Moscow-based tech giant Yandex today announced it had expanded testing of its self-driving cars to Michigan. A fleet of Yandex’s driverless vehicles recently hit Ann Arbor city streets, including the company’s fourth-generation autonomous Hyundai Sonatas created in partnership with Hyundai Mobis.
Yandex says it had planned to provide rides in its autonomous taxis in Detroit during the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), which was scheduled to take place in June. The company had already done a significant amount of preparatory work by mid-spring. When NAIAS was canceled in April, Yandex began searching for a Michigan location to facilitate longer-term commercial testing.
Yandex says Michigan’s “progressive” and “supportive” regulatory environment will enable “rapid” development and advancement. Unlike Moscow, Tel Aviv, and Las Vegas, where Yandex also conducts testing, Ann Arbor allows operators autonomy — driverless cars aren’t required to have safety drivers behind the wheel. The central Russian college town of Innopolis, where Yandex operates a Robo-taxi service, is the only location in the country that lets autonomous cars transport passengers without a driver.
Michigan also allows companies to test cars without driver controls like steering wheels and pedals. The state also permits the public sale of autonomous vehicles once they have been tested and certified.
Yandex’s driverless vehicle fleet has racked up over 3 million autonomous miles. The aforementioned retrofitted Sonatas are responsible for a portion of those, alongside the company’s over 100 autonomous Toyota Priuses. Work on Yandex’s self-driving car platform began in earnest in 2016.
Another stage of the Azerbaijani-Turkish Live-Fire Joint Large-Scale Tactical Exercises held in our country following the Agreement on Military Cooperation was conducted.
Report informs citing the Ministry of Defence.
According to the exercise scenario, the units performed various combat elements and other combat-training missions using armored vehicles and helicopters.
The “TurAz Qartalı – 2020” Joint Flight-Tactical Exercises of the Air Forces of Azerbaijan and Turkey continue.
Report informs citing the Defence Ministry.
In the practical part of the training, the helicopters that took off from the base airfields perform tasks for various episodes.
The helicopter crews are successfully performing the tasks assigned during the flight-tactical exercises.
Another stage of the Azerbaijani-Turkish Live-Fire Joint Large-Scale Tactical Exercises held in our country has been completed.
At this stage of the exercises, the units, passing through territory with different terrain relief, accomplished combat-training tasks for organizing and conducting counteroffensive operations using weapons and armored vehicles, delivering preemptive strikes against the military personnel and combat equipment of the imaginary enemy, as well as for liberating strategically advantageous areas and frontiers.
The units completed the assigned tasks, demonstrating high professionalism in interoperability with other battle formation elements.
Israeli officials have denied involvement in the Beirut port explosion.
“Israel has nothing to do with the incident,” the official said on condition of anonymity, according to Reuters.
The country’s foreign minister, Gabi Ashkenazi, told Israeli N12 television news that the explosion was most likely an accident caused by a fire.
Tensions have been high this week following a cross-border confrontation between Israel and the Lebanese militant group, Hezbollah.
“Everyone in Cyprus felt it,” said the person, who asked to be referred to only by his first name, George. “The door was shaking in my house. In Larnaca, they heard it and felt it … It was so loud we thought it happened here. My house was shaking.”
The Associated Press is quoting Lebanese Red Cross official Georges Kettaneh as saying there are “hundreds of casualties” in Beirut, including dead and wounded.
A large blast has hit the Lebanese capital, Beirut, causing widespread damage and injuring many people, officials say, BBC reported.
It is not yet clear what caused the explosion in the port area of the city. Video posted online showed a large mushroom cloud and destroyed buildings.
Hospitals are said to be overwhelmed by casualties.
It comes at a sensitive time with the country’s economic collapse reigniting old tensions.
Tensions are also high ahead of the verdict in a trial over the killing of ex-PM Rafik Hariri in 2005. A UN tribunal is due to issue its verdict in the trial of four suspects in the murder by car bomb of Hariri on Friday.
Lebanon’s health minister, Hamad Hasan, has spoken of many injuries and extensive damage.
Reuters news agency quotes sources as saying 10 bodies have been pulled from the wreckage.
The cause of the explosion is still not known, but some reports suggest it may have been an accident. Lebanon’s National News Agency reported a fire breaking out at what it called an explosives depot at the port.
Local media showed people trapped beneath rubble. A witness described the first explosion as deafening. Video footage showed wrecked cars and blast-damaged buildings.
The latest reports come amid political tension in Lebanon, with street demonstrations against the government’s handling the worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.
There has also been tension on the border with Israel, which said last week that it had thwarted an attempt by Hezbollah to infiltrate Israeli territory.
I saw the fire, but I didn’t yet know there was going to be an explosion. We went inside. Suddenly I lost my hearing because apparently I was too close. I lost my hearing for a few seconds, I knew something was wrong.
And then suddenly the glass just shattered all over the car, the cars around us, the shops, the stores, the buildings. Just glass going down from all over the building.
Literally all over Beirut, people were calling each other from different areas kilometres away and they were experiencing the same thing: broken glass, buildings shaking, a loud explosion.
