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Russia, Ayatollah Khamenei, Metamaterials

Dated: 29 Jul 2014
Posted by Christine Chan
Category: Uncategorized
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Russia: Relations with Russia went from bad to worse when the Obama administration accused Russia of violating a 1987 nuclear missile treaty by testing a ground-launched cruise missile and says the U.S. is prepared for immediate high-level dialogue with Moscow over the matter.  While the tests were occurring back in 2008, by raising the issue now, the U.S. appears to be placing increased pressure on Russia and trying to further isolate it from the international community.

Ayatollah Khamenei: Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei today called Israel a “rabid dog” for their attacks on Gaza.  He also urged Muslims to help arm Palestinians to enable them to counter the Israeli front, which if followed will dramatically increase the ferocity of the fighting and political ramifications.

Metamaterials: Metamaterials have a wide range of potential applications, including sensing and improving military stealth technology. Before cloaking devices can become reality on a larger scale, however, researchers must determine how to make the right materials at the nanoscale. Using light is now shown to be an enormous help in such nano-construction. A new technique uses light like a needle to thread long chains of particles. The development could help bring sci-fi concepts, such as cloaking devices, one step closer to reality.

Russia, Islamic State, Chinese UAVS

Dated: 25 Jul 2014
Posted by Christine Chan
Category: Uncategorized
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Russia: American defense and diplomatic officials accused Russia yesterday of firing artillery across its border at Ukrainian military positions—an assertion that represents a harsh new stance toward the Kremlin in the aftermath of the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. “If true, this represents a serious escalation on Putin’s part,” said Michael McFaul, the former U.S. ambassador to Russia and White House adviser. “Instead of using last week’s tragedy as a pretext for ending this war, he seems to be doing the opposite, doubling down.”

Islamic State: Yesterday, a State Department official told House lawmakers that the brutal extremist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL aka the Islamic State, is no longer “simply a terrorist organization—it is now a full-blown army.” While the current Iraqi government was able to successfully elect a Parliament Speaker and break a deadlock, Washington’s ability to provide any material support apart from advisers leads some industry analysts to believe that the fate of the fledgling democracy is yet to be determined.

Chinese UAVs: China North Industries Group Corporation (NORINCO Group) has set up in Beijing a facility to develop unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).  The facility, formally established in late June, is the country’s first dedicated UGV research and development center. With strong sales in the African market, expect NORINCO to begin developing low-cost UAVs for this marketplace.