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International press review Extrema Ratio June 1, 2023

Extrema Ratio focuses on the topics we work on, including geopolitcs, military, cybersecurity, critical technologies, foreign interference, disinformation, international law & national security.


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Extrema Ratio

Relazione di Gabriele Iuvinale nella conferenza stampa che si è svolta il 30 maggio nella Sala Caduti di Nassirya del Senato della Repubblica di presentazione del libro "La Cina di Xi Jinping - Verso un nuovo ordine mondiale sinocentrico?"


Military

People's Liberation Army

War practice shows that advanced technologies are often the first to be applied in the military field. With the continuous promotion of 5G applications, 6G, marked by "intelligent ubiquity", is also getting closer to us. With technical advantages such as three-dimensional coverage, full frequency access, deep integration and heterogeneous integration, 6G will definitely bring unprecedented enhancement effects in future warfare.



www.81.cn

At the invitation of the Indonesian Navy, the vessels Zhanjiang and Xuchang of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy will go to Indonesia to participate in the multinational joint maritime exercise "Komodo-2023" to be held in early June.

The Chinese ship Xuchang left the dock for Indonesia. Photo by Jia Xiaopeng

A US reconnaissance plane intentionally intruded on a Chinese military training area, undermining regional peace and stability, a spokesman said Wednesday.

Ministry of National Defense ROC

PLA aircraft and 3 PLAN vessels around Taiwan were detected by 6 a.m.(UTC+8) today. R.O.C. Armed Forces have monitored the situation and tasked CAP aircraft, Navy vessels, and land-based missile systems to respond these activities.

Military CNR

On May 31, 2023, Hong Liang, Director General of the Border and Ocean Affairs Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Amber Lok, Joint Secretary of the East Asian Division and Foreign Minister's Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the India, co-chaired the 27th meeting of the Sino-Indian Border Affairs Consultation and Coordination Working Mechanism (WMCC) in New Delhi, was attended by representatives of foreign affairs, defence, immigration and other departments of the two countries.


Photo: CNR

81 cn

CNR

Recently, a Southern Theater Command Naval Aviation Corps regiment organized multiple anti-submarine patrol aircraft to conduct long-duration day and night flying training to improve the ability of officers and men to perform various tasks.

CNR

Colonel Zhang Nandong, spokesman for the Southern Theater Command, said on May 26, during the routine training of the Chinese People's Liberation Army 17th Navy fleet in the South China Sea, an RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft of the US Army deliberately broke into our training area to carry out reconnaissance interference.

The Defence Post

The United States and Japan are working to modernize their military alliance in the face of threats from China, North Korea, and Russia, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said Thursday.


Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada. Photo: Tech. Sgt. Jack Sanders/USAF

DoD

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) announced additional security assistance to meet Ukraine's critical security and defense needs.

DefenseScoop

“Smith has pushed for transforming the Marine Corps through a variety of initiatives including Force Design 2030, Talent Management 2030, and the “stand-in forces” concept."

Air & Space Forces Magazine

“Congress should direct the Pentagon to break out the F-35’s propulsion upgrade from the rest of the program to better to track its scope, schedule, and cost.”

1945

“The U.S. Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command, known as NAVSEA, is about to place the biggest order on record for loitering munitions, also known as kamikaze drones. The order will total well over $1 billion dollars.”

Newsweek

"Ukrainian-operated HIMARS has destroyed part of one of Russia's most advanced anti-aircraft missile systems, according to reports on social media."

The Defence Post

The United States announced a new $300 million arms package for Ukraine on Wednesday, including air defense systems and tens of millions of rounds of ammunition, but warned Kyiv that US weaponry should not be used to attack within Russia.

U.S. Air Force - Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

In an effort to digest and rapidly analyze the process of decision making, Headquarters Air Force Digital Operations Directorate (A3X) developed an artificial intelligence-based software that can be applied to all Air Force specialty codes to better examine and predict operational outcomes.

U.S. Air Force

Basing announcements for Space Delta 15, 74th and 75th ISR Squadrons.

U.S. Air Force

The DAF selected Patrick SFB, Fla., as the preferred location to host the Space Training and Readiness Command HQ, along with Space Delta 10. Kirtland AFB, N.M., is the preferred location for Space Delta 11 and Schriever SFB, Colo., is the preferred location for Space Delta 12.

C4ISRNET

If poorly maintained howitzers from Kuwait stock were sent directly to Ukraine, it "would have killed somebody," a DoD inspector general report found.

USNI News

The White House on Tuesday nominated Marine Corps Assistant Commandant Gen. Eric Smith, a key figure in the service’s Force Design 2030 modernization efforts, to serve as the next commandant, according to a Senate notification.