Actually we were shocked because usually when it happens, just one area will experience those happenings after an explosion, but this time it was all of Beirut, even areas outside of Beirut.
Shock and anxiety
The videos and images not just of the massive cloud of smoke erupting in Beirut but the damage and devastation it’s caused kilometres away have triggered a new wave of shock and anxiety in Lebanon, which is already teetering on the brink of a catastrophic economic collapse.
Just hours before the blast, anti-government protesters had been scuffling with the security forces outside the ministry of energy, demanding yet again accountability from the country’s leaders.
There have been grave warnings of hunger in the streets or a reigniting of sectarian conflict if the economy worsens.
And the blast will remind many of the bomb that killed Rafik Hariri. The Lebanese will be hoping that this latest blast will remain a human tragedy – an accident – and not a premeditated act.
What’s the Hariri case about?
On the morning of 14 February 2005, Rafik Hariri – then an MP who aligned himself with the opposition in parliament – was travelling in a motorcade when the explosion went off in a busy area full of hotels and banks, causing widespread damage.
Mr Hariri had been one of Lebanon’s most prominent Sunni politicians and, at the time of his death, had joined calls for Syria to withdraw troops which had been in Lebanon since 1976 following the start of the civil war.
The killing brought tens of thousands of demonstrators on to the streets in protest against the pro-Syrian government, with the finger of blame for the assassination pointed at Lebanon’s heavily influential neighbour.
Within two weeks the government resigned and weeks after that, Syria withdrew its forces.
After collecting evidence, the UN and Lebanon set up the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) in The Hague in 2007 to investigate the bombing, and ultimately charged four suspects of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group with terrorism, murder and attempted murder.
A fifth man linked to the attack, Hezbollah military commander Mustafa Amine Badreddine, was killed in Syria in 2016.
Hezbollah’s supporters have dismissed the trial, suggesting that the STL process is not politically neutral.
Due to the beginning of the second training period in 2020, a drill review of military personnel was held in Azerbaijan’s all military units, the training base and full equipment of units were checked, the Defense Ministry said on Monday.
At the events, the main goals and objectives for the training period were declared, and it was noted that exercises and classes would be conducted continuously with the aim of improving the centralized command and control of troops and achieving interoperability.
The unit commanders pledged to invite other unit commanders to the competition in order to determine the best in combat training in the new training period.
After the solemn passage, the first classes of the new training period were held in the formations and units to coordinate the interaction of the troops of the Nakhchivan garrison.
Combat missions are being clarified in the units, and the troops put in the alert are involved in combat training sessions at day and nighttime.
Azerbaijani-Turkish Live Fire Joint Large-Scale Tactical and Flight-Tactical Exercises are being held in Nakhchivan
According to the exercise scenario, the units of the Combined Arms Army, the forces structure of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and the Armed Forces of the Turkish Republic have been brought into the state of full combat readiness and, on alert, were withdrawn to the exercise areas.
Continuous control of troops is practically carried out by means of control systems from command posts. Formations and military units operate in accordance with combat readiness plans.
During the exercises, which involve combat aircraft, military transport, and attack helicopters, training flights are conducted with elements of aerobatic manoeuvring.
The first stage of the Azerbaijani-Turkish Live-Fire Joint Large-Scale Tactical Exercises is being held.
Report informs citing the Defense Ministry.
According to the plan, the situation evaluated, combat missions are specified, reconnaissance of the area carried out in real conditions.
After hearing the relevant reports, the tasks for the use of troops participating in the exercises clarified following the adopted decision.
On Thursday morning, NASA is set to launch an SUV-sized rover to Mars – a robotic scientist the size of an SUV.
The $US2.4 billion, nuclear-powered vehicle, named Perseverance (“Percy” for short) is designed to trundle along the Martian surface, mine for signs of ancient life, capture high-quality video and audio, and collect rock and soil samples for an eventual return trip to Earth.
In preparation for future human landings on Mars, the rover will also carry an experimental device that converts carbon dioxide from the planet’s thin atmosphere into oxygen, and test samples of potential space suit material to see how well they hold up against Mars’ radioactivity.
And if that wasn’t enough, the rover’s belly contains a helicopter named Ingenuity.
Perseverance is scheduled to launch at 7:50 am ET on Thursday 30 July atop an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The liftoff will be streamed live on NASA TV – you can watch below.The broadcast is expected to start at 7:00 am ET (11 am UTC).
The liftoff will mark the third Mars-bound mission to begin this month. It follows the launch of the United Arab Emirates’ Hope probe, which aims to orbit Mars to chart a global map of its climate.
China’s Tianwen-1 mission, meanwhile, is expected to put a rover on Mars that will use radar to detect underground pockets of water and also put a spacecraft into orbit to study Mars’ atmosphere.
The launches were all scheduled closely together in order to hit a critical window in Mars’s orbit: The period when its path aligns most closely with that of Earth.
That window comes in February 2021, which is when the spaceships are expected to arrive at Mars. Because of fuel and weight constraints, missing the chance to launch now would have required space agencies to wait until 2022.
Perseverance is scheduled to land at Mars’s Jezero Crater on February 18. The crater, once flooded with water, was selected after five years of careful study by planetary scientists because its rock and clay have the potential to contain electrochemical signatures of former life.
