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Flights Across US Thrown Into Chaos After 1- Hour Computer Outage




NEW YORK – Wednesday, a glitch in a federal system caused thousands of flights all over the United States to be delayed or canceled. This caused the world’s largest aircraft fleet to be grounded for hours.

At first, the White House said there was no proof that a hacker was behind the outage that messed up the plans of millions of travelers. Wednesday, President Joe Biden said that he had asked the Department of Transportation to investigate what happened.

Whatever the cause, the outage demonstrated how reliant the world’s greatest economy is on air travel and how dependent air travel is on an obsolete computer system known as the NOTAM.


Flights Could Tell Something Was Wrong

Before taking off, pilots must look at NOTAMs, which tell them about things that could go wrong with a flight, like construction on the runway or icing. Before, the system was based on the phone, and pilots would call specific flight service stations to get information. Now, the system is online.

According to FlightAware’s website for tracking flights, the NOTAM system broke down late Tuesday. By 11 a.m. Wednesday, more than 1,000 flights had been canceled, and more than 6,000 had been delayed.

The commotion is predicted to worsen as backups pile up. Cerium, an aviation data company, said that more than 21,000 planes were set to take off in the United States today. Most of them were domestic flights, but about 1,840 international flights were set to come into the country.

Long-term aviation insiders could not recall a similar-sized disruption caused by a technological failure. Some compared it to the nationwide airspace lockdown following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“Periodically, there have been local concerns here and there,” said Tim Campbell, a former senior vice president of air operations at American Airlines, now a consultant in Minneapolis.

The FAA Has Been Worrying For Sometime

Campbell said that the FAA’s technology has always been a source of worry, not just the NOTAM system.

“So many of their systems are ancient mainframe systems that are typically reliable but out of date,” he explained.

Former airline pilot and aviation safety specialist John Cox said there had been talking in the aviation industry for years about trying to upgrade the NOTAM system, but he didn’t know how old the FAA’s servers are.

He couldn’t answer whether or not a cyberattack was a possibility.

“I’ve been a pilot for 53 years. “I’ve never heard the system fail like this before,” Cox added. “An extraordinary event occurred.”

According to a notice from the FAA, the NOTAM system stopped working at 8:28 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday. This meant that pilots could not get new or updated alerts. The FAA turned to a telephone hotline to keep flights flying overnight, but the telephone backup system became overwhelmed as daytime traffic increased.


Flights Halted Wednesday Morning

The FAA halted all outgoing flights early Wednesday morning, affecting passenger and cargo flights.

Some medical flights could take off, and the disruption did not affect military operations or mobility.

Flights for the United States military’s Air Mobility Command were unaffected.

Biden stated Wednesday morning that Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg briefed him.

“I just talked with Buttigieg. They have no idea what is causing the problem. “But I was only on the phone with him for about 10 minutes,” Biden explained. “I instructed him to come straight to me if they found out.

On Wednesday, Julia Macpherson was on a United Airlines aircraft from Sydney to Los Angeles when she learned of anticipated delays.

“I got word from a buddy who was also traveling overseas that there was a power outage when I was up in the air,” said Macpherson, who was flying back to Florida from Hobart, Tasmania. After landing in Los Angeles, she still has a connection in Denver on her trip to Jacksonville, Florida.

She stated that there had been no announcements on the flight regarding the FAA issue.

Macpherson stated that she had previously encountered a travel delay because her original flight from Melbourne to San Francisco was canceled, and she had to rebook a trip from Sydney to Los Angeles.

Similar reports came from Chicago, Washington, Atlanta, and other major American airports.


Flights From Europe Into The United States Are Unaffected.

Aer Lingus said its services to the United States will continue, and Dublin Airport’s website showed that flights to Newark, Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles were running on time.

“All transatlantic flights will run as scheduled today,” Aer Lingus said in a prepared statement. “We will continue to monitor, but we do not anticipate any service disruption due to the technical issue in the United States.”

It was the latest snarl for holiday visitors in the United States, who had to contend with flight cancellations due to winter storms and a glitch with Southwest Airlines’ staffing technology. They also saw long queues, missing baggage, cancellations, and delays this summer as travel demand rebounded from the COVID-19 outbreak and personnel cuts at airports and airlines in the United States and Europe.



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3 Dead And 3 Missing After Landslide Rips Through Remote Alaska Fishing Community




(Juneau, Alaska) — A landslide barreled down a thickly forested, rain-soaked mountainside and smashed into homes in a rural fishing community in southeast Alaska, killing three and leaving three missing.

