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Once the domain of a few spacefaring nations, outer space has exploded with new actors, state and private, in recent years. New actors and activities bring new potential threats and concerns for new and existing actors alike. In this complex environment, where mistrust and misunderstanding often prevail, international law can play an important role in bridging gaps and creating predictability, clarity, and consistency. Although new treaty law is unlikely, the ordinary incremental international law processes of state practice, opinio juris, and international jurisprudence will help to resolve critical questions about the content and application of international law in outer space over time.
The deep subsurface of other planetary bodies is of special interest for robotic and human exploration. The subsurface provides access to planetary interior processes, thus yielding insights into planetary formation and evolution. On Mars, the subsurface might harbour the most habitable conditions. In the context of human exploration, the subsurface can provide refugia for habitation from extreme surface conditions. We describe the fifth Mine Analogue Research (MINAR 5) programme at 1 km depth in the Boulby Mine, UK in collaboration with Spaceward Bound NASA and the Kalam Centre, India, to test instruments and methods for the robotic and human exploration of deep environments on the Moon and Mars. The geological context in Permian evaporites provides an analogue to evaporitic materials on other planetary bodies such as Mars. A wide range of sample acquisition instruments (NASA drills, Small Planetary Impulse Tool (SPLIT) robotic hammer, universal sampling bags), analytical instruments (Raman spectroscopy, Close-Up Imager, Minion DNA sequencing technology, methane stable isotope analysis, biomolecule and metabolic life detection instruments) and environmental monitoring equipment (passive air particle sampler, particle detectors and environmental monitoring equipment) was deployed in an integrated campaign. Investigations included studying the geochemical signatures of chloride and sulphate evaporitic minerals, testing methods for life detection and planetary protection around human-tended operations, and investigations on the radiation environment of the deep subsurface. The MINAR analogue activity occurs in an active mine, showing how the development of space exploration technology can be used to contribute to addressing immediate Earth-based challenges. During the campaign, in collaboration with European Space Agency (ESA), MINAR was used for astronaut familiarization with future exploration tools and techniques. The campaign was used to develop primary and secondary school and primary to secondary transition curriculum materials on-site during the campaign which was focused on a classroom extra vehicular activity simulation.
Although several invasive species have induced changes to the fire regime of invaded communities, potential intraspecific shifts in fire-related traits that might enhance the invasion success of these species have never been addressed. We assumed that traits conferring persistence and competitiveness in postfire conditions to downy brome, a quintessential invasive species of the Great Basin (North America), might be under selection in areas with recurrent fires. Therefore, we hypothesized that populations from frequently burned regions of the Great Basin would have (1) greater tolerance to fire at seed level, (2) higher relative seedling performance in postfire environments, and (3) greater flammability than unburned Central European populations that evolved without fire. Seeds were collected from three introduced populations from frequently burned regions in North America and three introduced populations of rarely or never burned sites from Central Europe. We performed (1) germination experiments with seeds subjected to the effect of different fire components (heat shocks, smoke, flame, ash), (2) pot experiments analyzing the effect of postfire conditions on the early growth of the seedlings, and (3) a series of flammability tests on dry biomass of plants reared in a common garden. All seeds tolerated the low-temperature treatments (40 to 100 C), but were destroyed at high heat shocks (140 and 160 C). Only the 100 C heat treatment caused a difference in reaction of seeds from different continents, as the European seeds were less tolerant to this heat shock. We found significantly increased seedling height and biomass after 4 wk of growth under postfire conditions in American populations, but not in European ones. American populations had enhanced flammability in three out of five measured parameters compared to European populations. In summary, these intraspecific differences in fire-related traits might contribute to the persistence and perhaps invasiveness of the frequently burned North American downy brome populations.
On January 13, 2012, British Royal Marines stormed a stolen Yemeni fishing vessel that was being used for pirate attacks on shipping in the Gulf of Aden. A few months later, a combat helicopter operated by European Union Naval Forces struck a pirate base in Xaradheere, a town on the central coast of Somalia, destroying pirate skiffs and other equipment. Naval forces of many different nations patrol the waters off the Horn of Africa as part of three multinational counter-piracy task forces to protect shipping in this vital transit corridor and to respond to pirate attacks. The array of military force engaged in counter-piracy operations combined with the significant violent capabilities of the pirates highlight a range of questions regarding the nature and degree of force that can be used against pirates and the appropriate legal frameworks to govern that use of force.
