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Category: Emergency | Disaster | Terrorism

The field of emergency and disaster management and its related issues and challenges. A focus on topics and themes related to the practice of crisis, emergency and rick communications, lessons learned and findings.

Explainer: how a royal commission will investigate Christchurch shootings

Royal commission of inquiry, to be led by the senior judge, Justice William Young, and an as yet unannounced second person, will look into the specific circumstances leading up to the shootings on March 15 that left, as of now, 51 people dead. The commission will investigate whether police or intelligence services could have done more to prevent the atrocity, but its terms of reference do not allow it to look into the role of social media.

WhatsApp hacked and bugs in Intel chips: what you need to know to protect yourself

First there was news the popular WhatsApp messenger app was hacked. Updated versions of WhatsApp have been released, which you should install if you’re one of the more than one billion people who use the app.

There was also news of several security flaws in the majority of Intel processors, found in many of the world’s desktop, laptop and server computers.

Software patches to prevent exploitation of these hardware flaws have been released by several vendors, including Microsoft. You should install security updates from vendors promptly, including these.

Islamic State: the ‘caliphate’ is off the map for now, but will evolve in dangerous ways

The so-called Islamic State (IS) recently lost its last remnant of territory in Syria, but observers were quick to remind the world that the war against the organisation is far from over. What then does this loss of territorial control actually mean for IS?

At its height, the self-proclaimed “caliphate” controlled an estimated 34,000 square miles across Syria and Iraq, so its defeat on the ground is clearly a severe blow for it. Nevertheless, IS is now expected to evolve. Its networks will disperse into virtual, online spaces and become largely invisible. It will focus on insurgency tactics and terror attacks with a wider reach.

Boeing 737 Max: The FAA wanted a safe plane – but didn’t want to hurt America’s biggest exporter either

Even before the crashes of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and Indonesian Lion Air Flight 610, there were concerns that the USA Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was delegating too much safety oversight to Boeing itself.

The FAA allowed Boeing to handle much of the safety certification process, and Congress supported doing so – though recent events may be prompting lawmakers to change their tune. Reports have suggested that Boeing even excluded FAA technical experts from some of those decisions.

In addition, recent analyses suggest that Boeing made several misjudgments when it designed MCAS, the automated correction system, and hasn’t been fully forthcoming with both the FAA and airlines about how it worked. The airline has also been accused of providing inadequate training for pilots.

The psychology of fear and hate, and what each of us can do to stop it

First, how families talk about minorities and immigrants is critical. In work that we conducted in Finland, we found prejudicial opinions of Finns toward Russian immigrants are largely shaped during adolescence. It’s incumbent upon parents to be role models for their children and adolescents and to promote tolerance and mutual respect early.

Data breaches are inevitable – here’s how to protect yourself anyway

The main thing is to assume that you are a target. Though most individual people aren’t specifically being watched, software that mines massive troves of data – enhanced by artificial intelligence – can target vast numbers of people almost as easily as any one person. Think defensively about how you can protect yourself from an almost inevitable attack, rather than assuming you’ll avoid harm.

Why NZ needs to follow weapons ban with broad review of security laws

With a certain class of license, military style semi-automatic weapons (in unlimited numbers) could be acquired legally. Some 14,000 of these weapons are thought to be legally owned in New Zealand.

Loop holes in current legislation abound. These make it possible to modify weapons and obtain large magazines, and even to buy armour-piercing bullets. Why, in a peaceful, democratic and open society, does anyone need a military-style automatic weapon and armour piercing ammunition?

New Zealand gun owners invoke NRA-style tropes in response to fast-tracked law change

Media have examined the influence of the American National Rifle Association (NRA) in New Zealand. But there is an aggressive home-grown gun culture online.

The comment sections on a range of New Zealand firearms community Facebook pages reveal that the culture of many gun users is more extreme than the gun lobby wants us to believe. There are disturbing norms operating in local gun culture

Livestreamed massacre means it’s time to shut down Facebook Live

When word broke that the massacre in New Zealand was livestreamed on Facebook, I immediately thought of Robert Godwin Sr. In 2017, Godwin was murdered in Cleveland, Ohio, and initial reports indicated that the attacker streamed it on Facebook Live, at the time a relatively new feature of the social network. Facebook later clarified that the graphic video was uploaded after the event, but the incident called public attention to the risks of livestreaming violence.