• Iran’s nukesWorry: Iran Said It Will Continue to Enrich Uranium Beyond Radioactive Isotopes Level

    Tehran sent a letter to the UN Thursday saying that it was “determined to resolutely continue” enriching uranium. This came following an EU letter criticizing the Iranian government’s decision, and a Russian firm suspending cooperation in Iran’s uranium enrichment program at the underground Fordo facility.

  • Killer robotsRobotics Researchers Have a Duty to Prevent Autonomous Weapons

    By Christoffer Heckman

    Robotics is rapidly being transformed by advances in artificial intelligence, and the benefits are widespread. But our ever-growing appetite for intelligent, autonomous machines poses a host of ethical challenges.

  • ArgumentLiberal Professors’ Deadly Delusions about Curing Terrorists

    Last Friday, Usman Khan, a 28-year-old British national who was released from prison on parole in December 2018 after serving eight years for terrorism offenses, killed two people a machete near London Bridge. Earlier in the day, at the same site, he had attended an alumni celebration event hosted by the organizers of Cambridge University’s Learning Together program, having been invited to share his experiences as a former prisoner.Simon Cottee writes that the question raised by Khan, who was killed by police as he fled the scene of his attack, is about redemption and whether it’s either right or prudent to give convicted terrorists a second chance. “I have some degree of sympathy for this view [that everyone should be given second chance], but it needs to be massively tempered with a keen sense of not just what is right but also what is prudent” he writes.

  • Nuclear secretsHow the Nation’s Hydrogen Bomb Secrets Disappeared

    Given a choice of items to lose on a train, a top-secret document detailing the newly developed hydrogen bomb should be on the bottom of the list. In January 1953, amid the Red Scare and the Korean War, that’s exactly what physicist John Archibald Wheeler lost.

  • ArgumentCrack Down on Genomic Surveillance

    Across the world, DNA databases that could be used for state-level surveillance are steadily growing. Yves Moreau writes that “Now the stakes are higher for two reasons. First, as technology gets cheaper, many countries might want to build massive DNA databases. Second, DNA-profiling technology can be used in conjunction with other tools for biometric identification — and alongside the analysis of many other types of personal data, including an individual’s posting behavior on social networks.”

  • EarthquakesUnderwater Telecom Cables to Be Used as Seismic Detection Network

    About 70 percent of Earth’s surface lies under the sea, which means that, until now, most of the Earth’s surface had been largely without early-warning seismic detection stations. Scientists say that fiber-optic cables that constitute a global undersea telecommunications network could one day help in studying offshore earthquakes.

  • PerspectiveCrisis Architecture: Building to Defend against Active Aggressors

    A study of mass shootings in the United States shows that a consistent feature of these attacks is that they are over quickly. Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Tadd Lahnert write that “The average time between an attacker entering a structure and the end of the shooting was a mere 9 minutes and 48 seconds.” They call for the adoption of an architectural paradigm they call crisis architecture – “The focus of this paradigm is designing the built environment in a way that increases the likelihood that individuals will survive an active aggressor incident,” they write.

  • Argument: TerroristsLondon Bridge Attack: I Told Ministers We Were Treating Terrorist Prisoners with Jaw-Dropping Naivety. Did They Listen?

    Usman Khan, a 28-year old terrorist who on Friday killed two people on the London Bridge before being killed by the police, served time in jail for “terrorist offenses” and was monitored by the British police. Ian Acheson, who, in 2016, at the request of then-Justice Minister Michael Gove, led a team of investigators who wrote a detailed and highly critical report about the way radicalized Islamist terrorists are managed in jail and after their release, writes: “What we found was so shockingly bad that I had to agree to the language in the original report being toned down. With hindsight, I’m not sure that was the right decision.”

  • Perspective: Ghost gunsOfficials Confirm Santa Clarita Shooter Used a Ghost Gun

    The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department last week confirmed that the weapon used in the Santa Clarita, California, school shooting was a homemade, unserialized pistol, otherwise known as a ghost gun. more and more homemade, unserialized weapons are popping up at crime scenes across California. Ghost guns provide a host of challenges for law enforcement. Chief among them is that they enable minors or those with criminal records to acquire firearms without having to go through a background check or create a trail of paperwork surrounding a gun purchase.

  • Argument: Icebreaker gapThe Icebreaker Gap Doesn’t Mean America is Losing in the Arctic

    A warming Arctic is potentially creating a colder regional security environment. Exchanges of whiskey and schnapps may have been sufficient for the Canadians and Danes, as they have done over the disputed Hans Island — but may not be enough as new contentious issues emerge. Paul C. Avey writes that there are growing worries that a region long characterized by international cooperation will no longer enjoy that exceptional status.

  • School safetyDo Lockdown Drills Do Any Good?

    By Jaclyn Schildkraut

    School lockdown drills and exercises are controversial today, due in large part to some troubling examples making headlines. Parents who fear that these experiences could be traumatizing their children say that rather than reduce the harm caused during mass shootings, dramatic approaches cause harm by amplifying students’ fears about the danger of being shot at school. This raises a good question I seek to answer through my research: Is it possible to be prepared without being scared?

  • WildfiresLack of Preparation Hampers Protection against Bushfires

    As Australia confronts devastating bushfire conditions, people across the nation are doing all they can to ensure the safety of their homes, property and loved ones. But while many individuals are responding well to bushfire risks, a lack of preparation on the community level could be hampering their efforts, according to a new research.

  • Perspective: ExtremismNazi Symbols and Racist Memes: Combating School Intolerance

    The number of Americans between the ages of 15 and 21 who saw extremist content online jumped by about 20 percent, to 70.2 percent from 58.3 percent, between 2013 and 2016, according to a new study. As more such material spills from the web to young people and into classrooms nationwide, educators increasingly find themselves under pressure to combat this new front of hate. Many educators say they feel ill-equipped to recognize what students absorb from the web, much less to address it.

  • Perspective: Atomic spiesFourth Spy Unearthed in U.S. Atomic Bomb Project

    The United States detonated world’s first atomic bomb on 16 July 1945. Four years later, in August 1949, the Soviet Union detonated a nearly identical device in Central Asia – an event which stunned the U.S. military and scientific communities, which did not believe the Soviet Union had the scientific and technical know-how to do so. By 1950s, it became clear that the Soviet quick march to the bomb was aided by spies that the USSR managed to place in Los Alamos – three of them were identified early on. The identity of the fourth has just been revealed.

  • Perspective: Nuclear graveyardThe U.S. Wants to Bury SC’s Plutonium Stockpile Forever. Its New Home Isn’t Sure It Wants It.

    How long will it take for weapons-grade plutonium stockpile, temporarily stored at the South Carolina’s Savanah River nuclear weapons complex, to decay, that it, to have its radioactivity reduced to a level at which it will no longer pose radiation risks or turned into nuclear weapons? About seven billion years, or a little more than double the age of planet Earth. The government’s plutonium plan calls for expanding a nuclear waste burial ground located inside an abandoned salt mine near Carlsbad, New Mexico, which is known as the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, or WIPP. But New Mexico objects.