Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary “reading list” which will include very brief summaries (and sometimes longer ones) of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for “reading list” items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.
- House panel finds no intelligence failure in Benghazi attacks (Greg Miller, The Washington Post) Republicans officially conclude that there was appropriate State Department, U.S. military and CIA response to the attack on the Benghazi consulate in Libya which killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, 11 September 2012. Allegations of interference by the Obama administration before, during or after the attack were dismissed. The Republican-led House Intelligence Committee found that the Obama administration did not seek to mislead the public after the event.
- Strange Visitors From the Edge of the Solar System (Michael D. Lemonick, Time, MSN News) The Oort cloud is a giant spherical swarm of small objects extending from outside the extremes of the solar system for perhaps 1/3 to 1/4 the distance to the nearest star. The Oort cloud has been thought to be comprised of ice-clad bodies which become comets on the occasions that one is dislodged from solar orbit and penetrates into the inner solar system (where the planets are). In the past couple of years objects that clearly originated in the Oort cloud have been observed that are similar to inert rocky objects (asteroids). (Until now asteroids have been thought to occupy primarily interplanetary space between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter and other orbits within the inner solar system.) As these discoveries and recent theories have accumulated the mass of the Oort cloud has been growing. In 1983 it was estimated to be 1.9 earth masses. In 2012 the estimate (based on observations of comets) was estimated to be between 4 and 80 earth masses. In between (1988) another model calculated a much larger mass was possible, 0.03 solar masses or about 10,000 earth masses, which would be of the order of the entire planetary system before loss of volatiles. As more is learned will the amount of material in the Oort cloud turn out to be much greater than that which has been estimated using observations of comets? Will the planets of the solar system eventually be determined much less than half the total mass of matter orbiting our sun? Will mankind eventually be able to “harvest” the resources such a vast amount of material would have to offer? Some think so. See Planetary Resources.
- British-led moon mission to kickstart new generation of lunar exploration (Mahesh Anand, The Conversation) This could be the first extraterrestrial voyage funded totally by the public.
- NSA Director: Yes, China Can Shut Down Our Power Grids (Ken Dilanian, Associated Press, Business Insider) China is one of two or three countries with the cyber warfare capability to shut down the U.S. power grid.
- Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world
Officials Revise Goals on Containing Ebola After Signs of Wider Exposure in Mali (The New York Times)
U.S. officers mourn losing their 1st Ebola patient (USA Today)
Boko Haram kills 48 fish vendors in Nigeria (News 24)
Somalia’s al-Shabab kills 28 non-Muslims in Kenya (Associated Press, MSN News)
US and Turkey discuss ‘strengthening Syrian opposition’ (BBC News)
Syria could be next target of Canada’s CF-18s (CBC News)
Thousands of Iraq Chemical Weapons Destroyed in Open Air, Watchdog Says (The New York Times)
Sources: ISIS kills 25 Anbar tribesmen in Iraq (Al Arabiya)
Kiev says Russia has 7,500 troops in Ukraine (Al Jazeera)
Ukraine crisis: Lavrov warns over Russia ‘regime change’ goal (BBC News)
US, Canada & Ukraine vote against Russia’s anti-Nazism resolution at UN (RT)
There are 9 articles discussed today ‘behind the wall’, all addressing estimates of global demographic changes for the 21st century.
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