USNI News

The following is a May 22, 2023, Congressional Research Service report, Multiyear Procurement (MYP) and Block Buy Contracting in Defense Acquisition: Background and Issues for Congress. Read More

C4ISRNET

An Air Force two-star general has been named the next director of the Missile Defense Agency, replacing Vice Adm. Jon Hill.

The Japan Times

The U.S. and Japanese defense chiefs stressed the need for bolstered trilateral military cooperation with South Korea on Thursday as the pair met for talks just a day after a failed North Korean rocket carrying a spy satellite briefly triggered an emergency alert for Okinawa Prefecture.

Janes

The Indian Army has upgraded its 9K111‐1M Konkurs‐M anti-tank guided weapon (ATGW) systems with Bangalore-based Tonbo Imaging's cooled, longwave Infrared (LWIR) thermal imagers known as Sarisa, a source at Tonbo told Janes.


The Indian Army is upgrading its 9K111-1M Konkurs-M ATGW systems – pictured above in operation with the Russian Army – with thermal imagers for use in low-light or night operations. (KBP Instrument Design Bureau) - Photo Janes

Janes

Lockheed Martin is working to resolve potential delays associated with F-16V Block 70/72 The Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense (MND) said on 24 May that a combination of technical problems and bottlenecks could delay the delivery of the fighter aircraft to Taiwan. Janes has earlier reported the Taiwan order of 66 F-16V Block 70/72 fighters. The order was preceded by the US government's approval for the USD8 billion deal in August 2019.

Janes

On 30 May the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report about the Lockheed Martin F-35, finding that the programme has not adequately explained a cost increase of USD13.4 billion since 2019, that the upgraded Block 4 version has run into technical snags and a USD1 billion cost increase, and that the US Department of Defense (DoD) has not fully defined requirements for an engine cooling system upgrade.

The USD13.4 billion increase is because of greater acquisition costs, the GAO wrote. “The programme attributes the increased procurement cost to additional years of costs related to airframe and engine production, along with support costs for equipment, technical data, and training,” the GAO wrote. “According to programme officials, the programme is deferring the delivery of these 215 aircraft to later years at the request of the air force.” F-35 development costs have increased by a total of USD21.1 billion between 2012 and 2021, the GAO found. The programme's total 77-year lifespan cost now hovers around USD1.7 trillion.

Janes

The combatant craft large (CCL) was first unveiled by Singapore's Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) in 2021. It was conceived by the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) for the service's special forces formation known as the Naval Diving Unit (NDU) and jointly developed with the country's Defence Science & Technology Agency (DSTA).


The Republic of Singapore Navy's combatant craft large. (Janes/Ridzwan Rahmat)

Janes

The United States has said that a Chinese Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC) J-16 fighter aircraft conducted an unsafe manoeuvre near a US Air Force (USAF) Boeing RC-135V Rivet Joint surveillance aircraft on 26 May.

USNI News

Aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68) and its escorts are operating off the coast of Guam awaiting the call to assist in disaster relief ashore, two Navy officials told USNI News.

USNI News

A Navy F-5N Tiger II crashed about 25 miles off the coast of Naval Air Station Key West, Fla., at 9:20 a.m local time., the service announced on Wednesday

Việt Nam's maritime law enforcement is closely following the intrusion by the Chinese survey ship Xiang Yang Hong 10 and the escorting flotilla of coast guard and fishing vessels into Vietnamese waters.

The Times of Israel

The Israeli Air Force on Wednesday grounded its fleet of Apache helicopters after a technical issue was found during routine maintenance, the military said.

Reuters

Russia's defence ministry on Thursday said it had thwarted three Ukrainian attacks on the Belgorod region which borders Ukraine, Russian news agencies reported.

The Defence Post

Russia on Wednesday claimed it had destroyed the last major warship of the Ukrainian naval forces, which it said was stationed in the southern port of Odesa.

ORYX

This list only includes destroyed vehicles and equipment of which photo or videographic evidence is available. Therefore, the amount of equipment destroyed is significantly higher than recorded here.

The Defence Poast

Russian forces have lost two-thirds of their tanks in Ukraine and are struggling with obsolete Soviet-era vehicles, according to an intelligence report by Dutch open-source website Oryx.


The Japan Times

Artificial Intelligence is, suddenly, everywhere. We are awash in ideas about how we can use AI productively — from agriculture to climate change to engineering to software construction. And, equally, there are plenty of cautionary notes being struck about using AI to control societies, manipulate economies, defeat commercial opponents and generally fulfill Arthur C. Clarke’s visions of machines dominating man in “2001: A Space Odyssey.”


