• Russian interference: Far, wide, ongoing, and successful

    Thanks to the bipartisan, exhaustive work of the Senate Intelligence Committee, we now know more about Russia’s broad, sustained effort to help Donald Trump win the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. This effort was similar to Russia’s interference campaign in more than two dozen other countries, aiming to bring to power – or increase the power of – leaders, parties, and movements who would be more accommodating toward Russia’s interests. Here is how the U.S. media covered the two important reports written based on material gathered by the Intel Committee.

  • Women’s March in Washington state disbands citing Farrakhan ties to national leadership

    The Women’s March movement of Washington State has announced its dissolution over the ties leaders of the national organization have with anti-Semitic preacher Rev. Louis Farrakhan. In a statement, Angie Beem, who served as president of Women’s March Washington, wrote: “Because of the events happening at the national level and their refusal to acknowledge and apologize for their anti-Semitic stance, we have decided to dissolve our Women’s March on Washington State organization in order to separate” from the national organization.

  • Medical problems of U.S. Havana embassy personnel explained

    A medical team has released the first report of acute symptoms and clinical findings in 25 personnel living in the U.S. Embassy in Havana. The researchers did not attempt to determine the cause of the symptoms in the U.S. Embassy residents, the authors noted that intense ultrasonic radiation can produce “a syndrome involving manifestations of nausea, headache, tinnitus, pain, dizziness, and fatigue,” based on occupational health literature.

  • Evidence supporting regulation of greenhouse gases stronger than ever: Scientists

    Sixteen prominent climate scientists argue that there is more reason than ever for the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gases, at the same time some politicians are pushing the EPA to reverse its 2009 decision to do so.

  • Maria Butina pleads guilty to U.S. charge of foreign-agent conspiracy

    A Russian woman has pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiring to act as a foreign agent in a case that the U.S. government said highlighted Moscow’s efforts to influence Washington’s foreign policy. Butina, who received a graduate degree from American University in Washington and who publicly advocated for gun rights, sought to build relationships with influential conservative political groups, including the powerful National Rifle Association.

  • Demagogues on the right and left use digital tools to exploit popular resentment, dissatisfaction

    The digital era has spurred many advancements in many areas of human society, but it has also led to growing instability and inequality, notes Tom Wheeler, a Visiting Fellow in Governance Studies at Brookings’ Center for Technology Innovation. At the political level, the digital engine which is driving economic and social instability also provides the tools to exploit the resulting dissatisfaction so as to threaten liberal democratic capitalism, he argues.

  • The time of the trolls

    The West woke up to the threat of Kremlin trolls in 2016, however it had already been very damaging in 2014–2015. The Ukraine crisis saw the deployment of trolls to Facebook and VKontakte, as well as YouTube and Twitter. The investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election showed that trolling was never completely dependent on a technology like bots, nor that it was predominantly about Kremlin employees sitting somewhere in Russia manufacturing anti-Clinton propaganda. Rather, it was ordinary Americans and Europeans that were sharing the messages launched by trolls, and often posting them themselves.

  • Women’s March leaders accused of making anti-Semitic remarks at first organizational meeting

    During the first meeting of the Women’s March in November 2016, leaders of the organization endorsed virulent anti-Semitic tropes, claiming that Jews were “leaders of the American slave trade” and “bore a special collective responsibility as exploiters of black and brown people,” Tablet Magazine reported on Monday. The comments about Jews were made by two of the leaders of the Women’s March, Tamika Mallory and Carmen Perez, and were allegedly informed by the teachings of anti-Semitic hate preacher Louis Farrakhan, including his book The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews.

  • Search underway for suspect in Strasbourg Christmas market attack

    The French police has launched a manhunt for a criminal suspected of opening fire on a Christmas market in Strasbourg on Tuesday evening, killing two people and injuring more than a dozen others. The authorities regard the attack as an act of terrorism. The famous Strasbourg Christmas market has been the target of terrorists in the past.

  • Strasbourg attack suspect has criminal past in Germany

    Cherif Chekatt, 29, the suspect in the Tuesday’s Strasbourg terror attack, has a criminal record in France, Germany, and Switzerland, and spent time in German and French jails. French investigators say the suspect was radicalized in prison and was on a watch list.

  • Sen. Warner: Moscow has closed cyber gap with U.S.

    The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee warns the United States is being outgunned in cyberspace, already having lost its competitive advantage to Russia while China is rapidly closing in. “When it comes to cyber, misinformation and disinformation, Russia is already our peer and in the areas of misinformation or disinformation, I believe is ahead of us,” Senator Mark Warner told an audience Friday in Washington.

  • U.S. must start from scratch with a new nuclear waste strategy: Experts

    The U.S. government has worked for decades and spent tens of billions of dollars in search of a permanent resting place for the nation’s nuclear waste. Some 80,000 tons of highly radioactive spent fuel from commercial nuclear power plants and millions of gallons of high-level nuclear waste from defense programs are stored in pools, dry casks and large tanks at more than seventy-five sites throughout the country. “No single group, institution or governmental organization is incentivized to find a solution,” says one expert.

  • What should we do with nuclear waste?

    The failure to develop a strategy for permanent storage and disposal of this fuel costs Americans billions of dollars a year and jeopardizes the future of nuclear power as a carbon-free source of energy, according to nuclear security expert Rodney C. Ewing. He recommends a new not for profit independent corporation that’s owned and supported by the utilities that operate nuclear power plants. The new organization would deal only with spent fuel from commercial reactors. Defense waste is an entirely different issue and should, at this time, remain the responsibility of the federal government.

  • Deaths from terrorism fell for the third consecutive year, after peaking in 2014

    The Global Terrorism Index 2018, just released by the Institute for Economic & Peace (IEP), shows the total number of deaths decreased by 27 percent in 2017, with the largest falls occurring in Iraq and Syria. A drop in fatalities was also reflected in country scores with 94 countries improving, compared to 46 that deteriorated. Alongside the fall in terrorism, the global economic impact of terrorism has also dropped, decreasing by 42 percent to $52 billion in 2017.

  • “Big picture” platforms boost fight against online terror activity

    The fight against terrorism-related content and illegal financing online is speeding up thanks to new platforms that join up different internet-scouring technologies to create a comprehensive picture of terrorist activity. The idea is that when an online tool discovers a fragment of information it can be added to a constellation of millions of others - revealing links that might otherwise have gone undetected or taken much longer to uncover.