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Opinion | Should We Fear the Woke A.I.?
  + stars: | 2024-02-24 | by ( Ross Douthat | )   time to read: +1 min
Imagine a short story from the golden age of science fiction, something that would appear in a pulp magazine in 1956. With some kind of reveal, no doubt, of a secret agenda lurking behind the promise of all-encompassing knowledge. For instance, maybe there’s a Truth Engine 2.0, smarter and more creative, that everyone can’t wait to get their hands on. And then a band of dissidents discover that version 2.0 is fanatical and mad, that the Engine has just been preparing humans for totalitarian brainwashing or involuntary extinction. This flight of fancy is inspired by our society’s own version of the Truth Engine, the oracle of Google, which recently debuted Gemini, the latest entrant in the great artificial intelligence race.
Organizations: Google Locations: Bolivia, Germany
When I first discovered the concept of "niksen," or the Dutch art of doing nothing, I was fascinated. I believe niksen is one of the reasons why the Dutch are consistently ranked as some of the happiest people in the world. Niksen might seem selfish or boring at first glance, but it's actually a service to you and your community. If you're doing nothing, own itWhen someone asks you what you're doing during your niksen time, simply respond, "Nothing." I'm simply niksening up against him.
Persons: it's, Tony Crabbe, Manfred Kets de Vries, Tracy Walker, Olga Mecking Locations: Poland, Germany, Netherlands
Two years after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the United States has the capacity to keep Kyiv supplied with the weapons, technology and intelligence to fend off a takeover by Moscow. But Washington is now perceived around Europe to have lost its will. That is the essence of the conundrum facing Ukraine and the NATO allies on the dismal second anniversary of the war. The sanctions that were supposed to bring Russia’s economy to its knees — “the ruble almost is immediately reduced to rubble,” President Biden declared in Warsaw in March 2022 — have lost their sting. Income from oil exports is greater than it was before the invasion.
Persons: Russia’s, Biden, Organizations: Kyiv, NATO Locations: Ukraine, United States, Moscow, Washington, Europe, Warsaw, Russian
France’s farmers vented their fury at President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday as he arrived at the annual agricultural show in Paris, a giant fair long seen as a test of presidents’ relationship with the countryside. A large crowd that had camped outside the night before broke in and scuffled with police officers in riot gear while Mr. Macron entered through a side door to meet with unions demanding an end to hardships in the industry. During an hourlong closed-door meeting before the fair opened, with top cabinet members at Mr. Macron’s side, farmers sang the French national anthem, “La Marseillaise,” at the top of their lungs, blew whistles, raised fists and shouted for the president to resign, as skittish prize cows and pigs brought to the capital from farms around the country looked on nervously from their display pens. The rowdy confrontation was the latest in a monthlong showdown that has seen farmers blockade roads around France and in Paris — a movement that has spread to other countries, including Greece, Poland, Belgium and Germany.
Persons: Emmanuel Macron, Macron, Locations: Paris, French, France, Greece, Poland, Belgium, Germany
Opinion: What is Putin afraid of?
  + stars: | 2024-02-24 | by ( Opinion Frida Ghitis | )   time to read: +7 min
She is a weekly opinion contributor to CNN, a contributing columnist to The Washington Post and a columnist for World Politics Review. But in its attempt to exercise and display its strength, Putin is showing his fear. Security forces have arrested Russians questioning the war in Ukraine, let alone questioning Putin. According to rights organization Freedom House, Russia has become one of the world’s top perpetrators of transnational repression. Criticism of the war or of Putin can lead to death in a Russian prison camp.
