Азербайджан затримує військових високопосадовців у Карабаху

Карабаський чиновник, який побажав залишитися неназваним, повідомив Радіо Азатутюн, що затримання загрожує також трьом колишнім президентам Нагірного Карабаху

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Білий дім каже, що «ще є шанс» уникнути «шатдауну»

«Шатдаун», який почнеться після опівночі суботи, стане першим з 2019 року

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US Supreme Court Will Decide if State Laws Limiting Social Media Platforms Violate Constitution

The Supreme Court agreed Friday to decide whether state laws that seek to regulate Facebook, TikTok, X and other social media platforms violate the Constitution.

The justices will review laws enacted by Republican-dominated legislatures and signed by Republican governors in Florida and Texas. While the details vary, both laws aim to prevent social media companies from censoring users based on their viewpoints.

The court’s announcement, three days before the start of its new term, comes as the justices continue to grapple with how laws written at the dawn of the digital age, or earlier, apply to the online world.

The justices had already agreed to decide whether public officials can block critics from commenting on their social media accounts, an issue that previously came up in a case involving then-President Donald Trump. The court dismissed the Trump case when his presidential term ended in January 2021.

Separately, the high court also could consider a lower-court order limiting executive branch officials’ communications with social media companies about controversial online posts.

The new case follows conflicting rulings by two appeals courts, one of which upheld the Texas law, while the other struck down Florida’s statute. By a 5-4 vote, the justices kept the Texas law on hold while litigation over it continues.

But the alignment was unusual. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett voted to grant the emergency request from two technology industry groups that challenged the law in federal court.

Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Elena Kagan and Neil Gorsuch would have allowed the law to remain in effect. In dissent, Alito wrote, “Social media platforms have transformed the way people communicate with each other and obtain news.”

Proponents of the laws, including Republican elected officials in several states that have similar measures, have sought to portray social media companies as generally liberal in outlook and hostile to ideas outside of that viewpoint, especially from the political right.

The tech sector warned that the laws would prevent platforms from removing extremism and hate speech.

Without offering any explanation, the justices had put off consideration of the case even though both sides agreed the high court should step in.

The justices had other social media issues before them last year, including a plea the court did not embrace to soften legal protections tech companies have for posts by their users.

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У Карабаху кажуть, що на місці вибуху знайшли 170 останків загиблих

На даний момент офіційно підтверджена кількість загиблих становить 68. Ще більш ніж 290 людей поранені

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Румунія посилює ППО вздовж Дунаю на кордоні з Україною – Reuters

Бухарест також додає більше військових спостережних постів і патрулів у цьому районі

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Путін доручив ексголові штабу ПВК «Вагнер» створити «добровольчі підрозділи»

Колишній начальник штабу ПВК «Вагнер» Трошев зараз працює у Міноборони Росії, підтвердив речник президента РФ Дмитро Пєсков

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Майже 85 000 людей прибули до Вірменії з Нагірного Карабаху – уряд

Це становить понад дві третини від 120 тисяч жителів Нагірного Карабаху

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Держдепартамент США: хакери отримали доступ до 60 000 електронних листів у липні

Компанія Microsoft звинуватила у цій атаці хакерів, які підтримуються урядом Китаю

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Vowing to Defend Democracy, Biden Hits Hard at Trump

US President Joe Biden sharpened his attacks against Donald Trump on Thursday, delivering a forceful assertion that the former president and Republican front-runner represents an existential threat to the country’s democratic values and institutions. White House Bureau Chief Patsy Widakuswara has this report.

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Vowing to Defend Democracy, Biden Hits Hard at Trump

U.S. President Joe Biden sharpened his attacks against Donald Trump on Thursday, delivering his most forceful assertion to date that the former president and Republican front-runner represents an existential threat to the country’s democratic values and institutions.

In a speech in the western state of Arizona, Biden charged that Trump holds the “dangerous notion” that he has unchecked power and is above the law.

“Trump says the Constitution gave him, quote, the right to do whatever he wants as president, end of quote. I’ve never heard a president say that even in jest,” Biden said. “Not guided by the Constitution or by common service and decency toward our fellow Americans, but by vengeance and vindictiveness.”

Trump in 2019 said he has such rights under Article II of the Constitution, which describes the powers of the president. In March, he told supporters, “I am your justice. And for those who have been wronged and betrayed, I am your retribution.”

“There’s something dangerous happening in America right now,” Biden declared in Arizona, adding that American democracy is “still at risk.”

