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Saudi Arabia, Medical Implants, China

Dated: 3 Sep 2014
Posted by Christine Chan
Category: Uncategorized
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Saudi Arabia : Saudi Arabia arrested 88 people on suspicion of planning to carry out terrorist attacks both in the kingdom and abroad. The Saudi monarch, King Abdullah, warned on Saturday that terrorist groups would attack the West unless the international community acted with collective “power and speed” to stop them.  The king didn’t specify any organization, but said he was “certain that after a month they will reach Europe and, after another month, America.” Hours before the Saudi government’s announcement of the arrests, gunmen carried out an attack on a gas pipeline in the kingdom’s oil-rich Eastern Province, said an official at state-owned Saudi Aramco. The pipeline was quickly repaired, and gas and oil production were unaffected.  Tuesday’s attack marked the first reported assault on energy infrastructure in the kingdom since 2006.

Medical Implants: A team of engineers at Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, created filament extruders that can make medical-quality 3D printing filaments using off-the-shelf 3D printers to fabricate custom medical implants or catheters containing antibacterial and chemotherapeutic compounds for targeted drug delivery. They say their custom 3D print filaments can be made of bioplastics, which can be resorbed by the body.

China: When an armed Chinese fighter jet recently buzzed a U.S. Navy surveillance aircraft over international waters in the South China Sea, it was just the latest in a series of low-level confrontations between the two militaries. With the recent expansion of the ADIZ and their power grab in Hong Kong, it is believed by some analysts that China is borrowing a page from Russia’s playbook, that being a drive for territorial expansion and influence since Western Europe and the US are perceived as unable to contain their geopolitical ambitions.

Ukraine, UAVs, Pakistan

Dated: 29 Aug 2014
Posted by Christine Chan
Category: Uncategorized
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Ukraine: Pro-Russian rebels fighting in eastern Ukraine said they would comply with a Kremlin request that they open a “humanitarian corridor” to allow the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops, a day after Kiev accused Moscow of illegally entering the country. NATO, which convened an emergency meeting (FT) on Friday to address the worsening crisis, blamed Russia for violating Ukraine’s sovereignty and engaging in direct military operations to support the rebels.  This week, reports have trickled out across Russia of dead servicemen returning from the fighting in Ukraine to secret burials. The Kremlin’s human-rights watchdog Thursday issued a rare formal request to military prosecutors to investigate, while a member of presidential advisory panel said relatives of military men reported as many as 100 had died in fighting in Ukraine this month.]

UAVs: Google has built and tested autonomous aerial vehicles, which it believes could be used for goods deliveries.  The project is being developed at Google X, the company’s clandestine tech research arm, which is also responsible for its self-driving car. Project Wing has been running for two years, but was a secret until now.  The video can be seen here.  This comes a few days after Disney filed three patent applications involving the use of unmanned aircraft in its theme parks, including for carrying projection screens overhead at night.

Pakistan: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif requested the help of Pakistan’s army chief (NYT), General Raheel Sharif, to defuse a two-week standoff that has crippled the government. Thousands of protesters led by the opposition politician Imran Khan and the cleric Muhammad Tahir-ul Qadri have demanded Sharif’s resignation.  Government aides said the military had already used the pressure of the protests to force the administration in the last few days to give up control of foreign policy and security affairs, traditional domains of the armed forces in which they saw Mr. Sharif taking independent stances. Analysts described the government’s ceding of control of key policy areas as a “soft coup” staged by the military.