The same features that make the Jezero crater appealing for study make it a difficult place to land a rover, however: The site’s varied terrain is full of dips, ridges, and boulders.
But engineers have made advances in landing technology, including the development of a more precisely timed landing parachute, since NASA’s last rover, Curiosity, arrived on Mars in 2012. Most recently, the agency successfully dropped its InSight lander on Mars in November 2018.
If all goes well, Perseverance will be the fifth Mars rover mission managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and also the fifth successful Mars rover landing overall (unless China’s lands first).
Yet another Mars rover called Rosalind Franklin – a collaboration between the European Space Agency and the Russia’s Roscosmos – is scheduled to launch in 2022.
A group of servicemen and aviation equipment of the Turkish Armed Forces, involved the joint Azerbaijan-Turkey live fire large-scale tactical and flight-tactical exercises, arrived in Nakhchivan.
The national anthems of Azerbaijan and Turkey were performed during the solemn welcoming ceremony held at a military airfield of the Separate Combined Arms Army.
Military transport and combat helicopters, delivered by cargo planes, are being prepared for the live-fire flight-tactical exercises.
A solemn welcoming ceremony was held in regard to the arrival in Baku of the military personnel of the Turkish Armed Forces involved in the Azerbaijani-Turkish Live Fire Joint Large-Scale Tactical and Flight-Tactical Exercises with the participation of the Land Forces and the Air Force of both countries. The exercises will be held in accordance with the Agreement on Military Cooperation between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Turkey and according to the annual plan in our country from July 29 to August 10, according to Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan.
First, flowers were laid at the bust of national leader Heydar Aliyev on the territory of the military unit. Then, the memory of the Great Leader and the shahids (martyrs) who fell for the independence and territorial integrity of our country was honored by observing a minute of silence.
The exercises will involve military personnel, armored vehicles, artillery mounts and mortars, combat and transport helicopters of the Air Force, as well as Air Defense Units and Anti-Aircraft Missile Units of the Armies of the two countries.
One of the critical events in the construction of the first-ever International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) will take place on Tuesday in the commune of Saint-Paul-Les-Durance in France, where the assembly of the reactor will begin, the ITER project’s press service said.
The ITER demonstration reactor is being built next to the Cadarache research center in southern France by the European Union, Russia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, and the United States.
This will be the first large-scale attempt to demonstrate the feasibility of using thermonuclear reactions to generate energy on an industrial scale.
Should the ITER project be successful, humankind will be able to count on the possession of an almost inexhaustible energy source. The launch of the reactor and the production of the first plasma on it are expected to take place in 2025.
A total of 35 countries take part in the ITER project. As the host country of the ITER reactor, United Europe contributes 45 percent of the cost of the installation construction, while the other countries, including Russia, 9 percent each.
Hagia Sophia is ready to reopen for Islamic worship for the first time in 86 years with an inaugural Friday prayer, Report says.
Carpets have been rolled out inside the former museum, with hours remaining for the iconic site to hold the first Friday prayer in Turkey’s modern history.
Shades of duck-head green color were used in the carpet, which included 17th-century Ottoman motifs.
The floor of the historical structure is covered with carpet, as it is intended not to harm the authentic texture and architecture of the building.
Paintings, depictions, and mosaics will be closed with a curtain system during prayers.
The entrance to the areas to be prayed in Hagia Sophia will start from 10:00 a.m., reminding the precautions to be taken by those who will attend the prayer, Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya said in a press conference at the iconic marvel.
“We ask our citizens to bring four things with them when coming to Hagia Sophia: Masks, prayer rugs, patience, and understanding.”
Armenia aims to create a new hotbed of a conflict in the border of two countries, said Assistant to the President of Azerbaijan, Head of Foreign Policy Affairs Department of the Presidential Administration Hikmet Hajiyev in his interview to CTV News Channel, Canada while commenting on the recent provocation committed by Armenia in the direction of Tovuz district on the border with Azerbaijan.
It is now more than 30 years that Armenia’s military aggression, the war unleashed by Armenia against Azerbaijan continues, Assistant to the Azerbaijani president, Head of the Foreign Policy Department of the Presidential Administration Hikmet Hajiyev said in an interview with France 24 TV channel.
“Recent border incident is not just a sporadic act that happened on the border of the two countries, it is simply continuation of Armenia’s military aggression against Azerbaijan,” Hajiyev said. “Armenia wants to create a new hotbed of conflict in the region.”
Azerbaijani youngsters from different cities and states arranged a gathering in front of the Ukrainian Embassy in the US. They expressed their gratitude to the Ukrainian government for supporting Azerbaijan in military provocations of Armenia on the border, in Tovuz direction, Report states.
Waving Azerbaijani and Ukrainian flags, our compatriots put flowers in front of the embassy building. Moreover, during the rally, the attack on the Ukrainian Embassy in Armenia was castigated.
Reciting slogans like “Friendly country!”, “Long live Ukraine!”, “Thank you, Ukraine!”, demonstrators made a statement at the end. A copy of the speech was paneled on the door of the building.