Pence says US to hold Russia accountable, stand with NATO
MUNICH (AP) ? U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday conveyed a message to jittery partners that the Trump administration will "hold Russia accountable" and maintain steadfast support for NATO, a military alliance the American commander in chief once dismissed as "obsolete."
Scuffles at Thai temple as police hunt for monk
By Cod Satrusayang and Aukkaraporn Niyomyat BANGKOK (Reuters) - Monks and police scuffled on Monday at a Buddhist temple in Thailand where security forces are trying to arrest an influential former abbot on money-laundering charges. The standoff at the scandal-hit Dhammakaya Temple represents one of the biggest challenges to the authority of Thailand's junta since it took power in 2014. Police said they would try to avoid violence while threatening arrest for followers of the sprawling temple who have defied orders to leave and instead flocked there, hampering the search for 72-year-old Phra Dhammachayo.
Ukraine rebels accuse OSCE of aiding Kiev forces
Ukraine's Russian-backed insurgents on Friday accused a top official in the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) of aiding Kiev's forces in the 34-month war. A separatist leader made the accusation at a joint news conference in the rebel-controlled city of Lugansk with Alexander Hug -- the principal deputy chief of the group's special monitoring mission to Ukraine --- who denied the claim. The OSCE is a Cold-war era body drawn up to ensure peace in Europe.
Norma McCorvey, plaintiff in Roe v. Wade abortion ruling, dies at 69
McCorvey died on Saturday morning of heart failure at an assisted living home in Katy, Texas, Joshua Prager, a journalist who is writing a book about the decision, said in an email. A reluctant hero of the abortion-rights movement, McCorvey put her courtroom pseudonym fully behind her in the 1980s when she lent her name to supporters of women's rights.
Father and Son Killed In Head-On Collision With One Another
Debt-saddled Mongolia agrees $5.5 bn IMF bailout
Mongolia has reached an agreement with the International Monetary Fund on a $5.5 billion bailout package, officials announced, as the debt-wracked country tries to stabilise its economy. The landlocked north Asian nation has been hit hard by a more than 50 percent fall over the past five years in the price of copper, its main export. Billions of dollars' worth of natural resources lie buried beneath Mongolia's sprawling steppes, but development has been delayed for years and slowing growth in its biggest customer China has hobbled the economy.
Shocker! World?s first self-driving car race ends in a crash
The world's first race on a professional track involving self-driving cars ended, not surprisingly, with a crash. As part of the Roborace competition held in Buenos Aires over the weekend, one of the two self-driving Devbot vehicles involved in the race slammed into a wall after miscalculating a particularly sharp turn.
While the Devbot vehicles weren't going all out, they weren't exactly driving at a leisurely pace either. At their best, both cars were driving in excess of 100 MPH, with one reaching a top speed of 115 MPH at one point.
In addition to racing around the track at high speeds, it's worth noting that each car can communicate with the other as to prevent them from crashing into each other. Unfortunately, the racetrack wall proved to be an insurmountable foe.
As for the software malfunction that caused the crash, Roborace's Justin Cooke explained what happened in an interview with the BBC:
Indeed, for as far along as self-driving software and hardware has progressed, it's clear that there's still a lot of work to be done before self-driving cars can replace human drivers completely across all driving environments.
While the DevBot vehicles are designed such that they "can be driven by a human or a computer", the versions used in the race over the weekend did not have any humans inside. Photos of the crash can be seen here.
Ex-cop says Duterte paid him, others to kill crime suspects
MANILA, Philippines (AP) ? A retired Philippine police officer said Monday that President Rodrigo Duterte, when he was a mayor, ordered and paid him and other members of a so-called liquidation squad to kill criminals and opponents, including a kidnapping suspect, his family and a critical radio commentator.