The 450-foot-wide slide happened around 9 p.m. Monday after a severe rain and windstorm near Wrangell, an island settlement of 2,000 people about 155 miles (250 kilometers) south of the state capital of Juneau.

During the initial search, rescue teams discovered the body of a girl, and a drone operator discovered the bodies of two adults late Tuesday. The Coast Guard and other vessels searched along a waterfront cluttered with rocks, trees, and muck with a cadaver-sniffing dog and heat-sensing drones for two youngsters and one adult who went missing following the incident.

According to Alaska State Troopers spokesperson Austin McDaniel, a woman on the upper story of a home was rescued. She was in good health and receiving medical attention. McDaniel stated that one of the three residences struck was vacant.

“Our community is resilient,” Mason Villarma, temporary borough manager of Wrangell, told The Associated Press over the phone. “And it always comes together in times of tragedy like this.” We’re broken but resilient and committed to finding everyone who has gone missing.”


3 Dead And 3 Missing After Landslide Rips Through Remote Alaska Fishing Community

Gov. Mike Dunleavy declared a catastrophe in Wrangell, stating he and his wife were devastated and prayed for all those affected.

The avalanche left a scar of barren dirt from the mountain’s peak down to the coast. A large swath of evergreen trees was uprooted, and a highway was buried by debris, cutting off access and power to around 75 residences.

Because the site was unstable and dangerous, troopers said a large-scale search and rescue attempt was not immediately conceivable. A geologist from the Alaska Department of Transportation was flown in from Juneau to do a preliminary evaluation, clearing some portions of the debris field for ground searches.

Troopers warned of the possibility of more landslides. They urged residents trapped on the other side of the fall, away from Wrangell, to take a water taxi to safety.

Between 1 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday, Wrangell received around 2 inches (5 cm) of rain, with wind gusts reaching 60 mph (96 kph) at higher elevations, according to Aaron Jacobs, a hydrologist and meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Juneau.


3 Dead And 3 Missing After Landslide Rips Through Remote Alaska Fishing Community

It was part of a powerful storm system that passed over southeast Alaska, delivering heavy snow and blizzard-like conditions to Juneau and rain and minor flooding to locations further south. He also reported landslides in the Ketchikan area and Prince of Wales Island.

According to Jacobs, rainfall amounts like what Wrangell saw Monday are not unusual, but high winds may have aided in the slide, when gusts of wind whip trees on a slope, saturated soil might give way, according to Barrett Salisbury, a geologist with the Alaska Department of Natural Resources.

Another storm system will likely pass over the Wrangell area late Wednesday or early Thursday.

According to a state database of Alaska communities, Wrangell is one of the state’s oldest non-Alaska Native villages, formed in 1811 when Russians began trading with Tlingits. Tlingits, Russians, British, and Americans were all historical influences on Wrangell. Timber was previously a major economic driver, but it has given way to commercial fishing.

In December 2020, heavy rains caused a landslide in another southeast Alaska city, killing two people. The 200-yard-wide (183-meter-wide) slide blasted into a Haines neighborhood, burying city streets with nearly 9 feet (2.7 meters) of mud and trees.


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Microsoft Hires Sam Altman, And OpenAI’s New CEO Vows To Investigate His 2023 Firing




After their abrupt exits stunned the artificial intelligence community, Microsoft snatched up Sam Altman and another OpenAI architect for a new company, leaving the ChatGPT maker’s newly hired CEO to paper over tensions by swearing to examine Altman’s termination.

The news comes after a weekend of drama and speculation about how power dynamics would play out at OpenAI, whose chatbot launched the generative AI era by producing human-like text, images, video, and music.

It concluded with former Twitch CEO Emmett Shear taking over as interim CEO of OpenAI and Microsoft announcing the hiring of Altman and OpenAI co-founder and former President Greg Brockman to run Microsoft’s new advanced AI research division.

Despite the schism between the core players behind ChatGPT and the firm they helped develop, Shear and Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella stated their commitment to collaboration.

Microsoft has invested billions of dollars in the firm and contributed computing power to power its AI systems. Nadella stated on X, now known as Twitter, that he was “extremely excited” to bring on the former leaders of OpenAI and looked “forward to getting to know” Shear and the rest of the management team.


Microsoft Hires Sam Altman, And OpenAI’s New CEO Vows To Investigate His Firing

Altman replied on X, “the mission continues,” while Brockman remarked, “We are going to build something new & it will be incredible.”

OpenAI fired Altman on Friday after an investigation found him “not consistently candid in his communications” with the board of directors, which had lost faith in his capacity to lead the firm.

