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Iraq, Solar Power, USA

Dated: 8 Sep 2014
Posted by Christine Chan
Category: Uncategorized
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Iraq: U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to meet with congressional leaders on Tuesday to outline the government’s plan to combat ISIS in Iraq and Syria, although he has emphatically ruled out the deployment of additional U.S. combat troops to the region. This will be followed by a speech to the country on Wednesday where he could announce airstrikes on the group’s bases in Syria, though he has ruled out sending more U.S. combat troops. Additionally, President Obama is expected to press Congress to authorize his proposal for an additional $500 million to arm and train pro-Western rebels in Syria.

Solar Power: A team of researchers at Michigan State University has developed a new type of solar concentrator that when placed over a window creates solar energy.  The device is called a transparent luminescent solar concentrator and can be used on buildings, cell phones, and any other device that has a clear surface.   This comes as solar efficiencies have gained over the last decade and practical applications continue to expand.

USA: Excellent WSJ Weekend opinion piece by Robert Kagan, where he highlights parallels between the belligerent nations and people of WWI & WWII and the leaders that we must confront today: “that failure to act against aggressors would only invite further aggression….Americans, their president and their elected representatives have accepted this gap between strategy and capability with little comment—except by those who would abandon the strategy. It is as if, once again, Americans believe their disillusionment with the use of force somehow means that force is no longer a factor in international affairs.”

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.