Head of Boeing’s 737 MAX Program Leaves After Midair Incident

WASHINGTON — Boeing said on Wednesday it was replacing the head of its troubled 737 MAX program effective immediately, the first major executive departure since the January 5 midair panel blowout of a new Alaska Airlines MAX 9.  Ed Clark, who had been with the plane-maker for nearly 18 years, departed as Boeing has been dealing with its latest crisis and has vowed to ramp up quality efforts.  Regulators have curbed the plane-maker’s production, and lawmakers and customers have been scrutinizing production and safety measures.   Boeing has scrambled to explain and strengthen safety procedures after a door panel detached duringmore

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Commercial Spaceship Set for Lunar Touchdown, in Test for US Industry

WASHINGTON — A company from Texas is poised to attempt a feat that until now has only been accomplished by a handful of national space agencies but could soon become commonplace for the private sector: landing on the moon. If all goes to plan, Houston-based Intuitive Machines will guide its spaceship named Odysseus to a gentle touchdown near the lunar south pole on Thursday at 2249 GMT, then run experiments for NASA that will help pave the way for the return of astronauts later this decade. A previous effort by another U.S. company last month ended in failure, raising the stakesmore

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Britain, US, EU, Allies Take Down Lockbit Cybercrime Gang

LONDON — Lockbit, a notorious cybercrime gang that holds its victims’ data for ransom, has been disrupted in a rare international law enforcement operation by Britain’s National Crime Agency, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Europol and a coalition of international police agencies, according to a post on the gang’s extortion website on Monday. “This site is now under the control of the National Crime Agency of the UK, working in close cooperation with the FBI and the international law enforcement task force, ‘Operation Cronos,’” the post said. An NCA spokesperson confirmed that the agency had disrupted the gang and saidmore

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US-China Rivalry Expands to Biotech; Lawmakers Raise Alarm

WASHINGTON — U.S. lawmakers are raising alarms about what they see as America’s failure to compete with China in biotechnology, warning of the risks to U.S. national security and commercial interests. But as the two countries’ rivalry expands into the biotech industry, some say that shutting out Chinese companies would only hurt the U.S. Biotechnology promises to revolutionize everyday life, with scientists and researchers using it to make rapid advances in medical treatment, genetic engineering in agriculture and novel biomaterials. Because of its potential, it has caught the attention of both the Chinese and U.S. governments. Bills have been introduced inmore

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Media Creators Worry About New AI-Video Tool by Maker of ChatGPT

paris — A new artificial intelligence tool that promises to create short videos from simple text commands has raised concerns along with questions from artists and media professionals.  OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT and image generator DALL-E, said Thursday it was testing a text-to-video model called “Sora” that can allow users to create realistic videos with simple prompts.  The San Francisco-based startup says Sora can “generate complex scenes with multiple characters, specific types of motion, and accurate details of the subject and background,” but admits it still has limitations, such as possibly “mixing up left and right.”  Here are early reactionsmore

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Japan’s New Flagship H3 Rocket Reaches Orbit in Key Test

TOKYO — Japan’s flagship H3 rocket reached orbit and released two small observation satellites in a key second test following a failed debut launch last year, buoying hope for the country in the global space race. The H3 rocket blasted off from the Tanegashima Space Center on time Saturday morning, two days after its originally scheduled liftoff was delayed by bad weather. The rocket successfully reached orbit at an altitude of about 670 kilometers (about 420 miles) and released two satellites, said the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA. “We feel so relieved to be able to announce the good results,”more

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China to Show Off Airliner at Singapore Show Amid Supply Crunch

SINGAPORE — Singapore will play host to Asia’s biggest air show next week for the first time since the end of COVID border restrictions, with regional travel rebounding and the military side of the show bristling with defensive systems and nervous arms buyers. An expected full return of civil demand in Asia is being tested by an industry-wide supply crunch and macroeconomic headwinds, however — especially in the world’s second-largest aviation market, China — while geopolitical tensions have put weapons in the spotlight. “Supply chain issues are limiting the ability of many airlines to upgrade their fleets and service their aircraft,”more

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US Justice Department Says It Disrupted Russian Intelligence Hacking Network

Washington — The U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday it disrupted a Russian intelligence hacking network. “For the second time in two months, we’ve disrupted state-sponsored hackers from launching cyber-attacks behind the cover of compromised U.S. routers,” U.S. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said in a statement. The Justice Department said that a January 2024 court-authorized operation neutralized the network of hundreds of small office/home office (SOHO) routers controlled by Russian intelligence and used “to conceal and otherwise enable a variety of crimes.”   “In this case, Russian intelligence services turned to criminal groups to help them target home and officemore

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China’s VPN Usage Nearly Doubles Amid Internet Censorship

WASHINGTON — Last year, VPN usage in China nearly doubled, according to data from IT education news outlet Techopedia, this despite the country’s strict regime of internet controls of everything from overseas websites to online games. China’s “Great Firewall” is one of the world’s most comprehensive internet censorship regimes, preventing citizens from accessing websites like Instagram, Wikipedia and YouTube, as well most major news organizations including VOA. VPNs are outlawed in China because they allow users to jump the “Great Firewall” and securely connect to the internet outside the country while blocking their IP address. Rob Binns, a journalist with Techopedia,more

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Biden is on TikTok Despite Security Concerns

In an effort to connect to younger voters, the Biden campaign has joined TikTok. But while many users have welcomed the move, security experts and even legislators have expressed disapproval amid long-standing privacy concerns surrounding the use of the Chinese-owned app. VOA’s Veronica Balderas Iglesias has details from Washington. (Produced by: Veronica Balderas Iglesias) …

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Silicon Valley Startup Discovers Huge Copper Deposits

A California-based company backed by tech billionaires says it has discovered major copper deposits in Zambia using artificial intelligence. The discovery comes as demand for the metal is especially high for the global transition to cleaner energy sources. Kathy Short reports from Lusaka, Zambia. (Camera and produced by: Richard Kille) …

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Biden Campaign Joins TikTok, Despite Security Concerns 

washington — President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign Monday defended its new TikTok account as a vital way to boost its appeal with young voters, even as his administration continued to raise security concerns about whether the popular social media app might be sharing user data with China’s communist government. The campaign’s inaugural post featured the president being quizzed on Sunday’s Super Bowl — and included a reference to the latest political conspiracy theory centering on pop superstar Taylor Swift. “The president’s TikTok debut last night — with more than 5 million views and counting — is proof positive of both ourmore

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