The most dominant social network for each country:
Facebook clearly dominates, but a few countries have other favorites:
– VKontakte and Odnoklassniki remain strong in Russian-speaking countries
– Tencent’s QZone is still king of the hill in China
– Vietnam’s most popular social network is Zing
– People in Iran seemingly prefer Cloob over Facebook
– Drauglem is the top dog in Latvia
The U.S. Air Force is quietly assembling the world’s most powerful air-to-air fighting team at bases near Iran. Stealthy F-22 Raptors on their first front-line deployment have joined a potent mix of active-duty and Air National Guard F-15 Eagles, including some fitted with the latest advanced radars. The Raptor-Eagle team has been honing special tactics for clearing the air of Iranian fighters in the event of war.
The highly-experienced Massachusetts Guardsmen, who typically have several years more experience than their active-duty counterparts, would be ready “should Iran test the 104th,” said wing commander Col. Robert Brooks.
…it’s the methods above that the U.S. dogfighting armada would likely use to wipe out the antiquated but determined Iranian air force if the unthinkable occurred and fighting broke out. The warplanes are in place. The pilots are ready. Hopefully they won’t be needed.
This year’s surge in gasoline prices appears over, falling short of the record highs some had feared heading into peak summer driving season.
Prices have held at a national average of $3.92 a gallon the past week, below 2011’s $3.99 high and July 2008’s record $4.11.
“By the behavior of the market, things are just running out of steam,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior analyst for price tracker gasbuddy.com. “Barring any major event — refinery problems, Iran — I think prices have peaked.”
DeHaan said the national average could dip to $3.70 a gallon by early May.
The U.S. Navy is upgrading its defensive and offensive capabilities in the Persian Gulf to counter threats from Iran to seize the Strait of Hormuz and block the flow of oil, the chief of naval operations said Friday.
Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert told reporters in Washington that the Navy will add four more mine-sweeping ships and four more CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters with mine-detection capability. The Navy is also sending more underwater unmanned mine-neutralization units to the region.
Greenert said he plans to assign more patrol craft to the gulf, possibly armed with Mark 38 Gatling guns.
The narrow Strait of Hormuz is a key transit way for oil tankers. Any closure of the strait could send oil prices skyrocketing, officials say.
In 1950, the United States was the only country with a well developed oil industry. Today, the energy sector as a whole is the largest industry in the world and accounts for over $3 trillion dollars in annual sales. The second largest global industry, food, accounts for $1.7 trillion. Between 1950 and 1973 the world oil industry grew 9-fold – a rate of increase of 10% per year, sustained over a period of 20 years. During that time period, the world produced over 2.5 billion new motor vehicles, half of which in the United States.
The world demand for oil has multiplied from 11 million barrels per day (mbd) in 1950, to 57 mbd in 1970, to almost 80 mbd today. The United States consumes 20.7 mbd, which is the most of any nation and equals the consumption of the next 5 largest national consumers (China, Japan, Germany, Russia and India). World demand has recently grown as the economies of China (6.5 mbd) and India (2.3 mbd) have developed, but the United States remains the largest consumer.
The five largest producers of oil are Saudi Arabia (10.37 mbd), Russia (9.27), United States (8.69), Iran (4.09) and Mexico (3.86). Proven oil reserves are concentrated in the Middle East (60%).