In an X post on Monday, Shear said he would appoint an independent investigator to investigate what led to Altman’s dismissal and publish a report within 30 days.

“It’s clear that the process and communications surrounding Sam’s removal were handled very poorly, which has severely damaged our trust,” stated Shear, co-founder of Twitch, an Amazon-owned live streaming service popular among video gamers.

He also stated that he intends to “reform the management and leadership team in light of recent departures into an effective force” in the coming month and meet with employees, investors, and consumers.

Shear then stated that he will “drive changes in the organization,” including “significant governance changes if necessary.”


Microsoft Hires Sam Altman, And OpenAI’s New CEO Vows To Investigate His Firing

He stated that the board’s decision to remove Altman was not based on a “specific disagreement on safety.” It most likely referenced the controversies surrounding OpenAI’s objective to produce AI that is “generally smarter than humans.”

Last Monday, OpenAI declined to answer questions concerning Altman’s apparent lack of transparency. According to the statement, his behavior impeded the board’s capacity to carry out its duties.

Ilya Sutskever, co-founder, chief scientist, and board member of OpenAI, expressed regret for his involvement in the ouster.

“I had no intention of causing harm to OpenAI.” “I love everything we’ve built together, and I’ll do everything I can to bring the company back together,” he stated on X on Monday.

OpenAI did not respond to emails seeking comment on Monday. A Microsoft official stated that the business would respond only as much as its CEO’s statement.


Microsoft Hires Sam Altman, And OpenAI’s New CEO Vows To Investigate His Firing

Altman sparked conjecture about his return to the fold in a series of tweets following his dismissal. On Sunday, he shared a selfie with an OpenAI visitor pass, stating it was the “first and last time I ever wear one of these.”

Hours before, he wrote, “I love the open team so much,” prompting heartfelt responses from Brockman, who resigned after Altman was fired, and Mira Murati, OpenAI’s chief technology officer, initially named interim CEO.

It’s unclear what happened between the announcement of Murati’s interim post on Friday and Shear’s hiring on Monday, but she was among numerous staffers who tweeted on Monday, “OpenAI is nothing without its people.” Many people responded to Altman with heart emojis.

Jan Leike, one of OpenAI’s safety-focused researchers, called on the OpenAI board to quit, claiming he had spent the weekend working with the company’s leadership team “to help with this crisis.”

Sutskever, Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo, internet entrepreneur Tasha McCauley, and Helen Toner of the Georgetown Center for Security and Emerging Technology make up the board.


Microsoft Hires Sam Altman, And OpenAI’s New CEO Vows To Investigate His Firing

He stated that he “took this job because I believe that OpenAI is one of the most important companies currently in existence.”

In a June podcast, Shear stated that while he is usually enthusiastic about technology, he is concerned about the path of artificial intelligence toward creating something “a lot smarter than us” that seeks to damage people.

“If there is a world where we survive … where we build an AI that’s smarter than humans and survive it, it’s going to be because we built smaller AIs than that, and we actually had as many smart people as we can working on that, and taking the problem seriously,” Shear said at the time.

It’s a problem Altman has been dealing with since he helped propel ChatGPT to global prominence. He has become Silicon Valley’s most sought-after expert on artificial intelligence’s promise and potential risks in the last year.

He went on a world tour earlier this year to meet with government officials, attracting large crowds at public events as he discussed the perils of AI and attempts to control the developing technology.

“If Microsoft lost Altman, he could have gone to Amazon, Google, Apple, or a slew of other tech companies desperate to get the face of AI globally in their doors,” Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives wrote in a research note.

According to Ives, Microsoft is currently in an even stronger position in terms of AI. Its stock gained about 2% before the opening bell and was close to reaching an all-time high on Monday.

The Associated Press and OpenAI have reached a license and technology deal that gives OpenAI access to a portion of the AP’s text archives.


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Takeaways From The First Week Of Trump’s Defense In The $250 Million Civil Fraud Trial




Donald Trump ‘s legal team completed the first week of his defense case in the New York civil fraud trial, continuing to build the former president’s defense around experts who provided a different interpretation of the rules the attorney general claims Trump and his business violated to commit fraud.

Trump’s lawyers called six expert witnesses on accounting, real estate, and surety insurance to refute the attorney general’s charges – and Judge Arthur Engoron’s earlier ruling – that the corporation committed fraud.

Engoron, on the other hand, ruled repeatedly in Trump’s favor in court this week, allowing witness testimony and evidentiary submissions over objections from the New York attorney general’s office.

Engoron frequently ascribed the moderate rulings to his efforts to avoid a case reversal or retrial.

