• U.S. intelligence chief: Mexico not on brink of collapse

    There is a debate among different U.S. intelligent services about how close to a collapse Mexico is; Dennis Blair, director of national intelligence, says the drug cartels’ escalating violence is a product of their weakening state not their strength

  • Better bullet-proof vests with advanced fiber weaves

    Manchester University researchers say that bullet-proof vests used to protect the lives of police officers could be further improved with advanced fiber weaves

  • Disease maps may help turn Zimbabwe's health crisis around

    The government of Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe destroyed the country’s health care system and shut down water treatment facilities; the result has been an uncontrolled cholera outbreak; international aid organizations launch a Web site to help the poor people of Zimbabwe find disease-related information — because their government not only would do nothing to curb the epidemic, it also conceals crucial information from the citizenry

  • U.K. to train workers in counter-terrorism

    Home Office says 60,000 U.K. workers will be trained in counterterrorism so they can assist in responding to terror incidents; the trained workers will augment the existing force of 3,000 dedicated counterterrorism police officers

  • North Dakota EMS employees use disaster money for booze

    Nearly $200,000 of the roughly $810,000 the Bismarck, North Dakota-based EMS group received between 2004 and last year to help produce a plan to fight bioterrorism and other mass disasters was used on “unallowable or questionable” items

  • Report: Israel may attack Iran with missiles

    New study says that Israel would use conventionally tipped ballistic missiles rather than planes to destroy Iran’s nuclear weapon facilities; the destruction of these facilities is feasible — the problem lies with the likely Iranian retaliation to such an attack

  • U.S. searching for a nuclear waste graveyard

    Congress has killed the Yucca Mountain nuclear repository project, so the United States has no central location for storing nuclear waste; 50,000 metric tons of toxic nuclear waste that has already been produced by the U.S. nuclear plants; 30,000 metric tons more of nuclear waste is expected to be generated in the coming decades

  • U.K. looking for a single search and rescue helicopter fleet

    The U.K. Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Transportation are planning to acquire one helicopter for both military and domestic search and rescue missions; the single SAR fleet of aircraft will succeed the existing service in 2012

  • U.S., Israel differ sharply on Iran's nuclear threat

    Dennis Blair tells Senate committee that Iran has not yet made decision to pursue nuclear weapons; Pentagon leaders also differ in their view of Iran’s intentions, capabilities

  • Cost of bioterror false alarms, anthrax hoaxes rises

    The U.S. government has spent more than $50 billion since the 2001 anthrax attacks to beef up U.S. defenses against biological attacks; there has not been another attack so far, but the cost of hoaxes and false alarms is rising steeply

  • Deadly avian flu virus found in wild duck in Germany

    German authorities discovered the virus in a wild duck shot during a hunt near Starnberg, in Bavaria; this is the first case of a virus found in a wild bird for over a year

  • U.K. police equipped with additional helicopters

    The U.K. government has created a capital grant to buy helicopters for local police units; Oxford-based Eurocopter benefits

  • BNS wins £13 million Dounreay decommissioning contract

    Dounreay was the site of a brave, new idea — a fast breeder nuclear reactor which would convert an unusable form of uranium to plutonium which could be recycled and turned into new reactor fuel; it would, that is, breed its own fuel, offering the prospect of electricity in abundance; it has not worked out that way; now it is the site of a big decommissioning effort

  • New anti-crime approach: vigilant windows

    Windows are coated with special polymer which contains nanoparticles that convert light into fluorescent radiation; this radiation is channeled to the edges of the window where it is detected by sensors; when a person approaches the window, the sensors wirelessly relay this currency information to a computer program, which alerts security officials of the potential intruder

  • Of facts and wishful thinking in the Iran debate

    Dennis Blair, the new DNI, said today that it will be “difficult” to convince Iran to give up its quest for nuclear weapons through diplomatic means; he also repeated the November 2007 NIE assessment that Iran had “halted” its weaponization work in 2003