• No link between immigration and increased crime: Research

    Political discussions about immigrants often include the claim that there is a relationship between immigration patterns and increased crime. However, results of a new study find no links between the two. In fact, immigration actually appears to be linked to reductions in some types of crimes, according to the findings. “It’s important to base our public policies on facts and evidence rather than ideologies and baseless claims that demonize particular segments of the U.S. population without any facts to back them up,” says one of the researchers.

  • Israel prepares for possible Hezbollah naval commando attack

    The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is preparing for a possible Hezbollah incursion using marines and other naval commandos in the country’s north. A group of commandos could try to infiltrate north of Nahariya while protected by mortar and anti-tank fire from Lebanon, the IDF believes. It also believes that Hezbollah will attempt to capture Israeli territory and hold it, even temporarily, in order to declare a victory against Israel.

  • TSA continues to use unscientific, unreliable program blamed for profiling

    Thousands of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers use so-called “behavior detection” techniques to scrutinize travelers for yawning, whistling, being distracted, arriving late for a flight, and scores of other behaviors that the TSA calls signs of deception or “mal-intent.” The officers then flag certain people for additional screening and questioning. Documents the ACLU has obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit show that the TSA itself has plenty of material showing that such techniques are not grounded in valid science — and they create an unacceptable risk of racial and religious profiling. Indeed, TSA officers themselves have said that the program has been used to do just that.

  • SideArm prototype catches full-size drones flying at full speed

    Few scenes capture the U.S. Navy’s prowess as effectively as the rapid-fire takeoff and recovery of combat jets from the deck of an aircraft carrier. The ability to carry air power anywhere in the world, and both launch those aircraft to flight speed and bring them to a stop over extremely short distances, has been essential to carriers’ decades-long dominance of naval warfare. To help provide similar capabilities—minus the 90,000-ton carriers—to U.S. military units around the world, DARPA’s SideArm research effort seeks to create a self-contained, portable apparatus able to horizontally launch and retrieve unmanned aerial systems (UASs) of up to 900 pounds. The self-contained, portable apparatus can be used to launch and retrieve unmanned aircraft from trucks, ships, and fixed bases.

  • Sandia adds augmented reality to training toolbox

    When you hear the term “serious gaming” you might envision professional eSports competitors gearing up for a League of Legends World Championship in front of tens of thousands of live fans and tens of millions of streaming fans. At Sandia National Laboratories, serious gaming means something else entirely. Experts on physical security at Sandia apply the technology and methods of the game industry to real-world national security problems.

  • Extreme fires will increasingly be part of our global landscape

    Wildfire burned more than 10 million acres in the United States in 2015, and cost over $2 billion to suppress. There were 23 million landscape fires around the world between 2002 and 2013, and researchers define 478 of them as extreme wildfire events. Increasingly dangerous fire weather is forecast as the global footprint of extreme fires expands.

  • Should we really be so afraid of a nuclear North Korea?

    The common thinking is that North Korea’s nuclear program poses a threat to global peace and diverts economic resources from an impoverished population. North Korean leaders are depicted in the Western media as a cabal of madmen who won’t be satisfied until Washington, Seoul, or some other enemy city is turned into a “sea of fire.” But it also pays to consider what sounds like a perverse question: could a North Korean bomb actually benefit both the country’s people and the world at large? As far as Pyongyang is concerned, its militaristic strategy has worked: It has kept the Kim government internally stable, the population dependent on the government, and the country’s enemies at bay. Accepting the country’s nuclear status, rather than trying to head it off with sanctions and threats, could bring it back to the diplomatic bargaining table.

  • Temporary gun removal law shows promise in preventing suicides

    A Connecticut law enacted in 1999 to allow police to temporarily remove guns from potentially violent or suicidal people likely prevented dozens of suicides, according to a new study. In their review of 762 gun-removal cases, the authors calculate that for every 10 to 20 instances of temporary gun seizures, one suicide was prevented.

  • 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.