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Iran Supreme Leader Says Americans Will Be Expelled From Iraq and Syria

U.S. News

Iran almost got into a full-blown conflict with the United States when a U.S. drone strike killed top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad on Jan. 3, prompting Tehran to retaliate with a missile barrage against a U.S. base in Iraq days later.


Iranian Warship Hit by Missile in Training Accident, Killing 19 Sailors

U.S. News

Animosity deepened in early January when a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad killed top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani. Later that day, Iran's armed forces shot down a Ukrainian airliner, killing all 176 people aboard, in what the military later acknowledged was a mistake.


Fastest Soft Robots To-Date Developed by Researchers

#artificialintelligence

Paolo Pirjanian is an Armenia born in Iran and fled to Denmark as a teen. From the time he was young, he was fascinated by computers and started coding in his bedroom. After getting his PhD in robotics, Paolo became an early leader in the field of consumer robotics who has 16 years of experience developing and commercializing cutting-edge home robots. He worked at NASA JPL and led world-class teams and companies at iRobot, Evolution Robotics, and others. In 2016, Paolo founded Embodied, Inc. with the vision to build socially and emotionally intelligent digital companions that improve care and wellness and support people in living better lives every day.


U.S. awards 29 Purple Hearts for brain injuries in Iran attack

PBS NewsHour

Six Army soldiers who were injured in a ballistic missile attack in Iraq in January have been awarded Purple Hearts, and 23 others have been approved for the award and will get them later this week, U.S. Central Command said Monday. Bill Urban said the awards were approved by Lt. Gen. Pat White, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, following a review. About 110 U.S. service members were diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries after the Iranian ballistic missile attack at al-Asad Air Base in Iraq on Jan. 8. More than a dozen missiles struck the base in an attack that Iran carried out as retaliation for a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad that killed Tehran's most powerful general, Qassem Soleimani, on Jan. 3. Troops at al-Asad were warned of an incoming attack, and most were in bunkers scattered around the base. Initially, commanders and President Donald Trump said there were no injuries during the attack.


US Awards 29 Purple Hearts for Brain Injuries in Iran Attack

U.S. News

About 110 U.S. service members were diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries after the Iranian ballistic missile attack at al-Asad Air Base in Iraq on Jan. 8. More than a dozen missiles struck the base in an attack that Iran carried out as retaliation for a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad that killed Tehran's most powerful general, Qassem Soleimani, on Jan. 3. Troops at al-Asad were warned of an incoming attack, and most were in bunkers scattered around the base.


A.I. Is Helping Archaeologists Translate Ancient Tablets Digital Trends

#artificialintelligence

Deep-learning artificial intelligence is helping grapple with plenty of problems in the modern world. But it also has its part to play in helping solve some ancient problems as well -- such as assisting in the translation of 2,500-year-old clay tablet documents from Persia's Achaemenid Empire. These tablets, which were discovered in modern-day Iran in 1933, have been studied by scholars for decades. However, they've found the translation process for the tablets -- which number in the tens of thousands -- to be laborious and prone to errors. "We have initial experiments applying machine learning to identify which cuneiform symbols are present in images of a tablet," Sanjay Krishnan, assistant professor at the University of Chicago's Department of Computer Science, told Digital Trends.


Rocket Attack Kills Three U.S. Coalition Members in Iraq

NYT > Middle East

The American retaliation led to a siege of the United States Embassy in Baghdad and then an American drone attack that killed the leader of Iran's elite Quds force, Maj. The cycle of attacks and counterattacks ended more than two weeks later after Iran launched 16 cruise missiles at bases in Iraq that house American forces. No one was killed by the Iranian missile attacks and tensions had appeared to subside. An Iraqi military official said that hours after the attack on Wednesday, the American-led coalition responded with airstrikes on camps used by Kataib Hezbollah near Abu Kamal in Syria, just across the border from Qaim, Iraq. However American officials said the United States had not carried out those strikes.


China suppressed Covid-19 with AI and big data

#artificialintelligence

China used locational and other data from hundreds of millions of smartphones to contain the spread of COVID-19, according to Chinese sources familiar with the program. In addition to draconian quarantine procedures, which kept more than 150 million Chinese in place at the February peak of the coronavirus epidemic, China used sophisticated computational methods on a scale never attempted in the West. With more than 80,000 cases registered, China reported only 126 new cases yesterday, compared to 851 in South Korea and 835 in Iran, out of a total of 1,969 new cases worldwide. Chinese sources emphasize that the artificial intelligence initiative supplemented basic public health measures, which centered on quarantines and aggressive efforts to convince Chinese citizens to change their behavior. Chinese government algorithms can estimate the probability that a given neighborhood or even an individual has exposure to COVID-19 by matching the location of smartphones to known locations of infected individuals or groups.


Home – Idees

#artificialintelligence

The dramatic rise of the tension between the United States and Iran that for a few days has sparked the possibility of a generalized conflict in the region has marked the beginning of the year. The assassination of General Qassem Suleimani by means of a drone attack has also revealed Trump administration's lack of expertise and long-term strategy, as discussed by Fred Kaplan in Slate where he points out the absence of high-ranking qualified personnel in Donald Trump's staff. Furthermore, the American president continues his bullying politics characterized by wrong strategies according to the analysis of Paul Krugman in The New York Times.


New Iranian Missiles Pose Threat to U.S. Aircraft in Yemen, Pentagon Says

NYT > Middle East

According to an American military official, the 358 missile in flight is about nine feet long and can run on kerosene or diesel fuel contained in flexible containers that do not require a separate fuel pump. A dozen infrared lenses arranged in a ring around the missile are believed to be able to defeat heat-seeking countermeasures that coalition helicopters typically use. Another United States military official said that the 358 missiles from Iran had been fired against American drones flying in Yemeni airspace, but they had not yet succeeded in hitting any. Three of the 358 missiles were captured in November by the Forrest Sherman, a Navy destroyer, and five more were recovered this month in an operation by the Normandy, a Navy cruiser. Those shipments also included more than 170 antitank guided missiles made in Iran, as well as 13,000 blasting caps, which are critical to making modern roadside bombs.