• U.S. Offensive Cyber Operations against Economic Cyber Intrusions: An International Law Analysis

    The United States is likely to struggle to make a convincing argument that economic cyber intrusions carried out against it breach international law. Consequently, in most cases the United States would not be able to resort to countermeasures in response. It must therefore show that its offensive cyber operations do not themselves breach international law.

  • California’s Wildfires Are 500 Percent Larger Due to Climate Change

    Californians may feel like they’re enduring an epidemic of fire. The past decade has seen half of the state’s 10 largest wildfires and seven of its 10 most destructive fires, including last year’s Camp Fire, the state’s deadliest wildfire ever. A new study finds that the state’s fire outbreak is real—and that it’s being driven by climate change. Since 1972, California’s annual burned area has increased more than fivefold, a trend clearly attributable to the warming climate. “Each degree of warming causes way more fire than the previous degree of warming did. And that’s a really big deal,” Park Williams, a climate scientist at Columbia University and an author of the paper, said. Among the many ways climate change might be messing with the environment, extra heat is among the simplest and most obvious. “Heat is the most clear result of human-caused climate change,” Williams said.

  • U.S. Supports Argentina’s Bid to Prosecute Iran’s Agents in 1994 Buenos Aires Attack

    The United States is backing a renewed Argentine effort to prosecute Iranian and Hezbollah agents accused of plotting a deadly 1994 attack on a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. In Latin America’s deadliest terrorist attack, a suicide car bomber struck the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) center in the Argentine capital, 18 July 1994, killing 85 people.

  • PA Doubles Pay-to-Slay Salary of Terrorist Behind Murder of Three Israeli Teens

    After reports earlier this week that the Palestinian Authority (PA) stepped up its support for the “pay-to-slay” policy by which it pays monthly salaries to terrorist prisoners and their families, it now emerged that the PA also doubled the monthly salary it pays to convicted terrorist Hussam Kawasme, who was responsible for the 2014 kidnapping and murder of Israeli teens.

  • DHS S&T announces $35M Funding for Terrorism Prevention, Counterterrorism Research

    The rapidly evolving, diverse terrorist threat continually exploits technological advances to adapt the nature and expand the reach of its tactics. DHS S&T announces $35 million funding opportunity for Terrorism Prevention and Counterterrorism Research (TPCR). TPCR will support academic-led innovation that supports DHS in staying a step ahead of emerging terrorist tactics.

  • The Roots of Labour’s Anti-Semitism Lie Deep within the Populist Left

    “Anti-Semitism is populism in perhaps its purest and most distilled form. It says that politics is indeed a battle between the virtuous masses and a nefarious, corrupt elite – and that that elite is ‘the Jews’. That’s why anti-Semitism carries so many of populism’s distinguishing features, from the fear of an enemy within, to its insistence that the media is bent on distorting reality,” Jonathan Freedland writes. Earlier this year a global study “found that a distinguishing feature of those with a populist worldview is a willingness to believe conspiracy theories, whether on the climate crisis, vaccines, or aliens from outer space. Anti-Semitism is nothing if not an all-encompassing conspiracy theory, suggesting that Jews are the secret rulers of the world.”

  • Can the “Masters of the Flood” Help Texas Protect Its Coast from Hurricanes?

    After centuries of fighting back water in a low-lying nation, the Dutch have become the world leaders in flood control. And their expertise is helping Texas design what would become the nation’s most ambitious — and expensive — coastal barrier.

  • “Safe Third Country” Agreements with Mexico and Guatemala Would Be Unlawful

    News reports that the United States seeks to sign “Safe Third Country” agreements with Mexico and Guatemala – possibly as soon as today – mark the latest phase in the Trump Administration’s efforts to keep Central American asylum seekers from reaching the country. Such agreements would bar asylum applications in the United States from thousands fleeing El Salvador and Honduras, as well as claimants from other world regions who transit Central America and Mexico to reach our border. And they would be contrary to both U.S. and international law on the protection of asylum seekers.

  • It Sure Looks Like Jeffrey Epstein Was a Spy—but Whose?

    In terms of scandals, the sordid saga of Jeffrey Epstein has it all. Mysterious gaudy fortunes. Jet-setting debauchery. Lots of pretty girls—including very young girls. Sex and more sex, not necessarily legal or consensual. Add a battalion of VIPs, including billionaires, A-list celebrities, royalty and no less than two American presidents. The only thing missing was espionage — and it’s not missing anymore.

  • Do Patents Protect National Security?

    On 12 June, the Wall Street Journal broke the story that Chinese firm Huawei Technologies Co. had asserted more than 200 patents against Verizon Communications Inc., reportedly demanding more than $1 billion in licensing fees. On its face, this would seem to be a private patent dispute. But, in fact, it is an important turn of events for national security: The Verizon-Huawei dispute contradicts a view espoused by many experts, and even the Trump administration, about the relationship between national security and intellectual property rights such as patents.

  • The New Anti-Semitism

    In France and other Western societies, the proliferation of new political forces that challenge the established liberal order—from both the right and the left—has revived old patterns of vilifying the Jews as the embodiment of the corrupt elites supposedly responsible for society’s ills. Until the past few years, the biggest threat to Jews in Europe came from Islamists and disaffected Muslim youths. The West’s new wave of anti-Semitism, however, is increasingly coming from new quarters: from the nativist far right, with its fear of “the other” and dreams of racial purity, and from the extreme left, which often identifies Jews with the capitalist elites it seeks to destroy and glorifies Palestinian militants.

  • A Political Murder and Far-Right Terrorism: Germany’s New Hateful Reality

    The death threats started in 2015, when Walter Lübcke defended the refugee policy of Chancellor Angela Merkel.On June 2, Mr. Lübcke was fatally shot in the head on his front porch, in what appears to be Germany’s first far-right political assassination since the Nazi era.

  • Right-Wing Terrorism Could Get Even Worse after Trump

    Right-wing terrorism has grabbed public attention in the Trump era, thanks to a series of bloody attacks on synagogues, black churches, and mosques. The violence itself is shocking enough, but President Donald Trump’s reaction to it—a mix of denial and equivocation—proved even more galling to many Americans. For white supremacists themselves, the Trump era is a golden one, reversing the steady marginalization the cause had suffered since the civil rights era. But for those hoping that right-wing terrorism will decline should Trump leave office after 2020, the reverse is more likely.

  • As Feds Struggle, States Create Their Own Anti-election Propaganda Programs

    As the 2020 presidential campaign heats up, individual states are ramping up education efforts to counter the threat posed by foreign disinformation campaigns to US elections. A lack of action at the federal level has prompted many states to craft their own programs designed to counter foreign efforts to undermine American democracy and educate the next generation of voters in schools.

  • The Chinese Influence Effort Hiding in Plain Sight

    The 80 Chinese student associations in Germany, which represent 60,000 students from the People’s Republic of China, are pieces of a Europe-wide puzzle of organizations. Perhaps numbering in the thousands, and meticulously fit together by Beijing, these associations support the Chinese Communist Party’s ideology and goals—and its narrative about China—among both Chinese and Europeans, and try to ensure that its overseas citizens, and others of ethnic Chinese descent, are loyal.