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Worth Thinking About

The Adventures of Life

Month: November 2023 (page 1 of 9)

Elon Musk tells Twitter/X advertisers to ‘f**k yourselves,’ but admits it will die without them

C.E.O. of Tesla, Chief Engineer of SpaceX and C.T.O. of X Elon Musk speaks during the New York Times annual DealBook summit on November 29, 2023 in New York City.

Elon Musk‘s hubris was on full display again today, with the Twitter/X CEO explicitly telling big advertisers such as Disney to “go fuck yourself” while simultaneously stating the company would die without them. That probably wasn’t the smartest business decision if he was concerned about ensuring the social media platform survives.

Musk took the stage at The New York Times‘ DealBook Summit on Wednesday, giving a wide-ranging interview which spanned everything from Tesla’s Cybertruck, to the power struggle at OpenAI, to his recent endorsement of an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.

It was the latter that had prompted big brands such as Apple, Disney, and IBM to suspend their spending on Twitter/X earlier this month, alongside a report that the platform was showing advertisers’ posts alongside Nazi content

However, Musk appears to have few regrets about the controversy, stating that he has “no problem being hated” and that his recent visit to Israel was “not an apology tour.” He did say that he was sorry if his post encouraged anti-Semites, and that “in retrospect [he should] not have replied to that particular post.”

Even so, Musk still has not deleted his response two weeks later, and views companies’ reluctance to align themselves with him as “blackmail.”

“I hope they stop [advertising]. Don’t advertise,” said Musk. “If somebody’s gonna try to blackmail me with advertising, blackmail me with money? Go fuck yourself. Go. Fuck. Yourself. Is that clear? I hope it is. Hey Bob [Iger, Disney CEO], if you’re in the audience.”

Disney’s CEO Bob Iger had spoken at the summit earlier in the afternoon, though he took a less outright antagonistic approach to the whole situation. Stating that he still has significant respect for Musk and his accomplishments, Iger explained that being associated with Musk or Twitter/X was “not something for [Disney]” after “the position he took in quite a public manner.”

While it’s unclear whether Iger stuck around for Musk’s talk, one person who was in the audience was Twitter/X CEO Linda Yaccarino. The former head of advertising at NBCUniversal, Yaccarino was explicitly brought on to manage Twitter/X’s business operations and advertisers — a task no doubt made immeasurably more difficult due to Musk’s comments.

Despite this, Musk refused to accept responsibility for the impact of his statements on Twitter/X’s ability to do business. Instead, the billionaire insisted that if Twitter/X went under, the blame would be entirely on the advertisers who fled as opposed to his decisions as its owner which drove them away.

“What this advertising boycott is gonna do [is] it’s gonna kill the company,” said Musk. “And the whole world will know that those advertisers killed the company.”

It was put to Musk that advertisers could argue that he killed Twitter/X himself by making statements which caused them to be uncomfortable with remaining on the platform. Still, Musk seemed more concerned with his followers’ opinions than with taking accountability or ensuring Twitter/X is able to continue operating.

“Let’s see how Earth responds to that,” Musk spitefully said. “We’ll both make our cases, and we’ll see what the outcome is.”

At this rate, regardless of the amount of finger-pointing involved, the outcome is likely to include the slow and painful death of Twitter/X.

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How artificial intelligence is changing health care in treating stroke victims

I am a neurosurgeon who specializes in the treatment of acute strokes, brain bleeds, and tumors. Every second counts for my patients, and I am determined to help as many as I can.

This Thanksgiving dinner, I left my family to operate on a patient with a life-threatening stroke. This is what you need to know about strokes and how artificial intelligence is helping surgeons like me save even more patients.

Stroke is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide and has remained a formidable challenge in the realm of health care. 

WHAT IS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI)?

Not only does stroke rob us of our loved ones and shatter families, the impact of stroke from a socioeconomic perspective is also staggering. The CDC estimates that between 2018 and 2019, the economic burden of stroke in the U.S. rose to approximately $56.5 billion. 

I have witnessed many advances in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with stroke with glacial progress over the years. However, with the advent of artificial intelligence (AI), we have a new powerful ally.

Many of the AI tools physicians employ have drastically improved the fight against stroke, yet there is no substitute for the human element.