Persons: Frida Ghitis, Vladimir Putin, Ksenia, Putin, Karelina, Alexey Navalny, Navalny, Chris Van Heerden, didn’t, Boris Nemtsov, Anna Politkovskaya, There’s Navalny, Brittney Griner, Paul Whelan, Evan Gershkovich, , Gershkovich, Vadim Krasikov, , Maxim Kuzminov, Russia “, Alexander Litvinenko, Sergei Skripal, Organizations: CNN, Washington Post, Politics, Frida Ghitis CNN, Kremlin, Russia’s Federal Security Service, KGB, Security, US, Wall Street, House, Police Locations: Russia, Russian, Los Angeles, Ukraine, Yekaterinburg, Germany, Chechen, Alicante, Kuzminov, London, Salisbury, England, Moscow, Ukrainian
Away from the pitch, Promes has recently been convicted for drug trafficking by an Amsterdam court. “It is particularly bad that the suspect [Promes] normalizes and almost romanticizes the large-scale cocaine trade,” said Dutch prosecutors. Promes was convicted in absentia to six years in prison for drug trafficking. And Dutch soccer clubs seem to be taking notice. So there are indeed preventative measures taken by some of the clubs,” Nelen adds.
Persons: CNN — He’s, Quincy Promes, Promes, , , calculatedly, Hans Nelen, David Klein, Criminologist Hans Nelen, Nelen, “ He’s, hadn’t, Femke Halsema, Peter R, Vries, Dutchman David Endt, hasn’t, Endt, “ There’s Organizations: CNN, Ajax, Sevilla, Spartak Moscow, Russian Premier League, Appeal, Reuters, Maastricht University, Promes, Rotterdam –, Customs, National Alliance, Subversive Locations: Netherlands, Amsterdam, Brazil, Antwerp, Belgium, Russia, Russian, Dubai, isn’t, Rotterdam, Mexico, Columbia, Italy, Germany, Europe, Dutch
CNN —Julian Naglesmann, Germany’s national soccer team manager, opened up about the death of his father in an interview with Der Spiegel, revealing he was a German spy and later took his own life. Even my grandfather believed his son was a soldier,” Nagelsmann told the German publication. It wasn’t until the former Bayern Munich manager was 15 or 16 that he learned his father worked for the secret service, he said. Julian Nagelsmann won the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich in 2022. He was sacked by Bayern Munich in March 2023 during his second season in charge after the club slipped from the top of the Bundesliga table.
Persons: Julian Naglesmann, Der Spiegel, ” Nagelsmann, , wasn’t, , Julian Nagelsmann, Leonhard Foeger, Reuters Naglesmann Organizations: CNN, soccer, Bayern Munich, Bundesliga, Reuters, TSG Hoffenheim, Prevention, Befrienders Locations: German, Munich
Share Share Article via Facebook Share Article via Twitter Share Article via LinkedIn Share Article via EmailGermany rebuilds its military amid ongoing defense aid deliveries to UkraineHensoldt, a high-tech security defense company based in Germany, is part of the country's drive to send military equipment to Ukraine. CNBC got exclusive access into their factory in Ulm to see the TRML-4D radars, which detect Russian threats in the battlefield. Germany is ramping up its military production and support to Ukraine, amid a broader drive among NATO allies to raise their defense spending contributions to the coalition.
Organizations: Germany, Ukraine Hensoldt, CNBC, NATO Locations: Ukraine, Germany, Ulm
The World(MSCI All Country World Index weighting)Entire U.S. stock market: 63%Japan, UK, Canada, France, Hong Kong/China combined: 17.5%Magnificent 7: 17%Source: Dimensional FundsThat seems crazy, no? For example, in the mid-1960s the concentration of the top 10 was over 40% of the S&P 500. Investors who own the S&P 500 don't have to pick those winners; they just go along for the ride. Second, U.S. stocks are global market leaders, and when a small group becomes market leaders it almost always means the U.S. stock market outperforms the world. The U.S. stock market, which was roughly 40% of the global market capitalization a short while ago, is now roughly 50% of global market capitalization.
