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Reuters (December 4)

2018/ 12/ 06 by jd in Global News

The “broadly positive headlines” from the G20 meeting “are only half the picture. For all the efforts to keep it on track, the meeting in Buenos Aires also served to showcase an alarming rise in the number of international differences.” To make matters worse, “a growing number of leaders appeared openly hostile or dismissive of each other. The primary diplomatic breakthrough of the summit—a joint declaration to reform the World Trade Organization—may simply be a precursor to more arguments.”


Vox (November 15)

2018/ 11/ 16 by jd in Global News

Prime Minister Theresa May “and the EU are desperately trying to avoid a no-deal scenario. After months of stalled negotiations, the two sides finally thought they had reached a breakthrough this week that solved some of the thorniest issues of the divorce, and provided for a transition period so they could work out a future trade deal…. But the latest dramatic resignations reveal the obstacles that May faces in finalizing the withdrawal.”


Reuters (May 23)

2018/ 05/ 25 by jd in Global News

“Pyongyang’s announcement last week that it might pull out of the meeting should have been less of a surprise. North Korea has spent decades using similar tactics to shape the diplomatic agenda with the South and Washington, raising hopes of a breakthrough—then sparking a crisis and moving the goal posts.”


New York Daily News (May 9)

2018/ 05/ 10 by jd in Global News

“Kudos to President Trump and his administration for the breakthrough: Three Americans are free from the prison that is North Korea, a meaningful achievement on its own terms that just might suggest better things to come from Kim Jong Un. We mustn’t get ahead of ourselves, though.” Afterall, there were 11 releases during the term of former President Barack Obama.


The Economist (April 21)

2018/ 04/ 23 by jd in Global News

“Humans have had a good run. But with the most recent breakthrough in robotics, it is clear that their time as masters of planet Earth has come to an end.” Such statements remain unlikely and “furniture-assembly helps explain why.” Researchers in Singapore were able to get two robots to assemble an Ikea flat pack, but it was a long, painstaking exercise. Robots and AI continue to struggle in the real world. “It seems to be a fundamental truth: physical dexterity is computationally harder than playing Go.”


Gizmodo (October 19)

2017/ 10/ 21 by jd in Global News

A “stunning AI breakthrough” has moved “us one step closer to the singularity.” Over the past year, the world marveled as AlphaGo has defeated Go masters at a game that has more possible combinations than the known universe has atoms. That now seems like child’s play. An improved version AlphaGo Zero (AGZ) took “just three days to train itself from scratch and acquire literally thousands of years of human Go knowledge simply by playing itself.” After three days of preparation, AGZ beat AlphaGo in each of 100 games. The technological singularity is “inching ever closer.”


Wall Street Journal (January 3)

2016/ 01/ 04 by jd in Global News

Not just one, but “two U.S. companies have landed a rocket safely after space flight.” This major breakthrough “could make space commuting for commerce and exploration a reality.” This “is also a sign of America’s continuing economic vitality.” The competition between two private sector companies “should lead to more rapid innovation, and the development of private U.S. rocketry will make the country less dependent on Russian rockets for various government or commercial purposes.”


Financial Times (November 12)

2014/ 11/ 15 by jd in Global News

An unexpected announcement at the summit in Beijing may jump start efforts to combat climate change. “China and the US have set aside nearly 20 years of discord over how to combat climate change and laid out their respective plans to curb greenhouse gas emissions.” The breakthrough may “galvanise efforts to seal a global climate pact at the end of next year in Paris.”


Washington Post (October 27)

2013/ 10/ 28 by jd in Global News

“Not many countries would cheer about an economic growth rate of one-tenth of 1 percent, sustained for a mere three months. But for Spain, which has been mired in negative growth for two years, the tiny uptick in the third quarter of 2013 represents a kind of breakthrough.” For Europe, however, this is just the slightest hint of a “silver lining in a what is still a very dense, dark cloud hanging over Europe’s economy. Spain and its fellow euro-zone debtors — Italy, Portugal, Ireland and Greece — don’t just need a trickle of growth to bring down their unemployment rates and debt-to-gross-domestic-product ratios. They need a gusher; many consecutive months of high-single-digit growth. And there is no short-term prospect of that.”


New York Times (August 11)

2013/ 08/ 14 by jd in Global News

“In a welcome development for the planet, the cars on American streets are becoming much more climate-friendly much sooner than many had expected. Consumers are increasingly buying fuel-efficient hybrid and electric vehicles thanks to breakthrough innovations and supportive government policies…. Increased fuel efficiency helped reduce carbon dioxide emissions from passengers cars by 16 percent from 2005 to 2012.”


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