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The News You May Have Missed

December 2017



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Eat & Run

During his trip to Bologna, Italy, Pope Francis was scheduled to dine with 20 prisoners from a local drug-rehabilitation facility, along with refugees and the poor of the area, during a “Lunch of Solidarity” at San Petronio Basilica. Two prisoners used the event to escape (Catholic News Agency, Oct. 17). They left the facility sometime during the lunch hour, though it was unclear whether they made the pretense of eating anything. The facility is divided into two sections, one for the rehabilitation of drug addicts, the other for inmates judged a danger to society. The two men escaped from the latter section. Pope Francis regularly includes prisoners in his trips and events; he held a Jubilee Mass for prisoners at the Vatican last year.

Fear the Preacher

Hundreds of thousands of Londoners experienced a major disruption during morning rush hour after a man with a rucksack began reading aloud from the Old Testament and preaching on a packed commuter train. “He was quite well spoken and calm,” a commuter told The Guardian (Oct. 2). “He said: ‘Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to talk to you about something, and that something is the word of the Lord, Jesus Christ. He’s here to heal your sins. The Bible tells you that homosexuality is a sin and sex before marriage is a sin. You need to repent.’” Others say the preacher referred to “doomsday” and the afterlife. Passengers panicked and began pushing and shoving. Some pried open the car doors and fled on the tracks, risking injury and even death, and causing significant delays in service. A guard who searched the suddenly sheepish preacher found only a water flask and books in his bag. He was not arrested.

Congratulations, It’s a Cyborg

The inventor of one of the world’s first “sex robots” claims he will soon be able to create a “baby” using one of his bots (International Business Times, Oct. 23). By merging the sexbot’s personality and physical traits with his own in a computer program, Sergi Santos says he can create their offspring’s brain and body, which can be “born” in a 3D printer. “I would program it with a genome so he or she could have moral values, plus concepts of beauty, justice and the values that humans have,” he said. “I would make an algorithm of what I personally believe about these concepts, and then shuffle it with what she thinks and then 3D print it…. I don’t see any complications.” Santos, who makes the sexbots at his Barcelona studio for an ever-growing number of customers around the world, is confident that people’s shock over sexbots will eventually be replaced by acceptance. “Before they know it, these robots will be doing their jobs, and marrying their children, their grandchildren, and their friends,” he said.


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