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World News

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

6 June

A new cutting edge cyber-security centre equipped with a 300 teraflop supercomputer was opened in Italy. Operated by aerospace and defence company Selex, the centre, one of the biggest in Europe, will focus on developing algorithms to scour the dark web on the lookout for potential threats.

13 June

India’s new government kicked into gear clearing billions of pounds worth of long-delayed defence and energy projects. Led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government elected in mid-May, has pledged to get Asia's third-largest economy moving and build a stronger country. A £1.2bn extension of the naval base in Karwar on the west coast, stalled because of environmental concerns, was the first project to get a go-ahead.

16 June

Two Iranians were tried in Germany for smuggling German drone engines into Iran declaring the devices to be jet ski engines. The pair, accused of illegally transporting about 61 engines into Iran between 2008 and 2009, were accused of violating Germany's Foreign Trade Act by disguising the true nature of the goods in an apparent effort to get around trade sanctions imposed on Iran over its nuclear work.

18 June

A cutting edge air-conditioning and ventilation system will be installed in the Vatican Museum to help preserve precious Sistine Chapel frescoes. The system will ensure optimal airflow around the artwork by Italian renaissance master Michelangelo and maintain required temperature and humidity levels.

20 June

The tip of a 3,000m high mountain deep in Chile’s Atacama Desert was blasted off to create a plateau for the world’s largest optical and infrared telescope to be built upon. The European Extremely Large Telescope will have a primary mirror 39m in diameter when it is completed in 2024, allowing it to gather around 15 times more light than the largest optical telescopes currently functioning.

23 June

The Large Hadron Collider has started coming out of hibernation for a second run of experiments following a 16-month programme of maintenance and upgrades to double its beam collision energy from 7TeV to nearly 14TeV. Research is due to resume early in 2015 and the upgrade could open the door to ground-breaking new discoveries.

23 June

The US missile defence system performed the first successful intercept test in years, destroying a dummy enemy missile. The system has previously been plagued with a series of faults with its Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle, manufactured by Raytheon, having failed in all previous tests since 2010. During the test, a ground-based interceptor was fired from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California to hit a target launched from the Marshall Islands.

25 June

Bangladesh said it will start performing monthly sonar surveys in a bid to ward off progressing climate change-related erosion of its biggest island. The monthly surveys will be carried out using an advanced 1.5m-long sonar towed behind a boat that will assess the condition of protective sand bags framing the coast of the Bhola island at the mouth of the Meghna River.

2 July

The maiden launch of the first new rocket Russia has built in years - the Angara - will be delayed for weeks due to technical problems, officials said. The news came days after the first attempt to test the new launch vehicle was halted seconds before lift-off after it reportedly experienced glitches in the fuel pumping system.

8 July

The route for a $40bn canal across Nicaragua designed to rival Panama’s was given the seal of approval by a committee of government officials, businessmen and academic. The 172 mile route runs from the mouth of the Brito river on the Pacific to the Punto Gorda river on the Caribbean and will be between 230m and 520m wide and 27.6m deep. The project still faces environmental and social impact studies that could recommend changes to the plan.

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