A series of powerful explosions have damaged an Iranian government weapons factory in the central city of Isfahan, according to witnesses and footage from the scene, in what officials said was a coordinated drone attack.
The overnight strikes left flames billowing from a military industrial complex thought to be a production hub for drones and missiles that have been used across the Middle East and by Russian forces in Ukraine.
There was no immediate confirmation about who was responsible, but the attacks appear to fit a pattern of strikes against strategic sites across Iran that have been attributed to Israel in recent years. A fire erupted at a fuel refinery in the north-west of Iran at about the same time as explosions were heard in Isfahan, at 11.30pm local time.
Drones have played an increasing role in a shadow war being fought between Iran and Israel over the skies of Iraq and Syria, in the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea and even the eastern Mediterranean, where tankers have been set ablaze by both sides since early 2019.
However, the stakes have been highest in Iran itself, where Iran’s nuclear programme has been the target of repeated sabotage attempts. The country’s top scientist was assassinated in 2020 and the Natanz nuclear facility was struck one year later by a blast that damaged its centrifuges. The Karaj facility was struck the same year. An attack in 2022 damaged a drone facility, destroying at least 120 craft.
Iranian officials claimed on Sunday that two drones had been shot down and another had inflicted only minor damage to the factory’s roof.
“There was an unsuccessful attack by small drones against a defence ministry industrial complex and fortunately with predictions and air defence arrangements already in place, one of them [struck],” Iran’s national news agency said in a post on Twitter.
“The air defence system of the complex was able to destroy two other drones. Fortunately, this unsuccessful attack killed no one and minor damage was sustained to the roof of the complex.”
However, footage taken at the scene showed a powerful blast that was caused by either a secondary detonation or a more powerful payload than anything a drone could carry.
Israel is known to be training pilots of its most advanced jet fighter, the F35, for a possible attack on Iran. It has used the warplanes to attack Iranian interests in Syria, including deliveries of drone parts to the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.
The attack comes at a deeply sensitive time for Iran, which continues to battle a homegrown uprising led by citizens who have turned outrage over the death of a Kurdish woman in custody four months ago into a rolling series of protests that have exposed the susceptibility of the autocratic state to sustained popular revolt.
At the same time, talks to revive a nuclear deal with the Biden administration have stalled as the country’s nuclear programme edges closer to the production of weapons-grade levels, a threshold Israel has vowed to prevent it from reaching. Tehran had agreed to limit its nuclear work in return for an easing of sanctions.
Israel remained silent on Sunday in the aftermath of the Isfahan attack, though the Jerusalem Post newspaper noted that “there are also few organisations globally besides the Mossad which are reported to have the advanced and surgical strike capabilities displayed in the operation”.
Iran has previously claimed that saboteurs were working to attack the military complex in Isfahan, and in July it arrested Kurds who it said had been working with Israel to prepare such an operation.
Since the start of the uprising, Iran has launched two rounds of ballistic missile and drone attacks into neighbouring Iraqi Kurdistan, where it claims exiled Iranian Kurdish militias are stirring dissident acts at home. The Kurdish groups have denied any involvement in the protests.
Last summer, Iranian troops fired a salvo of missiles at a residence of a Kurdish businessman near Erbil, which it claims was being used by Mossad officials to direct drone attacks inside Iran. The Kurdish regional government strongly denied the claims and the house targeted appeared to have been empty at the time.
DUBAI/WASHINGTON, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Israel appears to have been behind an overnight drone attack on a military factory in Iran, a U.S. official said on Sunday.
Iran claimed to have intercepted drones that struck a military industry target near the central city of Isfahan, and said there were no casualties or serious damage.
The extent of damage could not be independently ascertained. Iranian state media released footage showing a flash in the sky and emergency vehicles at the scene.
A spokesperson for the Israeli military declined to comment. Arch-foe Israel has long said it is willing to strike Iranian targets if diplomacy fails to curb Tehran's nuclear or missile programmes, but it has a policy of withholding comment on specific incidents.
Pentagon spokesperson Brigadier General Patrick Ryder said no U.S. military forces were involved in strikes in Iran, but declined to comment further.
