• Levitating particles could lift nuclear detective work

    Laser-based ‘optical tweezers’ could levitate uranium and plutonium particles, thus allowing the measurement of nuclear recoil during radioactive decay. This technique, proposed by scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory, provides a new method for conducting the radioactive particle analysis essential to nuclear forensics.

  • U.S. considering adding Venezuela to state-sponsors of terrorism list

    The United States is reportedly considering adding Venezuela to the list of terrorism-sponsoring states. The move would impose further financial punishment on the already-collapsing Venezuelan economy, which is staggering under the combined weight of hyperinflation, food and medicine shortages, and a mass exodus of citizens.

  • Better forest management won’t end wildfires, but it can reduce the risks – here’s how

    President Donald Trump’s recent comments blaming forest managers for catastrophic California wildfires have been met with outrage and ridicule from the wildland fire and forestry community. Not only were these remarks insensitive to the humanitarian crisis unfolding in California – they also reflected a muddled understanding of the interactions between wildfire and forest management. As scientists who study forest policy and community-based collaboration, here is how we understand this relationship.

  • Bannon's Brexit connection

    A recent report in the New Yorker revealed emails show Steve Bannon and Cambridge Analytica played a role in pushing Brexit. Their Leave.EU support may have been an incubator for tactics deployed to propel the Trump presidential campaign.

  • U.S. counterterror official: Iran spends $1 billion annually supporting terrorism

    The United States Coordinator for Counterterrorism said that Iran spends nearly $1 billion annually supporting terrorist groups across the Middle East. Of the total, Ambassador Nathan Sales said that Iran gives $700 million to the Lebanon-based terror group Hezbollah; $100 million to Hamas and other “Palestinian terrorist groups;” and unspecified sums to other terrorist organizations.

  • U.S. documents suggest charges filed against WikiLeaks founder Assange

    U.S. court documents suggest WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been criminally charged by prosecutors in a case that could be related to the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the U.S. elections. News outlets report that the disclosure was included as part of a court filing in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, in a case unrelated to Assange.

  • Using social media to weaken impact of terrorist attacks

    Governments and police forces around the world need to beware of the harm caused by mass and social media following terror events. In a new report, leading counter-terrorism experts from around the world offer guidance to authorities to better manage the impacts of terror attacks by harnessing media communication. “People only know what they see or read, so the immediate panic social media – and then on the news – perpetuates rumors and creates fear. This is exactly what terrorists want,” says one expert.

  • Preventing chemical weapons as sciences advance and converge

    Revolutionary advances in science and technology are threatening the ability of the Chemical Weapons Convention to prevent the development, possession and potential use of chemical weapons. Scientists warn of this increased chemical weapons risk, which is the result of rapid scientific change. Alarming examples of the dangers from chemical weapons have been seen recently in the use of industrial chemicals and the nerve agent sarin against civilians in Syria, and in the targeted assassination operations using VX nerve agent in Malaysia and novichok nerve agent in the U.K.

  • Houston's urban sprawl dramatically increased rainfall, flooding damage during Hurricane Harvey

    Houston’s urban landscape directly contributed to the torrential rainfall and deadly flooding experienced during Hurricane Harvey in August 2017, according to Princeton and University of Iowa researchers. The researchers report that Houston’s risk for extreme flooding during the hurricane — a category 4 storm that caused an estimated $125 billion in damage and killed 68 people — was 21 times greater due to urbanization.

  • Nuclear experts: Archive shows that Iran had “advanced capabilities” to produce nukes

    The documents in an archive seized by Israel show that Iran had “more advanced capabilities to make nuclear weapons themselves,” according to a paper being prepared by an anti-proliferation think tank, experts say. Foreign Policy, which saw an early draft of the paper being produced by the Institute for Science and International Security, reported that the information contained in the archive “demonstrates that Washington and the IAEA were constantly underestimating how close Tehran was to a bomb.”

  • Russian Duma approves bill softening punishment for first-time hate-crime offenders

    Russia’s lower house of parliament has approved the first reading of a bill softening the punishment in some cases for inciting hatred, amid concerns over prison terms handed down to people for “liking” or reposting memes on the Internet. The draft bill discussed on 15 November would remove the possibility of a prison sentence for first-time offenders found to have incited ethnic, religious, and other forms of hatred and discord in public, including in the media or on the Internet.

  • Scotland Yard investigating anti-Semitism in British Labour Party ranks

    The Scotland Yard is investigating many instances of anti-Semitism among the rank and file of the British Labour Party since Jeremy Corbyn took over the party’s leadership in 2015. The Scotland Yard’s dossier, which was leaked to the press, consists of 80 pages of allegations about the Labour Party’s anti-Semitism, including Holocaust denial. Statements attributed to party members include “We shall rid the Jews who are cancer on us all” and “Zionist extremist MP who hates civilized people about to get a good kicking.”

  • Hate crimes jumped 17 percent: FBI

    Newly released FBI data showed hate crimes in the U.S. jumped 17 percent in 2017 with a 37 percent spike in crimes targeting Jews and Jewish institutions. The FBI, in its annual Hate Crime Statistics Act (HCSA) report, said there were 7,175 hate crimes in 2017. The 17 percent jump was three times more than the 5 percent increase the agency reported in 2016.

  • Women’s March award rescinded by German NGO due to anti-Semitism

    A German think tank rescinded a human rights award it had planned to present to the Women’s March movement on grounds that the latter group holds anti-Semitic views. In a letter, a working group of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, which is associated with Germany’s Social Democratic Party, announced that it would not present the award to Women’s March USA on grounds that the group failed to meet its criteria.

  • Democrats say they may tie legislation to protection of Russia probe

    A leading Democrat says his party is looking at introducing a bill to Congress that would protect the probe investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election and any possible collusion with President Donald Trump’s campaign.