• Neutralizing the effects of lethal chemical agents

    Organophosphorus agents (OPs) are used both in farm pesticides, and by terrorists and rogue states. About 200,000 people die each year across the world from organophosphorus agents (OP) poisoning, through occupational exposure, unintentional use, and misuse, mostly in developing countries like India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka and through deliberate terrorist activities. OPs include compounds like Tabun, which was developed in 1936 by German scientists during the Second World War, Sarin, Soman, Cyclosarin, VX, and VR. Researchers develop an enzyme treatment which could neutralize the effects of OPs.

  • Teacher talks a California high-school shooter into putting down his gun

    A 16-year old Taft, California high school student brought a shot gun to school yesterday, carrying enough ammunition with him to kill many people; after shooting and injuring one student in a science class, he shot the teacher, but the bullet only grazed the teacher’s head; the teacher and another staff member then engaged the gunman in conversation, allowing teachers in other classrooms time to lead their students out of the building; the two men persuaded the gunman to put his gun down, and he was arrested by the police

  • Powerful stun guns popular in U.K.

    Possessing a stun gun in the United Kingdom can carry a jail sentence of ten years, but the police keep seizing hundreds of stun guns every year; U.K. law enforcement agencies have investigated more than 200 crimes in the last three years involving stun guns, and that in those three years almost 500 stun guns have been seized by police

  • Biden hints at executive action on gun violence

    Vice President Biden on Wednesday said the White House could use executive orders to advance gun control measures. Biden held a series of meetings Wednesday in the White Housed on the topic of gun violence and the ways to reduce it; in a meeting with gun-safety and victims groups, Biden said: “There are executive orders, executive action that can be taken,” adding: “we haven’t decided what that is yet”

  • Instant DNA analysis worries privacy advocates

    In the past, it took weeks to analyze a person’s DNA, but with new technology it can take less than a day, and in most cases less than two hours; Rapid DNA analyzers can process a DN sample in less than ninety minutes; these machines, the size of a household printer, are now being marketed to local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies around the country; privacy advocates worry

  • Laser weapon tracks, destroys drones, mortar rounds in mid-flight

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    A 50kW high energy laser (HEL) weapon technology demonstrator successfully passed demanding tests in Switzerland; in the first test, a massive, 15mm-thick steel girder was cut through from a distance of 1,000 meters; even more impressively, the HEL shot down several nose-diving target drones at a range of two kilometers; the drones were flying at speeds over 50 meters a second, but the system’s radar had no trouble picking up the incoming unmanned aerial vehicles at a distance of three kilometers, before they were destroyed by the laser beam at a 2-km range; the HEL also tracked and destroyed a steel ball measuring 82 mm in diameter and travelling at approximately 50 m/sec – replicating a mortar round – in mid-air

  • Florida university distances itself from professor's claim that Sandy Hook shooting was staged by the government

    A Florida university professor publicly questioned whether the Newtown, Connecticut shooting happened, or whether it was a government drill, forcing his employer, Boca Raton-based Florida Atlantic University, to distance itself from him; professor James Tracy also raised questions about whether the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting ever happened

  • Portable X-ray source offers a mobile terrorism prevention tool

    The hand-held scanners, or tricorders, of the Star Trek movies and television series are one step closer to reality now that a engineers have invented a compact source of X-rays and other forms of radiation; the radiation source, which is the size of a stick of gum, could be used to create inexpensive and portable X-ray scanners for use by doctors, as well as to fight terrorism and smuggling and aid exploration on this planet and others

  • A dandelion-shaped device to help in demining operations

    Decades of war have left land mines buried all over the Afghan countryside; they continue to go off, killing and maiming hundreds of  innocent people every year; last year alone, more than 812 people were wounded or killed in Afghanistan because of mines left behind after the armies retreated; two Afghan inventors designed a dandelion-like device for demining operations


  • Emergency management technology is customized for use in school security

    School shootings are a very real fear for parents and school administrators, and a Ohio company has customized its emergency response solution for use in schools; the Web-based system which gives first responders eyes-on access to critical situational information, such as maps, floor plans, emergency protocols, call lists, and real-time video feeds where there are cameras

  • Helicopter monitors radiation levels in Washington, D.C.

    For the last week, a National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) helicopter has been flying over Washington, D.C., measuring naturally occurring radiation levels; the purpose is to establish a baseline of radiation levels so that abnormal spikes – occurring, for example, as a result of exploding a dirty bomb — may be readily detected

  • White House considering gun-control measures beyond assault weapons ban

    Sources in the White House say the administration is considering a broader and strategy on guns control in the wake of the Newton, Connecticut, mass shooting; the approach being considered will go farther than a ban on certain types of assault weapons; the Biden task force, which will submit its recommendations to President Obama in a few weeks, is leaning toward adoption of measures recommended by the law enforcement community, among them requiring universal background checks for firearm buyers, tracking the movement and sale of weapons through a national database, strengthening mental health checks, and stiffening penalties for carrying guns near schools or giving them to minors

  • U.S. troops arrive in Turkey to man missile defense batteries

    Turkey, a NATO member, has asked the organization for missile defense battaeries to protect it against a possible attack by Syria; the United States, Germany, and the Netherland deployed Patriot missile batteries along the Syrian-Turkish border, with their nationals manning the weapons; U.S. troops arrived in Turkey on Friday to supervise the U.S.-supplied missiles 

  • U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki purchased tickets for 9/11 terrorists: FBI documents

    Within two weeks of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, FBI investigators had information that New Mexico-born jihadi cleric Anwar al-Awlaki had purchased air travel tickets for some of the hijackers; the information is contained in newly released, and heavily redacted, FBI documents; it appears that after the 9/11 attacks, the FBI, rather than arrest al-Awlaki, tried to work with him or track him for intelligence purposes, to see whether he would lead the agency to sleeping-cell terrorists still in the United States; Al-Awlaki was killed by a CIA drone attack in Yemen in September 2011

  • Newspaper hires armed guards to watch editorial headquarters

    A newspaper in Rockland County, New York offered its readers a map on its Web site which showed the names and addresses of all gun permit holders in Rockland and Westchester counties; worried about an angry reaction to the map, the newspaper hired private security guards to watch over its West Nyack headquarters