• Germany 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.

  • Russia is attacking the U.S. system from within

    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.”

  • Qatar 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.

  • Denmark 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.

  • NRC 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.

  • Russia'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.

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

    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.

  • Interview with "Virtual Terror" author Daniel Wagner

    “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.”

  • Cloaking 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.

  • On 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.

  • Amazon, Facebook and Google don’t need to spy on your conversations to know what you’re talking about

    If you’ve ever wondered if your phone is spying on you, you’re not alone. One of the most hotly debated topics in technology today is the amount of data that firms surreptitiously gather about us online. You may well have shared the increasingly common experience of feeling creeped out by ads for something you recently discussed in a real life conversation or an online interaction. Tech companies don’t need to listen to your phone calls or read you emails. Simply put, tech firms routinely gather so much data about you in other ways, they already have an excellent idea what your interests, desires and habits might be.

  • Huawei industrial espionage in Poland leads to calls for boycott

    The Chinese telecom giant’s industrial espionage activities in Poland have prompted calls for the company to be banned. The United States is leading the push for a boycott, but many EU governments remain undecided. Huawei offers a capable 5G technology, which represents a quantum leap in wireless communication speed, and which will be key to developing the Internet of Things (IoT), including self-driving cars. Critics charge that much of that technology was stolen from Western companies by Chinese intelligence agencies, for which Huwawei serves as a front.

  • The quiet threat inside ‘internet of things’ devices

    As Americans increasingly buy and install smart devices in their homes, all those cheap interconnected devices create new security problems for individuals and society as a whole. The problem is compounded by businesses radically expanding the number of sensors and remote monitors it uses to manage overhead lights in corporate offices and detailed manufacturing processes in factories. Governments, too, are getting into the act – cities, especially, want to use new technologies to improve energy efficiency, reduce traffic congestion and improve water quality. The number of these “internet of things” devices is climbing into the tens of billions. They’re creating an interconnected world with the potential to make people’s lives more enjoyable, productive, secure and efficient. But those very same devices, many of which have no real security protections, are also becoming part of what are called “botnets,” vast networks of tiny computers vulnerable to hijacking by hackers.

  • How Russia hacked U.S. power grid

    In an aptly titled investigative report — “America’s Electric Grid Has a Vulnerable Back Door—and Russia Walked Through It” — the Wall Street Journal has used “documents, computer records and interviews” to reconstruct exactly how Russian hackers accessed the U.S. electric grid in the spring of 2016, an attack that continued through 2017 and possibly 2018.

  • Evidence mounts suggesting “Country A” is Russia

    Alston & Bird, a law firm with experience representing Russian interests, is involved in the mystery grand jury subpoena case assumed to be related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. The case involves a foreign-owned corporation — a financial institution — which is refusing to turn over documents and incurring a daily $50,000 fine.