As we consider the immense benefits AI will have on our societies, we need to have a clear-eyed understanding of just how deep the impact will be on the conduct of war. | GETTY IMAGES

gCaptain

The United Arab Emirates said on Wednesday it was no longer taking part in operations by a U.S.-led task force protecting Gulf shipping, which has been subjected to renewed tanker seizures by Iranian naval forces in recent weeks.

The Defence Post

Sudanese army forces blasted paramilitary bases with artillery in Khartoum on Wednesday after pulling out of US and Saudi-brokered ceasefire talks, accusing their foes of failing to honor their commitments.

USNI News

A North Korean rocket crashed on Wednesday after a failed launch, state media said on Wednesday.

C4ISRNET

Deliveries will coincide with the arrival of new frigates, extending the range of Harpoon missiles now installed on Spanish warships.


USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) launches a Naval Strike Missile as part of shipboard operational testing and evaluation on March 18, 2021. The Spanish Navy is in line to get the missile type in 2027. (U.S. Navy photo)

World

  • The U.N. has expressed concern over the absence of women among China’s top leadership. The U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women recommended that China adopt statutory quotas and a gender parity system to quicken equal representation of women in government. Farah Master reports for Reuters.

TikTok creators’ financial info, social security numbers have been stored in china Forbes Alexandra Levine Over the past several years, thousands of TikTok creators and businesses around the world have given the company sensitive financial information—including their social security numbers and tax IDs—so that they can be paid by the platform. But unbeknownst to many of them, TikTok has stored that personal financial information on servers in China that are accessible by employees there, Forbes has learned.

UK, US, Australia jointly test AI-enabled drone swarm The Defense Post Joe Saballa The British military has conducted its first military trial of an AI-enabled drone swarm in collaboration with the US and Australia. The trilateral drill, held at Upavon Airfield in southwest England, was part of the AUKUS Advanced Capabilities Pillar program to develop and test leading-edge technologies.


 

The rise of the People's Republic of China represents the most significant foreign policy challenge of the 21st century. In all spheres, from the economy, to technology, to security and the environment, engaging with an increasingly dominant China is both necessary and inevitable.


Photo: La Cina di Xi Jinping - Verso un nuovo ordine mondiale sinocentrico? (Italian)

Gabriele and Nicola Iuvinale

ASE 2023

To download the book index, preface and introduction: https://www.extremarationews.com/reuters-news





 

China

Chinese leader Xi Jinping warns of AI risks to national security Time Magazine Gabe Stern China’s ruling Communist Party is calling for beefed-up national security measures, highlighting the risks posed by advances in artificial intelligence. Xi, who is China’s head of state, commander of the military and chair of the party’s National Security Commission, called at the meeting for 'staying keenly aware of the complicated and challenging circumstances facing national security.'

People cn

Xi Jinping chaired the first meeting of the 20th Central National Security Commission


Photo: People cn

People cn

"Seeking the Truth" magazine publishes important articles by General Secretary Xi Jinping

  • China warns of artificial intelligence risks, calls for increased national security PBS Associated Press China’s ruling Communist Party has warned of the risks posed by advances in artificial intelligence while calling for heightened national security measures. The statement issued after a meeting Tuesday chaired by party leader and President Xi Jinping underscores the tension between the government’s determination to seize global leadership in cutting-edge technology and concerns about the possible social and political harms of such technologies.

Xinhua

China's first offshore million-tonne carbon storage project was put into operation on Thursday in the South China Sea, according to the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC).

The project is designed to store a total of more than 1.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2), which is equivalent to planting nearly 14 million trees, according to the company.

The project, serving the Enping 15-1 oil platform 200 km southwest of Shenzhen, captures and processes CO2 from oilfields and then injects CO2 into a "dome" geological structure at a depth of around 800 meters under the seabed and about 3 km from the platform.


This photo shows facilities at the Enping 15-1 oil platform 200 km southwest of Shenzhen, south China, May 31, 2023. China's first offshore million-tonne carbon storage project was put into operation on Thursday in the South China Sea, according to the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) - Photo Xinhua

I’m From Xinjiang' videos, new Uyghurs, and a deracinated people Uyghur Human Rights Project Zubayra Shamseden China has been promoting 'new Uyghurs,' or Uyghurs cleansed of their identity by the state, via a platform called 'I’m from Xinjiang' as propaganda about the situation in East Turkistan. Videos that are coming out of East Turkistan that not only show happy Uyghurs dancing in surreal scenes with silky summer dresses in the snow, but also relate accounts of 'successful Uyghur students,' who were offered 'great opportunities' by the Chinese Communist Party to study in China and overseas.

