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Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai revealed plans to roll back net neutrality during a speech in Washington, D.C.

Pai plans to hand regulatory jurisdiction of broadband providers back to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), an agency critics argue is less than prepared to handle.

The net neutrality rules will also set restrictions on internet service providers (ISPs), prioritizing certain kinds of web traffic and throttling others.

While Pai said his proposed changes would reinvigorate broadband investment, the rules were broadly aimed at establishing a level playing field for internet companies. thehill.com
French intelligence has concluded that forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad carried out a sarin nerve gas attack on April 4 in northern Syria and that Assad or members of his inner circle ordered the strike, a declassified report showed.

The chemical weapons attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun killed scores of people, according to a war monitor, Syrian opposition groups and Western countries. It prompted the United States to launch a cruise missile strike on a Syrian air base, its first deliberate assault on the Assad government in the six-year-old conflict. 

Assad has said in two media interviews since April 4 that the evidence of a poison gas attack was false and denied his government had ever used chemical weapons.

The six-page French document, seen by Reuters, and drawn up by France's military and foreign intelligence services - said it reached its conclusion based on samples they had obtained from the impact strike on the ground and a blood sample from a victim.

"We know, from a certain source, that the process of fabrication of the samples taken is typical of the method developed in Syrian laboratories," Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told reporters after presenting the findings to the cabinet. reuters.com
Have you heard? AT&T is going to “pave the way for the next generation of faster speeds” with something called 5G Evolution. No, it’s not actually a new 5G network, the much hyped successor to 4G that’s supposed to change the way we connect to the internet. It’s just a re-branded 4G offering, and AT&T’s sad attempt at seeming innovative.

If you already feel confused, don’t worry. AT&T probably isn’t offering 5G Evolution for your phone or in your area. The rollout is starting in certain parts of Austin, Texas and will only work with Samsung Galaxy S8 devices. AT&T promises to offer the new service in 20 metro areas by the end of the year.

The company also promises that that 5G Evolution will offer speeds “up to twice as fast” as 4G LTE connections on its network. However, there is a warning below this claim that says the press release contains “forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially.”

Weirdly, AT&T announced this very limited rollout of its new fake 5G service just a couple hours before news reports revealed that Verizon had outbid AT&T on a major chunk of 5G spectrum. (That’s for a real 5G network.) Who knows if the two announcements are related. There’s a good chance that they’re not, since AT&T first announced 5G Evolution back in January. gizmodo.com
Representatives of the Chinese and European space agencies have discussed collaborating on a moonbase and other possible joint endeavours, according to spokespeople and media reports.

The work was first revealed by Tian Yulong, the secretary general of China’s space agency, who told Chinese state media about the talks. Pal Hvistendahl, a spokesperson for the European Space Agency, confirmed the discussions.

“The Chinese have a very ambitious moon programme already in place,” Mr Hvistendahl said. “Space has changed since the space race of the Sixties. We recognise that to explore space for peaceful purposes, we do international cooperation.”

Johann-Dietrich Wörner, the director general of the 22-member ESA, has described its proposed “Moon Village” as a potential international launching pad for future missions to Mars and a chance to develop space tourism or even lunar mining. 

China arrived relatively late to space travel but has ramped up its programme since its first manned spaceflight in 2003, more than 42 years after a Soviet cosmonaut became the first to reach orbit.  independent.co.uk
It was the spring of 1954, and Congress had voted, after some controversy, to insert the phrase into the Pledge of Allegiance, partly as a cold war rejoinder to "godless" communism. We kept stumbling on the words—it's not easy to unlearn something as ingrained and metrical as the Pledge of Allegiance—while we rehearsed for Flag Day, June 14, when the revision would take effect.

Now, nearly five decades later, "under God" is at the center of a legal wrangle that has stirred passions and landed at the door of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The case follows a U.S. appeals court ruling in June 2002 that "under God" turns the pledge into an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion when recited in public schools. Outraged by the ruling, Washington, D.C. lawmakers of both parties recited the pledge on the Capitol steps.

