The former CIA director, who was among those in favour of maintaining a US military presence in Afghanistan, has said that the pullout has damaged Washington’s credibility and reputation, and led to much criticism from allies, including the UK.
A Japanese man who removed mandatory censorship from pornography using artificial intelligence and resold the images was arrested on Monday for violating laws on copyright and obscenity.
43-year-old Masayuki Nakamoto reportedly made roughly 11 million yen, or nearly $100,000, by using an AI technique similar to ‘deepfakes’ which replaced the blurred genitals of pornographic stars with clear versions.
According to the Japanese news outlet NHK, Nakamoto admitted to having sold over 10,000 doctored videos and he also published ten explicit photos showing off the result of his technology on his website. As he doctored the pornography without permission, Nakamoto was arrested for violating copyright and spreading obscenity after a police cyber patrol discovered the material online.
The distribution of pornography and other “obscene objects” is illegal in Japan and punishable by up to two years in prison and a 2,500,000 yen fine. To circumvent restrictions, pornography companies self-censor the genitals of actors and actresses with a blur effect.
A cybercrime lawyer told Vice News that Nakamoto’s arrest was the “first case in Japan where police have caught an AI user,” and added that there is no specific law “criminalizing the use of AI to make such images.”
For years, AI-savvy internet users have used deepfake techniques to impose different faces on pornographic actresses’ bodies – resulting in thousands of doctored videos which purportedly show A-list celebrities in sexual scenes.
Last year, three Japanese men from Tokyo were arrested for defamation after making and selling 215 explicit videos using faked celebrity faces.
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Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo has shined after his high profile return to Old Trafford, scoring an impressive five goals in seven games across competitions for Man United. Despite having the Portuguese maestro, the English giants have struggled to win matches in recent times. Many are now blaming CR7 for their disoriented campaign.
Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell died on 18 October due to complications from COVID-19. Although he was fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, his immune system was apparently compromised by his protracted battle with blood cancer.
The price of bitcoin could nearly triple when the first crypto exchange-traded fund (ETF) makes its New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) debut on Tuesday, according to analysts at US research consultancy Fundstrat.
The New York-based researchers, who had previously projected the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency to hit $100,000 by the year’s end, now say that the ProShares ETF may attract substantial inflows from investors, thus boosting the price of bitcoin.
According to Fundstrat, the new bitcoin futures ETF will deliver higher first-year inflows than the Invesco QQQ Trust Series 1 fund ETF was able to attract back in 2002 by tracking the Nasdaq 100 index.
“The new bitcoin ETF will enable vastly more individuals to allocate to crypto. We think bitcoin demand will exceed the inflows for QQQ,” Fundstrat Global Advisors co-founder Tom Lee said, as quoted by Yahoo Finance.
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The analyst added that the bitcoin ETF could bring more demand from the investors, who already enjoy the option of purchasing and holding bitcoin via existing crypto exchanges.
Fundstrat expects the bitcoin ETF to bring inflows of around $50 billion, implying roughly $50 million in additional demand for bitcoin per day.
“There are some views that the run up in [bitcoin’s price] is already discounting this approval,” the expert said.
“To an extent, this is probably true, since bitcoin has surged to near all-time highs in the past few weeks. But in our view, the price of bitcoin will continue to rise, well after actual approval of the ETF.”
Bitcoin was trading at around $62,650 as of 13:25 GMT, according to crypto data provider CoinMarketCap.
The first purported test of a Chinese missile that can fly faster than the speed of sound might be causing consternation in the West but, as a close partner of Beijing, Russia has no reason to be concerned, the Kremlin has said.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, said recent reports the advanced nuclear-capable weapon had been test-fired in August were nothing for Moscow to worry about. Asked whether Russian officials see such a development as a threat, the Kremlin official said that “no, it isn’t being seen that way.”
“We have allied relations with China,” Peskov went on. “China is developing its armed forces and its weapons systems, but it isn’t going beyond the framework of any international agreements,” he added.
Last week, Britain’s Financial Times reported that the launch of a hypersonic rocket earlier this year “took US intelligence by surprise.” The missile reportedly entered into orbit and circled the globe before landing several miles away from its intended target. Despite that, the report claims, Pentagon analysts were taken aback by how advanced the system was.
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Robert Wood, President Joe Biden’s ambassador to the UN, has since warned that “hypersonic technology is something that we have been concerned about, the potential military applications of it, and we have held back from pursuing.”
However, he went on, “we have seen China and Russia pursuing very actively the use, the militarization of this technology, so we are just having to respond in kind…We just don’t know how we can defend against that technology, neither does China, neither does Russia.”
China formally denies that the launch of a missile took place at all, arguing that the mission had simply tested re-usable spacecraft technology. However, an anonymous editorial published by Beijing’s Communist Party mouthpiece, Global Times, said that the country had struck a blow against US strategic supremacy, while refusing to confirm China has developed such a weapon.
“It is meaningless to discuss the credibility of the Financial Times report,” the article read. “But it is important to note the unstoppable trend that China is narrowing the gap with the US in some key military technologies as China is continuously developing its economic and technological strength.”
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Earlier this month, Russia announced that it had successfully fired the Zircon anti-ship hypersonic missile from a nuclear submarine for the first time in history. Capable of flying at nine times the speed of sound, American admiral Charles A. Richard has previously warned the Zircon poses unprecedented challenges for detection and interception by conventional rocket defense systems.
President Putin has previously announced that, when it comes to hypersonic weapons, “the arms race has already begun,” and claimed that Washington fired the starting pistol by unilaterally withdrawing from nuclear weapons treaties and developing systems to shoot down older rockets. “Their country is now building an umbrella to protect itself,” Putin added. “You have to either have a missile defense system, or weapons that can’t be hindered by missile defense.”
