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  • Nobel Prize-winning Egyptian chemist Zewail dies


    Nobel Prize-winning Egyptian-American chemist Ahmed Zewail, a science and technology advisor to President Barack Obama and the first U.S. science envoy to the Middle East, died on Tuesday in the United States, his spokesman told Egyptian state TV.

    Zewail, who was 70 and a member of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) faculty, was the sole recipient of the Nobel chemistry prize in 1999 for his pioneering work in femtochemistry, the study of chemical reactions in ultra-short time scales.

    An author of some 600 scientific articles and 16 books, he also is credited with developing a new research field dubbed four-dimensional electron microscopy.

    "The cause of death is unknown ... whether it is cancer or something else ... His doctor said his condition was stable the last time I called him last week," spokesman Sherif Foad said.

    A Caltech spokeswoman confirmed Zewail's death but had no information about the circumstances.

    Zewail was born in the city of Damanhur, 160 km (100 miles) northwest of Cairo. He studied at Alexandria University, in the city where he grew up.

    He later moved to the United States and earned his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

    After conducting postdoctoral research at the University of California at Berkeley, he joined the Caltech faculty in 1976, where he was a professor of chemistry and physics.

    He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1982. In April 2009, Obama appointed Zewail to the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and in November of that year he was named the first U.S. science envoy to the Middle East.

    Zewail also became outspoken on political issues roiling his native country.

    In 2014, he published an opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times urging the U.S. government to remain constructively engaged with Egypt, rather than threatening to cut off U.S. aid after the military, led by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, toppled President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood after mass protests against his rule.


    (Reporting by Ali Abdelaty; Additional reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Writing by Amina Ismail; Editing by John Stonestreet and James Dalgleish)

    ***  http://www.reuters.com/article/us-nobel-egypt-zewail-idUSKCN10D2CP




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  • California Recognizes August as Muslim Appreciation and Awareness Month


    The California State Assembly voted Monday to pass a resolution that officially recognizes August 2016 as Muslim Appreciation and Awareness Month.

    The resolution comes at a time of increased anti-Muslim rhetoric, according to a recent civil rights report compiled by the California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

    HR-59, introduced by California Assemblymember Bill Quirk in June after Quirk was approached by a community activist on the issue, was officially passed Aug. 1 with bipartisan support.





    "Muslim Americans have made contributions to education, science, entertainment and medicine both nationally and globally," Quirk told NBC News in an email. "Unfortunately, the Muslim community has been, and continues to be, the target of harassment, discrimination and assaults."

    He added, "It is appropriate to acknowledge and promote awareness of the myriad invaluable contributions of Muslim Americans in California and across the country, and extend to them the respect and camaraderie every American deserves."

    RELATED: Mosque Attacks, Apparent Anti-Islam Spending Up: Report

    CAIR-Sacramento Valley Executive Director Basim Elkarra told NBC News that the passing of the resolution represented a day of hope for the Muslim-American community. He explained that Muslims contribute greatly to the diversity of the nation and the state, carrying various key roles throughout the state of California as engineers, doctors, law enforcement officials, and more.

    "Muslims participate in every facet of life in California and for them to be appreciated for their contributions ... it's very hopeful for the community when the community is under siege in this election cycle," Elkarra said.

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  • Emirates plane crash-lands at Dubai airport

    Airport with almost 300 people on board, officials say.

    Images posted online show thick black smoke coming from the plane.

    The Dubai government media office said on its Twitter account that all passengers were evacuated safely and no injuries have been reported so far.

    The Boeing 777 was reportedly flying from the Indian city of Trivandrum to Dubai.

    Emirates airline said there were 275 passengers and crew on board.

    “Our main priority now is the safety and well-being of all involved,” the airline says on Twitter.

    The live air traffic monitor Flightradar24 said takeoffs and landings at Dubai had been suspended because of the incident.

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