Dahua selling banner alarms on protestors, deletes evidence IPVM Charles Rollet Political protests are quickly suppressed in the PRC, most famously with the recent Beijing Bridge Man banner. Dahua is offering a technological solution to this with AI analytics that automatically detect and report protest signs and protestors' faces to PRC police.

Asia Times

Tesla founder doubles down on commitment to producing EVs in China in a big and crucially-timed PR win for Beijing

Asia Times

Three Chinese astronauts will conduct five life-science experiments within the next five months following the spacecraft Shenzhou-16’s successful docking with China’s Tiangong space station on Tuesday.

ust storms are one of the most frequent meteorological disasters in China, endangering agricultural production, transportation, air quality and the safety of people's lives and properties. A research team has conducted a study of a series of dust storms that originated in Mongolia and spread into China in March and April, 2023.

Their research is published in the journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences on May 31.

The New York Times

As the relationship between the United States and China has become more adversarial, both countries are investing more in their intelligence collection capabilities.

The Telegraph

ASPI, the Australian think-tank, judges that China has already become internationally dominant in research directed at defence, security and the space sector.

Newsweek

As the United States struggles to maintain influence across vast parts of the Global South, the expanding BRICS bloc led by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa is receiving more applications than ever before, signaling a growing shift in the …

Daily Express

China is heavily investing in its navy in preparation for a war to reclaim Taiwan, a military analyst has said.

Reuters

Chinese startup MiniMax, working on AI solutions similar to that of Microsoft-backed OpenAI's ChatGPT, is close to completing a fundraising of more than $250 million that will value it at about $1.2 billion, …

China has moved to drive the debate about great power responsibility on its own terms. Its recent global initiatives seek to delegitimise US and Western concepts of order, while promoting its own contributions to public goods.

Xinhua

Volkswagen inked an investment agreement with Hefei, capital of east China's Anhui Province on Tuesday to build a research and development (R&D), innovation, and procurement center for fully connected electric cars in the Chinese city.

China Leadership Monitor

China’s economy has emerged from “zero-Covid” without the inflation that occurred in some other major economies but with reduced consumption, minimal private investment growth, a weakened real estate sector, high youth unemployment, and constrained local government finances. Beijing is banking on a surge of new household spending and is planning only marginal new stimulus measures. Chinese leaders, however, are sending contradictory signals to entrepreneurs and foreign investors. China will almost certainly achieve its conservative growth target of 5 percent this year. But in the next few years, Beijing’s prioritization of national security over economic reforms will pose a risk to China’s economic trajectory.

China Leadership Monitor

Although Xi Jinping is widely seen, both inside and outside of China, as a vigorous centralizer of political power, the party-state responded to the sudden emergence of COVID-19 with an arguably less visible but dramatic shift in the opposite direction: a sudden delegation of power and authority to lower-level organizations in order to maintain social governance and control at the grassroots. This unprecedented rapid downshift of authority greatly empowered the urban subdistricts (街道) and neighborhood organizations (社区) that operate just outside the margins of official state power. Such a centripetal shift to the margins was supercharged by a rapid build-up of the high-tech capacities of the urban grassroots that included a proliferation of digital instruments to control and restrain the movement of ordinary residents on a grand scale, resulting, during the period of the pandemic, in the strictest social control since the Maoist era.

Belt and Road

RFA

The International Energy Agency projects global renewable power will rise by a third this year.


Beachgoers walk near wind turbines along the coast of Pingtan in Southern China's Fujian province, Aug. 6, 2022. (Photo: RFA).

The China Project

In 1992, Chinese state-owned Shougang Group won a bid to privately operate an iron mine in Peru, the largest Chinese investment in Latin America at that time. Shougang Hierro Mine in Marcona was immediately profitable, but it has been hounded by labor disputes ever since.


USA

  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken yesterday denounced China’s refusal to meet with Pentagon leaders after an “unnecessarily aggressive” military aircraft incident over the South China Sea last week. Blinken said the incident “only underscores why it is so important that we have regular, open lines of communication.” China responded to the incident with accusations that the United States had endangered its sovereignty by conducting regular close-up reconnaissance using ships and planes. Dan Lamothe and Missy Ryan report for the Washington Post.

  • The U.A.E. announced yesterday that it stopped participating in a U.S.-led maritime security force amid rising tensions between Washington and Persian Gulf allies who say the United States is not adequately protecting them from Iranian threats. The announcement came after Iran seized two commercial tankers in waterways near the U.A.E. over the past two months. Vivian Nereim reports for the New York Times.

