[Image: Egypt/Israel border. Photo by Patty Brdar.]
Israel’s Border with Egypt to be Sealed with Electronic Fence: Israel is expecting to tighten security measures along the southern end of the Egyptian/Israeli border by erecting an electrical fence from its most southern tip extending the north for 12 kilometers (7.44 miles).
Lebanon claims Israel encroaching on its territory with new barbed-wire fence: U.N. peacekeepers asked Israel's army on Wednesday to pull down a new barbed-wire barrier that Lebanon said encroached on its territory, but Israel denied it was on Lebanese soil – a test of the month-old cease-fire.
The Great Wall of Arabia: No, you won't be able to see it from space, but Saudi Arabia, unnerved by the violence next door in Iraq, plans to spend up to $7 billion on a partly virtual fence along its 500-mile border with Iraq. The ultramodern barrier will combine fencing, electronic sensors and sand berms. Saudi and U.S. sources tell TIME the kingdom is seeking bids from contractors, including U.S. defense giant Raytheon. (A Raytheon spokesman says the Saudis asked the company not to comment.)
GAZA LIGHTS OUT: For the past two months, Gaza residents like Aqdeir have lived without a regular supply of electricity after the Israeli military bombed Gaza's only power station on 28 June.
Restoring Kabul's lost beauty: The return of millions of refugees has pushed up property prices in the city, and dozens of large, square blocks, with blue or green mirrored windows, have been built with remarkable speed. Most are far from the centre, but that could change. "They want to put up shoddily-built, cheap, multi-storey buildings which don't retain anything of what is so wonderful about Old Kabul," Mr Stewart says.
Iraq to Dig Trenches Around Baghdad: Iraqi security forces will dig trenches around Baghdad and set up checkpoints along all roads leading into the city to reduce some of the violence plaguing the capital, the Interior Ministry said Friday. The security plan, known as Operation Together Forward, began June 15 and is being implemented in three phases. The first phase included setting up random checkpoints around the city, phase two began Aug. 7 and focused on the most violence-prone areas of Baghdad — mostly the Sunni Arab southern districts. Phase three reportedly includes cordoning off and searching other parts of Baghdad, including predominantly Shiite areas.
[Image: The Mehdi Army controls Shoula, with its armed guards stationed at checkpoints around the area. It is one of the biggest militias in Iraq and is allied to the radical cleric Moqtada Sadr. See other pics in the BBC's photojournal Iraq's neighbourhood patrols.]
Military Training Goes Hollywood (by David Axe): To better prepare its troops for tough counterinsurgency warfare, the U.S. military is investing in super-realistic exercises that combine traditional live-fire training with sophisticated cultural instruction and Hollywood-style special effects that blur the lines between training and combat.
[Image: Missile Radar M.I.A.: Defense Tech looks at the Missile Defense Agency's Sea-Based X-Band Radar, or SBX. The $815 million, 28-story, orb-like contraption that has become one of the centerpieces of the Bush Administration's revamped anti-missile strategy, after it took office.]
In the Iraqi war zone, US Army calls for 'green' power: To minimize 'serious' casualties, a top commander in Iraq is calling for renewable energy to reduce demand for petroleum to fuel generators at US outposts. That, in turn, would reduce the number of vulnerable fuel convoys, such as these entering Kuwait. The US Army's Rapid Equipping Force (REF), which speeds frontline requests, is "expected soon" to begin welcoming proposals from companies to build and ship to Iraq 183 frontline renewable-energy power stations, an REF spokesman confirms. The stations would use a mix of solar and wind power to augment diesel generators at US outposts, the spokesman says.
Future Be Warned: Keep Out!: A half-mile below the surface of the New Mexico desert, the federal government is interring thousands of tons of monstrously dangerous leftovers from its nuclear weapons program --plutonium-infested clothing, tools and chemical sludge that will remain potentially lethal for thousands of years to come. It may be safely secured now, but how to keep our descendants centuries in the future from accidentally unearthing it?
[Image: At the Bank of America tower in Midtown, stairwells exceed city code standards. They are reinforced concrete and are wider than required. Photo by Ángel Franco/The New York Times (2006).]
9/11 Has Spurred Only Modest Changes in New York City and National Building Codes
The indestructibles: The Freedom Tower at Ground Zero could be the world's most attack-proof building. Is this the future of urban design?
How Wall Street became secure, and welcoming
Federal buildings don armor of nation under siege
What price security? Architecture in an anxious age
Security and Terrorism: Lessons Learned from September 11
Building a skyscraper after 9/11
Terror threat fails to stem high-rise boom. Defensive measures focus on fortifying buildings' bases against possible attack
The Price of Eternal Vigilance: University of British Columbia geographer Elvin Wyly and journalist Mitchell Gray, in describing how American cities have been cast within a "terror city hierarchy", state that,
"[a]ssaulted with officially sanctioned warnings of constant, evolving threats emanating from cities and villages across the globe, residents of American cities may acquiesce to the current logic of the Project for a New American Century: pre-emptive war to eliminate all possibilities of challenges deemed by the American state as unacceptable in a unipolar world. But another scenario is possible, as American urbanites come to understand that city fortifications against 'global' threats fail to keep terror out: such measures only succeed in hiding and justifying American state-sponsored terror in Iraq and elsewhere, in bringing new and more virulent forms of insecurity into the American city, and weaving the metropolis into a destabilized, insecure global urban system of risk."
McMansions, underground, ready for war.
ARCH< ART< OTHER:
An Architektur: Increasing social tensions, cultural capitalization, ethnic segregation, ubiquitous surveillance, and the privatization of public space within the context of urban re-development strategies dictated by neo-liberal economic thinking demand a new critical approach in spatial practice.
[Image: 1987 Honda Civic, 300 lbs ANFO explosive.(Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center (EMRTC), New Mexico Tech, Socorro, NM) 2005. Archival pigmented inkjet on paper, 63X42 inches. Paul Shambroom, SECURITY SERIES.]
Homeland security: Paul Shambroom's photography series 'Security' examines issues of fear, safety and liberty in post-9/11 America.
Orwellian projects: One of the works that received an honorary mention at the prix ars electronica in the Net Vision category is Tracking Transience: The Orwell Project, a collection of photographs with a web based companion that tracks Hasan M. Elahi and his movements in real-time, from the last meal he ate to the last public urinal he visited.
The U.S. Army Permafrost Tunnel: Between 1963 and 1965, the U.S Army Permafrost Tunnel was dug "entirely within frozen ground on the north slope of Hill 456 near Fox, Alaska."