U.S. intelligence agencies have repeatedly warned top government officials that Iraq's Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki and his policies were gravely antagonizing his country's Sunni population, two U.S. security officials said on Friday. The officials said the warnings were contained in secret intelligence reports and analyses presented in the last two years to policymaking officials, including President Barack Obama. The reports concluded that Maliki and his government were creating so much animosity among Iraq's Sunnis that this would empower and embolden violent militant groups, such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. … [Read more...] about U.S. spy agencies warned Maliki was ‘alienating’ Iraq’s Sunnis
U s space agency
The American space agency NASA announced Thursday that it would send two spacecraft into the harsh environment of the earth's radiation belts from the Space Coast in the U.S. state of Florida on Aug. 23. Researchers are expected to be able to develop an understanding of the invisible Van Allen radiation belts, named after James Van Allen, the discoverer of the radiation belts, based on data collected by the spacecraft, which will be sent by a mission dubbed as "Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP)." The spacecraft are designed to fly and operate in the heart of the most hazardous regions of near-earth space, according to the NASA announcement. "At the end of this month we will turn our attention from planet Mars to planet Earth, both immersed in the atmosphere of our sun," said Barbara Giles, director of NASA's Heliophysics Division. "RBSP will further explore the connection of solar variability and its impacts on Earth's radiation belts." The Van Allen radiation belts are a torus … [Read more...] about U.S. space agency to begin new mission for study on Earth’s radiation belts
WASHINGTON/SEOUL, April 12 - A Pentagon spy agency has concluded with "moderate confidence" that North Korea has the ability to launch nuclear-armed ballistic missiles but the weapons would probably be unreliable, a U.S. lawmaker said on Thursday. The assessment by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) was made public by Republican Representative Doug Lamborn as he questioned Pentagon officials about North Korea's nuclear weapons programme during a hearing of the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee in Washington. "DIA assesses with moderate confidence the North currently has nuclear weapons capable of delivery by ballistic missiles, however the reliability will be low," Lamborn said, quoting from a DIA report entitled "Dynamic Threat Assessment 8099: North Korea Nuclear Weapons Program (March 2013)". Effectively confirming the assessment, a U.S. official said the quotation cited by Lamborn was in a section that had been erroneously marked unclassified. The study, … [Read more...] about North Korea can likely launch nuclear missiles: U.S. spy agency
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, loaded with the most-sophisticated instruments ever used to explore another world, touched down on the Red Planet early Monday morning, on a quest for signs of whether the Red Planet has evidence of past and present habitable environments. at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of NASA in Pasadena, California, the United States. … [Read more...] about U.S. Mars rover Curiosity touches down on Red Planet
U.S. private spaceflight company SpaceX launched an unmanned capsule to the International Space Station on Tuesday morning, initiating the first flight of a commercial spacecraft to the orbiting outpost. Atop the California-based company's own Falcon 9 rocket, the Dragon capsule rocketed into the sky from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. "Three, two, one and launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, as (U.S. space agency) NASA turns to the private sector to resupply the International Space Station," said NASA commentator George Diller, as the spacecraft blasted off at 3:44 am (0744 GMT). The test flight was originally scheduled for April 30, but has been delayed several times due to technical glitches and final checks of the spacecraft's flight software. If all goes well, the ship will be the first operated by a private company, rather than the government, to supply the space station. However, both SpaceX and NASA have cautioned that the attempt is risky. … [Read more...] about First commercial spacecraft to space station lifts off in U.S.