Amid the furor, the judge who wrote the ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court, based in San Francisco, stayed it from being put into effect. In April 2003, after the Ninth Circuit declined to review its decision, the federal government petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn it. In the debate of separation of church and state, the U.S. is already 111 years into the hubbub. smithsonianmag.com
Donald Trump has rowed back on his claim that Nato is “obsolete”, saying his earlier comments were made when he did “not know much about” the military alliance.

The US President told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer during the presidential campaign that the 28-member state organisation was redundant and overly expensive for the US – a claim he repeated shortly before taking office in January.

"We are paying disproportionately,” he said at the time. “It's too much, and frankly it's a different world than it was when we originally conceived of the idea."

Asked about his previous comments during an interview with the Associated Press, Mr Trump said they were a result of him “not knowing much” about Nato.

”They had a quote from me that Nato’s obsolete,” he said. “But they didn't say why it was obsolete. I was on Wolf Blitzer - very fair interview - the first time I was ever asked about Nato, because I wasn't in government. independent.co.uk
Google announced its first attempt to combat the circulation of “fake news” on its search engine with new tools allowing users to report misleading or offensive content, and a pledge to improve results generated by its algorithm.

The technology company said it would allow people to complain about misleading, inaccurate or hateful content in its autocomplete function, which pops up to suggest searches based on the first few characters typed.

It also said it would refine its search engine to “surface more authoritative pages and demote low-quality content” – and acknowledged for the first time that it had taken the measures to combat the threat of fake news.

Ben Gomes, vice-president of engineering, Google Search, said in a blogpost: “In a world where tens of thousands of pages are coming online every minute of every day, there are new ways that people try to game the system,. The most high-profile of these issues is the phenomenon of ‘fake news’, where content on the web has contributed to the spread of blatantly misleading, low quality, offensive, or downright false information.” theguardian.com
Greece has posted an overall government surplus of 1.288 billion euros ($A1.8 billion), or 0.7 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016, the EU statistical agency Eurostat says, adding they're "confident" Greece can reach the agreed primary surplus target of 1.7 per cent of GDP in 2017.

The figure, which includes debt service, marks the first time that Greece has reported a government surplus since Eurostat began recording the indicator in 1995 and comes as the heavily-indebted country and its European creditors are aiming to finalise the terms of its next bailout payment.

However, despite the progress, Greece's government debt was still the highest in the EU, amounting to 314.9 billion euros, or 179 per cent of GDP in 2016. The European Commission said the Eurostat data indicated a budget surplus excluding debt service - known as a primary surplus - of 4.2 per cent of GDP in 2016.

"This is significantly above the 0.5 per cent of GDP program target set for 2016 and even above the target of 3.5 per cent set for 2018," said Margaritis Schinas, spokesman for the European Commission. "This confirms the trends which we, at the Commission, have been reporting for a while." news.com.au
Ivanka Trump has been booed and hissed at by an audience in Berlin after she praised Donald Trump’s stance on women. During her first international outing as a White House advisor, the first daughter argued her father was "a tremendous champion of supporting families”.

The statement immediately drew audible boos and rumbling from the audience who did not appear to agree with the assertion. Ms Trump, the President’s second child who is said to be his “favourite”, is in Germany for talks on encouraging women’s economic empowerment.

When pressed about President Trump's past attitudes toward women during the W20 Summit, she told the audience: "I've certainly heard the criticism from the media, and that's been perpetuated." But Ms Trump, a former executive of the Trump Organisation, insisted her own personal experience and those of the "thousands" of women who have worked with Mr Trump for decades did not tally with the media's criticism.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also attended the panel discussion which focused on female empowerment in the global economy and entrepreneurship. The summit was a women-focused effort within the Group of 20 countries titled "Inspiring women: Scaling up women's entrepreneurship." independent.co.uk