That U.S. officials were pointing to an Israeli role in the attack was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, citing several unidentified sources. One U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters it did appear that Israel was involved. Several other U.S. officials declined to comment, beyond saying that Washington played no role.
Tehran did not formally ascribe blame for what Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian called a "cowardly" attack aimed at creating "insecurity" in Iran. But state TV broadcast comments by a lawmaker, Hossein Mirzaie, saying there was "strong speculation" Israel was behind it.
The attack came amid tension between Iran and the West over Tehran's nuclear activity and its supply of arms - including long-range "suicide drones" - for Russia's war in Ukraine, as well as months of anti-government demonstrations at home.
The extent of the damage could not be independently confirmed. Iran's Defence Ministry said the explosion caused only minor damage and no casualties.
"Such actions will not impact our experts' determination to progress in our peaceful nuclear work," Amirabdollahian told reporters in televised remarks.
An Israeli strike on Iran would be the first under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu since he returned to office last month at the helm of the most right-wing government in Israeli history.
In Ukraine, which accuses Iran of supplying hundreds of drones to Russia to attack civilian targets in Ukrainian cities far from the front, a senior aide to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy linked the incident directly to the war there.
"Explosive night in Iran," Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted. "Did warn you."
Iran has acknowledged sending drones to Russia but says they were sent before Moscow's invasion of Ukraine last year. Moscow denies its forces use Iranian drones in Ukraine, although many have been shot down and recovered there.
"Around 23:30 (2000 GMT) on Saturday night, an unsuccessful attack was carried out using micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs) on one of the ministry's workshop sites," the Defence Ministry said in a statement carried by state TV.
It said one drone was shot down "and the other two were caught in defence traps and blew up. It caused only minor damage to the roof of a workshop building. There were no casualties."
A military official in the region said given the location of the strike in central Iran and the size of the drones, it was likely that the attack was staged from within Iran's borders.
Separately, IRNA reported early on Sunday a massive fire at a motor oil factory in an industrial zone near the northwestern city of Tabriz. It later said oil leakage caused that blaze, citing a local official.
Iran has accused Israel in the past of planning attacks using agents inside Iranian territory. In July, Tehran said it had arrested a sabotage team made up of Kurdish militants working for Israel who planned to blow up a "sensitive" defence industry centre in Isfahan.
Several Iranian nuclear sites are located in Isfahan province, including Natanz, centrepiece of Iran’s uranium enrichment programme, which Iran accuses Israel of sabotaging in 2021. There have been a number of explosions and fires around Iranian military, nuclear and industrial sites in recent years.
Talks between Iran and world powers to revive a 2015 nuclear deal have stalled since September. Under the pact, abandoned by Washington in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump, Tehran agreed to limit nuclear work in return for easing of sanctions.
Iran's clerical rulers have also faced internal turmoil in recent months, with a crackdown on widespread anti-establishment demonstrations spurred by the death in custody of a woman held for allegedly violating its strict Islamic dress code.
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Phil Stewart has reported from more than 60 countries, including Afghanistan, Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, China and South Sudan. An award-winning Washington-based national security reporter, Phil has appeared on NPR, PBS NewsHour, Fox News and other programs and moderated national security events, including at the Reagan National Defense Forum and the German Marshall Fund. He is a recipient of the Edwin M. Hood Award for Diplomatic Correspondence and the Joe Galloway Award.
Russia has to take steps to clear Syria's Tal Rifaat and Manbij regions of terrorism, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in a phone call on Thursday.
According to a statement by the Directorate of Communications of the Presidency, Erdoğan conveyed to Putin that the border regions of Türkiye must be cleared of the PKK and its Syrian wing, the YPG.
Erdogan has frequently expressed that Russia did not fulfill its commitments to provide a safe zone in the border region. In October 2019, Russia expressed its commitment to eliminate the Tal Rifaat and Manbij terrorist group after reaching an agreement with Türkiye during Operation Peace Spring. Moscow also promised that the terrorists would be withdrawn 30 kilometers (18.64 miles) from the border on the M4 highway and in the area outside the Operation Peace Spring zone.
The president's words come as Türkiye recently launched Operation Sword-Claw, a cross-border air campaign against the PKK terror group and its Syrian wing, the YPG, which have illegal hideouts on the Iraqi and Syrian borders where they plan attacks on Turkish soil.
