Nasa to launch a space LASER that will provide internet 100 times faster than current broadband within two years

A powerful laser shining up into space will soon transmit data between the Earth and the International Space Station. Nasa is hoping to establish laser links at a rate of over one gigabit per second - a speed most home broadband users could only dream of.

The Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) will help Nasa to understand the best ways to operate laser communications systems.  This could enable much higher data rates for connections between spacecraft and Earth, including downloading scientific data and allowing astronauts to send better video messages back home.

LCRD - which will be launched by Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland - is designed to function for between two and five years.  Two ground terminals equipped with laser modems will be set up on Table Mountain, California, and in Hawaii. They will test the communications capability to and from LCRD - which will be located in an orbit that matches Earth's rotation, called a geosynchronous orbit - between the two stations.

The LCRD launch is scheduled for summer 2019, and a terminal is also being designed for the International Space Station that will be launched in 2021. 


Laser communications - also known as optical communications - encode data onto a beam of light.

This is then transmitted between spacecraft and eventually to computers back on Earth.

This technology offers data rates that are 10 to 100 times better than current radio-frequency (RF) communications systems. 

The LCRD mission is hoping to reach gigabit per second speeds.

While such speeds are possible through conventional fibre optics back here on Earth, it is likely to be the best part of a decade before they are seen in most homes. 

The systems themselves are also much smaller than RF, weigh less and consume less power.

This combination of factors will become critically important as humans embark on long journeys to the moon, Mars and beyond.

The LCRD will beam data between modems on Earth and the satellite in geosynchronous orbit at speeds 10 to 100 times better than current radio-frequency



The mission builds upon a previous mission, the Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration (LLCD).

Launched aboard the lunar atmosphere dust and environment explorer in 2013, LLCD successfully demonstrated the potential for laser communications in space.

The test, in October 2013, beamed data at speeds reaching 622 megabits per second to Earth from a spacecraft orbiting the moon.  

The space switching unit is also connected to a radio-frequency downlink.

A terminal is also being designed for the International Space Station that will be launched in 2021. Scientists at Nasa¿s Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland (pictured) have been testing out the device in advance of its launch

The controller electronics (CE) module commands actuators to help point and steady the telescope despite any movement or vibration on the spacecraft.   

The LCRD payload will consist of two identical optical terminals connected by a component called a space switching unit, which acts as a data router 

Kuwait Rains: Emergency Helpline Numbers


Instagram now blurs 'sensitive content' even if it sticks to the company's guidelines

Instagram is adding a global blurry block with a 'sensitive content' warning on top of posts that have been marked as 'offensive' by users.

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Instagram will blur potentially sensitive photos in both list and grid view.

Affected posts will be those flagged by other users as offensive.

The app displays a warning: 'This photo contains sensitive content which some people may find offensive or disturbing.'

Users will have to tap an acknowledgement before they can see the photo or video.

Qatar confirms new Coronavirus case


The Ministry of Public Health confirmed today one case of Middle East respiratory syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The ministry released a statement today saying that lab results showed that a 62 year-old resident suffers from the virus. The resident was then placed in isolation to receive the necessary medical attention.

According to Qtar News Agency, QNA, the statement also noted that the person in question did not interact with anyone else with similar symptoms. The person came in with symptoms of fever and abdominal pain. This is the first confirmed case of 2017. There were a total 19 confirmed cases in Qatar, which led to seven deaths, the statement added.

Women-only 'pink taxis' set to hit Pakistani streets


Women in Pakistan's commercial hub Karachi are set to ride taxis driven by women in an initiative to protect female customers from the sexual harassment they commonly face when travelling around the teeming city.

From Thursday, women will be able to call the cab service -- called Pink Taxi -- by phone, a mobile app, SMS or simply by hailing one on the street, said Ambreen Sheikh, who is launching the service with her husband Zahid Sheikh. "Our pilots (drivers) wear a pink scarf and black coat as their uniform. They include housewives, young women and students," Sheikh told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone after the soft launch of the service.

