5 September 2012
The United States has slipped further down a global ranking of the world’s most competitive economies, according to a World Economic Forum (WEF) survey released on Wednesday.
Scientific American partnered with grassroots organization ScienceDebate.org earlier this summer to encourage the two main presidential candidates–Barack Obama and Mitt Romney–to answer 14 questions on some of the biggest scientific and technological challenges facing the nation. President Obama and Governor Romney have now answered these Top American Science Questions, which you can read below.
Randall Law/The Hill
Mass shootings this summer in Aurora, Colorado, and Oak Creek, Wisconsin, horrified Americans and re-kindled debates over gun control, public security, and mental health. They have also focused attention on so-called “lone wolves,” individuals who commit atrocities without material support from an organization. Authorities, news organizations, and our public discourse have denounced the two perpetrators as deranged criminals and domestic terrorists. What lies behind these declarations?
What is ‘success?’ When it comes to Shell’s exploration in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, success is a moving target, as slippery as the sea ice that stubbornly clogged the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas several weeks longer this year than history would have indicated and Shell would have liked.
You’d think as long as Republicans keep demanding that (Democratic) political leaders “listen to the generals” that they would actually check with “the generals” first. But, last week, in little noticed comments, Gen. James Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, gave his full-winded support to Navy biofuel efforts that key Republicans lawmakers are trying to scuttle.
Former CIA director Michael Hayden has told an Israeli newspaper that the Jewish state is not capable of carrying out and sustaining military action against Iran’s nuclear sites without U.S. support, and that there is still time before a decision on any such strike needs to be made.
Mauritania has extradited former Libyan spy chief, Abdullah al-Senussi, back to Libya. Senussi is wanted by the International Criminal Court for being an “indirect perpetrator of crimes against humanity, of murder and persecution based on political grounds,” and has already been sentenced by Paris for his role in the 1989 bombing of an airliner.
David Axe/Danger Room in Wired
As part of a longer-term strategy to develop a more comprehensive and capable network, the National Reconnaissance Office plans to expand its satellite programs “to a horizon-spanning, overhead spotlight that can illuminate vast swaths of the planet all at once.”
On Our Flashpoint Blog
Controversy over the ex-Navy SEAL’s book has overshadowed the critical information gained last May from the 17 documents retrieved from the compound in Pakistan on the al-Qaeda organization and bin Laden’s last months as leader.
IAEA Reports on Iran and North Korea, A.Q. Khan’s Political Party, Nuclear Power in Space, and more
About the American Security Project: The American Security Project is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy and research organization dedicated to fostering knowledge and understanding of a range of national security issues, promoting debate about the appropriate use of American power, and cultivating strategic responses to 21st century challenges.