Driverless cars used to seem like the stuff of sci-fi. But as the U.S. unveils a list of guidelines about self-driving vehicles today, itâ€™s safe to say that these cars have zipped from the realm of a distant future to the regulatory thicket thatâ€™s an all too clear reminder that this is very much a present day reality.
The government will propose 15 benchmarks today that automakers will need to meet before their driverless vehicles can hit the road, Bloomberg reports. And thereâ€™s good reason for these guidelines: In July, Tesla confirmed that a fatal accident in its driverless Model S car was caused by the vehicles failure to tell the difference between a white truck and the clear sky. Thereâ€™s also the ominous risk of self-driving vehicles getting hacked.
Still, automakers are worried about regulation stifling innovation at this key juncture.
President Barack Obama writing in an op-ed for the Pittsburg Post-Gazette yesterday tried to calm such fears and strike a balance between regulation and innovation. â€œRight now, too many people die on our roads â€" 35,200 last year alone â€" with 94% of those the result of human error or choice,â€ he wrote. â€œAutomated vehicles have the potential to save tens of thousands of lives each year.â€
Itâ€™s a concept that may be hard to grasp: giving up control to a machine that can take care of us better than we can take care of ourselves. Welcome to the future.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY
- Obamaâ€™s final speech to the UN General Assembly.
- Two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting opens, amid rate hike anxiety.
U.N. SUSPENDS AID IN SYRIA AFTER CONVOY ATTACKED
The United Nations has suspended all aid convoys in Syria after aid trucks were attacked yesterday near Aleppo. One UN aid convoy delivering food relief to a rebel-held area near Aleppo was targeted in an airstrike that killed 12 people and destroyed 18 trucks, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told CNN. Although no one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, the U.S. said it blamed Russia, arguing Moscow was responsible under the seven-day ceasefire agreement for reining in Bashar al-Assadâ€™s government forces, The Guardian reports.
GREEK MIGRANT CAMP EVACUATED AFTER FIRE
A migrant camp on the island of Lesbos, Greece, suffered extensive damage last night in a fire that authorities believe was set on purpose, as clashes allegedly broke out among rival nationalities in the of Moria camp earlier in the day, according to the news website Greek Reporter. Authorities estimate that about 60 percent of the camp is destroyed, and thousands of residents were forced to flee to safety. There are currently more than 60,000 refugees and migrants in Greece.
SUSPECT IN NEW YORK BOMBING ARRESTED
Suspected of Saturday nightâ€™s bombing in New York City, Ahmad Khan Rahami remains hospitalized and held on $5.2 million bail after he was captured yesterday in Linden, N.J. after an exchange of gunfire that left him and two officers wounded. The 28-year-old is believed to be the attacker behind three attempted bombings on Saturday and Sunday. Reuters reports that Rahami traveled multiple times to Afghanistan and Pakistan in recent years and showed signs of radicalization.
â€" ON THIS DAY
The very first Cannes Film Festival opened exactly 70 years ago. That, and more, in your 57-second shot of history.
CONGOLESE PROTESTS KILL 17
At least 17 people were killed yesterday in the Democratic Republic of Congo following a violent anti-government rally. The protesters were marching against President Joseph Kabila's expected bid to extend his mandate. There has been growing local and international pressure on Kabila to step down when his term legally ends in December, Reuters reports.
Both city officials and business leaders take note of where artsy types, LGBT and creative young people move to live, as these are the new "influencers" who can give the decisive spark to cities. For Argentine daily Clarin, Miguel Jurado writes: ... the creative class is drawn to cities that offer creative jobs, good quality of life, green spaces, and good schools and universities. Their preferred cities are culturally rich and dynamic, which does not mean simply more theaters and museums. These people look for neighborhoods that have a strong sense of community, open-mindedness and tolerance. ... They seek out areas that are on the cusp of gentrification. These tend to be close to the city center â€" usually with a bit of history â€" but interesting enough to host a bohemian scene and spontaneous cultural events.â€
Read the full article, Can Beauty Save The World? The Rise Of "Creative Cities."
FRANCE ARRESTS 8 LINKED TO NICE ATTACKS
French authorities arrested eight people this morning in connection with the July 14 attack in Nice that killed 86 and wounded 400, the local daily Nice Matin reveals.
â€" MY GRAND-PEREâ€™S WORLD
The Philosopherâ€™s Stone â€" Kaliningrad, 2001
â€œIf I had a bowl of skittles and I told you just three would kill you, would you take a handful? Thatâ€™s our Syrian refugee problem,â€ read an image Donald Trump Jr. tweeted yesterday, as part of his fatherâ€™s "Make America Great Again" campaign. This was the response from the producer of the colorful treats: â€œSkittles are candy, refugees are people.â€
MORE STORIES, BROUGHT TO YOU BY WORLDCRUNCH
- Libyaâ€™s War Wounded And Promises Of An Italian Hospital â€" La Stampa
- A Former Guantanamo Prisoner Helps Refugees In Germany â€" Süddeutsche Zeitung
- Omerta-Like Silence Shrouds Vigilante Killings In Philippines â€" KBR
ABBEY ROAD, PARIS
Parisians will soon be able to recreate one of the most famous images in music history: The zebra crossing featured on the cover of The Beatlesâ€™ 1969 Abbey Road album will be scanned (in 420 high-resolution photographs) and replicated down to the pebble near Parisâ€™ Centre Pompidou.
A court in Spain usurps custody of the one-year-old boy living with his mother in the "deep" part of the Galicia region, forced to instead live with his father in the southern city of Marbella, which the judge says is "cosmopolitan" with good schools and medical care. Women's rights groups have taken up the mother's case.
A Spanish court has ordered the withdrawal of a mother's custody of her one-year-old boy because she is living in the countryside in northwestern Spain, where the judge says the child won't have "opportunities for the proper development of his personality."
The case, reported Monday in La Voz de Galicia, has sparked outrage from a women's rights association but has also set off reactions from politicians of different stripes across the province of Galicia, defending the values of rural life.
Judge María Belén Ureña Carazo, of the family court of Marbella, a city on the southern coast of 141,000 people, has ordered the toddler to stay with father who lives in the city rather than with his mother because she was living in "deep Galicia" where the child would lack opportunities to "grow up in a happy environment."
Front page of La Voz de Galicia - October 25, 2021
Front page of La Voz de Galicia - Monday 25 October, 2021
Better in a "cosmopolitan" city?
The judge said Marbella, where the father lives, was a "cosmopolitan city" with "a good hospital" as well as "all kinds of schools" and thus provided a better environment for the child to thrive.
The mother has submitted a formal complaint to the General Council of the Judiciary that the family court magistrate had acted with "absolute contempt," her lawyer told La Voz de Galicia.
The mother quickly accumulated support from local politicians and civic organizations. The Clara Campoamor association described the judge's arguments as offensive, intolerable and typical of "an ignorant person who has not traveled much."
The Xunta de Galicia, the regional government, has addressed the case, saying that any place in Galicia meets the conditions to educate a minor. The Socialist party politician Pablo Arangüena tweeted that "it would not hurt part of the judiciary to spend a summer in Galicia."
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