• UN urges moratorium on use of AI that imperils human rights

      UN urges moratorium on use of AI that imperils human rights

      The UN human rights chief is calling for a moratorium on the use of artificial intelligence technology that poses a serious risk to human rights, including face-scanning systems that track people in public spaces, AP reported. Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, also said Wednesday that countries should expressly ban AI applications which don’t comply with international human rights law.

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    • UK’s PM Johnson replaces foreign secretary in Cabinet shake-up

      UK’s PM Johnson replaces foreign secretary in Cabinet shake-up

      British Prime Minister Boris Johnson demoted his top diplomat and fired his education minister in a major government shakeup Wednesday, as he tried to move on from a series of political missteps and revive his promise to “level up” prosperity across the UK, AP reported. In the biggest move, Johnson demoted Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who has faced criticism for delaying his return from a holiday in Greece as the Taliban took over Afghanistan last month.

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    • Kosovo ex-rebel denies war crimes

      Kosovo ex-rebel denies war crimes

      A special tribunal in The Hague investigating allegations of atrocities committed by Kosovo rebels during the 1998-1999 conflict with Serbia opened its first case on Wednesday, news wires reported. The first defendant was a commander accused of torturing prisoners.

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    • UK recommends Covid-19 booster shots for over 50s

      UK recommends Covid-19 booster shots for over 50s

      The UK will offer a third dose of Covid-19 vaccine to everyone over age 50 and other vulnerable people after an expert panel said the boosters were needed to protect against waning immunity this winter, AP reported. Health Secretary Sajid Javid told lawmakers on Tuesday that the government had accepted the recommendation of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization and would start offering booster shots next week. The World Health Organization has asked wealthy nations to delay booster shots until every country has vaccinated at least 40% of their populations.

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    • North Korea fires two ballistic missiles into the East Sea

      North Korea fires two ballistic missiles into the East Sea

      North Korea fired a pair of ballistic missiles off its east coast, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said on Wednesday, days after testing a long-range cruise missile, Reuters reported. Japan's Coast Guard also said an object that could be a ballistic missile was fired from North Korea that landed outside it exclusive economic zone. Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga condemned the apparent test launch and called it "outrageous".

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    • Britain delays post-Brexit import trade controls for a second time

      Britain delays post-Brexit import trade controls for a second time

      Britain has delayed the implementation of some post-Brexit import controls for a second time, saying it would phase in checks through next year rather than impose them now when industry supply chains are under strain, Reuters reported. Industry sources in the logistics and customs sector have said the government's infrastructure was not ready to conduct the full checks by 1 October.

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    • Putin welcomes Assad at Kremlin, condemns foreign troops in Syria

      Putin welcomes Assad at Kremlin, condemns foreign troops in Syria

      President Vladimir Putin received Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad in Moscow for the first time since 2015 on Monday and criticised foreign forces that are in Syria without a UN mandate, the Kremlin said, in a rebuke of the United States and Turkey, Reuters reported. Assad's most powerful ally in the decade-long Syrian conflict, Putin last received the Syrian leader in Russia in 2018 at his summer residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

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    • Blinken defends US withdrawal from Afghanistan in a heated debate with lawmakers

      Blinken defends US withdrawal from Afghanistan in a heated debate with lawmakers

      US Secretary of State Antony Blinken beat back criticism of the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan at a contentious congressional hearing as irate lawmakers accused the White House of presiding over a historic disaster, news wires reported. In five hours of often testy exchanges with lawmakers, he defended President Joe Biden's decision to pull out of Afghanistan and pushed back on accusations that the State Department should have done more to help Americans and at-risk Afghans to be evacuated, blaming the previous administration for lacking a plan.

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