Welcome to Tuesday, where more arrests are made after the riots in Brasilia, a number of classified files are found in U.S. President Joe Biden’s former private office, and Prince Harry’s much-discussed memoir is finally out. Meanwhile, Benoît Georges in French daily Les Echos sounds out the benefits — and dangers — of using AI to analyze patients’ voices and detect illnesses like COVID-19 and asthma.
[*Frisian, The Netherlands and Germany]
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• Arrests over Brasilia riots rise to 1,500, Bolsonaro hospitalized: An estimated 1,500 supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro are now detained for their involvement in the violent riots that shook Brasilia on Sunday. Meanwhile, former President Jair Bolsonaro has been admitted to a hospital in the U.S. state of Florida, where he’d landed just after leaving office. Bolsonaro is suffering from stomach pains linked to a stabbing in an attempted assassination in 2018.
• Battle for Bakhmut intensifies: The small salt mining town of Soledar, eastern Ukraine, has become the new focal point of fighting, as Russian and Ukrainian forces face off to control the city of Bakhmut just a few kilometers southwest. Kyiv is reinforcing its positions in the area to counter Moscow’s efforts, led by the Wagner paramilitary group.
• Classified files found in Biden’s old office: Lawyers found several classified documents at President Joe Biden’s former office, in Washington, D.C., which he used before becoming president. The Department of Justice, the National Archives and Record Administration are reviewing the circumstances surrounding the documents, which appear to date from the Obama administration.
• Peru clashes kill 17:At least 17 people were killed and 68 injured in clashes with police in southern Peru at the border with Bolivia. Monday was the deadliest day so far of protests demanding early elections, the resignation of new President Dina Boluarte, and the release of jailed former president Pedro Castillo, who is serving 18 months of pre-trial detention on charges of rebellion, which he denies.
• Proud Boys trial: A jury was chosen on Monday for the trial of former Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio and four other far-right extremist group members charged with plotting to stop the transfer of presidential power by attacking the U.S. Capitol after the 2020 election. If convicted of seditious conspiracy, they face up to 20 years of prison. More than 930 people have been charged federally since the storming of Capitol Hill on Jan. 6, 2021.
• Prince Harry’s memoir hits UK shelves: After days of TV interviews and leaks, Spare, Prince Harry's memoir full of intimate revelations about the British royal family officially went on sale today. The tell-all book discloses Harry’s personal struggles with his mother’s death, fighting in Afghanistan and accusations leveled at other royals — including his father King Charles, stepmother Camilla and elder brother Prince William.
• Ozone layer on track to recover: Great news for the planet — for once! As use of ozone-harming chemicals has declined, the ozone layer is on track to recover completely within the next decades.
“Chaos and death in Puno,” titles Peru 21, as deadly clashes between anti-government protesters and police in this city in southern Peru, leave at least 17 dead. Demonstrators are asking for the release of former President Pedro Castillo, currently serving 18 months of pre-trial detention on charges of rebellion.
An Italian #MeToo may be emerging after Amleta, an association fighting against gender inequality and violence in the entertainment world has gathered testimonies of multiple actresses who were victim of sexual abuse and harassment by filmmakers, producers, casting directors and other workers in Italy’s entertainment industry. Italian daily La Repubblica published the first accounts, though without the names of the perpetrators. It is not clear if individuals will soon be named in a country that so far has mostly protected its male employers and avoided major #MeToo scandals. Amleta (the association’s name is a feminized version of Shakespeare’s character Hamlet) is an intersectional feminist collective that focuses on the presence of women in the entertainment industry and was founded by 28 theater and film actresses from all over the country.
Listening for illness: Your voice may soon help detect health problems
Applying Artificial intelligence to vocal cues is increasingly being used to detect a range of illnesses from COVID-19 to asthma and even depression. But such technology also comes with serious ethical concerns, reports Benoît Georges in French daily Les Echos.
🗣️ The concept is simple: every pathology that affects the lungs, the heart, the brain, the muscles, or the vocal cords can lead to voice modifications. By using digital tools to analyze a recording, it must be possible to detect vocal biomarkers, the same way vocal recognition algorithms learned to understand a spoken language based on millions of sound samples.
📱 Many start-ups have already started developing smartphone apps or websites. In the U.S., Kintsugi already offers to professionals a mental health disorders detection tool with the slogan: “We can hear what your patient doesn’t tell you.” Sonde Health developed a smartphone app about mental health wellbeing that also allows them to collect more vocal samples. They also offer biomarkers for respiratory illnesses under license.
⚠️ The use of vocal biomarkers will have to go through the medical community and earn the patient’s trust. Its backers will have to clearly explain the benefits (high-speed, non-invasive, early diagnostic, online checkups) while guaranteeing the confidentiality and transparency of the tools. The biggest fear is that, like facial recognition, digital tools detecting vocal biomarkers could be used without users' permission.
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The Earth Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS), launched in 1984 to help understand how the Earth absorbs and radiates energy from the Sun, is making its way back to us. The ERBS was initially expected to last only two years but far exceeded its lifespan by being operational for a total of 21 years. According to NASA, most of the satellite is expected to burn up upon re-entry through the atmosphere, with the risk of harm from falling debris being 1 in 9,400.
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