Pakistan Taliban leader Mullah Fazlullah was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Afghanistan, the Afghan Defense Ministry announced Friday. The U.S. military said Thursday it had carried out an airstrike targeting a senior militant in northeastern Kunar, according to Reuters. A U.S. official told the news agency the target was believed to be Fazlullah. Four other senior Taliban militants were also killed in the strike, The New York Times reported. Fazlullah is considered one of the most-wanted Pakistan militants and is believed to be behind the attacks on Pakistani security officials and civilians.
WASHINGTON – One U.S. special operations soldier was killed and four U.S. service members wounded in an "enemy attack" Friday in Somalia, the U.S. military said -- casualties that are likely to put renewed scrutiny on America's counterterror operations in Africa. It's the first public announcement of a U.S. military combat death on the continent since four U.S. service members were killed in a militant ambush in the west African nation of Niger in October. U.S. Africa Command said in a statement that U.S. troops with Somali and Kenyan forces came under mortar and small-arms fire in Jubaland, Somalia, at around 2.45 p.m. local time. One member of the "partner forces" was wounded. One of the wounded U.S. service members received sufficient medical care in the field, and the other three were medically evacuated for additional treatment.
NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has found organic molecules on Mars, the space agency revealed in a major announcement Thursday During a press conference at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Goddard, Md., and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., scientists noted that the molecules provide fresh insight into the Red Planet. "We found organic molecules in rocks from an ancient lake bed," explained Jen Eigenbrode, research scientist at Goddard. A variety of molecules were identified, she added. While NASA was at pains to explain that it has not discovered life on Mars, the organic molecules could provide vital clues. "Organic compounds are fundamental to our search for life," said Paul Mahaffy, director of the Solar System Exploration Division at Goddard.
According to a new report, Google will not seek another contract for Project Maven, a controversial military program that uses artificial intelligence to improve drone targeting. WASHINGTON -- Giving in to pressure from its workforce, Google recently announced that it is pulling out of Project Maven, a groundbreaking Pentagon program to harness artificial intelligence to sift through and interpret video imagery from drones. The move came after an uprising by 4,000 Google employees who signed a letter urging the company to cancel Project Maven and promise to never "build warfare technology." In their letter, the employees said that working with the Pentagon would violate Google's longtime motto "Don't Be Evil" and "irreparably damage Google's brand." Are they saying that the U.S. military is evil?
File photo - A Google carpet is seen at the entrance of the new headquarters of Google France before its official inauguration in Paris, France Dec. 6, 2011. Google will not seek another contract for Project Maven, a controversial military program that uses artificial intelligence to improve drone targeting, according to Gizmodo. Citing three sources with knowledge of the matter, Gizmodo reports that Google will not seek another contract when the current Project Maven contract expires in 2019. The decision was announced by Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene at a meeting with employees Friday morning, it said. Greene reportedly cited the backlash against Project Maven, adding that the firm plans to announce new ethical principles about AI next week.
Marines will soon be even more deadly - and safer - with their new extremely lethal Switchblades. When you think of a switchblade, you think of a smallish knife that fits in a pocket, right? Marines will soon have in their hands entirely different breed of Switchblades – these are smart, flying little drones loaded with devastating miniature missiles. Tiny, fast and very quiet, they are extremely difficult for adversaries to detect or track. Even if an adversary does spot the drone, it doesn't matter.
About a dozen Google employees are resigning in protest over the tech giant's involvement in Project Maven, a controversial military program that uses artificial intelligence, Gizmodo reports. Project Maven, which harnesses AI to improve drone targeting, has been a source of concern for a number of Google employees. Last month, over 3,100 Google workers signed a letter to the company's CEO Sundar Pichai asking him to pull the tech giant out of the project. Announced last year, Project Maven is designed to swiftly pull important data from vast quantities of imagery. The tech news website cites an internal Google document containing written accounts from many of the employees that details their decisions to leave.
Footage of first interplanetary West Coast launch. NASA's successful launch Saturday of the InSight lander on an exploratory mission to Mars – costing taxpayers about $814 million – is just the latest example of the long fascination people have had with the Red Planet. The lander will study earthquakes – make that marsquakes – to learn more about our neighbor in the solar system. And on Tuesday the three-day Human to Mars Summit kicks off in Washington to discuss the far more ambitious mission of sending men and women to Mars. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine is one of many NASA officials scheduled to speak, along with officials of companies interested in space exploration, scientists, engineers, people from the entertainment industry and many others.
NASA is set to make history when it launches its InSight Mars lander on May 5. InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) will be the first spacecraft to launch to another planet from the West Coast when it blasts off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Central California. The launch at Vandenberg's Space Launch Complex-3 is scheduled for 7:05 a.m. EDT on May 5. A United Launch Alliance Atlas v 401 rocket will send InSight on its 7-month journey to Mars. The unmanned spacecraft, which is built by Lockheed Martin, is expected to land on the Red Planet on Nov. 26, 2018. The mission, which is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, will provide scientists with a wealth of data. "InSight will be the first mission to peer deep beneath the Martian surface, studying the planet's interior by measuring its heat output and listening for marsquakes, which are seismic events similar to earthquakes on Earth," explained NASA, in a statement.
This artist's concept depicts the entry of NASA's Curiosity rover through Mars' upper atmosphere. The Mars 2020 mission will use aspects of this design for its project. The heat shield for NASA's upcoming Mars rover suffered a fracture during testing recently, but the incident won't change the mission's launch date, agency officials said. The Mars 2020 mission is designed to search the Red Planet's surface for signs of ancient microbial life, and the six-wheeled robot will also hunt for and characterize potentially habitable environments. The mission is scheduled to launch in 2020, when Earth and Mars are properly aligned for an interplanetary mission, and arrive at the Red Planet in early 2021.