News Briefs for Nov. 19-23, 2012

By Bridget Medori
December 9, 2012


1. Uncertain of Reelection, Obama administration accelerated work on Drone policy

With the possibility that the Obama administration may not be elected to a second term, they picked up work in the weeks before the election to develop rules for the targeted killing of terrorists by unmanned drones to ensure that a new president would inherit clear standards and procedures. Since the president’s reelection, the matter has lost some sense of urgency. Still, there were 3,000 drone strikes and about 2,500 people killed by the Central Intelligence Agency and the military since Obama took office. The administration is still pushing to make the rules formal and resolve internal uncertainty about exactly when lethal action is justified.


Read the original story at November 24, 2012



2.  Egyptian Judges Call For Strike Over Morsi’s New Power

Egyptian judges rebelled and called for a strike after an edict by President Mohamad Morsi, which exempted his decrees from judicial review until ratification of a constitution. There were small street protests outside the court building where the judges met.  What set things off was the year-end deadline for the Constitutional Assembly chosen last spring to draft a new constitution.


Read the original story at November 24, 2012


3.  Victim’s of Sandy use Thanksgiving as a Day to Reflect

            Those on the East Coast who were affected by Hurricane Sandy took the arrival of the holiday as a moment to pause, and again to take stock.  Some were lucky enough to gather around dinner tables filled with loved ones, while the churches and High School’s of New York and New Jersey were packed with Sandy victim’s and an overwhelming number of volunteer’s willing to help those most affected by the storm.


Read the original story at November 22, 2012


4. Richest Americans Facing Tax Increases

President Obama has focused efforts on raising revenue from the wealthiest 2 percent of taxpayers. This incudes individuals earning more than $200,000 a year and families with adjusted gross incomes above $250,000. Some say restoring high-end tax rates to levels similar to those in the Clinton administration will help trim the deficit with minimal effects on the economy while other, more conservative thinkers believe it will stifle the economy and the hiring of workers by businesses.

Read the original story at November 19, 2012

5.  Reports of Promise in Deep-Learning Programs

Technology companies are reporting startling gains in fields as diverse as computer vision, speech recognition and the identification of promising new molecules for designing drugs. The advances have led to widespread enthusiasm among researchers who design software to perform human activities like seeing, listening and thinking. They offer the promise of machines that converse with humans and perform tasks like driving cars.

Read the original story at November 23, 2012


Bridget Medori

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