• IranFormer IAEA deputy director criticizes nuclear agency’s Iran investigations

    Olli Heinonen, the former deputy director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency has criticized the agency for “reduc[ing] the level of transparency and details in its reporting” on Iran’s nuclear program, making it “practically impossible” to confirm that Iran is complying with the terms of the nuclear deal.

  • Sanctuary campusesAbbott vows to cut funding for "sanctuary campus" schools

    By Patrick Svitek

    Rebuking a growing movement aimed at protecting undocumented students under incoming President Donald Trump, Gov. Greg Abbott vowed Thursday to cut funding for any Texas school that declares itself a “sanctuary campus.” The definition of a “sanctuary campus” is murky, but Abbott  made it clear they are not welcome in Texas.

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  • Russian hackingDeclassify information related to Russia’s meddling in the U.S. election: Lawmakers

    Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) led seven members of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday in asking President Barack Obama to declassify information relating to the Russian government and the U.S. election. Russian government hackers – employed by two Russian government agencies — conducted a hacking and disinformation campaign in the run up to the election, aiming to undermine Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump, but no evidence has emerged to suggest that the Russian government hackers interfered with the voting process itself.

  • HezbollahReport: IDF planes strike Hezbollah weapons convoy, Syrian army target

    A Hezbollah arms convoy and a Syrian military target were hit overnight by Israeli air strikes, Arab media reported Wednesday. Syrian government-associated news sources reported that there were four explosions in Damascus at 1:15 in the morning, as a military compound near the Damascus airport was hit by Israel Air Force planes operating in Lebanese airspace. The Kuwaiti news network al-Rai reported that the planes also struck several vehicles travelling along the Beirut-Damascus highway, which were apparently part of a Hezbollah arms convoy.

  • Russian hackingRussian gov. hackers may disrupt Germany’s 2017 elections: Germany’s intel chief

    The Russian government’s broad hacking campaign to undermine Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid and help Donald Trump become the U.S. next president may well be the template Russia is following in the run-up to next year’s German general election. Russia has actively – both overtly and covertly — supported right-wing, ethno-nationalist, populist, and proto-Fascist parties like Front National in France, Golden Dawn in Greece, Ataka in Bulgaria, and Jobbik in Hungary. These parties share not only anti-immigrant policies – but they are also fiercely anti-EU and want to distance their countries from NATO. One of the major themes in the public rallies – and political platform – of the German far-right, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant Pegida movement is that the influence of President Vladimir Putin’s Russia in Germany would be a welcome alternative to the imperial designs of the United States and Brussels.

  • Iran’s nukesExpert: Iran falsely accusing U.S. of violating nuclear deal to gain more concessions

    Iranian warnings against the passage of the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) reflect “a broader strategy” in pursuit of additional sanctions relief, a senior analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, wrote in a policy brief on Saturday. The ISA was originally passed in 1996, targeting Iran’s energy sector and expanding U.S. secondary sanctions. The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a ten-year extension of the act earlier this month. In order to be renewed, the legislation must now pass the Senate and be signed into law by President Barack Obama.

  • Immigration & businessLawmaker wants to crack down on illegal hiring by state contractors

    By Julián Aguilar

    The federal E-Verify system, operated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, screens for undocumented workers by comparing the information that job applicants submit to an employer with records maintained by the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration. A measure filed Monday in the Texas Senate would beef up punishment for employers that hire undocumented workers and seek to do business with the state.

  • JASTABritain faces U.S. legal claims as a result of new terror-sponsors law

    Senior British political and military figures have warned that Britain faces a wave of legal claims from U.S. lawyers — and could even be taken to court by victims of ISIS follower Jihadi John. The warning comes in the wake of Congress passing the controversial Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), which permits U.S.-based lawyers to sue foreign states for not doing enough to tackle terrorism, and limit terrorist activities by their citizens.

