Merkel’s coalition shoots down opposition bid to halt Germany’s ‘killer robots’ development

Russia Today - Sat, 2020-02-01 08:41

Members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition have blocked legislation aimed at preventing Germany from creating fully autonomous weapons systems, after opposition lawmakers pushed for a moratorium.

Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU), backed by their allies, the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU), defeated a motion brought by the Greens in the Bundestag on Friday which called for renewed efforts to bring about a global ban on weapons with no human input – colloquially referred to as “killer robots.”

In a separate motion – also defeated by Merkel’s parliamentary majority – the opposition left had demanded that Germany itself end all development of lethal autonomous weapons systems.

Merkel’s conservatives said they wanted to uphold existing international law but were open to the use of artificial intelligence “in the military area.” The center-left Social Democrats (SPD), also members of the chancellor’s coalition, called for a public hearing on the matter, stressing that they were against autonomous weaponry but didn’t want to make “hasty” decisions.

Also on rt.com Make no mistake: Military robots are not there to preserve human life, they are there to allow even more endless wars

Germany has been at the forefront of a growing debate over “killer robots” – even as the country’s defense industry rolls out new weapons with autonomous systems.

Last year, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jody Williams warned that fully autonomous weapons could be deployed in just three to four years, and called on Berlin to lead an international campaign to prevent their development.

At the time, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called for a non-binding declaration rather than a global ban.

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Categories: Media

Arrow little hope of shooting through after James' shattering injury

Sydney Morning Herald - Sat, 2020-02-01 08:39
The Rabbitohs' hopes of luring Jai Arrow early all but ended the moment Ryan James broke down with another knee injury.
Categories: Media

Bezos is SUED by Sanchez's brother after accusing him of leaking photos and texts to the Enquirer

Daily Mail - Sat, 2020-02-01 08:38
Michael Sanchez (inset) filed a suit stating the Amazon boss defamed him by falsely claiming he was the source of the leaked naked photos of Bezos (pictured with Lauren Sanchez).
Categories: Media

Apple closes all stores in China over mounting coronavirus worries

Russia Today - Sat, 2020-02-01 08:30

The iPhone maker has temporarily shut down all its retail stores and offices across mainland China till February 10 as part of preemptive measures amid the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus.

The measure came into force on Saturday, but some stores were still open on that day, according to the company's website. Starting on Sunday all the shops will be closed until midnight February 9. However, online store in China remains open.

Also on rt.com McDonald's shuts down restaurants in five Chinese cities as coronavirus spreads

Some stores were already closed since earlier this week, including the ones in the cities of Qingdao, Fuzhou and Nanjing. Apple also restricted employee travel to the country, while multinational companies like Facebook and JP Morgan also suspended business trips to China, or limited it to critical operations.

Apple's key supplier, China-based Foxconn, said that business is running as normal despite the virus outbreak. The company assured that it has all the measures in place to "ensure that we can continue to meet all global manufacturing obligations."

Also on rt.com Shipments of smartphones halted to Russia as coronavirus epidemic spreads – media

Some of Chinese provinces, municipalities and regions recommended businesses to prolong the Chinese New Year holidays and resume operations on February 10 at the earliest due to public health concerns. Most companies based in the country's capital Beijing were reportedly told to postpone reopening until that date in order to prevent the spread of a new coronavirus.

To help those affected by the epidemic and mitigate damages for firms, the People's Bank of China vowed on Saturday to provide financial support and cut lending rates. The central bank stressed that the impact of the outbreak on the broad economy should be temporary.

This novel coronavirus, that originated in the end of last year in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has led to more than 250 deaths as of Saturday, while the number of cases surpassed 10,000.