Persons: Gregory Rowe, Berkshire Hathaway, Lilly, It's, Organizations: New York Stock Exchange, Berkshire, Broadcom, Nvidia, Eck Semiconductor, Dimensional Fund Advisors, FS Investments, IBM, American Express, General Electric, Polaroid, Xerox, U.S, Baidu, SAP, Siemens, United, Shell, AstraZeneca, HSBC Locations: New York City, Miami Beach, Japan, UK, Canada, France, Hong Kong, China, U.S, Germany, United Kingdom
CNN —Germany’s lower house of parliament voted to legalize cannabis for limited recreational use among adults on Friday, following a controversial debate about the pros and cons of allowing easier access to the drug. In total, 407 German lawmakers voted in favor of the new regulation; 226 lawmakers voted against and four lawmakers abstained from Friday’s vote. The move makes Germany the third country in Europe – after Malta and Luxembourg – to legalize the drug for recreational use, removing cannabis from the official list of banned substances. The German government said that cannabis would remain illegal for minors and highly restricted for young adults, adding that consuming the drug near schools and playgrounds would be illegal. “Nobody should misunderstand this law: cannabis consumption is being legalized, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous,” Germany’s health minister said.
Persons: , Karl Lauterbach, ” Lauterbach, , Tino Sorge, GMA Klaus Reinhardt Organizations: CNN, Christian Democratic Union, CDU, German Medical Associations, GMA Locations: Germany, Europe –, Malta, Luxembourg, Netherlands
Patrick Pleul | Picture Alliance | Getty ImagesGermany's housebuilding sector has gone from bad to worse in recent months. "The housebuilding sector is, I would say, a little bit in a confidence crisis," Dominik von Achten, chairman of German building materials company Heidelberg Materials, told CNBC's "Squawk Box Europe" on Thursday. In January both the current sentiment and expectations for the German residential construction sector fell to all-time lows, according to data from the Ifo Institute for Economic Research. The business climate reading fell to a negative 59 points, while expectations dropped to negative 68.9 points in the month. Habeck pointed to higher interest rates as a key challenge for the economy, explaining that those had led to reduced investments, especially in the construction sector.
Persons: Patrick Pleul, Dominik von Achten, CNBC's, Klaus Wohlrabe, Robert Habeck, Wohlrabe, It's, Achten Organizations: Getty, Heidelberg Materials, Ifo Institute for Economic Research, Hamburg Commercial Bank, PMI, Climate Locations: Germany, Ifo, Heidelberg
CNN —Newly-discovered fossils have allowed scientists to reveal a 240-million-year-old “dragon” in its entirety for the first ever time, National Museums Scotland (NMS) said in a statement on Friday. An artist's rendition of the ancient marine creature. Marlene DonellyNow, newer fossils indicate that the creature had 32 vertebrae, creating an extremely long neck that likely helped it to catch fish, though scientists are still unsure of its precise function. “I’m still baffled by the function of the long neck,” Fraser said. They added that the Dinocephalosaurus’ long neck resembled another ancient, and equally baffling, marine reptile Tanystropheus hydroides.
Persons: Dr Nick Fraser, , Li Chun, Fraser, Chun, Marlene Donelly, “ I’m, ” Fraser, Organizations: CNN, National Museums Scotland, National Sciences, Environmental, Royal Society of Edinburgh, Vertebrate Locations: China, NMS, Scotland, Germany, USA, Palaeoanthropology, Beijing, Guizhou Province
Lithuania, a NATO state that borders Russia, is acquiring tanks for the first time. AdvertisementLithuania, a NATO member with Russia on its doorstep, is acquiring tanks for the first time in its history. Vaidotas Urbelis, the policy director of Lithuania's defense ministry, told BI the purchase was driven by watching Russia's invasion of Ukraine. It's the first time the country has acquired tanks since its independence from the collapsing Soviet Union in 1990. Lithuania is also acquiring more armored vehicles and missiles, hosting more NATO troops permanently in the country, and strengthening its border fortifications.
