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Microsoft plays high-stakes game in tech cold war with Emirates AI deal

Microsoft plays high-stakes game in tech cold war with Emirates AI deal

Microsoft said Tuesday it will make a $1.5 billion investment in G42, an artificial intelligence giant in the United Arab Emirates, in a deal largely orchestrated by the Biden administration to defeat China as Washington and Beijing battle over who will exert technological influence in the Persian Gulf region and beyond.As part of the partnership, Microsoft will grant G42 permission to sell Microsoft services that use powerful AI chips, used to train and fine-tune generative AI models. In exchange, the G42, which has been under scrutiny by Washington for its ties to China, will use Microsoft's cloud services and adhere to a security agreement negotiated in detailed conversations with the US government. The agreement places a number of protections on AI products shared with G42 and in...
Israel evaluates its response to the Iranian attack, considering every choice a risk

Israel evaluates its response to the Iranian attack, considering every choice a risk

Israeli leaders were discussing Tuesday how to best respond to Iran's unprecedented airstrike over the weekend, officials said, weighing a series of options calibrated to achieve different strategic outcomes: deterring a similar attack in the future, appeasing the American allies and avoid an all-out war.Iran's attack on Israel, a huge barrage that included hundreds of ballistic missiles and explosive drones, changed the unspoken rules in the rivals' long shadow war. In that conflict, large air strikes from the territory of one country directly against the other had been avoided.Given this change in precedent, the calculus by which Israel decides its next move has also changed, said Israeli officials who requested anonymity to discuss Iran.“We cannot resist this kind of aggres...
5 highlights from a year of upheaval for Medicaid

5 highlights from a year of upheaval for Medicaid

Lindsey McNeil and her 7-year-old daughter, Noelle, who has cerebral palsy and epilepsy, were shocked by a notice they received from the Florida Department of Children and Families late last month that Noelle would lose her Medicaid coverage for 10 days After.From then on, their lives began to fall apart, Ms. McNeil said. Noelle has stopped seeing the four therapists she sees every week and she is running out of medications she needs to prevent her seizures from flaring up. Monday brought some relief: Ms. McNeil learned that Noelle's coverage had been temporarily reinstated pending a resolution on an appeal she filed with the state.“We have worked really hard to grow our family, our life and a home for this baby,” Ms. McNeil said. “It's a little disheartening to think about what...
The old Copenhagen Stock Exchange building partially collapses in a fire

The old Copenhagen Stock Exchange building partially collapses in a fire

The old Stock Exchange building in central Copenhagen – one of the city's oldest structures, known for its elaborate spire of intertwined dragon tails – partially collapsed in a major fire late Tuesday.It was not immediately clear what caused the fire, but social media images and videos showed flames on the roof of the structure and dark clouds of smoke lingering over the city.“It is absolutely terrible to see Borsen in flames,” Jakob Engel-Schmidt, Denmark's culture minister, said in an interview late Tuesday, using the building's Danish name. “The building represents over 400 years of Danish history. It is one of the last Dutch Renaissance-style structures in the world, where trade took place during the entire period."Copenhagen police said on social media that they had eva...
The only certain thing about the Paris Olympics: cyber attacks

The only certain thing about the Paris Olympics: cyber attacks

In his office on one of the upper floors of the headquarters of the Paris Olympic organizing committee, Franz Regul has no doubts about what is about to happen.“We will be attacked,” said Regul, who leads the team responsible for defending against cyber threats against this year's Summer Games in Paris.Companies and governments around the world now have teams like Regul's operating in spartan rooms equipped with banks of servers and screens with indicator lights that warn of incoming hacker attacks. In the Paris operations center there is even a red light to warn staff of the most serious danger.So far, Mr. Regul said, there have been no serious disruptions. But as the months between the Olympics shrink to weeks and then days and hours, he knows the number of hacking attempts and...
Israeli settlers kill two Palestinian men in West Bank, officials say

Israeli settlers kill two Palestinian men in West Bank, officials say

Israeli settlers shot dead two Palestinians in the West Bank on Monday, according to Israeli and Palestinian officials, as tensions continued to rise in the Israeli-occupied territory.The Palestinian Authority's Ministry of Health identified the two men as Abdelrahman Bani Fadel, 30, and Mohammad Bani Jama, 21. The circumstances of their deaths near the city of Aqraba remained unclear.The Israeli army said the two men were killed during a "violent exchange" between Israeli settlers and Palestinians following reports that a Palestinian had attacked an Israeli shepherd. An initial investigation indicated that the shots "did not come" from Israeli soldiers, the military said.The two Palestinians appeared to have been shot by Israeli settlers at the scene, said an Israeli security offici...
David Egilman, the doctor who targeted drug companies, dies at 71

David Egilman, the doctor who targeted drug companies, dies at 71

Dr. David Egilman, a physician and expert witness who, over a 35-year period, testified in nearly 600 corporate wrongdoing trials, winning billions of dollars in awards for victims and their survivors, died April 2 at his home in New York. Foxborough, Massachusetts. He was 71 years old.The cause was cardiac arrest, his son Alex said.Many medical experts have a sideline in court, offering their informed opinions on the witness stand and helping to validate or undermine plaintiffs' claims. But few make it a career-long passion like Dr. Egilman has. He taught at Brown University and ran a private practice, but spent most of his time consulting and testifying in as many as 15 cases a year.He did more than just give opinions from the gallery. A tenacious researcher, he dug up incrimina...
German leader Olaf Scholz walks a fine line in China

German leader Olaf Scholz walks a fine line in China

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz sought to strike a delicate balance during a trip to China this week, promoting business ties with his country's largest trading partner while criticizing rising exports to Europe and its support for Russia.Scholz met China's top leader, Xi Jinping, at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on Tuesday, the culmination of a three-day visit with a delegation of German officials and business leaders. He was also due to meet Premier Li Qiang, as the two countries face strained relations over Russia's war in Ukraine and China's rivalry with the United States, Germany's most important ally.During his trip Scholz promoted the interests of German companies that are finding it increasingly difficult to compete in China. And he expressed growing...
Should You Use a Wrinkle Straw?

Should You Use a Wrinkle Straw?

Maybe it's the superior experience of sipping a fizzy, carbonated drink through a straw. Maybe it's the rise of the Stanley Cup, or the primacy of cold brew even in the winter months. Whatever it is, straws have evolved beyond single-use plastic straw man argument for personal environmental responsibility in much more.There are paper straws, glass straws, metal straws and durable, reusable plastic straws. Many come with silicone accessories, cleaning systems, and custom cases.Our endless enthusiasm for sipping food through narrow tubes has given rise to many innovations in the straw market. It also created a new anxiety: wrinkles on the lips.Traditional straws force drinkers to purse their lips around the opening in an expression that many believe, over time, creates wrinkles a...
Maurice El Medioni, Algerian Jewish pianist, has died at the age of 95

Maurice El Medioni, Algerian Jewish pianist, has died at the age of 95

Maurice El Medioni, an Algerian pianist who blended Jewish and Arab musical traditions into a singular style he called “Pianooriental,” died March 25 in Israel. He was 95 years old.His death, which occurred in a nursing home in Herzliya, on Israel's central coast, was confirmed by his manager, Yvonne Kahan.Mr. Medioni was the last representative of a once-vibrant Jewish-Arabic musical culture that flourished in North Africa before and after World War II and drew proudly from both legacies.In Oran, the Algerian port where he was born, he was sought after by Arabs and Jews to play at weddings and banquets, in the years between the war and 1961, when the threat of violence and Algeria's new independence from France pushed Mr. Medioni and thousands of other Jews flee.With its boundle...