News Article | November 22, 2016
Ammonium Nitrate Market size is expected to have a moderate growth at a CAGR of over 3% from 2016 to 2024. The growth in the demand of fertilizers and explosives will be the major drivers for the market. The fertilizer industry is the major driver for global ammonium nitrate market demand, being more stable than urea and with more usage as fertilizer throughout the globe in the forecast timeframe. The global fertilizer nutrient (N+P2O5+K2O) consumption was estimated at over 180 million tonnes in 2013 and reached close to 190 million tonnes in 2015. In the next eight years, this demand is expected to grow significantly. Another major ammonium nitrate market size driver is the growing demand of explosives and gunpowder. With growing military expenditure and mining activities, the demand for explosives is expected to escalate from 2016 to 2024. According to studies conducted by Global Market Insights Inc., the global mining industry is expected to cross USD 740 billion by 2024. This will have a positive impact on the global ammonium nitrate market demand. Request for an in-depth table of contents for this report @ https://www.gminsights.com/request-toc/upcoming/818 However, strict regulations regarding the handling of ammonium nitrate issued jointly by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Occupational Health and Safety (OSHA) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) will pose a threat on the market growth and expansion of the industry. It has been recorded as moderately hazardous and this will act as a major restrain to the ammonium nitrate market share. Natural and synthetic are key product variations. The naturally occurring mineral (ammonia nitre) is found in the Atacama Desert in Chile. Almost all the ammonium nitrate used in the industry today is synthetically manufactured by Haber’s Process followed by Ostwald Process. Another method to synthetically produce ammonium nitrate crystals is through a variant of the Odda Process. Europe is the major market for ammonium nitrate with over 30% of the global ammonium nitrate demand, followed by North America. United States has almost 25% agricultural land. This will affect the ammonium nitrate market in the fertilizer industry in the upcoming future. North America, led by the US, accounted for more than a third of the global military expenditure in 2015. This will drive the market for explosives positively and will ultimately have a great impact on the market demand of ammonium nitrate. Asia Pacific countries are mostly agriculture dependent and will have a significant role in the market of ammonium nitrate. With growing demand of agricultural end products in China and India, the demand for fertilizer is forecast to increase from 2016 to 2024. The rising demand of mining explosives in China and India will also propel the ammonium nitrate market. Certain regulations in Australia regarding proportions of ammonium nitrate in fertilizers may restrain the market. Expansion of agricultural lands in Latin America and certain CIS nations will have a positive impact on the market for ammonium nitrate fertilizers. Some of the market players involved in the manufacturing of ammonium nitrate are Orica, Enaex S.A, CF Industries Holdings, Inc., San Corporation, OSTCHEM Holding Company, EuroChem Group AG, Austin Powder International, Abu Qir Fertilizers Co, Neochim PLC, Fertiberia SA, Uralchem JSC, Vale Fertilizantes and Dorogobuzh JSC. Orica has entered a long-term supply agreement with CF Industries to supply up to 800,000 tons of ammonium nitrate per annum in North America in 2015. Global Market Insights, Inc., headquartered in Delaware, U.S., is a global market research and consulting service provider; offering syndicated and custom research reports along with growth consulting services. Our business intelligence and industry research reports offer clients with penetrative insights and actionable market data specially designed and presented to aid strategic decision making. These exhaustive reports are designed via a proprietary research methodology and are available for key industries such as chemicals, advanced materials, technology, renewable energy and biotechnology.
News Article | September 13, 2016
Hillary Clinton’s “I believe in science” declaration aside, science has not played a starring role in the 2016 presidential election. Far from it. For the most part, the candidates’ science policies have trickled out in dribs and drabs, and in varying degrees of detail — talking points on a website here, a passing comment in response to a spur-of-the-moment question there. Yet science underpins our understanding of, and response to, the world around us. It answers everything from why our coffee sloshes dangerously to what could happen if the planet warms another degree or two. Science often intersects with public policy, and presidential leadership influences research priorities. With that in mind, Science News examines where Clinton, the Democratic Party nominee, and Republican Party nominee Donald Trump stand on seven scientific issues with the power to impact our future. Our writers looked at what the candidates have said publicly at campaign events and in interviews, what they have written on their websites, relevant planks in their party’s platform, and their responses, released September 13, to 20 questions posed by the nation’s science advocates. (Science News’ parent organization, Society for Science & the Public, is among the groups pushing to make science more prominent in the presidential campaigns, via an initiative called ScienceDebate.org.) Read on to find out what Clinton and Trump have said on topics ranging from genetic engineering to space exploration, and how their positions accord with the current state of the science. — Macon Morehouse As she tells the story, Clinton wanted to be an astronaut when she was 14 years old, but NASA told her that they weren’t accepting girls. That doesn’t seem to have dampened her enthusiasm. “I really, really do support the space program,” she told a crowd in July 2015 at a town hall meeting in Dover, N.H. “There’s lots for us to keep learning … Let’s not back off now.” Clinton has provided few specifics on what the United States should be doing in space, but she told ScienceDebate.org that one of her goals is to “advance our ability to make human exploration of Mars a reality.” Clinton’s position seems to align with that of her party’s platform: “Democrats believe in continuing the spirit of discovery that has animated NASA’s exploration of space over the last half century. We will strengthen support for NASA and work in partnership with the international scientific community to launch new missions to space.” The platform makes no mention of what role, if any, commercial enterprises such as SpaceX and Blue Origin should play in furthering space exploration. Clinton has said that she doesn’t object to partnering with private ventures, but that their role is more aligned with applied science, whereas the government should be funding basic research and discovery. Trump is a big fan of space exploration — “a strong space program will encourage our children to seek STEM [education] and will bring millions of jobs and trillions of dollars of investment to this country,” he told ScienceDebate.org. But he has also repeatedly said that it’s a luxury the country can’t afford. “I love NASA, I love what it represents, I love what it stands for,” he said during a November 11 event in Manchester, N.H. “Right now we have bigger problems.