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World News

A round-up of this month's engineering news from around the world.

  1. 15 May Ten Chinese and Indian commercial airlines have broken EU law which requires them to offset their carbon emissions. While more than 1,200 airlines have met the EU carbon law, only eight Chinese and two Indian airlines have delivered on threats not to comply. EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said: "We have given them [India and China] until mid-June to report back their data." http://bit.ly/Jj9haX
  2. 18 May Japan successfully launched its first foreign-made commercial satellite. The HII-A rocket lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan carrying a South Korean satellite and three Japanese satellites. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, a private company in charge of HII-A rocket production since 2007, is hoping to compete with the US, Russia and Europe as a launch-vehicle provider. It was its first contract to launch a foreign probe with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. http://bit.ly/Ljq8RU
  3. 21 May Twitter was banned for around 12 hours in Pakistan because of 'blasphemous' material, a Pakistan official said. The government did not specify which users or messages had prompted the ban, or why it was allowed to operate again so quickly. http://bit.ly/Lhzb2M
  4. 21 May Rolls-Royce won a $136m contract to supply technology to a natural-gas project in Qatar. Global power systems company Rolls-Royce would supply three industrial Trent gas-turbine compression packages to Dolphin Energy, which transports natural gas from Qatar to the United Arab Emirates and Oman via a 364km subsea pipeline. http://bit.ly/LhyFBT
  5. 30 May Apple CEO Tim Cook said he would like the company to increase manufacturing and assembly of its products in the US, and for its products to contain more US components. Apple has been criticised for relying on low-cost Asian manufacturers to assemble its products and for contributing to the decline of the US manufacturing sector. Cook said manufacturing in the US was difficult because of declining tool-and-die manufacturing expertise, among other things, but he was working on it. http://bit.ly/KfKA5f
  6. 30 May Construction skills in New Zealand's earthquake-hit city Christchurch were in high demand, recruitment firm Hays said. Quantity surveyors, residential project managers and senior commercial project managers topped the list of skills in demand in the city's construction market. The "huge demand" was fuelled by ongoing road and drainage repairs, the roll-out of ultra-fast broadband, and an increase in insurance related residential rebuild work, Hays said. http://bit.ly/JUyb0Q
  7. 31 May The UK and Iceland signed an energy agreement that could see Iceland's volcanoes supplying electricity to the UK. As part of the agreement, energy ministers agreed to explore options for building the world's largest sub-sea electricity interconnector. They also pledged to exchange information on the development of the deep geothermal sector in the UK and on the development of oil and gas industries, and work with their respective Ministries for International Development on renewable energy projects in developing countries. http://bit.ly/LqLVFu
  8. 31 May The SpaceX Dragon spaceship began its journey back to Earth after a successful test flight to the International Space Station. Space Exploration Technologies' Dragon spaceship is the first privately owned vehicle to conduct a test flight to the ISS. The successful trial run was expected to clear SpaceX to begin working off its 12-flight, $1.6bn Nasa contract to fly cargo to the station. http://bit.ly/Kgkcs3
  9. 8 June LinkedIn said it was working with the FBI after around 6.5'million member passwords were stolen. Security experts have said that LinkedIn had not adequately secured the passwords and it did not employ security best-practices. The company said it would disable compromised passwords and has sent affected members emails explaining how to change their passwords. http://bit.ly/KBbcbv
  10. 9 June Japan PM Yasuhiko Noda said the Ohi nuclear reactors in western Japan needed to be restarted to protect the economy. All 50 of Japan's workable reactors were taken offline for maintenance due to safety concerns after the earthquake and tsunami hit Fukushima nuclear plant last March, causing the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. Noda urged the reactors to become operational to avoid an energy crunch in the summer. http://bit.ly/MpsqN2

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