Archive for May, 2020

Elon Musk tweets IN RUSSIAN to accept co-operation offer from Russia’s space agency

Posted by RT on May 31, 2020  |   Comments Off on Elon Musk tweets IN RUSSIAN to accept co-operation offer from Russia’s space agency

Elon Musk, whose SpaceX company has just performed its first manned flight into orbit, replied to greetings from Roscosmos saying he was ready to work with Russia to explore space further. And, surprisingly, he did it in Russian.

“Thank you, sir, ha ha. We’re hoping for a mutually beneficial and prosperous long-term cooperation,” the tech billionaire wrote.

The message came in response to Roscosmos boss Dmitry Rogozin’s tweet in which – in English – he congratulated his NASA counterpart, Jim Bridenstine, on a successful launch, and asked him to convey his “sincere greetings” to Elon Musk.

But the assistance of NASA’s administrator wasn’t needed, apparently. Being an active Twitter user, Musk found the tweet himself and swiftly responded to it in Russian, prompting some positive feedback from Russian Twitter users.

The successful SpaceX launch marked a huge step forward in Musk’s dream Starship project, which he hopes will someday see reusable rockets delivering both people and cargo to Earth’s orbit, as well as to the Moon and beyond.

Moreover, it enabled NASA to deliver its astronauts to space for the first time in nine years, having previously had to rely on Russian Soyuz craft.

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‘Unjustified cruelty’: Moscow demands probe after Russian journalist pepper-sprayed by Minneapolis police

Posted by RT on May 31, 2020  |   Comments Off on ‘Unjustified cruelty’: Moscow demands probe after Russian journalist pepper-sprayed by Minneapolis police

The use of violent force by police against journalists, including a Russian correspondent who was pepper-sprayed in the face, is unacceptable, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said, urging the US to investigate the incident.

This comes after a RIA Novosti correspondent, Mikhail Turgiev, and a group of US journalists were attacked by police in Minneapolis while covering the ongoing riots provoked by the death of an African American man, George Floyd. The crew was targeted with rubber bullets and Turgiev was pepper-sprayed, despite showing his press ID.

Police attacks on media staff executing their professional duties are unacceptable, the ministry added, calling the law enforcers’ use of pepper spray on Turgiev “unjust cruelty.”

One of the photos made by Mikhail Turgiev during the riots in Minneapolis. © Sputnik

The ministry urged the US authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident, reminding Washington of its obligation to ensure that journalists can carry out their activities on US soil in a manner that is safe and unhindered.

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Riot police fired pepper balls at reporter Kaitlin Rust. © screenshot WAVE 3 News
‘I’m getting shot’: Police fire pepper balls at TV REPORTER & crew during Louisville protests (VIDEO)

International organizations and human rights NGOs should also look into the attack on the Russian correspondent, it added.

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India expels Pakistani embassy officials over ‘SPYING’

Posted by RT on May 31, 2020  |   Comments Off on India expels Pakistani embassy officials over ‘SPYING’

Two Pakistani officials working in New Delhi have been told to leave India within 24 hours over taking part in “espionage activities,” the nation’s foreign ministry has said.

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Twitter turns its logo BLACK amid George Floyd riots & adds hashtag #BlackLivesMatter to profile

Posted by RT on May 31, 2020  |   Comments Off on Twitter turns its logo BLACK amid George Floyd riots & adds hashtag #BlackLivesMatter to profile

With rioting in full swing across America, social media giant Twitter has made its offering to the gods of corporate wokeness, blacking out its distinctive logo and replacing its bio with the hashtag “#BlackLivesMatter.”

The Silicon Valley firm made the changes to its profile on Sunday, after five consecutive nights of protests and rioting in major cities around the US. The company didn’t immediately explain its redesign, but has already tweeted about the “long-standing racism and injustices faced by Black and Brown people on a daily basis.”

