Business | Homeland Security Newswire

  • Bipartisan bill offers new “pull” incentives for priority antibiotics

    Last week lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a bipartisan bill to encourage the development of new antibiotics, a move one expert called the most important antibiotic legislation in a generation. Currently, only a few large drug companies are involved in antibiotic research and development, because the cost of developing the drugs is so high and profit margins are so slim. Most new developments are modifications of existing drugs, and it’s been three decades since the last new class of antibiotics was discovered.

  • Understanding the Gulf Coast's interconnected natural and human system

    The physical and ecological systems, people, and economy in the Gulf Coast are inextricably linked. Improved understanding of the coupled natural-human coastal system will help promote resilience of coastal communities and ecosystems under rapidly changing environmental conditions and support informed decision-making, says a new report.

  • More secure blockchain applications

    Health IT interoperability has been an elusive goal, with data silos between hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, and payers making exchange of information difficult. Vanderbilt engineers have successfully developed and validated the feasibility of blockchain-based technologies for secure, confidential sharing of patient medical records in a case study that demonstrates how blockchain could solve a huge healthcare challenge.

  • Asylum seekers are not a “burden” for European economies: Study

    Does the arrival of asylum seekers lead to a deterioration in the economic performance and public finances of the European countries that host them? The answer is no, according to economists who have estimated a dynamic statistical model based on thirty years of data from fifteen countries in Western Europe. On the contrary, the economic impact tends to be positive as a proportion of the asylum seekers become permanent residents.

  • Bank withheld $1.6 million from top bump stock maker after Las Vegas shooting

    In a lawsuit, Slide Fire Solutions, the inventor and manufacturer of the bump stock, accuses Merrick Bank of holding more than $1.6 million of the company’s money “hostage.” The financial institution says it had to hedge its risk in light of threats to Slide Fire’s business arising from the Las Vegas shooting.

  • Connected cars vulnerable to cyberthreats

    Connected cars could be as vulnerable to cyberattack as the smartphone in your hand or the personal computer on your desktop, according to a new study from the U.K.“Connected cars are no different from other nodes on the internet of things and face many of the same generic cybersecurity threats,” the team reports.

  • Kaspersky to halt cooperation with Europe to fight cybercrime

    Russia’s Kaspersky Lab says it will no longer cooperate on several European cybercrime-fighting initiatives after the European Parliament moved to ban its antivirus software. The United States and a number of European countries have accused Kaspersky of having ties to the Kremlin and Russian intelligence services. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security last year ordered the country’s agencies using Kaspersky products to remove and replace them with other approved software within 90 days.

  • Lawmakers introduce amendment on Huawei and ZTE

    A bipartisan group of senators on Thursday introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to respond to the national-security threat posed by Chinese telecom companies like Huawei and ZTE. “Huawei and ZTE have extensive ties with the Chinese Communist Party, as well as a track record of doing business with rogue regimes like North Korea and Iran. So it’s only prudent that no one in the federal government use their equipment or services and that they receive no taxpayer dollars. Given their repeated violations of U.S. law, we cannot trust them to respect U.S. national security, and so it’s vital we hold them accountable and pass this amendment,” said Cotton.

  • Warner questions Google, Twitter about Chinese partnerships

    U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Virginia), Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, on Thursday sent letters to Twitter and Google parent company Alphabet, requesting information about any data sharing agreements between the companies and Chinese vendors. “Since at least October 2012, when the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released its widely-publicized report, the relationship between the Chinese Communist Party and equipment makers like Huawei and ZTE has been an area of national security concern,” Warner wrote the two companies.

  • The nuclear industry is making a big bet on small power plants

    Until now, generating nuclear power has required massive facilities surrounded by acres of buildings, electrical infrastructure, roads, parking lots and more. The nuclear industry is trying to change that picture – by going small. Efforts to build the nation’s first “advanced small modular reactor,” or SMR, in Idaho, are on track for it to become operational by the mid-2020s. The debate continues over whether this technology is worth pursuing, but the nuclear industry isn’t waiting for a verdict. Nor, as an energy scholar, do I think it should. This new generation of smaller and more technologically advanced reactors offer many advantages, including an assembly-line approach to production, vastly reduced meltdown risks and greater flexibility in terms of where they can be located, among others.

  • Terrorism cost EU countries $212 billion between 2004 and 2016

    The European Union (EU) countries lost around €180 billion ($212 billion) in GDP terms due to terrorism between 2004 and 2016, according to a new study. According to the study, changes in economic behavior could be the reason behind the observed negative effects on economic growth, as people and companies change their purchasing, saving and investing behaviors following terror attacks. The UK (€43.7 billion) and France (€43 billion) suffered the highest economic losses in GDP terms due to terrorism.

  • U.S. pigs consume nearly as many antibiotics as people do

    A new report is taking the U.S. pork industry to task for irresponsible use of medically important antibiotics, saying the amount of antibiotics used in pigs is nearly the same as that used to treat humans. The report estimates that 27.1 percent of all medically important antibiotics sold in the United States are for pig production, while a roughly equivalent amount—27.6 percent—is sold for use in human medicine. The report argues that the heavy use of antibiotics in pig and other livestock production is contributing to the rise and spread of antibiotic resistance in both animals and people.

  • States’ work laws affect U.S.-Mexico migration

    The current political environment has led to an increased focus on the issue of unauthorized migration from Mexico and Central America, with proposals ranging from reforming the U.S. immigration system to building a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border. A new study used data from a Mexican identification-card program to find that a relatively low-cost employment-focused system can reduce unauthorized migration.

  • Corporate data collection and U.S. national security: Expanding the conversation in an era of nation state cyber aggression

    What has the Russia investigation revealed about risks inherent in mass private data collection? Carrie Cordero writes that one thing we learned from the Russia investigation is that we may be framing the conversation about corporate data collection too narrowly. “Based on what we have learned publicly so far about the Russian election interference, it is worth pausing to reflect on the national security implications of corporate data collection and aggregation as it relates to the collection of individual, private citizens’ data,” she says. “Although the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) and special counsel investigations are not yet complete, we know enough already about Russia’s interference in the 2016 election to understand that data collected from private companies and organizations can be accessed, exposed and potentially misused in a way that is harmful to the country’s institutional stability. At the very least, its misuse sows distrust and confusion. At worst, it shreds the institutional and societal fabric that holds the country together.”

  • Fragile supply chain causing antibiotic shortages, resistance threat

    A white paper released yesterday argues that a fragile global supply chain that’s dependent on a small number of antibiotics manufacturers, along with a financially unstable economic model, are responsible for shortages of antibiotics on a global and national level. Because of these shortages, some patients in need of antibiotics are being treated with lower-quality medications that don’t cure their infections and increase the risk of resistance.