Al Jazeera


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Al Jazeera that legal precedents which stop courts from ruling on "political questions" like the drone programme are outdated.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.


Middle East particle accelerator opens in Jordan

Al Jazeera

The Middle East's first particle accelerator has officially been inaugurated in Allan, Jordan, in a ceremony attended by King Abdullah II and Irina Bokova, director-general of UNESCO. According to UNESCO's press release on Tuesday, the official name of the facility is Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East, or SESAME - the password used in Ali Baba's time to open the gates to unimaginable treasures. In 1995, the Middle East Scientific Cooperation group (MESC) started organising meetings and advocate for the cooperation project. In 1997, MESC took up one proposal from scientist German Gustav-Adolf Voss, who suggested using components from a facility in Berlin that would soon be decommissioned in order to start a project in the Middle East.


The rise of the tech titans

Al Jazeera

Companies can't just rest on their laurels and hope to continue to perform with the products and services they have. "Companies can't just rest on their laurels and hope to continue to perform with the products and services they have, so you see lots of investment in new technologies - things like augmented reality and artificial intelligence, so they really position themselves for future growth as well." 'Inclusive growth' for Africa: The World Economic Forum on Africa was hosted by South Africa this year. Canada maple syrup: Maple syrup is Canada's economic and cultural mainstay.


US drone strike kills five suspected al-Qaeda fighters

Al Jazeera

A US drone strike has killed five suspected members of al-Qaeda in central Yemen, according to local news media and a government security official. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a military official told AFP news agency that the car belonged to a local leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). The strike comes 24 hours after a similar raid killed three suspected AQAP operatives in the southern Shabwa province, which has been a central target of the US military. The US has stepped up its use of drone strikes under President Donald Trump, with the Pentagon confirming more than 70 strikes since February 28.


Drone strike that killed Reyaad Khan 'not transparent'

Al Jazeera

British politicians who examined the details of a drone strike which killed a British man in Syria said they were disappointed by the government's lack of transparency during investigations. On August 21, 2015, the UK conducted a drone strike in Raqqa for the first time outside the traditional theatre of war, killing 21-year-old British national Reyaad Khan, a suspected fighter with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS), and two other people. Despite not having a parliamentary mandate to take military action in Syria, then Prime Minister David Cameron told MPs at the time that Khan was "seeking to orchestrate specific and barbaric attacks against the west, including directing a number of planned terrorist attacks right here in Britain, such as plots to attack high profile public commemorations". The group had initially sought to investigate two other drone strikes which killed UK nationals Junaid Hussain and Mohammed Emwazi in August and November 2015, Yasmine Ahmed, Rights Watch director, told Al Jazeera.


China launches its first unmanned cargo spacecraft

Al Jazeera

China has launched its first cargo spacecraft, making further progress in its goal of establishing a permanently manned space station by 2022. It is expected to dock in two days with the Tiangong 2 space laboratory, or "Heavenly Palace 2", where two astronauts spent a month last October in China's longest-ever manned space mission. The cargo spacecraft mission will provide an "important technological basis" for the construction of China's space station, according to state media. President Xi Jinping has prioritised advancing China's space programme to strengthen national security.