Middle East Government


What Happens When You Mix New Solar Tech And Artificial Intelligence? OilPrice.com

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The writing is on the wall. Every major global governmental agency is warning of the imminent tipping point towards catastrophic climate change, even the world's largest oil company Saudi Aramco is now talking about reaching peak oil within the next 20 years, and the International Energy Agency projects that it will happen in more like 10. Solar and wind are cheaper than ever, and large-scale solar mega-projects are quickly becoming the norm. It makes sense, then, that even the supermajor oil companies are diversifying their portfolios and investing in their own demise--also known as the renewable energy sector. Way back in July, 2017 Oilprice reported that France's Total S.A. was "leading the charge on renewables". At the time, Total's website boasted: "For Total, contributing to the development of renewable energies is as much a strategic choice as an industrial responsibility. We are doing our part to diversify the global energy mix by investing in renewables, with a strategic focus on solar energy and bioenergies."


Syrian and Turkish armies engage in new deadly clashes in Idlib

The Japan Times

ANKARA – Turkey said that two more of its soldiers were killed Wednesday in a Syrian government attack in northwestern Syria, as steady clashes between the two national armies continued to rack up casualties. Turkey has sent thousands of troops into the area to support Syrian insurgents holed up there, but hasn't been able to stop the Russian-backed Syrian government offensive to retake the Idlib province. A Syrian opposition war monitor said nine Syrian soldiers were also killed in Turkish drone attacks in the northwestern area. The Turkish Defense Ministry's statement said that the latest Syrian attack on its troops also wounded six soldiers. It did not provide further details.


What Happens When You Mix New Solar Tech And Artificial Intelligence?

#artificialintelligence

The writing is on the wall. Every major global governmental agency is warning of the imminent tipping point towards catastrophic climate change, even the world's largest oil company Saudi Aramco is now talking about reaching peak oil within the next 20 years, and the International Energy Agency projects that it will happen in more like 10. Solar and wind are cheaper than ever, and large-scale solar mega-projects are quickly becoming the norm. It makes sense, then, that even the supermajor oil companies are diversifying their portfolios and investing in their own demise--also known as the renewable energy sector. Way back in July, 2017 Oilprice reported that France's Total S.A. was "leading the charge on renewables". At the time, Total's website boasted: "For Total, contributing to the development of renewable energies is as much a strategic choice as an industrial responsibility. We are doing our part to diversify the global energy mix by investing in renewables, with a strategic focus on solar energy and bioenergies."


More than 1,000 students apply for places at world's first artificial intelligence university in Abu Dhabi

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More than 1,000 students are vying for places at the world's first dedicated artificial intelligence university in Abu Dhabi. The Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence will swing open its doors in August, with demand high from those eager to be part of the inaugural class of 2020. The graduate-level institute revealed the bumper number of applicants are currently being put through a stringent vetting process ahead of the landmark opening term. Masters and PhD courses will be held at the forward-thinking seat of learning, which has cast the net far and wide across the globe in search of top talent. World's first artificial intelligence university to open in Abu Dhabi Artificial intelligence isn't coming to the UAE - it is already here During the university's first advisory board meeting, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, said the first wave of students would be at the forefront of a new era of innovation in the country.


In wake of Soleimani's death, Tehran-backed Hezbollah steps in to guide Iraqi militias

The Japan Times

Gen. Qassem Soleimani was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Iraq, the Tehran-backed Lebanese organization Hezbollah urgently met with Iraqi militia leaders, seeking to unite them in the face of a huge void left by their powerful mentor's death, two sources with knowledge of the meetings said. The meetings were meant to coordinate the political efforts of Iraq's often-fractious militias, which lost not only Soleimani but also Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a unifying Iraqi paramilitary commander, in the Jan. 3 attack at Baghdad airport, the sources said. While offering few details, two additional sources in a pro-Iran regional alliance confirmed that Hezbollah, which is sanctioned as a terrorist group by the United States, has stepped in to help fill the void left by Soleimani in guiding the militias. All sources in this article spoke on condition of anonymity to address sensitive political activities rarely addressed in public. Officials with the governments of Iraq and Iran did not respond to requests for comment, nor did a spokesperson for the militia groups.


