Defense Secretary Mattis predicts bigger defense role for private technology firms

Defense Secretary James Mattis says he sees a growing role for the technology industry in defending the United States. The comments suggest a potential untapped market for Amazon and Google, whose hometowns Mattis visited this week on a West Coast swing, and other large companies like Apple, Facebook and Microsoft. Like the leaders of these tech companies, Mattis is focused on acquiring more expertise in artificial intelligence. The difference is his goal: getting it into the U.S. military faster, to make it a “more lethal and more effective” fighting force. “Many of the advances [in AI] are…

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Partner at private equity firm denies being jogger who pushed woman into bus

A man arrested on suspicion of pushing a woman into the path of an oncoming bus that nearly hit her has denied any involvement in the incident. Eric Bellquist, a partner at a Mayfair-based private equity firm, said he was not the jogger caught on CCTV shoving the woman into the road on Putney Bridge in south-west London. The American investment banker’s lawyers state that Bellquist has “irrefutable proof” he was in the US at the time of the incident. While the encounter occurred in May, it came to the…

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FIRST IMPRESSIONS: 2017 HYUNDAI VERNA REVIEW

m not entirely certain what role the 2017 Verna will play in Hyundai’s future. The market is shifting towards SUVs and sedans are on a slow march towards a precipice. The new Hyundai Verna is one of those cars that could bring a halt or slow that crawl even further for a brief period in time. The new Verna is a much improved car – it is after all all-new, built on a new platform called the K2. We, and the roughly 1 million unique journalists gathered at the event,…

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Hong Kong leader reminded of need to strengthen national education of young

Mainland China’s education minister reminded Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor of President Xi Jinping’s instructions on the need to strengthen young people’s education on the Chinese constitution, Basic Law, and Chinese history and culture. Chen Baosheng also assured Lam that his ministry would spare no efforts in helping the city address “all questions” and responding to “all requests” on education. Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam calls for national security law push, but no clear time frame Chen raised the issue with Lam during a meeting in Beijing on…

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New effort to reform early education gives some a sense of deja vu

The line behind the microphone snaked down the aisle, as two dozen people stepped up to advocate for their slice of the early childhood education pie. Several members of the local education workers union argued for collective bargaining rights for child care workers. A representative from the research policy center Zero to Three spoke up “on behalf of the near 1.5 million infants and toddlers in California,” while someone from First 5 LA mentioned the need for more transitional kindergarten opportunities for four-year-olds. It was the second public hearing of California’s…

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Despacito effect: Puerto Rico’s La Perla is the new tourist hot spot. Here’s why

“The gringos are coming!” Outsiders were afraid to venture in before, but since Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s megahit, tourists from all over the world are descending on the narrow streets that wind among La Perla’s brightly coloured houses. “Despacito?” they inquire. And the barrio’s residents obligingly point out the locations where the video was filmed: the rocks facing the sea where Fonsi sings the refrain, the sea wall where ex-Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera strolls, the little plaza where men play dominoes — the tables and chairs just as they…

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Switzerland opens the world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge. See pics

It took Swiss work crews just 10 weeks to complete the bridge which now forms part of the Europaweg, known as one of the most scenic two-day hikes in the Alps for offering panoramic views of the Matterhorn — the most iconic Swiss mountain peak — along with Weisshorn and the Bernese Alps. The bridge is situated on the Europaweg, that connects the villages of Zermatt and Graechen. (AP) The trail runs between 1,600 m and 2,200 m above sea level. The bridge replaces an older bridge that was closed…

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From a snake as snack to crocodile meat as an antidote for a bad heart — in the Philippines

In the Puerto Princesa Public Market, pink duck eggs lay stacked next to white hen and pied quail eggs, eggs so pink that a flamingo would want to borrow it for its plumes. The crowd was milling in the Philippine island of Palawan and I heard a voice piping in the clamour of a marketplace. “Want an embryo for a snack?” After a long day rowing inside an underground river, one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature, I sure required nutrients. But an embryo? I thought my ears were…

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Seven Things to Do When You Are Going Solo

You’ve been planning your vacation for months, and you’re finally there. You’ve checked into your hotel, settled in and feel like you can conquer the world. But before you do so, here are a few things to make the experience better and hassle-free. Yes, you are welcome: Grab your hotel’s business card You’ve gotten yourself a great deal on a quaint hotel in the heart of the city, but the flip side of such fortuitous discoveries is that when you’re lost wandering the city, you can’t always ask people for…

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