… We’ve got to fix our potholes.” NASA should focus on exploring new frontiers, Trump told Aerospace America in May. Infrastructure, economics and defense come first, however. “Our first priority is to restore a strong economic base to this country,” he said. “If we are growing with all of our people employed and our military readiness back to acceptable levels, then we can take a look at the timeline for sending more people into space.” Both Trump and the Republican Party support working with private companies to expand access to space. “I think there needs to be a growing partnership between the government and the private sector as we continue to explore space,” Trump told Aerospace America. “There seems to be tremendous overlap of interests so it seems logical to go forward together.” Pluto reconnaissance. Ripples in spacetime. Discovery of thousands of worlds around other stars. Space exploration is in a golden age, and astronomers as well as policy experts want continued support for basic research, whether by building new telescopes or sending probes to far-flung worlds. NASA is on track to launch James Webb, the next major space-based telescope, late in 2018 and has started work on that telescope’s successor, WFIRST. The agency launched a probe in September to bring samples of an asteroid back to Earth (SN Online: 9/8/16), and plans are under way for the next Mars rover and a mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa (SN Online: 6/18/15). Current policy regarding the role of humans in space is muddled. “No dream, no vision, no plan, no budget,” said former NASA administrator Mike Griffin at a congressional hearing in February. NASA proclaims it will send humans to Mars in the next 20 years — while others argue for a return to the moon — but there is no clear outline or long-term financial support (SN Online: 5/24/16). Private companies, despite the occasional rocket explosion, are enjoying a run of success. Dramatic rocket landings are making reusable launch components a reality, and SpaceX and Orbital ATK have been making supply runs to the International Space Station. SpaceX also plans to send an uncrewed mission to Mars in 2018. — Christopher Crockett Clinton has not taken a public stance on human genetic engineering or genetic modification of animals or insects. Genetically engineered crops, often called GMOs, are another matter. “I stand in favor of using seeds and products that have a proven track record … scientifically proven,” she said at a meeting of the Biotechnology Industry Organization in 2014. “Genetically modified sounds Frankensteinish, [but] drought resistant sounds really [like] something you want.” At a town hall meeting in Fairfield, Iowa, in December, she elaborated: “There are a lot advocates who fight hunger in Africa who are desperate for GMO seeds because they are drought resistant and they don’t know how else they are going to get enough yield to feed people.” At that same town hall, Clinton said she also favors food labeling. “There’s a right to know,” she said. “There’s also a right to have the best science.… Whatever kind of overall plan we can have that will give us information, we deserve to know and get more science done that is independent science that we can count on that doesn’t get done by some institution, company, whatever, that has a stake in the outcome.” Trump has been silent on matters concerning genetic engineering, whether it’s involving humans, animals or plants. But the Republican Party platform weighs in on GMO food and labeling: “We oppose the mandatory labeling of genetically modified food, which has proven to be safe, healthy and a literal life-saver for millions in the developing world.” Genetic engineering has taken on new vigor with the introduction of technologies such as the powerful gene editor CRISPR/Cas9 (SN: 12/12/15, p. 16; SN: 9/3/16, p. 22). Scientists may soon be able to alter genes in any organism, including humans, at will. That has many people, including scientists, worried about social, health, ethical and environmental consequences. The United States doesn’t have laws to establish what types of genetic engineering are allowed, but does regulate the release of genetically modified organisms into the environment. For instance, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently OK’d the first GM mosquito trial in an effort to curb the spread of the Zika virus (SN Online: 8/5/16). And in July, President Obama signed into law a measure that requires labeling of foods that contain genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. One of the most controversial uses of gene editing is making changes to the human germ line — embryos, eggs, sperm and the cells that give that rise to them — that could be carried to future generations. Such edits could cure genetic diseases permanently, but may also lead to “designer babies” and raises fears of a new kind of eugenics (SN: 5/30/15, p. 16). An international group of scientists said last year that research on human gene editing should go ahead, but that no babies should be born as a result (SN: 12/26/15, p. 12). A federal spending bill prohibits the FDA from considering, or even acknowledging, applications for scientists to make heritable changes in human embryos. Some call it an effective ban on engineering the human germ line, including the creation of “three-parent babies” in which the nucleus from a mother’s egg is transplanted into an empty donor egg to help a mother avoid passing mitochondrial diseases on her children. A panel of scientists have deemed that procedure ethical under certain circumstances (SN Online: 2/3/16). — Tina Hesman Saey “I believe in science. I believe that climate change is real and that we can save our planet while creating millions of good-paying clean energy jobs,” Clinton said during her acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July. She has called last December’s 195-nation Paris climate agreement a “historic step forward” and says she’ll deliver on the U.S. pledge to curb warming without “relying on the climate deniers in Congress to pass new legislation.” Her goal: reduce greenhouse gas emissions in 2025 by 30 percent relative to 2005 levels and ultimately by 80 percent by 2050. To reach those ambitious targets, Clinton would invest in renewable energy, including creating a $60 billion Clean Energy Challenge to promote cutting carbon pollution and expanding clean energy. Within 10 years of taking office, she hopes to have enough renewable energy capacity in the United States to power every home and cut oil consumption by a third. “I'm proud that we shaped a global climate agreement,” she said at the convention. “Now we have to hold every country accountable to their commitments, including ourselves.” Trump has repeatedly called human-caused climate change a hoax; any efforts to combat it are needlessly burdensome on the economy, he says. “President Obama entered the United States into the Paris climate accords. Unilaterally and without the permission of Congress, this agreement gives foreign bureaucrats control over... what we do on our land in our country,” Trump said May 26 at a campaign event at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismarck, N.D. “We’re going to cancel the Paris climate agreement and stop all payments of the United States tax dollars to U.N. global warming programs.” Trump has said that he would undo many climate initiatives put in place by the Obama administration, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to cut emissions from power plants. Trump would also end the Interior Department’s moratorium on coal mining permits and “encourage, not discourage, the use of natural gas and other American energy resources.” According to the Trump campaign, lifting these and other restrictions would increase the country’s economic output by $700 billion annually over the next 30 years, increase wages by $30 billion annually and create millions of new jobs. Satellite and on-the-ground measurements have recorded a sharp rise in global temperatures over the past several decades that is unprecedented in the last millennium. That warming is in large part caused by emissions from human activities such as fossil fuel burning, computer simulations and direct observations have shown (SN: 4/4/15, p. 14). Greenhouse gases from these emissions, such as carbon dioxide, trap heat that would otherwise escape into space. As a result, the global average temperature has risen around 1 degree Celsius since the start of the Industrial Revolution, and the rate