Commuting in the sweltering city of 20 million is often an ordeal for women. A report by Karachi's Urban Resource Center found most female commuters experience some form of sexual harassment while using public transport. Noor Jehan, a newly recruited Pink Taxi driver, first worked as a maid and then as a driver for her female employer. She said there was a need for such a service as most women "think thrice" before getting in a vehicle driven by a man.

The majority of women in conservative Pakistan do not participate in the workforce, with a lack of safe transportation one of the main obstacles, according to a study by the International Labour Organisation. Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, minister for transport in Sindh province where Karachi is located, acknowledged that women faced hostility and harassment when using public transport. "Having a mode of public transport catering to them alone can solve many of their transport issues," he said on Pakistani television. But Zebunnisa Burki, a Karachi-based journalist, said many women in the city cannot afford to take taxis.

"Women-focused transport initiatives are important in that they serve a growing demographic of mobile women," she said by email. "I do feel, though, that such ventures will still not cater to a large number of working women who go out to work daily ... since such women will not be able to afford relatively pricey fares in these private cabs." Sheikh said the Pink Taxi service would be extended to the cities of Lahore and Islamabad in the next three to four months, followed by other parts of the country.

That would be welcomed by Kainat Chaudhry, a content writer with an IT firm in Lahore who uses auto rickshaws or taxis to get to work. "A woman cannot sit in a taxi driven by a male driver and start a casual conversation without the fear of it being mistaken for some sort of inclination towards him," she said.

"The taxi driver reserves the right to set the rear-view mirror to scan whatever you are wearing - the stress makes one cringe and hide in the corners of the taxis away from his gaze."



Kuwait’s embassy has urged Kuwaitis in Britain to commit themselves to police instructions in the wake of the attack on a policeman near the House of Commons in Westminster on Wednesday. the embassy called Kuwaitis to carefully observe the measures of safety and security applied by the British authorities in such conditions. It urged them to contact the embassy on 02075903400 in case of emergency.

London on high alert: Police urge public to keep off streets of capital as they issue list of no-go areas following Parliament terror attack

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Police are asking people to avoid Parliament Square, Whitehall, Westminster Bridge, Lambeth Bridge, Victoria Street up to the junction with Broadway and the Victoria Embankment up to Embankment Tube. The Thames has been closed from Vauxhall to Embankment 'as part of the security response', after a member of the public, believed to have been hit by the car, was recovered from the water near Westminster Bridge.

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The closure of the river, along with roads in the centre and Westminster, used by thousands of people visiting and working in Whitehall every day, caused temporary chaos in central London. Dozens of people were stranded in the air at the top of the London Eye, which stopped amid the carnage in Westminster.  The huge security increase comes just days after Britain banned electronic devices such as laptops from the cabins of UK-bound planes from six middle eastern nations amid fears they could be used to blow up planes. 

The death toll so far stands at four, including the attacker, who was shot after stabbing a police officer with a knife. The officer suffered fatal injuries and has also died, police have now confirmed. The Met's head of counter-terrorism Mark Rowley said: 'Looking forward, throughout the rest of the day including when people are commuting home and over the days that follow, the people of London will see extra police officers - both armed and unarmed - out on our streets.'

He confirmed that 20 people have been wounded, mostly on Westminster Bridge, where the attacker ploughed through cyclists and pedestrians.He said officers are now searching the area for any other threats, adding: 'We are satisfied at this stage that it looks like there was only one attacker. But it would be foolish to be overconfident early on.' Two of those injured were police officers who had finished their shift and can be heard screaming at civilians to 'get out the way' as the car approached, in shocking footage of the attack. 

Mr Rowley said the dead policeman who died was one of the armed officers who guard Parliament and the other victims confirmed dead were on Westminster Bridge.


Home Secretary Amber Rudd said that the Government's top priority following the Westminster attack was 'the security of its people'.