The speech is his fourth in a series of presidential addresses that lays out what he sees as the dangers of election denialism and political violence that have loomed over the country since thousands of Trump supporters attacked Capitol Hill on Jan. 6, 2021, seeking to overturn Biden’s electoral victory.

“There is an extremist movement that does not share the basic beliefs in our democracy — the MAGA movement,” the president said, referring to his predecessor’s slogan, “Make America Great Again.” He warned that their “extreme agenda, if carried out, would fundamentally alter the institutions of American democracy.”

“They’re not hiding their attacks,” Biden said. “They’re openly promoting them, attacking the free press as the enemy of the people. Attacking the rule of law as an impediment. Fomenting voter suppression and election subversion.”

Biden has until now avoiding painting mainstream Republicans with the same brush as Trump’s most ardent supporters, whom he describes as MAGA Republicans. But this time Biden suggested that they are complicit.

“Although I don’t believe even a majority of Republicans think that, the silence is deafening,” he said, pointing to Republican reaction to Trump’s recent suggestion that General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staffs who will soon step down from his post should be executed for allegedly betraying the former president.

Biden’s speech came the same day that House Republicans held their first hearing in a Biden impeachment inquiry, over allegations of corruption in relation to his son Hunter’s business dealings. The Republicans detailed foreign payments to members of the Biden family but did not provide evidence that the president had benefited from the funds.

The White House denies any wrongdoing and dismisses the investigation as politically motivated.

Harshest rhetoric

While Biden has long branded the MAGA movement as an existential threat to democracy, Thursday’s speech contained some of his harshest rhetoric against Trump, who is facing four criminal indictments with a total of 91 charges ranging from falsifying business records to seeking to subvert the 2020 presidential election.

Trump has denied wrongdoing in all charges.

For months, Biden had remained mostly silent about his predecessor, likely to avoid giving credence to Trump’s assertions that the charges against him are evidence that Biden is weaponizing the justice system against a political opponent. The White House denies the allegation.

Biden did not mention any of Trump’s legal troubles in his speech, a sound strategy according to some observers.

“There’s plenty about Trump’s behavior in office and statements of what he will do if he wins in 2024 that Biden can point toward without having to say, ‘Oh, and by the way, he’s facing jail time,'” said William Howell, a professor in American politics at the University of Chicago.

Warnings of a threat to democracy posed by Trump’s MAGA movement could resonate in Arizona, a former Republican stronghold that in recent years turned into a swing state and has seen its share of efforts by Trump supporters to discredit 2020 election results.

The White House selected the state as the speech venue precisely for those reasons, as well as to honor the late Arizona Senator John McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee who died in 2018, whom Biden referred to as a “brother.”

Biden announced federal funding to construct the McCain Library at Arizona State University, using the American Rescue Plan Act, the $1.9 trillion COVID relief package passed in 2021.

Speaking before Biden, former Ambassador Cindy McCain said Biden and her late husband maintained decades of friendship despite deep political differences.

Biden contrasted McCain’s legacy and the late senator’s principle to “put partisanship aside and put country first,” to those espousing political violence.

“Democracy means rejecting and repudiating political violence,” he said. “Regardless of party, such violence is never, never, never acceptable in America.”

Do Americans care?

As Biden gears up to fight for a second term, his campaign strategists believe that defending democratic institutions and values remains a resonant theme for voters — a reason that the video announcing the president’s reelection run opened with footage of the Jan. 6 attack.

However, polls show the economy is the issue that weighs most on voters’ mind. According to a recent Reuters/Ipsos survey, 49% of Americans say inflation or price increases are the most important issues facing the country; 9% cite unemployment, and 10% cite economic inequality.

Various polls show Biden’s public approval rating stagnating below 50% since August 2021, largely due to concerns over his handling of the economy.

Attacks on American democracy may not be the No. 1 concern among voters, Chicago University’s Howell told VOA, but it’s not trivial, either, so it’s no surprise that Biden is homing in on the issue.

“If you think about democracy as a kind of a catchall category, not just for concerns about rising authoritarianism but also just the ability for our country to govern itself, concerns about rising polarization, whether or not we’re going to have another government shutdown — these kinds of things … will resonate with some voters,” Howell said.

As Biden spoke, his White House blasted out messages counting down the hours until Oct. 1, the day of a potential partial government shutdown should Congress fail to approve funding for federal agencies. The administration blames the impasse on “extreme House Republicans’ chaos and inability to govern.”

