Published April 19, 2013
Beyond the Bricks
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Katherine Dayton

NAVY CREATES NEW LASER IN PERSIAN GULF

A laser designed to disable patrol boats and destroy surveillance drones is to be tested by the Navy next year, according to the New York Times. The laser is strategically located in the Persian Gulf, near Iran. Iranian ships have been in conflict with U.S. warships in this area and research has been done for a new plane that could carry surveillance pods and eventually rockets. The announcement made on April 8 by Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, chief of naval operations, was intended to warn Iran of the United States’ increasing power in the sea so that they will not increase activity in the gulf.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, “The laser is designed to carry out a graduated scale of missions, from burning through a fast-attack boat or a drone to producing a nonlethal burst to ‘dazzle’ an adversary’s sensors and render them useless, without causing any other physical damage.” There are some drawbacks to the technology used for the lasers: they will not work in poor weather conditions, the target needs to be within the sight of the drone and enemies can take counteractive steps to defend themselves against the laser, including covering drones or vessels in reflective material. Despite these shortcomings, “The weapon has destroyed targets in all 12 of its field tests,” according to the New York Times.


TRIAL FOR BIN LADEN’S SON-IN-LAW FACES DELAY

Because of the budget cuts caused by sequestration, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, Osama Bin Laden’s son-in-law, may have to wait on the trial he faces for terrorism. Abu Ghaith was allegedly involved in the September 11 attacks and has pleaded not guilty to such charges, according to BBC News. According to Raw Story, Federal Judge Lewis Kaplan said that it was “extremely troublesome to contemplate the possibility of a case of this nature being delayed because of sequestration.” There are concerns of whether Abu Ghaith, whose trial is set to take place in New York City, will receive a fair trial with the site of Ground Zero so near. Martin Cohen, Abu Ghaith’s lawyer, is considering requesting that the trial be moved because of these conditions.


THIRD ARREST MADE IN RIT PROFESSOR EDLINE CHUN’S CASE

Javan Simmons is the third individual to be arrested throughout the investigation of Edline Chun’s murder, according to YNN. Police say Simmons had a signed check of Chun’s. With an accomplice, Simmons opened an account, deposited the money, and then took $5,000 out of the account. For this Simmons has been charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument and grand larceny, according to officials. Simmons pleaded not guilty to these charges and was held at a $10,000 cash bail in the Monroe County Jail, according to the Democrat and Chronicle.

Jerrell B. Henry and Natalie A. Johnson have also been charged in Chun’s case. They are accused of killing and robbing Chun in her apartment on Feb. 3 or 4 and then leaving her body in a ravine in Tyron Park. Her body was found Feb. 6, the day Simmons is said to have taken the money from Chun’s account, according to the Democrat and Chronicle. Both Henry and Johnson will appear in state Supreme Court in June.

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