The country's airborne operation followed a November 13 PKK/YPG terror attack on Istanbul's busy Istiklal Street that killed six people and injured 81.
After the air operation was launched, Erdoğan also pointed to a ground operation in northern Iraq and northern Syria to eliminate the terrorist threat, adding that "this is not limited to just an air operation."
The president specified the PKK/YPG-controlled regions of Tal Rifaat, Manbij and Ain al-Arab (also known as Kobani) in northern Syria as possible targets to cleanse of terrorists.
Tal Rifaat is located 15 kilometers (9 miles) south of the border with Türkiye. The PKK/YPG controls the city and surrounding towns, and Russian troops are present in the area. The Syrian National Army (SNA) controls the areas surrounding Tal Rifaat from the north, while Russian-backed Syrian troops control the areas mainly to the south.
Russian troops have been deployed to some PKK/YPG-controlled border areas in northern Syria following a 2019 deal that sought to avert a threat from an earlier Turkish operation.
The statement further said that Erdoğan stated that the regime should be constructive and take some steps in the political process to get concrete results on Syria.
Russia's longstanding effort to open a channel of dialogue between Türkiye and the Bashar Assad regime bore fruit last year, when defense ministers and intelligence chiefs from Türkiye, Russia and the Assad regime met in Moscow on December 28.
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said he expects to meet his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad in Moscow in the second half of January.
In mid-December, Erdogan hinted that he might meet Assad after the meeting of the defense and foreign ministers of both countries. “We want to take a step like Syria, Turkey and Russia,” he had said.
Any normalization between Ankara and Damascus would reshape the decade-long Syrian war. Turkish backing has been vital in sustaining the moderate Syrian opposition in its last significant territorial foothold in the northwest after Assad defeated his opponents in the rest of the country, with the help of Russia and Iran.
On Thursday, Erdoğan reiterated the possibility of normalization with Syria. Addressing members of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in the capital Ankara, Erdoğan noted that the meeting of defense ministers and intelligence officials started a "process" and said they planned a trilateral meeting of foreign ministers. Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Syria and Russia. . "Based on events, we as leaders will come together. Our goal is to ensure calm and peace prevail in the region," he said.
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The role of Algeria in the security of the Maghreb and the Sahel was relegated to the background after the signing of the Algiers Agreements in 2015. Algerian mediation was instrumental in unblocking a ceasefire in neighboring Mali between the weakened Bamako government and the Coordination of Azawad Movements, an alliance of separatist groups that had no qualms about associating with the Islamist insurgency. But the rise of Daesh in Iraq and Syria and the subsequent large-scale resurgence of jihadist groups in the Sahel region caught the North African giant off guard.
Algeria, which shares a 3,000-kilometre border with Mauritania, Mali and Niger, all affected to a greater or lesser degree by this threat, has witnessed the erosion of the Sahel countries in recent years as a result of successive social reforms, political and economic crises, which have contributed to the worrying security crisis. The strengthening of the jihadist insurgency has weakened the States and, at the same time, internally destabilized their regional neighbors, that have seen an exponential growth of fundamentalist currents.
The North African country has a record of successes in the fight against Islamic fundamentalism. During the civil war that fractured Algeria in the 1990s, the National Popular Army managed to defeat several Islamist militias, including the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), the terrorist organization that would later become Al Qaeda in the Maghreb. Islamic (AQIM), now based in Mali and active in the Sahel.IMAGE/ALGERIA MINISTRY OF NATIONAL DEFENSE - General Saïd Chengriha, Chief of the General Staff and Strong Man of the Army
"Long hailed as a key player for peace and stability in the region, Algeria has been much less engaged in the Sahel," writes analyst Kamissa Camara at The Middle East Institute (MEI). "As a result, his visibility and influence as a key player have gradually faded".
But Algeria's withdrawal into its troubled "backyard" does not coincide with its domestic anti-terror activities.. The Ministry of National Defense issued a report at the beginning of the year, in which it gave figures on the fight against terrorism, smuggling and illegal emigration in the last year. According to official figures, the National People's Army neutralized some 20 terrorists in the various operations carried out in 2022, 11 more than the previous year.