of warming has nearly doubled over the past half century. If continued unabated, this climate change will raise sea levels, shift rainfall patterns and cause health and economic problems around the world (SN: 4/6/16, p. 22), many scientists warn. The Paris climate agreement is the most ambitious plan yet to limit and reverse this trend (SN: 1/9/16, p. 6). The pact, reached in December, aims to limit warming to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, with a possibility of adopting an even more ambitious 1.5-degree target down the road. U.S. participation is crucial to the success of the agreement: The United States is the second largest greenhouse gas emitter worldwide and the seventh largest per capita. — Thomas Sumner “I’m committed to ramping up our funding for biomedical research and development, including $2 billion per year for Alzheimer’s research, which is the amount leading researchers say will be necessary to effectively treat the disease and make a cure possible by 2025,” Clinton writes on her campaign website. She has endorsed the Obama administration’s cancer moonshot initiative (SN Online: 9/8/16): “By combining new funding with creative approaches, we will not only catalyze progress against cancer: We will strengthen the nation’s entire scientific enterprise.… As president, I will take up the charge.” Clinton also has also pushed for additional funding to fight the Zika virus. In an Aug. 8 Quora post, she wrote: “If we’re serious about keeping families safe, there’s no time to waste. We need to step up mosquito control and abatement, provide families with critical health services, including access to contraception, develop a vaccine and treatment, and ensure people know how to protect themselves and their kids.” She told ScienceDebate.org that she would create a Public Health Rapid Response Fund with stable funding and the agility “to quickly and aggressively respond to major public health crises and pandemics.” Trump has said little on issues regarding biomedical research, but noted on a radio show in 2015, “I hear so much about the NIH [National Institutes of Health] and it’s terrible.” “We cannot simply throw money at these institutions and assume that the nation will be well served,” he told ScienceDebate.org. “Our efforts to support research and public health initiatives will have to be balanced with other demands for scarce resources.” When asked a question about Alzheimer’s disease at a New Hampshire town hall, he responded: “It’s a total top priority for me. I have so many friends whose families are devastated by Alzheimer’s. There are some answers. They’ve made less progress than we’ve hoped, as you know.” (Trump’s father had Alzheimer’s.) On Zika, he told a Miami television station in August: “Well, first of all you have a great governor, who’s doing a fantastic job, Rick Scott, on the Zika. And it’s a problem, it’s a big problem. But I watch and I see, and I see what they’re doing with the spraying and everything else. And I think he’s doing a fantastic job. And he’s letting everyone know exactly what the problem is and how to get rid of it. He’s going to have it under control. He probably already does.” The National Institutes of Health funded $32.3 billion of biomedical research during the 2015–2016 fiscal year. Parceling out those dollars and setting research priorities can be controversial, with advocacy groups for specific diseases jostling for more money for their own cause. But with people generally living longer than they did 50 years ago, funding for aging-related diseases like Alzheimer’s is on the rise. Research into cancer, neuroscience and genetics, among other broad topics, is also funded by the NIH. But some scientists caution against devoting too much energy to curing specific diseases at the expense of basic research — studies that don’t have an immediate application, but that can yield results leading to advances disciplines. On the public health front, emerging diseases are a growing threat. Warming temperatures are letting infectious tropical diseases thrive in places they couldn’t previously, the World Health Organization warns. Zika virus is a case in point, having blazed a path through the Americas (and beyond) in less than a year (SN Editor’s Picks). Most experts agree that Zika is currently a serious problem in the United States requiring a national response. The virus had infected more than 18,000 people in the states and territories as of early September, and with mosquitoes in Florida now carrying and spreading the disease, the numbers are expected to climb. — Laurel Hamers In February, Clinton sent out a tweet heard round the world: “The science is clear: The earth is round, the sky is blue, and #vaccineswork. Let’s protect all our kids. #GrandmothersKnowBest.” She reiterated her pro-vaccine stance in response to a ScienceDebate.org question, vowing to “speak out and educate parents about vaccines, focusing on their extraordinary track record in saving lives and pointing out the dangers of not vaccinating our children.” But Clinton hasn’t always been this definitive. In 2008, in response to a questionnaire from a web newspaper called Age of Autism, Clinton appeared to question one heavily researched area of vaccine safety. “I am committed to make investments to find the causes of autism, including possible environmental causes like vaccines,” she wrote. “We don't know what, if any, kind of link there is between vaccines and autism — but we should find out.” Clinton has since stepped away from this view. Though her campaign website highlights the need to support people with autism, it makes no mention of vaccines. Instead, Clinton pledges to ramp up funding for research “to better understand child brain development and the genetic linkages for autism” and calls for a nationwide study of the prevalence of autism in adults. Donald Trump occupies a nebulous, quantum-flux sort of position on vaccines that places him in both the pro- and the anti- camps. For years, he has championed the idea that vaccines cause autism. In 2014, he tweeted: “Healthy young child goes to doctor, gets pumped with massive shot of many vaccines, doesn't feel good and changes — AUTISM. Many such cases!” But Trump objects to being lumped in with anti-vaxxers. In 2014, Trump tweeted: “To all haters and losers: I am NOT anti-vaccine, but I am against shooting massive doses into tiny children. Spread shots out over time.” Trump’s campaign website does not mention vaccines or autism, but he has admitted to slowing the vaccine schedule for his youngest son, Barron. But he has also said that as president, he would support vaccinations. “We should educate the public on the values of a comprehensive vaccination program,” Trump told ScienceDebate.org. “This seems to be of enough importance that we should put resources against this task.” Vaccines have all but wiped out dozens of infectious diseases. In the United States, a case of smallpox hasn’t been reported for more than 60 years, polio has been eliminated, and measles deaths have plummeted. Diseases suffered by one generation can be nearly vanquished in the next. Children today, for example, can receive vaccines against the viruses that cause chicken pox and cervical cancer. Today’s children also receive more vaccines than they did 20 years ago — 14 by age 2 compared with nine in 1996. But today’s vaccines contain far fewer of the viral or bacterial particles that rev up the immune system. Yet many parents worry about the current vaccine schedule. In 2013, 87 percent of pediatricians reported that parents refused at least some vaccines for their children. That’s up from 74.5 percent in 2006. A 2013 report from the Institute of Medicine, however, found no evidence that the vaccine schedule was unsafe. (In fact, the report concluded that a study to spread out vaccines would “needlessly endanger children’s lives.”) And skipping vaccines weakens herd immunity, putting people who can’t get vaccinated — some infants, people with compromised immune systems — at risk (SN Online: 