A cyclist in Tyrol (Austria) by notfrancois

In the background we can see the village of Alpbach.

via Flickr http://flic.kr/p/3YWED

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Suspicion Surrounded Florida Businessman Who Faked His Death by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Jose Lantigua’s family appeared to be living the American Dream. The Cuban immigrant claimed he had a heroic military career and earned numerous degrees before running a successful furniture business. He owned a Florida beachfront condo and a new…

Published: March 25, 2015 at 01:30AM

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Israel Has Been Spying on the US

The United States of America has always been, by far, the strongest ally Israel has ever had. We have supported them throughout all of their wars, both in terms of equipment and diplomatically, and we continue to support them as the Palestinian crisis gets bloodier and more complicated every year. Due to this continuing US support in the face of all controversies so far, Israel has always been respectful of the US and its diplomatic process. It is for these reasons that the information that Israel has been spying on US Iran talks all the more a difficult pill to swallow. With the recent tensions between newly re-elected prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and President Obama, the news of Israeli spying is only going to make a bad situation worse.yaser_khalifa_netanyahu

The news of this spying scandal comes hot on the heels of two more Netanyahu-ian actions that are already threatening the relationship between the US and Israel. The first major misstep happened when Republicans in Congress invited Netanyahu to speak to Congress without seeking approval from the White House. Not only was this a highly political move (it was two weeks before the Israeli election), but it also spawned that awkward letter to Iran. The second big blow to relations was Netanyahu’s last minute hail mary speech before the election during which he promised that there would never be a two-state solution. While he immediately rolled back on this after he won, this is still worrying to the US due to the fact that we do support a two-state solution.

These actions have done more than harm US-Israel relations; they have helped isolate an already isolated Israel even more than it already was. With basically only the US on it’s side in the world political game, Israel is desperate for friends and desperate to not anger its last friend. Now it’s known that Israel has been spying on US Iran talks and what was once tense and fraught with anxiety is now doubly so. While the Israeli government will deny the spying, it’s known how obsessed Bibi is with these talks and no one will believe that he didn’t try to spy. What will happen next remains to be seen but there is a very real chance that the cooling of relations will continue.

If you’d like to read more, the link is here.

from Yaser Khalifa’s General Website http://ift.tt/19iNHqV

High Schools Are Focusing on Computer Classes

Computers are the future. This is a fact that has always been true no matter how you look at the future. Whether fictional or realistic, visions of the future rely heavily on computers and artificial intelligence to show how the world will be different and that much more efficient. These images of the future are becoming closer and closer to reality as computers and technology advance at exponential rates, making people skilled in these more and more important to the economy and country as a whole. While other countries have recognized this and are placing more emphasis on math and science than before, the US has been slow to catch up. Now schools are recognizing the importance of educating students in computer sciences and they’re offering classes.yaser_khalifa_computer_science

The fact is that the United States of America is already falling behind in subjects like math and science and faces the danger of finding itself completely out of the running when it comes to producing students who are skilled and educated in the fields of science, technology, computing, engineering, and math. This has finally been realized and after a few failed attempts to jumpstart this sort of educational bent, states are seeing some success as students begin to recognize the importance as well. Computer science is one of the fastest growing industries in the country and the need to high quality candidates is becoming more and more important. Since 2013, AP (Advance Placement) computer science courses have grown 25% and it doesn’t seem like things are going to stop there. With new courses aimed at getting girls and minorities to join being introduced over the next year, this spike in popularity should only increase.

Led by an increased emphasis on S.T.E.M. (Science, technology, engineering, and math) classes, public school districts are also introducing and placing an importance on computer science classes. These classes teach students the basic of programming and how to code, allowing them to pursue the field with more ease and success when they get to college. A few years ago, what few computer science classes that were offered frequently would be dropped by school administrators due to low enrollment numbers, ruining the chances for students who were actually interested in the subject from taking classes on it. Now, with students already talking about how their computer science courses helped them in college, hopefully these offerings will become the norm across the country.

If you’d like to read more, the link is here.

from Yaser Khalifa and Evolutionary Algorithms http://ift.tt/1DV8Uoy

Top 5 US Mountain Biking Trails

With all of the beautiful locales available to choose from when deciding your next mountain biking trip, it can be difficult to actually commit yourself to just one. Depending on how far you’re willing to travel, the options stretch from Canada to Australia and every country in between. However, there’s no need to leave the beautiful United States of America for some of the highest quality mountain biking available to be had. With that in mind, here is a selection of the top 5 mountain biking trails that can be found in our gorgeous country!yaser_khalifa_munds_wagon

  1. McKenzie River Trail – Eugene, Oregon: With a distance of a solid 26.5 miles, this trail isn’t necessarily for the faint of heart (or the lazy). With that being said, it offers beautiful single track trails that are good for both beginners and experts. There are forests and lava fields to cross through and various hot springs and waterfalls for relief from the heat and sweat. It’s a perfect example of what the Pacific Northwest offers when it comes to natural beauty.
  2. Poison Spider Mesa Trail – Moab, Utah: Don’t let the terrifying name scare you off; this place is gorgeous. Moab is known for some of the world’s best mountain biking and this trail exemplifies all that it has to offer. Only 13 miles long, it trades distance for a rise in elevation of over 1,000 feet. The way down isn’t technically difficult but the terrain has deep sand which can be brutal on your muscles. Bring water, this is desert country.
  3. Bandtail Divide Trail – Bozeman, Montana: Montana is called “big sky country” for a good reason; it’s stunningly beautiful and you can really see the sky. This trail is 31 miles long and has at least 2 miles of incline and a pine forest that will take your breath away. Just get ready, 31 miles isn’t a short trip!
  4. Munds Wagon Trail – Sedona, Arizona: This trail is only 8 miles long but has a 1,200 foot accession. However there are dips to make the trek easier and this trail is more about the natural beauty of Sedona than about the difficulty biking it. The red rocks are iconic and deserve to be seen by all.
  5. Trail 401 – Crested Butte, Colorado: At only 8.6 miles, this is another trail that isn’t too long but that makes up for it in beauty and incline. You’ll climb around 3,000 feet to 11,000 feet and you’ll really feel the burn at those high levels. However that height gives you stunningly beautiful views that are so worth the effort.

These are just some of the beautiful trails available in the country. You should go explore them all! If you’d like to read more, the list is here.

from Yaser Khalifa and Mountain Biking http://ift.tt/1GQ3jh1

Nigeria Boko Haram Victories May Not Boost Jonathan in Poll by REUTERS


By REUTERS

A spate of victories against Boko Haram has pushed the militants out of much of the territory they controlled in Nigeria, but that is unlikely to do much to boost President Goodluck Jonathan’s bid for re-election by divided voters next week.

Published: March 19, 2015 at 08:02AM

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Yaser Khalifa is a man with many years of experience as an electrical and computer engineer. After graduating from Alexandria University in Alexandria, Egypt, Yaser continued his education by pursuing his PhD in Electrical Engineering at Cardiff University. Upon graduation he leapt into the working world and has since worked with teams made up of people ranging from engineers working on super conductors to fellow professors at SUNY New Paltz. Yaser also has had over 40 papers published in a variety of educational publications. He has worked with such companies as General Electric as an electrical engineer consultant with their global research division as well as numerous others in different capacities. When not working you can find Yaser engaging in his other passions. He is an avid outdoors man and loves to mountain bike whenever possible. He both leads mountain biking tours as well as engages simply for pleasure. He was introduced to the sport by a friend at SUNY New Paltz and has since then volunteered as a biking guide with Minnewaska State Park, among others.