Intermediate Word:  bilk -  (a) swindle  (b) packing material (c) brace  (d) firkin
Difficult Word: - stoat  (a) baby pig  (b) roasted barley grain  (c) lateen-rigged dhow  (d) ermine, in brown phase

Weapons In Space: Dawn of a New Era - Space.com  Space power has changed the face of warfare. So much so, particularly for the United States, skirmishes of the 21st century cannot be fought and won without space capabilities. That reliance has led to a key action item for U.S. space warriors: How best to maintain and grow the nationís space superiority and deny adversaries the ability to use space assets. That fact has prompted arguments as to the "weaponization" of space.     
Many Of 2 Billion Dryland Dwellers At Risk As Land Degrades - SpaceDaily  Growing desertification worldwide threatens to swell by millions the number of poor forced to seek new homes and livelihoods. And a rising number of large, intense dust storms plaguing many areas menace the health of people even continents away, international experts warn in a new report. Thick storms rising out of the Gobi Desert affect much of China, Korea and Japan and even reduce air quality over North America, according to Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Desertification Synthesis. Occupying more than four-tenths (41%) of the world's land area, drylands are home to over two billion people.   

US Willing To Talk To India About Supplying Missile Defence - SpaceDaily  A US official said Thursday his government was willing to talk to India about supplying missile defence systems, but urged New Delhi to spell out regulatory mechanisms for controlling exports of sensitive technologies. India was a Cold War ally of the Soviet Union and maintains close ties with Iran, which the United States accuses of developing nuclear weapons and supporting Middle Eastern extremist groups. Traditionally, it has bought most of its military equipment from Russia, France and Britain, but recently has shown interest in the military hardware of US defence firms.    

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