• Preferential trade agreements bolster global trade at the expense of its resilience

    The global commodity trade is a complex system where its network structure, which may arise from bilateral and multilateral agreements, affects its growth and resilience. At time of economic shocks, redundancy in this system is vital to the resilience of growth.

  • Increase in arms transfers driven by demand in the Middle East, Asia

    The volume of international transfers of major weapons has grown continuously since 2004 and increased by 8.4 percent between 2007–11 and 2012–16, according to new data on arms transfers published today by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Notably, transfers of major weapons in 2012–16 reached their highest volume for any five-year period since the end of the cold war.

  • Applied intelligence: Providing actionable insights to decision-makers

    Frederic Lemieux is Professor and Faculty Director at the Applied Intelligence Program, School of Continuing Studies, Georgetown University. Georgetown University’s Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Applied Intelligence, blending study and hands-on practice, is designed for professionals who are looking to enter into or advance within a wide range of intelligence-related roles in both the public and private sectors. Students learn how to master strategies for assessing organizational strengths and weaknesses, harnessing large and disparate datasets, and forecasting business competitiveness in both public and private institutions.

  • Early warning system flags global financial crises

    Researchers have developed a new “early warning system” that could help policymakers around the world take action to avert or lessen the impact of financial crisis. Existing prediction systems failed to forecast the global crash of 2008, which led to several governments bailing out their banks and European nations, such as Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Spain, being plunged into a sovereign debt crisis.

  • Trend: Americans building “doomsday bunkers” in large numbers

    It may be a fad of the moment, or an indication of a deeper trend, but people across the United States are building and buying “doomsday bunkers” in large numbers. It is not exactly a new business, but demand for underground bunkers is at an all-time high according to industry insiders. A Texas bunker company saw its sales increase 400 percent in the past two months.

  • Challenges, opportunities ahead for repairing the U.A. aging infrastructure

    President Donald Trump underscored repairing the nation’s aging infrastructure as a national priority both throughout the campaign and in his inauguration address. Senate Democrats last week also unveiled their own $1 trillion plan. But how did the country’s infrastructure fall into a state of such disrepair? What are the greatest challenges facing an infrastructure boom? And how can engineering foster innovation and the development of new technology to address this national priority?

  • Consumers ignorant of tracking methods used by online advertisers

    The general public has a poor understanding of the workings of online behavioral advertising, and the privacy implications behind the information that advertisers gather. Researchers found that two-thirds of the consumers they interviewed in the study did not realize that most online advertising involved third-party entities and advertising networks that track a user’s browsing activities across websites to provide targeted ads.

  • Information on hacking tool could be of use to “hostile entities”: FBI

    The FBI on Monday said it was right for the agency to withhold documents which detail how it unlocked an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino, California, shooters. The FBI said that the information, if released, could be exploited by “hostile entities.” The Justice Department, in response to a FOIA law suit by the AP, Vice Media, and Gannett, the parent company of USA Today, earlier this month released heavily redacted records relating to the incident – but withheld information about how much the FBI paid a third party to unlock the work phone of Syed Rizwan Farook.

  • Texas agriculture experts: Mexico may retaliate if U.S. imposes tariffs

    Texas agricultural experts say President Trump’s threatened tariff on Mexican goods could lead to retaliation that would hurt Texas farmers and ranchers — as well as consumers. The idea of a tariff on Mexican imports or a radical change to the North American Free Trade Agreement worries many Texas agriculture industry leaders, who say it is in the state’s best interest to continue fostering a positive trade relationship with Mexico rather than imposing tariffs on their imports.

  • Electricity costs to surge in a warming world

    Climate change is likely to increase U.S. electricity costs over the next century by billions of dollars more than economists previously forecast, according to a new study. The study shows how higher temperatures will raise not just the average annual electricity demand, but more importantly, the peak demand. And to avoid brownouts and absorb these surges, utilities will need to spend between $70 billion and $180 billion in grid upgrades—power plants and futuristic energy storage systems for which ratepayers would ultimately foot the bill.

  • Israeli security-fence company lobbies to build Trump’s wall

    Shares of Israeli security company Magal Security Systems Ltd. jumped 5.6 percent on 27 January, the day after Donald Trump told Fox News a security barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border could stop most border breaches. The company’s shares have risen nearly 50 percent since Trump’s election. Trump said a wall would be effective in preventing illegal immigration from Mexico. “All you have to do is ask Israel,” he told Fox News. “They were having a total disaster coming across, and they had a wall. It’s 99.9 percent stoppage.”

  • Mexican cinema chain: U.S. popcorn exports at risk

    The head of Mexico’s largest cinema chain has warned that renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) may put the U.S. popcorn industry is at risk. Alejandro Ramirez’s company, Cinepolis de Mexico – the fourth largest cinema chain in the world – buys around $10 million of kernels from Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa.

  • Trump loosens sanctions on Russian intelligence agency which helped his 2016 campaign

    The Trump administration has loosened sanctions imposed by Barack Obama on Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), one of the two Russian government intelligence agencies which actively interfered in the U.S. 2016 presidential campaign in order to help Trump win. The loosening of the sanctions would make it easier for American companies to do business with the FSB, which is the successor of the KGB.

  • Global entities come shopping for Israeli cybersecurity

    As computer devices and Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity continue to break new boundaries and create changes to our lifestyle, new cybersecurity technologies to defend our tech-savvy lives are crucial. “We’re still at the beginning for the cyber arena. We still need the security solution for smart homes, we still don’t have security solutions for autonomous cars, or for connected medical devices or MRI machines, or for connected kitchen appliances. Every technology that will be introduced to our lives in the coming years will need a cyber solution,” says one expert.

  • Microgrids spread globally

    To a greater or lesser extent, every business needs access to reliable and economical sources of power. It is an additional bonus for some if that electricity can be generated using renewable sources. Modern technology allows businesses to meet these needs themselves, producing energy as well as consuming it locally, creating flexible networks known as “microgrids.” Microgrids are spreading globally, driven by technological, regulatory, economic, and environmental factors. Siemens helps build and get the best from these modern energy systems.