OUR PICKSU.S. Sees Rapid Increase of Chinese Entering Illegally via Mexico | Florida’s Experiment with Measles | The Secret Locations of ShotSpotter Gunfire Sensors, and more

Published 23 February 2024

·  Ministers ‘Ignored Advice Over the Need to Tackle Extremists’
The public is being put at risk because the flagship Prevent program is failing to identify extremists, according to the man chosen by the government to review it

·  U.S. Sees Rapid Increase of Chinese Entering Illegally via Mexico
The number of apprehensions of Chinese nationals at the border with Mexico in fiscal 2023 alone far surpassed the total for the preceding decade

· Leak Reveals the Unusual Path of ‘Urgent’ Russian Threat Warning
The US Congress was preparing to vote on a key foreign surveillance program last week. Then a wild Russian threat appeared.

·  Expert Backgrounder: Federalizing the National Guard and Domestic Use of the Military
The domestic use of federal troops should be weighed as a serious and potentially escalatory step with long-term consequences

·  Why the Biden Administration’s New Nuclear Gravity Bomb Is Tragic
The Biden administration surprised many when it said it was pursuing a new nuclear weapon to be known as the B61-13, a gravity bomb

·  Florida’s Experiment with Measles
How far can the state go before a serious outbreak hits?

·  Here Are the Secret Locations of ShotSpotter Gunfire Sensors
The locations of microphones used to detect gunshots have been kept hidden from police and the public. A WIRED analysis of leaked coordinates confirms arguments critics have made against the technology.

·  Weapons of Mass Hate Dissemination: The Use of Artificial Intelligence by Right-Wing Extremists
On Telegram, there is a right-wing extremist (RWE) accelerationist collective that disseminates ideologically extremist materials, encourages violence, glorifies terrorism, and demonizes minority populations

Ministers ‘Ignored Advice Over the Need to Tackle Extremists’  (Ben Ellery, The Telegraph)
The public is being put at risk because the flagship Prevent program is failing to identify extremists, according to the man chosen by the government to review it.
Sir William Shawcross, who was asked by the Home Office to assess the scheme, said that key recommendations he made last year, including clamping down on Hamas support, had been ignored.
Prevent places public bodies, including schools and the police, under a legal duty to identify people who may turn to extremism, and intervene in their lives before it is too late.
This week ministers marked a year since Shawcross’s review and James Cleverly, the home secretary, declared in a progress report that “thanks to the work undertaken in response to [the] review, we have a first-class Prevent program that can play a central role in [counterterrorism]”.
However, Shawcross told the BBC that the “glass is still only half full”.
He said: “The government has published a report saying that they have made some of those changes that I asked for, that I proposed — but not enough.” Shawcross added that ministers had “ignored” some of his key recommendations “and I think as a result the public is at risk”.
He said that Hamas’s October 7 attacks on Israel left him feeling more worried about extremism in the UK and that the government, through Prevent, “should pay much more attention to the Hamas support network”.

U.S. Sees Rapid Increase of Chinese Entering Illegally via Mexico  (Jamahl Bond, Kyodo News)
As China continues to grapple with post-pandemic economic woes such as reduced growth and high youth unemployment, an increasing number of Chinese migrants are choosing to enter the United States illegally in hopes of freedom and a better future.
The number of apprehensions of Chinese nationals at the border with Mexico in fiscal 2023 alone far surpassed the total for the preceding decade, topping 24,000 according to government data. At one place near the border in California, a local estimated that such Chinese have come to account for roughly 30 percent of the area’s illegal entries.