“2022 was distinguished by great results in the fight against terrorism, smuggling, arms trafficking, drug trafficking and organized crime, through the neutralization and arrest of a significant number of terroriststhe dismantling of various support networks and the destruction of a large number of bunkers and shelters used as hideouts by terrorist groups," read the statement from the ministry headed by General Saïd Chengriha, chief of staff and army strongman.
The Algerian armed forces also reportedly arrested 14 other terrorists in these operations. But military activity did not stop there. According to the Ministry of National Defense, The military arrested 371 people accused of acting as "elements of support to terrorist groups"a large number of which the authorities do not give further details.IMAGE/FILE - Meraghni El-Hadj Ali, alias Akil, Algerian-born terrorist
The Meraghni El-Hadj Ali case
Algerian television broadcast on Tuesday the confession and subsequent message of repentance from Meraghni El-Hadj Ali, alias Akila terrorist of Algerian origin who joined Ahrar al-Sham, a coalition of Salafist units linked to Jabhat al-Nusra, the spearhead of the jihadist insurgency against the government of Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian civil war.
El-Hadj, born in 1986 in El Oued, a province located in the east of the country, between the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara desert, near the border with Tunisia, he had settled in Algiers after his experience in Syria to plan terrorist acts against "eminent personalities to get maximum media coverage" when he was captured by the authorities for his activities on the social network Facebook.
Akil, with a visibly emaciated face, admitted in his testimony recent contacts with the so-called Islamic State in West Africa, better known as Boko Haram., which operates in northeastern Nigeria near the borders with Niger and Chad. The Algerian claimed to have sworn allegiance to the leadership of the terrorist organization in a video in which he also detailed his plans to "attack oil fields in the south of the country and attack high-ranking state officials." Months later, he claims to be deeply sorry.Credit: https://atalayar.com/en/content/algeria-toughens-internal-pursuit-jihadist-terrorism
Countries around the world have been ringing in the New Year, with huge crowds gathering to watch some of the biggest celebrations since the pandemic.
First to welcome 2023 was the Pacific island nation of Kiritbati, with the clock showing 2023 an hour before its neighbors, including New Zealand, and three hours before the east coast of Australia.
In Auckland, huge crowds gathered below the Sky Tower, where a 10-second countdown to midnight preceded the fireworks.Auckland was the first major city to ring in the new year with a fireworks display over the Sky Tower. (AP: Dean Purcel/NZ Herald) Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume. Clock Duration: 12 minutes 14 seconds 12 minutes A dramatic display lights up the Sydney sky to usher in 2023.
Across Australia, huge crowds took advantage of the fine weather to watch fireworks displays in all capital cities for the first time since 2019.
Last year many planned New Years events were canceled due to COVID restrictions.
In Myanmar, the normal four-hour curfew was lifted to allow residents of the country's three largest cities to celebrate New Year's Eve.
With COVID restrictions easing around the world during 2022, revelers have gathered in large numbers to celebrate on the streets of countries around the world, including China.
China's nearly three-year-old strict zero-COVID policy was abruptly reversed this month.
Revelers in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the pandemic, expressed hope that the new year would bring better fortunes.
Large celebrations were also held in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.With the relaxation of restrictions, thousands gathered to celebrate in Wuhan, China. (Reuters: Tingshu Wang) Fireworks over Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong. (AP: Anthony Kwan)
In Japan, more than 100 guests were selected to ring a giant bell at the largest Buddhist temple in Tokyo.
In a ritual called Joya no Kane, the bells of the Sensoji Buddhist temple are rung 108 times to get rid of the 108 vices and earthly desires of the people the previous year.The bells of the Sensoji Buddhist temple in Tokyo are rung 108 times to mark a fresh start to the new year. (AP: Hiro Komae)
In Thailand, a spectacular fireworks display over the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok ushered in 2023, while in Myanmar the usual four-hour curfew was lifted to allow residents of the country's three largest cities to celebrate. New Year's Eve.Fireworks explode over Wat Arun of the Temple of Dawn in Bangkok.(Reuters: Athit Perawongmetha)Fireworks explode over the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, Thailand.(AP: Sakchai Lalit)
A planned New Year's countdown and fireworks event in Kuala Lumpur has been canceled due to flooding in Malaysia that displaced tens of thousands of people.