The geekiest signs from the 'Stand up for Science' rally
At a rally full of scientists, things were bound to get a bit geeky. On Sunday, thousands scientists and supporters gathered in Boston's Copley Square to "stand up for science" under the Trump administration. Their signs were, predictably, quite clever. My favorite sign so far. #standupforscience pic.twitter.com/2pSlU5UPdz ? Tomas Green (@TomasWGreen) February 19, 2017 I can't tell you how many older people have come up to me today to say, "I remember polio. Thank you." #standupforscience #AAASmtg pic.twitter.com/hrkIY3d5wh ? Kathleen Bachynski (@bachyns) February 19, 2017 #standupforscience (and other essentials) pic.twitter.com/Hy1buB2IWY ? Karin (@Sage_Risotto) February 19, 2017 #standupforscience pic.twitter.com/wZforidd1s ? Caitlin MacKenzie (@CaitlinInMaine) February 19, 2017 Many rally-goers were in Boston for the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world's largest general scientific society. "You don't usually see these kinds of rallies and demonstrations at scientific meetings," Kishore Hari, a chemist-turned-science educator, said ahead of Sunday's rally. "It's a sign that scientists are feeling not just under attack, but like the integrity of their work is in question," he said. "We must indeed hang together, or we will hang separately." #standupforscience pic.twitter.com/g8gUNGvOQ6 ? Clapback Nation (@clapbacknation) February 19, 2017 Lots of clever signs, as expected. #standupforscience pic.twitter.com/uJUmo7BfuA ? Kaleigh Rogers (@KaleighRogers) February 19, 2017 The most Boston of signs. #StandUpForScience #Boston https://t.co/tmBqgeI7gT pic.twitter.com/8CAi5T3REs ? Adam Salsman (@asalsman) February 19, 2017 My dad repping it at the #StandUpForScience rally today. #AAASmtg #Boston #ScienceNotSilence pic.twitter.com/Fcwo16PrqB ? Luca Shapiro (@LuccheseCrime) February 19, 2017 #standupforscience #factsmatter A post shared by Miles Grant (@thegreenmilesgrant) on Feb 19, 2017 at 9:36am PST Some signs from the #StandUpForScience rally in #Boston. . . . . #igboston #igersboston #followingboston #bostonbill #boston_community #bostonusa #narcityboston #cityscapeboston A post shared by Juan Ramos (@3_2_juan_) on Feb 19, 2017 at 11:19am PST Scientists at the rally voiced concerns about what they say is President Donald Trump's "anti-science" administration. Trump has tapped cabinet officials who deny the mainstream scientific consensus that climate change is happening, and that human activity is largely to blame. The newly confirmed head of the Environmental Protection Administration, Scott Pruitt, called himself the "leading advocate against the EPA" during his tenure as Oklahoma's attorney general. Since taking office, Trump has also moved to curb the flow of information from key government agencies involved in environmental issues. Along with the EPA, the departments of Interior and Agriculture were ordered to stop sharing information with the public, including through social media accounts. In response to the Trump administration's actions, U.S. scientists have taken the relatively rare step of banding together. Last December, a few hundred scientists held a rally outside the annual fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union. That event ? plus the widespread Women's Marches in January ? have inspired the larger March for Science, a demonstration planned for Earth Day on April 22. "Scientists usually like to be in their labs or their offices, just doing their thing, and rarely do they come together to fight for something," said Astrid Caldas, a climate scientist for the Union of Concerned Scientists, a science advocacy organization. Caldas noted that rallies aren't the only way scientists can speak out. Some people may feel more comfortable engaging directly with policymakers, penning articles, or working behind the scenes. "I think it's important that every scientist's voice is heard," she said. "There are many ways of advocating for science." Hari, the science educator, said he is organizing more than 260 satellite events to coincide with the main March for Science in Washington this spring. "Usually you hear the phrase 'let the science do the talking,'" he said. "I don't think that's going to be the case any more." BONUS: Harvard scientists have created the rarest material on earth
Rep. Adam Schiff calls Trump's comment about press 'most alarming' remark since election