Twitter is not the only corporate giant to side with the protest movement. Netflix boasted on Saturday that it has “a duty to our Black members, employees, creators and talent to speak up,” while Nike – already known for its social-justice oriented ad campaigns – released a video on Friday urging its customers to “be part of the change” and not “make any more excuses.”

The change of look at Twitter didn’t go down well with some users. With the Donald Trump administration accusing Antifa militants of hijacking the nationwide protests to instigate violence, some conservative commenters accused the social media platform of supporting “domestic terrorism,” and “fawning over the left.”

Even some Black activists took issue with the change, accusing the company of doing “less than nothing to get rid of doxxing & harassing white nationalists.”

For Twitter, the backlash to its woke signalling is at least contained to the online realm. Despite taking a similar stance on the protests, Nike still found its stores looted and its products stolen from multiple locations across America.

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A Nike store being looted in Chicago. © Twitter / @RT
WATCH laughing looters clear out Chicago Nike store in UNDER A MINUTE

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Elon Musk singing SOVIET cosmonaut song in deepfake clip goes VIRAL after successful manned SpaceX launch

Posted by RT on May 31, 2020  |   Comments Off on Elon Musk singing SOVIET cosmonaut song in deepfake clip goes VIRAL after successful manned SpaceX launch

People online thought reposting a clip of Elon Musk singing a Soviet song about space explorers was a perfect way to celebrate the historic launch by SpaceX. It’s actually a deepfake video from two weeks ago, and it looks stellar!

A Russian deepfake artist has superimposed the face of the tech entrepreneur on the footage from a live show by Soviet band "Zemlyane" (or "Earthlings") back in 1983. In the clip, Musk 'replaced' the lead singer, who was performing a song called “Trava u doma" ("The grass beside the house").

The genre of the song is described as space rock. It tells a touching story of a cosmonaut in orbit, who looks at Earth from the viewing port, is missing his planet and, while sleeping, has dreams about the “green-green grass” outside his home.

Here’s the original clip from Zemlyane’s show:

Musk, obviously, never sang Soviet space songs, but he surely sang the praise of Russia’s space program. Last year, he tweeted that “Russia has excellent rocket engineering & best engine currently flying,” predicting success to the upcoming Angara rocket.

Elon Musk has been the hero in numerous deepfake videos, in which AI technologies are used to seamlessly replace the face of a person in the footage with the facial movements of somebody else.

On Saturday, SpaceX became the first private company to deliver NASA astronauts into orbit, while also carrying out the first manned space launch from US territory in nine years.

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SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying NASA astronauts lifts off from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. © Reuters / Thom Baur
SpaceX Falcon rocket launches two NASA astronauts into space

Russia’s space agency Roscosmos has congratulated SpaceX on its first manned launch, saying that the success of the mission will benefit the whole international space program.

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Russia’s to blame? MSM allegations that Moscow had a hand in US anti-police-brutality riots ‘entirely to be expected’

Posted by RT on May 31, 2020  |   Comments Off on Russia’s to blame? MSM allegations that Moscow had a hand in US anti-police-brutality riots ‘entirely to be expected’

It’s completely predictable that politicians and news outlets are pointing the finger at Russia for riots across the US, analysts told RT, since blaming the Kremlin for everything inconvenient has become an American pastime.

Nationwide demonstrations against the death of George Floyd have descended into rioting and looting in many cities, creating chaos – as well as political opportunism. Efforts to scapegoat Russia for the crisis are par for the course, George Szamuely, a senior research fellow at the Global Policy Institute told RT.

“It was entirely to be expected. I was wondering how long it would take the mainstream media to find a Russian angle. Of course, there’s not the slightest evidence for this, but that’s to be expected,” he noted.

According to Szamuely, America’s “liberal elite” has latched onto the idea that the Kremlin is lurking around every corner – a “habit” that took root after Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 presidential election.

The people who are presenting this whole ‘Russia is to blame’ narrative, they still haven’t got over 2016. It’s a replay of the same Trump-Russia collusion story for which there has been no evidence.

