• Pandemic Apologies and Defiance: Europe’s Leaders Increasingly Rattled

    European leaders are handling rising public frustration, economic distress and mounting coronavirus case numbers in different ways, with most showing the strain of dealing with a yearlong pandemic, say analysts and commentators, who add that the leaders seem to be rattled by a third wave of infections sweeping the continent.

  • Understanding Mass Shootings in America

    A mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado, left 10 people dead less than a week after a spate of shootings at three spas in the Atlanta area claimed eight lives. There is no official definition of “mass shooting,” though it is often understood as an incident in a public place that claims four or more lives, and attracts widespread media coverage. In the last five decades, these events have become far more common. Mass shootings are both tragedy and spectacle. As a result, they attract a huge amount of attention, which tends to distort views about the prevalence of incidents, the most common victims, and how the weapons that are used are obtained.

  • Stanford’s John Donohue on Mass Shootings and the Uniquely American Gun Problem

    As Americans emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, the reality of the other U.S. epidemic—gun violence—has been made very clear after two mass shootings within a week. On 16 March, a gunman killed eight people at three Atlanta-area massage businesses, and on 22 March ten people were gunned down in a Boulder, Colorado grocery store. Stanford Law School’s John J Donohue III, a gun law expert, discusses mass shootings in the U.S., the challenges facing police when confronting powerful automatic weapons, and the prospect of gun control laws.

  • Homeland Security for Radiological and Nuclear Threats

    Radiation exposure events are complicated: there is a variety of radiation sources, and since radiation is invisible, and its effect may not always be immediately apparent, first responders and emergency services must prepare for a “worried well” of people requiring attention: individuals who do not have other physical injuries but are concerned about whether they have received a radiation exposure.

  • Many QAnon Followers Report Having Mental Health Diagnoses

    QAnon followers, who may number in the millions, are often viewed as a group associated with baseless and debunked conspiracy, terrorism, and radical action, such as the 6 January Capitol insurrection. But radical extremism and terror may not be the real concern from this group. A social psychologist who studies terrorists, and a security scholar, in their research for their forthcoming book — Pastels and Pedophiles: Inside the Mind of QAnon — noticed that QAnon followers are different from the radicals they usually study in one key way: They are far more likely to have serious mental illnesses.

  • Scientists Chasing Origins of COVID-19 Add Southeast Asia to Search

    Scientists hunting the origins of the virus behind COVID-19 and clues for how to prevent the next pandemic say a growing body of evidence argues for expanding the search beyond China into Southeast Asia. The pathogen’s closest known relative, sharing some 96% of its genome, is another coronavirus found early last year in the southern province of Yunnan. But a spate of recent studies has found more viruses nearly as similar to SARS-CoV-2 as the one in Yunnan further afield, in Thailand and Cambodia. 

  • Why Certain Lifestyles and Interests May Have Influenced COVID-19 Decision-Making More than Others

    Although little studied, U.K. cabinet members’ lived experiences and interests likely impact the decisions they make. Certain such experiences have probably been better represented in COVID-19 decisions than others due to the profile of prominent politicians. 

  • New Tool Reveals Security and Privacy Issues with Contact Tracing Apps

    Researchers have developed a tool to identify security and privacy risks associated with Covid-19 contact tracing apps. COVIDGuardian, the first automated security and privacy assessment tool, tests contact tracing apps for potential threats such as malware, embedded trackers and private information leakage.

  • Health Risk? More than 500,000 Americans Live within 3 Miles of Natural Gas Flares

    More than a half-million Americans are exposed to oil and gas “flaring” events — the burning off of excess natural gas at production sites — resulting in potentially serious health risks.

  • Adaptation, Not Irrigation Recommended for Midwest Corn Farmers

    A warming climate may not increase water demand for Midwest crops that may instead be adapted through soil management to changing air temperatures and moisture, say researchers helping farmers manage the challenge.

  • U.S. Accuses Russia of Spreading Disinformation About Western COVID Vaccines

    The United States has accused Russian intelligence agencies of spreading disinformation about Western vaccines against the coronavirus in an attempt to undermine global confidence in their safety. The State Department’s Global Engagement Center, which monitors foreign disinformation efforts, told the Wall Street Journal that four websites it claims are associated with Russian intelligence have been publishing articles questioning the efficacy of the vaccines and raising questions about their side effects.

  • WHO Cancels Interim Report on China COVID Investigation

    The World Health Organization (WHO) investigators who recently visited China to determine the origins of the emergence of the COVID-19 virus will not release a promised interim report of their findings. the WHO team decided not to release its interim account “amid mounting tensions between Beijing and Washington.” Another international group of scientists has called for the WHO to conduct a new inquiry into COVID’s origins.

  • We Need a Global Outbreak Investigation Team: Experts

    The inconclusive WHO report about the origins of the COVID-19 virus, and the deference the investigative team showed China and the narrative China was interested in advancing, have led experts to question whether WHO is the right body to investigate the origins of epidemic outbreaks. The WHO can only enter member countries and engage in research there on those countries’ terms, and it has no real powers of enforcement. Different ideas are proposed as alternatives to the investigative function of the WHO.

  • 1918 Pandemic Second Wave Had Fatal Consequences

    In the event of a pandemic, delayed reactions and a decentralized approach by the authorities at the start of a follow-up wave can lead to longer-lasting, more severe and more fatal consequences, researchers have found. The researchers compared the Spanish flu of 1918 and 1919 in the Canton of Bern, Switzerland, with the coronavirus pandemic of 2020.

  • Safeguarding the Nation’s Public Transit Systems

    While millions of Americans are working from home due to the ongoing pandemic, using public transportation remains a daily necessity for many. Public health measures like wearing a mask, installing new ventilation systems and filters, and reducing capacity all help to keep commuters safe – but there is always more that can be done to ensure the continued safety and security of mass transit nationwide.