Mithun Ghosh, a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s youth wing, was shot dead in his home in the Uttar Dinajpur region of West Bengal state on Sunday, sparking unrest among party members.
Poland’s prime minister has announced that his government will dissolve the disciplinary chamber of the country’s Supreme Court after the EU condemned the chamber for threatening the “unity of the European legal order.”
Speaking to EU officials at the European Parliament, Polish leader Mateusz Morawiecki accepted that the chamber “did not meet our expectations,” agreeing to dissolve the “mechanisms that were introduced.”
There was a question about the disciplinary chamber of the Supreme Court. Yes. We intend to dissolve it.
The announcement by Poland’s prime minister marks the conclusion of a row between Warsaw and Brussels over concerns that its disciplinary chamber made EU law subordinate to national law, sparking a reprimand from European officials.
To prevent future disagreements between member states descending into the row that’s broken out between Poland and the EU, Morawiecki called on the EU Court of Justice to establish a chamber that can act as an arbiter for disputes within the bloc.
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Earlier on Tuesday, the European Commission’s chief, Ursula von der Leyen, outlined three options following Poland’s previous defense of its judicial policy. First, a legal challenge from Poland could end in fines. Second, the EU could block funds to Poland’s government. Third, the EU could use Article 7 of the Treaty on the European Union to suspend rights to Poland.
Poland’s leader had pushed back on the EU’s threats, by warning that it risked making the bloc a “centrally managed organism,” rather than a partnership of member states. “Unfortunately, today we are dealing with a very dangerous phenomenon whereby various European Union institutions usurp powers they do not have under the Treaties and impose their will on Member States,” Morawiecki had warned.
One of the most divisive figures in British politics, Dominic Cummings, has stunned MMA fans by telling Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz that they can make more money outside of a UFC deal – receiving an avalanche of replies.
Known as a shadowy yet hugely influential figure in the current Conservative government, Cummings shot into the spotlight last year when he was accused of making a lengthy drive to visit his parents’ farm despite suffering from Covid-19 symptoms at a time when the UK was operating under lockdown.
That led to a huge scandal, with many pillorying the former director of the Vote Leave campaign advocating for Brexit, leading to Cummings make an infamous address in the garden at the official residence of the prime minister, who defended his key sidekick.
Almost a year after he left his governmental position, the 49-year-old took the surprising step of weighing in on UFC fighter Nate Diaz’s position with the championship, publicly offering his views on promotion president Dana White, Conor McGregor – who Diaz beat and then lost to in 2016 – and former champion Georges St Pierre.
Do not sign new UFC contract, you will make more cash outside AND @danawhite will come do a deal at some point for trilogy @TheNotoriousMMA fight, but outside you'll have much more leverage & make more $. Look how they screwed @GeorgesStPierre, now waiting for contract to expire
“Do not sign [a] new UFC contract,” renowned tactician Cummings told Diaz, responding to a Twitter announcement by the popular veteran that he plans to “fight somebody”.
“You will make more cash outside and Dana White will come do a deal at some point for [a] trilogy [McGregor] fight, but outside [the organization] you’ll have much more leverage and make more money.
“Look [at] how they screwed Georges St Pierre, [who is] now waiting for [his] contract to expire.”
Advised by who? Does this lanky streak of piss think he business savvy or something? Hey bro. You’d 15 fights in the ufc and were on 20k to fight 20k to win hahahaha 15 fucking fights. In the ufc! Eyelid hanging off your head and handed a 20k check pre tax 😂 Know who made you.
You'll *both* make much more $ if @NateDiaz209 negotiates from outside ufc, just as you & @FloydMayweather *both* made a ton more $ cos he was outside ufc. Nate can market your trilogy better while kicking shit out of @jakepaul etc first. U know Im right so does @GeorgesStPierre
“Eyelid hanging off your head and handed a 20k check pre-tax. Know who made you.”
Fighter pay has been a keenly-debated issue around the damagingly exacting sport, with the likes of YouTuber, boxing newcomer and celebrity Jake Paul regularly goading White over the amount stars receive.
Paul has claimed he wants to fight McGregor, and Cummings appears to see that showbiz scrap as part of his masterplan for the fighters.
“You’ll both make much more money if Diaz negotiates from outside the UFC, just as you and [former opponent and unbeaten boxer] Floyd Mayweather both made a ton more money because he was outside [the] UFC.
“Nate can market your trilogy better while kicking [the] sh*t out of Jake Paul etc first. You know I’m right – so does Georges St Pierre.”
There was no immediate word on whether McGregor and Diaz agreed with their unexpected new adviser, but astonished onlookers were ready to offer feedback.
“Nate, do not listen to this guy,” warned one. “You will regret it and [Cummings] will tell you to go for a 250-mile drive at some point to check your eyesight, but really you’ll just need to go to [the opticians]. Look how it turned out for him – now he’s waiting for work to come in.”
“What has this world come to where Dominic Cummings is tweeting Nate Diaz?” boggled an MMA fan. “This wasn’t on my 2021 bingo card.”
Another said: “Dominic Cummings tweeting Nate Diaz contract advice is actually more unexpected than the global pandemic we have been living through for the last one-and-a-half years. Amazing. He’s also not wrong on this.”
The news is likely to add pressure to the Microsoft co-founder, who has come under intense media scrutiny this year after he and his wife Melinda announced they were ending their marriage. Although the couple signalled that it was a joint decision, some reports suggested that Melinda Gates had grown tired of her husband’s extramarital affairs.