  • Senate lawmakers yesterday introduced the bipartisan Abraham Accords Cybersecurity Cooperation Act aimed at strengthening cybersecurity collaboration between the United States and countries in the Abraham Accords. The Abraham Accords is a 2020 agreement to normalize diplomatic relations between Israel and some Arab nations, including the U.A.E., Bahrain, and Morocco. The Act would authorize the Department of Homeland Security to share information, provide technical assistance, and conduct cyber training and exercises with Abraham Accords countries. Ines Kagubare reports for The Hill.

Chinese spy hit on US military base sparks fears of communications blackout The Telegraph Gareth Corfield Chinese state-backed hackers have infiltrated US communication systems in the Pacific, prompting fears that Beijing could cut off American military channels during an invasion of Taiwan. Security researchers at Microsoft said hackers codenamed 'Volt Typhoon' were caught infiltrating critical national infrastructure on the Pacific island of Guam, which acts as a crucial military staging post for the US in the region.

NBC News

Speaking in Tokyo, Japan, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin criticized China's recent "provocative intercepts" of U.S. aircraft.

Avoiding potential 'extinction event' from AI requires action, US official says ABC News Quinn Owen and Max Zahn A top US official for cybersecurity said Wednesday that humanity could be at risk of an 'extinction event' if tech companies fail to self-regulate and work with the government to reign in the power of AI. The remarks came a day after hundreds of tech leaders and public figures backed a similar statement that compared the existential threat of AI to a pandemic or nuclear war.

US court declines to hear Reddit child sex abuse case, handing big tech a win Gizmodo Mack DeGeurin The US Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal to a lawsuit attempting to hold Reddit liable for allegedly letting sexually explicit images of minors run amok on its site. Tuesday’s decision marks the third time in less than a month the court has danced around high-profile cases that could open Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act — tech companies’ top liability shield — up to new scrutiny.

Facebook, Instagram to block news stories in California if bill passes NPR Bobby Allyn Facebook and Instagram will block all news articles in California if state lawmakers pass a bill meant to funnel money from the tech platforms to media organizations, a Meta spokesman threatened on Wednesday. The California Journalism Preservation Act would essentially tax the advertising profits platforms make from distributing news articles. Under the measure, some 70% of the money collected from the so-called 'usage fee' would support newsrooms throughout the state.

Americas

Canada to set up cyber security certification for defence contractors Reuters Steve Scherer Canada will work with the US to draft a cyber security certification framework for defence contractors that will be identical for both countries as incidents of malicious hacking increase, the defence minister said on Wednesday. Without certification, which should be in place by the end of next year, Canadian suppliers risk being excluded from future international defence procurement opportunities, the defence ministry said in a statement.

North Asia

  • The confusion and panic that swept across South Korea’s capital after a “false alarm” was triggered by North Korea’s failed satellite launch expose how unprepared South Korea is to respond to a real emergency. Critics say that the response to yesterday’s incident was symptomatic of an administration that has championed a tough stance against North Korea yet failed to assure the public of its safety. Choe Sang-Hun, Victoria Kim, and Jin Yu Young report for the New York Times.

  • U.S., Taiwan to Sign First Deal in New Trade Agreement. The first deal of the agreement covers customs and border procedures (Reuters), regulatory practices, and small business. China has denounced the bilateral trade talks, which are expected to strengthen economic ties between the United States and Taiwan.

  • U.S./Japan/Philippines: The three countries began their first-ever joint naval drills (EFE) in the South China Sea today. The drills will run until June 7 and are aimed at strengthening collaboration in rescue operations and law enforcement, a spokesperson for the Philippine Coast Guard said.

Ivo Daalder, former U.S. ambassador to NATO, is president of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and host of the weekly podcast “World Review with Ivo Daalder.”

The Washington Times

China’s government criticized the United States’ plans to sign a trade treaty with Taiwan and called on Washington on Thursday to stop official contact with the self-ruled island democracy claimed by Beijing as part of its territory.

Southeast Asia

Cross-border cooperation vital for Asia's cyber defence Nikkei Asia Michaela Browning When global security leaders meet this week in Singapore for the Shangri-La Dialogue, they will be gathering in the region home to the world's largest group of internet users and to extraordinary digital capability and dynamism. At the same time, the region is the target of more cyberattacks than any other.

Suspected state-backed hackers hit series of new targets Bloomberg Sarah Zheng A hacking group suspected of ties to an Asian government has broadened its targets to government agencies in countries including Indonesia and Thailand, carrying out cyber-espionage as recently as April, cybersecurity firm Group-IB says. The perpetrators, dubbed ‘Dark Pink’ by the Singapore-based company, infiltrated five new targets using sophisticated malware and phishing emails.

