Robots with lethal capabilities are being added to police force; Gun-related deaths hit record high and Alabama halts executions. These stories and more highlight the midday update for Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022.
China increases nuclear stockpile
A new report from the Pentagon indicates China is boosting its nuclear arsenal at a record pace. Officials predict China will triple its current stockpile of nuclear weapons by 2035.
Officials warn this could set the groundwork for China to challenge the U.S. in a takeover of Taiwan. The National Security Council says China’s military expansion is “concerning” to the U.S. and its NATO allies.
“The members of our alliance remain concerned by the PRC’s coercive policies or by its use of disinformation, by its rapid, opaque military build-up, including its cooperation with Russia. But we also remain committed to maintaining a constructive dialogue with China wherever we can, and we welcome opportunities to work together on common challenges,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Gun-related deaths hit a 40-year high
The amount of deaths related to a firearm has hit a 40-year high. That includes gun deaths by both suicides and homicide.
In 2021, the CDC counted 47,000 deaths by gun. And gun-related homicide and suicide rates increased by as much as 8% year-over-year. The pandemic years proved to be especially devastating. Gun-related deaths increased 20% from 2019 to 2021.
Lethal robots added to San Francisco police force
San Francisco police now have the city’s approval to deploy robots with lethal capabilities. The devices will be remote controlled and are meant to shield police from entering dangerous situations. The robots will be equipped with explosive charges and will only be used in emergency situations where lives are at stake.
San Francisco is not the first major city to equip police departments with lethal robots. In 2016, Dallas police used an armed robot to go in and kill a barricaded suspect, who killed five officers in an ambush attack.
Google settles FTC advertising suit
Product testimonials from your favorite radio hosts might not be all that true. Deceptive advertising of the Google Pixel 4 has cost Google, and iHeart Media, $9.4 million in a lawsuit settlement.
The Federal Trade Commission says the radio hosts were falsely claiming to enjoy features of the phone without ever having used one.
This goes against “truth in advertising” rules set by the FTC.
Lethal injection issues pause Alabama executions
Alabama has put a pause on death row executions after problems with lethal injection. Now, the state could turn to a method never before used in the United States. The state says it will never use lethal injection again on death row inmate Alan Eugene Miller, after a failed attempt in September.
The state says if an execution is carried out on Miller, it will be by “nitrogen hypoxia.” The inmate would inhale nitrogen and die by asphyxiation.
It will be some time before this method is used. However, the state has no procedures on how to use nitrogen hypoxia as a lethal injection because it has never been used in the U.S.
Artifact ownership debated among museums
Museums are at a disagreement over who owns what artifacts, and one of the world’s most prized ancient possessions is now at the center of that debate.
The Rosetta Stone currently sits in Britain’s largest museum. The artifact first belonged to the Egyptians around 200 years ago before it was handed over to British forces following imperial battles.
Egypt is now asking for its return.
“Today, we are in the 21st century and we have to correct the mistakes of the past and correct the mistakes of the history because we can’t change it,” said egyptologist Monica Hana.
Britain points to an 1801 treaty for its reasoning in keeping the Rosetta Stone.
KARAH RUCKER: ROBOTS WITH LETHAL CAPABILITIES HAVE BEEN ADDED TO THE SAN FRANCISCO POLICE FORCE.
BUT FIRST CHINA’S MILITARY IS ACCELERATING AT A CONCERNING RATE ACCORDING TO U.S. OFFICIALS.
THIS IS YOUR MIDDAY UPDATE.
CHINA INCREASING NUCLEAR STOCKPILE
KARAH RUCKER: A NEW REPORT FROM THE PENTAGON INDICATES CHINA IS BOOSTING ITS NUCLEAR ARSENAL AT A RECORD PACE. OFFICIALS ARE PREDICTING THAT CHINA WILL TRIPLE IT’S CURRENT STOCKPILE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS BY 20-35.
A DANGEROUS PACE OFFICIALS WARN COULD SET THE GROUNDWORK FOR CHINA TO CHALLENGE THE U.S. IN A TAKEOVER OF TAIWAN. SOMETHING THE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL SAYS IS “CONCERNING” TO THE U-S AND ITS NATO ALLIES.
ANTONY BLINKEN | SECRETARY OF STATE: “The members of our alliance remain concerned by the PRC’s coercive policies or by its use of disinformation, by its rapid, opaque military build-up, including its cooperation with Russia. But we also remain committed to maintaining a constructive dialogue with China wherever we can, and we welcome opportunities to work together on common challenges.”
