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Libya's GNA launches counterattack after deadly rocket barrage

Al Jazeera

Libya's UN-supported government launched a counterattack on Sunday against a strategic military base used by renegade commander Khalifa Haftar to pound the capital Tripoli with rocket fire. The response came after a missile barrage damaged Tripoli's main airport and set fuel tanks and several aircraft ablaze, with at least six civilians killed in surrounding residential areas in the attacks on Saturday. Meanwhile, Turkey - the Government of National Accord's (GNA) main ally defending Tripoli against Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA) - threatened to step up its attacks against the eastern-based LNA, which has attempted to seize the capital for more than a year. "The forces of war criminal [Haftar] fired more than a hundred rockets and missiles at residential areas in the centre of the capital," the GNA said in a statement on Facebook. The airport was badly damaged and came under renewed rocket fire on Sunday morning, it said.

Hooks in the Headline: Learning to Generate Headlines with Controlled Styles Artificial Intelligence

Current summarization systems only produce plain, factual headlines, but do not meet the practical needs of creating memorable titles to increase exposure. We propose a new task, Stylistic Headline Generation (SHG), to enrich the headlines with three style options (humor, romance and clickbait), in order to attract more readers. With no style-specific article-headline pair (only a standard headline summarization dataset and mono-style corpora), our method TitleStylist generates style-specific headlines by combining the summarization and reconstruction tasks into a multitasking framework. We also introduced a novel parameter sharing scheme to further disentangle the style from the text. Through both automatic and human evaluation, we demonstrate that TitleStylist can generate relevant, fluent headlines with three target styles: humor, romance, and clickbait. The attraction score of our model generated headlines surpasses that of the state-of-the-art summarization model by 9.68%, and even outperforms human-written references.

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.

Libya Rebels Capture Key Coastal City in Threat to U.N.-Backed Government

NYT > Middle East

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has become the Tripoli government's last major patron, providing armed drones, armored vehicles and, in the past week, Turkish troops. Turkish officials say their troops will act mostly in an advisory role and avoid front-line combat. But there are indications, from American officials and from videos posted on the internet, that Ankara has deployed Syrian irregulars to Libya, drawn from units that fought the Kurds in northeastern Syria last year. The increasingly prominent foreign role drew an angry rebuke from the United Nations envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salamé, who told reporters on Monday that "probably thousands" of foreign mercenaries had arrived in Libya to participate in the fight. The battle has displaced 300,000 people and caused over 2,200 deaths.

Buhari approves agency for robotics and Artificial Intelligence for South East Daily Nigerian


Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu said President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the establishment of an agency on robotics and artificial intelligence, AI, for the South East. Mr Onu revealed this at a grand rally of the All Progressives Congress in Abakaliki, capital of Ebonyi state. The rally which received defectors from the Peoples Democratic Party, was attended by the national chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole. Some of the defectors who were received include, Sonni Ogbuoji, former Minister of Power and Steel, Goddy Ogbaga, former Secretary to the State Government, Bernard Odoh and former attorney general and commissioner for justice, Augustine Nwankwegu. Mr Onu told the rally that in 2015 he pleaded with South-East not to put its eggs in one basket but his pleadings fell on deaf ears.

Sarah Jeong: New York Times journalist who tweeted 'cancel white people' is victim of 'dishonest' trolls, claims former employer

The Independent - Tech

Sarah Jeong, a technology journalist hired by the New York Times and vilified online for tweets comparing "dumbass f****** white people" to dogs and saying they would "all go extinct soon", has been targeted for harassment by dishonest trolls, her former employer has claimed. Editors at The Verge, an online tech magazine, denounced what they called "disingenuous" criticism of Ms Jeong by "people acting in bad faith". The senior writer had been the victim of a Gamergate-style campaign designed to "divide and conquer by forcing newsrooms to disavow their colleagues", they suggested. Ms Jeong, 30, posted a string of offensive and apparently racist messages including "#CancelWhitePeople" and "white men are bulls***" up to five years ago. After being uncovered they quickly spread and were picked up by conservative media including the Daily Caller and Gateway Pundit websites.

