Ukraine said its air defence systems shot down 16 of about 30 drones launched by Russia on Sunday. Authorities said civilian infrastructure and grain storage warehouses were damaged in the Cherkasy region as well as the southern Mykolaiv and eastern Dnipropetrovsk regions. Russia's defence ministry said its forces' air defences in eastern Ukraine had intercepted five United States-made HIMARS shells, an air-launched JDAM bomb and 37 Ukrainian drones. Kyiv began a counteroffensive in June to retake Ukrainian land occupied by Russia since it launched its full-scale invasion of the country in February 2022. Russia's defence ministry said it shot down six Ukrainian drones over Russian regions and two Ukrainian missiles over Crimea, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on a visit to Kyiv that Ukrainian forces are "gradually gaining ground" in their counteroffensive against Russian forces. "Every metre that Ukrainian forces regain is a metre that Russia loses," he said at a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Russia said it destroyed 11 Ukrainian drones overnight in an attack that saw one combat drone drop explosives on a power substation, cutting a local power supply in Russia's Kursk region. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree setting out his country's routine autumn conscription campaign, which will see 130,000 people called up for statutory military service. Adult men in Russia are required to do a yearlong military service between the ages of 18 and 27 or equivalent training while pursuing higher education.
A combat drone dropped explosives on an electricity substation in a Russian village near the border with Ukraine, while Russia's Ministry of Defence reported shooting down more than a dozen Ukrainian drones over the Russian regions of Belgorod, Kursk and Kaluga. In the Russian village of Belaya, located less than 25km (16 miles) from the border, "a Ukrainian drone dropped two explosive devices on a substation", Kursk regional governor Roman Starovoyt said on the Telegram messaging app early on Friday. "One of the transformers caught fire. Five settlements and a hospital were cut off from power supply. Fire crews rushed to the scene," he said.
The United States National Security Agency (NSA) has announced the creation of an artificial intelligence security centre that will oversee the development and integration of AI capabilities within US defence and intelligence services. Director of the NSA and US Cyber Command, General Paul Nakasone, said on Thursday that US officials were aware of the increasing importance of AI in the national security landscape and the opening of the new centre was part of steps to "shape the future" of AI technology in the security, defence and intelligence sectors. "We maintain an advantage in AI in the United States today. That AI advantage should not be taken for granted," Nakasone said at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, where he spoke about the opening of the centre and the growing threat that China posed. The AI centre will be incorporated into the NSA's current Cybersecurity Collaboration Center, Nakasone said, where it will become the focal point for "promoting the secure adoption of new AI capabilities across the national security enterprise and the defence industry base".
ChatGPT can now browse the internet to provide users with current information, its parent company OpenAI has announced. The chatbot was previously trained to use data up to September 2021 and was unable to provide real-time information. On Wednesday, Microsoft-backed OpenAI announced on X, formerly Twitter, that the new update allows it to move past the September 2021 cutoff and access current information on the internet. ChatGPT can now browse the internet to provide you with current and authoritative information, complete with direct links to sources. It is no longer limited to data before September 2021.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg kicked off the tech giant's Connect developer conference on Wednesday with new AI products for consumers, including smart glasses that can answer questions and stream directly on Facebook, as well as bots that create photo-realistic images and an updated virtual-reality headset. Standing in a courtyard at his company's Menlo Park, California, headquarters, Zuckerberg told the audience of developers, employees and journalists that Meta is "focused on building the future of human connection" – and painted a near-future where people interact with hologram versions of their friends or coworkers and with AI bots built to assist them. Zuckerberg described the products as bringing together virtual and real worlds and underscored that part of what Meta offered was low-cost or free AI that could be integrated into daily routines. "Soon the physical and digital will come together in what we call the'metaverse'," he said. The company unveiled the next version of its virtual-reality headset, the Quest 3. It will cost $499 and begin shipping on October 10.
A landmark trial currently under way in Washington may well decide the future of the internet. In the dock is Google, the world's largest search engine. The United States Department of Justice has accused the search giant of muscling its way to dominance by paying other companies like Apple to be the default search engine on their devices. "Google pays billions of dollars each year to distributors -- including popular-device manufacturers such as Apple, LG, Motorola, and Samsung … to secure default status for its general search engine," the Justice Department's complaint says. This, the DOJ thinks, chokes off competition that includes other search engines like Microsoft's Bing, and privately held DuckDuckGo.
The Hollywood writers' union has said its members can begin to return to work, ending a five-month strike that drove production in the United States entertainment industry to a grinding halt. The work stoppage officially ended just after midnight on Wednesday (07:01 GMT), the Writers Guild of America (WGA) said, with writers permitted to return to work. However, the 11,500 members of the union still need to vote on a deal reached between their leadership and production heads. That vote is set to take place between October 2 and 9. Still, the preliminary deal largely showed major gains for writers, who sought commitments to respond to an industry that has been transformed by streaming platforms and that faces the prospect of further upheaval amid the rise of artificial intelligence (AI). Comedian Adam Conover, who became a leading figure in the strike, hailed the deal as a victory.
The death toll for Bahraini soldiers killed in an attack blamed on Yemen's Houthis has risen to three, Bahrain's state news agency said. Two Bahraini servicemen in Saudi Arabia were initially confirmed dead in Monday's drone attack, before a third soldier succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday, the Bahrain Defence Force said. The attack took place as the soldiers were patrolling Saudi Arabia's southern border with Yemen. "We mourn one of our men who was martyred today as a result of his serious injuries after the Houthi attack on the southern border of Saudi Arabia," the Bahrain Defence Force said on Wednesday, announcing the death of the third soldier. Bahrain's state agency identified the soldier as First Warrant Officer Adam Salem Naseeb, and said he had "valiantly gave his life in the line of duty".
Scientists at the United States space agency NASA found "black dust and debris" when they opened the space capsule that recently returned to Earth with the largest asteroid sample ever brought back from space. NASA said on Tuesday that researchers discovered "dust and debris on the avionics deck of the Osiris-REx science canister when the initial lid was removed today". The space agency did not specify whether the materials discovered on opening the lid of the probe definitely belonged to the asteroid, though NASA said on social media that "scientists gasped as the lid was lifted from the [Osiris-REx] asteroid sample return canister". "A scientific treasure box," NASA Astromaterials said in a social media post. "Dark powder and sand-sized particles" were found on "the inside of the lid and base", NASA said.