Al Jazeera


UK: Palestine activists face prison over Elbit protest

Al Jazeera

A group of Palestinian activists in the UK could be imprisoned after a protest outside a factory owned by a subsidiary of Israeli drone manufacturer, Elbit Systems. Operations at the UAV Engines Ltd plant were shutdown for two days starting July 6 with protesters laying out mock coffins outside the factory and laying on the ground outside its gates. Defence lawyer Mike Schwarz said: "An issue at trial is likely to be the lawfulness of [Elbit and UAV Engine's] activity in its factory." The company's customers include the Israeli army, US Air Force, and the British Royal Air Force.


Israel removing metal detectors from al-Aqsa compound

Al Jazeera

The Israeli security forces have started to remove metal detectors installed at entry points to al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied East Jerusalem. Israel installed metal detectors and security cameras after gunmen shot dead two Israeli guards near al-Aqsa compound - Islam's third holiest site - on July 14. Al Jazeera's Imran Khan, reporting from occupied East Jerusalem, said that hundreds of Palestinians protested against the security cameras with advanced face recognition software that won't be removed. OPINION: The al-Aqsa metal detectors aren't a security measure "Israeli forces fired rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades at the protesters, and more security forces were placed at the Lions' gate of the mosque," our correspondent said.


US court dismisses Jaber lawsuit for Yemen drone strike

Al Jazeera

The unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel in Washington on Friday upheld a lower court's finding that it had no say over the president's drone programme. The case began in 2015 when two family members of Faisal bin Ali Jaber, who brought the "wrongful death" case against then-President Barack Obama in 2015, were killed by a drone strike Yemen in 2012. Shelby Sullivan-Bennis, an attorney for rights group Reprieve which helped file the case, agreed with the judge, telling Al Jazeera that legal precedents which stop courts from ruling on "political questions" like the drone programme are outdated. READ MORE: Should we be scared of Trump's drone reforms?


US shoots down 'Iranian-made' drone in Syria

Al Jazeera

In the latest sign of increasingly frequent confrontation with Damascus and its allies, Tuesday's incident closely followed Sunday's US downing of a piloted Syrian army jet in the southern Raqqa countryside after it dropped bombs near US-backed forces. The Pentagon said a US F-15 aircraft, flying over Syrian territory, fired on the drone after it displayed hostile intent and advanced on coalition forces. The drone was shot down after it dropped bombs, aimed only at dirt, but in an area close enough to coalition forces whereby it was considered a threat. In Syria's tangled conflict, Washington backs a coalition of rebel forces fighting both President Assad and fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group.


Facebook reveals AI use to tackle 'terrorist content'

Al Jazeera

Amid growing pressure from governments, Facebook says it has stepped up its efforts to address the spread of "terrorist propaganda" on its service by using artificial intelligence (AI). In a blog post on Thursday, the California-based company announced the introduction of AI, including image matching and language understanding, in conjunction with it already-existing human reviewers to better identify and remove content "quickly". "We know we can do better at using technology - and specifically artificial intelligence - to stop the spread of terrorist content on Facebook," Monika Bickert, Facebook's director of global policy management, and Brian Fishman, the company's counterterrorism policy manager, said in the post. In their blog post, Bickert and Fishman said that when Facebook receives reports of potential "terrorism posts", it reviews those reports urgently.


One scientist's race to build a Peace Machine

Al Jazeera

There are some 130 million books in the world, and Honkela imagines how the wisdom and understanding locked in their pages could be utilised if collected and interpreted by computers. Tiedemann focuses on machine translation and believes translation technology could drastically reduce language-related discrimination. Honkela imagines that one ambitious application of the Peace Machine could be to improve democracy through artificial intelligence. One emerging subject of artificial intelligence research is emotion, because people often make decisions based on feelings and not just facts.


Rwanda turns to drones to deliver vital blood supplies

Al Jazeera

Rwanda has launched a drone delivery network to transport vital blood supplies to far-flung areas of the country. The project will see unmanned aerial vehicles or drones used to deliver small packages by parachute, bypassing traffic or washed-out roads in a country dubbed the Land of a Thousand Hills. On demand, the drones are expected to make around 150 deliveries of blood to 21 facilities each day, according to Zipline, the company behind the project. Speaking at the launch, President Paul Kagame said the use of commercial drones to transport essential medical products ought to be considered a milestone for Rwanda.


Donald Trump's emotional intelligence deficit

Al Jazeera

In their words, "a president must be disciplined, control emotions, and act only after reflection and careful deliberation". In the terminology of modern leadership theory, Trump is deficient in emotional intelligence - the self-mastery, discipline and empathic capacity that allows leaders to channel their personal passions and attract others. Nonetheless, they agree that emotional intelligence is an important component of leadership. It is this deficiency in his emotional intelligence that has cost Trump the support of some of the most distinguished foreign policy experts in his party and in the country.


Germany considers face recognition tech to stop attacks

Al Jazeera

Germany's Interior Minister says he wants to introduce facial recognition software at train stations and airports to help identify suspects following two attacks in the country last month. "I would like to use this kind of facial recognition technology in video cameras at airports and train stations. Germany's Thomas de Maiziere takes aim at face veils He said a similar system was already being tested for unattended luggage, which the camera reports after a certain number of minutes. As a result, organisers of the world's biggest beer festival, Munich's Oktoberfest, have raised security, including banning rucksacks, introducing security checks at all entrances and erecting fencing.


The hidden danger of big data

Al Jazeera

In game theory, the "price of anarchy" describes how individuals acting in their own self-interest within a larger system tend to reduce that larger system's efficiency. The first approach reduces the cost of anarchy and makes better use of all available information. Consider the familiar act of buying a book online through Amazon. As in all forms of centralised artificial intelligence, past patterns are used to forecast future ones.