• IRAN’S NUKESIran Could Make Fuel for Nuclear Bomb in Less Than 2 Weeks: Gen. Milley

    By Carla Babb

    Iran could make enough fissile material for a nuclear bomb in “less than two weeks” and could produce a nuclear weapon in “several more months,” according to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley. The 2015 nuclear deal signed by the Obama administration increased Iran’s “breakout” time – that is, the time required to produce one nuclear weapon once a decision to do has been made — to about twelve months, but the Trump administration’s 2018 decision unilaterally to withdraw from the deal has allowed Iran to reduce the breakout time to about two weeks.

  • IRAN’S NUKESSurvey of Iran’s Advanced Centrifuges - March 2023

    By David Albright, Sarah Burkhard, and Spencer Faragasso

    Iran continues to deploy advanced centrifuges at its three enrichment facilities at Natanz and Fordow in violation of the limitations outlined in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). InFebruary 2021, Iran stopped providing declarations about its production and inventory of centrifuge rotor tubes, bellows, and rotor assemblies, and blocked the IAEA access to IAEA cameras recording activities in the enrichment facilities. In June 2022, Iran removed the IAEA cameras from the enrichment facilities, so no recordings exist. Consequently, the IAEA has had no ability to take inventory.

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  • IRAQ INVASIONThe Iraq Invasion, Twenty Years Later

    Last week marked the 20th anniversary of the United States-led invasion of Iraq. Code-named “Operation Iraqi Freedom” by the George W. Bush administration, the goal was to eliminate weapons of mass destruction, topple Saddam Hussein, and remake Iraq into a democracy. What lessons should we learn from the war and its aftermath?

  • COVID ORIGINSCOVID-19 Origins: New Evidence, and More Politics

    Last week, researchers released a report linking SARS-CoV-2 to six near-complete samples of raccoon-dog mitochondrial DNA sold at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan. The report says that “These results provide potential leads to identifying intermediate hosts of SARS-CoV-2 and potential sources of human infections in the market.”

  • CYBERSECURITYWhat Is the National Cybersecurity Strategy? What the Biden Administration Has Changed

    By Richard Forno

    On 2 March 2023 the Biden administration released its first National Cybersecurity Strategy. Some of the key provisions in the Strategy relate to the private sector, both in terms of product liability and cybersecurity insurance. It also aims to reduce the cybersecurity burden on individuals and smaller organizations. It provides some innovative ideas that could strengthen U.S. cybersecurity in meaningful ways and help modernize America’s technology industry, both now and into the future.

  • CYBERSECURITYIs Your Cybersecurity Strategy Undermined by These Six Common Pitfalls?

    Many security specialists harbor misconceptions about lay users of information technology, and these misconceptions can increase an organization’s risk of cybersecurity breaches. These issues include ineffective communications to lay users and inadequately incorporating user feedback on security system usability.

  • EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONChanneling NEXTGEN TV to Help Responders Answer the Call

    A natural disaster strikes, vehicles collide on a snowy highway, a 5-alarm fire blazes through the night. For first responders, every second counts. DHS S&T is collaborating on a new effort to arm agencies with a digital alerting system that taps into NEXTGEN public TV broadcasting technologies to deliver emergency dispatches faster.

  • OUR PICKSDecades of Lax Rules Enable Train Disasters | The Polarized Pandemic | ‘The Last of Us’ May Already Be Here, and more

    ·  How Decades of Lax Rules Enable Train Disasters
    Not much is stopping a catastrophe like the one in East Palestine from happening again

    ·  Utility Player: California’s Disastrous Electricity Policy
    PG&E is the largest energy utility in the United States. It’s also behind the greatest utility-caused tragedy.

