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SITUATION REPORTSep 18, 2019 | 17:03 GMT
Saudi Arabia: U.S. Weighs Retaliatory Options After Attack Against Oil Processing Site
The U.S. government is considering a series of options to retaliate against an alleged Iranian strike on a Saudi oil processing plant, including a potential cyberattack or a kinetic strike against Iran's energy infrastructure, NBC News reported Sept. 17.
AssessmentsOct 25, 2018 | 20:25 GMT
A New York bomb squad van deployed outside of the Time Warner Center after an explosive device was found on the morning of Oct. 24 in New York City.
What We Know About the October Pipe Bomb Campaign
A series of crudely-made improvised explosive devices have been delivered to prominent political, business and entertainment figures in the United States, from Oct. 22 onward. The letter bomb packages are likely assembled and distributed by the same -- as yet unknown -- individual or group. To date, none of the timer-initiated pipe bomb-type devices has successfully detonated.
On SecurityJul 31, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
As tensions rise with the United States, hackers in Iran are expected to boost their attacks in the coming months.
When It Comes to Cyberattacks, Iran Plays the Odds
The war of words between the United States and Iran appears to be heating up in cyberspace. In recent weeks, the tension has grown palpable as the United States leads the drive to reimpose sanctions on Iran on Aug. 6. U.S. President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have traded heated threats with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force. Though both sides are certainly capable of direct physical attacks, conventional warfare is not in their immediate interests. Iran has embraced cyberattacks as part of its asymmetric response to its Middle Eastern rivals and the United States, and this latest round of belligerence will likely be played out through cyber actions. And even though Iran doesn't pose as great a threat as China or Russia, its persistence and reliance on unsophisticated, yet tried-and-true tactics allow it
SITUATION REPORTJun 30, 2018 | 14:07 GMT
U.S., North Korea: Pyongyang Has Increased Nuclear Fuel Production, Intelligence Officials Say
U.S. intelligence agencies believe North Korea has increased its production of fuel for nuclear weapons at multiple secret sites in recent months and may try to hide those facilities while seeking concessions in nuclear talks with the United States, NBC News reported June 29, citing U.S. officials who described the content of a new U.S. intelligence assessment.
Contributor PerspectivesMar 13, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
Finnish snowboarder Matti Suur-Hamari, center, celebrates his gold medal win with silver medalist Keith Gabel of the United States, left, and Gurimu Narita of Japan.
Tracing the Evolution of the Paralympic Games
Last week, a month to the day after the Winter Olympics kicked off, the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Paralympic Games was held in Pyeongchang, South Korea. This marks the third decade that the Paralympics have directly followed their Olympic counterparts, using the same venues and holding competitions in some of the same events. Despite the elevated profile of Paralympic competitions, those games have not come close to matching the Olympics juggernaut, receiving a fraction of the broadcast coverage and relatively low-key play in the news media. Nevertheless, beyond the obvious displays of human excellence in the face of adversity, the Paralympics have become a significant proving ground for adaptive technologies and are as rife with geopolitical and military connections as their able-bodied counterparts.
AssessmentsJan 18, 2018 | 17:04 GMT
 A man walks across the seal of the Central Intelligence Agency at the lobby of the Original Headquarters Building at the CIA headquarters.
Former CIA Officer Possibly Responsible for Compromised Sources in China
Arrested CIA case officer Jerry Chun Shing Lee is believed linked to the death and disappearance of at least 20 CIA sources in China between 2010 and 2012, NBC News reported Jan. 17, citing sources familiar with the case. Lee was arrested Jan. 15 and charged Jan. 16 with unlawfully retaining information pertaining to national defense, the Department of Justice announced Jan. 16.
Contributor PerspectivesJan 7, 2018 | 14:30 GMT
Waning public interest in foreign news has driven a crisis in the media industry.
Covering Conflict Zones for the Modern Media
My parents' stories about being foreign correspondents during the 1980s make me long for a very different time in journalism. Back then, most major national news outlets, including the Chicago Tribune and The Boston Globe, had well-staffed bureaus in the Middle East. And because the internet, hailed in its infancy as the savior of the news media, had not yet devastated a business model built around lucrative print advertising, there was enough money to ensure that foreign correspondents were paid a living wage. Without the echo chamber and feedback loop of social media, news companies didn't have to factor in the number of clicks a well-written, long-form piece on some depressing but important topic might get -- they could just publish the piece with the understanding that their relatively stable readership would survive.
Contributor PerspectivesDec 6, 2017 | 09:00 GMT
Saudi Defense Minister and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, center, stands for a photo-op with his counterparts from other countries in Saudi Arabia's Islamic Military Counterterrorism Coalition at a meeting in Riyadh.
The Rapid Rise of Mohammed bin Salman
The young Saudi crown prince's tough approach and brusque demeanor rub some in and outside the kingdom the wrong way. But the shake-up he's carrying out may be just what Saudi Arabia needs to survive in a new era.
Contributor PerspectivesNov 20, 2017 | 09:00 GMT
Professional games have largely supplanted the college football rivalry games that traditionally fell on Thanksgiving Day.
A Short History of Thanksgiving Day Football in America
Nov. 23 marks the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States, a time for airport delays, overindulgence and passive aggression at the family dinner table. For many Americans, Thanksgiving also means football. Fans can expect a full slate of games to accompany every bite and sip throughout the day, perhaps viewed from the couch next to the requisite drunken uncle. As we look forward to this week's matchups, it seems like an opportune moment to reflect on the history of Thanksgiving football.
Contributor PerspectivesNov 8, 2017 | 10:12 GMT
TV can capture the blood, gore and mayhem of a terrorist attack far better than print or audio can, for better or for worse.
TV and Terror: How the Medium Plays Into Terrorist Strategy
The terrorist attack in New York last week hit close to home. My 11-year-old grandson sometimes rides the bike I gave him on that very bike path. You can see why I became glued to the TV. Following the initial wave of feeling -- of relief upon hearing my grandson was safe, of anguish for the victims and their families -- my binge on the TV coverage got me thinking. This is just what they want me to be doing: Dwelling on the damage a single terrorist can do -- becoming terrorized. And TV is the perfect means to that end.
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