• Sandia to help California in emergency response planning, training

    Sandia National Laboratories and the California Fire and Rescue Training Authority (CFRTA) this month signed a memorandum of agreement to develop new concepts and capabilities for emergency planning, exercise and response. The agreement provides a framework of cooperation in a variety of vital areas of emergency response planning and training at the California Exercise Simulation Center (CESC) in Mather. The CESC is an exercise and research facility operated by the CFRTA that helps prepare first responders and incident commanders by simulating catastrophic and complex emergency scenarios at low cost.

  • Do gun-restriction laws help reduce gun deaths?

    Researchers looked at the associations between firearm-related laws and firearm homicides, suicides, and unintentional injuries and deaths. The study is the first to explore the evidence from around the world on gun laws and gun violence to determine whether gun restrictions help reduce gun deaths. While the research did not conclusively prove that restrictions, or relaxation of laws, reduce gun deaths, the results indicate that gun violence tended to decline after countries passed new restrictions on gun purchasing and ownership.

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  • Montenegro expels 58 members of Japanese doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo

    Montenegro has expelled fifty-eight foreigners, all members of the Japanese doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo which, in March 1995, launched a deadly nerve gas attack on Tokyo’s underground. Twelve people were killed and thousands injured in Aum Shinrikyo’s nerve gas attack on a Tokyo commuters.

  • Flexible security solution makes life difficult for burglars

    Ideally, homeowners want to be warned if a burglar sneaks onto their property, and farmers want to know if horses or sheep are no longer in the paddock or field they were left grazing in. Experimental physicists at Saarland University have developed a flexible security solution that can be used in gardens, driveways, business premises, or on grazing land and in woodland.

  • DARPA’s seeking innovative system-level technologies

    DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office (TTO) focuses on developing and demonstrating innovative system-level technologies and prototypes that incorporate new and emerging technologies, for the purpose of preserving and extending U.S. military advantages over potential adversaries. To help accomplish these goals and inform potential performers about TTO’s technical objectives, TTO has scheduled its fourth annual Proposers Day for Wednesday and Thursday, 20 and 21 April 2016.

  • Wildfire map shows European countries most at risk of catastrophic fire damage

    Cities and tourist areas such as Catalonia, Madrid, and Valencia are among those most at risk of catastrophic damage from wildfires in Europe, according to research. An international research team has put together a map using satellite data that details the countries in Europe with the highest likelihood of experiencing wildfire damage — with large fires occurring more frequently near “Wildland-Urban Interface” WUI areas in the countries of Albania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Italy, and Spain.

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  • FBI cracks terrorists’ iPhone without Apple's help

    The Justice Department on Monday asked a court to withdraw the government’s request that the court order Apple to help the FBI gain access to the encrypted iPhone used by the San Bernardino terrorists. The Justice Department filed the request after the FBI had successfully accessed data stored on an encrypted iPhone. The FBI wanted the court to compel Apple to relax the 10-attempt limit, which is part of the encryption system which comes with the device. If there are more than ten attempts to guess the password, the phone locks forever and all the data on it is wiped out. The FBI argued that its computers, using brute-force, would be able to break the phone’s password, but that it would take more than ten attempts.

  • Proposed bill would ban “burner” phones in the U.S.

    Much of the recent debate revolved around terrorists using devices with end-to-end encryption. The terrorists who perpetrated the 13 November 2015 attacks in Paris used several encrypted phones – but three of them also used burner phones, concealing their communications by not having the owners’ names associated with the phones they used. Representative Jackie Speier (D-California) has proposed a bill which would ban burner phones in the United States.

  • Protecting firefighters from harm

    If there is anything common among the 1.1 million firefighters — both career and volunteer — serving in the United States, it is that at any moment, they may be required to put their lives on the line to protect people and property from disaster. But who helps protect these dedicated public servants from the on-the-job dangers they face?

  • Clinton said she would open Area 51 files to the public

    Hillary Clinton said that if she is elected president, she would open up the files on the mysterious Area 51 and make public as much as possible about what military or other activities have been taken place there. “If there is something there, unless it’s a threat to national security, I think we ought to share it with the public,”’ she said.

  • ISIS obtaining nuclear weapons “obviously a concern”: British defense secretary

    British defense secretary Michael Fallon said the prospect of ISIS or another terror group with the “technical know-how” obtaining nuclear weapons is “obviously a concern.” Fallon said it was important to ensure that terror groups could not “get their hands on nuclear weapons” and said the United Kingdom was doing its part by maintaining strict export controls on the necessary technology.

  • U.K. could lose access to terrorism, crime databases if it leaves the EU: Europol

    Rob Wainwright, the director of the EU’s police agency Europol, said that if Britain left the EU, it could lose access to important databases of terror and criminal suspects needed to fight ISIS. Wainwright said databases provided “daily” benefit to UK police in protecting borders. Leaving the EU would put intelligence cooperation in danger, he said.

  • Ted Cruz: Cancelled NYPD’s Muslim surveillance program could prevent terrorist attacks

    Presidential candidate Ted Cruz criticized New York Mayor Bill de Blasio for shutting down the NYPD’s Muslim surveillance program. In the wake of the Brussels terrorist attacks, Cruz. suggested that to prevent such attacks in the United States, the police should patrol Muslim communities more heavily – and offered the NYPD program as an example of how such surveillance should be done. In 2014, the New York Police Department acknowledged that its surveillance program did not lead to any terror investigations. Police were not able to find a single lead.

  • Blacks believe police view them as “suspects first, civilians second”: Study

    Most of the Ferguson protestors believed police view black people as worthless thugs and white people as innocent and superior — perceptions which, true or not, affect police-community relations in an era of persistent racial strife. “The protestors did not view police brutality and discrimination as an isolated phenomenon,” says a the researcher who conducted interviews with the protesters. “Rather, they believed that it’s reflective of broader social inequality and discrimination in society at large.”

  • FBI may be able to break into San Bernardino terrorist’s phone without Apple’s help

    Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym has postponed until 5 April a court hearing about the FBI’s request that the court would order Apple to unlock the phone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists. The FBI asked the judge to postpone the hearing after the agency said it may have found a way to unlock the phone without Apple’s help.