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Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 6 June 2023

1

AI human threat by 2025

Artificial intelligence will be powerful enough to “kill many humans” within just two years, according to Rishi Sunak’s adviser on the issue. “You can have really very dangerous threats to humans that could kill many humans, not all humans, simply from where we’d expect models to be in two years time,” Matt Clifford told TalkTV. Policymakers should be prepared for cyberattacks and the creation of bioweapons unless society finds a way to control the technology, he added. 

Experts call for AI pause over risk to humanity

2

Sunak may defy peers on boats

Rishi Sunak is willing to defy the House of Lords and force his proposed law to tackle small boat crossings through Parliament, said The Telegraph. After peers threatened to delay the Bill, the PM told the paper that the new measures to reduce migrant crossings were “very strongly” backed by MPs and “incredibly important”. Meanwhile, said The Guardian, thousands of asylum seekers could be housed in vessels moored near Newcastle, Harwich, Felixstowe and the Royal London docks.

Does Labour now have the upper hand on immigration?

3

Breastfeeding GCSEs link

Breastfed children are almost twice as likely to go on to achieve top GCSE results, according to a new study. After examining data from 4,940 pupils in England born between 2000 and 2002, researchers found that performance in GCSE exams increased incrementally the longer children’s mothers had breastfed them. After taking everything into account, “children breastfed for at least 12 months were 39% more likely to achieve a high pass for GCSE maths and English, and were 25% less likely to fail the English exam”, said The Telegraph.

4

Ukraine counteroffensive

Ukrainian troops have advanced around Bakhmut, said Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar, describing the eastern city as the “epicentre of hostilities”. The nation’s troops “went on the attack” along the frontline in the Donetsk region yesterday, driving back Russian forces in at least two areas in what “appeared to be the preliminary stages of Ukraine’s long-anticipated counteroffensive”, said The Guardian. Elsewhere, a dam in southern Ukraine has been damaged by shelling, leading to flooding.

Ukraine counter-offensive: do attacks inside Russia jeopardise West’s support?

5

Afghan schoolgirls poisoned

Nearly 80 primary school students are suspected to have been poisoned over the weekend and taken to hospital in Afghanistan.  Most of the victims are girls. So far officials are “unclear on the culprit, the motive, and the potential type of poison possibly used against the school children”, said CNN, but the education of girls has become a “divisive issue” in Afghanistan. “After reaching school in the morning, the students suddenly started feeling dizzy, headache, and nausea,” said Mohammad Rahmani, the head of Education Department in the northern Sar-e-Pul province.

Is it time to recognise Afghanistan’s Taliban government?

6

Tory MP charged for race offence

A Conservative MP has been charged with public order offences relating to a “racially aggravated” incident in December. The alleged offences took place outside the Foreign Office, at an event hosted by the embassy of Bahrain. Bob Stewart was confronted by a human rights activist who says he is living in exile after being tortured in Bahrain. After the activist pressed him on his links to the country, The Guardian reported that Stewart is alleged to have said: “Get stuffed. Bahrain’s a great place. End of.” He is then accused of telling the man to: “Go back to Bahrain.”

7

Apple VR headset launch

Apple has unveiled an augmented reality headset, its “first major hardware launch for almost a decade”, said the BBC. The new gadget “seamlessly blends the real world and the virtual world”, said CEO Tim Cook. The headset, Apple Vision Pro, costs $3,499 (£2,849) and will be released early next year in the US. “Once Apple wades into a product category, it often both validates the category and obviates competitors,” said Wired.

Apple CEO Tim Cook: the supply chain guy who became ‘Christ 2.0’

8

Suspicious flood at Trump resort

A worker at Donald Trump’s at Florida resort flooded a room storing surveillance video logs, the latest in a “string of suspicious incidents surrounding a classified documents probe”, said The Telegraph. The incident is just one to have “caught the attention of prosecutors”, said CNN. The Mar-a-Lago resort was raided by the FBI last summer when investigators recovered around 300 classified documents. Trump has previously denied any wrongdoing, claiming that he declassified all documents in his possession.

9

Hancock broke Commons rules

Matt Hancock has been forced to apologise after the “sleaze watchdog” found he broke House of Commons rules by trying to lobby an official investigating another Tory MP for lobbying, said The Guardian. The former health secretary was “given a rap on the knuckles”, said the paper, after he wrote to Daniel Greenberg, the Commons standards commissioner, about an ongoing inquiry into the former health minister Steve Brine. Hancock’s message “sought to influence” Greenberg’s inquiry into Brine, found the commissioner.

10

Britain’s cheapest supermarket named

Aldi has been named Britain’s cheapest supermarket, said Which. Aldi was found to be the cheapest, with a key basket of goods costing £68.60 on average across last month. Fellow discounter Lidl was just behind at £70.51 – a difference of £1.91. Waitrose was the most expensive – with a basket at £86.91, or 23.5% more than Aldi. “It’s no surprise to see many shoppers turning to discounters like Aldi and Lidl when our research shows they could make savings of more than £18 on a basket of everyday groceries,” said Which? retail editor, Ele Clark.

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