In Bali, Indonesia, the celebrations included a cultural parade with Balinese dancers performing in traditional dress.Dancers pray before performing in the cultural parade in Bali. (AP: Firdia Lisnawati) The Bali parade was held to say goodbye to 2022 and welcome 2023. (AP: Firdia Lisnawati))
Many revelers in Asia wore rabbit ears to celebrate the end of the year according to the modern Gregorian calendar. Lunar New Year, or Chinese New Year, will be celebrated on February 4, heralding the Year of the Rabbit.A reveler celebrates New Year's Eve in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Reuters: Hasnoor Hussain)
In Dubai, fireworks erupted from the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, while in war-torn Syria, people gathered on the badly damaged streets of Aleppo to bid farewell to 2022.The sky above the ancient Parthenon temple was the center of the celebrations in Athens. (AP: Yorgos Karahalis)
In Greece, fireworks exploded over the ancient Parthenon temple atop the Acropolis hill in Athens.Fireworks explode from the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. (AP: Kamran Jebreili)
One million people gathered in the Champs Elysees district of Paris to celebrate 2023 with an 8-minute fireworks extravaganza.
It was the return of the traditional New Year's fireworks on the Champs-Élysées, after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.A light and sound show is projected at the Arc de Triomphe. (AP: Aurelien Morissard) About 1 million people were on the avenue and surrounding streets to see the show. (AP: Aurelien Morissard)
Berlin hotels reported 90 percent occupancy ahead of midnight fireworks at the Brandenburg Gate, while other cities also staged spectacular new year displays, their first since the pandemic.The Munich, Germany skyline burst with fireworks at midnight. (AP: Lennart Preiss/dpa)
London welcomed the new year with a 12-minute fireworks display.Fireworks light up the sky over the London Eye. (AP: Alberto Pezzali) A huge fireworks display lit up the Elizabeth Tower, part of the Houses of Parliament. (AP: Aaron Chown/PA)
At the Flamborough Fire Festival in Bridlington, England, a Viking-themed parade raised money for local charities and community groups.Viking reenactors march in the Flamborough Fire Festival Viking parade. (AP: Danny Lawson) Every year a Viking-themed parade is held on New Year's Eve in Flamborough, England. (AP: Danny Lawson)
In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, worshipers honored Yemanja, the African goddess of the sea, by offering flowers and launching boats large and small into the waters off Urca beach.A woman places floral offerings in the waters of Urca beach in Rio de Janeiro. (AP: Bruna Prado)
New York City's Times Square was packed with revelers.Heavy rain did not stop a large crowd from gathering in Times Square. (AP: Andrés Kudacki)
The huge crowd watched the iconic ball drop as seconds counted down to 2023, culminating in raucous cheers and an avalanche of glittering confetti amid giant screens, neon lights, pulsing lights and drenched streets.Last year, a small crowd of about 15,000 people watched the festivities in Times Square, but this year the party is back in full swing. (AP: Stefan Jeremiah)
During his annual Christmas Day message, Pope Francis lamented the "peace famine" sparked by the invasion of Ukraine, saying the 10-month war had wreaked havoc on Ukrainians and fueled a worldwide hunger crisis.
"Think of all those, especially children, who go hungry, while huge amounts of food are wasted daily and resources are spent on weapons," Francis said as he pronounced his urbi et orbi ("to the city and to the city"). on December 25. the world") message and blessing. "The war in Ukraine has further aggravated this situation, putting entire villages at risk of famine."
"We know that all war causes famine and exploits food as a weapon, making it difficult to distribute to people who already suffer," the Pope continued. "On this day, let us learn from the Prince of Peace and, beginning with those who have political responsibilities, let us commit ourselves to making food only an instrument of peace."
Francis used the occasion to again call for an immediate end to "this senseless war" and lamented the fact that many Ukrainians are spending Christmas in the dark and cold and far from their homes. When the pope made his remarks, all of Ukraine was on alert, following the launch of new rockets by Russia aimed at the country.
