• Testing Interoperability, Compatibility of Next Generation 911 systems

    Next Generation 911 (NG911) is an updated version of the current nationwide emergency response system operating on an Internet Protocol (IP) platform that will enable voice, video, photographs, text, and future communications technologies to be transmitted to and by the public and first responders for assistance. The Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute (CIRI), a DHS Center of Excellence led by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), will develop a framework and process for testing the interoperability and compatibility of NG911 systems.

  • ‘Deepfakes’ Ranked as Most Serious AI Crime Threat

    Fake audio or video content has been ranked by experts as the most worrying use of artificial intelligence in terms of its potential applications for crime or terrorism. : “As the capabilities of AI-based technologies expand, so too has their potential for criminal exploitation. To adequately prepare for possible AI threats, we need to identify what these threats might be, and how they may impact our lives,” says one expert.

  • Nuclear Threats Are Increasing – Here’s How the U.S. Should Prepare for a Nuclear Event

    On the 75th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, some may like to think the threat from nuclear weapons has receded. But there are clear signs of a growing nuclear arms race and that the U.S. is not very well-prepared for nuclear and radiological events. Despite the gloomy prospects of health outcomes of any large-scale nuclear event common in the minds of many, there are a number of concrete steps the U.S. and other countries can take to prepare. It’s our obligation to respond.

  • Real-time Imaging to Help Prevent Deadly Dust Explosions

    Dust explosions can be among the most dangerous and costly workplace incidents. Dust builds up in agricultural, powder-handling or manufacturing settings, causing hazards to employees and posing the risk of exploding. Researchers have developed an image- and video-based application using OpenCV algorithms that detect explosible suspended dust concentration.

  • Hundreds of Domestic Terrorism Investigations Opened Since Start of George Floyd Protests: Officials

    The FBI has opened more than 300 domestic terrorism investigations since late May and arrested nearly 100 people in Portland, Oregon, a focal point of the George Floyd protests, a top federal prosecutor said on Tuesday. The investigations are conducted by a recently formed Justice Department task force on “antigovernment extremists.” Last year, FBI Director Christopher Wray said most of the bureau’s domestic terrorism cases are linked to white supremacy, but the when lawmakers pressed Erin Nealy Cox, co-director of the task force, why the Justice Department “has stopped tracking white supremacist incidents as a separate category of domestic terrorism,” Cox said she did not know.

  • Port of Beirut Explosion kills 73, injures 3,700

    A massive explosion late afternoon Tuesday at the warehouse section of the port of Beirut, Lebanon, killed more 73 and injured nearly 4,000, flattening buildings, shattering glass, and spreading fire. There were two explosions. The first, and much smaller one, was at a warehouse storing fireworks. But that explosion triggered the massive explosion next door, in a sprawling warehouse which stored 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, a volatile chemical which was downloaded from a commercial ship in 2014 and which was supposed to be stored at the site only temporarily (for comparison: Timothy McVeigh used 1.8 tons of ammonium nitrate to blow up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995). The number of dead and injured is likely to rise, as an untold number of people are still buried under collapsed buildings. Lebanese authorities say that many bodies may never be found because they were likely destroyed by the immense explosion or incinerated in the intense fires which follow.

  • Preparing to Clean Up Following an Anthrax Attack

    The microorganism that causes anthrax, the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, has infected people and animals since ancient times. Anthrax is one of the most likely agents to be used in a biological attack, because the anthrax bacteria exist in the natural environment, can be easily disguised in powders, sprays, food or water, and have been previously used as a biological warfare agent.

  • What Is Russia's Vagner Paramilitary Group and What Was It Doing in Belarus ahead of Vote?

    The Vagner Group is one of the best-known of several Russian private paramilitary organizations which have come into being over the past decade. The organization is widely believed to be controlled by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a longtime associate of Vladimir Putin who once served as the Russian president’s chef. Vagner’s operations have always been held in close secrecy, in part because mercenary activity is illegal under Russian law and in part because the group is widely believed to operate in close cooperation with Russian military intelligence.

  • U.S. Federal Agents to Begin Portland Withdrawal

    Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon said federal officers would begin leaving the city of Portland on Thursday after an agreement between local and federal officials. Brown was among the leaders who criticized the presence of the federal agents, saying Wednesday they “acted as an occupying force and brought violence.” The federal government said the deployment to Portland was necessary to restore order and faulted local leaders for allowing ongoing protests that they said endangered federal property, including a courthouse.

  • Militias’ Warning of Excessive Federal Power Comes True – but Where Are They?

    Militias and many other Second Amendment advocates have long argued that their primary desire to own firearms – often, many of them – is rooted in a need to protect themselves and their families from a tyrannical federal government, or to discourage the government from becoming tyrannical in the first place. It appears that the militias’ fears have materialized on the streets of Portland, where heavily armed and camouflaged federal officers, wearing no name tags or other insignia, have teargassed and arrested seemingly peaceful protesters with little or no provocation, throwing them into unmarked cars. President Donald Trump has said that he plans to send similar forces to cities run by Democratic mayors. In recent months a new divide has emerged in these militia groups over whether, and how, to respond to this assertion of federal power.

  • White Police Officers Far More Likely to Use Force in Minority Neighborhoods than Nonwhite Officers

    White police officers are far more likely to use force than their nonwhite counterparts, especially in minority neighborhoods, according to a study from Texas A&M University. Researchers found that the outcome is dramatically different when a white officer responds to a call versus a black officer in an otherwise similar call. White officers use force 60 percent more often, on average, than black officers, and fire their guns twice as often.

  • Is West Turning Away from Nixon's Approach to China?

    In 1972 US President Richard Nixon shocked the world, and many in his administration, by announcing his intention to normalize relations with Communist China. Forty-eight years on, America and China are embarking on another perilous voyage, filled possibly with even greater uncertainty than encountered in the 1970s. Western powers fear Beijing is out to re-shape the liberal world order, subscribing to a growing view that not only does the Chinese Communist Party want to ensure its continued rule at home but to make China the number one global power.  

  • Most Gun Owners Favor Gun Violence Prevention Measures

    New survey shows that the majority of gun owners support many gun violence prevention policies, including background checks, permit requirements, and prohibitions for individuals with domestic violence restraining orders. But most of these gun owners report that they do not make their support public because they are alienated by the rhetoric of gun violence prevention advocates.

  • The Long Haul: China's Grand Strategy

    China has delineated specific objectives regarding economic growth, regional and global leadership in evolving economic and security architectures, and control over claimed territory. In several cases, these objectives bring China into competition, crisis, and even potential conflict with the United States and its allies. The authors of a new report on U.S.-China competition make the case that the kind of country China becomes, and the way that its military evolves, is neither foreordained nor completely beyond the influence of the United States or U.S. military.

  • How Often Are Police Shot in the Line of Duty?

    Though still near historic lows, violent crime has been rising in the U.S. since 2016. So far this year, murders are up 22 percent across three dozen cities. There’s no disputing that police work remains risky, and new research on officers killed and injured in shootings shows a dangerous profession — but not one that’s getting riskier.