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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.

Iraq, UAVs, Pakistan

Dated: 18 Aug 2014
Posted by Christine Chan
Category: Uncategorized
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Iraq: Militants retreated from some of their positions around Mosul dam, the latest front across Iraq where Kurds have gained in recent days with the aid of stepped-up U.S. air attacks, advisers and weapons, and a controversial new ally: fighters from a Kurdish guerrilla force, the PKK, that Washington considers a terror organization.  Last week, PKK commanders said they met U.S. advisers dropped on Mount Sinjar to assess the humanitarian crisis there and had “constructive discussion”, the DoD has denied this.  This comes as alliances and the power structure within the region continue to rapidly shift, as evidenced with allegations of US collaboration with Iranian interests, the Free Syrian Army nearing destruction, and the Islamic state controlling an area the size of Jordan.

UAVs: According to security specialists and at least one network security company the new threat from the sky will be posed by network-hacking drones.  The ability “to sniff out mobile devices and their unique identifiers, perhaps even establishing rogue network access points in the sky could be used to hack sensitive government or corporate networks.”

Pakistan: Cricketer-turned-politician, Imran Khan called for widespread civil disobedience in Pakistan, is urging supporters to stop paying taxes and utility bills in a bid to oust the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.  He also warned that after two more days of protesting in the capital, he would no longer be able to stop his supporters from storming the prime minister’s house.  Some local media reported the crowd at closer to 20,000 and experts expect the military to step if things spiral out of control.