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Brazil, 3-D Printing, ISIS

Dated: 27 Oct 2014
Posted by Christine Chan
Category: International, Security, Technology, Uncategorized
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Brazil: President Dilma Rousseff was reelected on Sunday with 51.6 percent of the vote—the narrowest win in thirty years of Brazilian elections. After a tumultuous election, Rousseff must not only reconcile a politically divided country, but also revive a stagnant economy as Brazil entered a recession earlier this year. Meanwhile, shares of Petrobras plummeted 15% on the news.

3-D Printing: 3-D printing at the micro-scale, which was previously unachievable, has been accomplished by a team of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers. Using additive manufacturing to develop “smarter” silicone cushions and by architecting the structure at this level, they are able to control macro-scale properties previously impossible with foam materials. The researchers are aiming to replace the foams currently in defense and aerospace applications.

ISIS: the Islamic State’s recruitment of children as young as six, and what it means for the long-term fight against Islamic extremism: “The Islamic State has put in place a far-reaching and well-organized system for recruiting children, indoctrinating them with the group’s extremist beliefs, and then teaching them rudimentary fighting skills and subjecting them to witness executions. The militants are preparing for a long war against the West, and hope the children being trained today will still be fighting years from now. While there are no hard figures for how many children are involved, refugee stories and evidence collected by the United Nations, human rights groups, and journalists suggest that the indoctrination and military training of children is widespread.”

ISIS, Iranian-Pakistani Tensions, Aircraft Sensors

Dated: 24 Oct 2014
Posted by Christine Chan
Category: International, Security, Technology
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ISIS: Iraqi officials said that ISIS used chlorine gas in its advances north of Baghdad last month, after about forty Iraqi security forces showed symptoms of chlorine gas poisoning. Similar reports have emerged from Kobani in recent weeks. The United States is conducting an investigation to confirm the latest reports.

Iranian-Pakistani Tensions: Iranian and Pakistani forces have exchanged cross-border fire, as increased tensions prompted the two states to hold a meeting in Tehran on increasing intelligence cooperation.  This comes after last week when Pakistan said a soldier died and three were hurt by Iranian guards. The reports that Pakistani forces have returned mortar fire are highly unusual and represent an increase in tensions that have marred this region for years.

Aircraft Sensors: Nine commercial aircraft are carrying sensors that monitor their structural health as part of an FAA test to prove their use for routine aircraft maintenance. About 100 sensors are being installed on Delta Air Lines planes to show that the sensors can sustain the operating environment, while providing the proper signals for flaw detection. Structural health monitoring could help airlines save money by basing maintenance on the actual condition of the aircraft, rather than fixed schedules and inspection routines that might not be necessary.