• Farm animal disease to increase with climate change

    Researchers looked at changes in the behavior of bluetongue — a viral disease of cattle and sheep — from the 1960s to the present day, as well as what could happen to the transmission of the virus forty years into the future; they found, for the first time, that an outbreak of a disease could be explained by changes to the climate

  • More borders, cheaper conflict steadily increase number of wars

    New research shows that the frequency of wars between states increased steadily from 1870 to 2001 by 2 percent a year on average; the research argues that conflict is being fed by economic growth and the proliferation of new borders

  • DHS urges greater vigilance for Independence Day, but no threats

    As Americans across the United States prepare to celebrate the nation’s birth on 4 July, DHS is urging law enforcement agencies and individuals to remain vigilant; in its latest Security Awareness bulletin, DHS is careful to note that there is no “specific or credible information” that al Qaeda is planning an attack, but did say that al Qaeda had aspired to execute attacks on the symbolic holiday

  • Supreme Court to hear GPS tracking case

    The 220-year old Fourth Amendment to the Constitution offers protection against unreasonable searches; the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case involving the police secretly attaching a GPS device to a suspect’s car to monitor his movement; the question before the Court: does the secret placement of a GPS device on a suspect’s car in order to keep tabs on him for an extended period of time require a search warrant

  • Yemen: the new Afghanistan?

    President Barack Obama announced last week the acceleration of the scheduled withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan; there was an implicit theme in the speech — the fact that Afghanistan has slowly been eclipsed by other countries as a hot-bed for terrorists; continued U.S. preoccupation with Afghanistan would mean that the United States would have fewer resources to devote to these other places; one of these place is Yemen; two weeks ago, the United States let it be know that it was intensifying the UAV campaign against terrorist targets in Yemen — and that the CIA drones would fly to their missions from a secret base in the region

  • Al Qaeda cellphone shows possible link to Pakistani Intelligence

    The latest details to emerge from the data seized by Navy SEALs from the raid that killed Osama bin Laden reveal that al Qaeda may have links to a Pakistani militant group that has close ties to Pakistan’s intelligence agency; analysts found that the cell phone of Osama bin Laden’s courier contained contacts to Harakat-ul-Mujahedeen, a militant group originally set up with the assistance of Pakistan’s Directorate for Interservices Intelligence (ISI) to fight as a proxy in Afghanistan

  • House introduces new biological weapons legislation

    Last Thursday lawmakers from the House Homeland Security Committee unveiled new legislation designed to help bolster federal efforts to prevent bioterror attacks and the use of other weapons of mass destruction.; under the proposed bill, a new special assistant to the president for biodefense would be created; the bill is called the “WMD Prevention and Preparedness Act of 2011” and Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Connecticut) says he plans to introduce a similar piece of legislation in the Senate soon

  • Official dispels government green procurement regulation myths

    The U.S. government owns or manages one in five acres in the United States, and is the largest domestic user of electricity; it is also one of the largest consumers of resources in the United States, purchasing on average $535 billion worth of goods each year; In 2009 President Obama issued an executive order requiring that all government agencies establish and implement plans to increase their environmental performance; speaking at the 2011 Security Industry Association’s (SIA) Government Summit to an audience of security professionals, a government official sought to clarify myths surrounding the government’s new green procurement regulations and assured government service providers that the rules would not drastically affect a company’s existing practices

  • SBA offers loans to nonprofits in Vermont

    The Small Business Administration (SBA) just announced today that certain private non-profit organizations (PNPs) in Vermont could qualify for special low-interest federal disaster loans; the announcement comes following the presidential disaster declaration in counties severely affected by the devastating storms and flooding that occurred in late April and early May; SBA said that PNPs not providing critical services of a government nature in Addison, Chittenden, Essex, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille, Orleans, and Washington counties are eligible for Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans

  • Connecticut fire departments receive $270,000 in DHS grants

    On Friday, Connecticut Senators Joe Lieberman and Richard Blumenthal announced that the New London Fire Department would receive a DHS grant for more than $15,000, while the Oakdale Volunteer Fire Department would receive over $260,000 in DHS funds

  • Marine reservist arrested outside Pentagon, suspicious vehicle found

    Authorities apprehended Lance Corporal Yonathan Melaku early Friday morning after he was found at Arlington National Cemetery while it was still closed; authorities discovered that the suspect was carrying a notebook that contained the phrases “al Qaeda,” “Taliban rules,” and “Mujahid defeated croatian forces”; law enforcement officials say that despite the evidence found, Melaku is not believed to be involved in a terrorist plot

  • UN body approves measure advancing Iran's nuke program

    The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), over a strenuous U.S. opposition, approved a measure committing the UN to supporting what the Iranians call a “disaster information management center”; the United States managed to defeat the Iranian proposal for the center several times in the past, but this time Iran, exploiting concerns about climate change, repackaged its proposal and tied it to a broader UN effort to help Asian countries prepare for climate change-induced natural disasters; the technologies with which the center will be provided — technologies which are otherwise unavailable to Iran because of the UN sanctions imposed on the country — will give Iran much-improved satellite-imagery and missile-control capabilities; these technologies will dramatically bolster Iran’s target selection, target-destruction, and bomb-damage-assessment capabilities; as is the case with any other new nuclear weapon state, Iran will initially have very few nuclear bombs in its arsenal; the technologies approved by ESCAP for delivery to Iran will allow the ayatollahs to make a much more efficient — and effective — use of their small arsenal — and make their threats to use this arsenal more credible

  • Al Qaeda posts hit list of Americans online

    Terrorists on al Qaeda web forum have posted a hit list of prominent politicians, military officials, and individuals in what government officials fear is an attempt to spur lone wolf attacks; on Ansar al-Mujahideen, an al Qaeda run website that is among the top ten outlets for distributing jihadi propaganda, terrorists posted a list that contains the names of Pentagon officials, defense contractors, Congressional members, and private individuals

  • Violence in Syria continues to spread

    The violence in Syria spread, as thousands escape to Turkey seeking refuge; over the weekend Turkey contemplated the idea of sending its military to occupy a small area inside Syria and turn it into a safe haven protected by the Turkish Army, but was talked out of it by the United States; Turkey has now accepted more than 8,000 fleeing Syrians; Syria has closed off an area near the eastern town of al-Boukamal, on the Iraqi frontier; the area was a smuggling corridor for insurgents and weapons into Iraq in the 2000s, and the Syrian government was upset that the area was now used to smuggle arms into Syria to help the anti-government protesters; the number of civilians killed has reached 1,400, and the number of arrested now stands at 10,000

  • China's sustained cyberattacks on U.S. are an economic, strategic threat

    China has been engaged in a sustained guerrilla cyber war against the United States, with two goals in mind: first, stealing research and development, software source code, manufacturing know-how, and government plans; second, to counter American military superiority by threatening to damage the underpinning of the U.S. economy; that Congress and the administration do nothing in the face of these cyber assaults is puzzling