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UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science Announces Targeted Research Areas for Fourth Cycle Projects

The UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science (UAEREP) today announced the targeted research areas of the program’s fourth cycle, which will be open for proposal submissions in early 2021.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

Banner – Solicitation Announcement (Photo: AETOSWire)

These areas were selected by a team of international atmospheric research experts based on the outputs of the nine research projects awarded between 2015-2017, the outcomes of the 4th International Rain Enhancement Forum and the recommendations from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) expert meeting held in Geneva and the 4th cycle program solicitation workshop.

Placing high priority on emerging technologies and innovations, and multi-institutional, multi-national collaborations to drive the development of rain enhancement science, the updated areas include advances in weather modeling and forecasting using artificial intelligence and ensemble modelling, evaluation of rain enhancement efficacy through the utilization of cloud chamber and statistical methods, innovations in rain enhancement systems through the integration of new measurement and numerical tools, and leveraging novel rain enhancement models, among others.

In parallel, the program will continue to support the previously targeted areas to help the awardees fulfill their project objectives. Information about the research areas of on-going projects can be found on

His Excellency Dr. Abdulla Al Mandous, Director of NCM and President of the Regional Association II (Asia) of WMO, said: “The program’s updated research areas will push forward the rain enhancement research to the next level of impact and sophistication. We welcome new researchers, technologists and entrepreneurs to join the program to bring new perspectives to rain enhancement research and support the development of demand-driven solutions to address the evolving water-security challenges.”

For her part, Alya Al Mazroui, Director of the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science, said: “The research areas identified by our international experts and scientists create unexplored avenues for generating new knowledge and innovation in rain enhancement science, while also building on the results and expertise gained over the program’s nine awarded projects. This will help us direct our future research efforts towards areas with broader implications for arid regions to address the most pressing water security challenges.”

Launched in 2015, the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science supports innovative research and technology proposals that advance Rain Enhancement Science, particularly in arid regions.

*Source: AETOSWire

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Mohamed Al Muhairi, 00971506621005

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Education Opens Doors: A family breaks the cycle of poverty with help from the program

Bianca Escobar says Education Opens Doors helped her map out her goals and realize they are attainable regardless of economic background.

DALLAS — Jennifer Escobar grew up in West Dallas on the corner of Chihuahua Avenue and Dennison Street. She says it’s a neighborhood filled with immigrant and minority families. 

“This is where my childhood memories are,” Escobar said.

Education was not a priority as she grew up. The focus was on survival and putting food on the table. She said there were many rough areas in her neighborhood filled with violence and crime.

Escobar wanted more, but had no guidance. It took her years to figure it out and at 25 years old, she finally received her bachelor’s degree. That same year, her daughter, Bianca, was born. 

She didn’t want her children to have the same struggles. As she put Bianca through school, she found help through a program called Education Opens Doors.

RELATED: Education Opens Doors: A teacher and her daughter offer their own proof program works

Education Opens Doors is a program taught at some Dallas schools. There’s a book that helps students prepare for life after high school. Bianca’s teachers have walked her through every chapter since 6th grade, setting aside time to discuss the possibility of college.

Jashida Rather is a Dallas ISD teacher at D.A. Hulcy Steam Middle School. 

“If they are never exposed to it, they will never do it,” Rather said. She loves teaching Education Opens Doors because it makes every step of education intentional. It helps her students, who didn’t believe they could go to college, step into their fears.

RELATED: WFAA and Education Opens Doors

Rather remembers Bianca in 6th grade. She has no doubt Bianca will go to a great university when the time comes.

Bianca is now a sophomore at Booker T. Washington High School in Dallas. She dreams of going to Yale, Julliard or UCLA, and she said Education Opens Doors is helping her plan. 

“It allows us to have sit-down time so we can talk about what I’m going to do after high school and what college I’m going to go to and financial planning.”

RELATED: When should you start planning for college? These FAQs will help parents start the process

She says the program is dedicated to student success regardless of economic background. Bianca hopes all children will have access to Education Opens Doors.

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First-gen Acura NSX owners may get official US restoration program

Do you want your ’91 NSX to run until the cows come home? Acura may soon have a program to enable that.


It doesn’t happen often, but when an automaker has a special vehicle further back in its lineup, it will occasionally offer up factory-backed programs to help keep these rolling monuments to The Good Ol’ Days on the road. First-gen Acura NSX owners might be the next to join this club… if the demand is there.