Although the number of pirate attacks has been decreasing over the past few years, piracy remains a significant danger to commercial and private shipping in several locations around the world. In the first two months of 2014 alone, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) recorded 10 pirate attacks in locations as diverse as Bangladesh, Nigeria, and the Congo, and in 2013, “more than 300 people were taken hostage at sea … and 21 were injured, nearly all with guns or knives. A total of 12 vessels were hijacked, 202 were boarded, 22 were fired upon and a further 28 reported attempted attacks.” Since 2008, piracy off the coast of Somalia has produced significant and severe destabilizing effects on maritime commerce, and it has demanded the commitment of extensive naval and financial resources from nations around the world in the form of multinational task forces, armed guards, and other counter-piracy measures. Understanding the available and relevant tools for combatting this scourge, whether off the coast of Somalia, in the archipelagic waters of Indonesia, or in other locations, is essential for effective counter-piracy operations now and in the future.
Law school clinics focused on international humanitarian law (IHL) enable students to participate directly in the development and application of IHL through concrete “real world” work – from training to research and fact-finding, litigation to high-level advocacy, and many spaces in between. These opportunities do far more than just contribute to these students' development as effective, reflective lawyers, certainly a key goal of any clinical environment. Clinical IHL work also matches clinical pedagogy with cutting-edge issues in armed conflict to deepen students' law school experiences and enables them to engage in the IHL goals of promotion, implementation and enforcement.
Lepidium latifolium (perennial pepperweed) is a weedy alien crucifer that has invaded wetlands throughout the western United States. We monitored L. latifolium invasion of an Elytrigia elongata (tall wheatgrass) community at the Honey Lake Wildlife Refuge in northeastern California. In 1993, a 40-m2 plot was delineated, at which time only two single plants of L. latifolium were present. Beginning in 1994, L. latifolium stem density was measured yearly until 2011. From 1994 through 2000, the density of L. latifolium increased to greater than 120 stems m−2. At its height of stem density and stature between 1998 and 2000, it appeared that E. elongata had been extirpated. From 2001 through 2006, stem density and plant stature of L. latifolium declined, but there were still areas of the plot where stem density exceeded 60 stems m−2. From 2007 through 2009, stem density decreased considerably and averaged less than 30 stems m−2 and a healthy recovery of E. elongata occurred. In the years 2010 and especially 2011, stem density increased, but individual plants were small in stature. Soil bicarbonate-extractable phosphorus data suggest that phosphorus availability may be crucial to the invasiveness of L. latifolium. Long-term biogeochemical cycling by L. latifolium may reduce soil phosphorus availability in deeper soil horizons and enrich availability in the soil surface, which alters the competitive relationship between L. latifolium and E. elongata.
Patagonia in southern South America is among the few world regions where direct human impact is still limited but progressively increasing, mainly represented by tourism, farming, fishing and mining activities. The sanitary condition of Patagonian wildlife is unknown, in spite of being critical for the assessment of anthropogenic effects there. The aim of this study was the characterization of Salmonella enterica strains isolated from wild colonies of Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus) located in Magdalena Island and Otway Sound, in Chilean Patagonia. Eight isolates of Salmonella were found, belonging to Agona and Enteritidis serotypes, with an infection rate of 0·38%. Resistance to ampicillin, cefotaxime, ceftiofur and tetracycline antimicrobials were detected, and some of these strains showed genotypic similarity with Salmonella strains isolated from humans and gulls, suggesting inter-species transmission cycles and strengthening the role of penguins as sanitary sentinels in the Patagonian ecosystem.
The recent proliferation of external investigations into military operations raises important questions for the conduct of military operations and the interpretation and implementation of international law. The impact of such investigations and their reports, however, extends beyond how they influence the military and the implementation of the law of armed conflict. As countries and societies embroiled in lengthy conflicts begin to explore the value and effectiveness of undertaking transitional justice efforts during conflict, rather than only after conflict, investigations into military operations and specific incidents can play an important – and perhaps unexpected – role. This article focuses specifically on the inter-relationship between investigations and transitional justice efforts. As investigations into military operations become a common tool in the international and national arsenal, understanding how they interact with and affect broader transitional justice efforts and goals becomes important, both for the conceptualisation of investigations and the development of transitional justice mechanisms. This article addresses the relationship between investigations and the truth-telling aspect of transitional justice mechanisms, as well as the impact of the use of law and legal analysis on the legitimacy of the investigations and on potential transitional justice mechanisms.
