Zach Rausnitz

Biography for Zach Rausnitz

Zach Rausnitz is an Editor in the Government Publishing Group at FierceMarkets. He writes regularly for FierceHomelandSecurity, FierceGovernment and FierceMobileGovernment. He previously interned at the Washington bureau of BBC News, where he worked in the TV, radio and online divisions. While at Brown University, where he got a B.A. in English, he wrote for The College Hill Independent. He lives in D.C. You can reach him at zrausnitz@fiercemarkets.com.

Articles by Zach Rausnitz

Wildfire strategy sees varied challenges across nation

Accumulated vegetation, the proximity of communities to wildfire-prone areas, human-caused ignitions and the high cost of response emerge as the four national challenges identified in wildfire strategy the Obama administration released earlier this month.

Lawmakers: DoD, HHS bioterror programs redundant

Last October, the DoD began construction of a 30 acre complex for medical countermeasure manufacturing in Alachua, Fla., near Gainesville. It expects to complete the facility by the end of fiscal 2015. But HHS already runs three manufacturing facilities for medical countermeasures, which are vaccines and medicines for possible pandemics or bioterror attacks.

Federal judge: ICE request led to Fourth Amendment violation

Police in Oregon violated an immigrant's Fourth Amendment rights when they honored an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer request without probable cause, a federal judge ruled April 11. Judge Janice Stewart of the U.S. district court in Oregon ruled (pdf) that Clackamas County misinterpreted the regulation that governs ICE detainers.

Jones: Look beyond al Qaeda, drone strikes

Counterterrorism expert Seth Jones cautioned lawmakers not to dwell too much on the core of al Qaeda and lose sight of other groups during a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing April 8. "Using the core al Qaeda and its strength or weakness as a gauge of the movement in my view is increasingly anachronistic," Jones said.

 

OIGs: No need for major changes after Boston Marathon bombing

A review of the federal government's intelligence on Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the Boston Marathon bombers, says there is no need for significant changes to how counterterrorism agencies handle and share information.

Study seeks to understand rumor-mongering during emergencies

Tweets that propagated rumors during crises often contained ambiguous sources and mentioned direct experience with the event, says a study published in the journal Management Information Systems Quarterly.

Extreme drought portends active wildfire season

Drought expanded last month to cover 38.4 percent of the continental United States as of April 1, having increased by about 2.5 percentage points over four weeks. California has faced especially dire conditions this year, and drought worsened there during March as well. NOAA expects drought to continue – or intensify – this spring in California, west Texas, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and portions of other western states.

Bills would finally authorize CBP, ICE

Two Homeland Security Department agencies that have never received formal authorization from Congress may soon get it for the first time.

NIST calls for tornado-resistant design in building codes

A review of the buildings that withstood the deadly 2011 tornado in Joplin, Mo., and those that collapsed has led the National Institute of Standards and Technology to recommend new building code standards. Safe rooms, storm shelters and nuclear power plants have tornado-resistant design standards, but no such standards exist for ordinary buildings. 

California calls for maritime task force to address panga boats

Many maritime smugglers use panga boats, 20-40 foot fishing vessels that are made of fiberglass and difficult to detect. "This, coupled with the sheer size of California's coastline, means that most panga discoveries are made either through tips or by happenstance," says a report issued by California Attorney General Kamala Harris.