Acura is considering an official restoration program for the first-generation Acura NSX, according to a report from Tire Meets Road. The report claims that a member of the NSX team discussed the idea with owners during a virtual version of the NSXPO annual gathering for NSX owners. “We have research going out to 2,000 [NSX owners] in the United States asking their level of interest in the overall idea of a refresh plan,” John Watts, senior manager at Acura told TMR.

This wouldn’t be new ground for Acura, technically. The automaker — parent company Honda, actually, if we’re splitting hairs here — already has a program like this in place for first-gen NSX owners in Japan. TMR’s report includes screenshots of the packages offered in that program, with prices converted to US values.

After paying roughly $1,200 for a detailed inspection, NSX fanatics can select from a variety of packages that cover smaller things like detailed cleaning ($2,500) and seal replacements ($1,000). There’s also plenty of ways to absolutely burn through cash. A full replacement of the suspension costs the equivalent of $21,000 to $24,000, while a total engine overhaul commands roughly the same price. TMR’s report points out that if an owner were to select all possible options, it would cost a little over $140,000.

What’s intriguing is that Acura might not adhere to the rules set forth when the NSX first debuted. According to TMR’s report, Watts said that new things might be possible, like painting a first-gen NSX in a second-gen color. Now, that might not be the wildest idea on the planet, but it shows that Acura is willing to bend convention a bit and offer up additional variety to owners of older vehicles.

Acura did not immediately return a request for comment, but the report makes it sound like this is still very much in a planning stage, so any official announcement is likely a ways off still, if it happens at all.

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Head of Russian space program calls for more international cooperation in NASA’s Moon plans

The head of Russia’s space program said today that NASA’s plans to send people back to the Moon are “too US-centric” for Russia to participate. He has been critical of the program in the past and now says that Russia would only be open to participating if the Moon plans were more focused on international cooperation.

“The most important thing here would be to base this program on the principles of international cooperation that we’ve all used” to fly the ISS, Dmitry Rogozin, the director-general of Roscosmos, said through a translator during a virtual press conference at the International Astronautical Congress. He added: “If we could get back to considering making these principles as the foundation of the program, then Roscosmos could also consider its participation.”

Rogozin has made it clear that he is not a fan of NASA’s Moon program, an initiative called Artemis that aims to send the first woman to the lunar surface. Part of the program’s design calls for building a space station around the Moon, known as the Lunar Gateway, which would serve as an orbiting outpost for astronauts to visit before heading down to the surface of the Moon.

NASA has already partnered with some international agencies for Artemis — notably, Canada and Europe — but the US space agency is spearheading almost all of the major elements of the program, including the rockets, capsules, landers, and modules needed for the Gateway. And Rogozin has been vocal about his dislike of the US-led approach.

“For the United States, this is now more of a political project,” Rogozin told the Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda in July. “With the lunar project, we are observing the departure of our American partners from the principles of cooperation and mutual support that developed during cooperation on the ISS. They see their program not as international, but similar to NATO. There is America, everyone else must help and pay. To be honest, we are not interested in participating in such a project.”

Rogozin has also expressed disdain for NASA’s Artemis Accords, a set of guidelines that the space agency and the US State Department developed for countries to adhere to when exploring the Moon. The accords call for a standard set of rules on how to mine the Moon and places that need to be protected on the lunar surface, such as the Apollo landing sites. Rogozin likened the accords to “an invasion” in a now-deleted tweet.

Today, Rogozin doubled down on his comments about Artemis. “In our view, Lunar Gateway in its current form is too US-centric,” he said during the press conference, noting that Russia “is likely to refrain from participating in it on a large scale.” However, Rogozin did say that he hopes the Gateway has a docking port that will allow future Russian spacecraft to attach to the station if necessary. “If Russia builds its own space transportation system,

University of Texas’ Ad School Taps Lisa Bennett to Run New Real-World Program

The Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations (SRS) at the University of Texas (UT) appointed longtime agency executive and Texas native Lisa Bennett as executive director of The Lab, a new practice within the school, designed to provide students with practical experience in the advertising and marketing industry.

“I feel like I’ve been preparing for this role my entire life. I grew up in Austin, graduated from UT, learned from some of the best in the business, led work across a broad range of clients and mentored some truly incredible talent over the years,” Bennett said. “Our industry is going through massive change and is facing a multitude of challenges. Creating an entity designed to prepare students for the real world will be an important next stage of my career. The Lab will be designed to give SRS students the best possible chance of succeeding in what is an incredibly competitive and demanding environment.”

