It's no secret that many Americans are fatigued by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now it's clear for the first time that the troops are, too, according to a new poll conducted by Smithsonian with two partners, the Defense Department publication Stars and Stripes and the Schar School at George Mason University.
Houthi rebels used an explosive-packed drone to target Yemen's military leaders at an army parade on Thursday, killing six soldiers and wounding several senior officers. The Iranian-backed rebels detonated the drone above a ceremonial dais, spraying Yemeni officers with shrapnel and causing the ceremony to dissolve into chaos.
When a technical error forced a Norwegian Air jet to land at Shiraz Airport in Iran last month, the Boeing 737 touched down in uncharted territory. The airline, known for cheap long-haul flights from Europe, does not have a base in Iran. It had never flown there before. And nearly a month after it left Dubai, the brand-new American-made jet, delivered to Norwegian Air only in October, was still sitting in Shiraz. read more
China's Chang'e-4 lander touched down on the far side of the moon (Jan. 3 Beijing time, Jan. 2 US), and it's got some living things on board. A small "tin" in the lander contains seeds of potatoes and rockcress (Arabidopsis thaliana, a flowering plant related to cabbage and mustard, as well as a model organism for plant biology), as well as silkworm eggs. The idea, according to a report in The Telegraph earlier this year, is that the plants will support the silkworms with oxygen, and the silkworms will in turn provide the plants with necessary carbon dioxide and nutrients through their waste. The researchers will watch the plants carefully to see whether the plants successfully perform photosynthesis, and grow and bloom in the lunar environment. read more
China appears to be testing an experimental, warship-mounted railgun capable of punching a hole in an enemy aircraft carrier from up to 150 kilometres away. That's roughly the distance from Toronto to Buffalo, N.Y., or half the distance from Calgary to Edmonton. Any warship with a working railgun would have the power to disable "almost any ship in very short notice," according to Justin Bronk, a research fellow at the U.K.-based Royal United Services Institute. read more