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View overlooking Sana'a, Yemen

Assassination of Former President Saleh Makes Ending the War More Difficult

The assassination of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh outside of Sana'a on Dec. 4 not only led to an increased spasm of violence between Saleh's supporters and the Shi'a Al-Houthi rebel, but has ultimately made ending a seemingly intractable civil war even more difficult. After more than two years of a conflict that has killed roughly 10,000 people, wounded nearly 50,000 others, displaced more than three million, and destroyed much of the county's infrastructure, it has become increasingly apparent that a military solution to ending the war cannot be attained by either side. A mediated settlement was seen as the only viable solution, and with the elimination of Saleh, the opposing sides will likely dig in their heels for a protracted conflict that will further decimate the poorest country in the Arab World.
Satellite image of Southern California wildfires driven by Santa Ana winds

Santa Ana Winds: The Perfect Ingredient for Extreme Fire Conditions

Firefighting crews in Southern California are hard at work battling destructive wildfires that ignited Dec. 4-6 in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. As of Dec. 7, nearly 190,000 residents in both counties were ordered to evacuate ahead of the fast-moving fires. Four large fires of note - the Thomas Fire in Ventura County and the Rye Fire, Creek Fire, and Skirball Fire in Los Angeles County - have burned a combined 46,943 hectares (116,000 acres). While personnel are working to restrict fire growth, containment of these major fires is still in its early stages. Since Dec. 4, weather conditions in Los Angeles and Ventura counties have hampered the success of firefighters. The US National Weather Service (NWS) maintains a Red Flag warning for both counties, meaning that conditions will be ideal for wildfire ignition and rapid spread. Strong winds, known as Santa Ana winds, are the leading cause of the recent wildfire outbreak.
Concerns Rise Over Call for US Military Personnel Dependents to Depart South Korea

Concerns Rise Over Call for US Military Personnel Dependents to Depart South Korea

When examining the nuclear tensions in the Korean Peninsula, it is essential to separate rhetoric from reality. It is easy for the US to threaten North Korea with a preemptive strike against Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal. It is also very easy for Kim Jong-Un to speak of a devastating war against the United States and its allies. However, it is much more difficult for either North Korea or the US to carry out these threats without inviting retaliation from the other side. Assuming the essential strategic rationality of both the US and North Korea, neither country is likely to purposefully initiate military action.
2017 Flu Outbreak

Flu Season: Is Your Workplace Prepared?

Influenza (or flu) season has begun in the Northern Hemisphere, where flu activity will continue to increase in the coming months. Even though the flu is a highly contagious and can cause potentially serious disease, many employers do not recognize it as a significant threat and likely suffer losses to their bottom line as a result. In fact, the US Department of Health & Human Services estimates that nearly USD 7 billion dollars are lost in productivity every year due to employee absenteeism because of the flu. Furthermore, the US CDC states that influenza costs the US roughly USD 10 billion in medical visits each year. Fortunately, employers can use a number of straightforward strategies to prevent the spread of influenza in the workplace.

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