Daily Archives: May 4, 2022

(Irish Times) Real Madrid stun Manchester City late to book final date with Liverpool in the Champions League Final

It was not just that Manchester City had led by two goals with 90 minutes on the clock, a place in the Champions League final against Liverpool basically theirs – although that was plainly the greatest, deepest agony.

It was not even that this semi-final should have long since have been over. After the first leg, which City had dominated. Or before Real’s stoppage-time magic, in which the substitute, Rodrygo, cast the spells, scoring two scarcely believable goals to force extra time.

The City substitute, Jack Grealish, had seen a shot miraculously hacked off the line by Ferland Mendy in the 87th minute and then watched Thibaut Courtois stick out a toe to divert a shot from him just past the far post.

It was the way that the footballing gods, with whom Real Madrid appear to have a deal with options, tormented them. Rodrygo had almost completed a stoppage-time hat-trick at the end of normal time, stealing in to extend Ederson, when Phil Foden received a quick free-kick and saw glory beckon. His shot flew high.

Read it all.

Posted in England / UK, Men, Spain, Sports

(Economist) Why weapons crucial to the war in Ukraine are in short supply

Of all the assistance America has provided to Ukraine, the gift of 5,500 or so Javelins has been perhaps the most welcome. Armed with these light anti-tank missiles, Ukrainian forces managed to stall, and eventually reverse, the Russian advance on their capital, Kyiv. Little wonder, then, that the Javelin has acquired exalted status among Ukrainians, celebrated in music and paintings (an image of the Virgin Mary holding a Javelin has gone viral).

The Javelin features a fearsome combination of power and precision. It is a “fire-and-forget” weapon, allowing soldiers to take cover quickly after firing. It can strike targets more than 3km away and hit the top of the tank—its most vulnerable part.

In all, America and its allies have provided more than 60,000 anti-tank weapons to Ukraine. These include not just the Javelin but also the Panzerfaust from Germany and Next-generation Light Anti-tank Weapons (NLAWs) from Britain and Sweden. All have helped (along with other types of weapons). More than 3,000 Russian tanks and other armoured vehicles in Ukraine have been destroyed, damaged, abandoned or captured, according to Oryx, an open-source intelligence blog. With Russian forces narrowing their focus on Donbas, however, still more weapons are needed. More than 10,000 Russian armoured vehicles remain in operation (with thousands more in storage), according to Mark Cancian of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies. President Joe Biden has asked Congress for a whopping $20bn more in military aid. But assistance in the form of Javelins and other anti-tank systems could soon dry up.

Read it all.

Posted in Globalization, Military / Armed Forces, Russia, Science & Technology, Ukraine

The Ven Dr Rosemarie Mallett will be the next Bishop of Croydon

Currently Archdeacon of Croydon, Dr Mallett was born in Barbados and grew up in the UK.

She trained for ministry at the South East Institute of Theological Education (SEITE) and served her curacy at Christ Church, Brixton Road. She was ordained Priest in 2005.

Dr Mallett was educated at Sussex and Warwick Universities and before ordination was a research sociologist and academic specialising in international development and ethno cultural mental health.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

(WSJ) Biden Officials Divided Over Easing China Tariffs to Slow Inflation

The Biden administration is split on whether to pare back tariffs on imports from China in an effort to cut consumer costs and reduce inflation, as the White House gives renewed consideration to a step that has divided officials.

On one side of the debate within the administration are Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, who favor easing the tariffs on some of the roughly $360 billion annually of Chinese imports put in place under the Trump administration, according to people familiar with the matter.

On the other are Trade Representative Katherine Tai and others who are reluctant to relinquish U.S. leverage over China in a continuing effort to reshape Chinese economic behavior, according to the people.

President Biden has been undecided on the question but has recently revisited the issue as the White House looks to reduce the highest inflation in four decades, according to one of the people. The discussions come as the administration on Tuesday started a legally required review of the Trump-era duties. The U.S. Trade Representative is required to study the impact on tariffs first imposed in 2018 on the economy after four years.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, America/U.S.A., China, Economy, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Politics in General

(MIT Tech Review) Meta has built a massive new language AI—and it’s giving it away for free

Meta’s AI lab has created a massive new language model that shares both the remarkable abilities and the harmful flaws of OpenAI’s pioneering neural network GPT-3. And in an unprecedented move for Big Tech, it is giving it away to researchers—together with details about how it was built and trained.

“We strongly believe that the ability for others to scrutinize your work is an important part of research. We really invite that collaboration,” says Joelle Pineau, a longtime advocate for transparency in the development of technology, who is now managing director at Meta AI.

Meta’s move is the first time that a fully trained large language model will be made available to any researcher who wants to study it. The news has been welcomed by many concerned about the way this powerful technology is being built by small teams behind closed doors.

“I applaud the transparency here,” says Emily M. Bender, a computational linguist at the University of Washington and a frequent critic of the way language models are developed and deployed.

Read it all.

Posted in Language, Science & Technology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Monnica

O Lord, who through spiritual discipline didst strengthen thy servant Monnica to persevere in offering her love and prayers and tears for the conversion of her husband and of Augustine their son: Deepen our devotion, we beseech thee, and use us in accordance with thy will to bring others, even our own kindred, to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Children, Church History, Marriage & Family, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for the Day from the Irish Prayer Book

Look, we beseech thee, O Lord, upon the people of this land who are called after thy holy name, that they may ever walk worthy of their Christian profession. Grant unto us all that, laying aside our divisions, we may be united in heart and mind to bear the burdens which are laid upon us, and be enabled by patient continuance in well-doing to glorify thy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in Church of Ireland, Easter, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

But for thee, O Lord, do I wait;
it is thou, O Lord my God, who wilt answer….

Do not forsake me, O Lord!
O my God, be not far from me!
Make haste to help me,
O Lord, my salvation!

—-Psalm 38:15; 21-22

Posted in Theology: Scripture