South and Central Asia

  • Bangladesh Unveils Plans to Raise Taxes to Meet IMF Requirements. The country’s finance minister said the tax increases will help boost spending (Bloomberg) on issues such as poverty alleviation and economic development. Doing so will keep Bangladesh within the grounds of a $4.7 billion loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund.

  • India: Indians have flocked toward stores (NYT) that accept the country’s largest currency note of 2,000 rupees (roughly $24) as the government begins to phase out the bill ahead of a fall deadline. A similar and sudden retirement of India’s largest currency bills in 2016 sparked public outrage.

Australia

  • Ben Roberts-Smith, Australia’s most-decorated living soldier, has lost a historic defamation case against three newspapers that accused him of war crimes in Afghanistan. Justice Anthony Besanko said four of the six murder allegations – all denied by Roberts-Smith – were substantially true, as were additional allegations of bullying. Roberts-Smith has not been charged over any of the claims. No findings have been made against him in a criminal court. Tiffanie Turnbull reports for BBC News.

Australian government considers ban on ‘high-risk’ uses of AI such as deepfakes and algorithmic bias The Guardian Paul Karp The Albanese government is considering a ban on 'high-risk' uses of AI and automated decision-making, warning of potential harms including creation of deepfakes and algorithmic bias. On Thursday the industry and science minister, Ed Husic, will release a report on the emerging technologies by the National Science and Technology Council and a discussion paper on how to achieve 'safe and responsible' AI.

  • AI technologies could be classified by risk, as government consults on AI regulation ABC News Jake Evans The Australian government has outlined its intention to regulate artificial intelligence, saying there are gaps in existing law and new forms of AI technology will need 'safeguards' to protect society. While artificial intelligence technologies have existed in some sectors for years, recent 'generative AI' tools including chatbot ChatGPT and image generator Midjourney have accelerated excitement — and anxiety — about their potential to reshape society.

How Australian workers could be left behind by AI The Australian Financial Review John Davidson A report commissioned by the Australian government as a first step towards regulating artificial intelligence has warned the country is 'relatively weak' at the type of AI that underpins popular services like ChatGPT, and may not have enough skilled workers or computing power to capitalise on the AI revolution.

Ukraine - Russia

  • President Biden approved a new military aid package worth $300 million for Ukraine. The package includes additional munitions for drones and an array of other weapons. Aamer Madhani and Lolita C. Baldor report for AP News.

  • The Biden administration does not have “specific information that tells us who is responsible” for a drone attack in Moscow this week, White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said yesterday. Reuters reports.

  • President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has pushed for Ukraine to join NATO, as he spoke at a summit of the E.U.’s member states and 20 other European countries in Moldova today. At a separate meeting of NATO ministers in Oslo, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Russia could not veto Ukraine’s membership. However, Germany said it would not be possible while Ukraine was at war. John Irish and Andrew Gray report for Reuters.

  • Evidence of potential human rights abuses may be lost after being deleted by social media companies. Platforms remove graphic videos, often using artificial intelligence, including footage that may help prosecutions. Human rights groups say there is an urgent need for social media companies to prevent this information from vanishing. Jack Goodman and Maria Korenyuk report for BBC News.

  • The Russian Volunteer Corps, a group of anti-Putin Russian nationals aligned with the Ukrainian army, has said its “second phase” inside Russia began today. A fighter from the Russian Volunteer Corps said they were “once again fighting on Russian territory.” Olga Voitovych and Sarah Dean report for CNN.

  • Russia resumed its overnight bombardment of Kyiv earlier today, launching missile strikes that killed at least three people, including two children. Meanwhile, the governor of Russia’s Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine, said at least five people were injured by Ukrainian shelling today. CNN reports.

  • Kremlin spokesperson Dmitri Peskov said the refusal of Ukrainian allies to denounce the attack on Moscow this week proves that Russia’s real war is with the West. Peskov said Russia “would have preferred to hear at least some words of condemnation” from Western capitals. While none of Ukraine’s allies went so far as to endorse the drone attack, Britain’s foreign secretary said on Tuesday that Kyiv had “the right to project force beyond its borders.” Anatoly Kurmanaev reports for the New York Times.

Russia’s Wagner Group uses Twitter and Facebook to hunt new recruits POLITICO Clothilde Goujard Russia's paramilitary Wagner Group has been using Twitter and Facebook to recruit medics, drone operators and even psychologists to aid fighting operations, including in Ukraine, according to exclusive research seen by POLITICO. Job ads for Wagner, which has mercenaries operating in several countries, have reached nearly 120,000 views on the two social media platforms over the last ten months, according to Logically, a UK disinformation-focused research group.