2/11/15). Scientists have also found no evidence that vaccines cause autism, another concern parents cite (SN Online: 4/1/16). Still, the number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder has risen, from 1 in 150 children in 2002 to 1 in 68 in 2012. Scientists don’t fully understand why, or what triggers the disorder. But researchers around the world have spent years and more than a billion dollars investigating the purported link between vaccines and autism. Their conclusion: It’s just not there. — Meghan Rosen Clinton has staked out a position as the candidate favoring gun control. But her stance on gun research isn’t so clear. At a campaign event in South Carolina in February, she alluded to the difficulties facing lawmakers and gun violence researchers: “I know we are a smart enough nation to figure out how you protect responsible gun owners’ rights and get guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.” Clinton’s campaign website lists a few major gun policy changes she’d make as president, including expanding background checks and making it harder for mentally ill people and violent criminals to buy and own guns. Her website doesn’t, however, address the question of research funding. Like Clinton, Trump has not made his position on funding gun research clear. But he has planted himself firmly on the pro-gun side. Trump proposes a “national right to carry,” which would let people with concealed weapon permits carry guns in all 50 states. His website questions the efficacy of background checks and calls gun bans “a total failure.” That’s a reversal from a statement he made in his 2000 book, The America We Deserve: “I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun.” In June, the American Medical Association announced a new effort to revive gun violence research. For the United States, gun violence is a public health crisis “unrivaled in any other developed country,” the doctors’ group declared. Research, the association argued, could help scientists figure out how to reduce the number of gun-related deaths — more than 33,000 per year. But America doesn’t make researching gun violence easy (SN: 5/14/16). Federal laws limit funding and keep some gun data hidden from the public. There’s no “ban” on gun research — technically — though some scientists argue that one law does essentially just that. Called the Dickey amendment, it prevents the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health from using funds to “advocate or promote gun control.” A second law, called the Tiahrt amendment, limits sharing of gun-crime data. Only law enforcement, not the public, can access the detailed data about gun crimes collected by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Researchers do have some data to work with — it’s just not all that complete. The National Violent Death Reporting System, for example, tracks deaths by guns, but in only 32 states. In December, the Senate passed the Mental Health Awareness and Improvement Act, which encouraged inclusion of more states. Participation would be voluntary. “Without research and being brave enough to ask the questions, we’re going to have ill-informed, emotional arguments,” American Academy of Family Physicians president Wanda Filer told The Hill newspaper in June. “What we’re saying is, we need research.” — Meghan Rosen While Clinton has positioned herself as a proponent of K–12 education, when it comes to STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — she’s been most vocal about needing to boost computer science literacy. Citing more than a half million open jobs in the tech industry, Clinton’s campaign platform pledges to “provide every student in America an opportunity to learn computer science.” (The pledge is based on President Obama’s current “Computer Science for All” initiative.) Clinton also supports creating schools — public and charter — that, in part, provide more opportunities for minority students to study science and technology, she told ScienceDebate.org. To boost interest in STEM fields, she wants to promote partnerships between university research programs and K–12 schools, “makerspaces” (spaces where anyone can create and learn), robotics competitions and online education programs like those offering “nanodegrees” — certifications in specific skills such as machine learning and data analysis. Trump has said little on science education, telling ScienceDebate.org that “there are a host of STEM programs already in existence” and that the federal government should “make sure that educational opportunities are available for everyone.” But the bigger issue, he says, is keeping K–12 education close to home. In January, Trump noted that, if elected president, he planned to reduce funding for the Department of Education, saying that “education should be local and locally managed.” In his campaign platform video on education, Trump called Common Core — a nationally enforced set of standards for reading and math — “a total disaster.” “We are rated 28 in the world,” he said. “The United States, think of it, 28 in the world, and frankly we spend far more per pupil than any other country in the world. By far it’s not even a close second.” In March, Trump indicated that he wanted to have former Republican rival Ben Carson be “very involved with education, something that’s an expertise of his.” Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, has stated that he believes that evolution has “become what is scientifically politically correct” and has mentioned writing a book to refute evolution. He has also dismissed the Big Bang as “ridiculous.” The United States is stuck firmly in the middle of the STEM education pack — 35th in math and 27th in science out of 64 countries, according to the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment. Despite spending 6percent of gross domestic product on education, the numbers of women and minorities also still lag in many STEM fields. Roughly equal numbers of boys and girls completed Advanced Placement tests in calculus and statistics in 2012, and 59 percent of AP biology test-takers were girls. But fields such as computer science (18 percent female) and physics (23 to 35 percent female) showed significant gender gaps. Racial disparities were also apparent. Of AP calculus AB test-takers, 6.1 percent were black and 12.6 percent were Hispanic. In computer science, those percentages dropped to 4.5 and 8.4. Equality in STEM education isn’t just a feel-good issue. Women in science, technology, engineering and math careers earn 33 percent more than those outside of STEM fields — a significant step toward closing the wage gap. And a June 2013 fact sheet on women and girls in STEM from the White House Office of Science and Technology policy notes that STEM skills are increasingly in demand. The economic potential “is enormous,” it notes. “However, the administration can’t be satisfied when more than half the world’s population is not participating in this progress.” — Bethany Brookshire
News Article | January 7, 2016
