disasters is equivalent to a global $520 billion loss in annual consumption, and forces some twenty-six million people into poverty each year, says a new report from the World Bank. “Severe climate shocks threaten to roll back decades of progress against poverty,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. “Storms, floods, and droughts have dire human and economic consequences, with poor people often paying the heaviest price. Building resilience to disasters not only makes economic sense, it is a moral imperative.”

  • Immigration debateEnding DACA would wipe away at least $433.4 billion from U.S. GDP over a decade

    Amid talk that the incoming administration could make good on a campaign promise to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, the Center for American Progress estimates that ending DACA would wipe away at least $433.4 billion from the U.S. gross domestic product, or GDP, cumulatively over a decade.