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Infectious Disease Is the Next Big Global Security Risk

The World Is Not Ready for the Next Pandemic

           

John Hackett and Charles Chiu handle Zika samples at the University of California, San Francisco-Abbott Viral Diagnostics and Discovery Center - Cody Pickens for TIME

time.com - by Bryan Walsh - May 4, 2017

 . . . From Ebola in West Africa to Zika in South America to MERS in the Middle East, dangerous outbreaks are on the rise around the world . . . 

 . . . The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ranks H7N9 as the flu strain with the greatest potential to cause a pandemic--an infectious-disease outbreak that goes global. If a more contagious H7N9 were to be anywhere near as deadly as it is now, the death toll could be in the tens of millions.

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The Real Threat to National Security: Deadly Disease

Credit Niv Bavarsky

nytimes.com - by MICHAEL T. OSTERHOLM and MARK OLSHAKER
March 24, 2017

While the Trump administration is proposing significantly increased military spending to enhance our national security, it seems to have lost sight of the greatest national security threat of all: our fight against infectious disease.

We already spend far more on our military than any other country in the world. To help pay for the increases, President Trump wants to cut back many federal programs, including those that prepare us to wage war against microbes, the greatest and most lethal enemy we are ever likely to face. This is where “defense spending” needs to increase, significantly.

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Trump’s Defense Secretary Cites Climate Change as National Security Challenge

           

James Mattis, then the secretary of defense nominee, arrives at a Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing on Jan. 12, 2017. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

propublica.org - by Andrew Revkin - March 14, 2017

Secretary of Defense James Mattis has asserted that climate change is real, and a threat to American interests abroad and the Pentagon’s assets everywhere, a position that appears at odds with the views of the president who appointed him and many in the administration in which he serves.

In unpublished written testimony provided to the Senate Armed Services Committee after his confirmation hearing in January, Mattis said it was incumbent on the U.S. military to consider how changes like open-water routes in the thawing Arctic and drought in global trouble spots can pose challenges for troops and defense planners. He also stressed this is a real-time issue, not some distant what-if.

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Bill Gates Warns Tens of Millions Could be Killed by Bio-Terrorism

           

Bio-terrorism could kill 30 million people in a year, says Bill Gates

Microsoft founder and philanthropist tells Munich security conference genetic engineering could be terrorist weapon

theguardian.com - Bill Gates / Ewen MacAskill - February 18, 2017

A chilling warning that tens of millions of people could be killed by bio-terrorism was delivered at the Munich security conference by the world’s richest man, Bill Gates

Gates, who has spent much of the last 20 years funding a global health campaign, said: “We ignore the link between health security and international security at our peril.”

Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft who has spent billions in a philanthropic drive to improve health worldwide, said: “The next epidemic could originate on the computer screen of a terrorist intent on using genetic engineering to create a synthetic version of the smallpox virus ... or a super contagious and deadly strain of the flu.”

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CLICK HERE - Munich Security Conference

 

 

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Climate Change and Mass Migration: a Growing Threat to Global Security

           

Photo: Farid Ahmed/IRIN

irinnews.org - by Jared Ferrie - January 19, 2017

When international leaders met in the Bangladeshi capital last month for ongoing discussions about a new global migration policy, they glossed over what experts say will soon become a massive driver of migration: climate change . . .

. . . Groups like the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, and the International Organization for Migration, are well aware of the risks, and say they are working to bring climate change to the forefront of policy discussions . . .

. . . It’s difficult to say exactly how many people around the world will be forced to move as the effects of climate change grow starker in the coming decades. But mass displacement is already happening as climate change contributes to natural disasters such as desertification, droughts, floods, and powerful storms.

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CLICK HERE - 2016 Global Report on Internal Displacement

ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLES AND SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION WITHIN THE LINKS BELOW . . .