When nation-states fail, moderate voices are silenced

Al Jazeera

The image of the angry man holding a little girl in one arm while violently abusing Yiannis Boutaris, the 75-year-old mayor of Thessaloniki with the other, shocked Greeks. Boutaris was attacked by a crowd at a Sunday commemoration of what is known as the genocide of the Pontians, a Christian ethnic group from the highlands of the southern Black Sea speaking a dialect of Greek, who escaped Ottoman Turkish persecution and emigrated to the newly-formed Greek nation-state. It is the latest in a series of violent attacks on Greek politicians by a public expressing outrage and impotence at collapsing living standards. But Boutaris, the tattooed septuagenarian ecologist and scion of a Vlach winemaking family, is not a typical representative of the establishment politicians Greeks blame for imposing increasing levels of austerity on a fractured society. The twice-elected mayor of Thessaloniki is a resolute cosmopolitan who worked to collapse the walls between Greece and Turkey, free his city from the segregating Greek creation myth, and make its troubled past more inclusive of former resident minorities, including Jews and Turks.

Turkish forces take strategic hill near Syria's Afrin amid intense airstrikes as civilian toll reaches at least 51

The Japan Times

KILIS, TURKEY – Turkish troops and allied Syrian fighters captured a strategic hill in northwestern Syria on Sunday as their offensive to root out Kurdish fighters entered a second week.

Dutch election will test far-right ardor in Europe

PBS NewsHour

JUDY WOODRUFF: In the Netherlands, voters head to the polls tomorrow, in Europe's first big and closely watched election of the year. An ardent nationalist, running on an anti-immigrant agenda, is bidding for the prime minister's office, hoping to lead the way for similar candidates in France and Germany. The election also comes amid an escalating war of words between the Dutch government and Turkey over a referendum next month that could give President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vast new powers. Just today, Erdogan accused Dutch troops of complicity in the 1995 massacre of 8,000 Bosnian Muslims at Srebrenica. That's a charge which a Dutch court had previously cleared.

Huge Twitter hijack forces accounts to post swastikas, Nazi messages and pro-Erdogan propaganda

The Independent - Tech

Thousands of Twitter accounts have been posting horrifying messages in Turkish, and there is nothing their owners can do about it. Many of the world's biggest publishers, companies and personalities have had their accounts taken over and used to post Nazi swastikas and references to Germany and the Netherlands. The messages are written in Turkish, make reference to the country's political situation and come amid heightened tensions between Turkey and the Netherlands after the latter kicked out two Turkish ministers and banned them from rallying. The giant human-like robot bears a striking resemblance to the military robots starring in the movie'Avatar' and is claimed as a world first by its creators from a South Korean robotic company Waseda University's saxophonist robot WAS-5, developed by professor Atsuo Takanishi and Kaptain Rock playing one string light saber guitar perform jam session A man looks at an exhibit entitled'Mimus' a giant industrial robot which has been reprogrammed to interact with humans during a photocall at the new Design Museum in South Kensington, London Electrification Guru Dr. Wolfgang Ziebart talks about the electric Jaguar I-PACE concept SUV before it was unveiled before the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California, U.S The Jaguar I-PACE Concept car is the start of a new era for Jaguar. Japan's On-Art Corp's CEO Kazuya Kanemaru poses with his company's eight metre tall dinosaur-shaped mechanical suit robot'TRX03' and other robots during a demonstration in Tokyo, Japan Japan's On-Art Corp's eight metre tall dinosaur-shaped mechanical suit robot'TRX03' performs during its unveiling in Tokyo, Japan Singulato Motors co-founder and CEO Shen Haiyin poses in his company's concept car Tigercar P0 at a workshop in Beijing, China A picture shows Singulato Motors' concept car Tigercar P0 at a workshop in Beijing, China Connected company president Shigeki Tomoyama addresses a press briefing as he elaborates on Toyota's "connected strategy" in Tokyo.