February 25 2021
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Just months before the presidential election, Facebook says it's taking steps to combat deepfakes, videos that have been manipulated using artificial intelligence to make it appear that someone has said or done something they haven't.

Facebook is banning videos that are "edited or synthesized" to fool users but will allow parody and satire.

Why now? Many fear this insidious form of digital disinformation could be used to mislead voters, much the same way that fabricated news stories influenced public opinion in 2016.

So what are deepfakes anyway and just how worried should you be that the video you are watching isn't real?

Fake but convincing videos Deepfakes are videos doctore


Everyone on board a Ukrainian aircraft carrying 176 passengers and crew that crashed close to Iran’s capital, Tehran, has died, Iranian state television has reported. The plane had taken off from Imam Khomeini International Airport, the report said. It went down in farmland outside of the city. Authorities initially blamed a mechanical problem for the crash, which came just hours after Iran launched a ballistic missile attack targeting two bases in Iraq housing US forces. State TV said the missile attack was launched in retaliation for the killing of Iran’s top general Qasem Soleimani last week.

It is unclear whether the incident is linked to the Iran-US confrontation. Rescue teams have


DUBUQUE, Iowa — Sliding steadily in the polls and battling a narrative that he couldn’t endure the kind of rigorous campaign schedule Iowans demand, Joe Biden’s Iowa prospects were just about written off earlier this fall. Even his own campaign began to downplay expectations.

But with 31 days left before the Feb. 3 caucuses, Biden has managed to turn his fortunes around.

He launched a successful, eight-day bus tour through rural Iowa last month that sparked an uptick in volunteers, precinct captain requests and caucus commitments. He increased his fundraising sharply in the last quarter, allowing him to flood the state’s airwaves with ads.

This week, Biden’s Iowa fortunes picked up


Ryan Kramer is used to making spreadsheets. He graduated from high school at age 14, received an undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering at 18, and a master’s in engineering management at 19. Ten years later, Kramer finds himself making spreadsheets for something other than schoolwork -- he uses them to keep track of his 20 half siblings.

Kramer found out he was donor-conceived at a very young age. "I naturally kind of got curious. I came to my mom one day and said, 'So, did my dad die or what?'"

He set off on a mission to find his sperm-donor dad. Kramer tried everything from sending a letter to the sperm bank at seven years old, to co-founding the Donor Sibling Registry (DSR) w


For months, Boeing has said it had no idea that a new automated system in the 737 Max jet, which played a role in two fatal crashes, was unsafe.

But on Friday, the company gave lawmakers a transcript revealing that a top pilot working on the plane had raised concerns about the system in messages to a colleague in 2016, more than two years before the Max was grounded because of the accidents, which left 346 people dead.

In the messages, the pilot, Mark Forkner, who played a central role in the development of the plane, complained that the system, known as MCAS, was acting unpredictably in a flight simulator: "It’s running rampant."

The messages are from November 2016, months before t


A North Carolina teenager has reached a plea deal to avoid facing five charges after nude selfies of himself were found on his phone.


A Fayetteville, North Carolina teenager has reached a plea deal to avoid being charged with multiple sexual exploitation counts after his cell phone was found to contain nude selfies of himself. Seventeen-year-old Cormega Copening, who took the photos of himself when he was 16, agreed to the deal in order to avoid possible jail time and being registered as a sex offender. As part of the plea, the teen agreed to random police searches without warrant for one year as well as other penalties, Fusion reports. The teenager was listed as both the vic


Should Donald Trump be removed from the office of the president because he is psychologically unfit to uphold his constitutional duties?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently said, "I pray for the president of the United States. I wish that his family, or his administration or his staff would have an intervention. … Maybe he wants to take a leave of absence."

Pelosi also said, "Trump is too mentally impaired to function as president."

Is being unfit grounds to impeach a president? James Madison appears to have thought so when he said, during the debates of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, that a president could be removed for "incapacity, negligence or perfidy." Rep. Al Green,


KABUL, Afghanistan - The world continues down a path of depravity and evil as a cowardly murderer bent on a suicide mission, used a bomb to kill at least 63 people and wounded 182 in an explosion at a packed wedding hall Saturday night in Kabul, Afghanistan, according to the country's Interior Ministry.

The blast occurred near the stage where musicians were and "all the youths, children and all the people who were there were killed," witness Gul Mohammad told The Associated Press news agency.

Both the Bride and Groom survived. The groom, Mirwais Elmi, recalled greeting smiling guests in the afternoon, before seeing their bodies being carried out hours later.

The attack "changed my h


Among the 20 people shot to death by a young gunman in crowded El Paso, Texas, shopping area Saturday. A 25-year-old woman and her husband was shot while holding her 2-month-old son, her sister said.

Jordan and Andre Anchondo were killed in the El Paso shooting while shopping for school supplies Ms Anchondo's sister said her two-month-old nephew was being treated for broken bones — the result of his mother's fall Mexico's President has revealed that three Mexicans were among those killed in the attack Leta Jamrowski, 19, of El Paso, learned Saturday afternoon (local time) that her sister, Jordan Anchondo, 25, had been shot and killed at Walmart while shopping for back-to-school supplie


At the very end of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s MSNBC town hall on Wednesday night, host Chris Hayes asked Warren about all the people who say they like her, but are worried she couldn’t beat President Donald Trump in the general election.

Warren, and many of the other women candidates running in 2020, have been getting this question a lot lately: about whether or not they are "electable." Warren’s response? Political conventional wisdom about presidents is often wrong.

"I remember when people said Barack Obama couldn’t be elected," Warren responded. "I remember when people said Donald Trump couldn’t be elected. And here we are."

Warren has a point; during this time in 2016, political pu


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