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US journalist appears in Russian court, denies spying: April 18 rundown

Apr 18, 2023

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American journalist Evan Gershkovich made an appearance in Russian court seeking an appeal against his detention after Russia charged him with espionage. And Elon Musk could be creating a counter-bot in the wake of artificial intelligence advancements. These stories and more highlight the daily rundown for Tuesday, April 18, 2023.

Journalist detained in Russia appeals case

An American journalist, facing spying charges, appeared in a Russian courtroom on Tuesday, April 18, to appeal against his detention. Even Gershkovich is a Wall Street Journal reporter and the first journalist to face spying charges since the end of the Cold War.

The Kremlin claims the 31-year-old was trying to obtain classified information. Gershkovich, who was seen pacing inside a glass enclosure in court, is trying to clear his name from espionage charges.

The U.S. ambassador to Russia was present in the courtroom with the detained reporter. U.S. leaders, from President Joe Biden to both Republicans and Democratic lawmakers, have called the arrest a wrongful detention.

84-year-old charged in KC shooting

An 84-year-old man is now facing two felony charges for shooting a 16-year-old Black teenager who, according to police, mistakenly went to the wrong home to pick up his siblings.

County prosecutors in Kansas City, Missouri, have issued a warrant for Andrew Lester’s arrest. He is facing two felonies including one that carries a potential life sentence.

Police say the teenager, Ralph Yarl, rang the doorbell, which was followed by two shots fired by Lester. There is no video evidence of what happened at the 84-year-old’s property. According to a probable cause document, Lester said he was scared to death due to the boy’s size. Prosecutors claim there was a racial component to the incident.

Yarl is recovering at home after being released from the hospital.

Dominion versus Fox News lawsuit begins

A $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News begins Tuesday, April 18, with jury selection and opening statements. Dominion Voting Systems is suing Fox, claiming the company knowingly spread false claims that the company rigged the 2020 presidential election. 

Fox has argued their news coverage is protected by freedom of the press. 

The trial is expected to last about six weeks unless there is a last-minute settlement.

Search engine competition hits Google stock

Google’s parent company, Alphabet, watched its stock slide as much as 4% on Monday. It erased about $55 billion in market value after a report from the New York Times suggested that competition is heating up in the mobile search market.

The report said that Samsung is considering replacing Google with Microsoft’s Bing search as the default search-engine across its lineup of devices. But the switch could put about $3 billion in annual revenue at risk for Alphabet. And investors caught on.

Microsoft has incorporated OpenAI’s ChatGPT into its Bing search, peaking consumer interest. Google has been facing increased competition in search for the first time in decades. Google controls about 90% of the search market.

April 18 is deadline to file taxes

The deadline to file taxes with the IRS is Tuesday, April 18. Those who need more time can request an extension, and that would last until Oct. 16. 

So far, more than 200 million people have filed their taxes this year, according to the latest data on the IRS website. 

About 60% of households are slated to owe federal income taxes this year, an increase from the last two years because of the expiration of pandemic-era tax breaks and stimulus programs.

Musk’s TruthGPT idea to counter AI bias

There’s been a recent wave of concern over artificial intelligence and the impacts it could have on humanity. In an interview with Fox News, Elon Musk reiterated those fears. He said AI is “more dangerous” than cars or rockets and said it has the potential to destroy humans. He said he wants to create a good bot to stand up to its counter-bots. He would call it TruthGPT. 

It’s a similar mission he had taking over Twitter. He claims chatbots are biased and, along with other critics, believe AI could one day be used as a powerful propaganda tool with its creative deception. Musk says TruthGPT would be able to detect the lies. 

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KARAH RUCKER: COMING UP – AMERICAN JOURNALIST EVAN GERSHKOVICH IS IN A MOSCOW COURTROOM TODAY – SEEKING AN APPEAL AGAINST HIS DETENTION AFTER RUSSIA CHARGED HIM WITH ESPIONAGE.