“Time is brain” is the rallying cry for health care teams treating stroke victims. It is not coincidence that we use the acronym FAST, which stands for Face drooping, Arm/leg weakness, Speech difficulty, and Time to remind people of the signs of a stroke and to seek immediate medical assistance. 

When I received the emergency stroke call this Thanksgiving, I sprang into action and left my home in a flurry, passing the baton of turkey carving to my eldest son. Why the urgency? Because early intervention is crucial for patient outcomes. 

While Thanksgiving dinner is my favorite family tradition, this patient needed help fast. Within minutes, the team and I brought the patient to the operating room to restore blood flow to his brain. His symptoms began to improve immediately.

TALK THERAPY? AI MAY DETECT ‘EARLIEST SYMPTOMS’ OF DEMENTIA BY ANALYZING SPEECH PATTERNS

By coupling what we have already learned and developed, AI algorithms have demonstrated remarkable capabilities in expediting successful treatment. AI can analyze brain scans, such as computed tomography (CT) to not only detect the presence of a stroke but also classify its type. 

The ability to make such critical differentiations helps guide physicians and nurses to select the most appropriate course of action, whether it be administering clot-busting medications, performing a lifesaving intervention by retrieving the blood clot out of vessels, or preparing for open brain surgery.

Moreover, AI assists in predicting the response to these specific interventions. This level of precision marks a significant departure from the one-size-fits-all approach, heralding a new era in stroke care where treatments are as unique as the patients themselves. This means, unfortunately, there are times I need to discuss with families that despite all our current neurosurgical advances, there are no effective interventions to be offered.

AI BABIES: NEW TECHNOLOGY IS HELPING FERTILITY DOCS CHOOSE THE BEST EMBRYOS FOR IVF

While there is no question that AI has propelled effective treatment for patients with stroke, there are certainly some limitations. It is not uncommon that given constraints of medical imaging, the AI algorithm may interpret the data incorrectly.

Not only have I been involved in cases where AI has indicated surgery should be performed when objectively there was nothing to operate upon, the opposite scenario also arises. It is a precarious situation to call a team for emergency surgery when the AI platform instructs no intervention is required. 

As a neurosurgeon, I am too familiar with the anxiety created when AI recommends no intervention, yet surgery is the best chance of salvation for the patient. Imagine the captain of a large commercial airplane performing an emergency maneuver against the recommendations of the flight AI, knowing that hundreds of passengers’ lives onboard hang in the balance. Decades of training and experience along with the degree of self-assurance required for these moments is surreal.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE FOX NEWS OPINION

Ethical considerations surrounding patient privacy and data security from using AI algorithms also require careful attention. Many of the AI platforms used in the treatment of acute stroke require a third-party software program outside of the hospital.

In this world of malicious cyber-attacks committed against hospitals by terrorists aiming for financial gain, it is essential that patient data transfer is completely protected. Ensuring responsible use of AI in stroke care is essential.

The synergy between AI and physicians, nurses and physical therapists involved in stroke care is poised for further advancements. I am personally excited to witness how AI technologies become more integrated into the health care ecosystem, and how AI can facilitate, not replace, the human element. 

We must remember that, at the end of the day, we are humans treating other humans, not simply programs analyzing algorithmic equations.

Before I left my home on this Thanksgiving to treat the patient suffering a stroke, I reminded my boys that while I needed to leave, I would come home. And as promised, I returned home late in the evening. My boys and my wife sat with me and together we enjoyed a wonderful dinner. Once again, I was thankful for my beautiful, healthy family. 

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM DR. PAUL SAPHIER

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Veterinarians And Other Dog Professionals Are Sharing The Things They Want Dog Owners To Know

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8 challenges to make your Sims’ lives harder

Several Sims standing in a group.

Life simulation game The Sims 4 lets players indulge in a plethora of enjoyable fantasies, such as owning your own home, having a fulfilling job, and being in a caring relationship with someone who loves you. However, once you are done revelling in these daydreams, it can be fun to give yourself a challenge.

Sims fans have invented a ton of challenges to spice up the sandbox, coming up with sets of themed, self-imposed rules to make your game fresh and interesting — and your Sims’ lives way more difficult. Practically every challenge has variations as well, so you can mix and match a ruleset that best suits how you want to play.

