Monday, 28 December 2015

Submarines under threat from underwater drones and other news and views

Trident: Nuclear deterrent under threat from underwater drones, expert warns - Advances in technology may turn Britain’s £31bn nuclear submarine programme into an expensive liability. ... Rapid advances in underwater drone technology – autonomous underwater vehicles that can be controlled by ship- or land- based operators – threaten to make the controversial Trident nuclear submarines vulnerable, according to Paul Ingram, the chief executive of the British American Security Information Council ( Basic).

Candidates’ Children in the Peanut Gallery - Presidential candidates’ children and grandchildren are turning up once again. Ted Cruz’s decision to cast his daughters in an attack ad and Hillary Clinton’s “just like your abuela” misfire make one wonder anew, Why do candidates seek advantage by shoving the next generations center stage while insisting that they remain politically off limits?

Paris summit failed, so Alaska must look out for itself on climate change - There is both good news and bad news from the Paris climate change summit that ended earlier this month. The good news is that the summit produced a global agreement. The bad news is that the agreement fails to prevent or slow dangerous climate change. For Alaska, this means that climate change impacts will go from bad to worse. ... The final Paris agreement fails to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for decades; there is no enforcement mechanism to ensure compliance with the voluntary emissions reduction pledges by nations (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions); and there is no agreed fee for carbon emissions. To many involved in the climate issue, Paris was a tragic failure.

ISIS leader threatens to strike Israel - "Jews, soon you shall hear from us in Palestine, which will become your grave," the leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi reportedly said
"The Jews thought we forgot Palestine and that they had distracted us from it," he added. "Not at all, Jews. We did not forget Palestine for a moment. With the help of Allah, we will not forget it."

Cheeseburger ethics - Are professional ethicists good people? According to our research, not especially. So what is the point of learning ethics? ... Our results on vegetarianism were particularly striking. In a survey of professors from five US states, we found that 60 per cent of ethicist respondents rated ‘regularly eating the meat of mammals, such as beef or pork’ somewhere on the ‘morally bad’ side of a nine-point scale ranging from ‘very morally bad’ to ‘very morally good’. By contrast, only 19 per cent of non-philosophy professors rated it as bad. That’s a pretty big difference of opinion! Non-ethicist philosophers were intermediate, at 45 per cent. But when asked later in the survey whether they had eaten the meat of a mammal at their last evening meal, we found no statistically significant difference in the groups’ responses – about 38 per cent of professors from all groups reported having done so (including 37 per cent of ethicists).

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