Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, following a recent anti-piracy legislative debacle with SOPA and PIPA, will lead his second effort of 2012 to push Internet-regulating legislation, this time in the form of a new cybersecurity bill. The expected bill is the latest attempt by the Democrats to broadly expand the authority of executive branch agencies over the Internet.
Details about the bill remain shrouded in secrecy. Clues available to the public suggest that the bill might be stronger than President Barack Obama’s cybersecurity proposal, which was released in May 2011. Reid said that he would bring the bill — expected to come out of the Senate Homeland Security and Read more…
Photograph by: Boureima Hama, AFP/Getty Images
GENEVA – The UN refugee agency said Tuesday it has sent emergency teams to countries surrounding Mali to help them deal with an influx of more than 20,000 people who have the fled fighting there.
Clashes between rebel Tuareg groups and governmental forces in the Azawad region of northern Mali broke out in mid-January.
In the past three weeks, at least 10,000 people are reported to have crossed to Niger, 9,000 have found refuge in Mauritania and 3,000 in Burkina Faso, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said.
In Niger, about two-thirds of the refugees are in Read more…
Russia believes that Syria and Iran are in its national interest and is apparently ready to use military force to defend them:
Following are excerpts from an interview with Colonel-General [ret.] Leonid Ivashov, former member of the Russian Joint Chiefs of Staff, which aired on Russia Today TV on February 1, 2012:
Interviewer: Dr. Leonid, do you think that these preparations and very large maneuvers, which will soon be conducted by Russia, are meant as preparation for war, or rather, a military strike against Read more…
Russian helicopter maker Rostvertol and Chinese Xi’Ao Aeroplane Manufacturing will build a plant in northern China capable of manufacturing 100 lightweight civil Mi-2A helicopters annually, Xinhua said on Monday.
The first phase of the plant, located on 47 hectares in Hebei Province, will be completed by the end of July, Xinhua said citing local officials.
The investment for the first phase is estimated at $224 million.
The plant will also serve as a repair hub for Russia’s Mi-series choppers in the Asia region.
Mi-2A is a modernized version of the Russian Mi-2 Hoplit helicopter, which features a new power plant, advanced piloting and navigation equipment, and significant flight performance improvement.
Earth is getting 50,000 tonnes lighterevery year, even while 40,000 tonnes of space dust fall on our planet’s surface during the same period. So, why are we losing so much weight? You will be surprised.
At least, I never considered this and I was surprised to hear the reasoning in More or Less, a BBC Radio 4 program about statistics and numbers. According to Dr Chris Smith and Cambridge University physicist Dave Ansel’s calculations, despite those 40,000 tonnes of space dust that become part of our planet every year, Earth loses 50,000 tonnes of mass. Is it because we keep launching rockets? No. These are their back-of-the-napkin calculations:
• Earth gains about 40,000 tonnes of dust every year, the remnants of the formation of the solar system, which are attracted by our gravity and become part of the matter in our planet. Our planet is actually made from all that starstuff.
• NASA says that Earth gains about 160 tonnes of matter a year because the global temperature is going up: “If we are adding energy to the system, the mass must Read more…