Key U.S. general slips into Iraq for talks to salvage relations

The Japan Times

ABOARD, A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT – The top U.S. commander for the Middle East slipped quietly into Iraq Tuesday, as the Trump administration works to salvage relations with Iraqi leaders and shut down the government's push for an American troop withdrawal. Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie became the most senior U.S. military official to visit since an American drone strike in Baghdad last month killed a top Iranian general, enraging the Iraqis. McKenzie met with Iraq leaders in Baghdad and then went to see American troops at al-Asad Air base, which was bombed by Iran last month in retaliation for the drone attack. Later, he said he was "heartened" by the meetings, adding, "I think we're going to be able to find a way forward." His visit comes amid heightened anti-American sentiment that has fueled violent protests, rocket attacks on the embassy and a vote by the Iraqi parliament pushing for withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country.


Ukraine: Recordings show Iran knew jetliner was hit by a missile

The Japan Times

KYIV – A leaked recording of an exchange between an Iranian air-traffic controller and an Iranian pilot purports to show that authorities immediately knew a missile had downed a Ukrainian jetliner after takeoff from Tehran, killing all 176 people aboard, despite days of denials by the Islamic Republic. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy acknowledged the recording's authenticity in a report aired by a Ukrainian television channel Sunday night. In Tehran on Monday, the head of the Iranian investigation team, Hassan Rezaeifar, acknowledged the recording was legitimate and said it was handed over to Ukrainian officials. After the Jan. 8 disaster, Iran's civilian government maintained for days that it didn't know the country's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, answerable only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had shot down the aircraft. The downing of the jetliner came just hours after the Guard launched a ballistic missile attack on Iraqi bases housing U.S. forces in retaliation for an earlier American drone strike that killed the Guard's top general, Qassem Soleimani, in Baghdad.


New EU foreign policy chief to make his first visit to Iran

The Japan Times

TEHRAN – The European Union's foreign affairs chief is traveling to Iran to meet with the country's leaders, the Iranian official news agency said on Sunday, amid high regional tensions. The visit is seen as the latest move by the EU to save the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers. Tensions between Iran and the U.S. have steadily risen since President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear agreement and re-imposed sanctions on Iran in 2018. Tehran has responded by gradually rolling back its commitment to the deal. Josep Borrell will meet with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and other Iranian officials on Monday, according to IRNA.


Iraq: Anti-ISIS operations with US are resuming

FOX News

Fox News Flash top headlines for Jan. 30 are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com. Joint military operations between coalition and Iraqi forces against the Islamic State group will resume, the Iraqi military said Thursday, after a nearly three-week pause that saw tensions between Washington and Tehran come to a boiling point. The escalations with Iran began after a U.S. drone strike killed one of its top generals in Baghdad earlier this month. Iraqi lawmakers subsequently voted to expel U.S. troops from the country in a non-binding resolution, a move Iraqi military officials said would jeopardize its fight against ISIS, which had overtaken large swaths of the country several years ago and has since been defeated.


Artificial intelligence to rebuild Iraq via second phase of the UNOSAT challenge

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The first phase of the UNOSAT Challenge has just ended. The UNOSAT Challenge is the important Phi-Unet (ESA) contest for UNOSAT (United Nations) in partnership with ESA, RUS COPERNICUS, UNOSAT and with the technical support of CERN openlab. The aim of the contest is to put artificial intelligence and Earth Observation data at the service of a humanitarian cause: support the Iraqi government in planning reconstruction activities. In the first phase, candidates were asked to create an artificial intelligence model to identify urban areas in some Iraqi territories, working on data provided by ESA and the German Space Agency (DLR). At the end of this phase, 5 teams were selected.