Persons: , Vaidotas Urbelis, Alexander Welscher, Urbelis Organizations: Lithuanian, Service, NATO, Business, Defense, Getty Locations: Lithuania, NATO, Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Soviet Union, Russia's
CNN —Two years into the Ukraine war, the tide has shifted, and Russian forces have some momentum, according to retired US General David Petraeus. Michal Dyjuk/AP/FILELast weekend Gen. Petraeus was at the Munich Security Conference, the leading global national security conference that was attended by pretty much every European leader and by top American officials – including Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. BERGEN: At the Munich Security Conference, what was the mood like? BERGEN: Who’s winning the war in Ukraine? BERGEN: What’s going on in Ukraine looks a lot like World War I, in the sense that it’s trench warfare, minefields, machine guns.
Persons: Peter Bergen, , David Petraeus, Vladimir Putin’s, Putin, Lord Andrew Roberts, ” David Petraeus, Michal Dyjuk, Petraeus, Kamala Harris, Antony Blinken, Alexey Navalny’s, Volodymyr Zelensky, Gen, PETRAEUS, I’ve, Olaf Scholz, Jens Stoltenberg, Tobias Schwarz, they’ll, Who’s, I’m, Vladimir Putin, Alexey Navalny, we’re, didn’t, Thomas Peter, , Zelensky, can’t, what’s, There’s, Sergei Supinsky, it’s, Andrew Roberts, Biden, Donald Trump’s Organizations: New, Arizona State University, Apple, Spotify, Trump Administration, CNN, Munich Security Conference, Conference, Supreme, NATO, Munich, Reuters, Republicans, Kremlin, Russian Federation, Kherson –, Tactical Missile Systems, Pentagon, Getty, Congress, Munich Security, PETRAEUS Locations: New America, Ukraine, United States, Afghanistan, Iraq, Avdiivka, BERGEN, Munich, Europe, Russia, Russian, Spain, Moscow, Kyiv, Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Kherson, Ukrainian, Swedish, Donetsk, Sevastopol, Crimea, North Africa, Egypt, Kremlin, St, Petersburg, Moldova, Transnistria, Baltic, Soviet Union, AFP, ” BERGEN
Why can’t we stop calling X, Twitter?
  + stars: | 2024-02-23 | by ( Saira Mueller | )   time to read: +10 min
While some people (mainly fans of Musk) have embraced the X brand, most have not. Many people, both online and in person, still call the platform Twitter, and refer to posts as tweets. WHY ARE WE STILL CALLING THIS PLATFORM TWITTER. Even when you do see X, it's framed as "X, formerly Twitter". So the brand is what they say it is… it’s not that customers can’t stop calling it Twitter, it’s that they won’t.”
Persons: it’s, adieu, Elon Musk, — Jack Scalfani, , — Sherrye Pomeroy, Linda Yaccarino, It’s, ” Ramon Jimenez, Wolff Olins, , ” Marty Neumeier, , Musk, , Zoë Schiffer, Schiffer, Josh Adelson, X,, ” Musk, wasn’t, Neumeier, “ It’s, ’ ” Elon Musk, Alain Jocard, James Withey, Kirill Kudryavtsev, Withey, — Sandy Horne Organizations: CNN, Twitter, Premium, Twitter Twitter, Global, Merriam, Webster, Oxford English, Liquid Agency, Elon, Musk, Twitter Inc, X Corp, Getty, The New York Times, Apple, Adobe, Google, Strategy, Innovation, Nissan, Datsun Locations: @sherrye_pomeroy, San Francisco, Paris, AFP, Frankfurt, Germany, @SandyHorne61
Lawmakers in Germany approved legalization of limited amounts of cannabis for recreational use on Friday, bringing the country a step closer to becoming one of the few European nations — and by far the largest — to do so. “By legalizing it, we are taking cannabis out of the taboo zone,” Karl Lauterbach, who as health minister is largely responsible for the law, said on public television before the vote. In the end, 407 lawmakers voted for the proposal, and 226 voted against the plan, which must be now approved by the Federal Council. Several other European countries, perhaps most notably the Netherlands, tolerate the use of cannabis, but legalization is rare: Within the European Union, only Malta and Luxembourg have gone that far. Medical marijuana has been legal in Germany since 2017.
