• Taliban to Gain Control over $1 trillion Mineral Wealth

    To date, the Taliban have profited from the opium and heroin trade. Now the Islamist group effectively rules a country with valuable resources that China needs to grow its economy. Afghanistan’s mineral riches will also bolster China’s dominance in rare Earth elements.

  • Medicine Manufacturing Limits Poses Risk to U.S. Health Security

    More than 80 percent of the active ingredients in medicines the U.S. Food and Drug Administration deems essential for public health have no U.S. manufacturing source. Essential medicines include antibiotics, antivirals, blood pressure pills, steroids and many others. This vulnerability of the U.S. public health care system is not only matter of health care security, but of national security as well.

  • Global Warming Increased U.S. Crop Insurance Losses by $27 Billion in 27 Years

    Higher temperatures attributed to climate change caused payouts from the nation’s biggest farm support program to increase by $27 billion between 1991 and 2017, according to new estimates from Stanford researchers. Costs are likely to rise even further with the growing intensity and frequency of heat waves and other severe weather events.

  • Planning for the Future in a Changing Climate

    How can companies, for example, utilities, know how changes in climate will impact their assets and their business strategy? And what can they do to identify and address issues before they affect customers? A partnership between the largest state public power entity in the U.S., the New York Power Authority (NYPA), and Argonne National Laboratory will enable the utility to better assess how its assets and business may be affected by extreme weather and other hazards.

  • U.K. Top General: Western Powers Must Retaliate for Iran’s Drone Strike on Oil Tanker

    General Nick Carter, chief of the British Defense Staff, said Western powers need to retaliate for an Iranian drone strike on an oil tanker, which killed a British security guard and the ship’s Romanian captain. “What we need to be doing, fundamentally, is calling out Iran for its very reckless behavior,” he said.

  • Hybrid Cars Twice as Vulnerable to Supply Chain Disruptions as Gas-Powered Cars

    The global computer chip shortage has hit car manufacturers especially hard, indicating the importance of supply chain resilience. But hybrid and electric cars contain many other scarce elements and materials, making them more vulnerable to supply chain problems than gas-powered models.

  • U.K., U.S. and Australia Publish Advice to Fix Global Cyber Vulnerabilities

    A joint advisory from international allies is offering advice for the most publicly known software vulnerabilities. The cyber agencies share details of the top 30 vulnerabilities routinely exploited by malicious actors in 2020.

  • U.S. Gov. Facing a Severe Cyber Workers Shortage When They Are Needed the Most

    The U.S. government is struggling to find and hire cybersecurity workers precisely at the time it needs such workers most in order to protect the government and its cyber systems from an unprecedented, and ever-more-menacing, wave of cyberattacks.

  • Furloughed Port, Airport Workers Could Be Targeted by Organized Crime

    The U.K. National Crime Agency has issued an alert to furloughed port and airport workers warning they may be vulnerable to organized crime groups seeking to exploit the Covid crisis. The alert warns that as global restrictions on the movement of people and goods are further relaxed, staff who have a detailed knowledge of controls and processes around the border could be targeted.

  • Lawmakers Looking to Curb Chinese Ownership of U.S. Farmland

    The Chinese threat to American food security, so far, would seem minimal: As of December 2019, Chinese agricultural real estate holdings in America totaled about 78,000 hectares, which is about 0.02 percent of America’s roughly 3.6 million square kilometers of total farmland. Still, U.S. lawmakers are seeking to restrict Chinese purchases of American farmland amid fears that such purchases could ultimately pose a threat to the U.S. food supply chain.

  • Israel Tries to Limit Fallout from the Pegasus Spyware Scandal

    Israel has been trying to limit the damage the Pegasus spyware scandal is threatening to do to France-Israel relations. The Moroccan intelligence service used the software, made by an Israeli company with close ties to Israel’s defense and intelligence establishments, to spy on dozens of French officials, including fourteen current and former cabinet ministers, among them President Emmanuel Macron and former prime minister Edouard Phillipe. It would not be unreasonable for the French intelligence services to assume that there was a measure of Israeli spying on France involved here, with or without the knowledge of the Moroccans. Macron, in a phone conversation with Israel’s prime minister Naftali Bennett, pointedly asked for an explanation.

  • China Used Vaccines, Trade to Get Ukraine to Drop Support for Xinjiang Scrutiny

    On 22 June, Ukraine signed a UN-sponsored document, along with more than 40 other countries, calling for China to allow independent observers immediate access to Xinjiang, where Beijing is operating a camp system that UN officials estimate has interned more than 1 million Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other Muslim minorities. Two days later, Ukraine withdrew its signature after China threatened to limit trade with Ukraine and withhold Ukrainian access to COVID-19 vaccines.

  • U.S. Leads Coalition Accusing China of Hacking

    On 19 July, the United States joined other countries in condemning the hacking by Chinee government hackers of Microsoft Exchange email server software. Despite the condemnations, there have not been any sanctions against China for its role in the breach, leading critics to charge that the Biden’s response was weak and “not proportionate to the severity of the breach.” Abby Lemert and Eleanor Runde write that “Part of the problem is that escalatory retaliation carries special risks to a highly digitized society like the United States. Accordingly, some commentators assess that Biden’s response is properly calibrated to the risks.”

  • U.K. COVID “Pingdemic” Sparks Labor Shortage

    More than 600,000 people have been pinged by the U.K.’s coronavirus warning app and told to self-isolate. Business leaders warn that the lack of available workers is putting the economic recovery at risk.

  • U.S. “Undeterred” over China Sanctions

    Earlier Friday, China sanctioned former U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and several other Americans who have been involved in U.S. China trade policies and human rights issues, following Washington’s sanctions against seven deputy directors and the director of Beijing’s Hong Kong liaison office. The White House said Friday that it is “undeterred” by the latest Chinese sanctions.