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FAA warns drone operators not to interfere with efforts to fight wildfires else face penalties

This summer, firefighters in California were about to drop fire retardant from low-flying aircraft on a fire burning thousands of acres of wildlands in the San Bernardino Mountains when they saw a small drone flying between two of the planes. Because of this, officials had to ground their aircrafts.

Experts: Feds not doing enough to protect US power grid from disruptive solar flares, EMPs

Two billion dollars would be required to protect the electric grid from threats including naturally occurring EMPs, radio-frequency weapons, cyber bugs and hacking, physical sabotage and severe weather, and $10 billion to $20 billion would be needed to protect "all critical infrastructures."

Army Corps of Engineers needs stable funding to address climate change impacts, GAO says

From 2010 through 2014, there were 49 extreme weather events with losses exceeding $1 billion. And, without performing risk assessments before an extreme weather event, the corps will continue to take a piecemeal approach.

GAO: State Dept. should assess countering extremist violence program to gauge impact

Such an evaluation would help the department's counterterrorism bureau ensure accountability, better measure the program's impact and effectiveness, and shape future programming decisions, but it's been postponed since 2012.

GAO: Thousands of chemical facilities may be providing bad data on toxic release threats

Investigators said they found that more than 2,700 facilities – at least 44 percent of facilities with a toxic release chemical – misreported the Distance of Concern, the radius of an area that could be exposed to a toxic chemical cloud. 

House OKs bill, restricting funds for 'sanctuary cities' not complying with immigration laws

The bill was introduced after the July 1 killing of 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco. She was allegedly shot by a Mexican national previously convicted of seven felonies and deported five times, mostly for narcotics charges.

New report: Disaster planning still not meeting children's needs decade after Hurricane Katrina

Of the 81 recommendations in the National Commission on Children and Disasters report, Save the Children found that only 17 have been fully met with 44 still in progress and 20 yet to be addressed.

GAO: DoD taking steps to protect against insider threats, but more info sharing, oversight needed

The Defense Department is stepping up efforts to protect resources and people against internal threats following high-profile shootings over the past six years at Fort Hood and Washington Navy Yard, but isn't consistently sharing information that could further enhance protection.

Americans largely back US military campaign against ISIS, but many say it's not going well

The Pew national survey, conducted July 14-20, of 2,022 adults via landline or cellphone finds that 63 percent approve of the military campaign – up from the 54 percent that approved of the campaign in August 2014 when airstrikes started. Currently, only 26 percent disapprove.

DHS IG: ICE devising long-term plan for L.A. building shuttered last December due to safety issues

Between 2008 and 2014, the agency spent about $4.2 million to fix parts of the building, remove mold, and convert a part of the first floor to office space. In January, ICE awarded another $1.6 million to repair the fire suppression system with the plan to return personnel to the building by this fall.

Establishing risk thresholds for climate change could shape better policy, says new int'l report

Just as national security or public health risks are assessed, tangible thresholds can be established to calculate risks from climate change so they can be addressed more effectively, an international group of scientists and policy experts conclude.

NRC, DHS, DOT Interagency agreement finalized to safely transport radioactive materials

The agreement creates a comprehensive and consistent framework among the three agencies "to coordinate, to the maximum extent practicable, their respective responsibilities and activities" regarding transporting such materials across the U.S.

Feds say Islamic State terrorists targeting law enforcement for weapons, gear to further attacks

The one-page Roll Call Release reported there were at least two instances in which the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria inspired individuals to steal weapons or other specialized gear from law enforcement officials.

US Forest Service using high-resolution satellite data, advanced modeling to fight wildfires

The Agriculture Department's Forest Service is using NASA's Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership, which provides greater detail of smaller wildfires than ever before.

House panel unanimously OKs bill creating countering violent extremism office within DHS

The legislation is in response to what some government officials are saying is a new wave of domestic terrorism, including plots and attacks by lone wolves inspired by the the terrorist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or by white supremacists such as the recent attack on a South Carolina church that killed nine black people.

CBP's $360M investment in drone border security program shows little return, DHS IG tells panel

The agency expected that it would fly four 16-hour drone patrols every day, year-round, for a total of 23,296 flight hours by fiscal 2013. However, the aircraft logged a total of 5,102 flight hours, about 80 percent less than OAM had anticipated.

CBP agents not consistently screening unaccompanied migrant children, GAO says

From fiscal 2009 through 2014, DHS apprehended more than 200,000 unaccompanied alien children, who are identified as younger than 18 years old with no lawful immigration status and no parent or legal guardian in the United States. Over 90 percent of those apprehensions occurred along the southwest border.

Global Pew survey: Climate change top worry followed by economic instability and ISIS

People in nearly half the nations polled in a new report cited climate change as their top concern, while many countries, particularly in North America, Europe and the Middle East, picked the militant Islamic State of Iraq and Syria as their biggest worry.

Federal judge rules mother of Mexican teen killed by Border Patrol agent can continue civil lawsuit

Attorneys for the Border Patrol agent, Lonnie Swartz, had argued that José Antonio Elena Rodríguez was not protected under the U.S. Constitution because he was a Mexican citizen on Mexican soil at the time of the shooting.

NASA: Heat-trapping Pacific, Indian oceans explain pause in upward surface temperature trend

NASA researchers analyzed ocean temperatures from a global network of 3,500 probes, which shows that temperatures below surface have been increasing. The Pacific Ocean is the main source of the warm water, but some of that now is being pushed into the Indian Ocean.