This week, President Obama outlined a series of new executive actions aimed at curbing gun violence in the U.S. The most controversial part of the plan is a provision requiring all gun sellers to not only be licensed, but to perform background checks on the people to whom they’re selling firearms. This includes sellers at gun shows and online. In a statement to reporters, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said that more and more guns are being sold over the Internet. Specifically, she mentioned the "dark web"—the encrypted underbelly of the Internet where users can trade in illegal goods anonymously. Perhaps the best-known example of a darknet market (or DNM) was Silk Road, before it was shut down in 2013. But how exactly do gun sales work on the dark web black market—and how prolific are they, to warrant a specific mention from the head of the U.S. Department of Justice? To answer these questions, Fast Company spoke with Nicolas Christin, assistant research professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. He’s one of the researchers behind a recent deep-dive analysis of sales on 35 marketplaces from 2013 to early 2015. Surprisingly, Christin says that gun sales on the dark web are not all that common. "Weapons represent a very small portion of the overall trade on anonymous marketplaces," he says. "There is some trade, but it is pretty much negligible." Drugs are far more common. Specifically, MDMA and marijuana each account for about 25% of sales on the dark web, according to Christin's research. But weapons are so uncommon that they were lumped into the "miscellaneous" category, along with drug paraphernalia, electronics, tobacco, Viagra, and steroids. Together those account for maybe 3% of sales. Back in 2012, a Silk Road sister site for weapons called the Armory shut down a few months after launch due to lack of business. It relaunched under new leadership, but in 2014, someone from the site told Vocativ the Armory was making just 10 to 40 gun sales per month. In 2015, another marketplace called Agora also stopped allowing lethal weapon sales. There just isn’t a large demand for guns on the dark web. One reason is because guns are hard to send through the mail, unlike drugs, which can be easily hidden and shipped in small quantities. Also, the dark web is riddled with scammers who take the buyer’s money and run, never delivering a gun at all. Another reason people don’t buy guns on the dark web? They don't need to. To acquire a gun through the black marketplace, a buyer would actually have to jump through more hoops than they would to buy a weapon in person. Chritin explains: "Why would you go through the hassle of purchasing Bitcoin, logging into an anonymous marketplace, purchasing weapons from an online dealer, and potentially going through the further hassle of reassembling various weapon parts shipped in multiple parcels to your house, when you can get these weapons legally, e.g., at a gun show—without much of a background check?" I also spoke with Gwern Branwen, an independent writer and researcher who served as a moderator for the subreddit r/darknetmarkets. Branwen has written in-depth about the workings of the dark web, analyzing sales data and translating it into detailed spreadsheets. "When I stopped paying attention to the DNMs in June 2015, gun sales were still minuscule," he says. He pointed me to a document showing Silk Road sales from 2011 through 2013. "Gun sales are so low that the SR1 spreadsheet does not include any entry relating to them." His data on the known arrests and prosecutions related to online black markets like Silk Road showed 312 prosecutions as of May 2015; 138 were from Silk Road, six from Agora. Most of the items sold were drugs—MDMA was the most popular (26 arrests), followed by marijuana (17), and LSD (16). Three arrests were gun-related. So, either Lynch has data we don’t, or she’s confused about what exactly the dark web is. I reached out to both the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), but did not receive a response. It’s possible, however, that Lynch was referring to online marketplaces like Armslist, "the largest free gun classifieds on the web." Armslist isn’t part of the dark web, but it does facilitate the buying and selling of guns privately and mostly unregulated in a way that is actually easier than on darknet marketplaces. The president's executive action would crack down on illegal sales by forcing sellers on Armslist to register as gun dealers. To aid in the government's new policies, the ATF will get 200 new agents and put $4 million toward tracking illegal gun sales online. "The industry is shifting and growing," Lynch said. "If it does stop one act of violence, this will be worth it."
News Article | October 28, 2016
Technical Help in Engineering and Marketing (T.H.E.M.), a leading North American provider of single-serve flexible packaging solutions, and the exclusive North American representative for Sanko Machinery Co., will feature two new, high-performance machines at Pack Expo 2016: 1. The Sanko FR-3. The fastest liquid pouch machine of its kind in the world, the FR-3 now includes more features for enhanced versatility. 2. The Sanko FC-1000α. This 16-lane, high-speed powder stick packaging machine has been introduced with new features for enhanced efficiency and simplified operation. Consumer brand representatives, retailers, and supply chain partners will experience a first-hand demonstration of both machines in operation at the T.H.E.M. Pack Expo Booth E-8105, November 6-9, McCormick Place, Chicago, IL. Sanko FR-3: A Decisive Advantage for Brands Marketed in Liquid Pouches. Capable of operating at speeds over 230 cycles per minute, the FR-3 is the fastest liquid pouch machine in its class. The FR-3 is available in narrow web and multi-lane configurations, and can be set up for both three- and four-sided form-fill-seal packaging of liquid products. The machine runs continuous motion while it squeegees the product out just prior to heat sealing. Because of this production design you no longer have to worry about product “drip” into the seal area of the pouch. “The latest FR-3 model is not only fast, but incredibly versatile with highly intuitive controls,” commented Neil Kozarsky, CEO and President of T.H.E.M. The FR-3 stores project parameter data for each product to be packaged. It can run viscosity ranges from water to thick pastes with the same pumping system and from 1 ml pouches to 500 ml with no major machine changes. In fact, most adjustments: bag length, I-notch positioning, perforation, fill volume and cutoff can all be made via a simple touch panel display. Additional adjustments can be made in a similar fashion, even while the machine is in operation. With the help of T.H.E.M., and utilizing the Sanko FR-3, Cane Simple Liquid Sugar recently introduced the first individually packaged liquid sugar product designed for single-serve consumption. It was also the first commercially available edible product in North America to be produced on the Sanko FR-3. The FR-3 has enjoyed a very favorable response among a broad range of CPGs. According to Kozarsky, “Customers were not only impressed by the speed of the machine; they were equally impressed by the measurable savings it offers, due to enhanced efficiencies in OEE’s and packaging materials.” The FR-3 uses less film because of its near zero head space, which helps lower material costs. A proprietary ultrasonic seal cleaning system allows sealing of products containing particulates, like spices or cosmetics, virtually eliminating the possibility of leaks. Another FR-3 benefit of zero head space is the up to 40 days of additional shelf life that products experience, thanks to reduced oxygen contact during the form-fill-seal process. T.H.E.M. has a wide range of FR-3 initiatives in development for products including high-end cosmetics, condiments, beverage concentrates, skin lotion and pet care. The FR-3 is also well suited to package soup concentrates, toppings and salad dressings, in addition to cosmetic and personal care products. The adaptable system accommodates liquid filling for a broad range of consistencies, including gels and pastes, while a proprietary ultrasonic system allows sealing of products containing particulates. FC-1000α: The Next Level of Stick Pack Machine Performance. The Sanko FC series machines have established a reputation for simple operation, reduced maintenance, versatility and high performance for liquid and powder flexible stick packaging. The new FC-1000α powder stick packaging machine includes a number of new features designed to significantly enhance performance and operation. “This new generation FC-1000 is truly in a class by itself,” explains Kozarsky. “All of the FC-1000’s have amazing durability and longevity, most are still running after many, many years in production. With this latest model, Sanko has made several improvements and a number of enhancements to create a machine that deserves all the attention it’s been getting.” New Color HMI with easy-to-read functions allows