The Chinese are poised to take to lead in supercomputing, with the Tianhe-A1 supercomputer set to be officially announced Thursday. The computer, which operates using a combination of nVidia graphics processing units and Intel CPU’s, has been clocked at 2.5 Petaflops, a 40% increase in processing power over the current leader, the Jaguar supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Sir John Sawers of the United Kingdom’s counter-terrorism agency MI6 gave his first public speech Wednesday. Sir John plans to focus the efforts of MI6 operatives on stopping terrorism within the UK, with the goal of bringing down terrorism groups within Europe.
Tulsa, Oklahoma residents are taking strides to reconcile 89 years of strife between whites and African-Americans with the construction of a new park in downtown Tulsa. The park, called John Hope Franklin Reconciliation park, was built to bring about reconciliation and try to atone for the riot of 1921 that caused the slaughter of nearly 300 African-Americans in Tulsa.
Higher education is becoming more expensive, as tuition for all types of colleges continues to rise. Four-year public universities saw a 7.9% increase in tuition, while private colleges saw a rise of 4.5%. Federal Pell grants also rose, in many cases to match the increase in tuition, with the government giving out over $28 billion in Pell grants.
The FBI in Washington, DC conducted sting operation to flush out a suspected Al Qaeda supporter on Wednesday. The operation involved leading the suspect to believe he was facilitating several plans to bomb the Metrorail subway system in Washington, asking him to provide diagrams of the subway stations and give bomb placement suggestions.
The US and South Korea are involved in trade talks that will dictate how beef and autos are traded between the two countries. The trade agreement was first proposed during the Bush administration, but was never brought before congress. President Barack Obama criticized the agreement during his 2008 campaign, and has not voted on it.
Haitians are struggling to contain an outbreak of Cholera, an infectious and deadly disease that is spread through tainted drinking water, has infected 4,000 people and killed nearly 300 as of Thursday. The Pan American Health Organization says that the influx of aid has increased, but the death toll will continue to rise before this is all over.
The Mentawai islands were pounded by a tsunami Monday after a 7.7 magnitude earthquake occurred off the coast of Indonesian Sumatra. The death toll is as 370 and continues to rise as relief workers attempt to rescue survivors.
Airlines are increasingly monitoring Twitter and other social networking sites to get feedback on the quality of their services. Sites like Twitter offer disgruntled customers an outlet for their complaints, and airline employees often search through tweets to try to resolve problems before they go viral.