✈️ The air force base where the U.S. President’s airplane resides was closed down due to an active shooter on Thursday.
👀 The U.S. announced a new bureaucratic agency to “support democracy around the world.” The bureau will have a budget of $690 million with another $9.5 billion from Congress soon to come. It will operate under the Department of State.
🇹🇼 The President of Taiwan wraps up her “low-key” visit to the U.S. this weekend while her predecessor visited China this week.
📦 New U.S. Census data shows that people are not moving out of cities as fast as they were during the pandemic.
💊 The FDA approved an over-the-counter version of an opioid overdose antidote called Narcan.
📺 You can catch last night’s live Redacted show right here.
*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 5:00pm AM.
This is related to payments made to an adult film star in 2016 before the presidential election. A grand jury voted Thursday to proceed with indictments after being presented with evidence by the Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
Former President Trump is expected to come to New York to face these charges, be fingerprinted, and have a mug shot taken. He’ll then arrange bail while he awaits a trial. Unless he takes a plea deal, we are most likely to watch a trial now. Statements from his lawyers indicate that they intend to fight.
“He did not commit any crime. We will vigorously fight this political prosecution in Court,” said Trump lawyer Susan Necheles.
No matter how you feel about this, the case is no slam dunk. Former Manhattan DA elected not to charge Trump so why has Bragg done the opposite?
Also, these questions: Is this passed the statute of limitations? Why the different standards for the Hillary Clinton campaign, which was only fined for inappropriate financial contributions to her campaign and certainly not indicted? Is this politically motivated? Some are convinced that it is. One legal foundation called America’s First Legal has “launched an investigation into the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office’s “abusive and partisan” pursuit of former President Donald Trump.” They have filed a Freedom of Information request for Trump-related communications with Bragg’s office.
Politicians in Austria walked out of a speech by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday, placing signs in their places that said “A place for peace” and “A place for neutrality.”
Zelensky was addressing the Austrian parliament via video feed. The conservative party called the Party of Freedom had warned that they would stage some kind of demonstration if the Ukrainian president showed up in parliament to ask for military support.
“It is sad that the FPO is the only party in parliament that takes our ever-lasting neutrality seriously, thereby also standing up for peace,” the party leader Herbert Kickl said in a statement on Tuesday.
Austria’s current public-facing position is that it supports Ukraine politically but will not send weapons or engage militarily in its conflict with Russia because neutral is neutral. Apparently, some politicians really mean that.
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Elon Musk has penned a letter calling for the world to take a beat on Artificial Intelligence, or AI, citing “profound risks to society and humanity.”
The letter, co-authored with hundreds of other people, says this:
“Advanced AI could represent a profound change in the history of life on Earth and should be planned for and managed with commensurate care and resources. Unfortunately, this level of planning and management is not happening, even though recent months have seen AI labs locked in an out-of-control race to develop and deploy ever more powerful digital minds that no one – not even their creators – can understand, predict, or reliably control.”
This comes as Bill Gates penned a letter last week mentioning some concerns such as AI sharing our personal information, becoming too strong, or deciding “that humans are a threat.” Gates take was basically: Yeah, it could be dangerous, but let’s give it a go because it could help poor people. Only, it won’t get to poor people, it will mostly be used by the privileged people who don’t need it.
This letter is quite the opposite. It is replete with warnings that we have not answered the philosophical questions yet and we should do that first.
“Should we let machines flood our information channels with propaganda and untruth? Should we automate away all the jobs, including the fulfilling ones? Should we develop nonhuman minds that might eventually outnumber, outsmart, obsolete, and replace us? Should we risk the loss of control of our civilization? Such decisions must not be delegated to unelected tech leaders. Powerful AI systems should be developed only once we are confident that their effects will be positive and their risks will be manageable.”
The paper asks that “all AI labs to immediately pause for at least 6 months the training of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4. This pause should be public and verifiable and include all key actors. If such a pause cannot be enacted quickly, governments should step in and institute a moratorium.”
During this pause, the authors call for a set of standards and safety protocols to ensure “that systems adhering to them are safe beyond a reasonable doubt.” There is precedence for this, the letter says. “Society has hit pause on other technologies with potentially catastrophic effects on society. We can do so here. Let’s enjoy a long AI summer, not rush unprepared into a fall.”
QAnon Shaman is trending because Jacob Chansley who the media called the QAnon Shaman was released from prison this week. Officials have not said if it is to do with recently-released footage of him being escorted peacefully by police.
15 feet. That is the size of a decorative red spoon that was stolen from the front of a Dairy Queen in Arizona.
20. That is how many “swatting” calls a man in Washington state made to the police. A swatting call is when you report a fake emergency and police and ambulances show up. He was arrested for that. Don’t do that.
26%. That is how much Wall Street bonuses fell last year to an average of $176,000.
48 years. That is how long Charles Bronson has been in prison in the UK for acts of theft, violence and taking hostages. He will stay there for longer because his parole was denied this week. He changed his last name to Salvador in 2014.
Last year the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) revised its guidelines on treating people with gender dysphoria. One of the major changes was removing all age limits for procedures such as hysterectomies, puberty blockers, cross-hormone therapy and breast removal surgery.
What data did they have to go on to do that?
We shall soon see. A federal judge has ordered WPATH to provide all information regarding its process of advising minors. The subpoena asks that they also provide information regarding their consideration of studies done, reactions to concerns about pediatric transitioning care, involvement in standards of care for other organizations, review of literature related to pediatric transitioning and knowledge of pediatric transitioning treatments in Alabama, where the suit is being brought.
This is substantial because much of what is called gender-affirming care is medical experimentation.
This case came about because a plaintiff was suing the state of Alabama to remove the law prohibiting transitioning before the age of 19. The plaintiff used WPATH as justification for the earlier transition so the state asked WPATH how they arrived at their positions.
WPATH filed a motion to quash the state’s, arguing the subpoena violated its First Amendment rights, was irrelevant to the plaintiffs’ case and “imposed undue burden.” The judge denied this and they will now have to comply.
Yelling “transphobe” won’t help here. They will now have to show data behind their positions or admit there is not.
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This newsletter is written and researched by Natali Morris.
Please feel free to reach Natali at [email protected]
for any editorial feedback.