Extra, Extra

Sons of Anarchy: “Although Guzmán’s trial revolved around cocaine shipments, the case against his sons exposes the inner workings of a cartel undergoing a generational shift as it worked “to manufacture the most potent fentanyl and to sell it in the United States at the lowest price … Synthetic opioids — mostly fentanyl — now kill more Americans every year than died in the Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined.”

+ More Shooting: “Authorities in southeast Texas are offering a $80,000 reward for any tips that lead to the capture of 38-year-old Francisco Oropesa, who police say shot five people to death in a home early Saturday morning and then fled the scene.” The suspect had been deported 4 times after entering US illegally. The victims include an eight year-old child. The violence started with Oropesa was asked to stop firing his gun because it was keeping the family’s baby awake. These mass killings are not an accident. They are the obvious outcome of laws designed to enable them. This juxtaposition says it all.

+ Counteroffensive Lines: “On one side, farmers defend their land and 20‑something engineers build eyes in the sky, using tools that would be familiar to 20‑something engineers anywhere else. On the other side, commanders send waves of poorly armed conscripts to be slaughtered—just as Stalin once sent shtrafbats, penal battalions, against the Nazis—under the leadership of a dictator obsessed with ancient bones. ‘The choice,’ Zelensky told us, ‘is between freedom and fear.'” Anne Applebaum and Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic on the future of Ukraine, and maybe the democratic world: The Counteroffensive.

+ Mind Blown: “The system got a lot of help constructing intelligible sentences from artificial intelligence: an early version of the famous natural language processing program ChatGPT. What emerged from the system was a paraphrased version of what a participant heard.” NPR: A decoder that uses brain scans to know what you mean — mostly.

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