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Over Easy: Around the World


Welcome to Thursday’s Over Easy, a continuation of Southern Dragon’s Lakeside Diner and its tradition of giving an overview of news our everyday media doesn’t cover, issues that we ought to consider outside the U.S. scene.

Charges against CIA officials have been filed by a Pakistani judge over two deaths caused by a drone strike that was authorized by the station chief and an attorney, Jonathan Banks and Joe Rizzo, identified as the instigators of that attack.

The Associated Press and other media reported at the time that three people were killed in a missile attack that day in Mir Ali in North Waziristan. Pakistani intelligence officials said then that the men were insurgents but offered no proof.

As the outrage over the deaths grew, protesters in Islamabad began carrying placards bearing Bank’s name, as listed in the lawsuit, and urging him to leave the country. The CIA pulled Bank from the country on Dec. 16, 2010, when he began receiving death threats.

His outing spurred questions at the time of whether Pakistan’s spy service might have leaked the information, something Islamabad denied.

The disclosure didn’t prevent Bank from landing another sensitive job. He became chief of the Iran operations division at CIA headquarters in Virginia. He was removed from that post after CIA officials concluded that he created a hostile work environment in the division. He has since been detailed to the Pentagon’s intelligence arm.

Rizzo was the CIA’s acting general counsel overseeing its drone program. He later left the agency and wrote a book about his experiences at the CIA.

Despite seeming ironic, reforestation has become one potential for use of drones, as announced by officials at BioCarbon Engineering who are finding the use of drones superior to bulky means presently needed.

An Oxford-based startup has an ambitious plan to combat deforestation by planting 1 billion trees a year by using drones.

BioCarbon Engineering is exploring new precision planting methods and mapping techniques to achieve this goal.

“We are going to change the world 1 billion trees at a time,” said CEO and former NASA engineer Lauren Fletcher.

Researchers have developed a form of battery called “bendy’, that will be more durable and less likely to explode than existing lithium-ion varieties, with work at Stanford still going on to increase its output.

“We have developed a rechargeable aluminium battery that may replace existing storage devices, such as alkaline batteries, which are bad for the environment, and lithium-ion batteries, which occasionally burst into flames,” said senior author Prof Hongjie Dai from Stanford University in California.

“Our new battery won’t catch fire, even if you drill through it.”


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Ruth Calvo

Ruth Calvo

I've blogged at The Seminal for about two years, was at cabdrollery for around three. I live in N.TX., worked for Sen.Yarborough of TX after graduation from Wellesley, went on to receive award in playwriting, served on MD Arts Council after award, then managed a few campaigns in MD and served as assistant to a member of the MD House for several years, have worked in legal offices and written for magazines, now am retired but addicted to politics, and join gladly in promoting liberals and liberal policies.