• Doctor-affiliated PACs fund candidates opposing gun safety policies

    Researchers found that physician-affiliated political action committees provided more financial support to candidates who opposed increased background checks, contrary to many societies’ recommendations for evidence-based policies to reduce firearm injuries.

  • Violent video games not associated with adolescent aggression: Study

    Researchers have found no relationship between aggressive behavior in teenagers and the amount of time spent playing violent video games. “The idea that violent video games drive real-world aggression is a popular one, but it hasn’t tested very well over time,” says lead researcher Professor Andrew Przybylski, Director of Research at the Oxford Internet Institute. “Despite interest in the topic by parents and policy-makers, the research has not demonstrated that there is cause for concern.”

  • L.A. showcases quake alert system

    California is earthquake country, and residents of Los Angeles can now get some critical warning, when conditions are right, after a quake has started and seismic waves are heading their way. The long-delayed system, called ShakeAlertLA, is the first of its kind in the United States.

  • Israel fighting Iran’s efforts to upgrade Hezbollah’s rockets

    Israel has been countering Iranian efforts to use suitcases to smuggle GPS components into Syria to upgrade Hezbollah’s rocket arsenal. In 2017, once it appeared that Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad would survive the civil war that was tearing his country apart, “Iran embarked on a grandiose plan for increasing its influence in the shattered country,” says an expert. Iran’s goal was to “build a force of up to 100,000 Shiite fighters from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq. They built intelligence bases and an air force base within each Syrian airbase. And they brought civilians in order to indoctrinate them,” said Israel Defense Force’s former chief of staff, Gen. Gadi Eisenkot.

  • What mass shootings do to those not shot: Social consequences of mass gun violence

    Mass shootings seem to have become a sad new normal in the American life. They happen too often, and in very unexpected places. Concerts, movie theaters, places of worship, workplaces, schools, bars and restaurants are no longer secure from gun violence. Still, hardly any attention is paid to the stress of such events beyond the immediate victims — on the rest of society. That includes those who survived the shooting; those who were in the vicinity, including the first responders; those who lost someone in the shooting; and those who hear about it via the media.

  • Reducing Illinois gun violence

    Illinois could reduce the number of people killed each year by gun violence by implementing ten policies supported by available research, according to a new report. The Johns Hopkins report identifies weaknesses or gaps in current Illinois law and offers recommendations to reduce gun violence.

  • After Aurora shooting, lawmakers revive proposal to disarm unlawful gun owners

    Illinois revokes thousands of gun licenses every year. But it’s rare for law enforcement to remove firearms from owners barred from having them. Legislators in Illinois are scrambling to address a gap in state law that many have blamed for allowing the gunman who killed five people in Aurora last week to keep his handgun even after he was banned from possessing firearms.

  • 700,000 submunitions demilitarized by Sandia-designed robotics system

    More than 700,000 Multiple Launch Rocket System submunitions have been demilitarized since the Army started using an automated nine-robot system conceptualized, built and programmed by Sandia Lab engineers. The automated system was built for the Army’s demilitarization program that aims to dismantle obsolete ammunition and missiles.

  • Marine organisms as detectors of enemy undersea activity

    Goliath grouper, black sea bass, and snapping shrimp, along with bioluminescent plankton and other microorganisms, are set to be the unlikely additions to protecting U.S. assets. Researchers are developing new types of sensor systems that detect and record the behaviors of these marine organisms and interpret them to identify, characterize, and report on the presence of manned and unmanned underwater vehicles operating in strategic waters. The incorporation of biological signals will extend the range, lifetime, and performance of undersea surveillance technologies in strategic waters.

  • U.S. Coast Guard officer to be charged with mass terrorism plot

    Christopher Paul Hasson, a U.S. Coast Guard officer will appear in court today (Thursday), charged with plotting a massive, 2-prong attack modeled after the 2011 Anders Behring Breivik’s terrorist attack in Norway. Breivik killed eight people in Oslo as a diversion, before killing 69 teenagers in a summer camp organized by the Norwegian Social Democratic Party. Hasson compiled a hit list of liberal politicians, Supreme Court judges, and journalists – but his violent plans extended to trying to “establish a white homeland,” and using biological weapons to “kill almost every last person on Earth.”

  • U.S. hate groups hit record number last year amid increased violence

    American hate groups had a bumper year in 2018 as a surge in black and white nationalist groups lifted their number to a new record high, the Southern Poverty Law Center said in a report issued Wednesday. The increase was driven by growth in both black and white nationalist groups, the SPLC said. The number of white nationalist groups jumped from 100 to 148, while the number of black nationalist groups — typically anti-Semitic, anti-LGBTQ and anti-white — rose from 233 to 264. Some conservative groups have accused the SPLC of unfairly labeling them as “hate groups,” and last month, the Center for Immigration Studies sued the SPLC for “falsely designating” it as a hate group in 2016, saying the SPLC has produced no evidence that the group maligns immigrants as a class.

  • Disguises are surprisingly effective

    Superficial but deliberate changes in someone’s facial appearance – such as a new hairstyle or complexion - are surprisingly effective in identity deception, new research suggests.

  • On rogues and peers: Russian, Chinese challenges to U.S. national security

    Russia and China represent distinct challenges to U.S. national security. Russia is not a peer or near-peer competitor but rather a well-armed rogue state that seeks to subvert an international order it can never hope to dominate. In contrast, China is a peer competitor that wants to shape an international order that it can aspire to dominate.

  • Keeping the lights on during and after a disaster

    The threat of an inevitable earthquake is the uncomfortable truth we all face in the Cascadia Subduction Zone, which stretches from Alaska to California. Because the last major earthquake in the area was in the 1700s, our infrastructure developed without an appreciation and understanding of earthquake resilience. That means the next major earthquake will likely devastate our buildings, roads, bridges, and utility providers, posing immediate risks for the health and safety of those who live in the region. And later, there will be long-term economic aftershocks.

  • Using data utilization to augment community resilience, disaster response

    A civil engineering who researches resilience against extreme events and natural hazards is responding to lessons learned from California’s deadly Camp Fire by outlining how to utilize the power of data to improve disaster response and minimize economic loss and human harm in similar events.