Author: Navdest Semo

London (20/5 – 20)One academic was asked about the internet eating their young. This triggered a heated debate about the use of the internet the freedom in presents, the dangers of unfettered go for it all to the public, the rise of the left, the response by the right, and AI, or Artificial Intelligence. The seriousness of the debate can be seen at the UK sponsored conference on AI at Bletchley Park. Following this was the adaptation of the European law on Artificial Intelligence. 28 countries at the summit, including the United States, China, and the European Union, have issued…

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The head of Britain’s domestic intelligence agency warned the country’s leading research universities on Thursday that foreign states are targeting their institutions and imperiling national security. “We know that our universities are being actively targeted by hostile actors and need to guard against the threat posed to frontier research in the most sensitive sectors,” said the deputy prime minister Oliver Dowden, who also attended the briefing. The threat requires “further measures,” said the deputy PM, who announced that the government was launching a consultation with the sector so it could “do more to support our universities and put the right…

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Madrid (10/03 – 21.43)Exorcism is a key source of income for Sabohiddin Shodiev, a popular cleric in his rural community on the outskirts of Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan. Shodiev — not his real name — says that every week he treats about 15 clients who ask him to expel what they believe is an evil spirit, or jinni, possessing them, or to rid them from “an evil eye.”The 53-year-old cleric has been practicing exorcisms — which he learned to do from his father — for more than two decades. Most of Shodiev’s clients come from Dushanbe and nearby districts,…

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Soran administration on Saturday declared a three-day mourning period after a deadly fire swept through a university accommodation building on Friday evening, killing 14 people, a statement from the administration said. A deadly fire swept through a university accommodation building housing many lecturers and students of Soran University on late Friday, killing at least 14 people and injuring several others. The fire, which initial reports indicate was caused by an electric fault, was quickly extinguished, but many people did not make it out of the building alive. In a statement, Soran administration sent condolences to the families of the victims and “declared…

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Brussels (21/10 – 75) In May 2022, tens of ethnic Pamiri protesters were killed by security forces as demonstrations were violently suppressed and an “anti-terrorist operation” was launched in the east of the country. Activists, local leaders, journalists and bloggers were arrested and sentenced in unfair trials. Many reported being tortured. Access to information, including through the media and internet, remained heavily restricted. Domestic violence remained widespread with victims rarely securing justice or support. Afghan refugees continued to be detained and deported. Tajikistan’s economic and political life continued to be tightly controlled by the president, in the 30th year of…

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The German magazine Der Spiegel published a cover about Ukraine with the title “Endless War.” He called the situation in Kyiv “between courage and despair.” “Now, when the second winter of the war begins, it is clear: hopes for a new turn of events were in vain. The war has turned into a positional one, the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine recently openly spoke about a “stalemate situation”. Only with heavy losses can the sides move the front line a little. That the military experts have known for a long time, the public now suspects: this war cannot be…

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The Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Peshmerga Minister Shoresh Ismail resumed his duties on Monday after absenting the post for over a year, citing the region’s political and military instability as the reason for the return. He called on the ruling political parties in the Kurdistan Region to enhance cooperation in order to continue the Peshmerga reform process. “The region is going through a very sensitive political and military situation and there is a serious threat, so this poor condition of the Peshmerga ministry is a matter of concern for all of us, especially the coalition forces and the Kurdish people,”…

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A Russian lawmaker last week claimed that the United States is seeking an excuse to withdraw from Iraq and Syria “nicely,” adding that he expects the fate of these two Middle Eastern countries to be like the fate of Afghanistan.  When ISIS controlled swathes of Syrian and Iraqi territories in 2014, a US-led coalition was formed to defeat the group. Iraqi and Kurdish forces ended the territorial rule of ISIS in both countries by 2019. In recent years, pro-Iran militia groups in Iraq have been calling for the withdrawal of American troops from the country. Washington has not announced any…

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Attacks on journalists have become a frequent occurrence in Tajikistan in recent years. Why are those responsible for attacks on journalists remain unpunished? Berlin (23/11 – 67) November 2 is the “International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists”. The date was chosen in commemoration of the assassination in Mali of Claude Verlon and Ghislaine Dupont, two French journalists, on November 2, 2013. The 2023 observance seeks to raise awareness of the main challenges faced by journalists and communicators in the exercise of their profession, and to warn of the escalation of violence and repression against them. Attacks on…

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Heavy rainstorms and floods killed nine people across Turkey, the country’s interior minister announced on Monday. Several areas across Turkey were struck by heavy rainstorms and flooding on Sunday, the severity of the weather conditions causing a Turkish cargo ship to sink off the Black Sea coast in the country’s northern province of Zonguldak. Of the 12 crew members on board, only one body was retrieved, with the rest remaining missing. “I would like to express with regret that one of our crew members [on the cargo ship] and 9 of our citizens have died due to storms, floods, and…

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