• Drone jamming system to protect European airports, public spaces

    Airports could be equipped with technology capable of detecting and bringing down drones that stray into their air space, according to Dan Hermansen, chief technology officer of Danish anti-drone firm MyDefence. The company has developed a drone alarm and protection system that is being installed at a number of prominent sites around Europe, including an airport. It has the potential to prevent the kind of costly disruption that hit London’s Gatwick and Heathrow airports recently.

  • Trump's threat of national emergency declaration explained

    During a visit to the southern border Thursday, President Donald Trump again threatened to use emergency powers to bypass Congress and get billions of dollars to pay for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border as a partial U.S. government shutdown over the issue stretched into its 20th day. What does such a declaration mean?

  • Terrorists and the southern border: Myth and reality

    Taken at face value, rhetoric from the White House and DHS would lead Americans to believe that the United States is facing a terrorism crisis at our southern border. The situation being described is one in which thousands of terrorists have been stopped crossing our southern border to infiltrate the Homeland. If that were true, that would indeed be a crisis. Nicholas Rasmussen, who served as director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) under Presidents Obama and Trump, writes that “In reality, no such crisis exists. U.S. federal courthouses and prisons are not filled with terrorists captured at the border. There is no wave of terrorist operatives waiting to cross overland into the United States. It simply isn’t true. Anyone in authority using this argument to bolster support for building the wall or any other physical barrier along the southern border is most likely guilty of fear mongering and willfully misleading the American people.”

  • What we know about the effectiveness of universal gun background checks

    This Tuesday, newly dominant House Democrats revealed legislation that would require all gun buyers go through a background check, regardless of whether they buy a weapon from a licensed dealer, collector at a gun show, or stranger in a parking lot. Universal background checks are popular and enjoy political momentum. Poll after poll shows they win near universal approval. But it’s worth asking how effective universal background checks are at reducing gun violence. And the real-world evidence that they reduce crime is more complicated than the political momentum might suggest.

  • Manafort wanted polling data sent to Ukrainians

    When, during the 2016 campaign, Paul Manafort sent Trump campaign’s internal polling data to Konstantin Kilimnik – a cut-out for the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence branch — he intended that data to be handed off to two Kremlin-allied Ukrainian oligarchs, Serhiy Lyovochkin and Rinat Akhmetov. Manafort told his accountant in August 2016 he was expecting $2.4 million from Ukraine in November 2016. His spokesman insists that money was payment for an old debt and not the data.

  • New geopolitical power dynamics created by renewables

    Political and business leaders from around the world have outlined the far-reaching geopolitical implications of an energy transformation driven by the rapid growth of renewable energy. In a new report, experts say the geopolitical and socio-economic consequences of a new energy age may be as profound as those which accompanied the shift from biomass to fossil fuels two centuries ago.

  • Europe’s anti-immigration leaders push for a bloc to counter France, Germany

    Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban hopes that a populist, right-wing alliance can gain an anti-migrant majority in the European Parliament. The formation of the alliance was announced by Italy’s Matteo Salvini. Divisions over Russia and Vladimir Putin, however, may see some prospective members decline to join.

  • U.S. counterterror officials see no signs of IS, al-Qaeda on southern border

    U.S. counterterrorism officials are sticking by their assessment that terror groups like Islamic State and al-Qaeda are not actively trying to sneak operatives into the country from Mexico, despite claims by the White House and Homeland Security officials that “the threat is real.” “We do not see any evidence that ISIS or other Sunni terrorist groups are trying to infiltrate the southern U.S. border,” a senior counterterrorism official first told VOA in November, while acknowledging the existence of “vulnerabilities at both our northern and southern borders.”

  • Rep. Rashida Tlaib criticized for Mid East office map which does not show Israel

    The office decorations of newly elected U.S. Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) include a wall map of the Middle East which does not show the State of Israel. The map, published by the Palestinian Authority, is used in Palestinian schools, and shows the area now the Palestinian territories as one political uinit called “Palestine.” Tlaib also came in for criticism for a Twitter post in which she appears to accuse member sof Congress who oppose the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement of dual loyalty.

  • PayPal closes account of neo-Nazi group with ties to Assad, Hezbollah, and anti-Israel boycotts

    PayPal, the U.S.-headquartered digital payments company, has shut the account of The Third Way, a German neo-Nazi party with links to Iranian-backed Hezbollah, the Syrian regime, and the anti-Israel boycott movement. The group’s PayPal page, where the account is listed, also encourages support for Holocaust deniers.

  • Manafort shared Trump campaign polling with Konstantin Kilimnik, a cut-out to Russian intelligence

    While he was the chairman of the Donald Trump presidential campaign, Paul Manafort shared internal campaign polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik, a cut-out for the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence service. Analysts believe he is, in fact, a Russian intelligence operative. It appears that the Trump campaign’s internal data Manafort shared with Russian intelligence was aimed to help the GRU to make the Kremlin’s social-media disinformation effort on behalf of Trump more targetd and effective, especially in suppressing the African American vote for Hillary Clinton. Kilimnik was indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s grand jury on 8 June 2018 on charges of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice by attempting to tamper with a witness on behalf of Manafort.

  • Evidence mounts suggesting “Country A” is Russia

    Alston & Bird, a law firm with experience representing Russian interests, is involved in the mystery grand jury subpoena case assumed to be related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. The case involves a foreign-owned corporation — a financial institution — which is refusing to turn over documents and incurring a daily $50,000 fine.

  • Drinking water safety guidelines in the U.S. vary widely from state to state

    Analysis of existing state and federal guidelines shows discrepancies in recommended safe levels of toxic contaminants PFOA and PFOS in drinking water. The findings of a new study highlight the need for enforceable federal standards and more health protective limits on these contaminants in drinking water to safeguard the health of millions of people whose water supplies have been contaminated.

  • EU to sanction Iranian intelligence agency for foiled terror plots

    The European Union (EU) announced that it would place a unit of Iran’s Intelligence Ministry and two of its agents under sanctions for attempted terror plots on European soil, Reuters reported Tuesday. The EU’s decision follows two well-publicized attempted terror attacks against dissidents in Paris and Denmark last year.

  • The group dynamics that make terrorist teams work

    Acts of terrorism are harrowing and can cause extensive damage and tragic deaths, and they have been occurring with alarming frequency over the last decade. Scholars, governments and analysts have spent a lot of time exploring individual motivations of terrorists. However, terrorist activities are typically performed by groups, not isolated individuals. Examining the role of team dynamics in terrorist activities can elucidate how terrorist teams radicalize, organize and make decisions. There is a common misconception in the West that leaders of terrorist groups are recruiting and brainwashing people into giving up their lives to establish a new political order. This is an incorrect model that has been vastly exaggerated in the media, based on a Western understanding of leadership.