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Myanmar military troops take part in a military exercise at Ayeyarwaddy delta region in Myanmar, February 3, 2018.

REUTERS/Lynn Bo Bo/Pool

Myanmar’s military moves into Rakhine villages

Myanmar’s military has begun expelling residents from villages surrounding Rakhine’s state capital Sittwe in response to threats from the rebel Arakan Army. The junta is reportedly moving into these villages, planting landmines, and bombing roads that lead into the city to inhibit the AA’s advances as it takes an increasingly defensive stance in its three-year-old civil war. The military has also been accused of murdering 76 people and burning down villages on the outskirts of Sittwe, allegations it denies.

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Women and children wait for food distribution from the United Nations World Food Programme in Thonyor, Leer state, South Sudan, back in 2017.

REUTERS/Siegfried Modola/File Photo

South Sudan customs dispute taxes a long-suffering population

Even as three-quarters of South Sudan’s people face starvation, a squabble between the government and the UN over import taxes is leaving vital aid trucks stuck at the border.

The background: South Sudan’s trade ministry ordered this week that all goods trucks entering the East African country must pay a $300 tax. The measure was meant to ensure that the government got its share of revenue from imports that are often underbilled or misrepresented. There was supposed to be a carveout for UN aid vehicles, but if so, officials at the Ugandan border didn’t get the memo – at least not yet.

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Demis Hassabis, CEO of DeepMind Technologies and developer of AlphaGO, attends the AI Safety Summit in Bletchley Park, near Milton Keynes, Britain, November 2, 2023.

REUTERS/Toby Melville/Pool

Hard Numbers: Google’s spending spree, Going corporate, Let’s see a movie, Court-ordered AI ban, Energy demands

100 billion: AI is a priority for many of Silicon Valley’s top companies — and it’s a costly one. Google DeepMind chief Demis Hassabis said that the tech giant plans to spend more than $100 billion developing artificial intelligence. That’s the same amount that rival Microsoft is expected to spend in building an AI-powered supercomputer, nicknamed Stargate.

72.5: The free market is dominating the AI game: Of the foundation models released between 2019 and 2023, 72.5% of them originated from private industry, according to a new Staford report. 108 models were released by companies, as opposed to 28 from academia, nine from an industry-academia collaboration, and four from government. None at all were released through a collaboration between government and industry.

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A police officer patrols near the police headquarters as Haiti continues in a state of emergency, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti March 6, 2024.

REUTERS/Ralph Tedy Erol

Haiti’s gangs threaten civil war

Prime Minister Ariel Henry is refusing calls to resign and remains stranded outside Haiti while the leader of the country’s largest gang alliance, Jimmy Chérizier, threatens civil war.

Henry visited Nairobi last week in an attempt to secure a Kenyan-led intervention force to help bring peace to Haiti. But heavily armed gangs took advantage of his absence and launched assaults against Haiti’s two largest prisons and the international airport in Port-au-Prince, paralyzing the country. Henry has since tried but failed to return to Haiti.

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The beach, Red Sea State, Port Sudan, Sudan.

Eric Lafforgue / Hans Lucas via Reuters Connect

Sudan’s lost sea access worsens humanitarian disaster

Since fighting between rival military factions in Sudan erupted last April, nearly 8 million people have been displaced, and 24 million require urgent food aid. But the crisis now may begin to beggar description as the country loses access to its Red Sea coast and migrants stream across its borders.

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Women from the city of Al-Junina (West Darfur) cry after receiving the news about the death of their relatives as they waited for them in Chad, November 7, 2023.

REUTERS/El Tayeb Siddig

Sudan’s civil war rages through Darfur

Sudan’s civil war reached a grim turning point this week as Rapid Support Forces paramilitaries solidified their control over the Darfur region in Western Sudan. The RSF has been accused of war crimes there as part of its conflict with the Sudanese government.

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A young Darfuri girl carries her sleeping brother at Zam Zam camp in Sudan's North Darfur state

REUTERS

Sudan’s Darfur region faces repeat of genocidal history

This week, Sudan passed the 100-day mark of brutal fighting between its army and the Rapid Support Forces, a powerful paramilitary group. As the fighting rages on, it is becoming clear to the international community that the RSF has returned to the Darfur region to complete the genocide it began 20 years ago against non-Arabs.

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Boris Johnson remains a dangerous force in UK politics
Boris Johnson remains a dangerous force in UK politics | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

Boris Johnson remains a dangerous force in UK politics

Carl Bildt, co-chair of the European Council on Foreign Relations and former prime minister of Sweden, shares his perspective on European politics, this week from the Oslo airport.

Is the political career of Boris Johnson over?

Seems to be the case but you can never be entirely certain, in his particular case. I think he has the ambition to come back. And clearly, he's going to remain a dangerous, in my opinion, a very disruptive force inside the Conservative Party. If they lose the election next year, which is not unlikely, mildly speaking, there might be a civil war and Boris Johnson might be one of the leaders of that particular civil war inside the Conservative Party. But remains to be seen.

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