News

US domestic and international drug policies at odds, says Brookings panel

While the United States has conditionally tolerated the regulated use of marijuana in two states – Washington and Colorado – national drug policy is at odds with the international drug control regime, said panelists at an Oct. 17 discussion at the Brookings Institution.

California on track to complete early earthquake warning system by 2016, state senator says

Emergency officials in California say that an early warning system, which could give anywhere from 10 seconds to a minute's notice before an earthquake hits, is expected to be completed in 15 months, according to a state senator who held a hearing on the issue last week.

Pentagon forming rapid-response Ebola team to help if other US cases arise

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced that a 30-person emergency medical support team is being created to provide assistance if additional Ebola cases arise in the United States.

FBI director: Device encryption makes law enforcement, nat'l security investigations harder

FBI Director James Comey said that the public has several "misimpressions" that law enforcement and national security officials will be able to get around device encryption to capture suspected terrorists and other bad guys.

Federal appeals court rejects Arizona law denying bail for undocumented immigrants

A federal appeals court struck down an Arizona law Oct. 15 that denied bail to undocumented immigrants charged with certain serious felonies even if they're not a flight risk or dangerous.

Texas hospital, nurses union trade barbs over Ebola protocols, CDC director to testify on Hill

The Texas hospital where the first U.S. patient with Ebola, Thomas Eric Duncan, died last week and two of his nurses have since contracted the disease is pushing back against allegations from a nurses' union that the facility did not follow proper protocols in Duncan's treatment.

CBP needs to strengthen nuclear detection, interdiction capabilities, says GAO

Results from Customs and Border Protection's covert operations, which are conducted to evaluate nuclear and radiological detection and interdiction capabilities at different ports of entry, cannot be used to assess capabilities across all such U.S. locations, a congressional investigation found.

Confronting climate change important to US national security, Defense Department says

The Defense Department released a plan Oct. 13 to adapt operations, training, infrastrucutre and resources to effects from climate change, saying it poses an immediate threat to national security.

Federal government discloses no-fly list status for the first time

After years of refusing to tell people whether or not they were on the federal government's "no-fly list," the Justice Department Oct. 10 notified seven people of their status.

Many states still not moving forward on climate change adaptation, research finds

At least half the states are not treating climate change with any urgency, according to the Georgetown Climate Center, which recently unveiled a new online tool that helps users see progress their states are making in adapting to the issue.

CDC investigating 'breach in protocol' resulting in Dallas hospital worker infected with Ebola

The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Oct. 12 that there was a "breach in protocol" that resulted in a Dallas hospital healthcare worker contracting Ebola from the man who died last week of the disease.

Johnson worried most about foreign fighters and the 'lone wolf'

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said he's worried about foreign fighters, who go overseas to join terrorist groups, learn how to fight and return to carry out potential attacks, as well as the domestic-based "lone wolf" attacks inspired by such groups.

US court: Feds can't give aliens 'mandatory detention' without opportunity for bail hearing

A federal appeals court Oct. 6 ruled that federal agents were wrong when they held two non-U.S. citizens in Massachusetts in "mandatory detention" without giving them an opportunity for bail during their immigration proceedings.

US coastal communities face sharp rise in tidal flooding over next 30 years, new study says

Since 1970, more and more U.S. communities along the East and Gulf coasts have seen a significant rise in tidal flooding – incidences that will only get much worse over the next 30 years, according to a new study by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Military seeks portable sensors to detect, distinguish deadly chem, bio agents

Military researchers are seeking to develop technology that can sniff out even small traces of dangerous biological and chemical agents in either liquid or gaseous forms from long distances.

WHO official says Ebola cases in Europe 'unavoidable, US Ebola patient dies

Her statement comes a day after Spanish authorities told WHO that a nursing assistant in Spain was diagnosed with the disease. She had been treating an infected individual who died of the disease after being transported back to Spain from Sierra Leone. Authorities are now seeking people who have come in contact with the nursing assistant and have quarantined four people at the hospital where she worked.

Insider threat to critical infrastructure 'underestimated', says DHS

Critical infrastructure owners and operators lack credible, sector-specific, insider-threat information to help drive security investments. But, even with "relatively robust" preventative programs in place, it's nearly impossible to entirely eliminate the threat of a malicious insider, says the Homeland Security Department's national protection and programs directorate.

CDC chief: Agency 'confident' that Ebola transmission can be stopped in US

The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said people who've come in contact with the man who became the first patient diagnosed with Ebola in the United States are doing very well.

 

FEMA's $250M supply chain management system may not deliver during a disaster

After spending nearly a quarter of a billion dollars to develop a new supply chain management system over nine years, the Federal Emergency Management Agency "cannot be certain" that it will work well during a catastrophic disaster, an internal audit found.

 

CBP's drone program complying with privacy, civil liberties laws, GAO says

The Customs and Border Protection agency's drone program is complying with privacy and civil liberty laws and standards regarding the collection, retention, storage and distribution of images, and is taking steps to document such procedures into written policies, according to a congressional investigation.