AND – ELON MUSK COULD BE CREATING A COUNTER-BOT IN THE WAKE OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE ADVANCEMENTS. HIS TAKE ON A.I. — AND ITS DANGERS TO SOCIETY.

THIS IS STRAIGHT-ARROW NEWS. BRINGING YOU UNBIASED, STRAIGHT FACTS. I’M KARAH RUCKER.

JOURNALIST DETAINED IN RUSSIA APPEALS CASE

AN AMERICAN JOURNALIST FACING SPYING CHARGES – MADE AN APPEARANCE IN A RUSSIA COURTROOM TODAY – TO APPEAL AGAINST HIS DETENTION.

EVEN GERSHKOVICH IS A WALL STREET JOURNAL REPORTER – THE FIRST JOURNALIST TO FACE SPYING CHARGES SINCE THE END OF THE COLD WAR.

THE KREMLIN CLAIMS THE 31-YEAR-OLD WAS TRYING TO OBTAIN CLASSIFIED INFORMATION. TODAY – GERSHKOVICH WAS IN COURT – WITHIN A GLASS ENCLOSURE PACING – AS HE TRIES TO CLEAR HIS NAME FROM ESPIONAGE.

THE U.S. AMBASSADOR TO RUSSIA WAS PRESENT IN THE COURTROOM WITH THE DETAINED REPORTER. U.S. LEADERS FROM PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN TO BOTH REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATIC LAWMAKERS HAVE CALLED THE ARREST A WRONGFUL DETENTION.

84-YEAR-OLD CHARGED IN KC SHOOTING

AN 84 YEAR OLD MAN IS NOW FACING TWO FELONY CHARGES FOR SHOOTING A 16-YEAR-OLD BLACK TEENAGER WHO – ACCORDING TO POLICE – MISTAKENLY WENT TO THE WRONG HOME TO PICK UP HIS SIBLINGS.

COUNTY PROSECUTORS IN KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI HAVE ISSUED A WARRANT FOR ANDREW LESTER’S ARREST. HE IS FACING TWO FELONIES INCLUDING ONE THAT CARRIES A POTENTIAL LIFE SENTENCE.

POLICE SAY THE BOY HAD RANG THE DOORBELL. TWO SHOTS WERE FIRED BY LESTER. THERE IS NO VIDEO EVIDENCE OF WHAT HAPPENED AT THE 84-YEAR-OLD’S PROPERTY.

ACCORDING TO A PROBABLE CAUSE DOCUMENT – LESTER SAID HE WAS SCARED TO DEATH DUE TO THE BOY’S SIZE…WHILE PROSECUTORS CLAIM THERE WAS A RACIAL COMPONENT TO THE INCIDENT.

YARL IS RECOVERING AT HOME AFTER BEING RELEASED FROM THE HOSPITAL.

Zachary Thompson | Clay County Prosecuting Attorney: “My message to the community is that in Clay County, we enforce the laws and we follow the laws. And it doesn’t matter where you come from or what you look like or how much money you have. Everyone is held to the same standard.”

DOMINION VS FOX NEWS LAWSUIT BEGINS

A ONE-POINT-SIX BILLION DOLLAR DEFAMATION LAWSUIT AGAINST FOX NEWS BEGINS TODAY WITH JURY SELECTION AND OPENING STATEMENTS. 

DOMINION VOTING SYSTEMS IS SUING FOX, CLAIMING THE COMPANY KNOWINGLY SPREAD FALSE CLAIMS THAT THE COMPANY RIGGED THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. 

FOX HAS ARGUED THEIR NEWS COVERAGE IS PROTECTED BY FREEDOM OF THE PRESS. 

THE TRIAL IS EXPECTED TO LAST ABOUT SIX WEEKS…UNLESS THERE IS A LAST-MINUTE SETTLEMENT.

