• House ends rule preventing mentally ill people from buying guns

    The House voted 235-180 to allow mentally ill people to buy and own guns. Lawmakers overturned a regulation which went into effect last year – and which affected about 75,000 people – which required the Social Security Administration to relay names of Social Security recipients diagnosed with mental health conditions, such as extreme anxiety and schizophrenia, and who are considered incapable of managing their own affairs. The names of these individuals were added to a database of citizens who are ineligible to purchase a firearm.

  • Helping Marines make faster, better combat decisions

    Battlefield commanders face many scenarios requiring fast decisions — attacking an enemy position, evacuating injured warfighters, navigating unfamiliar terrain. Each situation pushes leaders to make quick yet informed choices. To enhance these decision-making capabilities, especially for small-unit leaders, the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines (2/6) — “The Spartans” — recently held a weeklong exercise called Spartan Emerging Technology and Innovation Week at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The event featured various training technologies to accelerate the development of decision-making skills.

  • NATO must more firmly counter Russia's cyber-weaponry: U.K defense minister

    NATO must begin to compete on the cyber-battlefield to counter Russian hacking aimed at undermining democracy in the United States and Western Europe, the British defense secretary, Sir Michael Fallon, has said in a speech earlier today (Thursday, 2 February) at St. Andrews University, one of the main centers for Russian studies in the United Kingdom. In his harshest and most pointed criticism yet of Russia, he accused Moscow of targeting the United States, France, Germany, Holland, Bulgaria, and Montenegro.

  • Report: German intelligence believes Iran tested nuclear-capable cruise missile

    In addition to a ballistic missile test that Iran itself revealed, Germany believes that Iran also test-fired a Sumar cruise missile, which could have a range of 2,000-3,000 kilometers (1,250-1,875 miles) and could reach Germany at its maximum capability. In its test, the Sumar successfully traveled 600 kilometers (375 miles), a little less than half the distance to Israel.

  • Spectrum Collaboration Challenge’s contenders selected

    Unveiled in March 2016, DARPA’s Spectrum Collaboration Challenge (SC2) has reached an early milestone by choosing thirty contenders for the first of the three-phase competition, slated to culminate at the end of 2019 with a live match of finalists who have survived the two preliminary contests. In addition to twenty-two teams from academia and small and large companies, eight individuals have made it into the competition.

  • U.S. warns Iran about ballistic missile test

    Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, said the administration is putting Iran “on notice” after Iran tested a ballistic missile, in what may be a violation of a UN resolution. Flynn told reporters that the Trump administration “condemns such actions by Iran that undermine security, prosperity and stability throughout and beyond the Middle East that puts American lives at risk.”

  • Fish scales inspire protective wear

    For several years, researchers have been trying to replicate the kind of protection combined with flexibility offered by certain kinds of animal scales. Their goal is to create protective gloves that are both resistant to piercing and still flexible enough. After five years of work, they believe they have done it. The solution came when they started looking more closely at the scales of an alligator gar.

  • Two Texas mosques burned to the ground this month

    The Islamic Center of Victoria was destroyed by a massive fire Saturday, less than three weeks after the partly constructed Islamic Center of Lake Travis suffered the same fate. The two fires come amid a time of increased unease within Muslim communities across the country.

  • School shootings in U.S. linked to increased unemployment

    A rigorous new study of a quarter-century of data has found that economic insecurity is related to the rate of gun violence at K-12 and postsecondary schools in the United States. When it becomes more difficult for people coming out of school to find jobs, the rate of gun violence at schools increases.

  • Do Americans want to buy ‘smart’ guns?

    “Smart gun” refers to firearms that include some sort of safety device designed to make sure that the gun can be fired only by an authorized user. These safety devices include fingerprint recognition, wearable “tags” that a gun can recognize and other similar features. Smart guns are not yet widely available on the market. But would Americans actually buy smart guns? We need more studies with larger, nationally representative samples and more detailed questions about smart guns. However, my study sheds light on how subgroups of Americans feel about the issue. Not all gun owners or nonowners feel the same way about smart guns. Support is not evenly divided by political party. American attitudes toward smart guns are complex and do not necessarily follow the patterns we might expect.

  • Public view of police and body-worn cameras

    With heightened public and media interest, there is a national push to expand the use of body-worn cameras (BWCs) by law enforcement. However, there is limited research and only anecdotal evidence suggesting that the public supports the use of these cameras in policing. A new study reveals general public perceptions with some unexpected results.

  • A new kind of responder brings special expertise to disasters

    An emergency response incident commander should be well-versed on how to respond to all hazards, including the intricacies of radiological and nuclear incidents. Because the hazards associated with radiological or nuclear (rad/nuc) incidents are uniquely challenging to convey accurately to first responders, DHS S&T has developed a solution in the form of the Radiological Operations Support Specialist (ROSS) Program.

  • Mobile handheld devices to share battlefield information at multiple classification levels

    Troops in remote regions around the world often struggle to operate with limited networks for data sharing and communication—an encumbrance that is amplified when U.S. troops need to share classified or otherwise secure data with each other and coalition partners. DARPA’s Secure Handhelds on Assured Resilient networks at the tactical Edge (SHARE) program aims to create a system where information at multiple levels of security classification could be processed on a single handheld device

  • Hair strength inspires new materials for body armor

    In a new study, researchers investigate why hair is incredibly strong and resistant to breaking. The findings could lead to the development of new materials for body armor and help cosmetic manufacturers create better hair care products.

  • Is mass murder becoming a form of protest?

    If there’s one thing Americans can agree upon, it might be that people – no matter how angry they are – shouldn’t be indiscriminately firing guns into crowds. Yet mass shootings are on the rise, with the shooting at the Fort Lauderdale airport just the latest example. I’m fearful that what we’re seeing isn’t just an increase in violence, but the normalization of a habit, a new behavior recognized as a way to express an objection to the way things are. That is, I’m afraid that mass murder may be becoming – to the horror of almost all of us, but to the liking of a violent few – a form of protest. The terrifying part is that once protest tools become part of the repertoire, they are diffused across movements and throughout society. Perhaps that’s why we see such a range of motivations among these mass murderers. It has become an obvious way to express an objection, and the discontented know they can get their point across.