Persons: ” Karl Lauterbach Organizations: Federal, European Union Locations: Germany, Netherlands, Malta, Luxembourg
German central bank losses soar, wiping out risk provisions
  + stars: | 2024-02-23 | by ( Jenni Reid | )   time to read: +1 min
Losses incurred by the German central bank rocketed into the tens of billions in 2023 due to higher interest rates, requiring it to draw on the entirety of its provisions to break even. That leaves it with just under 700 million euros in reserves, the central bank said. Net interest income was negative for the first time in its 57-year history, declining by 17.9 billion euros year-on-year to -13.9 billion euros. They are likely to exceed the remaining reserves," Bundesbank President Joachim Nagel said in a press conference. The central bank will report a loss carryforward that will be offset through future profits, he said.
Persons: Joachim Nagel, Nagel Organizations: Deutsche Bundesbank Locations: Frankfurt, Germany, German, rocketed
The finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, on Monday revised the forecast for economic growth this year to 1 percent, down from 1.4 percent at the end of last year. “Lower growth means lower tax receipts, so the government must spend less,” Mr. Le Maire said at a news briefing. After spending lavishly during the pandemic to support the economy and shield consumers from high energy prices, France is now at risk of breaching European Union budget rules that restrict government borrowing. To avoid that, the government must cut costs to lower the deficit to 4.4 percent of gross domestic product this year, from 4.8 percent
Persons: Bruno Le Maire, Mr, Le Maire Organizations: European Union Locations: France, Ukraine, Gaza, Germany, China
A trader works during the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on March 17, 2020 at Wall Street in New York City. Global markets hit record highs this week as the frenzy around artificial intelligence boosted risk sentiment and hopes of a return to economic growth. But some investors have urged caution, suggesting that high tech valuations could put the rally at risk. European markets extended gains Friday after the Stoxx 600 index closed at an all-time high in the previous session. In Asia Pacific, Japan's Nikkei 225 closed at a new all-time high of 39,098.68 on Thursday, surpassing the previous record of 38,915.87 set in 1989.
Persons: Oliver Bäte, CNBC's, Germany's DAX Organizations: New York Stock Exchange, Wall, Global, Allianz, French CAC, Nikkei, U.S Locations: New York City, Europe, U.S, Asia
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images News | Getty ImagesMunich, GERMANY — Rapid developments in artificial intelligence could help strengthen defenses against security threats in cyber space, according to Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Amid growing concerns about the potentially nefarious uses of AI, Pichai said that the intelligence tools could help governments and companies speed up the detection of — and response to — threats from hostile actors. But AI, I think actually, counterintuitively, strengthens our defense on cybersecurity," Pichai told delegates at Munich Security Conference at the end of last week. Sundar Pichai CEO at GoogleHowever, Pichai said that AI was also lowering the time needed for defenders to detect attacks and react against them. Google last week announced a new initiative offering AI tools and infrastructure investments designed to boost online security.
Persons: Sundar Pichai, Emily Chang, Justin Sullivan, Pichai, , Hillary Clinton, Mark Hughes, DXC, Hughes, That's Organizations: APEC, Summit, Moscone West, Getty, Munich, Cybersecurity Ventures, Britain's, Cyber Security, Google, MSC, Adobe, IBM, Meta, Microsoft, Twitter, U.S, Iran's, Guard, CNBC Locations: San Francisco , California, San Francisco, Munich, GERMANY, cybersecurity, GCHQ, Russia, China, Iran
European stocks looked set to open mixed Friday, shaking some positive momentum after the pan-European benchmark closed at a record high in the previous session. The Stoxx 600 index ended the session 0.82% higher at 495.1 Thursday, surpassing its previous record close of 494.35 on Jan. 5, 2022, LSEG data showed. Investors will digest earnings from Allianz, BASF and Standard Chartered on Friday, while fourth-quarter gross domestic product data is due from Germany. In Asia-Pacific, markets were mostly higher Friday, with China stocks rising for the ninth straight session as investors digested property prices data. The CSI 300 index was flat by midday trading after rising about 0.4% at the open, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dipped 0.2%.