An examination of the growing literature on the topic of the geography of armed conflict suggests that the differences of opinion, between and among academics, policymakers and military lawyers, for example, are nearly intractable. Statements about the propriety of a certain target under the law of armed conflict are often met by pronouncements regarding the role of jus ad bellum in cabining the use of force in the territory of another state or the restrictive parameters of the international human rights/law enforcement regime for addressing individuals who pose a threat or danger to others. Indeed, one might easily conclude that the participants in these debates are simply operating in entirely separate analytical paradigms, leading to interesting and challenging intellectual discussions but not to productive conversations that advance the analysis and move beyond the debate to effective potential resolution of a complicated and multi-layered issue. However, unlike pornography or terrorism, where notwithstanding a myriad of different definitions, “you know it when you see it”, little agreement exists even on whether there is a specific, definable geography of armed conflict at all. To help move beyond this impasse, this article explores the presumptions underlying the ongoing debates regarding the geography of armed conflict, in an effort to untangle the debates and provide new opportunities and venues for discussion—and thus to help advance the development of the law of armed conflict and other relevant bodies of law. These presumptions appear in particular in four dichotomies that inherently help drive the debates but are brushed aside or not taken into consideration: law versus policy; authority versus obligation; territory versus threat; and submission of the collective enemy versus elimination of an individual threat. For each or any of these dichotomies, the lens through which one views the contrasting positions will then have a significant—if not determinative—effect on considerations and conclusions regarding questions of geography and the battlefield. As a result, recognizing these dichotomies and understanding how they impact the current discourse is critical to any effective conversation, whether in the academic or policy arenas.
Soil engineering by downy brome may be a facet of its competitiveness. Using rhizotrons in the greenhouse, we compared the growth and plant–soil relationships of downy brome grown in two field soil types: soil invaded for 12 yr by downy brome and a similar soil not yet invaded. For each soil type, downy brome was grown for two growth cycles. At harvest, root mass and soils were sampled at depths of 10, 40, and 80 cm (4, 16, and 32 in); aboveground biomass was also sampled. After the first growth cycle, downy brome grown in invaded soil had 250% greater aboveground biomass and nearly double the root mass per soil volume at 10 cm relative to downy brome grown in noninvaded soil; root mass per volume was similar at depths of 40 and 80 cm. For the second growth cycle, aboveground biomass declined, but was twice greater for downy brome grown in invaded soil; however, root mass per volume was similar between soil types for each depth. Soil attributes that positively related to aboveground biomass included bicarbonate-extractable P, DTPA (diethylentriamene pentaacetate)-extractable Mn, and solution-phase (80-cm depth). We conclude that the data support our hypothesis that downy brome has engineered the soil to increase its growth potential, but proof will require a more robust experimental design. Plant competition is affected by myriad interactions; however, a plant that can increase the availability of soil nutrients for itself and its growth potential, relative to competing plants, would appear to be at an advantage. The mechanistic underpinnings involved are inconclusive, but may involve increased availability of soil N, P, and Mn.
The CaFeOX(CFO) and LaFeO3(LFO) thin films as well as superlattices were fabricated on SrTiO3(100) substrates by pulsed laser deposition (PLD) method. The tetragonal LFO film grew with layer-by-layer growth mode until approximately 40 layers. In the case of CFO, initial three layers showed layer-by-layer growth, and afterward the growth mode was transferred to two layers-by-two layers (TLTL) growth mode. The RHEED oscillation was observed until the end of the growth, approximately 50nm. Orthorhombic twin CaFeO2.5 (CFO2.5) structure was obtained. However, it is expected that the initial three CFO layers are CaFeO3 (CFO3) with the valence of Fe4+. The CFO and LFO superlattice showed a step-terraces surface, and the superlattice satellite peaks in a 2θ-θ and reciprocal space mapping (RSM) x-ray diffraction (XRD) measurements, indicating that the clear interfaces were fabricated.