These challenges make The Sims’ typically gentle gameplay harder, but also a lot more satisfying. Building a mansion is fun, but it’s even more enjoyable when you’ve watched your Sim suffer for every simoleon going into it.

Here are some of the best Sims challenges to help make your digital dolls’ lives hell.

1. The Rags to Riches Challenge

One of the most enjoyable and well-known Sims challenges, the Rags to Riches Challenge is exactly what it sounds like. Start out with a single Sim on an empty lot, without any friends or a simoleon to their name, and work your way up to having a home, a family, and every comfort a Sim could wish for.

Of course, this challenge isn’t as easy as simply getting a job and saving up. There are certain self-imposed criteria that must be met before each such milestone, though how tough they are depends on what ruleset you follow. You could need to pay a 500 simoleon job application fee before you start your career, or you could need to build a whole house in order to provide your employer with a home address. Either way, you’ll probably be doing a lot of couchsurfing.

The Rags to Riches challenge has been around long enough that there are a variety of different rulesets, letting you pick and choose whichever combination of limitations best suits how you want to play. Your Sims may be miserable, but you don’t have to be.

2. The Black Widow Challenge

Are you really playing The Sims if you aren’t indulging in some good old fashioned murder? No. You are not. In the Black Widow (or Widower) Challenge, your goal is to meet a special someone, have a whirlwind romance, get married — then get caught having an affair and kill your new spouse for their simoleons.

It isn’t enough to commit one murder and quietly live out the rest of your days in modest comfort, though. A Black Widow needs to feed, and won’t be satisfied without at least 10 headstones under their belt. Fortunately, your unfaithfulness means there should already be an unsuspecting fly stuck in your web, the next link in your daisy chain of dead spouses.

The Black Widow challenge doesn’t let you have a job, as matricide is a lucrative career when conducted correctly, and you can’t seduce someone who’s already married since you won’t get their money. Other than that, how you trap and dispose of your hapless paramours is largely up to your own Machiavellian designs.

3. The Legacy Challenge

The Legacy Challenge is slightly similar to the Rags to Riches Challenge in that you begin with a single, relatively impoverished Sim. However, instead of scrounging around to survive with absolutely nothing to your name, you’re building a dynasty spanning 10 generations.

Working your way up from humble beginnings, the aim of the Legacy Challenge is to build a family, accumulate wealth, then pass it down to your children. They’ll then do the same, passing it down to their children, who’ll pass it to their children, and so on. This means you get to follow a single family for years, and see how your early decisions end up influencing your great grandchildren’s lives.

You aren’t allowed to create any Sims other than your family’s first founder, which makes who you marry and how you raise your children very important. You also can’t turn off ageing or restart if things don’t turn out how you like — just like real life.

It doesn’t matter if you accidentally burn the house down or your kids turn out to be jerks. You’re just going to have to play the Sims you’re dealt.

4. The 100 Baby Challenge

Another well-known Sims challenge, the goal of the 100 Baby Challenge is to have 100 babies in as few generations as possible. This would be absolutely awful in real life and I would not recommend anyone ever do this, for the sake of their mental health and uterine structural integrity. Fortunately, Sims aren’t afflicted with the same physical limitations that restrain us.

You start with one Sim for this challenge, and pop out as many kids as you can as quickly as possible (all from different fathers, of course). Then, when you’re no longer of childbearing age, you pass your baby-factory duties down to your eldest daughter. She continues the horrific family tradition, passing it on until 100 new Sims have been born.

The 100 Baby Challenge isn’t just about procreating, though. You also have to figure out what to do with all these kids once you’ve had them. You aren’t allowed to give them to social services or otherwise dispose of them, which means you have to raise your spawn until they’re old enough to move out. You can’t hire a nanny either, so things will probably get very chaotic very quickly.

5. The Disney Princess Challenge

If Disney’s live-action adaptations disappointed you, orchestrating modern remakes in The Sims could help soothe your nostalgia. The Disney Princess Challenge is a generational challenge that has each new generation emulate the story of a different Disney heroine.

