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Downing of US drone in Russian jet encounter prompts counterclaims of violations in the sky – an international law expert explores the arguments

Ashley S. Deeks, University of Virginia The details are disputed, but either way the result was the same: On March 14, 2023, a U.S. drone crashed into the Black Sea after an encounter with Russian aircraft. According to the U.S. version of events, the unarmed MQ-9 surveillance drone was flying in international airspace when two Russian fighter jets dumped fuel on the drone before colliding with it in violation of international law. The Russian Defense Ministry denied that its aircraft made contact with the U.S. drone. Instead, Russia asserted that the drone was flying in the direction of Russia’s borders

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Inflation is proving particularly stubborn – but jitters over banking failures, softening economy complicate Fed rate decision

Christopher Decker, University of Nebraska Omaha The Federal Reserve is facing a rather sticky problem. Despite its best efforts over the past year, inflation is stubbornly refusing to head south with any urgency to a target of 2%. Rather, the inflation report released on March 14, 2023, shows consumer prices rose 0.4% in February, meaning the year-over-year increase is now at 6% – which is only a little lower than in January. So, what do you do if you are a member of the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee meeting March 21-22 to set the U.S. economy’s interest rates? The

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How to use free satellite data to monitor natural disasters and environmental changes

Qiusheng Wu, University of Tennessee If you want to track changes in the Amazon rainforest, see the full expanse of a hurricane or figure out where people need help after a disaster, it’s much easier to do with the view from a satellite orbiting a few hundred miles above Earth. Traditionally, access to satellite data has been limited to researchers and professionals with expertise in remote sensing and image processing. However, the increasing availability of open-access data from government satellites such as Landsat and Sentinel, and free cloud-computing resources such as Amazon Web Services, Google Earth Engine and Microsoft Planetary

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Suspects to a shots fired incident detained on the Bay Bridge

Multiple suspects linked to a shot fired incident were detained on the Bay Bridge Tuesday evening. According to the San Francisco Police Department, officers responded to shots fired call on the 1200 block of Buchanan Street at around 6:07 p.m. Officers said that the shots were fired from a vehicle that fled from the scene. A vehicle matching the description was found on Yerba Buena Island.  A vehicle pursuit occurred on the Bay Bridge where the vehicle stopped on the bridge and the occupants fled on foot.  Several occupants of the vehicle were detained by officers. The investigation into the

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Planes overturned by winds at Concord airport

Three Cessna planes were overturned by high winds at Buchanan Field Airport in Concord on Tuesday afternoon.  According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the incident occurred around 2 p.m., and the FAA reports that none of the planes were preparing to fly at the time.  A Cessna 210 and two Cessna 172s were flipped in the incident. Airport officials said no one was inside the planes when they tipped over and no one was nearby. All planes have been secured. 

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Marijuana-filled van explodes on Highway 101

A van full of marijuana exploded and caught fire on Highway 101.  According to Santa Rosa Fire Department, firefighters saw the flaming van on Highway 101’s onramp at 3rd Street at 9:34 a.m.  Fire crews were able to douse the fire and found “several 55-gallon bags full of marijuana ‘shake’ soaked in butane.” SFRD said the driver suffered from burn injuries and was taken to a hospital.  Butane is a highly explosive material used to convert marijuana plants into oil, also known as “dabs” or “wax.” The Santa Rosa Fire HazMat Team assisted SRPD with the explosion investigation and ensured

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What the research shows about risks of myocarditis from COVID vaccines versus risks of heart damage from COVID – two pediatric cardiologists explain how to parse the data

Frank Han, University of Illinois at Chicago and Jennifer H. Huang, Oregon Health & Science University Soon after the first COVID-19 vaccines appeared in 2021, reports of rare cases of heart inflammation, or myocarditis, began to surface. In most instances, the myocarditis has been mild and responded well to treatment, though up to four potentially mRNA vaccine-related deaths from myocarditis in adults have been reported worldwide. No known verified deaths of children have been reported based upon publicly available data. The exact number remains a topic of very heated debate because of variability in the reporting of possible myocarditis-related deaths.

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