Persons: Hong Organizations: Allianz, BASF, Standard Chartered, Nasdaq Locations: Germany, GfK, Asia, Pacific, China
Germany joins legal cannabis club
  + stars: | 2024-02-23 | by ( )   time to read: +2 min
Industrial hemp plants of the Futura 75 variety are kept in a specially secured room at the Hemp Museum. The law passed by Chancellor Olaf Scholz's ruling three-party coalition legalises cultivating up to three plants for private consumption and owning up to 25 grams of cannabis. Larger-scale, but still non-commercial, cannabis production will be allowed for members of so-called cannabis clubs with no more than 500 members, all of whom must be adults. Germany becomes the ninth country to legalise recreational use of the drug, which is also legal in some sub-national jurisdictions in the United States and Australia. Some legislators questioned whether the new regulations would have much impact on dealing, since those who are unwilling to grow their own cannabis or join a cannabis club may still prefer to buy the drug.
Persons: Chancellor Olaf Scholz's, Karl Lauterbach, Tino Sorge, Lauterbach Organizations: Futura, Hemp Museum, Germany, Friday, Bundestag Locations: Germany, United States, Australia
CNN —The mother of Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny, who died in an Arctic penal colony last week, said Thursday she had seen her son’s body and was being pressured to hold a secret funeral. Looking into my eyes they say that if I don’t agree to a secret funeral they will do something with my son’s body,” she said. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told CNN’s Matthew Chance that he had not seen the comments from Navalny’s mother regarding her son’s body and the issues she claims she is experiencing with investigators. The Russian prison service said Navalny “felt unwell after a walk” in his Siberian penal colony and “almost immediately” lost consciousness. He was initially imprisoned in a penal colony about 150 miles east of Moscow, but his lawyers in December said they had lost contact with him for nearly three weeks.
Persons: Alexey Navalny, Lyudmila Navalnaya, Navalny, Kira Yarmysh, Yulia Navalnaya, Vladimir Putin, Alexey, , Navalnaya, Voropayev, , Dmitry Peskov, CNN’s Matthew Chance, ” Peskov, ” Navalny’s, Joe Biden, Sergey Lavrov, ” Lavrov, Navalny’s, ” Navalny, Putin, Kirill Kudryavtsev, , Navalny “ Organizations: CNN, YouTube, Russian Investigative, Getty, IK Locations: Salekhard, Kremlin, ” Russia, Russian, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, California, Russia, Germany, AFP, Soviet, Moscow, Kharp
European Central Bank posts first annual loss in two decades
  + stars: | 2024-02-22 | by ( Jenni Reid | )   time to read: +2 min
Rain falls over the finance district and the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt, Germany. The European Central Bank on Thursday reported its first annual loss since 2004, following hefty payouts due to higher interest rates. The central bank said it will carry forward the loss on its balance sheet to offset against future profits. The central bank began quantitative tightening in March 2023. There is no institution in the economy which can cope with a temporary loss better than the central bank," he told CNBC by email.
Persons: Germany's Bundesbank, Holger Schmieding Organizations: European Central Bank, ECB, Swiss National Bank, CNBC Locations: Frankfurt, Germany, Ukraine
Stocks on Wall Street recorded their biggest gain in more than a year on Thursday, a day after Nvidia, which has become an emblem of the growth potential offered by artificial intelligence, reported record profits. The S&P 500 rose 2.1 percent, its best one-day performance since January 2023. The Nasdaq Composite index, which is chock-full of tech stocks like Nvidia, rose 3 percent, also its biggest one-day jump in over a year. After markets closed on Wednesday, Nvidia, which designs microchips used in the development of artificial intelligence, reported record revenue of over $22 billion for the final three months of 2023. Stock markets in China, Germany, France and Britain all ended the day higher.
Persons: microchips Organizations: Wall, Nvidia, Stock Locations: Japan, China, Germany, France, Britain
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