World news

World News

A round-up of this month's engineering news from around the world with a regional focus on First World War: Europe.

15 May

Canada introduced new stricter rules regarding pipeline safety and oil spill response that will allow the National Energy Board to step in if the company is unwilling or unable to respond appropriately. Companies will also now be liable for all spills or incidents on their lines, whether or not they are at fault or negligent with a penalty of up to up to CA$1bn (£547m).

13 May

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg ruled that search engines can be made to remove irrelevant or excessive personal information from their results. The highest court in the EU upheld the complaint of a Spanish man who objected to the fact that Google searches on his name threw up links to a 1998 newspaper article about the repossession of his home.

15 May

Thousands of gallons of crude oil spilled over a half-mile area in Los Angeles due to a break in an above-ground pipeline delivering oil from California’s main oil-producing region to a storage facility near a cluster of refineries. The oil submerged parts of the neighbourhood forcing some businesses to close.

16 May

An electric bus that can travel its entire 23km route on a few minutes charge was revealed in Sofia, Bulgaria. The Chariot e-bus relies on supercapacitors rather than batteries that allow it to capture and reuse energy from braking to supplement the short charge it receives every time it returns to its terminal.

19 May

A British military Sentinel reconnaissance aircraft was deployed to help search for more than 200 schoolgirls who were kidnapped from a boarding school in north-east Nigeria in mid-April by militant Islamists. The aircraft, capable of flying for significant periods of time at high altitude, is equipped with radar which can locate moving targets and provide high-resolution imagery of objects on the ground.

20 May

The first live-fire test of a Raytheon SM-3 missile from the land-based version of Lockheed Martin’s Aegis missile defence system took place at the US Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii. The system will be operational in Romania next year and is designed to protect US and Nato forces in Europe from a ballistic missile attack.

22 May

Russia announced it plans to sign a deal this year to build two more nuclear reactors for Iran at its Bushehr power plant as part of a broader agreement on up to eight reactors. Russia, one of the six powers currently in talks over Iran’s controversial nuclear programme, built Iran’s only operating nuclear power reactor at Bushehr.

22 May

A consortium announced plans to launch the UK’s first city-wide open-access demonstration Machine to Machine and Internet of Things network in Milton Keynes. The project will be based on the Weightless communications standard and will be used to demonstrate the ability of a city-wide M2M infrastructure to cope with a large number of static and mobile sensors.

23 May

French industrial gas manufacturer Air Liquide signed a contract to build the world’s largest cryoplant to keep Europe’s future fusion reactor ITER cool. The €65m cryoplant, basically a giant fridge, will cool the fusion reactor’s magnets, thermal shields and cryopumps down to -269˚C.

27 May

Indian car-maker Hindustan Motors announced that it will cease production of India’s trademark vehicle, the Ambassador, which has barely changed since its introduction in 1958. Hindustan Motors said weak demand and financial difficulties had been the main reason behind the decision.

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