The Promise and Limitations of AI in Cybersecurity | Nextgov


Artificial intelligence, once seen as a dead end in computer science research, has surged to the fore in recent years. New technologies built on neural networks, machine learning, and deep learning, combined with virtually unlimited MIPs and storage in the cloud, have started to show promise for solving certain kinds of problems.

In many cases, the promise is justified. But marketing hype makes it difficult to distinguish the real applications of AI from the bogus ones.

In the cybersecurity arena, hype runs deep, and AI is no exception.

Most chief information security officers of larger entities are intrigued by the promise of AI but skeptical when they see vendors touting AIs that can detect and neutralize threats without high false positives. They know that AI-based cybersecurity solutions require a close partnership between humans and machines.

Source: The Promise and Limitations of AI in Cybersecurity – Nextgov

Analysis: Congressional Oversight Is at the Heart of America’s Democracy | GovExec.com


President Donald Trump increasingly acts as though he believes he can ignore Congress and set wide-ranging national policies on his own.

He has, for instance, recently taken unilateral steps to cut off foreign aid to countries he says are sending too many migrants to the United States. He wants to redirect some of the Pentagon’s budget to building the border wall that Congress rejected.

His administration has separated families at the border, rolled back student loan protections and energy efficiency standards, and reportedly blocked AT&T Inc.’s US$85 billion acquisition of Time Warner.

Congress has responded by scheduling hearings and requesting documents from the administration. So far, Trump has largely dismissed this congressional oversight as “presidential harassment” and attempted to resist by claiming executive privilege exempts him from oversight.

Source: Analysis: Congressional Oversight Is at the Heart of America’s Democracy – Oversight – GovExec.com

Google to pull plug on AI ethics council | Reuters


Alphabet Inc’s Google said on Thursday it was dissolving a council it had formed a week earlier to consider ethical issues around artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies.

The council had run into controversy over two of its members, according to online news portal Vox, which first reported the dissolution of the council.

Source: Google to pull plug on AI ethics council – Reuters

Australia, New Zealand join Pacific central bankers to focus on climate change | Reuters


Central banks of South Pacific islands, joined by those of Australia and New Zealand, will focus on the impact of climate change on their financial systems and ways to respond, they said in a statement on Friday.

The effort will involve the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS), an international group of central banks co-ordinating work on climate change and fostering investment in green technology, in an event in Sydney in November.

The governors of the nine central banks – Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga and Vanuatu – have also started a project to find ways to boost access to cheaper capital flows.

Source: Australia, New Zealand join Pacific central bankers to focus on climate change – Reuters

Saudi Arabia threatens to ditch dollar oil trades to stop ‘NOPEC’ | Reuters


They said the option had been discussed internally by senior Saudi energy officials in recent months. Two of the sources said the plan had been discussed with OPEC members and one source briefed on Saudi oil policy said Riyadh had also communicated the threat to senior U.S. energy officials.

The chances of the U.S. bill known as NOPEC coming into force are slim and Saudi Arabia would be unlikely to follow through, but the fact Riyadh is considering such a drastic step is a sign of the kingdom’s annoyance about potential U.S. legal challenges to OPEC.

In the unlikely event Riyadh were to ditch the dollar, it would undermine the its status as the world’s main reserve currency, reduce Washington’s clout in global trade and weaken its ability to enforce sanctions on nation states.

Source: Exclusive: Saudi Arabia threatens to ditch dollar oil trades to stop ‘NOPEC’ – sources – Reuters

As Trump eyed Cain for Fed, Cain raised money for Trump | Reuters


Former pizza chain executive Herman Cain, U.S. President Donald Trump’s pick for a position on the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate setting panel, runs a political fundraising group that has spent more than half its money supporting Trump’s reelection.

Source: As Trump eyed Cain for Fed, Cain raised money for Trump – Reuters

Factbox: What we know about Boeing 737 MAX crashes and what comes next | Reuters


More than 300 Boeing 737 MAX jets have been grounded worldwide after two fatal crashes in five months in Ethiopia and Indonesia killed nearly 350 people.

Investigators looking to uncover the causes must answer one of the biggest questions: Was the plane’s software to blame?

Source: Factbox: What we know about Boeing 737 MAX crashes and what comes next – Reuters

Egypt kills hundreds of suspected militants in disputed gun battles


Egyptian security forces have shot dead more than 460 men since the middle of 2015. The Interior Ministry said they were Islamist militants or criminals, and the shootings were in self-defense.

Bereaved families, forensic experts and some officials disagree.

Source: Egypt kills hundreds of suspected militants in disputed gun battles

India’s Farmers Losing Patience With Government Promises for Relief | US News


India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, came to power in 2014 promising economic development, especially for the long-beleaguered farm sector. But its tenure has been unfavorable for many of the country’s 100 million farmers who are now reeling from a combination of erratic rainfall, falling commodity prices and government policy missteps.

In 2015, the BJP government launched a plan to double farming income by 2020.

Instead, farm productivity has continued falling, growth in farm incomes slowed to a 14-year low in 2018, and rural wages have stagnated.

The crisis has spurred Indian farmers to march on foot to New Delhi and Mumbai four times in the past two years to demand rescue measures.

The government responded by raising official procurement prices, but that move had little relief.

Finally, with a multi-stage general election that begins on April 11 around the corner, the finance minister last month announced a cash transfer of 6,000 Indian rupees (a little less than $90) to small farmers, at a cost of 750 billion rupees, or $11 billion.

The scheme could help with votes – a hundred million voters will get money in the bank before polls – but observers say the move will do little to relieve the actual problem.

Source: India’s Farmers Losing Patience With Government Promises for Relief | Best Countries | US News

Democrats Embrace Eliminating the Filibuster and Electoral College | US News


Proposals that would drastically alter U.S. elections and government have moved from the fringe to the front lines of the 2020 Democratic nominating contest, as candidates more willingly embrace issues related to the Electoral College, filibuster and Supreme Court.

A number of 2020 Democrats are warming to the idea of big reform issues like eliminating the Electoral College and filibuster, expanding the high court, prioritizing voting rights and granting statehood to the District of Columbia in an effort to hew more closely to the left flank of the party.

Source: Democrats Embrace Eliminating the Filibuster and Electoral College | The Civic Report | US News