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Saudia Arabia is planning a 100-mile line of car-free smart communities

Engadget

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is promising to build a network of smart cities that won't have any cars or roads. It's called The Line, due to its arrangement of "hyper-connected future communities," and will form part of NEOM, a $500 billion project announced in October 2017. According to the prince, the development will offer "ultra-high-speed transit," autonomous vehicles and an urban layout that ensures basic facilities, such as schools and medical clinics, are never more than a five-minute walk away. "It is expected no journey will be longer than 20 minutes," the project's organizers claimed in a press release today. One million people are supposed to live inside The Line.


What Buddhism can do for AI ethics

MIT Technology Review

The explosive growth of artificial intelligence has fostered hope that it will help us solve many of the world's most intractable problems. However, there's also much concern about the power of AI, and growing agreement that its use should be guided to avoid infringing upon our rights. Many groups have discussed and proposed ethical guidelines for how AI should be developed or deployed: IEEE, a global professional organization for engineers, has issued a 280-page document on the subject (to which I contributed), and the European Union has published its own framework. The AI Ethics Guidelines Global Inventory has compiled more than 160 such guidelines from around the world. Unfortunately, most of these guidelines are developed by groups or organizations concentrated in North America and Europe: a survey published by social scientist Anna Jobin and her colleagues found 21 in the US, 19 in the EU, 13 in the UK, four in Japan, and one each from the United Arab Emirates, India, Singapore, and South Korea.


Refreshingly modern dinosaurs and a cyberpunk cat: our games picks for 2021

The Guardian

Last year's ensemble Avengers game was a bit of a disappointment, so DC fans will be hoping for better from this action game set in the Batman universe. As Nightwing, Batgirl, Robin and Red Hood, you push back against the ever-encroaching criminal forces of Gotham. It looks moody and ultra-stylish. A stylish art-deco shooter about a time-travelling assassin caught in a time loop. Stuck in an endlessly repeating island party, he must take out eight of its guests – but the really interesting part is that another assassin, controlled by another player, is trying to stop him doing exactly that.


Soleimani anniversary marked in Baghdad with procession, candlelight vigil

FOX News

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com. BAGHDAD -- A mock funeral procession marked the anniversary of the assassination of Iran's top general and a senior Iraqi militia leader in a U.S. drone strike that heightened fears of a military escalation in the region. Thousands of mourners joined the march on the highway leading to the Baghdad airport Saturday evening where the strike that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani and senior Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis took place. Soleimani's killing dramatically ratcheted up tensions in the region and brought the U.S. and Iran to the brink of war.


Iran plans 20 percent uranium enrichment 'as soon as possible'

FOX News

Center for Security Policy CEO Fred Fleitz provides insight on'America's News HQ.' DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- Iran said Saturday it plans to enrich uranium up to 20% at its underground Fordo nuclear facility "as soon as possible," pushing its program a technical step away from weapons-grade levels as it increases pressure on the West over the tattered atomic deal. The move comes amid heightened tensions between Iran and the U.S. in the waning days of the administration of President Donald Trump, who unilaterally withdrew America from Tehran's nuclear deal in 2018. That set in motion an escalating series of incidents capped by a U.S. drone strike that killed a top Iranian general in Baghdad a year ago, an anniversary coming Sunday that has American officials now worried about possible retaliation by Iran. Iran's decision to begin enriching to 20% a decade ago nearly brought an Israeli strike targeting its nuclear facilities, tensions that only abated with the 2015 atomic deal. A resumption of 20% enrichment could see that brinksmanship return.


In Abrupt Reversal of Iran Strategy, Pentagon Orders Aircraft Carrier Home

NYT > Middle East

The Pentagon has abruptly sent the aircraft carrier Nimitz home from the Middle East and Africa over the objections of top military advisers, marking a reversal of a weekslong muscle-flexing strategy aimed at deterring Iran from attacking American troops and diplomats in the Persian Gulf. Officials said on Friday that the acting defense secretary, Christopher C. Miller, had ordered the redeployment of the ship in part as a "de-escalatory" signal to Tehran to avoid stumbling into a crisis in President Trump's waning days in office. American intelligence reports indicate that Iran and its proxies may be preparing a strike as early as this weekend to avenge the death of Maj. Senior Pentagon officials said that Mr. Miller assessed that dispatching the Nimitz now, before the first anniversary this Sunday of General Suleimani's death in an American drone strike in Iraq, could remove what Iranian hard-liners see as a provocation that justifies their threats against American military targets. Some analysts said the return of the Nimitz to its home port of Bremerton, Wash., was a welcome reduction in tensions between the two countries.


Iran general warns US that it's ready to respond to military pressure

FOX News

The president says he will hold Iran responsible if any Americans are killed as the USS Georgia passes through the Strait of Hormuz; Lucas Tomlinson reports. TEHRAN, Iran – The top commander of Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard said Friday that his country was fully prepared to respond to any U.S. military pressure as tensions between Tehran and Washington remain high in the waning days of President Donald Trump's administration. Gen. Hossein Salami spoke at a ceremony at Tehran University commemorating the upcoming one-year anniversary of the U.S. drone strike in Baghdad that killed Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who headed the expeditionary Quds force, on Jan. 3, 2020. At the time, Iran retaliated by launching a ballistic missile strike on a military base in Iraq that caused brain concussion injuries to about 100 U.S. troops. Washington and Tehran came dangerously close to war as the crisis escalated.



The 15 best video games of 2020

The Guardian

Dive into caves, get slightly further than you did last time, and die hilariously: that's the Spelunky loop, and it's compelling. With its rideable turkeys, spilling lava and omnipresent hazards, Derek Yu's subterranean world is entropic but thrillingly conquerable. It might not do much that the first Spelunky didn't, 10 years ago – but the original is a perfect game, and it is so good to have it back. What we said: "Every new thing is useful, perilous, versatile. Exploring these possibilities is the new game. The bits that didn't need fixing are left untouched."


U.S. nuclear submarine crosses Strait of Hormuz amid tensions

The Japan Times

Dubai/Washington – An American nuclear-powered guided-missile submarine traversed the strategically vital waterway between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula on Monday, the U.S. Navy said, in a rare announcement that comes amid rising tensions with Iran. The Navy's 5th Fleet, based in Bahrain, said the Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Georgia, accompanied by two other warships, passed through the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow passageway through which a fifth of the world's oil supplies travel. The unusual transit in the Persian Gulf's shallow waters, aimed at underscoring American military might in the region, follows the killing last month of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, an Iranian scientist named by the West as the leader of the Islamic Republic's disbanded military nuclear program. It also comes some two weeks before the anniversary of the American drone strike near Baghdad airport in Iraq that killed top Iranian military commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani on Jan. 3. Iran has promised to seek revenge for both killings. The Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine's presence in Mideast waterways signals the U.S. Navy's "commitment to regional partners and maritime security with a full spectrum of capabilities," the Navy said, demonstrating its readiness "to defend against any threat at any time."