After finding Chinese chips in Russian weapons, Ukraine confronted Beijing’s envoy Semafor Jay Solomon Ukrainian officials confronted Beijing’s special envoy this month over the surge of Chinese electronics and semiconductors being shipped to Russia during the past year, many of which are ending in the Kremlin’s weapons systems, according to a key advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Europe

  • Berlin is ordering four of the five Russian consulates in Germany to close in a tit-for-tat response after Moscow limited the German diplomatic staff allowed in Russia. The Russian Foreign Ministry has been ordered to immediately begin closing the consular offices, which must be shut by the end of the year. Christopher F. Schuetze reports for the New York Times.

  • A German court yesterday convicted a 28-year-old woman and sentenced her to five years and three months in prison after she carried out brutal attacks against people she perceived to be neo-Nazis. Three other group members received prison sentences ranging from two years and five months to three years and two months for charges including membership or support of a criminal gang, assault, and abetting assault. Nancy Faeser, Germany’s interior minister, said that “in a democratic constitutional state, there must be no room for vigilante justice.” She added, “No objective justifies political violence.” Christopher F. Schuetze reports for the New York Times.

  • France’s Macron Calls for Security Guarantees, Path to NATO Membership for Ukraine. French President Emmanuel Macron called for the first time for a clear pathway for Ukraine to join (FT) the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) at a security forum yesterday in Norway. Ukraine has long sought entry to both the military alliance and the European Union (EU). European leaders are expected to show solidarity (AP) with Ukraine and fellow EU applicant Moldova at a one-day summit today in Moldova’s capital, Chișinău.

  • German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock diverged from Macron’s position (Bloomberg), telling reporters that “we cannot talk about new membership in the middle of the war.” Acknowledging the difficulty to reach a consensus on NATO membership for Ukraine, Macron also suggested providing Ukraine with security guarantees that are similar to the ones the United States provides Israel.

How an EU-funded agency is working to keep migrants from reaching Europe Coda Story Zach Campbell and Lorenzo D'Agostino Over the past decade, the EU has struck deals — exchanging hundreds of millions of euros worth of surveillance technology, other police equipment and accompanying training — with nearly every non-EU country that borders the bloc. At the center of these deals is the International Centre for Migration Policy Development, an international organisation based in Vienna that has become one of the bloc’s go-to intermediaries for supplying surveillance equipment and training to police and coast guards in countries bordering the EU.

UK

UK should play leading role on global AI guidelines, Sunak to tell Biden The Guardian Kiran Stacey Rishi Sunak will tell Joe Biden next week the UK should become a global hub for developing international regulation of artificial intelligence, as the prime minister rapidly shifts his position on the emerging technology. Sunak will travel to Washington DC on 7 and 8 June for meetings with the US president, as well as members of Congress and business leaders.

Is No 10 waking up to dangers of artificial intelligence? The Guardian Kiran Stacey At last month’s budget, the chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, talked about the UK winning the global AI race, insisting the UK would not erect 'protectionist barriers for all our critical industries'. But by the end of the G7 meeting in Japan last week, Rishi Sunak had a very different emphasis. No 10 would not say what had sparked the prime minister’s change in tone. But a series of events, from the development of ChatGPT, to recent warnings by the “godfather of AI” Geoffrey Hinton, to discussion at the G7 itself, seem to have shifted the debate among ministers and the public.

Capita cyber-attack: 90 organisations report data breaches The Guardian Joe Middleton About 90 organisations have reported breaches of personal information held by Capita after the outsourcing group suffered a cyber-attack, Britain’s data watchdog has said. The company, which runs crucial services for local councils, the military and the NHS, experienced the hack, which caused a significant IT outage, in March.

Africa

  • Nigeria: President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s unexpected announcement that he would remove fuel subsidies earlier than planned sparked a fuel crisis (FT) resulting in long lines at gas stations across the country.

  • The foreign ministers of Brazil, Russia, India, and South Africa, as well as a deputy minister from China, a collection of nations known as BRICS, meet in Cape Town today (Reuters) as part of a prelude to an August summit in Johannesburg. They are expected to discuss the bloc’s development bank, response to Western sanctions on Russia, and a possible expansion of the group.

Anti-LGBTQ disinformation surges online in East Africa France24 Nairobi AFP Anti-LGBTQ bills in Kenya and Uganda have unleashed an unprecedented wave of online disinformation targeting the community, with experts accusing political leaders of spreading falsehoods that put lives at risk. Social media platforms have been rife with false claims, including one alleging that Kenya's president called for the killing of gay people and another that the United States ordered Uganda to legalise homosexuality.