The first generation starts with the first Disney princess Snow White, who must have seven children with seven different negative traits. Once these kids grow up, one of them becomes Cinderella. They take care of the house and can’t marry until their mother dies, with one of their children becoming the ambitious foodie Tiana. This continues down the generations, going from Aurora to Anna to Rapunzel to Belle.

This challenge is for Sims players who enjoy telling stories with their Sims. Rather than aiming for a specific goal, the Disney Princess Challenge provides a structure players can use to weave a narrative. The rules also give you a lot of latitude, allowing you to embellish and explore your ersatz fairytale characters.

6. The Decades Challenge

The Decades Challenge also has you play through the generations, following a single family as it grows. The twist is that you have to live as though it’s the 1890s at the start, with all the technological and social restrictions this entails.

This means that your first generation can’t use electricity, can’t have indoor toilets, and are only allowed to marry within their ethnicity. Your Sims will then move into the 1900s with the next generation, granting them indoor plumbing, electric lighting, and jobs — though only for men.

Each generation adds a decade, going through the 1910s and World War I (male Sims are randomly killed off), the 1930s and Great Depression (everyone loses their jobs), and the Sexual Revolution and Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s (gay and interracial relationships are allowed). Your Sims even become Y2K preppers in the 1990s, recreating the retrospectively quaint panic surrounding the Millennium bug.

7. The Bachelor/Bachelorette Challenge

Love is already a game, but the Bachelor/Bachelorette Challenge lets you make it a game inside a game (assuming you believe reality shows like The Bachelor deal in actual love rather than lust and spectacle).

In this challenge you create a household of eight single, unrelated Sims, with one of them your designated Bachelor or Bachelorette. You then have everyone get to know them, going on dates and group outings, before eliminating the Sim who’s the least compatible with your Bachelor(ette) every three days. The whole thing ends with a marriage proposal, which I’m sure will result in a healthy and long-lasting relationship.

Technically the rules of this challenge require you to move a Sim out of the house once they’re eliminated, exiled from the love shack and never to return. It’d probably be more fun to put a Black Widow spin on it, though.

8. The Truman Show Challenge

The Sims is already very Truman Show-like in many ways, positioning you as an omnipotent director conducting your unsuspecting Sims’ lives. The Truman Show Challenge takes this a step further, allowing you to control everyone in your game except the titular “Truman.”

In this challenge you have to raise a Sim from infancy, ensuring they do well in school, get a job, make friends, and get married. All pretty standard Sim stuff. What isn’t standard is that you aren’t allowed to control your Sim directly, and can only influence what they do through their interactions with others. This means you have to play around your Sim’s free will.

You win if your Sim accumulates 100,000 simoleons before dying of old age, never realising that their entire life was a carefully orchestrated reality show, all the people around them were actors, and they had never experienced real love. The whole scenario is admittedly morally questionable, but what is The Sims for if not experimenting with ethical boundaries?


There are a heap of other Sims challenges to choose from if none of these strike your fancy, or you could even make up your own. Just don’t feel obligated to stick to any rules if you find them more annoying than fun. Sometimes you just need a good old fashioned drowning.

UPDATE: Nov. 29, 2023, 5:18 p.m. AEDT This article was originally published in Oct. 2020, and has since been updated in Nov. 2023.

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Pentagon hopes for ‘force multiplier’ in race for new tech with China

The Pentagon is planning to field thousands of artificial intelligence-enabled autonomous vehicles by 2026 in a bid to keep pace with the Chinese military.

The plan, which has been called Replicator, will seek to “galvanize progress in the too-slow shift of U.S. military innovation to leverage platforms that are small, smart, cheap and many,” Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks said, according to a report by The Associated Press.

While the report notes few details, including how the program will be funded and how fast the Pentagon will truly be able to accelerate the development of the new vehicles, the program represents an ongoing shift in how the U.S. views the future of warfare, especially as China continues to forge ahead with AI programs of its own.

Phil Siegel, the founder of the Center for Advanced Preparedness and Threat Response Simulation (CAPTRS), believes the rapid push toward AI weapons is similar to that of a nuclear arms race.

