• Backgrounder: Police and Security Unions

    The history of unionizing police officers and security guards in the United States is complex. It spans over a century, and has been shaped by different factors, including changes in the political and economic landscape, shifts in public opinion toward organized labor, and the evolving roles and responsibilities of law enforcement professionals.

  • Making Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Cybersecure

    As more electric vehicles (EVs) hit the road, charging stations are popping up across the United States. The benefits go beyond curbing carbon emissions from road travel. These systems can also link to the electric grid through smart charging, drawing power when overall demand is low and feeding it back to the grid when needed.

  • The Critical Minerals End-Game?

    To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, there’s been a dramatic uptake of renewable energy, primarily solar and wind, with a transition to lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage. The transition relies on increasing the extraction of critical minerals for their production.

  • To Restrict, or Not to Restrict, That Is the Quantum Question

    Innovation power—the ability to invent, scale, and adapt emerging technologies—will determine which country prevails in the great power competition of the 21st century. Export controls thus assume a central position in the U.S. foreign policy toolkit, carrying the ability to significantly impact an adversary’s innovation potential. “U.S. policymakers are right to identify quantum information science as a critical technology area ripe for restriction, but introducing export controls now is likely to cause more harm than good.,” Sam Howell writes.

  • Texas Senate Passes Bill Limiting Farmland Sales to China, Other Countries

    The Texas Senate on Wednesday gave final approval to a bill that limits the sale of Texas farmland to citizens and entities associated with China and several other countries. The amended bill is a dramatically watered-down version of an earlier proposal that sought to ban land and home purchases by citizens of China and three other countries.

  • U.S., Taiwan Defense to Firms Explore Weapons Co-Production

    Defense contractors from the U.S. and Taiwan will next month resume in-person conversations to explore possibilities of co-producing weapons, a move likely to ignite protests from China. The Taiwan-US Defense Industry Forum will meet on May 3 in Taipei, with a focus on co-production, integrating Taiwan’s industrial capabilities, and a range of defense cooperation issues.

  • Economic Earthquake Risk in the United States

    Earthquakes cost the nation an estimated $14.7 billion annually in building damage and associated losses, a new report finds. The new estimate is twice that of previous annual estimates due to increased building value and the fact that the report incorporates the latest hazards as well as improvements to building inventories.

  • Banning TikTok Could Weaken Personal Cybersecurity

    TikTok is not be the first app to be scrutinized over the potential exposure of U.S. user data, but it is the first widely used app that the U.S. government has proposed banning over privacy and security concerns. As a cybersecurity researcher, I see potential risks if the U.S. attempts to ban TikTok. The type of risk depends on the type of ban.

  • EV Batteries: Chinese Dominance Raises Thorny Questions

    Chinese firms currently dominate the electric vehicle battery supply chain — from mining and refining through to final assembly. This leaves Western automakers with little option but to rely on Chinese-made batteries.

  • The Rise and Fall of the Belt and Road Initiative

    Amidst accusations of “debt-trap diplomacy,” Chinese companies seek more overseas direct investment opportunities and fewer foreign contracted projects as Xi’s flagship initiative is stymied by poor risk management.

  • Economic Security and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security

    DHS’s contributions to U.S. economic security and, by extension, the economy itself are often misunderstood and undervalued. A new report describes DHS’s role in supporting economic security now and into the future, a future in which the United States will face a changed world and evolved threat landscape.

  • Better Together: Japan and the Five Eyes Need to Focus on Critical Minerals

    Critical minerals are being consumed in greater volumes than ever before, and the level of demand will only increase over the next 10 to 20 years, and beyond. The governments of Japan and the Five Eyes countries (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States) are aware that critical minerals, including rare-earth elements, will be increasingly needed as the world shifts from fossil-fuel systems to renewable energy sources. The partner nations are also clear about the challenges and opportunities, especially given that the supply chains for several critical minerals have only one or few dominant key players.

  • Critical Metal Needs Rise as Cars, Trucks Decarbonize

    The demand for battery-grade lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese and platinum will climb steeply as nations work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through mid-century, but will likely set off economic snags and supply-chain hitches.

  • From High to Low in 15 Years: Coal Continues Its Precipitous Decline

    The country’s power generators used more coal in 2007 than ever before — a little over one billion tons. This year, coal use by U.S. electric-power producers would likely not reach 400 million tons. Roughly 40 percent of the country’s current coal-fired capacity is set to close by 2030. “This is not an economic cycle that is simply going to go away,” says an expert. “It is a real phaseout across the industry of the use of coal.”

  • The Energy Transition Will Need More Rare Earth Elements. Can We Secure Them Sustainably?

    Decarbonizing the world’s power generation will require huge numbers of wind turbines, solar panels, electric vehicles (EVs), and storage batteries — all of which are made with rare earth elements and critical metals. Supplying these vast quantities of minerals in a sustainable manner will be a significant challenge, but scientists are exploring a variety of ways to provide materials for the energy transition with less harm to people and the planet.