Speaking during a visit to Pakistan, Ms Rudd urged the public to remain calm and keep vigilant.

She said: 'I know the whole country will be thinking of and praying for those affected by this terrible incident. Our top priority is people's security.

'We have the best police and security services in the world and we will let them get on with their job.'

The Home Secretary described the incident as 'on-going' as she said the Prime Minister would hold a meeting of the emergency Cobra committee to consider the situation.

'I want to thank the emergency services for the quick response, and pay tribute to their bravery, their courage, and their professionalism.

'I have been briefed by the Met Police and by the security services, and the Security Minister has also been updated.

'This is an on-going incident and the Government will continue to be updated. The Prime Minister will chair Cobra today.

'I urge everyone to remain calm, but to be vigilant, and if they see anything they are concerned about they should report it to the police.'

Source : Mail Online

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MEW warns defaulters on disconnecting the power line

Ministry of Electricity and Water warned the consumers who are defaulting the payment about disconnecting the power line. Al-Nahar daily reported that the ministry will not restore power to the buildings until the bills are paid in full, while the re-connection cost will be borne by concerned citizens and expatriates.

As per report, the outstanding bills running into millions of dinars.

Revealed: Why Laptop ban on flights

Laptop ban on flights 'is based on intelligence about an ISIS plot to target the West gathered during the raid on Yemen which killed Navy SEAL' 

The ban of carry-on electronics on flights was prompted by intelligence gathered about anISIS plot to target the West, it has been reported.

The threat was judged by the US to be 'substantiated' and 'credible'.

The US and UK announced restrictions on large electronics in carry-on baggage for direct flights from certain Middle Eastern and North African nations on Tuesday.

The move is allegedly based on the suspicion that Islamic State are working on ways to smuggle explosives on to planes by hiding them in electronics.

Crucial information was apparently gathered during a raid against Al Qaeda in Yemen in January that killed Navy SEAL 'Ryan' Owens.

The intelligence centred around al Qaeda's 'successful development' of compact battery bombs that fit inside laptops or other devices, sources claimed. 

The ban of carry-on electronics on flights was reportedly prompted by intelligence gathered about an ISIS plot to target the West. Above, the airports and countries targeted by the new American and British policies

The battery bombs would need to be manually triggered which is why the electronics ban is only for cabin luggage not baggage that is checked in, a source told the Daily Beast.

Al Qaeda's head bomb maker in the Arabian Peninsula, Ibrahim al-Asiri, has been working on hiding bombs in even smaller devices, the source added.

Lithium batteries ignited and destroyed UPS Flight 6 in September 2010, killing two crew members when it crashed near Dubai - providing inspiration for the terrorist group 

The tip-off was deemed to be 'substantiated' and 'credible' by the US.  

Two attacks on flights in the last two years were cited by the US Department of Homeland Security - the crash of a Russian jet over the Egyptian Sinai in October 2015 and a failed attempt to bring down a jet that had taken off from Mogadishu, Somalia last year.

Airlines flying from the 10 mentioned airports will have four days to implement the new ban on carry on electronics including laptops, iPads and cameras. Above, a stock image of a laptop

The jet made an emergency landing after insurgent group Al-Shababb reportedly got a laptop onboard the flight that had been rigged as a bomb and tore apart its cabin.

'Since they weren't high enough, the explosion wasn't catastrophic to the plane and they were able to land,' one source told The Daily Beast. 'The bomber got sucked out of the hole, but it was proof of concept.'

Eric Swalwell, a Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee, told ABC News there was 'a new aviation threat'.

'We know that our adversaries, terrorist groups in the United States and outside the United States, seek to bring down a US-bound airliner,' he said.

'That's one of their highest value targets. And we're doing everything we can right now to prevent that from happening.'

The countries included in the ban were selected due to their exposure to Al Qaeda groups and members who might try to bring a battery bomb on a plane heading for the US, a third source claimed.

