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The Lead

MH17 Flight Shot Down By Surface-to-air Missile in Ukraine, Say Investigators

October 13, 2015 | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

The Malaysian Airlines Flight 17’s suspicious crash in Ukraine last year is now being called a deliberate attack with a surface-to-air missile, according to a report released today by investigators.

Though they stopped short of naming suspects, the results are leading to further international pressure to catch and prosecute the likely culprits from the rebel-held region.

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Forensic Magazine

N.C. Crime Lab Makes Strides

November 24, 2015 12:01 pm | by The News & Observer of Raleigh | Comments

The lab has come under serious fire since 2009, when testimony by one analyst at an innocence hearing spurred an independent review that came to the conclusion that analysts had frequently misstated or falsely reported on blood evidence over a 16-year period that ended in 2003.


Homicide on the Rise in Mexico: 47 People Killed Everyday

November 24, 2015 11:44 am | by TeleSur | Comments

The states of Guerrero and Veracruz have the highest murder rates in the country, the figures show. Guerrero’s internationally famous resort beach, Acapulco, has the highest homicide rate in the world at 107 per 100,000 inhabitants.


Anonymous’ Campaign Against Islamic State Goes Awry

November 24, 2015 11:26 am | by Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica | Comments

Multiple "ops" have been launched in an attempt to crowdsource efforts to disrupt ISIS social media and even hack its members. But there has also been a rash of accusations between those associated with different operations, and it's not clear that any of them are achieving anything other than drawing attention to Anonymous again


DNA Links Man to Sex Crimes Committed 8 Years Apart

November 23, 2015 10:26 am | by Sara Jean Green, Seattle Times | Comments

Blood was left behind in a woman’s Renton apartment during an alleged sexual attack in November 2007. Nearly eight years later, a suspect was found thanks to a DNA match with semen left on a woman’s clothing in a separate incident involving the same suspect.


Remains Uncovered at Work Site Are Human

November 23, 2015 10:12 am | by Joe Johnson, Athens Banner-Herald | Comments

Parts of a human skull and jaw bone were found outside Baldwin Hall on the University of Georgia, by a member of a work crew that is renovating the classroom building.


French State of Emergency Allows Website Blocking, Device Search Powers

November 20, 2015 10:56 am | by Glyn Moody, Ars Technica | Comments

In the wake of last Friday's attacks in Paris, France is bringing in new legislation extending the country's temporary state of emergency to three months, and granting the authorities new powers to carry out searches of seized devices, and to block websites.


DNA Prompts Re-Arrest of Man Set Free in 1983 Murder

November 20, 2015 10:44 am | by CBS News | Comments

A man set free more than 30 years ago after being arrested in the murder of a 19-year-old woman has been arrested again, after investigators this time connected him to the crime with DNA evidence.


Defense Attorneys Demand Closer Look at Software Used to Detect Crime-Scene DNA

November 20, 2015 9:17 am | by Joe Palazzolo, The Wall Street Journal | Comments

Defense attorneys have tried but failed to get access to the source code of the program, called TrueAllele. They say they can’t determine whether the software is erroneously linking their clients to crimes if they are unable to review the instructions the program gives the computer.


Hacker Group Anonymous Pledges to Take Down ISIS, But What Can Be Done?

November 19, 2015 12:22 pm | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

While social media has largely helped ISIS recruit new members, the group’s online activity might now be used to try to take them down.


Wildlife Forensics Turns to eDNA

November 19, 2015 10:40 am | by Kathiann Kowalski, Science News Magazine | Comments

Environmental DNA is letting scientists find species faster and more accurately than ever. And it might even point to species no one has yet recorded seeing.


Not So Fast With That Rapid DNA

November 19, 2015 9:55 am | by Yamri Taddese, Canadian Lawyer | Comments

Samples collected on arrest are checked against DNA evidence in open investigations — such as those collected from break-and-enter or sexual assault crime scenes — to see if that particular arrestee is implicated in unsolved cases.


F.B.I. Director Repeats Call That Ability to Read Encrypted Messages Is Crucial

November 19, 2015 9:17 am | by David Sanger and Nicole Perlroth, The New York Times | Comments

The question seemed settled last month after President Obama decided not to push legislation requiring American technology companies - notably Apple, Google and Facebook - to roll back smartphone encryption schemes. But the terrorist attacks in Paris may have changed the politics.


Break Up Anthrax Attacks, Sequence the Pieces

November 18, 2015 10:17 am | by Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News | Comments

Irradiation, a genome-fragmenting defense against weaponized anthrax and other bioterror agents, needn't frustrate forensic investigations that rely on whole-genome sequencing.


Fighting Crime, With Pollen

November 18, 2015 9:12 am | by Elon Green, The Atlantic | Comments

On June 25, the remains of a child were found in a trash bag on the shore of Boston’s Deer Island. It wasn’t clear how long she’d been dead, but there was some decomposition. Investigators estimated that the unidentified girl, “Baby Doe,” was about 4 years old. Among the clues found at the scene: pollen on the child’s pants and blanket.


Managing the Data Deluge for National Security Analysts

November 18, 2015 9:02 am | by Sandia National Laboratories | Comments

In this information age, national security analysts often find themselves searching for a needle in a haystack. The available data is growing much faster than analysts' ability to observe and process it. Sometimes they can't make key connections and often they are overwhelmed struggling to use data for predictions and forensics.



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