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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

China has won the artificial intelligence battle with the United States and is heading towards global dominance because of its technological advances, the Pentagon's former software chief told the Financial Times.

Millions of people who got Moderna's or Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccines are expected to soon be lining up for another dose.

Starting next season, MLB teams will be required to provide housing for minor league players. read more

Former President Donald J. Trump's family business, which is already under indictment in Manhattan, is facing a criminal investigation by another prosecutor's office that has begun to examine financial dealings at a golf course the company owns, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Dozens of researchers tell Nature they have received death threats, or threats of physical or sexual violence. read more


Report: Manafort offered 'private briefings' to Russian billionaire during election (2017)

...President Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort offered to provide "private briefings" on the 2016 race to a Russian billionaire with close ties to the Kremlin, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

Less than two weeks before Trump cinched the Republican presidential nomination, Manafort offered the briefings to an intermediary, asking that the message be relayed to Oleg Deripaska, an aluminum magnate allied with Russian President Vladimir Putin and with whom Manafort had worked in the past.

"If he needs private briefings we can accommodate," Manafort reportedly wrote in an email sent July 7, 2016....

Deripaska is one of Russia's richest men and is believed to be one of the oligarchs to whom Putin turns most frequently.

In 2008, a business parter of Manafort's helped arrange a meeting between Deripaska and then-presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). Both Manafort and Deripaska have confirmed the Russian businessman paid Manafort as an investment consultant. ...

Yet another view...

Absolutely Not True': Army CIO Answers Claim US Has Already Lost To China In AI

..."If you looked at both what we have in the Department of Defense and Intelligence Community, across the federal government and our industrial partners, we have the best AI technology," Army CIO Ray Iyer said.

"It's absolutely not true," the Army CIO, Raj Iyer, said, rejecting Chaillan's assessment.

He pointed to the Pentagon's "tight integration" with industry and "our coalition partners." The US and its partners share "trade intelligence information and other things," helping both sides.

"I can tell you the Chinese don't have that. They're operating in a vacuum, and they're relying on nefarious methods and cyberattacks to be able to get to, you know, what they think they know that we have," he said.

There is one area where Iyer said the Chinese do excel in: the actual use of AI. "They do a really good job of maintaining control people using AI. Obviously, we don't do that in United States, but if you looked at both what we have in the Department of Defense and Intelligence Community, across the federal government and our industrial partners, we have the best AI technology."...

Another view...

Maybe losing the AI race to China isn't such a bad idea

...The Pentagon's first-ever chief software officer abruptly quit earlier this month, and now we know exactly why: Nicolas Chaillan, former CSO of the United States Air Force and Space Force, told the Financial Times that the United States has "no competing fighting chance against China in 15 to 20 years" when it comes to cyberwarfare and artificial intelligence.

Chaillan, a 37-year-old tech entrepreneur, added that cyber defenses at many government agencies are at "kindergarten level," and that companies like Google were doing the US a disservice by not working with the military more on AI, since Chinese companies were making a "massive investment" in AI without getting all hung up on the ethics of it all. And while quitting your job because America has already lost the AI race is a bit dramatic, Chaillan isn't the only one who's concerned about China's dominance in this arena.

A growing number of leaders in Washington and Silicon Valley are worried about the US falling behind in the race to AI supremacy....

We can all agree that nobody wants China to invent a real-world version of Skynet, the all-powerful AI that takes over the planet in the Terminator movies. But we don't want the US to do that either. And what does the finish line in this AI race actually look like? Does the US really want to win at all costs?...

Not really a surprise that this is being investigated ...

How Michael Cohen says Trump cheated on his net worth (Feb 2019)

..."It was my experience that Mr. Trump inflated his total assets when it served his purposes, such as trying to be listed among the wealthiest people in Forbes, and deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes," Cohen says in the prepared testimony. ...

As proof Cohen offered two news articles, one from 2015 in which Forbes said Trump had been inflating his wealth and another, from The Guardian in 2016, on Trump's long legal effort to slash the value of Trump National Golf Course in Westchester County, New York.

The pattern has also been reported by CNN. In 2017, CNN found that Trump had fought the tax assessments of all 12 of his US golf courses except the one in Bedminster, New Jersey.

That included his Trump National Golf Course Westchester, which Ossining, New York, said was worth $15.1 million, but which Trump, fighting for a smaller tax bill, argued in court the property was worth just $1.5 million.

In a 2017 financial disclosure, Trump said the club was worth far more than the $15 million claimed by Ossining. ...

The mention of the Mueller Report caught my eye...

Analysis: The role Russian businessmen played in the Mueller report (2019)

..."My name's not in there, is it?"

A Russian businessman asked me that question when the redacted version of Robert Mueller's investigation report came out on Thursday. He wasn't really joking and he wasn't alone " more than one Russian I spoke to last week started our conversation in the same way.

As someone who has been following Russia for the better part of three decades, what struck me most about the special counsel's report " hacking and social media influence campaign aside " was how, in granular detail, it chronicled the efforts of several of Russia's most prominent business leaders to permeate President Donald Trump's inner circle, apparently at the behest of President Vladimir Putin....

According to the Mueller report, former Trump campaign manager Manafort directed associates to reach out to Deripaska and offer him briefings and internal campaign polling data after he joined the Republican candidate's team. By doing this, Mueller suggested, Manafort was looking to resolve a legal dispute with Deripaska over millions of dollars that Deripaska claimed he was owed.

Deripaska, though, said in our interview Tuesday that he never got any of those briefings of Trump polling data, and that neither he nor any of his representatives had corresponded with Manafort in at least the last eight years.

To be clear, Mueller did not identify evidence of a connection between Manafort's polling data and Russia's interference in the 2016 election or "establish that Manafort otherwise coordinated with the Russian government on its election-interference efforts."

But correspondence cited in the report between Manafort and his associates strongly suggests at least the associates believed Deripaska was receiving their information.

Mueller also says Manafort himself met with one of Deripaska's representatives, Georgy Oganov, in January 2017. That little detail came as a surprise to me: Oganov was the only other person Deripaska brought with him to our interview last week.

Deripaska has declined through his press secretary to comment about the report's findings....

According to the cited article, there was a New York City property searched as well...

Another view..

FBI searches NYC, DC properties in probe of Russian oligarch with ties to Kremlin

...No charges have been filed against Deripaska, two sources said.

FBI agents in New York City searched a townhouse in Manhattan's West Village neighborhood, a law enforcement source told ABC News. News of the FBI's search of Deripaska's D.C. home was first reported by NBC News.

The aluminum magnate was among two dozen Russians sanctioned in 2018 by the Treasury Department as punishment for "the Russian government's ongoing and increasingly malign activities in the world," according to Treasury officials.

Since his sanction, Deripaska has not been to his D.C. residence, a source said.

A lawsuit he filed seeking to lift the sanctions said that they had devastated his wealth.

Deripaska, who is known to be close to the Russian government, has been investigated in the past for money laundering.

He was also mentioned in special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, due to his association with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort....

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