Meanwhile, ABC reports claimed the airports affected by the ban were not directly named in the most recent threat intelligence gathered by authorities.

Information was gathered during a raid against al Qaeda in Yemen in January that killed Navy SEAL senior chief petty officer William 'Ryan' Owens (pictured)

Information was gathered during a raid against al Qaeda in Yemen in January that killed Navy SEAL senior chief petty officer William 'Ryan' Owens (pictured)

They claimed the list was based on 

intelligence analysis paired with other government information.

The US names more countries in its list, applying the new restrictions on flights coming from international airports in Amman, Jordan; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Cairo,Egypt; Istanbul, Turkey; Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Casablanca, Morocco; Doha, Qatar; and Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. 

The UK ban applies more simply to incoming flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia. 

America's Department of Homeland Security was the first to announce the decision, saying that passengers on airlines flying directly to the US from 10 airports in eight countries will soon only be allowed to bring cellphones on board with them.

Other electronics, including laptops and tablets, will be indefinitely banned from the passenger cabin, and must be checked in checked baggage if they are brought on the plane at all.  

The new restrictions are based on 'evaluated intelligence' that terrorist groups are working on 'innovative methods' for attacks. Officials didn't elaborate on the intelligence but CNN reports that Al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula (AQAP) is specifically the cause for the changes. 

The British government added legitimacy to the concerns by following through with their similar ban.

The British and American bans differ in which countries they target, how they are implemented and their definition of a large electronic.  

When asked by the BBC why the US list of nations differs from the UK's, a spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May said: 'We have each taken our own decisions.' 




Carry-on OK: Cellphones and any electronic smaller than a cellphone

Will need to be checked: Laptops, tablets, e-readers, cameras, portable DVD players, electronic game units larger than a smartphone and tavel printers/scanners

Timeline: Airlines will have four days to implement the new security order or face being barred from flying to the United States


  • Mohammed V. Int'l - Casablanca, Morocco
  • Ataturk Int'l - Istanbul, Turkey
  • Queen Alia Int'l - Amman, Jordan
  • Cairo Int'l - Cairo, Egypt
  • King Abdulaziz Int'l - Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • King Khalid Int'l - Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Abu Dhabi Int'l - Abu Dhabi, UAE
  • Dubai Int'l - Dubai, UAE
  • Kuwait Int'l - Kuwait City, Kuwait
  • Hamad Int'l - Doha, Qatar


  • Royal Jordanian
  • Egyptair
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Saudi Arabian Airlines
  • Kuwait Airways 
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Qatar Airways
  • Emirates Air 
  • Ethiad Airways 


Carry-on OK:  Electronics smaller 16cm long by 9.3cm wide by 1.5cm deep 

Will need to be checked: Any electronic larger than that size 

Timeline: Airlines will be allowed to implement the new rules at their leisure 


  • Turkey
  • Lebanon
  • Jordan
  • Egypt
  • Tunisia
  • Saudi Arabia


  • British Airways
  • EasyJet
  • Monarch
  • Thomas Cook
  • Thomson

American officials have given the airlines four days to implement the security order or face being barred from flying to the United States, while in Britain the airlines are being allowed to implement the new measures at their leisure. 

The American ban also applies to all electronics larger than a cellphone while the British ban gives the specific measurements of any electronic larger than 16cm long, 9.3cm wide and 1.5cm deep.  

About 50 flights a day, all on foreign carriers, will be impacted in the US. Officials said no US-based airlines have non-stop flights from those cities to the United States, so they will not be impacted.

The officials said the decision was prompted by 'evaluated intelligence' about ongoing potential threats to airplanes bound for the United States. The officials would not discuss the timing of the intelligence or if any particular terror group is thought to be planning an attack.

CNN, citing an unnamed .S official, said the ban on electronics on certain airlines was related to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and that some information came from a recent .S special forces raid in Yemen. The group has planned several foiled bombing attempts on Western-bound airlines. 