for observance of PLC-ISO diagnostics, like film tension and temperature controls while the machine is running. Several of its systems have been re-designed to make the machine easier to operate, more robust, and easier to use for a broad range of products. Snapsil®: A single serve technology that T.H.E.M. supports across a variety of applications. Snapsil® semi-rigid pouches and blister packs feature a patented audible “snap-opening” function that allows consumers to open the package with one hand. With a comprehensive array of configurations, Snapsil® has broad market applications for single-serve and portion-specific products, including: T.H.E.M. supports its exclusive North American Snapsil® partnership with product evaluation, testing and commercialization services. The company recently provided contract packaging support for the introduction of a line of innovative craft beer from the Foxboro Brewing Company using Snapsil® technology. The four varieties of beer concentrate are available in 50ml packs that produce a ready-to-drink 12 oz. beverage when combined with ten ounces of carbonated water. Much like the broader food and beverage sector before it, the alcohol products category is beginning to embrace the advantages of single-serve, and T.H.E.M. has been preparing accordingly. Indicative of this is the recent approval of the company’s food facility in Marlton, NJ by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for the storage, packaging and distribution of alcohol-based products. T.H.E.M. recently opened a 20,000 sq. ft. facility dedicated to non-food contract packaging in nearby Mt. Laurel, NJ. This new facility will support Snapsil® and single-serve production for a variety of categories including, household, automotive, industrial, lawn and garden, and other similar products. Further, T.H.E.M. is in discussions with a select number of contract packagers to expand the contract packaging base strategically across North America. SUPPLY CHAIN CONTINUITY T.H.E.M.’s unique continuity-of-supply-chain support model enables customers to develop a single-serve packaging program from concept to commercialization, and in a manner that aligns with their needs, operations and core competencies. In many cases, customers will perform pilot runs at a T.H.E.M. contract manufacturing facility, and then purchase a machine, and continue to work with T.H.E.M. to support scale-up, full commercial production, in addition to supporting product line extensions and select seasonal offerings. About T.H.E.M. Technical Help in Engineering and Marketing (T.H.E.M.) was founded in 1973 as one of the first providers of innovative packaging solutions in North America. The company is best known for commercializing Sanko Stick Packaging in the United States. Working in conjunction with select packaging and equipment manufacturers, T.H.E.M. offers a comprehensive array of packaging solutions designed to take brands from initial concept to full-scale national or global production. For more information on T.H.E.M.’s flexible packaging machinery and contract manufacturing services, please visit http://www.them.net. For more press information, please contact: Ilena DellaVentura Delia Associates T: 908.534.9044 E: idellaventura(at)delianet(dot)com
News Article | December 14, 2016
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--VCA Charities and Hill’s Pet Nutrition are marking the 1.5 millionth meal served to pets in need through the VCA Pet Food Pantry Program. The celebration on Wednesday, Dec. 14, at the historical All Souls Church in New York, NY, will recognize the major milestone in their six-year partnership. Hill’s supports the VCA Pet Food Pantry program, which was initiated by VCA Charities in 2010 to provide pet food to pet parents stricken by the economic downturn. The program was designed to help families continue to care for, and draw emotional support from, the animals they love as they struggle through financial hardship and hunger. In its first six years, the VCA Pet Food Pantry program has expanded to more than 30 locations throughout the United States and Canada, providing free pet food to clients of existing food pantries. “We started the Pet Food Pantry program to provide healthy, nutritious pet food to families who could not otherwise afford it in the local communities we serve,” said Art Antin, Chief Operating Officer for VCA Animal Hospitals. “By providing these 1.5 million free meals, we have helped many families in need hold on to the loving and comforting bond their pets provide.” Hill’s Pet Nutrition, the maker of the Hill’s Science Diet®, Hill’s Prescription Diet® and Hill’s Ideal Balance™ brands, donates premium pet food to VCA’s Pet Food Pantries across the U.S., and has made a commitment to expand the current partnership by supporting additional pet food pantries with pet food donations over the next few years. “Our mission at Hill’s is to help enrich and lengthen the special relationships between people and their pets,” said Kostas Kontopanos, President of Hill’s Pet Nutrition, North America. “We want to help transform lives, and this partnership with VCA Charities enables us to do that by keeping pets with their families during a time of need, when unconditional love is needed most.” In furthering its mission, Hill’s has a long-standing history of helping pets in need through its Food, Shelter & Love® program, which has donated more than $280 million worth of Hill’s Science Diet® brand foods to more than 1,000 shelters in the U.S. since 2002. Hill’s also comes to the aid of communities impacted by disaster. In the past four years, the Hill’s Disaster Relief Network has helped feed cats and dogs displaced by disaster by delivering free pet food to 167 shelters and veterinary clinics across the country in response to 61 major incidents. VCA Charities continues to support programs, organizations, and causes that promote pet healthcare education, proactive veterinary care, proper pet nutrition, and prevention of cruelty to animals. In furthering its mission, VCA Charities partners with the American Red Cross in their Disaster Relief Network, and provides free exams, boarding, and vaccinations for pets displaced or injured during a disaster or emergency. The Dec. 14 event will include a staging of the 1.5 millionth meal served to a dog from a local New York City shelter. In addition, the event will feature a range of speakers, including senior leadership from VCA Charities and Hill’s Pet Nutrition; a representative from the Food Bank for New York City’s Harlem location; and Jeff Perryman, a Special Agent and Response Team Canine Handler with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and his canine, Ike. Media interview and photo opportunities will be available. VCA Charities is a 501(c)(3) with a mission to end medically unnecessary euthanasia. Established in 2005 by the founders of VCA Animal Hospitals, VCA Charities has helped feed thousands of pets, provided free medical treatment, and donated time and money to pet charities globally. Please visit the VCA Charities website and blog to find out the most up-to-date information about VCA Charities and its programs at www.VCAcharities.org. Founded more than 75 years ago with an unwavering commitment to pet nutrition, Hills' mission is to help enrich and lengthen the special relationships between people and their pets. The right nutrition combined with the devotion of veterinary professionals can transform the lives of pets; and healthier and happier pets can transform the lives of pet parents. Hill's is dedicated to pioneering research and groundbreaking nutrition for dogs and cats based on a scientific understanding of their specific needs. HILL'S® Prescription Diet® therapeutic pet foods, HILL'S® Science Diet® and HILL'S® Ideal Balance™ wellness pet foods are sold through veterinarians and pet specialty retailers worldwide. For more information about Hill's, our products and our nutritional philosophy, visit us at HillsPet.com, HillsVet.com or Facebook, keywords "Hill’s Pet Nutrition."
