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Elon Musk brings high-tech charm offensive to Los Angeles tunnel plan

LOS ANGELES: Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk promised a cheering crowd on Thursday that his controversial dream of burrowing a high-speed network of “personalized mass transit” tunnels under Los Angeles could be achieved without disturbance or noise at the surface. Musk, the Silicon Valley high-tech tycoon who founded the Tesla electric car maker, also said he would offer free trips through the first two research tunnels he completes to get public feedback before proceeding with a larger system. “Like a weird little…

Macron urges Tehran to ‘pressure’ Syria to halt Ghouta offensive

PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron called on his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani on Sunday to put the "necessary pressure" on the Syrian government to halt "indiscriminate" attacks on civilians in the rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta. During a telephone call between the two leaders, Macron underscored the "particular responsiblity for Iran, because of its ties to the regime, regarding the implementation of the humanitarian truce" sought by the UN, his office said. Their talks came as a monitoring group said…

Kuwait arrests five over video deemed offensive to crown prince

DUBAI: Kuwait arrested five suspects accused of posting a video on social media considered offensive to the Gulf state’s crown prince, the interior ministry said on Tuesday. The accused were government employees with positions at “important institutions within the state”, the interior ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency KUNA. In recent days, a clip has circulated on social media showing the crown prince jabbing his finger at dignitaries at a Gulf football event, apparently trying to tell them who…

Australia respect Kohli despite ‘offensive’ claims

BENGALURU: Australia retain respect for Virat Kohli despite the India captain's "absurd" and "offensive" allegations against counterpart Steve Smith, assistant coach David Saker said on Thursday. The four-test series between the world's top two teams witnessed considerable acrimony after Smith gestured to his dressing room for assistance on whether to review an umpire's lbw decision against him in the second test at Bengaluru. Smith, who did not review, later admitted to the "brain fade" but his team dismissed Kohli's…

Facebook developing artificial intelligence to flag offensive live videos

MENLO PARK, CALIF: Facebook Inc is working on automatically flagging offensive material in live video streams, building on a growing effort to use artificial intelligence to monitor content, said Joaquin Candela, the company’s director of applied machine learning. The social media company has been embroiled in a number of content moderation controversies this year, from facing international outcry after removing an iconic Vietnam War photo due to nudity, to allowing the spread of fake news on its site. Facebook has…

Turkey downs drone as Syria launches Aleppo offensive

BEIRUT/ANKARA: Turkey shot down a drone on Friday in an incident highlighting the dangers of multiple air combat operations over Syria, where government troops and their allies backed by Russian jets have launched an offensive against rebels near Aleppo.