He predicted that the riots would ultimately end up helping US President Donald Trump politically, as more and more Americans demand a return to law and order. As such, Democrats are desperate to find some way of painting the mayhem as yet another sinister – and baseless – Trump-Russia conspiracy.

Political analyst and journalist Andre Vltchek took the view that the US establishment is also eager to cover up its own double standards when it comes to lecturing the rest of the world about human rights.

“The US is ready to impose sanctions on China over Hong Kong, over its treatment of protesters, which is much milder than what we see right now in Minneapolis and other parts of the United States,” he told RT.

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A man gestures as he confronts National Guard members in Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 29, 2020 © Reuters / Carlos Barria
Minneapolis riots are PUTIN’S PLAN, ‘Russiagate’ thought-peddlers warn

Although news coverage initially downplayed the extent of the destruction caused by the riots and looting, media outlets, pundits and officials have started to change gear. During an appearance on CNN, National Urban League President and former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial speculated that the ongoing unrest in Minneapolis was being fueled by Russian agents.

A similar sentiment was expressed by Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, who cryptically suggested that his state was being undermined by some kind of foreign influence. This theory has taken root among political pundits and news anchors alike, though they have thus far failed to substantiate their claims with any evidence.

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‘You hang gays & stone women!’ Pompeo awkwardly fights back as Iran’s Zarif speaks out against racism amid George Floyd riots

Posted by RT on May 31, 2020  |   Comments Off on ‘You hang gays & stone women!’ Pompeo awkwardly fights back as Iran’s Zarif speaks out against racism amid George Floyd riots

Mike Pompeo has clashed online with Tehran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif after the latter weighed in on the anti-police-brutality riots across the US. Zarif even used the secretary of state’s own words on Iran.

“Some don’t think Black Lives Matter,” Zarif wrote, telling “those of us who do” that a war waged against racism is “long overdue for the entire world.” The top Iranian official was commenting on the mayhem sweeping through the US over the police killing of an African American, George Floyd.

It is “time for #WorldAgainstRacism,” Zarif’s statement proclaimed. It also featured a re-write of a previous statement by Secretary of State Pompeo, which lambasted Iran for allegedly “squandering its citizens' resources” and employing “futile tactics of suppression, imprisonment of protesters” along with “the denial of Iranian frustrations.”

Zarif replaced the words “Iran” and “Iranian” with “American,” “America” or “US” in the repurposed statement. He was apparently applying the comment in relation to what is happening now across the United States.

Zarif’s publication appeared on Pompeo’s radar hours later, but the response of the State Department chief was unusually brief. “You hang homosexuals, stone women and exterminate Jews,” he wrote, sharing the Iranian foreign minister’s tweet.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry is no stranger to sparring with the US secretary of state. Earlier in March, it uploaded an image that called for an end to “aiding war crimes” and “obeying immoral and illegal US sanctions.”

The picture featured the word “sanction” in the center, with the letter “O” stylized as coronavirus with a translucent Pompeo lurking behind it. The unorthodox message came after the US chief diplomat blamed Tehran for the severity of the outbreak in the country.

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RT
Pompeo behind corona? Iran’s foreign ministry employs PHOTOSHOP to take a not-so-subtle jab at US sanctions (PHOTO)

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‘US statements are fake, not Libyan money’: Moscow rebuffs accusations of printing counterfeit dinars

Posted by RT on May 30, 2020  |   Comments Off on ‘US statements are fake, not Libyan money’: Moscow rebuffs accusations of printing counterfeit dinars

Moscow printed dinars for Libya in accordance with a government contract, so Washington’s claims of it being fake money have nothing to do with reality, according to Russia’s Foreign Ministry.

The US State Department announced on Friday that $1.1 billion worth of “counterfeit, Russian-printed Libyan currency” was seized in Malta earlier this week. 

Moscow confirmed the dinars were indeed printed by Russian state-owned company Goznak, but it was done in accordance with a contract it signed with the Central Bank of Libya in 2015. The order was fully paid for by the Libyan side, it was announced.

