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‘To the Future’: Saudi Arabia Spends Big to Become an A.I. Superpower

‘To the Future’: Saudi Arabia Spends Big to Become an A.I. Superpower

On a Monday morning last month, tech executives, engineers and sales representatives from Amazon, Google, TikTok and other companies endured a three-hour traffic jam as their cars crawled toward a mammoth conference at an event space in the desert, 50 miles outside Riyadh.The lure: billions of dollars in Saudi money as the kingdom seeks to build a tech industry to complement its oil dominance.To bypass the congestion, frustrated eventgoers drove onto the highway shoulder, kicking up plumes of desert sand as they sped past those following traffic rules. A lucky few took advantage of a special freeway exit dedicated to “V.V.I.P.s” — very, very important people.“To the Future,” a sign read on the approach to the event, called Leap.More than 200,000 people converged at the conference, includin...
FDA approves antibiotic for treatment of urinary infections

FDA approves antibiotic for treatment of urinary infections

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved the sale of an antibiotic to treat urinary tract infections in women, giving U.S. health care providers a powerful new tool to fight a common infection that is increasingly resistant to the existing suite of antimicrobial drugs .The drug, pivmecillinam, has been used in Europe for more than 40 years, where it is often first-line therapy for women with uncomplicated urinary tract infections, meaning the infection is confined to the bladder and has not reached the kidneys. The drug will be marketed in the United States as Pivya and will be made available by prescription to women aged 18 and older.It's the first time in two decades that the FDA has approved a new antibiotic for urinary tract infections, which affect 30 million Americ...
Enduring chaos: images from the third year of the war in Ukraine

Enduring chaos: images from the third year of the war in Ukraine

As the largest and deadliest war in Europe since the end of World War II enters its third year, the scale of the devastation caused by Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine continues to grow. The front line is a place of appalling violence where hundreds of thousands of Russian and Ukrainian soldiers have been killed or wounded, by more conservative Western estimates. The list of Ukrainian cities and towns largely razed by Russian bombs and artillery grows with each passing month.Russian forces advanced in small increments, suffering staggering casualties to capture cities like Avdiivka, which Moscow captured in February. Away from the front lines, millions of Ukrainians have spent hours in bomb shelters as Russia continues to fire missiles and drones at both military units and civi...
Meta's profits more than doubled as spending on AI increases

Meta's profits more than doubled as spending on AI increases

Meta reported a 27% increase in revenue and profit on Wednesday, more than doubling in the first quarter, as the company said it plans to spend billions of dollars more than expected on infrastructure to support its artificial intelligence efforts.Revenue at the company, which owns Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger, was $36.5 billion in the first quarter, up from $28.6 billion a year ago and slightly above estimates. Wall Street by $36.1 billion, according to data compiled by FactSet. Profit was $12.4 billion, up from $5.7 billion a year earlier.“It's been a good start to the year,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Meta's chief executive, referring to the company's efforts in artificial intelligence and the "healthy growth of our apps."But Meta's AI efforts, which require s...
Extreme heat worsens Gaza's dire problems

Extreme heat worsens Gaza's dire problems

When Maryam Arafat, her husband and their three young children fled their home in Gaza City under Israeli bombardment, it was the dead of winter. Forced to take shelter in a ramshackle tent in Deir al Balah, the family shivered during the bitterly cold nights, as there was no fuel to heat them and not enough clothes to stay warm.Since then, the climate has become hot and humid on the coast of the Gaza Strip, and that tent itself has become unbearable and suffocating.“The tent looks like it's on fire,” said Ms. Arafat, 23. “It's so hot you can't stand it, especially with little kids.” On her lap, one-year-old Yahya screamed in discomfort.Nearly two million Palestinians in Gaza were forced to flee their homes under Israeli shelling and military evacuation orders when the weath...
New nutritional guidelines put less sugar and salt on the school meal menu

New nutritional guidelines put less sugar and salt on the school meal menu

School meals will soon contain less salt and sugar, but can still include chocolate milk, according to new nutritional guidelines released by the Biden administration.The Agriculture Department on Wednesday finalized the regulation it first proposed in February 2023, having weakened several provisions after feedback from food companies, school nutrition professionals and more than 136,000 public comments.“All of this is designed to ensure that students receive quality meals and that we meet parents' expectations that their children receive healthy, nutritious meals at school,” Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, said in a call to reporters Tuesday .The new guidelines, which seek to better align school meals with federal dietary standards, build on a 2010 law that aimed to make cafet...
Horses run free in central London in a surreal spectacle

Horses run free in central London in a surreal spectacle

Several runaway military horses galloped through the streets of London on Wednesday morning, alarming pedestrians, swerving cars and buses and turning a normal rush hour into a frightening, almost surreal spectacle.According to the London Ambulance Service, one person was being treated for injuries after being thrown from a horse in Buckingham Palace Road. Media reported that the horses belonged to the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, a ceremonial unit that parades in royal processions.The ambulance service later reported that at least five people had been injured in three locations, from Victoria to Belgrave Square and Fleet Street. At 10.30am the Metropolitan Police said all the horses had been recovered.The drama began shortly after 8am, when the horses were apparently frightened a...
The metamorphosis of Mark Zuckerberg

The metamorphosis of Mark Zuckerberg

In the run-up to Meta's first-quarter earnings report this week, a video image of Mark Zuckerberg suddenly started to go viral.Not for the AI ​​assistant it advertised or the projected growth in ad revenue, but for the silver chain around its neck.“Mark Zuckerberg made an announcement about something Meta is doing with AI, but I couldn't listen or hold it for a second because when I watch the reel of him talking, all I see is a necklace,” Amy wrote Odell in his Substack. , Last row.Later, an edited version of the same image with Mr. Zuckerberg sporting scruffy facial hair wowed people even more. Among the more than 4,000 mostly drooling comments under an Instagram post from the celebrity account The Shade Room, included one from Gwyneth Paltrow, who compared Mr. Zuckerberg to her...
The United Nations calls for investigations after the discovery of mass graves in 2 hospitals in Gaza

The United Nations calls for investigations after the discovery of mass graves in 2 hospitals in Gaza

The United Nations human rights office on Tuesday called for an independent investigation into two mass graves found after Israeli forces withdrew from hospitals in Gaza, including one discovery days ago about which Israeli and Palestinian authorities have offered differing accounts.The Palestinian Civil Defense said over the weekend that it had found a mass grave containing 283 bodies on the grounds of Nasser Hospital in the southern town of Khan Younis, two weeks after a similar mass grave was found at Gaza's Al-Shifa Hospital City.Mahmoud Basal, spokesman for the Palestinian Civil Defense, an emergency services organization, said some of the bodies found in Khan Younis were handcuffed, shot in the head or wearing detainee uniforms. He accused Israeli forces of killing and burying t...
Fragments of the avian influenza virus discovered in milk

Fragments of the avian influenza virus discovered in milk

Federal regulators said Tuesday that pasteurized milk samples from across the country tested positive for inactive residues of the avian influenza virus that has infected dairy cows.The viral fragments pose no threat to consumers, officials said. “To date, we have seen nothing that would change our assessment that the commercial supply of milk is safe,” the Food and Drug Administration said in a statement.Over the past month, the avian influenza virus known as H5N1 has been detected on more than 30 dairy farms in eight states. The virus is also known to have infected a farmer, whose only symptom was pink eye.Scientists have been critical of the federal response, saying the Agriculture Department has been too slow to share important data and has not adequately pursued testing cattle for t...