  • TerrorismExtreme-right terrorism threat growing: U.K. police

    Neil Basu, deputy assistant commissioner to the U.K. national coordinator for counter-terrorism policing, has said police fear the threat of far-right violence is growing and poses a similar danger to communities as other forms of extremism. “Over the past twelve months, there have been indications that the threat from [the] extreme right wing could be increasing and we are alive to this,” he said. Figures release by the police show that concerns over potential extreme rightwing radicalization led to a 73.5 percent increase in referrals to the counter-radicalization program Prevent last year, compared with the previous twelve months.

  • Populism resurgent“Authoritarian populism” becoming driving force in Western democracies

    The election victory of Donald Trump, Brexit,the rise of former fringe parties like UKIP and France’s Front National are part of a political trend which could define the next decade, according to research by polling firm YouGov. YouGov’s polling found that “authoritarian populism” was a force driving many voters across Europe and the United States, sharing notions such as opposition to immigration; suspicion of international coalitions, treaties, and organization; and reluctance to use national power for goals which are termed “globalist” – like human rights or nation-building.

  • Populism resurgentThe seeds of the alt-right, America’s emergent right-wing populist movement

    By George Michael

    In recent months, far-right activists – which some have labeled the “alt-right” – have gone from being an obscure, largely online subculture to a player at the very center of American politics. Long relegated to the cultural and political fringe, alt-right activists were among the most enthusiastic supporters of Donald Trump. To its critics, the alt-right is just a code term for white nationalism, a much-maligned ideology associated with neo-Nazis and Klansmen. The movement, however, is more nuanced, encompassing a much broader spectrum of right-wing activists and intellectuals. Unlike old-school white nationalist movements, the alt-right has endeavored to create a self-sustaining counterculture, which includes a distinct vernacular, memes, symbols, and a number of blogs and alternative media outlets. Now that it has been mobilized and demonstrated its relevance (just look at the number of articles written about the movement, which further publicizes it), the alt-right is likely to grow, gaining a firmer foothold in American politics.

  • Muslim registryNYC mayor said city would sue U.S. government over Muslim registry

    New York City mayor Bill de Blasio said that the city would sue the U.S. government if Muslims were required, under a Donald Trump administration, to sign up to a “registry.” “We will use all the tools at our disposal to stand up for our people,” he said. The Muslim registry plan advanced by Trump supporters like Kris Kobach, the secretary of state of Kansas, would require all Muslims in the United States sign to a registry in which they would reveal their identity, religious beliefs, and political affiliations. In its original form, the registry requirement would apply to Muslim visitors to the United States – students, business people, and tourists – as well as to Muslim citizens of the United States.

  • HezbollahIsrael: Iran is smuggling missile technology to Hezbollah inside commercial flights

    Iran is smuggling weapons to the terrorist group Hezbollah inside commercial flights to Lebanon, the Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations has charged in a letter to the UN Security Council. Such actions would violate several Security Council resolutions. The arms were either shipped directly to Hezbollah on commercial flights to Lebanon, or flown to Damascus, Syria, and then shipped to the terror group over land.

  • CybersecurityMalware covertly turns PCs into eavesdropping devices

    Researchers have demonstrated malware that can turn computers into perpetual eavesdropping devices, even without a microphone. Using SPEAKE(a)R, malware that can covertly transform headphones into a pair of microphones, the researchers show how commonly used technology can be exploited.

  • TerrorismOverall number of terrorism deaths falls, but increases in some countries

    New edition of the Global Terrorism Index highlights a complex and rapidly changing set of dynamics in global terrorism. While on the one hand the top-line statistics highlight an improvement in the levels of global terrorism, the continued intensification of terrorism in some countries is a cause for serious concern. There was a 10 percent decline from 2014 in the number of terrorism deaths in 2015 resulting in 3,389 fewer people being killed. Iraq and Nigeria together recorded 5,556 fewer deaths and 1,030 fewer attacks than in 2014. However, with a global total of 29,376 deaths, 2015 was still the second deadliest year on record.