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U.S. Grid in ‘Imminent Danger’ From Cyber-Attack, Study Says

           

Photographer: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Threats to U.S. electrical grid are more sophisticated - Increase in smart grid technology increasing vulnerability

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Transforming the Nation’s Electricity System - The Second Installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review - January 2017

bloomberg.com - by Ari Natter and Mark Chediak - January 6, 2017

The U.S. Energy Department says the electricity system "faces imminent danger" from cyber-attacks, which are growing more frequent and sophisticated, but grid operators say they are already on top of the problem.

In the department’s landmark Quadrennial Energy Review, it warned that a widespread power outage caused by a cyber-attack could undermine "critical defense infrastructure" as well as much of the economy and place at risk the health and safety of millions of citizens.

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At The U.S.-Mexico Border, Haitians Arrive To A Harsh Reception

           

Haitian nationals at a Mexican government immigration office near the port of entry between Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, and Nogales, Ariz., wait day after day for appointments with U.S. immigration agents so they can enter. As a result of the Haitian influx and a continuing surge of Central Americans on the Texas-Mexico border, the U.S. government has run out of detention space.  John Burnett/NPR

npr.org - by John Burnett - November 23, 2016

Desperate Haitian immigrants have been massing along the U.S.-Mexico border for months seeking humanitarian relief. In the past year more than 5,000 have sought entry into the United States — a 500 percent increase over the previous year.

After the catastrophic 2010 earthquake in Haiti, thousands of citizens migrated to Brazil looking for work. But as Brazil has slipped into recession in recent years, many of them have hit the road again, heading north on a 6,000-mile journey to the U.S. border — by every means of conveyance . . .

 . . . The Homeland Security Department announced new rules in September. All Haitians who show up at the border without papers and who don't ask for asylum are now detained.

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Climate Change Could Become a National Security Risk, Report Says

CLICK HERE - Office of the Director of National Intelligence - Implications for US National Security of Anticipated Climate Change

CLICK HERE - The White House - Presidential Memorandum - Climate Change and National Security

pbs.org - by Associated Press - September 21, 2016

WASHINGTON — A government report released Wednesday said climate change is likely to pose a significant national security challenge for the U.S. over the next two decades by heightening social and political tensions, threatening the stability of some countries and increasing risks to human health.

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Orlando Nightclub Shooting: Mass Casualties After Gunman Opens Fire

At least 50 people were killed and more than 50 others were wounded when a gunman opened fire and took hostages at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, early Sunday morning.

The shooter, identified by several law enforcement sources as Omar Mateen, 29, was killed in a shootout with law enforcement after a three-hour siege.

The massacre — the worst mass shooting in the history of the United States — began when the gunman stormed the Pulse Nightclub about 2 a.m. ET with an AR-15 type rifle and a handgun, officials said.

CLICK HERE - Tampa Bay Times - LIVE - BREAKING COVERAGE OF THE PULSE NIGHTCLUB SHOOTING IN ORLANDO, FLORIDA

CLICK HERE - NBC News

CLICK HERE - CNN - LIVE Blog

CLICK HERE - CNN - Timeline of Orlando nightclub shooting

CLICK HERE - The New York Times - Mass Shooting at Pulse Florida Nightclub: Live Updates

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A Billion in Pandemic Prevention Is Worth a Trillion in Cure

          

Photographer: Waldo Swiegers /Bloomberg

The world is warned to prepare now for health crises such as the Ebola outbreak, or pay a lot more later.

CLICK HERE - LINK TO REPORT AND OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION - The Neglected Dimension of Global Security - A Framework to Counter Infectious Disease Crises 

bloomberg.com - by John Tozzi - January 13, 2016

The world needs a . . . transformation to prevent outbreaks of infectious disease that threaten security and economic stability, according to a report sponsored by several major foundations. Pandemics—epidemics that spread across the globe—could cost humanity $6 trillion in the 21st century, or $60 billion a year, the authors estimate. They argued for investing $4.5 billion a year—or 65 cents for every resident of the planet—to prepare.

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