At the daily White House press briefing, Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that 'elevated intelligence' about international terrorism led the US to make the chance.

Spicer, who was reading aloud from a Department of Homeland Security statement, did not explain what made the intelligence assessment 'elevated.' But a different White House spokesman told after Spicer's daily briefing that he meant to cite 'evaluated' intelligence.

That wording matched a statement that DHS issued earlier in the day.

'Evaluated intelligence indicates that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation and are aggressively pursuing innovative methods to undertake their attacks, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items,' the agency said.

At the daily White House press briefing, Press Secretary Sean Spicer (pictured) said that 'elevated intelligence' about international terrorism led the US to make the chance

'Based on this information, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly and Transportation Security Administration Acting Administrator Huban Gowadia have determined it is necessary to enhance security procedures for passengers at certain last point of departure airports to the United States.'

Spicer punted further questions to the Transportation Security Administration. 

The new carry on restrictions come a little more than a year after the bombing of Daallo Airlines Flight 159, a flight from Somalia to Djibouti. 

The bombing took out a piece of the plane a little more than a row, but only resulted in the death of the bomber and two other injuries. It was believed that the bomb was rigged to a timer device on the bomber's laptop.

The flight had been delayed by 20 minutes, so it was believed that the timing of the bomb was premature and may have been intended to occur about halfway through the flight. 

Since it occurred earlier though, the plane was not yet at its cruising altitude which would have been more dangerous. The pilots were able to land the jet safely.

The ban would affect laptops, iPads, cameras and most other electronics. Royal Jordanian Airlines tweeted about the ban Monday, telling passengers that medical devices would be allowed onboard with passengers.

Details of the ban were first disclosed by Royal Jordanian and the official news agency of Saudi Arabia.

In its statement, Royal Jordanian said the electronics ban would affect its flights to New York, Chicago, Detroit and Montreal.

Brian Jenkins, an aviation-security expert at the Rand Corp., said the nature of the security measure suggested that it was driven by intelligence of a possible attack. There could be concern about inadequate passenger screening or even conspiracies involving insiders - airport or airline employees - in some countries, he said.

The new carry on restrictions come a little more than a year after the bombing of Daallo Airlines Flight 159, a flight from Somalia to Djibouti. The bombing took out a piece of the plane a little more than a row, but only resulted in the death of the bomber and two other injuries

The new carry on restrictions come a little more than a year after the bombing of Daallo Airlines Flight 159, a flight from Somalia to Djibouti. The bombing took out a piece of the plane a little more than a row, but only resulted in the death of the bomber and two other injuries

It was believed that the bomb was rigged to a timer device on the bomber's laptop
It was believed that the bomb was rigged to a timer device on the bomber's laptop

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly phoned lawmakers over the weekend to brief them on aviation security issues that have prompted the impending electronics ban, according a congressional aide briefed on the discussion. The aide was not authorized to speak publicly about the issue and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The administration officials who briefed reporters about the ban said foreign officials were told about the impending order starting Sunday.

A US government official said such a ban has been considered for several weeks. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to disclose the internal security discussions by the federal government.

The ban would begin just before Wednesday's meeting of the US-led coalition against the Islamic State group in Washington. A number of top Arab officials were expected to attend the State Department gathering. It was unclear whether their travel plans were related to any increased worry about security threats.

Another aviation-security expert, Jeffrey Price, said there could be downsides to the policy.

'There would be a huge disadvantage to having everyone put their electronics in checked baggage,' said Price, a professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He said thefts from baggage would skyrocket, as when Britain tried a similar ban in 2006, and some laptops have batteries that can catch fire - an event easier to detect in the cabin than the hold.

Most major airports in the United States have a computer tomography or CT scanner for checked baggage, which creates a detailed picture of a bag's contents. They can warn an operator of potentially dangerous material, and may provide better security than the X-ray machines used to screen passengers and their carry-on bags. All checked baggage must be screened for explosives. 

Source: Mail Online

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