    ·  Squeezed by Investigations, Trump Escalates Violent Rhetoric
    Trump warned any indictments brought against him may lead to “potential death & destruction” around the country

    ·  Far-Right Activists Wary of “Trap” after Trump Calls for Protests
    Some Trump supporters fear Trump’s possible indictment is an elaborate government trap to arrest them

    ·  Cyber Warfare is Upon Us: Why the Next Generation of ‘War Games’ so Important
    After September 11, 2001, the nature of modern warfare and the way we think about our enemies changed

    ·  OK, But Where Will the Next Pandemic Come From?
    Assessing the origins of a pandemic is a difficult but critically important task

    ·  The Polarized Pandemic
    COVID-19 has contributed to the fragmentation of domestic and international politics

    ·  The Real Horrors of ‘The Last of Us’ May Already Be Here
    The drama about a post-apocalyptic, zombie-infested America may describe the present, not the future

    ·  “We’ve Lost the Aqueduct”: How Severe Flooding Threatens a Los Angeles Water Lifeline

    Struggling to maintain the city’s Eastern Sierra aqueduct

    ·  Six Oath Keepers Convicted in Connection with January 6 U.S. Capitol Riot
    The high-level convictions for four defendants is another significant win for the Justice Department

  • WORLD ROUNDUPEU Weighs Changing Relations with China | North Korea Tests Underwater Nuclear Drone | India’s Democracy in Decline, and more

    ·  Netanyahu’s Legal Crusade Is Sparking a Military Backlash in Israel
    Israel is currently going through its most serious constitutional and political crisis since its establishment 75 years ago

    ·  ‘Pandora’s Box’: EU Weighs Changing Relations with China
    Not everyone in Brussels believes decoupling from China is necessary

    ·  Denmark Probes Mystery Object Near Nord Stream Pipelines
    A mysterious object was placed directly on the seabednext to the pipeline

    ·  North Korea Tests Underwater Nuclear Drone
    The drone will destroy targets using large radioactive waves through underwater explosions

    ·  Why Latin America Will Stay Nonaligned
    Latin American governments are aligned with the U.S. and Western Europe but not overly so

    ·  India’s Ruling Party Just Kicked a Major Rival Out of Parliament — and Sparked a New Crisis
    Rahul Gandhi’s expulsion from the Lok Sabha is the latest sign of Indian democracy’s decline

    ·  World Is on Brink of Catastrophic Warming, U.N. Climate Change Report Says
    Withing the next ten years, the planet will be pushed past the point of catastrophic warming

  • CHINA WATCHShould the U.S. Ban TikTok? Can It? A Cybersecurity Expert Explains the Risks the App Poses and the Challenges to Blocking It

    By Doug Jacobson

    A full ban of TikTok raises a number of questions: What data privacy risk does TikTok pose? What could the Chinese government do with data collected by the app? Is its content recommendation algorithm dangerous? And is it even possible to ban an app?

  • EXTREMISMAntisemitic Incidents in the U.S. in 2022

    Antisemitic incidents in the U.S. in 2022 reached an all-time high last year with a total of 3,697 incidents of assault, harassment and vandalism tracked by ADL’s Audit of Antisemitic Incidents. This represents the largest number of incidents against Jews in the U.S., recorded by ADL since 1979.

  • EXTREMISMHard-Right Social Media Activities Lead to Civil Unrest: Study

    Does activity on hard-right social media lead to civil unrest? With the emergence and persistent popularity of hard-right social media platforms such as Gab, Parler, and Truth Social, it is important to understand the impact they are having on society and politics.

  • ARGUMENT: GUARDING DEMOCRACYHow Jan. 6 Committee Staffers Have Filled in the Blanks

    According to Tucker Carlson, the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was not an attempted putsch but instead “mostly peaceful chaos.” Quinta Jurecic writes that the Fox News host’s revisionist take on Jan. 6 has so far received widespread condemnation, and that among the voices criticizing Carlson’s attempted rewriting of history have been staffers formerly on the Jan. 6 committee.

  • EXPLOSION PREVENTIONPreventing Fires and Explosions

    Lines in natural gas grids have to be maintained and serviced regularly. This entails using flares to vent the natural gas. With FlareSimulator, research scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF have developed an assistive tool that calculates the correct distance of flares to houses, trees and other nearby objects. This makes it easy to maintain minimum distances and prevent potential hazards and explosions.

  • CRITICAL MINERALSNew Method Helps Locate Deposits of Critical Metals

    The global shift to a carbon-free energy system is set to drive a huge increase in the demand for rare or limited earth minerals. This presents an urgent need to locate new sustainable sources of these elements. New technique could help locate new deposits of critical metals needed to enable the green-energy transition.

