• B61-11 earth-penetrating weapon tested for first time in seven years

    One of the main purposes of the U.S. nuclear stockpile is deterrence, and one important way to assure deterrence is to have a successful surveillance test that shows that the systems in the stockpile work. Sandia’s annual surveillance program for each weapon type consists of flight tests, lab tests, and component and material tests. On 20 November 2013, researchers conducted a rocket-driven impact test of the nonnuclear components of the B61-11 earth-penetrating weapon, the first such test in seven years. Flight tests subject the weapon to shock, vibration, temperature, rotation, weather, and more. Sandia pulls random units from the stockpile for tests.

  • DHS: conspiracy theories about DHS purchases unequivocally false

    Conspiracy theorists have pointed to several DHS solicitations for gear and ammunition as “proof” that the department is in the process of creating, training, and equipping a secret force, the purpose of which would be to suppress public dissent – or worse: one blogger wrote that “Another possible conclusion [regarding DHS’s ammo purchases] is that the bullets are intended to coerce and, if need be, kill us.” DHS flatly rejects these conspiratorial assertions as unequivocally false, saying that each and every purchase is in line with past purchases and in support of on-going, legitimate, and transparent departmental operations.

  • Number of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen significantly reduced

    In the past several months, the United States has reduced the number of drone strikes on terrorist targets in Pakistan and Yemen. The United States launched 117 drone strikes in Pakistan in 2010, compared to twenty-one so far this year. Representative Mike Rogers (R-Michigan), chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, is concerned. “[The threat of terrorism is] not diminishing,” he said. “There have been counterterrorism changes made by the administration that have concerned us all, things that we’ve been working on for a period of months that we’re trying to work through that are very, very concerning. This is no time to retreat.”

  • Powerful stun guns popular in U.K.

    Possessing a stun gun in the United Kingdom can carry a jail sentence of ten years, but the police keep seizing hundreds of stun guns every year; U.K. law enforcement agencies have investigated more than 200 crimes in the last three years involving stun guns, and that in those three years almost 500 stun guns have been seized by police

  • Less-lethal 12-gauge shotgun round for law enforcement unveiled

    Innovative new round flattens, or “pancakes,” across a subject’s body on impact rather than keeping its shape as other rounds do

  • Better to use spray rather than a gun in bear encounters

    Carrying a gun in bear country does not mean you are more protected in the event of a bear encounter; researchers say people should behave cautiously and carry bear spray instead

  • The Bruzer – a less lethal, compact 12-gauge

    To augment local police officers’ growing array of non-lethal weapons, Tommy Teach, a military combat veteran, has designed a compact non-lethal 12-guage shotgun

  • Taser rolls out redesigned wearable cameras

    Last week Taser, the manufacturers of the electric stun guns, unveiled its newly remodeled wearable camera system which is sleeker and more advanced than its predecessor; the Axon Flex, introduced less than a year after the company rolled out its first wearable cameras, represents a significant upgrade

  • Protests spur sonic blaster sales boom

    With the spate of protests from the Occupy Wall Street movement sweeping across the country, there has been a surge of interest in non-lethal crowd control systems; in particular U.S. police and first responders have taken a keen interest in Long-Range Acoustic Devices (LRAD)

  • Nonlethal microwave weapon successfully tested

    Counter-electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP) is a nonlethal alternative to kinetic weapons that neutralizes electronic targets; it would allow the military to focus on these targets while minimizing or eliminating collateral damage; Boeing and the U.S. Air Force have successfully completed the missile’s first flight test

  • Why the Twin Towers collapsed: new theory

    Materials scientist says that a mixture of water from sprinkler systems and molten aluminum from melted aircraft hulls created explosions that led to the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11

  • Taser-related fatalities raise safety concerns

    As police across the United States increasingly turn to Taser guns as a non-lethal weapon, the device’s safety has come under scrutiny following several recent deaths involving Tasers; last week the Fayetteville police department in North Carolina recalled all of its Taser M26 units following the death of a fifty-six year old political activist who died after being stunned by police

  • Wastewater recycling adds to greenhouse gas emissions

    New research shows that wastewater recycling processes may generate more greenhouse gases than traditional water-treatment processes; still, there are good reasons to continue keep wastewater recycling among the water-resource tools for urban areas

  • Taser death leads to $10 million payout

    The manufacturer of police Tasers recently awarded $10 million to a North Carolina family after a teenager was killed when he was shocked with a stun gun; Darryl Turner, a seventeen year old boy, died in a supermarket after a police officer shot him in the chest with a Taser Model X26 electronic control device in 2008

  • Tough new Alabama immigration law divides community

    A sweeping new Alabama immigration law is generating sharp controversy and unease with many likening it to a return to the state’s brutal Jim Crow laws; among the strict immigration measures passed last month, undocumented immigrants are banned from enrolling in or attending college, applying for work, and landlords are restricted from renting property to illegal aliens; the law even requires school districts to check the immigration status of children; the bill has drawn fierce criticism from immigration advocates, churches, and civil liberties groups.