• CrimeStudying Perry Mason to combat “innocence fatigue”

    Forensic science historian Professor Ian Burney is studying the influence of Erle Stanley Gardner, creator of renowned TV attorney Perry Mason, in a bid to reveal the roots of the fascination with stories about wrongful criminal conviction. Burney hopes the study will help better understand some of the challenges facing today’s worldwide “innocence projects.”

  • Election securityOnline voting not ready for prime time

    Online voting is often considered a way to improve voter turnout and security. But according to one expert, computer scientists have got a long way to go before they make it a viable alternative to pencils and paper.

  • GunsMore mass shooting in states with permissive gun laws

    States with more permissive gun laws and greater gun ownership have higher rates of mass shootings, and a growing divide is emerging between states with restrictive versus permissive gun laws. According to a new study, researchers found that in most years permissive states had higher mass shooting rates compared to restrictive states.

  • MassacresBosnian massacre survivors hail UN court ruling on Karadzic sentence

    Relatives of victims of the Srebrenica massacre have hailed a UN court decision that ordered Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic to serve the rest of his life in prison on genocide and war crimes charges. Karadzic was found guilty for his role in the July 1995 Srebrenica massacre of more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys by Bosnian Serb forces. It was the worst atrocity in Europe since World War II.

  • ExtremismIsraeli Supreme Court bars extreme Jewish candidate from running in April election

    Israel’s Supreme Court has disqualified the leader of the extremist Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) party, Michael Ben-Ari, from running in the upcoming general election in April. Overturning an earlier decision by Israel’s electoral committee, the court banned Ben Ari in an 8-1 vote, citing his anti-Arab ideology and “incitement to racism.”

  • Fake newsFraudulent news, disinformation become “new normal” political tactics

    New report warns of the risk of fraudulent news and online disinformation becoming a normalized part of U.S. political discourse. The report sounds an alarm that fraudulent news and online disinformation, which distort public discourse, erode faith in journalism, and skew voting decisions, are becoming part of the toolbox of hotly contested modern campaigns. 

  • Fake newsInformation literacy must be improved to stop spread of “fake news”

    It is not difficult to verify whether a new piece of information is accurate; however, most people do not take that step before sharing it on social media, regardless of age, social class or gender, a new study has found.

  • Border wallLegal experts: Emergency declaration may not be quickest way to build wall

    By Kiah Collier and Arya Sundaram

    Even if President Donald Trump gets his way, eminent domain lawyers say a variety of legal issues would arise surrounding private land seizures that could delay wall construction for years — and even derail it entirely.

  • Climate threatsEmission regulatory rollback: 200M metric tons of additional green house gasses annually

    Following the release of the Fourth National Climate Assessment, the Trump administration is proposing to give four top climate-polluting industries a pass. A new report says that six specific regulatory rollbacks will cause an annual increase of more than 200 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, resulting in the loss of hundreds of billions of dollars in forgone benefits, and lead to tens of thousands of premature deaths.

  • Truth decayPopulism, conspiracy, and the politics of misinformation

    Europeans are being supplanted by foreign invaders, aided by cultural Marxists who are plotting an Islamist subversion of the continent. Angela Merkel is the secret daughter of Adolf Hitler, Barack Obama was illegitimate, and George W. Bush was in on the 9/11 attacks. These are just some of the tales that are told by populist political actors across Europe and the United States.

  • Gun safetyDoctor-affiliated PACs fund candidates opposing gun safety policies

    Researchers found that physician-affiliated political action committees provided more financial support to candidates who opposed increased background checks, contrary to many societies’ recommendations for evidence-based policies to reduce firearm injuries.

  • GunsAfter Aurora shooting, lawmakers revive proposal to disarm unlawful gun owners

    By Brian Freskos

    Illinois revokes thousands of gun licenses every year. But it’s rare for law enforcement to remove firearms from owners barred from having them. Legislators in Illinois are scrambling to address a gap in state law that many have blamed for allowing the gunman who killed five people in Aurora last week to keep his handgun even after he was banned from possessing firearms.

  • ExtremismSeven MPs quit Labour over party’s failure to address anti-Semitism

    Seven Labour politicians have quit Britain’s main opposition party over leader Jeremy Corbyn’s failure to tackle anti-Semitism and his approach to Brexit. They will sit as a new, independent group of MPs while planning their next steps in the worst Labour split for nearly 40 years.

  • Human traffickingUsing social science to combat human trafficking

    Worldwide, an estimated 20.9 million people are victims of sex trafficking, forced labor, and domestic servitude, collectively known as human trafficking. It is estimated that human trafficking generates billions of dollars in illegal profits annually, making it second only to drug trafficking as the most profitable form of transnational crime. Human trafficking doesn’t only happen abroad; it occurs throughout the U.S., including in urban, suburban, and rural areas. DHS launches a campaign to combat human trafficking.

  • Nuclear safetyNRC weakens a critical safety regulation, ignoring Fukushima disaster lessons

    The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC), in a 3-2 vote, approved a stripped-down version of a rule originally intended to protect U.S. nuclear plants against extreme natural events, such as the massive earthquake and tsunami that triggered meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan in March 2011. The decision will leave U.S. nuclear plants dangerously vulnerable to major floods and earthquakes.