News

Justice Department won't look to Supreme Court to lift order blocking Obama immigration action

Last year, the president announced he would offer deportation relief and three-year work permits to roughly 4 million undocumented immigrants, mostly parents who have lived in the country for at least five years and have children who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

DARPA announces winners for most accurate forecasts of infectious mosquito-spread virus

Thirty-eight teams from around the world participated in the competition to develop accurate predictions of the spread of the chikungunya virus from September 2014 to March 2015 across the Western Hemisphere.

Paper: 'Echo chambers' reinforce beliefs rather than challenge them in climate change debate

University of Maryland and National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center researchers say "echo chambers" are where like-minded individuals share information through social network structures and that might be influencing the climate change debate.

Utilities' 'haphazard' regs affect electric reliability, finds Johns Hopkins analysis

In reviewing reliability standards of utilities, a paper published in the journal Risk Analysis found there were no national laws or regulations that mandated the acceptable frequency and duration of power outages.

Audit: Missed risk assessments could impact CBP's commercial trade processing system

The Automated Commercial Environment program is expected to collect and process data submitted by the international trade community, giving the federal government a better ability to assess risks of cargo coming into the country and facilitate smoother operations at U.S. ports.

FEMA responded effectively to 2014 earthquake that hit northern California, DHS IG says

That Aug. 24, 2014, earthquake, which was the strongest in a quarter century, injured more than 280 people, destroyed 18 structures and damaged nearly 2,000 more.

DHS S&T competition awards 2 companies for tech proposals to track first responders indoors

The Homeland Security Department's Science and Technology Directorate announced that the Vreeland Institute and Certa Cito have won a prize competition around developing new technologies to track first responders inside buildings.

Scientists predict more Americans will be exposed to extreme heat as climate warms

Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and City University of New York say more people across the south from Georgia to Arizona will be exposed to extreme heat waves – but, overall, there will be a four- to six-fold increase in exposure by mid-century.

DHS not tracking employee usage of offline travel booking, possibly incurring greater fees, IG says

The web-based system is much cheaper than the making reservations by phone. Online fees cost about $7 to $10, while doing it offline costs about $30 to $37, or more than three times the cost.

Audit finds Coast Guard still lacks strong organizational approach to safeguard data

The Coast Guard has made progress in protecting personal and health data, but organizational challenges such as a lack of coordination among its privacy offices, incomplete contingency planning and infrequent security reviews of physical facilities could still put data at risk.

DHS awards final, $834M contract to complete advanced bio and agro facility

It's the third and final phase of construction of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, expected to cost a total of $1.25 billion. Construction is supposed to finished in 2020 with the facility becoming fully operational two years later.

GAO official says Coast Guard still falling short of modernizing fleet given funding levels

Over the past five years, the Coast Guard's budget for acquiring assets such as fixed-wing aircraft and various cutters has "fallen short" of what's needed to fully recapitalize the service's assets.

New report argues for narrowing role of nuclear weapons in US policies, diplomacy and forces

The report recognizes that nuclear weapons are "indispensable" to deter other nations from attacking the U.S. and allies with such weapons, but offer no other advantage over U.S. conventional military superiority.

House subcommittee OKs bill aimed at improving interoperable first responder communications

The State Wide Interoperable Communications Enhancement Act would require states to coordinate activities related to interoperability communications policies that are coordinated through an individual or group.

US regulators propose rules to strengthen power grid against potentially disruptive solar storms

The probability of severe solar storms are low, but they could have a significant impact on the power grid and cause blackouts and damage to equipment resulting in prolonged outages to the system. They can also interrupt communications satellites.

Are tech, other assets paying off in securing borders? Watchdog says DHS needs to review the data

The department could do a better job of collecting data and developing measures and metrics to assess what they're getting out of investments.

Probe finds 2 Secret Service agents 'likely' impaired by alcohol in White House incident

DHS inspector general said that the senior supervisors, Marc Connolly and George Ogilvie, "displayed poor judgment and a lack of situational awareness in driving into the scene. It was more likely than not that the two agents' judgment was impaired by alcohol."

IG: DHS should assess prosecutorial discretion use in immigration actions to plan future policy

Prosecutorial discretion provides DHS immigration enforcement agencies greater authority in deciding how far they want to enforce the law against a specific person so they can better prioritize their limited resources.

Inadequate TSA oversight of airport screening equipment could impact safety, DHS audit says

TSA hasn't issued guidance to airports on tracking and monitoring preventive maintenance. It also relies on contractors to provide data, but doesn't verify that the maintenance has been done and in a timely manner.

DHS secretary: Counterterrorism enters new phase, gov't seeking Muslim community help

Jeh Johnson says counterterrorism efforts wading into new territory as the Islamic State calls for attacks against U.S. military installations and local law enforcement and government buildings through social media.