• ImmigrationCOVID Slows Central America-U.S. Migration

    By Megan Janetsky

    From March to April, when the U.S. began to lock down, total apprehensions along its southern border dropped by 50 percent, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data.?Apprehensions and expulsions have plummeted, going from 109,415 in April 2019 to just 16,789 in April 2020.

  • ExtremismWhite Supremacist Groups Thriving on Facebook

    Dozens of white supremacist groups are operating freely on Facebook, allowing them to spread their message and recruit new members. The findings, more than two years after Facebook hosted an event page for the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, cast doubt on the company’s claims that it’s effectively monitoring and dealing with hate groups. What’s more, Facebook’s algorithms create an echo chamber that reinforces the views of white supremacists and helps them connect with each other.

  • ExtremismSocial Media Platforms Can Contribute to Dehumanizing Other People

    A recent analysis of discourse on Facebook highlights how social media and an individual’s sense of identity can be used to dehumanize entire groups of people. “Fundamentally, we wanted to examine how online platforms can normalize hatred and contribute to dehumanization,” says one researcher. “And we found that an established model of the role identity plays in intractable conflicts seems to explain a great deal of this behavior.”

  • ArgumentLeading the Intelligence Community Will Be a Test for Ratcliffe

    Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) was confirmed last Thursday as President Donald Trump’s top intelligence adviser in a party line Senate vote, putting an inexperienced and highly partisan legislator at the top of the nation’s intelligence enterprise during a time of unprecedented threats to our security. Matt Olsen and Katrina Mulligan write that Ratcliffe made a name for himself defending the president, noisily and often falsely. At his confirmation hearing earlier this month, Ratcliffe vowed to “speak truth to power” and ensure the independence of intelligence agencies. But, will Ratcliffe keep those promises? Olsen and Mulligan are not sure:

  • ArgumentThe Justice Department’s Unconvincing Explanation for Its Reversal on FISA

    On 26 May, on the eve of a final vote on legislation to reauthorize recently expired Patriot Act provisions and enact numerous Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) reforms, the Department of Justice issued an eleventh-hour about-face. Having previously stated its support for the bill on 11 March, just two months later the department now has announced its opposition to the legislation. Jake Laperruque writes that DOJ’s about-face – veering between supporting and opposing more FISA transparency and independent oversight – reflects the fact that it is based less a coherent legal theory and more on President Trump’s stream of tweets. The problem is, “Trump’s objections to FISA sway wildly between legitimate problems raised by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz and baseless conspiracy allegations.”

  • Iran’s nukesU.S. Ending Sanctions Waivers on Iran's Civilian Nuclear Program

    The United States has announced it will end sanctions waivers that allow Russian, Chinese, and European firms to carry out civilian nuclear cooperation with Iran, effectively scrapping the last remnants of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, a move dismissed by Tehran as “desperate.”

  • Iran’s nukesSnapback of Sanctions under the Terms of the Nuclear Deal Is Fully Justified Today

    By David Albright

    “If Iran today wants a serious discussion about sanctions relief, it should start by abandoning the key threat Tehran poses to international peace and security: its uranium enrichment program,” writes David Albright, a nuclear weapons expert and the president of the Institute for Science and International Security. “Instead, Iran holds its own people hostage over the deadly coronavirus outbreak in a cynical campaign for wholesale sanctions relief.” The willingness of Iran’s leadership to refuse epidemic aid and thus dramatically, and unnecessarily, increase the number of sick and dying Iranians; the willing of the leadership to intensify and deepen the severe economic deprivation and misery across the country – and do all that in order to grow an economically nonviable, menacing uranium enrichment program — “That alone should lead all to consider just what is the real purpose of Iran’s enrichment program,” Albright writes.

  • China syndromeCanada-Detained Senior Huawei Executive a Step Closer to Being Extradited to U.S.

    A Canadian judge has rejected efforts by a senior Huawei executive to evade extradition to the United States to face a series of charges. Meng Wanzhou was arrested in December 2018 on a U.S. warrant while on a stopover at the Vancouver international airport. Meng is charged with lying to prospective investors by hiding the fact that Huawei was selling communication gear to Iran in breach of U.S. sanctions. The Canadian investors would have been legally and financially exposed to U.S. penalties because their investment in Huawei would have made them unwitting participants in breaching the sanctions.

  • ExtremismU.S. Domestic Islamist Extremism 2019

    There was a 50 percent increase in arrests and plots linked to domestic Islamist extremism in 2019, according to data released last week by ADL’s Center on Extremism. There were a total of 30 arrests linked to domestic Islamist extremism, nine of which were for terror plots. Of the nine individuals arrested for plotting attacks, seven were U.S. citizens. While there were no attacks or murders linked to domestic Islamist extremism last year, the findings indicate that Islamist extremism still poses a significant threat to the United States.

  • ExtremismGermany Sees Rise in Anti-Semitic, Political Crimes

    Germany saw a rise both far-right and far-left crimes in 2019, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer announced at a press conference in Berlin on Wednesday. The country’s police recorded just over 41,000 cases of politically motivated crime last year, representing a rise of 14.2 percent compared to 2018, when there were just over 36,000. “The biggest threat comes from the far-right, we have to see that clearly,” Seehofer said.

  • FloodsRising Tide: Seeking Solutions to S.C.’s Mounting Nuisance Floods

    While a rising tide may lift all boats, it spells trouble for South Carolina coastal communities where flooding has already long been a fact of life. Low-lying areas such as the state’s more than 2,000 miles of coastline are increasingly prone to floods and storm surge as sea levels rise — driven by a more variable global climate system. Researchers are examining green solutions to help those communities fight back.

  • PerspectiveMapping the China Debate

    The debate over U.S. foreign policy toward China is often reduced into the usual hawk-versus-dove metaphor. Hawks see U.S.-China great power competition as requiring a more aggressive posture, while doves worry about the downsides of an adversarial relationship. Ganesh Sitaraman writes that this dualist frame glosses over the fact that neither camp has a shared set of views. Rather, both hawks and doves contain a variety of subgroups—and some subgroups disagree with others on critical policy questions. “But without tractable categories for analysis, the debate over policy toward China is too often imprecise and confusing.”

  • TerrorismIS Returnees Should Be Charged with War Crimes: EU Agency

    More than 13,000 citizens of European countries traveled to Syria and Iraq to join, fight, or work with ISIS. In addition to former fighters, this figure includes women and children. A new report from an EU-backed genocide investigation body says that adding war crimes and genocide to terrorism charges for IS fighters returning to the EU will lead to tougher sentences and “more justice” for victims.

  • TerrorismHow the Coronavirus Increases Terrorism Threats in the Developing World

    By Nisha Bellinger and Kyle Kattelman

    As the coronavirus reaches developing countries in Africa and Asia, the pandemic will have effects beyond public health and economic activity. As the disease wreaks its havoc in areas poorly equipped to handle its spread, terrorism likely will increase there as well.

  • PerspectiveA Healthy Dose of Realism: Stopping COVID-19 Doesn’t Start with the WHO

    There’s a proven approach to combating the global threat of the novel coronavirus, Frank L. Smith III writes. It was used to eradicate smallpox during the Cold War. Rather than relying on the World Health Organization (WHO), success depends on a “great-power concert.” Today, this means concerted action by the United States and China.