International Intonation – Nov. 21, 2012

Mark Hendricks, Contributor Ω

Israel’s “Pillar of Cloud” mission kills Hamas military leader

Hamas military leader Ahmed Al-Jabaari was killed in a targeted missile attack by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) Wednesday, Nov. 14.

IDF spokesperson Avital Leibovich confirmed via Twitter that this attack was the beginning of “a widespread campaign on terror sites and operatives in the Gaza Strip, chief among them Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets.”

The attack — known as “Operation Pillar of Cloud” — consisted of a missile strike on Jabaari’s vehicle as it drove through the city of Gaza.

In Gaza, Jabari was considered “a hero because he had managed until now to escape numerous assassination attempts by Israel,” according to Al Jazeera news in Lebanon.

Violence along the border of Gaza and Israel has been ongoing since 2006. This latest violence comes despite a truce that was to take effect at the end of October.

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Building better muscles through science

An international team of researchers has created artificial muscle fibers that are 200 times stronger for their size than human muscle fibers.

The team is lead by Ray Baughman, a nanotechnology researcher from the University of Texas. These artificial muscles will let machines move in a more natural way allowing for improved fine motor skills, an application the team is hoping can be used to increase the precision of medical machines.

The muscle fibres are weaved together out of carbon fibre nanotubes that are then filled with a mix of substances including paraffin wax.

The wax makes the muscle fibres react to heat.  In the future the team would prefer they react to chemicals, according to Baughman.

The way the fibres are woven together resembles a fabric and the team is also hoping to make them into clothing for firefighters that would instantly react to heat in the event of a sudden flash.

The full research can be found in the journal Science.

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Will the UN change governance of the Internet?

The Russian government is calling on the United Nations to revise international telecommunications regulations to transfer governance of the Internet from a non-profit organization to the UN’s International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

The ITU has not been changed since 1988. The proposed changes would see the control of domain names and IP addresses go from the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to the ITU.

ICANN is a non-governmental organization that currently manages IP addresses and domain names through a multi-stakeholder model. It includes representatives from more than 100 governments, commercial interests, internet service providers and more, according to their website.

The changes would give control to the ITU, which allows only member nations to vote. This would put control into the hands of solely governmental organizations.

A proposed revision to the treaty declares, “Member states shall have the sovereign right to manage the Internet within their national territory, as well as to manage national Internet domain names.”

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