Ostensibly a program and student-run agency, Bennett brings voluminous experience to the role, starting at Leo Burnett, where she spent 14 years, ascending to evp, executive creative director. From there, she joined DDB Worldwide as managing partner and CCO of DDB West. Ten years into her tenure, she moved to a North America role. After DDB, Bennett spent time at two independent agencies, including TM Advertising in Dallas, which shut down last year.

“Lisa’s impressive track record and wealth of industry expertise will add tremendous value to the faculty and students of The Lab,” Jay Bernhardt, dean of The Moody College of Communication, said. “I’m confident that under her leadership we will build a highly unique and valuable resource for both students and clients.”

Bennett’s brand resume includes several iconic brands such as Delta Air Lines, Disney, Heinz, Intel, McAfee and McDonald’s. She’s also snapped up several prestigious awards from Cannes Lions, D&AD and Clio Awards, where she was inducted into its hall of fame.

Stan Richards—the iconic advertising figure who founded The Richards Group, and whose name adorns the program—praised the decision to hire Bennett, citing the school’s unique opportunity to give students more robust skills in a more real-world environment.

“She lived the agency life for a long time, and should be able to replicate what happens in any number of agencies around the country,” he said, also noting that the pandemic has changed the dynamics. “There’s a vitality and energy within an agency, partly because of the proximity of people to each other. We’re missing that badly right now, but [students] will get a feel for that and it will better prepare them for when they take on their first job.”

Deb Morrison, the Carolyn Silva Chambers Distinguished Professor of Advertising at the University of Oregon, taught Bennett when she was a UT professor starting in the late 80s.

“Lisa was amazing from the word ‘go,’” she said. “She’s talented and tenacious. At Leo Burnett, she brought a real sense of creativity to those teams and brought them back to a

Education, economic benefits possible from expansion of North Carolina school-choice program: Study

Giving parents the ability to choose what school their children attend could save North Carolina taxpayers money, among other benefits, according to a new study.

a little girl walking down the street

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Released this week by Raleigh-based conservative think tank Civitas Institute and libertarian think tank Reason Foundation, the study said establishing a statewide education savings account program in North Carolina could improve educational and socioeconomic outcomes.


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“Statewide education savings accounts would put the power in the hands of families by funding students instead of school systems, just like we already do with many other taxpayer-funded initiatives,” wrote Corey DeAngelis, director of school choice for the Reason Foundation.

North Carolina’s education savings account program provides up to $9,000 a year for students with disabilities to attend a nonpublic school or home school. By looking at how the current program has affected academic achievement and educational attainment, researchers estimate a statewide expansion could lead to billions of dollars in economic benefits.

An American Educational Research Association evaluation of the state’s private school Opportunity Scholarship Program found a 36% increase in math testing scores and a 44% increase in language testing scores within the first year of the program among students who received the scholarships.

DeAngelis said 17 other studies also found some evidence of positive academic outcomes among students who have the flexibility to attend a private school.

Critics of the Opportunity Scholarship Program argue it uses government money to subsidize private schools that force students to conform to their religious beliefs, including those surrounding homosexuality and gender. Both forms of discrimination are prohibited under the state’s constitution.

Using the evidence on academic achievement and its connection with lifetime earnings, DeAngelis estimated a child who completes 12 years of private school could make more than $249,000 more over a lifetime than public school educated students in North Carolina, with expected lifetime earnings of $1.4 million.

By those measurements, if 5% of the students enrolled in North Carolina schools – or 77,510 students – used the program, they could produce $19 billion more in higher lifetime earnings, DeAngelis said. If enrollment into the program increases by 1% each year, it could grow earnings to at least $58 billion more by 2030, he added.

Evidence also shows private school programs lead to higher graduation rates.

While the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics also correlates higher graduation rates with higher earnings, studies also show it affects crime rates.

According to a RAND Corporation study, North Carolina students entering public charter schools in ninth grade were 30% less likely to commit any crimes, 32% less likely to be convicted of a misdemeanor and 31% less likely to be convicted of a felony compared with their matched peers in traditional public schools. With 5% of the current public school population enrolled, benefits from graduation rates could be around $802 million. That number could grow to more than $2.4 billion in 10 years.

According to research, an average of 84% to 90% of