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Following the NATO-backed removal of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 and years of chaos, Libya is now run by two rival governments, which both have their own central banks. Moscow said it sent money to Benghazi, which is controlled by the Libyan National Army (LNA) of Khalifa Haftar, because the head of the local bank was appointed by the democratically elected parliament. The seized money was essential for stabilizing the troubled Libyan economy, the ministry added. 

Therefore, it’s the American statements that are false, but not the Libyan dinars.

Washington, which backs the UN recognized Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), has labeled the LNA and its bank “an illegal parallel entity.” 

Moscow reiterated its stance that the conflict in Libya should only be solved behind the negotiations table, calling upon the sides to lay down arms and start talking.

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AI to choose your news? Microsoft to get rid of journalists & replace them with ROBOTS

Posted by RT on May 30, 2020  |   Comments Off on AI to choose your news? Microsoft to get rid of journalists & replace them with ROBOTS

It appears no one is safe from the rise of the bots: Microsoft has announced that it will be axing its team of journalists that work for MSN.com, and replacing them with news-savvy artificial intelligence.

The tech giant currently contracts several dozen journalists to select and curate news stories that appear on MSN and its Edge internet browser. But starting in June, these media workers will be out of a job – with their responsibilities being delegated to software designed to sniff out the most suitable news for human consumption. 

One anonymous employee who will soon be out of work told the Guardian that there is an ironic element to his precarious future. “I spend all my time reading about how automation and AI is going to take all our jobs, and here I am – AI has taken my job,” he said. The journalist added that he feels Microsoft is taking a big risk with automated news aggregation, as the company has strict editorial guidelines when it comes to curating content.

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© Global Look Press /  imago-images.de / Reiner Zensen / Vincent Isore / Rupert OberhŠuser
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Microsoft said its employees were notified about the changes, and that the decision to do away with its human news staff was based on a routine evaluation of business practices.

“This can result in increased investment in some places and, from time to time, redeployment in others,” the company told the BBC, stressing that the move is not related to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Artificial intelligence is starting to rapidly transform the global economy. From computer-driven taxis to self-checkout at the grocery store, “essential” workers are becoming increasingly obsolete.

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Germany decries ‘disappointing backlash’ for global health in swipe at Trump’s split from WHO

Posted by RT on May 30, 2020  |   Comments Off on Germany decries ‘disappointing backlash’ for global health in swipe at Trump’s split from WHO

News that the US has severed all ties with the World Health Organization (WHO) was met with criticism in Berlin, which called on the global body to reform in order to stay afloat. It also urged the EU to fill the funding void.

German Health Minister Jens Spahn took to Twitter on Saturday, lamenting what he called “a disappointing backlash for International Health.” He called upon the WHO to change if it is to make “any difference for the future.”

Berlin, whose turn to lead the European Union comes in July, will help the health body keep its head above water, Spahn assured: “And the EU must take a leading role and engage more financially. That’s one of our priorities for our EU presidency."

While the evasive message didn’t name names, it marked a slight nod to US President Donald Trump who announced the termination of the US’ relationship with the WHO the day prior.

In a speech largely devoted to castigating China, Trump said the organization failed to make “major substantive improvements” and is now “totally” controlled by Beijing. 

On May 19, the US president penned a letter to the WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, warning he would permanently cut funding if the UN agency does not address those “improvements” within 30 days. His Friday announcement came only ten days after voicing the ultimatum.

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(L) Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian © Reuters / Carlos Garcia Rawlins; (R) The WHO logo © Reuters / Pierre Albouy
Ouch! Trump threatening WHO to cover up his incompetence by blaming others – Beijing

Trump has repeatedly bashed the WHO’s response to the Covid-19 epidemic, claiming it favored Beijing. China, on its part, envisioned the threats as an attempt to smear its fight against Covid-19 and shift the blame for the mishandling of the epidemic on US soil.

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