CHINA, US RACE TO UNLEASH KILLER AI ROBOT SOLDIERS AS MILITARY POWER HANGS IN BALANCE: EXPERTS

“It seems the endpoint here is like nuclear weapons, where the top powers will eventually have sophisticated autonomous lethal weaponry and will have to agree that they won’t be used or, at the very least, when they are able to be used without a clear escalation,” Siegel told Fox News Digital.

Replicator is just one of many AI-focused projects being developed by the Pentagon, and many experts believe it is only a matter of time until the U.S. possesses fully autonomous lethal weapons. Defense officials have continued to insist that such weapons will have a human element of control, something some experts believe is an important consideration in their development.

US MILITARY NEEDS AI VEHICLES, WEAPON SYSTEMS TO BE ‘SUPERIOR’ GLOBAL FORCE: EXPERTS

“Autonomous AI weapons are inevitable at this stage in the game. China is plowing ahead with them, so we must as well.,” Samuel Mangold-Lenett, a staff editor at The Federalist, told Fox News Digital. “The Guardian reported this past May that in a virtual test run by the U.S. military, an Air Force drone controlled by AI went rogue. Reportedly, in this simulation, the AI opted to kill its human operator because the human would interfere with its programmed objective.”

Mangold-Lenett added that the report noted that no people were harmed in the apparent simulation and that defense officials would later say that it was a “thought experiment” and not a true simulation, something he argued still showed the worth of approaching the technology cautiously.

“We need to ensure that humans remain in control of ‘autonomous’ weapons systems at all times and make sure they aren’t reliant on or vulnerable to adversarial communications infrastructure like the expansive Chinese 5g network,” Mangold-Lenett said.

According to The Associated Press, the Pentagon has 800 AI-related unclassified projects, many of which are still in testing. But Replicator’s timeline is seen as potentially “overly ambitious,” the reports notes, something that could be intended to keep rivals such as China guessing.

Aiden Buzzetti, president of the Bull Moose Project, argued such a development was a good thing, noting the size of the Chinese military when compared to the U.S.

“One of the major benefits of autonomous weapons for the United States is its ability to serve as a force multiplier. The Chinese military is a force to be reckoned with — it has more men, more ships and has a closer supply chain than American forces in the Pacific,” Buzzetti told Fox News Digital. “If we’re able to design and implement AI tools efficiently, American military forces will have better real-time information, less bureaucratic stalling and more capabilities to match with numerically superior forces.”

But Buzzetti also noted the dangers of “autonomous” designs, arguing humans will not want “to completely lose control of the machines we’re building.”

WHAT IS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI)?

“Programs that can decide for themselves who to target and kill always leaves room for error,” Buzzetti said. “The major test here will be to create something reliable enough to be effective in a military role without the potential for making mistakes that injure our own service members or civilians.”

Despite the appearance of a new and dangerous arms race, Pioneer Development Group Chief Analytics Officer Christopher Alexander stressed that current AI tools designed for defense have largely focused on “augmenting human beings who are doing routine administrative or analytical tasks.”

“There are very few current programs that involve lethal weapon systems, and there is always a human in the loop making the moral decision,” Alexander told Fox News Digital. “AI’s key ability to support DOD stems from how it improves decision-making. From reducing the work needed under time constraints to having more clarity as the AI uses more data to reduce the fog of war, AI allows faster, clearer decisions that can end conflicts faster and with fewer civilian casualties.”

In the future, Alexander believes AI will eventually remove “key decision makers from active combat almost entirely,” though he stressed that it is unlikely China will be capable of keeping up.

“They rarely innovate in defense technology, and the United States should be far more concerned about China stealing American technology than developing something better,” Alexander said.

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We Used AI To Show What “Hunger Games” Characters Would Look Like In Real Life Based On The Books, And Finnick Is Too Stunning

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Instagram Reels reportedly shows sexual content to users who only follow children

Instagram Reels logos displayed on a phone screens and Instagram logo displayed on a screen in the background.

It’s been a rough few days for Meta. First the tech giant was accused of deliberately targeting children under 13 to use its platforms. Then it seemed to be rejecting ads for period care products on the basis that they were “adult” and “political.” Now it’s facing allegations that Instagram‘s Reels algorithm delivers overtly sexual content to accounts which only follow children — as well as ads for big brands alongside them. Overall, it isn’t a great look.

