Within a Millionth of a Second
1. Scientists in China say their latest quantum computer has solved an ultra-complicated mathematical problem within a millionth of a second – more than 20 billion years quicker than the world’s fastest supercomputer could achieve the same task. The JiuZhang 3 prototype also smashed the record set by its predecessor in the series, with a one million-fold increase in calculation speed, according to a paper published on Tuesday by the peer-reviewed journal Physical Review Letters. The research team is led by Pan Jianwei, a leading scientist in China’s national quantum research program, from the University of Science and Technology of China at Hefei, in the eastern province of Anhui. (Source: scmp.com, journals.aps.org)
As Israel prosecutes its offensive against Hamas in Gaza, eyes are nervously turning toward Lebanon, where a series of clashes along the border has raised fears of a second front breaking out, an outcome that could trigger a full regional war. Neither side appears to want an escalation, but the risks are high for a disastrous miscalculation.
So far, the pattern of violence along the Blue Line, the United Nations–delineated boundary that corresponds to Lebanon’s southern border, has been relatively predictable, consisting of shelling and minor incursions. There has been some talk in recent months about the “unification of the fronts,” meaning the closer coordination between anti-Israel groups such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), along with myriad other Iran-backed groups in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. Therefore, it would have been difficult for Hezbollah to simply stand back and do nothing as Israel wages its massive offensive against Hamas in Gaza. …
At this initial stage, it appears that Hezbollah wants to keep its actions (whether claimed or unclaimed) below a certain threshold so as not to force Israel into a more powerful retaliation. If Hezbollah were to overshoot, it could trigger an unintended escalatory cycle. It is, however, Iran that has the final say in whether Hezbollah goes to war with Israel. Iran recognizes Hezbollah as its most potent external asset and a key component of its deterrence architecture against a potential attack by Israel or the United States. It is unlikely that Tehran will want to waste Hezbollah in a futile full-scale war with Israel for the sake of supporting Hamas in Gaza. (Source: atlanticcouncil.org)
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