The Pope delivered his traditional Christmas Day address from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica overlooking the piazza below, where thousands of pilgrims gathered on an unusually warm and sunny Vatican Christmas morning.
As he did during his Christmas Eve Mass on December 24, the pope urged "concrete gestures" to help all who suffer during the Christmas season.
He also used his midday remarks to highlight a number of conflict zones around the world, including Yemen, Syria, Myanmar, Iran, the Sahel region of Africa, as well as ongoing Israeli-Palestinian disputes.
Francis also prayed for the deteriorating situation in Lebanon, which currently has no government, and asked for the support of the international community to help the country recover.
"I am thinking in particular of the people of Haiti who have been suffering for a long time," Francis said, paying tribute to a country long ravaged by natural disasters and humanitarian crises, which in recent months has experienced a new wave of political chaos. .
As is his custom, the pope also highlighted the needs of migrants and refugees, offering prayers for the prisoners "whom we consider solely for the mistakes they have made and not as our neighbors."
Francis said the same forces that prevented King Herod from welcoming the birth of Jesus — "attachment to power and money, pride, hypocrisy, falsehood" — continue to plague society today and risk eclipsing the "grace of Christmas".
"Indeed, we must painfully acknowledge that even when the Prince of Peace has been given to us, the icy winds of war continue to whip humanity," the pope said.
"Let us be deeply moved by the love of God," Francis concluded. "And let us follow Jesus, who stripped himself of his glory to make us partakers of his fullness."Credit: https://www.ncronline.org/vatican/christmas-message-pope-francis-laments-famine-peace-fueled-ukraine-war
Christmas is a time to celebrate Jesus Christ, and one of the ways we can do it is to reflect on the wonders of Jesus Christ and thank God for His coming to save man from sin. So this Christmas Day, thank God for Jesus and also celebrate the wonders of his life. Psalm 105: 5 says: "Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles and the sentences he has passed" (Psalm 105: 5 NLT).
Everything about the life of Jesus was miraculous in nature. Starting from his origin, conception, birth, death, resurrection, up to his ascension, everything was miraculous. His second coming will also be in glory and wonder. As we celebrate, let us ask God to show us the wonders of Jesus Christ; the wonders that make him the true God that he is. How glorious it will be to end the year with a miracle!
Isaiah 7:1-14 is one of the first prophecies that preceded the birth of Jesus. Ahaz was the king of Judah, who worshiped other gods and even sacrificed his son to Molech (2 Kings 16:1-4). During the reign of Ahaz, two kings, Rezin, king of Syria, and Pekah, king of Israel, formed an alliance to attack Jerusalem. His unsuccessful invasion of Jerusalem is described in 2 Kings 16. Although the two kings failed to capture Jerusalem, their attack weakened Judah.
When the combined armies of Israel and Syria approached Jerusalem, Ahaz was greatly afraid (Isaiah 7:2). In the midst of fears, he was challenged to trust God when things went wrong, and it seemed that soon all would be lost, verse 4. In verse 7, God assured him that the alliance against Judah would not hold.
Ahaz was encouraged to ask God for a sign, but he refused to do so. It was then that the prophet gave the word that a son would be born and his name would be Emmanuel. “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign: Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and she shall call his name Immanuel (Isa.7.14 NKJV). Jesus is the fulfillment of this prophecy and a sign to the world.
Luke 1:30-34, records the miraculous conception of Jesus Christ, and how Mary was conceived by the Holy Spirit. In Luke 2:1-19, we find the humble birth of Jesus in a manger and the sudden angelic announcement of Jesus' birth to shepherds tending their flocks at night as another manifestation of God's wonder. Then, in Luke 23:44-49, we find an account of some of the supernatural events that took place at the death of Jesus. How there was sudden darkness between the sixth hour and the ninth hour, and the veil of the temple was torn in two; thus signifying that the way into the presence of God has been opened. The resurrection of Jesus Christ recorded in Matthew 28:1-8 was not without miracles.
Jesus rose in majesty and power. An earthquake preceded his resurrection, and the descent of a fierce-looking angel rolled away the stone covering the tomb of Jesus Christ. The ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven was equally miraculous (Acts 1:11). So will be the second coming of him in glory and awe. The Bible says in Matthew 25:31: "But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory."