SEARCH ENGINE COMPETITION HITS GOOGLE STOCK

GOOGLE’S PARENT COMPANY ALPHABET WATCHED ITS STOCK SLIDE AS MUCH AS 4 PERCENT ON MONDAY, ERASING ABOUT $55 BILLION DOLLARS IN MARKET VALUE AFTER A REPORT FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES SUGGESTED THAT COMPETITION IS HEATING UP IN THE MOBILE SEARCH MARKET.

THE REPORT SAID THAT SAMSUNG IS CONSIDERING REPLACING GOOGLE WITH MICROSOFT’S BING SEARCH AS THE DEFAULT SEARCH-ENGINE ACROSS ITS LINEUP OF DEVICES. BUT THE SWITCH COULD PUT ABOUT 3 BILLION DOLLARS IN ANNUAL REVENUE AT RISK FOR ALPHABET. AND INVESTORS CAUGHT ON.

MICROSOFT HAS INCORPORATED OPEN-AI’S CHAT GPT INTO ITS BING SEARCH – PEAKING CONSUMER INTEREST. GOOGLE HAS BEEN FACING INCREASED COMPETITION IN SEARCH FOR THE FIRST TIME IN DECADES. GOOGLE CONTROLS ABOUT 90 PERCENT OF THE SEARCH MARKET.

TODAY IS DEADLINE TO FILE TAXES

TODAY IS TAX DAY…THE DEADLINE FOR YOU TO FILE TAXES WITH THE IRS. THOSE WHO NEED MORE TIME CAN REQUEST AN EXTENSION AND THAT WOULD LAST UNTIL OCTOBER 16TH.   

SO FAR, MORE THAN 200 MILLION PEOPLE HAVE FILED THEIR TAXES THIS YEAR, ACCORDING TO THE LATEST DATA ON THE IRS WEBSITE. 

ABOUT 60 PERCENT OF HOUSEHOLDS ARE SLATED TO OWE FEDERAL INCOME TAXES THIS YEAR, AN INCREASE FROM THE LAST TWO YEARS BECAUSE OF THE EXPIRATION OF PANDEMIC-ERA TAX BREAKS AND STIMULUS PROGRAMS.

MUSK’S TRUTHGPT IDEA TO COUNTER AI BIAS

THERE’S BEEN A RECENT WAVE OF CONCERN OVER ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND THE IMPACTS IT COULD HAVE ON HUMANITY.

IN AN INTERVIEW WITH FOX NEWS – ELON MUSK REITERATED THOSE FEARS – SAYING A.I. IS “MORE DANGEROUS” THAN CARS OR ROCKETS AND SAID IT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO DESTROY HUMANS. SO WHAT DOES ELON MUSK DO?

HE SAYS HE’S NOW WANTING TO CREATE A GOOD BOT TO STAND UP TO ITS COUNTER-BOTS — AND CALL IT “TRUTH G-P-T.”

IT’S A SIMILAR MISSION TO THAT HE HAD BEFORE TAKING OVER TWITTER – HE CLAIMS CHATBOTS ARE BIAS – AND ALONG WITH OTHER CRITICS – BELIEVE A.I. COULD ONE DAY BE USED AS A POWERFUL PROPAGANDA TOOL WITH ITS CREATIVE DECEPTION.

BUT TRUTHGPT – THE SUPERMAN OF BOTS – WOULD BE ABLE TO DETECT ITS LIES AND – HOPEFULLY – SAVE HUMANITY WITH IT.

THESE ARE YOUR TOP STORIES. THANKS FOR WATCHING THE DAILY RUNDOWN. WE’RE ON A MISSION TO BRING BACK TRUSTWORTHY JOURNALISM BY SERVING ONLY YOU — NOT AN AGENDA. BE SURE TO CHECK OUT MORE OF OUR WORK AT STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS DOT COM.

WE’LL SEE YOU BACK HERE TOMORROW! UNTIL THEN I’M KARAH RUCKER. HAVE A GREAT DAY!


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