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“We will not forgive, we will not forget”: US President to ‘hunt down’ ISIS-K for blasts at Kabul airport

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More than 60 people have died following coordinated terrorist attacks in and around Kabul’s major international airport

  • There have been twin bomb attacks and mass shootings at Kabul’s major international airport as thousands flee following the Taliban takeover
  • The explosions were set off by suicide bombers at the Abbey gate where US and British forces are positioned, as well as at a nearby hotel.
  • It’s believed more than 60 people have died and at least 140 people have been injured
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US President Joe Biden has just addressed the press who says the terrorists behind the attacks will pay.

The situation is unfolding by the minute, here’s what we know so far

The Pentagon has confirmed that there have been twin bomb attacks and gunfire at and around the boundaries of Kabul’s major international airport.

It’s believed that the twin bomb attacks were followed by gunman opening fire.

This all comes as the US withdrawal date of August 31 approaches at rapid pace with evacuations continuing.

The first blast was positioned at the Abbey gate, where US and UK special forces have been positioned to safely ferry civilians into the terminal the second blast was at a nearby hotel.

We are hearing reports that at least 60 people have died and 130 are injured as a result of the attacks.

Among these casualties are 11 US Marines and a medic with the blasts and gunfire following warnings that there could be militant attacks.

General Kenneth McKenzie from the US Department of Defence is on the ground in Afghanistan.

In a statement, the US Secretary of Defence Llyod Austin says: “on behalf of the men and women at the Department I express my deepest condolences to the loved ones and teammates of all those killed and wounded in Kabul today.”

Meanwhile, the nation’s evacuation efforts will continue, with General McKenzie saying there are still around 1,000 American citizens still in Afghanistan.

The US believe ISIS is behind the attack and the possibility of further attacks is very likely as officials on the ground remain on high alert

The US is working with the Taliban and sharing information in a bid to prevent any similar attacks in the last few days of evacuations.

The US will not send in any further troops to Afghanistan at this stage and officials believe the Taliban has already helped to prevent some previous attacks.

Around 5,000 people are still at the airport waiting to be evacuated by their respective countries.

Drones and other forms of aerial surveillance are being deployed to monitor the situation and scenes on the ground.

Meanwhile, Britain will continue its evacuation efforts for now, here’s the nation’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the delicate situation:

William is an Executive News Producer at TICKER NEWS, responsible for the production and direction of news bulletins. William is also the presenter of the hourly Weather + Climate segment. With qualifications in Journalism and Law (LLB), William previously worked at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) before moving to TICKER NEWS. He was also an intern at the Seven Network's 'Sunrise'. A creative-minded individual, William has a passion for broadcast journalism and reporting on global politics and international affairs.

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Race against the clock, will AI destroy music industry with new app

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In the ever-evolving landscape of AI technology, Udio, a new AI music generator developed by former Google Deepmind researchers, has recently made its debut.

Udio allows users to craft songs from simple text prompts, offering customisation options for various musical elements such as length, vocals, and lyrics.

 

The Good:

  • Accessible Creativity: Udio democratises music creation by providing a platform where anyone, regardless of musical expertise, can generate personalised songs effortlessly.
  • Customization Galore: Users have the freedom to tailor every aspect of their composition, from the mood of the music to the emotional depth of the vocals, allowing for a truly unique musical experience.
  • Realistic Vocals: One of Udio’s standout features is its ability to produce vocals that sound remarkably human, adding an emotional dimension to the generated music.

The Bad:

  • Ethical Concerns: As with any AI-powered tool, there are ethical considerations surrounding the authenticity of AI-generated music and its potential impact on the music industry, including issues of copyright infringement and artistic integrity.
  • Limitations in Length: While Udio offers flexibility in customisation, its maximum song length is limited to around 90 seconds, restricting its utility for those seeking longer compositions.
  • Copyright Ambiguity: While Udio attempts to navigate copyright concerns by restricting certain song requests, the boundaries remain unclear, leaving room for potential legal disputes and confusion among users.

 

Despite its innovative capabilities, Udio’s arrival has sparked debates within both the music and technology communities. While some laud its potential to inspire creativity and broaden musical horizons, others caution against the ethical implications and potential drawbacks of widespread AI-generated music.

As Udio continues to gain traction, it serves as a poignant reminder of the ongoing dialogue surrounding the intersection of AI technology and creative expression. Only time will tell how Udio and similar innovations will shape the future of music creation and consumption.

 

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U.S. tech giant email systems utilised by Russian hackers

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Russian government-backed hackers have reportedly exploited access to Microsoft’s email system, stealing correspondence between officials and the tech giant.

Key Points:

  1. Russian government-backed hackers exploited access to Microsoft’s email system, as per a directive from CISA.

  2. The directive warned of hackers using email authentication details to infiltrate Microsoft customer systems, including government agencies.

  3. This follows Microsoft’s acknowledgment of ongoing struggles against intruders named “Midnight Blizzard” and a separate hack attributed to China.

According to an emergency directive from the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released on Thursday.

The directive, issued on April 2, cautioned that hackers were leveraging email authentication details to infiltrate Microsoft customer systems, including those of unspecified government agencies.

This alarming revelation follows Microsoft’s acknowledgment in March of ongoing struggles against intruders dubbed “Midnight Blizzard.”

The cybersecurity industry’s concerns intensified further with a recent report from the U.S. Cyber Safety Review Board, attributing a separate hack to China and criticising Microsoft for cybersecurity oversights and lack of transparency.

While CISA refrained from naming affected agencies, Microsoft assured collaboration with customers and CISA to investigate and mitigate the breach. The Russian Embassy in Washington, historically denying involvement in hacking activities, did not respond immediately to requests for comment. CISA also cautioned that non-governmental organisations might have been targeted, urging customers to liaise with Microsoft for additional information.

 

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Google looks to snap up Hubspot as part of growth strategy

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Google’s bold bid to acquire HubSpot in a billion-dollar deal has raised eyebrows in the digital marketing industry.

HubSpot, Inc., founded by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah in 2006, develops software for inbound marketing, sales, and customer service.

The acquisition aims to enhance Google’s marketing tools and potentially benefit small to mid-market businesses with improved solutions.

However, concerns over regulatory hurdles and antitrust issues persist, prompting mixed reactions from investors and industry experts.

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