In a new report from The Wall Street Journal, the publication tested Instagram’s algorithm by creating accounts which only followed “young gymnasts, cheerleaders, and other teen and preteen influencers” — content involving children and which was devoid of any sexual connotation. Even so, the Journal‘s experiment found that Meta’s TikTok competitor subsequently recommended sexual content to its test accounts, including both provocative adult videos and “risqué footage of children.”

The Journal further found that child users such as those its test accounts followed were also often followed by accounts owned by adult men. Following such accounts appeared to prompt Instagram’s algorithm to show it “more-disturbing content.”

All of this is bad enough, but it gets even worse for Meta. The report further found that Instagram Reels displayed ads for companies such as Disney, Walmart, Pizza Hut, Bumble, Match Group, and even the Journal itself alongside such unsolicited, algorithmically-delivered sexual content. 

In response, dating app companies Bumble and Match Group have both suspended advertising on Instagram, objecting to their brands being placed alongside inappropriate content.

According to Meta’s Samantha Stetson, the Journal‘s test results are “based on a manufactured experience that does not represent what billions of people around the world see.” Meta’s Vice President of Client Council and Industry Trade Relations stated that over four million Reels are removed every month for violating its policies. A Meta spokesperson further noted that instances of content that breaches its policies are relatively low. 

“We don’t want this kind of content on our platforms and brands don’t want their ads to appear next to it. We continue to invest aggressively to stop it — and report every quarter on the prevalence of such content, which remains very low,” Stetson said in a statement to Mashable. “Our systems are effective at reducing harmful content, and we’ve invested billions in safety, security and brand suitability solutions.”

Earlier this year Meta rolled out an AI tool designed to determine whether content meets its monetisation policies, classifying it into suitability categories and disabling ads if it falls outside all of them. This tool was expanded to Reels in October.

It’s been a rough few weeks for brands trying to advertise on social media. Earlier this month big advertisers such as Apple and IBM fled Twitter/X after owner Elon Musk expressed support for an anti-Semitic conspiracy, and a Media Matters report found it displayed ads alongside Nazi content.

Twitter/X made the same argument that Meta is mounting now, namely that the tests that resulted in inappropriate content being shown alongside advertisers were “manufactured.” Yet just as in Twitter/X’s case, the issue is less about how many people saw it or how it occurred, and more about it being able to happen at all. 

Instagram Reels also differs from Twitter/X’s issue in that while Media Matters’ testing had it follow accounts that posted “extreme fringe content,” the Journal only followed young athletes and influencers. The sexual content offered up seemed to be entirely due to inferences drawn by Instagram’s algorithm.

As such, it seems as though said algorithm could do with some significant adjustments.

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How renewing a Bush era program for Africa will help us fend off Russia and China, boost national security

In medical school, I recall learning about HIV/AIDS. Understanding the science behind HIV/AIDS helped build my appreciation of the horrors it can unleash on our fellow humans when they become infected and adequate treatment is unavailable. 

The personal stories shared from those who have suffered around the world only confirmed how devastating HIV/AIDS can be to humanity. But our lectures on the subject ended on a high note – an overview of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR.

PEPFAR, a bipartisan initiative that began in 2003 under the George W. Bush administration, is one of America’s greatest global health achievements and a key diplomacy program that not only is a moral imperative but enhances our national interests and makes us a stronger and safer nation. 

As World AIDS Day approaches on Dec. 1, we must ensure the program remains intact.

HOUSE PASSES 1-YEAR AFRICA AIDS RELIEF EXTENSION WITH SAFEGUARD GOP REP SAYS STOPS BIDEN ABORTION ‘HIJACKING’

The HIV/AIDS epidemic began in 1981. Initially considered a “death sentence,” HIV/AIDS also carried significant stigma with it, though many people didn’t even know they became infected until they were very sick. 

While certain initiatives in the United States and globally began to try to tackle this massive worldwide issue, none created widespread, lasting success. But that all changed in 2003 with PEPFAR. 

Since its inception, PEPFAR has helped save 25 million lives, while also ensuring an additional 5.5 million babies are born without HIV. PEPFAR recipient countries also boast a 20% lower mortality rate than would have been expected without the program. 