News Article | November 3, 2016
A crowdfunding effort has raised more than $150,000 in a single day to help repair a historic black church that was burned in what appeared to be a politically charged arson attack in Mississippi on Tuesday. The GoFundMe campaign, launched on Wednesday by Blair Reeves, a New York City-based tech product manager, received more than 4,500 pledged donations in less than 24 hours. Reeves had hoped to raise $10,000. “Holy crap, y’all,” Reeves wrote in a status update late Wednesday. “When I ginned up this page before my first meeting at work today, I had no earthly clue it would get so big. Thank you all so much.” The burning of the 111-year-old Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville, Miss., is being investigated by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The FBI has opened a civil rights investigation of the Tuesday night fire, and Greenville fire officials told the Associated Press they have determined it was arson. “Vote Trump” was spray-painted on the outside of the church. “This is a hate crime,” Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons told Yahoo News on Wednesday. “It’s a place where people raise their children, it’s a meeting place for the exchange of ideas, so we know the symbolism of the burning of the black church in the ’50s and ’60s was a way to intimidate folks who had their rights and civil liberties deprived. We’re looking at this as a hate crime, given the historic nature of this church.” “Love trumps hate,” added Simmons, who took office in January. “And what we have to do is move forward in loving each other and respecting each other.” Early Thursday, Reeves informed supporters of his campaign that he has been in touch with Clarence Green, the bishop of Hopewell Baptist, and that the funds raised will be transferred to the church’s bank account immediately. “Just got off the phone again with Bishop Green. He’s had a very long day — up at 4AM and going ever since,” Reeves wrote. “He is overwhelmed at the response you’ve shown here. Thank you, very much. Love > Hate.” Last month, a North Carolina GOP field office was firebombed, and a swastika and the message “Nazi Republicans leave town or else” were spray-painted on the outside. In response, North Carolina Democrats launched a campaign to raise money to help it reopen. “This is not how Americans resolve their differences. We talk, we argue, sometimes we march, and most of all we vote. We do not resort to violence by individuals or by mobs,” a message on their GoFundMe page read. “So, let’s all pitch in, no matter what your party affiliation … and get that office open again quickly.” The effort raised more than $12,000, and the office was reopened Wednesday.
News Article | September 20, 2016
Initial reports about a device used in Saturday’s bombing in New York City suggested the explosive could have been a commercially available material called Tannerite. Stories from the Associated Press and New York Times reported the claim, citing anonymous officials involved in the investigation of the attack that injured 31. But, on the basis of the material’s properties, explosives experts and the makers of Tannerite doubt it alone could have caused the explosion. A subsequent report from the New York Times seemed to confirm these doubts, indicating that officials had detected the explosive hexamethylene triperoxide diamine (HMTD) in devices related to the attack. The suspected bomber, Ahmad Khan Rahami, was arrested after a shootout in New Jersey on Monday. He allegedly set off bombs in New Jersey and in New York on Saturday. According to news reports, anonymous officials identified Tannerite at the New York bomb site, and a second report linked HMTD to both bombings. Tannerite, made and sold by Tannerite Sports, is used to produce exploding targets for long-range shooting practice. The targets explode when hit by a bullet, allowing shooters to hear and see that they’ve successfully made the shot. Occasionally, “tannerite” is used to describe similar products. An exploding Tannerite target consists of an 8:1 ratio of oxidizer to catalyst, which come in separate containers and are mixed and shaken together prior to use. The Tannerite patent says that, in the optimal composition, the oxidizer contains 85% ammonium nitrate powder by weight, and 15% ammonium perchlorate. The catalyst is 90% explosive grade aluminum powder, 5% titanium sponge, and 5% zirconium hydride. Jimmie C. Oxley, an explosive specialist at the University of Rhode Island, says that using Tannerite wouldn’t require chemistry training. “It is one of the less hazardous explosives to work with,” she says. But she doubts it was the sole explosive used in New York. “It is impossible,” says Daniel Tanner, CEO of Tannerite Sports. Only a high-velocity bullet travelling at a minimum of 610 meters per second can trigger their exploding targets to go off. Tannerite is also resistant to fire, friction, and hard impacts. It cannot be merely jolted into exploding, suggesting that normal bomb triggers wouldn’t set it off. Furthermore, Tanner says finding aluminum or ammonium nitrate residue isn’t enough to say Tannerite was used. “Tannerite is not a compound,” he says. “It is a trademark.” “Tannerite is not going to go off by itself,” Oxley says. “It is very stable stuff. You are going to have to put a strong initiating shock into it. And that could be provided by HMTD.” HMTD is an organic explosive similar to triacetone triperoxide, the explosive used in the 2015 Paris attacks and the 2016 Brussels bombings. “HMTD is not stable and not nice stuff. You can easily set it off,” Oxley says. “To use HMTD there has to be some synthesis involved,” she says. Thus far, there are no reports as to how Rahami could have made or obtained HMTD for use in the bombs. Anyone can buy Tannerite online or at sporting goods stores and gun shops. It is not regulated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives because the oxidizer and catalyst parts alone are not considered explosives. One state, Maryland, bans the sale, use, and ownership of exploding targets without an explosives license. Law enforcement officials in the past have considered exploding targets as potential sources of bomb-making materials. A 2013 FBI bulletin on exploding targets concluded that they could serve as an alternative source of ammonium nitrate, which was used to make the bombs involved in the 1996 Oklahoma City bombing.
