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Saturday, Dec 03rd

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San Francisco considers allowing law enforcement robots to use lethal force

San Francisco considers allowing robots to use violence

Should robots working alongside law enforcement be used to deploy deadly force?

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is weighing that question this week as they consider a policy proposal that would allow the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) to use robots as a deadly force against a suspect.

A new California law became effective this year that requires every municipality in the state to list and define the authorized uses of all military-grade equipment in their local law enforcement agencies.

The original draft of SFPD's policy was silent on the matter of robots.

Aaron Peskin, a member of the city's Board of Supervisors, added a line to SFPD's original draft policy that stated, "Robots shall not be used as a Use of Force against any person."

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Texas woman found by family 51 years after being kidnapped as baby

Texas woman found by family after 50 years

More than 50 years after her babysitter kidnapped her as a baby in Texas, a US woman has reunited with her family, who tracked their missing loved one down with a DNA test and without help from law enforcement or other outside involvement.

The incredible saga centering on the disappearance of Melissa Highsmith concluded in South Carolina on Saturday, according to a report from the Charleston television news station WCIV as well as a news release from her family.

Highsmith was a year old in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1971 when her mother, Alta Apantenco, published a newspaper advertisement asking for a babysitter. Raising Melissa on her own and needing someone to care for her daughter while she worked her job, Apatenco hired a woman who expressed interest in the job without ever meeting her in person.

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Woman’s name and tiny sketches found in 1,300-year-old medieval text

1.300 year sketches found

For nearly 1,300 years, no one knew it was there. The name of a highly educated English woman, secretly scratched on to the pages of a rare medieval manuscript in the eighth century, but impossible to read – until now.

Academics have discovered the Old English female name Eadburg was repeatedly scored into the surface of the religious text, using a method that kept it hidden from the naked eye for more than 12 centuries.

The covert writing of the woman’s name was finally revealed when researchers at the Bodleian Library in Oxford used cutting-edge technology to capture the 3D surface of the ancient manuscript, a Latin copy of the Acts of the Apostles that was made in England between AD700 and AD750.

It is the first time this technology, capable of revealing “almost invisible” markings so shallow they measure about a fifth of the width of a human hair, has been used to record annotations on the surface of a manuscript.

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US judge orders Amazon to ‘cease and desist’ anti-union retaliation

US Judge orders Amazon to cease and desist uinion retalilation

Amazon will be forced to read out a public notice this week to all employees at a warehouse in Staten Island, New York, where workers won the first Amazon union election, stating it will “cease and desist” from retaliating against people involved in union organizing.

US district judge Diane Gujarati ruled on 18 November that Amazon cease and desist from retaliating against workers for organizing in the workplace, in response to Amazon employee Gerald Bryson’s termination in April 2020. She included in her ruling that Amazon read out publicly her 30-page decision to employees, which is set to be conducted on Thursday 1 December.

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Fighting in east Ukraine descends into trench warfare as Russia seeks breakthrough

Ukranian tank commander

Fighting around the key eastern Ukraine town of Bakhmut has descended into a bloody morass with hundreds of dead and injured reported daily, as neither Russian or Ukrainian forces were able to make a significant breakthrough after months of fighting.

As Russia moved fresh formations to the area in recent weeks, including reinforcements previously in the Kherson region, the fighting in the Bakhmut sector has descended into trench warfare reminiscent of the first world war.

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HBO announces documentary on Pelosi filmed by daughter

HBO to air Pelosi film

HBO is premiering a documentary next month that chronicles the congressional career of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) filmed by the Democratic leader’s daughter, Alexandra Pelosi.

The documentary, titled “Pelosi in the House,” will debut on Dec. 13 on HBO and HBO Max, Warner Media, the parent company of HBO, announced on Monday. Alexandra Pelosi, an award-winning documentarian, produced and directed the film.

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Arizona’s Maricopa County votes to certify 2022 election over GOP objections

Kari LakeSupervisors in Arizona’s Maricopa County voted unanimously to certify their election canvass ahead of a state deadline on Monday, defying Republican objections.

Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake (R) and others in the GOP have seized on printer malfunctions in Maricopa County, Arizona’s most populous jurisdiction that includes Phoenix, making it an epicenter for election challenges as they called on supervisors to vote against certification.

The Republican-controlled board voted unanimously to certify the canvass on Monday at the conclusion of a tense meeting, insisting no voter was disenfranchised. Dozens of residents spoke about their concerns, at times interrupting supervisors, including some attendees who were escorted out of the room.

“These conversations need to focus on real issues. We can spend the next two years as we’ve spent the last two, fighting over conspiracy theories promoted on social media by people who know nothing about —” Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer (R) said at the meeting before he was cut off by boos from attendees.

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World's largest active volcano, Mauna Loa, erupts in Hawaii; moves to northeast rift zone

Mauna Loa erupts

Mauna Loa, the largest active volcano in the world, has begun to erupt in Hawaii, the U.S. Geological Survey and other authorities said.

The eruption started late Sunday at about 11:30 p.m. HST in Moku‘āweoweo, the summit caldera of Mauna Loa in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, according to a USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory alert. The observatory said it was working closely with emergency management partners.

The eruption had remained confined to the summit caldera early Monday, but USGS Volcanoes and the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency later reported some overflowing on the southwest portion. Shortly before 12:20 p.m. EST (7:20 a.m. HST) USGS Volcanoes announced the volcano's eruption had moved to the northeast rift zone, with lava flows heading downslope to the north.

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said the lava flows are not threatening any nearby communities downhill at this time. Still, volcanic gas, fine ash and Pele's Hair, thin strands of volcanic glass, could "be carried downwind."

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Rescue effort underway to get pilot, passenger out of plane tangled in power lines in Maryland

Plan entangled in power tower

Crews were planning and working late into the night on Sunday to rescue the occupants of a small airplane entangled in high voltage power lines north of Montgomery Village in Montgomery County, Md.

The conditions of the occupants of the plane were unclear. County fire chief Scott Goldstein refused to specify the conditions, but said authorities were in cell phone contact with them.

Electricity was cut off to almost 90,000 homes and businesses throughout the county after the plane crashed into a Pepco transmission line near Rothbury Drive and Goshen Road, according to utility and rescue officials.

Photographs show the plane seemingly suspended or entangled in or near cabling and the latticework of a tower that supports the high voltage transmission lines. It was not clear how firmly the plane was being held aloft.

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