HIV/AIDS was once the leading cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa and the fourth biggest killer globally, but that fact is – at least for now and if we continue to fund PEPFAR adequately – a line in history books.

No matter where you look, the facts are clear. PEPFAR works. 

BIDEN ADMINISTRATION ‘HIJACKING’ GEORGE BUSH AIDS PROGRAM TO PUSH ABORTION IN AFRICA: GOP CONGRESSMAN

As Americans, we should be proud that when we came together for the common good in a time of dire need worldwide, a program unlike any other was born and continues to make a positive difference to this day. As former President Bush recently wrote, “every life has dignity and value” and “no program [is] more pro-life than one that has saved more than 25 million lives.” PEPFAR remains a prime example of America leading not only from strength, but from principle and with empathy. 

But while the moral obligation and global health progress made are often cited by those in favor of PEPFAR reauthorization, what is commonly less focused on is how the program impacts our national security, prosperity and interest at home.

Today, China and Russia remain two of America’s biggest adversaries. Their shared desire to gain power across the globe is evident, and, over the past decade, the two countries have expanded trade and strengthened defense ties. 

They have also journeyed into Africa, focusing on the continent as a priority in their anti-U.S. influence campaigns. They have thrown substantial assets at Africa, including financial resources, in hopes of shifting Africa’s perception of the United States. But PEPFAR stands in their way.

In contrast with loans made by China and Russia meant to simply buy influence without any transparency or accountability, PEPFAR requires transparent data collection to hold all parties accountable. By doing so, real progress has been made, and our friends in Africa have responded favorably. 

CHINA IS AT WORK IN AFRICA WITH A DANGEROUS STRATEGY. US MUST ACT NOW TO COUNTER IT

In fact, public opinion of the United States and U.S. leadership in countries where PEPFAR operates is higher than the global average. PEPFAR-supported countries are also more politically and economically stable, helping to prevent the rise of anti-American extremism and chaos. 

These PEPFAR outcomes help us foster stronger relationships and strategic partnerships to help tackle global challenges and protect our borders.

To whom much is given, much is required. With the generosity of the American people and strong bipartisan support for 20 years, PEPFAR has become an undeniable success. 

It remains a great source of national pride and a prime example of U.S. leadership at its finest as the largest commitment by a nation to address a single disease in history. It positively impacts both the world at large and us here at home. 

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America has always been a shining city upon a hill that the world turns to in its darkest day, and we cannot falter now. Across four U.S. presidents and 10 U.S. Congresses, PEPFAR has remained, yet it has not been fully reauthorized for its full five years since President Donald J. Trump signed the PEPFAR Extension Act of 2018. 

With an investment of only one-tenth of 1% of the U.S. federal budget, PEPFAR can continue uninterrupted and the goal of ridding the world of HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030 can be achieved. Congress must reauthorize PEPFAR for five more years now.

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15 Texts That Are So Awkward, I Don’t Think These People Will Recover After Sending Them

I would simply throw my phone across the room.


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NYT’s The Mini crossword answers for November 27

Closeup view of crossword puzzle clues

The Mini is a bite-sized version of The New York Times‘ revered daily crossword. While the crossword is a lengthier experience that requires both knowledge and patience to complete, The Mini is an entirely different vibe.

With only a handful of clues to answer, the daily puzzle doubles as a speed-running test for many who play it.

So, when a tricky clue disrupts a player’s flow, it can be frustrating! If you find yourself stumped playing The Mini — much like with Wordle and Connections — we have you covered.

Here are the clues and answers to NYT’s The Mini for Monday, Nov. 27, 2023:

Across

Quick photo

  • The answer is pic.

Subtraction word

  • The answer is minus.

Socrates taught him, and he taught Aristotle

  • The answer is Plato.

Nikki ___, Republican presidential candidate

  • The answer is Haley.

What American customers do

  • The answer is fly.

Down

Rice dish

  • The answer is pilaf.

Totaling everything

  • The answer is inall.

Adorable person, using an unusual spelling

  • The answer is cutey.

Speed limit abbr.

  • The answer is MPH.

What tofu is made of

  • The answer is soy.

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