• FEMA Is Making an Example of This Florida Boomtown. Locals call it “Revenge Politics.”

    When U.S. homeowners buy subsidized flood insurance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, they make a commitment to build back better after flood disasters, even if it costs them. The Biden administration is trying to punish Lee County for rebuilding flood-prone homes. The state’s Republican politicians are fighting back.

  • Southeast Asia’s Potential in Critical Minerals

    Global critical mineral demand is expected to increase dramatically in coming decades, from a 7.1 million tons in 2020 to 42.3 million tons in 2050. All manner of sophisticated industries, including defense manufacturing, will also compete for these materials. Southeast Asia has significant natural reserves of several key critical minerals, including nickel, tin, rare-earth elements (REEs) and bauxite, and the region is still not fully explored for more of them.

  • The Flooding Will Come “No Matter What”

    Another great American migration is now underway, this time forced by the warming that is altering how and where people can live. For now, it’s just a trickle. But in the corners of the country’s most vulnerable landscapes —on the shores of its sinking bayous and on the eroding bluffs of its coastal defenses —populations are already in disarray. The complex, contradictory, and heartbreaking process of American climate migration is underway.

  • West Reliant on Russian Nuclear Fuel Amid Decarbonization Push

    A new report and research from a British defense research group has found that many Western nations are still reliant on Russian nuclear fuel to power their reactors, despite efforts to sever economic ties with the Kremlin following its February 2022 full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

  • Critical Minerals in Africa: Strengthening Security, Supporting Development, and Reducing Conflict amid Geopolitical Competition

    US economic and national security depends on a reliable supply of critical minerals that underlie an array of products and services important to ever-changing modern economies. Yet for many critical minerals (e.g., cobalt, graphite, and manganese), the United States is heavily dependent on imports. Especially concerning is that the United States is at or near 100 percent reliant on “foreign entities of concern”—mainly the People’s Republic of China—for key critical minerals. Africa can play an important role in strengthening US critical minerals supply chain security.

  • Tech War: China Could Face U.S., EU Curbs Over Legacy Chips Dominance

    Legacy chips, used in everything from washing machines to cars and TVs to medical devices, may not be as powerful as the state-of-the-art semiconductors that power artificial intelligence (AI) platforms. But they’re a growing headache for the United States and European Union: After the United States cut China’s access to cutting-edge chips, the EU and the United States are concerned about the country’s dominance of semiconductors used in everyday technology.

  • U.S. Drugs with Noted Supply-Chain Risks 5 Times More Likely to Go into Shortage in Early COVID

    In the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, US prescription drugs flagged for potential supply-chain disruptions were nearly five times more likely to go into shortage than those without such warnings, finds a new study.

  • Cybertech Startup Aims to Keep Aircraft Safe

    As hackers get more daring and sophisticated, and even try to hijack airplanes, it’s increasingly vital to keep our aircraft safe from attack. Cybertech startup Cyviation aims to do just that.

  • Cyber Safety Review Board Releases Report on Microsoft Online Exchange Incident from Summer 2023

    On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released the Cyber Safety Review Board’s (CSRB) findings and recommendations following its independent review of the Summer 2023 Microsoft Exchange Online intrusion. The review detailed operational and strategic decisions that led to the intrusion and recommended specific practices for industry and government to implement to ensure an intrusion of this magnitude does not happen again.

  • Engineers Fortifying Critical Infrastructure

    In a bid to protect the nation’s energy sector against cyber attacks, engineers are creating a digital twin to help weed out threats and fix software and firmware vulnerabilities. If left unchecked, these weaknesses could allow ransomware attacks that could cause severe havoc to critical U.S. energy systems.

  • Where Did All the Water Go? New Study Explores Water Use in the Colorado River Basin.

    The final 100 miles of the Colorado River is a shell of its former self — nearly 10 miles wide at the turn of the century, farmers had more water than they knew what to do with. Now, a weave of concrete canals brings water to sprawling industrial farms situated in the Mexicali Valley, with much of the natural riverbed dry and the wildlife sparse. Where did all the water go?

  • States and Tribes Scramble to Reach Colorado River Deals Before Election

    There are three main forces driving the conflict on the Colorado River. The first is an outdated legal system that guarantees more water to seven Western states than is actually available in the river during most years. The second is the exclusion of Native American tribes from this legal system. The third is climate change, which is heating up the western United States and diminishing the winter snowfall and rainwater that feed the river. Landmark agreements would cut big states’ water usage for decades and deliver water to the Navajo Nation.

  • USCIS Springs Unseasonable Costs and Demands on American Employers

    With spring approaching, U.S. businesses that sponsor noncitizen workers for employment‐based immigration benefits are accustomed to weathering seasonal changes. Most employers are likely ready for the initial FY 2025 H 1B lottery registration season. American businesses, however, now face particularly inclement headwinds stirred up by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) component tasked with deciding immigration‐benefits requests.

  • Canada’s Biosecurity Scandal: The Risks of Foreign Interference in Life Sciences

    In July 2019, world-renowned biological researchers Xiangguo Qiu and Keding Cheng were quietly walked out of the Canadian government’s National Microbiology Lab (NML). The original allegation against them was that Qiu had authorized a shipment to China of some of the deadliest viruses on the planet, including Ebola and Nipah. Then the story seemed to go away—until now.

  • Plan B: Keeping Nuclear Power Plants Cool in a Warmer, Drier Climate

    Waterways — tried and true cooling sources for nuclear power plants — could get warmer due to global climate change. Climate scientists and nuclear science and engineering experts are joining forces to develop a plan B for nuclear power.