Daily Archives: January 25, 2023


Asteroid on Path for Close Call With Earth

An asteroid the size of a delivery truck will whip past Earth on Thursday night, one of the closest such encounters ever recorded. NASA said it will be a near miss with no chance of the asteroid hitting Earth. NASA said Wednesday that the newly discovered asteroid will zoom 3,600 kilometers above the southern tip of South America. That’s 10 times closer than the bevy of communication satellites circling overhead. The closest approach will occur at 7:27 p.m. EST (9:27 p.m. local.) Even if the space rock came a lot …


Trump Reinstated to Facebook After 2-Year Ban

Facebook parent Meta is reinstating former President Donald Trump’s personal account after a two-year suspension following the January 6, 2021, insurrection.  The company said in a blog post Wednesday it is adding “new guardrails” to ensure there are no “repeat offenders” who violate its rules.  “In the event that Mr. Trump posts further violating content, the content will be removed and he will be suspended for between one month and two years, depending on the severity of the violation,” said Meta, which is based in Menlo Park, California.  Trump, in …


US Seeks Reengagement with China to Stop Illicit Fentanyl as Blinken Heads to Beijing

The United States is “actively seeking to reengage” China on counternarcotics, including stopping the flow of illicit synthetic drugs like fentanyl into the U.S., said the State Department ahead of Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to Beijing in early February. U.S. officials admit engagement between the two countries on these issues “has been limited in recent months.” “We don’t have any recent meetings to read out or to preview,” a State Department spokesperson told VOA on Tuesday, when asked if talks to combat fentanyl have been resumed after Beijing …


Pope Francis: Homosexuality Not a Crime 

Pope Francis criticized laws that criminalize homosexuality as “unjust,” saying God loves all his children just as they are and called on Catholic bishops who support the laws to welcome LGBTQ people into the church. “Being homosexual isn’t a crime,” Francis said during an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press. Francis acknowledged that Catholic bishops in some parts of the world support laws that criminalize homosexuality or discriminate against the LGBTQ community, and he himself referred to the issue in terms of “sin.” But he attributed such attitudes to cultural …


Ancient Jerusalem Hand Imprint Baffles Israel Experts

Israeli archaeologists said Wednesday that they are trying to uncover the meaning of a recently discovered hand imprint carved into the stone wall of an ancient moat outside Jerusalem’s Old City. The imprint, which may been made as a “prank”, was found in a thousand-year-old moat exposed during works to expand a road in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem near Herod’s Gate, the Israeli Antiquities Authority said. The massive moat was hewn into the stone around all of the Old City, stretching 10 meters (33 feet) across and between two to seven …


Microsoft Reports Outage for Teams, Outlook, Other Services

Microsoft said it’s seeing some improvement to problems with its online services including the Teams messaging platform and Outlook email system after users around the world reported outages Wednesday.  In a status update, the tech company reported “service degradation” for a number of its Microsoft 365 services.  Thousands of users reported problems with Teams, Outlook, the Azure cloud computing service and XBox Live online gaming service early Wednesday on the Downdetector website, which tracks outage reports. Many users also took to social media to complain that services were down.  By …


ChatGPT Bot Passes US Law School Exam

A chatbot powered by reams of data from the internet has passed exams at a U.S. law school after writing essays on topics ranging from constitutional law to taxation and torts. ChatGPT from OpenAI, a U.S. company that this week got a massive injection of cash from Microsoft, uses artificial intelligence (AI) to generate streams of text from simple prompts. The results have been so good that educators have warned it could lead to widespread cheating and even signal the end of traditional classroom teaching methods. Jonathan Choi, a professor …


BBC Film About India’s PM Modi, 2002 Riots Draws Government Ire

Days after India blocked a BBC documentary that examines Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s role during 2002 anti-Muslim riots and banned people from sharing it online, authorities are scrambling to halt screenings of the film at colleges and universities and restrict clips of it on social media. Critics decry the move by as an assault on press freedom. Tensions escalated in the capital, New Delhi, on Wednesday at Jamia Millia University where a student group said it planned to screen the banned documentary, prompting dozens of police equipped with tear gas …