“There’s no jury, no prejudice,” the judge declared. “Allow them to present their defense.”


Takeaways From The First Week Of Trump’s Defense In The $250 Million Civil Fraud Trial

In a win for Trump, a New York appeals court temporarily lifted Engoron’s gag order on parties, preventing them from discussing his personnel.

Here’s what you need to know about the week in court:

On Monday, Donald Trump Jr. was the first witness in the defense case to take the stand for the second time at trial.

Trump Jr., also a named defendant, provided the court with a colorful history of the Trump Organization, much of which was gleaned from advertising materials on the company’s website.

The attorney general’s lawyers contended that most promotional photo-laden testimony was irrelevant, but Engoron found it important and fascinating.


Takeaways From The First Week Of Trump’s Defense In The $250 Million Civil Fraud Trial

According to Trump Jr., his father created the family business by taking over run-down properties and utilizing his ” visionary ” skills to transform them into some of the best in the city, country, and, in some cases, the globe.

“He’s a real estate artist.” “He notices things that others don’t,” Trump Jr. remarked of his father.

An appellate judge granted a stay Thursday temporarily blocking Engoron’s gag order, which banned him and his lawyers from discussing the judge’s staff.

“Considering the constitutional and statutory rights at issue, an interim stay is granted,” First Judicial Department Associate Justice David Friedman wrote in a brief statement following an emergency hearing Thursday afternoon.


Takeaways From The First Week Of Trump’s Defense In The $250 Million Civil Fraud Trial

Engoron already penalized the former president $15,000 for his public complaints about the law clerk who sits next to the judge on the bench and feeds him notes during the trial.

Accounting expert Jason Flemmons testified that there are multiple ways to calculate asset valuations under governing accounting principles, and Donald’s financial statements used compliant methodologies – and to the extent they didn’t, disclosures about those deviations from accounting standards were included in the reports, making them compliant as well.

While 95% of the assets listed on Donald’s 2014 personal financial statement deviated from generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), the statements properly disclosed the deviations, according to Flemmons, a certified fraud examiner previously working for the Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement division.

“I don’t believe that I identified any GAAP departures within these supporting materials that were not covered by disclosure in the accountant’s report [or] notes of the finals statements,” Flemmons said in a written statement.

Flemmons claimed that Mazars, the Trump Organization’s long-time accounting firm, was required by accounting standards to comprehend the business’s procedure for valuing assets and find variances, an apparent attempt to place blame on them. He also testified that Mazars would have had enough information about the asset calculations from the Trump Organization to identify any problems at the time.


Takeaways From The First Week Of Trump’s Defense In The $250 Million Civil Fraud Trial

Steven Collins, a contract procurement expert, also spoke briefly on Thursday on Donald’s winning bid for the General Services Administration contract for the Old Post Office building in Washington, DC, which he converted into a hotel. Collins stated that records demonstrate that GSA officials knew that Donald Trump’s financial statements showed GAAP deviations but awarded the contract to the Trump Organization.

Steve Witkoff, the former president’s longtime friend and luxury real estate developer, testified earlier this week as an expert in real estate development.

Witkoff said that the two first met in the 1980s when he bought Donald Trump a ham and Swiss cheese sandwich at a New York deli at 3 a.m. since he didn’t have any money on him.

According to Donald Trump’s lawyers, Witkoff’s testimony as a developer who assesses assets in regular business activity should add credibility to how the former president has indicated he evaluated his asset values in his personal financial statements. Witkoff stated that he evaluates properties mostly based on cash flow and what the property can be used for in the future.

He analyzes the worth of a project with an “opportunistic slant” that focuses on how much value can be added to the property.

Dr. Steven Laposa testified that he believes the attorney general’s civil fraud complaint is “flawed” because he alleges Donald Trump used inflated asset valuations on his financial statements based on the assertion that market value appraisals are “true” benchmarks without considering investment values.


Takeaways From The First Week Of Trump’s Defense In The $250 Million Civil Fraud Trial

Investment values differ from market values because they are based on a set of investment criteria not necessarily representative of the market.

According to a real estate market analysis expert witness, it’s “very common” for appraisers to disagree over the value of the same home, which the former president’s team has claimed throughout the case.

However, during cross-examination on Friday, Assistant Attorney General Louis Solomon questioned the expert’s claim that the complaint was “biased” and “flawed” because the definitions of estimated current market value and market value are the same.

Furthermore, Donald’s financial statements say that the asset valuations in the financial statements are based on estimated current values.

Laposa said Friday that he had never seen that page of the former president’s financial statement before Solomon gave it to him.


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