• 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 1nti-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.

  • Hemisphere watchRussia's ties to Venezuela give it “nuisance power” over the U.S.

    As the political standoff in Venezuela escalates, Moscow has become increasingly ardent in its support for embattled socialist President Nicolas Maduro since Washington and other capitals recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido’s claim to being Venezuela’s interim leader. “Establishing close relations with Venezuela gives Moscow a certain nuisance power in relation to the United States, and that can be used as a bargaining chip in future dealings with the United States. It also can be kind of a showcase for Russia’s aspirations to be considered a global power,” says a Latin America expert.

  • Hemisphere watchHelms-Burton’s Title III: Impact of inching towards implementation

    By Nicolas J. Gutierrez Jr.

    The Trump administration’s recent suspension of the Title III right-of-action provision of the Cuban Liberty & Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1996 (more commonly referred to as the Helms-Burton law) has put traficekrs dealing in stolen U.S. properties on notice. The move foreshadows a fundamental shift in U.S. policy toward Havana. If this historic opportunity to right past wrongs is squandered, however, then the same muddled, “business as usual” approach toward Cuba will prevail, permitting an open season for trafficking in the stolen properties of American citizens in Cuba.

  • ExtremismU.S. Holocaust scholar: “No respectable politician” in U.K. should associate with Corbyn

    Acclaimed American academic Professor Deborah Lipstadt has slammed British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for presenting himself as a life-long anti-racist campaigner, despite his extensive associations with Holocaust deniers and other extremists. “No respectable politician would associate with anyone who used the ‘n’ word. The same should apply to Corbyn over antisemitism,” she said.

  • Age verificationGermany to use ultrasound age tests for unaccompanied minor refugees

    Age considerations play an important role in considering an asylum-seeker’s application in Germany. German law, with few exeptions, prohibits the deportation of unaccompanied minors — under the age of 18 and without family. Calls for mandatory X-ray age tests on unaccompanied minor refugees were rejected last year by German doctors. As an alternative, the Health Ministry is now launching a €1-million study into using ultrasound age testing.

  • ExtremismDNC becomes latest organization to disavow Women’s March amid anti-Semitism scandal

    In a major blow, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has joined the long list of groups that have broken with the Women’s March over allegations of anti-Semitism. The move comes a day after Women’s March co-president Tamika Mallory refused to explicitly condemn Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan on the ABC show, The View, in a heated exchange with hosts Sunny Hostin and Meghan McCain, who grilled Mallory about the hate preacher’s anti-Semitic views.

  • ExtremismFascist Forge: A new forum for hate

    White supremacist online forum Fascist Forge advertises itself as a “Home for the 21st Century Fascist,” and attracts some of the movement’s most extreme adherents. The forum emphasizes violent tactics. Some users advocate the creation of small terrorist cells, while others share how-to guides on guerrilla warfare, including military field and operation manuals, and instructions for building homemade bombs. Others suggest targeting infrastructure or recommend attacking people they perceive to be enemies of the white race.

  • Considered opinion: Investigating the presidentOn what grounds can the FBI investigate the president as a counterintelligence threat?

    By Jack Glodsmith

    “Let’s stipulate for purposes of argument that Putin has compromising information on Trump, and that the FBI has Trump on tape unambiguously pledging fealty to Putin and promising to serve as his agent in carrying out a number of concrete orders from the Russian president to damage U.S. intelligence operations (for example, by exposing U.S. spies and U.S. intelligence operations),” Harvard Law School’s Jack Glodsmith writes. In this situation, could the FBI seek a FISA warrant premised on the claim that the president was an agent of a foreign power? “The answer based on [my analysis] may be ‘no,’ at least to this extent: the FBI cannot act in a way that is legally premised on second-guessing the president’s national security bona fides. On this view, the FBI can fully investigate Russia’s interference with the 2016 election, including matters involving the president, as it has been doing for a while now. But it cannot cross the line of taking investigative steps premised on the president’s threat to national security. The Constitution leaves crossing that line up to Congress and the American people.”

  • GunsWhat we know about the effectiveness of universal gun background checks

    By Alex Yablon

    This Tuesday, newly dominant House Democrats revealed legislation that would require all gun buyers go through a background check, regardless of whether they buy a weapon from a licensed dealer, collector at a gun show, or stranger in a parking lot. Universal background checks are popular and enjoy political momentum. Poll after poll shows they win near universal approval. But it’s worth asking how effective universal background checks are at reducing gun violence. And the real-world evidence that they reduce crime is more complicated than the political momentum might suggest.

  • ExtremismPayPal closes account of neo-Nazi group with ties to Assad, Hezbollah, and anti-Israel boycotts

    PayPal, the U.S.-headquartered digital payments company, has shut the account of The Third Way, a German neo-Nazi party with links to Iranian-backed Hezbollah, the Syrian regime, and the anti-Israel boycott movement. The group’s PayPal page, where the account is listed, also encourages support for Holocaust deniers.

  • Water securityDrinking water safety guidelines in the U.S. vary widely from state to state

    Analysis of existing state and federal guidelines shows discrepancies in recommended safe levels of toxic contaminants PFOA and PFOS in drinking water. The findings of a new study highlight the need for enforceable federal standards and more health protective limits on these contaminants in drinking water to safeguard the health of millions of people whose water supplies have been contaminated.

  • Hate crimesMany hate crimes never make it into the FBI’s database

    By Sophie Bjork-James

    The FBI’s latest numbers showed a 17 percent increase in reported hate crimes in 2017. But what does this actually say about the actual number of hate crimes occurring in the U.S.? Not much. The Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990 mandates that the FBI publish statistics specifically for crimes motivated by bias, and a broad network of state laws require that hate crimes are both tracked and prosecuted. Despite this, a variety of problems plague the implementation of these laws.