Mattis slams China on island weaponization


Mattis slams China on island weaponization

SINGAPORE

China’s placement of weapons systems on manmade islands in the South China Sea is designed to intimidate and coerce others in the region, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said today, laying out a sharp criticism of Beijing at an international security forum and threatening larger consequences if militarization continues.

He warned that America’s recent move to disinvite China from a multinational naval exercise this summer was an “initial response” to the militarization of the islands. And, in response to a question, said that “much larger consequences” could be in the future, if China doesn’t find a way to work more collaboratively with others in the region.

Google won’t renew Pentagon contract to use company’s AI

SAN FRANCISCO

Google won’t renew a contract with the Pentagon that provides the company’s artificially intelligent algorithms to interpret video images and improve the targeting of drone strikes.

That’s according to reports in Gizmodo, Buzzfeed, and The New York Times on Friday.

The so-called Project Maven had riled Google employees, including several who quit and thousands of others who signed a petition asking CEO Sundar Pichai to cancel the project and enact a policy renouncing the use of Google technology in warfare.

5 dead, nearly 200 sickened in romaine lettuce outbreak

NEW YORK

Four more deaths have been linked to a national food poisoning outbreak blamed on tainted lettuce, bringing the total to five.

Health officials have tied the E. coli outbreak to romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Ariz. The growing season there ended six weeks ago, and it’s unlikely any tainted lettuce is still in stores or people’s homes, given its short shelf life. But there can be a lag in reporting, and reports of illnesses have continued to come in.

In an update Friday on the nation’s largest E. coli outbreak in a decade, health officials said 25 more cases have been added, raising the total number of illnesses to 197 in 35 states. At least 89 people were hospitalized.

Black men fare well in prostate cancer research

CHICAGO

Black men with advanced prostate cancer fared surprisingly well in two new studies that challenge current thinking about racial disparities in the disease.

Blacks are more likely to get prostate cancer and to die from it than whites, but the new research suggests getting access to the same treatment may help balance the odds – even if it doesn’t greatly extend life after cancer has spread. Given the same standard treatments, blacks with advanced disease may do even better than whites, the studies suggest.

Judge: Fired officer must stand trial for killing black man

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.

A judge ruled Friday that a Florida police officer must stand trial for the fatal shooting of a stranded black motorist, saying his retelling of what happened on the darkened highway off-ramp was “unreliable and not credible.”

Circuit Judge Samantha Schosberg Feuer rejected fired Palm Beach Gardens officer Nouman Raja’s attempt to use Florida’s “stand your ground” law, saying his statements to investigators after the 2015 shooting of Corey Jones are not supported by an audiotape of the shooting and other physical evidence, such as the location of the bullet casings.

Associated Press

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