New bill to boost cybersecurity cooperation between US, Abraham Accords nations Axios Barak Ravid A bipartisan group of senators is introducing a bill to enhance cybersecurity cooperation between the Department of Homeland Security and Abraham Accords countries — Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco, according to a statement shared with Axios. The bill is aimed at boosting the partnerships between the US and the Abraham Accords countries to help defend against shared cyber threats from Iran and other 'hostile cyber actors,' including targeting critical infrastructure and ransomware attacks, the senators said in the statement.

Middle East

  • Iran’s stockpile of highly enriched uranium grew by over a quarter in the three months to May, the International Atomic Energy Agency (I.A.E.A.) reported. The accumulation heightens concerns that Iran can quickly convert this uranium into weapons-grade material for nuclear weapons. However, Iran’s recent decision to provide the I.A.E.A. with more oversight of certain aspects of its nuclear work suggests the space for a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear work remains open. Laurence Norman reports for the Wall Street Journal.

  • Five members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command have been killed and several more wounded by an explosion in Lebanon, close to the border with Syria. The Palestinian militant group has blamed the Israeli military for the attack. An Israeli source has denied any involvement. Lebanese security sources said it was caused by munitions being moved around. David Gritten reports for BBC News.

  • UAE Pulls Out of U.S.-Led Sea Force to Counter Iran. The force includes nearly forty countries (WSJ) working to counter Iranian attacks on commercial sea traffic. A day.before the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced its withdrawal, the Wall Street Journal reported that it had been dissatisfied with the force’s recent efforts to deter Iran.

  • Iran: Tehran has reinstalled monitoring equipment (Bloomberg) and increased cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency at its nuclear sites while also boosting its stockpiles of uranium enriched near weapons-grade, the UN nuclear watchdog reported.

Iranian dissidents’ claim of presidential hack likely legitimate, experts say CyberScoop AJ Vicens A trove of documents, images and videos from the offices of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi posted online Monday appear to be authentic, cybersecurity experts familiar with the matter told CyberScoop on Wednesday. The materials posted to a Telegram channel Monday by a group called 'GhyamSarnegouni' ('Rise to Overthrow') include alleged diplomatic correspondence, floor plans for the offices and sleeping quarters of the Iranian president and other top government offices, detailed network topologies for sensitive Iranian government networks and more.

Big Tech

Are tech giants taking misinformation seriously? ABC Radio National Nancy Notzon Some tech giants have just released reports detailing their actions against misinformation. But the reports are voluntary and experts say they don't give the whole picture….so how useful are they?

  • Twitter is adding crowdsourced fact checks to images The Verge Mia Sato Twitter is expanding its crowdsourced fact-checking program to include images, shortly after a fake image went viral claiming to show an 'explosion' near the Pentagon. Now contributors will be able to add information specifically related to an image, and that context will populate below 'recent and future matching images,' according to the company.

  • A verified AOC parody account got a boost from Elon Musk’s Twitter NBC News Kat Tenbarge and Ben Goggin A verified Twitter account mocking Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has skyrocketed in followers and engagement over the last two days, with some help from Elon Musk. Twitter appeared to reinstate the once-banned account in May, with Musk soon interacting with it and boosting its following. Twitter has promoted the parody account in other ways, too, including ranking it first in search results for 'AOC,' above Ocasio-Cortez’s official account.

Artificial Intelligence

AI poses same threat as nuclear wars and pandemics, experts say The Times Tom Whipple More than 350 of the world’s most distinguished experts in artificial intelligence, including the creator of ChatGPT, have warned of the possibility that the technology could lead to the extinction of humanity. In a joint statement, backed by the chief executives of the leading AI companies, they said that mitigating this risk 'should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war'.

I asked AI chatbots to help me shop. They all failed WIRED Parker Hall Like people in many fields, we here on the WIRED Gear desk are mildly concerned that ChatGPT is coming for our jobs. But we feel relatively safe because it's our job to test things, and AI can't really do that. A large language model can't pedal an ebike. A chatbot can't see the curves of a Dynamic Island. A cloud service can't tell you whether a grill cooked a burger evenly.

Misc

Millions of PC motherboards were sold with a firmware backdoor WIRED Andy Greenberg Hiding malicious programs in a computer’s UEFI firmware, the deep-seated code that tells a PC how to load its operating system, has become an insidious trick in the toolkit of stealthy hackers. But when a motherboard manufacturer installs its own hidden backdoor in the firmware of millions of computers—and doesn’t even put a proper lock on that hidden back entrance—they’re practically doing hackers’ work for them.



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