Also on rt.com Starbucks shutters shops in China's Hubei Province amid coronavirus outbreak

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section

Categories: Media

Aussie men dig deep against Scotland to keep Sydney Sevens chances alive

Sydney Morning Herald - Sat, 2020-02-01 08:29
Australia’s men’s team kept its Sydney Sevens dream alive, despite having just five players at one stage, after securing a terrific win over Scotland that coach Tim Walsh said may not have been possible a year ago.
Categories: Media

Delight for Queen as Maldives rejoins the Commonwealth to bring the number of nations to 54

Daily Mail - Sat, 2020-02-01 08:28
The island nation quit the Commonwealth in 2016 after being threatened with suspension over its human rights record. Elected President Ibrahim Solih had vowed to return the country to the club.
Categories: Media

Caslick stars on comeback to leave Australia on brink of semis at Sydney Sevens

Sydney Morning Herald - Sat, 2020-02-01 08:26
Returning star Charlotte Caslick scored five tries in two games as Australia thumped Spain and Ireland on an excellent first day at the Sydney Sevens.
Categories: Media

Brexit: What trade deals has the UK done so far?

BBC News - Sat, 2020-02-01 08:23
The UK says it wants to replicate the EU's trade agreements "as far as possible".
Categories: Media

Australian Open 2020 LIVE updates: Muguruza faces Kenin in the women's final

Sydney Morning Herald - Sat, 2020-02-01 08:19
Follow all the action live from Rod Laver Arena as Spain's Garbine Muguruza faces American 14th seed Sofia Kenin in the 2020 Australian Open women's final.
Categories: Media

Traditional Chinese remedy said to help fight Wuhan coronavirus sparks panic buying

CNN - Sat, 2020-02-01 08:19
Could a traditional Chinese medicine help fight the Wuhan coronavirus, or is one of the country's most influential state media outlets promoting pseudoscience and false hope?
Categories: Media

The EU's new center point after Brexit: A field in Bavaria

ABC (USA) - Sat, 2020-02-01 08:16
Now that the European Union includes one less country, its geographical center has shifted to the southeast — landing in a nondescript field in Bavaria

Budget: Govt reduces income tax rates, rejigs slabs

Times of India - Sat, 2020-02-01 07:46
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday introduced new slabs and reduced the tax rate for different slabs for an individual income of up to Rs 15 lakh per annum, if a taxpayer opts for foregoing exemptions and deductions.
Categories: Media

Canberra prepares for its most dangerous bushfires since fatal blazes in 2003 killed four people

Daily Mail - Sat, 2020-02-01 07:39
A monstrous bushfire will cause a weekend of terror in Canberra, as the ACT prepares for its worst day since the fatal blazes of 2003 killed four people.
Categories: Media

Now for the hard part: EU-UK trade talks to be complicated

ABC (USA) - Sat, 2020-02-01 07:32
If you thought the battle over the U.K.'s departure from the European Union was painful, wait until you see what comes next

Reward for fresh focus: Alcott soars to sixth Australian Open title

Sydney Morning Herald - Sat, 2020-02-01 07:32
Dylan Alcott turned the tables on Andy Lapthorne and won his sixth Australian Open on his home court. It was a win about redemption and a reward for refocusing.
Categories: Media

Hundreds of thousands flee Syria's Idlib air raids

Al Jazeera - Sat, 2020-02-01 07:32
At least 21 civilians have been killed in attacks by Syrian forces backed by Russian airpower in recent days.
Categories: Media

Rebels pay for horror opening hour in first loss to Sunwolves

Sydney Morning Herald - Sat, 2020-02-01 07:17
A horror opening hour from the Melbourne Rebels saw them fall to their first loss to the Sunwolves in a disappointing start to their Super Rugby campaign.
Categories: Media

LeBron James and the LA Lakers comfort each other while wearing Kobe Bryant's numbers during tribute

Daily Mail - Sat, 2020-02-01 07:13
The Los Angeles Lakers paid tribute to Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant on Friday night. It marks the team's first game since Bryant and Gianna died in a helicopter crash.
Categories: Media

Union Budget 2020: Highlights

Times of India - Sat, 2020-02-01 07:13
Categories: Media

Travellers from China to be banned from entering Australia for two weeks

Sydney Morning Herald - Sat, 2020-02-01 07:10
From today, people who have left or passed through mainland China will be denied entry to Australia, the Prime Minister has announced.
Categories: Media


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