GUN-RELATED DEATHS HIT A FORTY-YEAR HIGH
RUCKER: THE AMOUNT OF DEATHS RELATED TO A FIREARM HAS HIT A FORTY YEAR HIGH. THAT INCLUDES BOTH SUICIDES AND HOMICIDES RELATED TO THE USE OF GUNS.
47 THOUSAND DEATHS WERE COUNTED BY THE C-D-C IN THE YEAR 20-21. THE NEWLY RELEASED DATA POINTS TO AMERICA’S GUN-RELATED HOMICIDE AND SUICIDE RATES INCREASING BY AS MUCH AS 8% YEAR-OVER-YEAR.
THE PANDEMIC YEARS PROVING TO BE ESPECIALLY DEVASTATING. WITH GUN-RELATED DEATHS INCREASING 20% FROM 20-19 TO 20-21.
LETHAL ROBOTS ADDED TO SF POLICE FORCE
SAN FRANCISCO POLICE NOW HAVE THE CITY’S APPROVAL TO DEPLOY ROBOTS WITH LETHAL CAPABILITIES.
THE DEVICES WILL BE REMOTE-CONTROLLED. AND ARE MEANT TO SHIELD POLICE FROM ENTERING DANGEROUS SITUATIONS.
THE ROBOTS WILL BE EQUIPPED WITH EXPLOSIVE CHARGES AND WILL ONLY BE USED IN EMERGENCY SITUATIONS WHERE LIVES ARE AT STAKE.
SAN FRANCISCO IS FAR FROM THE FIRST TO EQUIP POLICE DEPARTMENTS WITH LETHAL ROBOTS.
IN 2016, DALLAS POLICE USED AN ARMED ROBOT TO GO IN AND KILL A BARRICADED SUSPECT WHO KILLED FIVE OFFICERS IN AN AMBUSH ATTACK.
GOOGLE SETTLES FTC ADVERTISING SUIT
PRODUCT TESTIMONIALS FROM YOUR FAVORITE RADIO HOSTS MIGHT NOT BE ALL THAT TRUE. AND DECEPTIVE ADVERTISING OF THE “GOOGLE PIXEL FOUR” HAS COST GOOGLE AND I-HEART MEDIA 9.4 MILLION DOLLARS IN A LAWSUIT SETTLEMENT.
THE “FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION” SAYS THE RADIO HOSTS WERE FALSELY CLAIMING TO ENJOY FEATURES OF THE PHONE WITHOUT EVER USING ONE.
THIS GOES AGAINST “TRUTH IN ADVERTISING” RULES SET BY THE F-T-C.
LETHAL INJECTION ISSUES IN ALABAMA EXECUTIONS
LAST WEEK WE TOLD YOU ABOUT THE STATE OF ALABAMA PUTTING A PAUSE TO DEATH ROW EXECUTIONS, AFTER PROBLEMS WITH LETHAL INJECTION. THE STATE COULD TURN TO A METHOD NEVER USED IN THE UNITED STATES BEFORE.
THE STATE SAYS IT WILL NEVER USE LETHAL INJECTION AGAIN ON DEATH ROW INMATE ALAN EUGENE MILLER AFTER A FAILED ATTEMPT IN SEPTEMBER.
THE STATE SAYS IF AN EXECUTION IS CARRIED OUT ON MILLER, IT WILL BE BY “NITROGEN HYPOXIA” WHERE THE INMATE INHALES NITROGEN AND DIES BY ASPHYXIATION.
BUT IT WOULD BE AWHILE BEFORE THAT HAPPENS SINCE THE STATE HAS NO PROCEDURES ON HOW TO USE THIS METHOD. IT’S NEVER BEEN USED IN THE U.S.
ARTIFIACT OWNERSHIP DEBATED AMONG MUSEUMS
MUSEUMS ARE AT A DISAGREEMENT OVER WHO OWNS WHAT ARTIFACTS. AND ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST PRIZED ANCIENT POSSESSIONS IS NOW AT THE CENTER OF THAT DEBATE.
THE ROSETTA STONE CURRENTLY SITS IN BRITAIN’S LARGEST MUSEUM.
THE ARTIFACT, FIRST BELONGING TO THE EGYPTIANS SOME-200 YEARS AGO, BEFORE IT WAS HANDED OVER TO BRITISH FORCES FOLLOWING IMPERIAL BATTLES.
EGYPT IS NOW ASKING FOR ITS RETURN.
MONICA HANA | EGYPTOLOGIST: “Today, we are in the 21st century and we have to correct the mistakes of the past and correct the mistakes of the history because we can’t change it.”
BRITAIN POINTS TO A TREATY FOR ITS REASONING IN KEEPING THE ROSETTA STONE.