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DoD Budget, XS-1, Russia

Dated: 22 Aug 2014
Posted by Christine Chan
Category: Uncategorized
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DoD Budget: The Pentagon might have to retool its $555 billion 2015 budget proposal to account for the threats posed by and actions taken against the Islamic State, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday.  This comes as he and Gen. Martin Dempsey said Thursday that U.S. airstrikes against Islamic State will be limited to Iraq for the time being, but the threat eventually will have to be confronted at its core in Syria, thus expanding the scope of operations against the terrorist group.

XS-1: The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has created an Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1) program to develop a reusable unmanned vehicle to provide aircraft-like access to space and deploy small satellites. XS-1 will deploy satellites faster and more affordably, and develop technology for next-generation hypersonic vehicles. The program seeks to reduce the cost of access to space for 3,000- to 5,000-pound payloads to less than $5 million per flight.

Russia: Russia sent dozens of aid trucks into rebel-held eastern Ukraine on Friday without Kiev’s approval, triggering the Ukrainian government to declare the move a “direct invasion” on Friday. The United States and European allies have warned that any crossing of the border by Russian military vehicles would be considered an invasion and the Pentagon called on Russia to remove the convoy as of early Friday morning.

Saudi Arabia, Water Tractor Beam, Russia

Dated: 20 Aug 2014
Posted by Christine Chan
Category: Uncategorized
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Saudi Arabia: Apart from individual Saudi donors helping to finance the Islamic State terrorist group, it appears that elements of the population are beginning to support the Sunni led insurgency.  According to one website, since the latest offensive in Iraq, hashtags translating to #TheAgeOfTheISISConquest and #ABillionMuslimsForTheVictoryOfTheIsis have overwhelming been originating from Saudi Arabia. Almost 95 percent of all mentions of the latter hashtag emanated from Saudi Arabia over the last week, by far eclipsing those from Iraq and Syria, where the ISIS is actually operating at present.  To be sure, this will undoubtedly make the ruling family quite nervous, as the Islamic state has transnational ambitions and is rumored to be eyeing Saudi territory.

Water Tractor Beam: Physicists at The Australian National University have created a tractor beam on water, providing a radical new technique that could confine oil spills, manipulate floating objects or explain rips at the beach.  The group discovered they can control water flow patterns with simple wave generators, enabling them to move floating objects at will. Advanced particle tracking tools revealed that the waves generate currents on the surface of the water. “We have figured out a way of creating waves that can force a floating object to move against the direction of the wave,” said Dr Horst Punzmann, from the Research School of Physics and Engineering, who led the project.

Russia : Russian president Vladimir Putin will meet Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko next week at a top-level summit in Minsk for the first time in two months, marking a diplomatic push. Calls for a cease-fire from both Russia and Europe have intensified amid a deepening humanitarian crisis in eastern Ukraine.