  • LANDSLIDESAn Early Warning System for Landslides Protects Sitka, Alaska

    By Doug Irving

    A hard rain was rattling against the rooftops of Sitka, Alaska, as day broke on August 18, 2015. Just before 10 a.m., a hillside gave way. A river of mud, rocks, and broken trees surged down the slope and crashed through the subdivision.

  • AGRICULTURE SECURITYIt’s Time to Talk about Food and Agriculture Security

    By Krista Versteeg

    When large scale threats affect food and agriculture supplies, they become matters of national security. Many different threats to our food and agriculture sector exist, and any disruption to the supply chain can cause shortages at your local grocery store and limit the availability of food.

  • OUR PICKSAre We Prepared for a North Korean Nuclear Attack? | A ‘Parade’ of Anti-Semites on Broadway | A Water System So Broken, and more

    ·  A ‘Parade’ of Anti-Semites on Broadway
    Anti-Jewish bigots steal the show in the revived musical. And that’s why it works

    ·  A Water System So Broken That One Pipe Leaks 5 Million Gallons a Day
    Jackson’s water system has been flirting with collapse for decades

    ·  NYC Bike Path Terrorist to Serve Life in Prison After Jury Fails to Reach Unanimous Decision on Death Penalty
    A unanimous decision would have been required to sentence Sayfullo Saipov to death

    ·  Are We Prepared for a North Korean Nuclear Attack?
    There is no attractive offensive military option against North Korea available to the United States

    ·  7 Experts on Trump’s Call for Protests and Social Media Threat Models
    Trump’s call for protests “echoed his rhetoric before his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021”

  • WORLD ROUNDUPDon’t Panic About Taiwan | Israeli Democracy Faces a Mortal Threat | A ‘New Cold War’ Looms in Africa, and more

    ·  Israeli Democracy Faces a Mortal Threat
    If Netanyahu and his coalition have their way, my country could deteriorate into a dictatorship

    ·  The U.S. Has a Troublesome Asian Ally Against China
    The Philippines is using U.S. military infrastructure to commit human rights violations

    ·  A ‘New Cold War’ Looms in Africa as U.S. Pushes Against Russian Gains
    As in Ukraine, U.S. is sharing intelligence information with African governments

    ·  Don’t Panic About Taiwan
    Alarm over a Chinese invasion could become a self-fulfilling prophecy

    ·  U.S. Trains West African Militaries as Jihadi Threat Spreads
    Extremist violence in West Africa’s Sahel region spreads

    ·  If China Cracked U.S. Encryption, Why Would It Tell Us?
    Some day, computer scientists will break RSA encryption. That day is not yet here.

  • COVID ORIGINSReport Describes SARS-CoV-2 Market Sequences, Biden Signs COVID Intel Declassification Bill

    By Lisa Schnirring

    In two major developments regarding investigations into the source of SARS-CoV-2, an international research group that examined genetic sequences from the animal market detailed their findings in a new report, and President Joe Biden signed a bill to declassify US intelligence on virus origins.

  • ARGUMENT: COVID’S ORIGINSA Major Clue to COVID’s Origins Is Just Out of Reach

    Last week, the ongoing debate about COVID-19’s origins had yet another plot twist added to it. A French evolutionary biologist stumbled across a trove of genetic sequences extracted from swabs collected from surfaces at a wet market in Wuhan, China, shortly after the pandemic began. Katherine J. Wu writes that the sequences bolster the case for the pandemic having purely natural roots. “But what might otherwise have been a straightforward story on new evidence has rapidly morphed into a mystery centered on the origins debate’s data gaps.” Wu says that public access to the sequences was locked, and, as a result, a key set of data which could have shored up the case for a purely animal origin became unavailable to scientists.

  • ELECTION SECURITYMoving to Evidence-Based Elections

    By Barbara Simons and Poorvi Vora

    In most jurisdictions things went relatively smoothly in the November 2022 midterms, but serious issues, both technical and political, remain. Elections may be made more transparent and secure through the use of voter-marked paper ballots and rigorous postelection audits.