The investigation into this week’s deadly attacks in Brussels has prompted worries that the Islamic State is seeking to attack, infiltrate or sabotage nuclear installations or obtain nuclear or radioactive material. This is especially worrying in a country with a history of security lapses at its nuclear facilities, a weak intelligence apparatus and a deeply rooted terrorist network.On Friday, the authorities stripped security badges from several workers at one of two plants where all nonessential employees had been sent home hours after the attacks at the Brussels airport and one of the city’s busiest subway stations three days earlier. Video footage of a top official at another Belgian nuclear facility was discovered last year in the apartment of a suspected militant linked to the extremists who unleashed the horror in Paris in November. Since the threat the British national security advisor Michael Fallon has reported that there is a new threat emerging. Terrorists can obtain enough highly enriched uranium and then turn it into a nuclear fission bomb seems far-fetched to many experts, they say the fabrication of some kind of dirty bomb from radioactive waste or byproducts is more conceivable. There are a variety of other risks involving Belgium’s facilities, including that terrorists somehow shut down the privately operated plants, which provide nearly half of Belgium’s power. The fears at the nuclear power plants are of “an accident in which someone explodes a bomb inside the plant,said Sébastien Berg, the spokesman for Belgium’s federal agency for nuclear control.The other danger is that they fly something into the plant from outside.That could stop the cooling process of the used fuel, Mr. Berg explained, and in turn shut down the plant.
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
The Obama administration is reworking its plan to open the southern Atlantic coast to offshore oil exploration because of strong opposition from the Pentagon, which says the activity could hurt military maneuvers and interfere with missile tests the Navy relies on to protect the coast.Early this week, Interior Department officials from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management expect to release an update of its draft proposal to lease federal waters to oil and gas companies off the coasts of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.The Pentagon confirmed Sunday that it provided an assessment of Interior's map for oil exploration on the coastal outer shelf "that identifies locations.Interior confirmed last week that an update was in the works but declined to discuss specifics. Under the draft plan released in January 2015, the department would sell leases in federal waters over five years starting in 2017 to companies hoping to prospect for oil, gas and other minerals. Actual drilling might not start for a decade.The update could dampen the enthusiasm that oil industry representatives and southern coastal-state governors showed when the draft was released. According to Interior's estimates, more than 3 billion barrels of oil is recoverable on the outer continental shelf, plus more than 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
Saturday, March 12, 2016
March 8 2016 the United States has founded a program to find algorithms that will make computers think more like humans.The Machine Intelligence from Cortical Networks program, or MICrONS, aims to reverse-engineer one cubic millimeter of the brain, study the way it makes computations, and use those findings to better inform algorithms in machine learning and artificial intelligence.IARPA has recruited three teams, led by David Cox, a biologist and computer scientist at Harvard University, Tai Sing Lee, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University, and Andreas Tolias, a neuroscientist at the Baylor College of Medicine. Each team has proposed its own five-year approach to the problem. President Obama’s brain Initiative, is an attempt to push forward the status quo in brain-inspired computing. A great deal of technology today already relies on a class of algorithms called artificial neural networks, which, as their name would suggest, are inspired by the architecture (or at least what we know about the architecture) of the brain. Thanks to significant increases in computing power and the availability of vast amounts of data on the Internet, Facebook can identify faces, Siri can recognize voices, cars can self-navigate, and computers can beat humans at games like chess. These algorithms, however, are still primitive, relying on a highly simplified process of analyzing information for patterns.
Saturday, March 5, 2016
March 3 the Obama administration has had series of raids on Central American refugees and migrants.In just over a month from Jan. 1 to early February, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, deported at least 121 people, in raids primarily in Georgia, Texas and North Carolina.Most of the people being targeted by raids and deportations have fled extreme forms of violence in Central America. Immigrants’ rights and human rights activists have expressed outrage at the Obama administration’s policies. In early February, rights groups delivered the president a petition with more than 130,000 signatures, calling on his administration to end all deportation raids against Central American refugee families and provide them with Temporary Protected Status.In recent months, however, ICE has accelerated its clampdown on Central American migrants in particular.Most refugees and migrants are fleeing Central America’s Northern Triangle region, which consists of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. This region endures “extreme levels of organized crime, gang violence and poverty. These three countries are among the five most dangerous nations in the Western Hemisphere. Homicide rates in all three are many times worse than murder figures in the U.S.