News Article | December 7, 2016
A heavily armed mannequin challenge in Alabama resulted in the arrests of two men for firearms and drug possession on Tuesday. The video, posted to Facebook last month, shows 22 men standing completely still and brandishing guns outside 5012 Powell Drive in Huntsville. The mannequin challenge is a viral Internet video trend in which people try to stay completely still as if they were part of a Madame Tussauds wax exhibit, typically with the song “Black Beatles” by Rae Sremmurd playing in the background. The shootout video, however, makes use of “Ain’t No Comin’ Down” by TEC & Maine Musik. Madison County Sheriff’s Capt. Mike Salomonsky said someone sent the video online to the sheriff’s office, prompting an investigation. Though the video has been removed from Facebook, al.com preserved it on YouTube. “The criminal investigation/narcotics unit through their investigation was able to obtain enough probable cause to get a search warrant for this address,” Salomonsky said at a press conference Tuesday. At 5:02 Tuesday morning, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team, the Huntsville Police Department SWAT team and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were involved when the search warrant was executed at the Huntsville home, he said. “Due to the fact that there were multiple firearms in the residence, and also, because of the film, we thought that [there might be] additional people, so we used a breaching technique, which caused the front door to be removed from the residence,” Salomonsky continued. SWAT teams stormed the residence and cleared the scene before a search was conducted. Authorities seized marijuana packets, two handguns, an assault rifle, a shotgun, several rounds of ammunition, magazines and a computer, Salomonsky said. All of the confiscated items were displayed on a table in front of the lectern during the press conference. Kenneth Fennell White, 49, and Terry Brown, 23, were both arrested. White was charged with first-degree possession of marijuana and possession of a firearm. Brown was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, loitering and promoting prison contraband (for arriving at jail with marijuana). Judging from social media, the law enforcement officers at the Madison County Sheriff’s Office were flabbergasted that people would have the audacity to film a mannequin challenge at the same location where they allegedly sell drugs.
News Article | April 1, 2016
If you thought regular cigarettes are unhealthy, wait until you hear what's inside their counterfeit counterparts. There are several reasons why counterfeit “smokes” are just a plain no-no—they’re illegally manufactured, often imported from foreign countries, such as China or Paraguay, and there’s a lack of quality control and regulation of them. And now a team of researchers from the Department of Sciences at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York added one more reason to the list—they’re bad for you. This research group set out to study these cigarettes with one goal in mind—provide more accurate data for assessing their impact on one’s health. “Counterfeit cigarettes constitute a significant crime and public health problem,” Yi He, associate professor of chemistry at John Jay College told R&D Magazine after her session presentation at Pittcon in Atlanta last month titled Elemental Profile of Tobacco Used in Counterfeit Cigarettes. “Information on the elemental profile, especially toxic elements such as lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd), offers insight into the potential public health impact of consuming counterfeit cigarettes and the technology used by counterfeiters in the illicit cigarette trade.” The researchers at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and CUNY, including Carrie Green, Rufus Chaney, Fidelis Tan, Ye Hua, Victoria Mei, Marin Kurti and Klaus von Lampe, studied the elemental profile in counterfeit cigarettes that was provided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after being seized by the law enforcement agency. The 13 elements they researched in the cigarettes included: As, Ca, Cd, Co, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Ni, P, Pb and Zn. According to academic research presented at the session, a tobacco plant is particularly efficient in accumulating cadmium from the soil and translocating most of the metal to the leaves. Both stainless steel and mild steel carry a significant amount of this chemical element, typically as particulates, and cadmium is the prime focus for this particular investigation of potential toxic effects. The group analyzed 46 counterfeit samples, including 22 Newport, six Marlboro Red and 18 Marlboro Light brands, as well as six genuine cigarettes. The researchers used atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES) analysis after conducting two methods of pretreatment—microwave digestion and dry ashing. While both methods obtained acceptable results, microwaving had higher recovery results, according to Yi He. The research team’s study concluded that there were much higher concentrations of toxic heavy metals consistently found in counterfeit cigarettes that were seized in the U.S. compared to genuine brands. “Any investigation into the harmful effects of commercial tobacco products should take consideration of the potential differences between genuine and counterfeit products,” Yi He concluded. “Use of counterfeit cigarettes potentially adds more risks to smokers.” Establish your company as a technology leader! For more than 50 years, the R&D 100 Awards have showcased new products of technological significance. You can join this exclusive community! Learn more.
News Article | February 26, 2017
An arson was reported at the Daarus Salaam Mosque on Morris Bridge Rd. in Thonotasassa, Fla., early Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. This fire has the signs of an intentional criminal act, and the local authorities and federal agents from A.T.F. (Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms) are presently investigating it. (James Borchuck/The Tampa Bay Times via AP) TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — An intentionally set fire damaged a prayer hall at a Tampa-area mosque early Friday, investigators said. The arson occurred at the Islamic Society of New Tampa, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue said in a news release. Fire investigators responded at around 2 a.m. After gathering evidence, they determined the fire was intentionally set. No one was at the mosque when the fire started. "It is worrisome that our community has fallen victim of what appears to be another hate crime," said Wilfredo Amr Ruiz, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Florida. An alarm company notified a mosque board member early Friday, and he found first responders there when he arrived, CAIR said. Investigators from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives also responded, the group said. The ATF confirmed its agents were there but said the local fire department was leading the investigation. CAIR said the fire started at a door to the prayer hall. There was damage to the door and carpet inside from sprinkler water and smoke. Authorities said holes were found in the door but determined they were not made by bullets, as some had initially feared. Morning prayers were moved to another building. Afternoon prayers may be canceled due to the damage to the hall, local news media reported. Worshippers were directed to other mosques in the area until the building is repaired. The blaze was at least the second intentionally set fire at a Florida mosque in the past six months. Joseph Schreiber was sentenced to 30 years in prison earlier this month for setting fire to the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce on Sept. 11. It was the same mosque that the Orlando nightclub shooter attended occasionally. Mustafa Ameen, the Islamic Society of New Tampa's lawyer and spokesman, said this is the first time a fire has been intentionally set at the mosque. He said they're awaiting the outcome of the investigation to better understand the motive, but have been boosted by community support. "We appreciate the entire community standing in solidarity with us," he said.