Laos UXO Cleanup, Convention on Cluster Munitions, Sandia’s XTK Software

Topics in this issue include removing chemical weapons materials from Libya, EMS in the active shooter ‘warm zone’, suicide bombings in Syria, cleaning up UXOs in Laos.

Bomb Techs Strengthen Their Hand with Sandia’s XTK Software

In the chaos that followed the terrorist attack at the 2013 Boston Marathon, bomb squads scanned packages at the scene for explosive devices. Two homemade pressure cooker bombs had killed three people and injured more than 250, and techs quickly had to determine if more were waiting to blow up. >>

Operation Removes Gadhafi-Era Chemical Weapons Materials from Libya

Chemical weapons-related materials developed during Moammar Gadhafi’s decades-long rule were removed from Libya as part of an international maritime operation. A UK naval vessel helped escort the Danish ship bearing the chemicals out of Libya, according to a statement issued by the British government. CNN >>

Bizarre Ant Colony Discovered in an Abandoned Polish Nuclear Weapons Bunker

For the past several years, a group of researchers has been observing a seemingly impossible wood ant colony living in an abandoned nuclear weapons bunker in Templewo, Poland, near the German border. Completely isolated from the outside world, these members of the species Formica polyctena have created an ant society unlike anything we’ve seen before. ARS Technica >>

Dozens Die in Suicide Bombings Across Syrian Cities Held by Assad Forces

Dozens of people have been killed in an apparently coordinated string of bombings across government-held cities in Syria, as the US and Russia struggled to keep alive negotiations to end the bloodshed. Syrian state media said at least 40 people had died in six suicide bombings in the city of Homs in central Syria, the suburbs of Damascus, the suburbs of the coastal city of Tartus, and the Kurdish-controlled Hasakah city. Dozens more have been wounded. The Guardian >>

Nuclear Site Police Reveal 130 Security Breaches

The information was obtained by the BBC after a freedom of information request to the Civil Nuclear Constabulary. The force said other incidents included the keys to Hinkley Point power station being lost and confidential information being shared. BBC News >>

Africa, and the World, Not Ready to Address CBRN

There appears to be consensus that the international community is not yet prepared to address the full scope of CBRN threats and risks. At the same time, Africa struggles to counter violent extremist groups, particularly the growth of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Boko Haram in Nigeria, al-Shabaab in Somalia, and ISIL in Libya. Combining the two, can extremists steal and/or produce CBRN materials from Africa like Islamic State has done in Iraq and Syria? International Policy Digest >>

Why Bashar Al-Assad Won’t Face Justice Over Chemical Weapons Any Time Soon

A United Nations mandated investigatory body has officially implicated the Syrian Air Force in chemical weapon (CW) attacks in Syria. The report also accuses the Islamic State (IS) of one CW attack—but, in a depressingly predictable turn of events, those findings that point the finger of blame at the Assad regime have been brought into question by Syria and her allies. Newsweek >>

The US Left 80 Million Unexploded Bombs in Laos. Now It’s Helping Clean Them Up.

President Obama announced Tuesday that the US would triple its aid to Laos, to find and dismantle some of the 80 million unexploded bombs left over from the US’s bombing campaign between 1964 and 1973. The announcement — and Obama’s visit to Laos, which is the first by a sitting president — is intended as an explicit apology for the US’s long-unacknowledged but devastating “secret war,” conducted as part of the war in Vietnam. Vox >>

Milestone Completed in Demolition of Manhattan Project Plant

Demolition workers in Tennessee have taken down the last building in a massive Oak Ridge uranium enrichment complex built more than 70 years ago as part of the top-secret Manhattan Project. >>

For Former Pentagon Clinic Chief, 9/11 Terrorist Attack Burned Into His Mind

On Sept. 11, 2001, Dr. James Geiling stood at the entrance to a bridge, just across the river from the Pentagon, feeling helpless as he watched thick smoke bellow from the ugly gash in the side of the iconic building. >>

NNSA Rescinds $5B Nuclear Contract for Leidos Subsidiary

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) this week rescinded a $5 billion, ten-year agreement with a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, due to concerns over the sale of the subsidiary to Leidos. Defense News >>

EMS in the Warm Zone: A Bad Idea Based on Bad Science

Putting EMS and Fire Departments in the warm zone during an active shooter mass casualty incident (AS/MCI) is making headlines right now. It is in all of the popular EMS publications and making national news, there is just one problem; it is a bad idea. EMS QA QI >>

Implementing the Convention on Cluster Munitions

More than one-quarter of the states parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions have adopted national implementation legislation, but much work remains to be done in this area. Article 9 obliges states parties to implement the convention domestically through all appropriate legal, administrative, and other measures. Legislation is the most powerful form of implementation because it is binding and more difficult to change than administrative measures. Strong laws also help bolster the norm against cluster munitions. Human Rights Watch >>

AMISOM Calls for Aid to Counter Use of IEDs in Somalia

Countering the ongoing threat to life and security caused by Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in Somalia, will require additional resources from international partners as well as increased cordon and search operations and training for AMISOM and Somali security personnel on counter IEDs measures, according to military experts. AMISOM >>

DNWS EOD Has a History of Excellence Back to its Founder

Explosive ordnance disposal in the U.S. started during World War II with a man named Draper Kauffman. Kauffman graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1933 during the height of the Great Depression and was forced to resign his commission due to poor eyesight. KAFB Nucleaus >>

Nagasaki Bomb Museum Displays Paper Crane Made by Obama

A paper crane made by U.S. President Barack Obama during his visit to Hiroshima in May went on display Saturday in Nagasaki, the second city hit by an American atomic bomb. The red paper crane, one of four made by the president during his visit, will be exhibited at the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum through Nov. 30, along with a reproduction of a message he wrote in a visitors’ book at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Japan Times >>

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