national security

During a commencement address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy today, President Obama will cast climate change as posing an "immediate risk to our national security."

NPR's Scott Horsley reports Obama is expected to tell graduates that the Coast Guard itself will have to adjust to the effects of rising sea levels. Scott filed this report for our Newscast unit:

From the moment she was taken into custody in 2012, outside a building that stores enriched uranium in Oak Ridge, Tenn., Sister Megan Rice has argued she has been driven by one thing — a desire to spread a message.

"And we all know that nuclear energy is linked inextricably with nuclear weapons," Rice told a group of activists in remarks captured on YouTube.

Prosecutors accused her of violating the Sabotage Act, intending to hurt the government's ability to wage war or defend itself.

Flickr Photo/Jeni Rodger

Facebook and Yahoo have joined Microsoft and Google in asking the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court for permission to tell the public about personal information they give to spy agencies.

The big four companies are responding to persistent reports that spy agencies are using them to grab users’ personal information.

In the FISA court filings, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo and Google say their reputations have been damaged. They say only a small part of Internet traffic is being handed to spy agencies, and they want to give the public information to correct the record.

The Justice Department says it can’t allow that for national security reasons.

The companies say that gag order violates their free-speech rights. Microsoft and Google are asking the FISA court to allow oral arguments so that they can argue their case in public.

Flickr Photo/Chris Hardie

Reports from the New York Times, the Guardian and ProPublica cast light on how spy agencies are obtaining private data. The news organizations say the US National Security Agency is using covert partnerships with technology companies to weaken encryption software.

White House Photo/Pete Souza

President Obama is set to hold a news conference at the White House on Friday at noon P.T. — his first such formal give-and-take with the press corps since "NSA leaker" Edward Snowden started spilling secrets about National Security Agency surveillance programs in June.

Department Of Homeland Security: Necessary Or Needless?

Aug 8, 2013
Flickr Photo/US Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District

The vision of the Department of Homeland Security is to "ensure a homeland that is safe, secure and resilient against terrorism and other hazards." That's according to the mission statement on the Department of Homeland Security’s website.

Last month the Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napalitano resigned to take on the job of running California’s university system. There are now 15 vacant positions at the top of the department, a department that casts a wide net. Sure, you may think of anti-terror units when you think of homeland security but DHS combined 22 different federal departments when it was established in 2002. Ross Reynolds talks with author and fellow at the Center for Global Development Charles Kenny about why he thinks it is time to abolish the DHS.

The Pentagon's intelligence arm has "moderate confidence" that North Korea may have developed the technology to create nuclear weapons that are small enough to fit on a long-range missile.

NPR's Larry Abramson filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"The Defense Intelligence Agency assessment says such a weapon would probably not be very reliable. This is the first time the U.S. has concluded that Pyongyang's nuclear efforts have reached this point.

Mark Bowden On The Hunt For Bin Laden

Nov 15, 2012
Flickr Photo/Sajjad Ali Qureshi

One Sunday evening nearly a decade after the September 11 attacks, President Obama spoke from the White House to tell the world that the United States had carried out an operation that killed Osama bin Laden. The work to locate bin Laden took years, and ultimately led to a walled compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Mark Bowden is a national correspondent for The Atlantic magazine, contributing editor to Vanity Fair and author of "Black Hawk Down." He joins us to talk about "The Finish: The Killing of Osama Bin Laden," his insider account of the hunt for America’s most-wanted enemy.