Republican front-runner

Despite his legal woes, Trump remains the dominant force in his party. A recent Ipsos/Reuters poll shows the former president is supported by 47% of Republican primary voters, a group that amounts to roughly a third of the American electorate.

Trump’s position with Republican primary voters has only strengthened over the year as various indictments have rolled out, said Chris Jackson, a senior vice president at Ipsos.

“That’s happening at the same time that his position with the general public is not necessarily strengthening the same way,” Jackson told VOA.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll found that Biden and Trump are tied in a hypothetical November 2024 election, with both receiving 39% of the vote and one in five voters undecided.

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Білий дім: під час саміту ЄС-США будуть обговорювати підтримку України

Саміт США-ЄС відбудеться у Вашингтоні 20 жовтня

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США звинувачують Китай у маніпуляціях глобальними ЗМІ – Reuters

Офіційний Пекін наразі не відреагував на звинувачення США

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Q&A: Taiwan’s Digital Minister Audrey Tang on AI and Censorship

On the sidelines of the 78th United Nations General Assembly in New York last week, Taiwan’s Minister of Digital Affairs Audrey Tang delivered a speech at the Concordia Annual Summit on digital democracy and artificial intelligence. VOA spoke with Tang about how AI might help break through China’s censorship and the challenges and opportunities the technology brings to global democracy.

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

VOA: You mentioned the concept of AI governance in your speech. In addition to being applied to democratic countries, can this concept also be applied to totalitarian countries?

Tang: From 2010 to 2012 and 2013, consultative democracy was also studied in some places in the CCP [Chinese Communist Party], but not at the central level. Later, including freedom of the press, assembly, association and expression, all aspects were restricted. If you look at the papers, there have been very few studies promoting consultative democracy through the internet in recent years. Conceptually and theoretically, if we look at the situation in 2000, it seemed possible. But if we look at the situation in recent years, there seems to be no research on this. Maybe the premise is freedom of the press, and people must fully understand what the truth is. Regardless of consultation or deliberation, this foundation is needed. If freedom of the press is deprived, it will not be easy to develop further.

VOA: What do you think of the potential and limitations of artificial intelligence in China?

Tang: Artificial intelligence technology can turn public information on the entire Internet into material. After the [open-source] model is successfully created, it can actually be saved on a USB flash drive. Anyone can run this model on a laptop or personal computer, which greatly challenges censorship. In the past, as long as a comprehensive totalitarian government guarded access to Google, Wikipedia or other websites, it would make it difficult for their people to get the truth. But now, as long as netizens can get the [open-source] language models on a flash drive … they will no longer need an internet connection, and they can always find out what happened and when exactly did it happen.

VOA: Former White House deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger has proposed punching holes in China’s Great Firewall. Is that possible?

Tang: If the holes are temporary, they will be repaired once people find them. The language models I just mentioned don’t mean that there needs to be holes continuously, but that if there is a certain way to send information in, there is no need to connect to the outside anymore. The bad use is that if a Trojan horse is sent in, there is no need to control the computer anymore, and it can conduct network attacks by itself. This is a bad use. But there is another use, which is to send in the truth, and after that, it can even tell the users in the interactive Q&A format, including showing contemporaneous photos and videos from the time.

VOA: Does your upbringing and way of thinking help you with your current work?

Tang: I am nonbinary not only in terms of gender but also in terms of ideology. Many people have to make choices, such as the left and the right [politically]. For me, they all coexist. I don’t particularly feel I’m very close to or very far from half of the people because they are rightists or leftists. I don’t think that way. Everyone is at the same distance. If I can’t understand the ideas of a certain side, I will feel I’m not plural enough, and I should be in touch with them more.

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Понад 76 тисяч людей прибули до Вірменії з Нагірного Карабаху – уряд

До Вірменії вже виїхали майже дві третини від приблизно 120 тисяч жителів Нагірного Карабаху

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Радакін: удари по Чорноморському флоту РФ є прикладом того, як Україна утримує ініціативу

Тоні Радакін вважає, що Путін втратив контроль над війною

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Зеленський після повідомлення ISW: фактів продажу Іраном ракет Росії поки не виявили

Раніше американський Інститут вивчення війни заявив, що іранські й російські посадовці можуть укласти угоду про продаж ракет після закінчення терміну дії відповідних обмежень, передбачених резолюцією ООН, 18 жовтня

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