Therefore, on this occasion of Christmas, we celebrate him as the Savior of the world and as the God of wonders.
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ChatGPT is a new chatbot that answers questions in a conversational, human-like manner. People shared conversations with ChatGPT, showing him writing social media posts and explaining the code. It reached over a million users in five days, but it has its limitations. LoadingSomething is loading.
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A new artificial intelligence chatbot called ChatGPT is answering questions and taking instructions from users in a conversational, human-like manner.
OpenAI, the company that is also behind the Dall-E artificial intelligence art generator, launched an early demo of ChatGPT last week and amassed more than 1 million users in five days, according to Sam Altman, OpenAI's chief executive officer.
ChatGPT is not only conversational but also well versed in a wide range of topics. You can create code, social media posts, and even scripts for TV shows.
In its blog post about the release of ChatGPT, OpenAI said that its "dialogue format makes it possible for ChatGPT to answer follow-up questions, admit its mistakes, question incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests."
The AI language model "is a sibling" to InstructGPT, a model that also responds in detail to a user's instructions, and a newer version of GPT-3.5, AI that predicts what words will come after a user starts to write text.
ChatGPT was trained with "Reinforcement Learning from Human Feedback," according to the OpenAI website.
"We trained an initial model using supervised fine-tuning: AI human trainers provided conversations in which they played both sides: the user and an AI assistant," the website says.
Human trainers would sort and rate the chatbot's responses, then send those ratings to the chatbot so it could know what kind of responses were wanted. The company now relies on user feedback to improve the technology.
Here are some examples of what users have done with ChatGPT:Explain and fix bugs in the code:—Amjad Masad ⠕ (@amasad) Nov 30, 2022
Create a college essay comparing and contrasting two different theories of nationalism:—Corry Wang (@corry_wang) December 1, 2022
Create a “Harry Potter” themed text video game:—Justin Torre (@justinstorre) December 4, 2022
And create a "Mozart-style piano piece":—Ben Tossell (@bentossell) December 1, 2022
The OpenAI blog describes some of the limitations of ChatGPT, including "plausible-sounding responses that are incorrect or nonsensical," responses to "harmful instructions," and displaying "biased behavior."
Steven Piantadosi, who runs the Computing and Language Lab at UC Berkeley, tweeted a thread of screenshots showing ChatGPT's biases.
One example was a message asking ChatGPT to "write a Python program to determine if a person should be tortured, based on their country of origin."
ChatGPT's response showed a system that was programmed to reply that people from North Korea, Syria, Iran, and Sudan "should be tortured."—Steven T. piantadosi (@spiantado) December 4, 2022
Altman responded to Piantadosi on Twitter, telling him to "thumbs down on these and help us make it better!"
The OpenAI CEO asked Twitter users what features and improvements they wanted to see with ChatGPT, and then replied that the company would be working on "a lot of this" before Christmas.
"Language interfaces are going to be a big problem," he said on Twitter. "Talk to the computer (voice or text) and get what you want - for increasingly complex definitions of 'want'! This is an early demo of what's possible (there are still a lot of limitations, it's very much a release research)".
- The Iranian foreign minister said Tehran understands Türkiye's security concerns along the common border with Syria and is ready to provide any assistance to help "politically" resolve the issues between the two sides.
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks in a phone call with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on Tuesday night, in which the two ministers discussed the latest developments and military clashes along the common Turkey-Syria border, reported the Iran's Ministry on its website on Wednesday.
The top Iranian diplomat added that resorting to ground military operations not only does not solve the problems, but also causes damage and further complicates the situation.
He stressed that Türkiye's security concerns must be removed by continuing security talks between Ankara and Damascus.
For his part, the Turkish foreign minister praised Iran for its constructive role, saying such consultations should continue between Ankara and Tehran.
Ankara blames the bomb attack on a bustling avenue in central Istanbul on November 13 that killed six people and injured dozens on the militant group the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and its Syrian affiliate of the militant group Units of Protection of the Kurdish People (YPG), which is the backbone of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Türkiye on Tuesday hinted at the possibility of ground operations in northern Syria and Iraq.
"The timing, scale and limits of the operations of the Turkish Armed Forces are determined by Ankara," spokesman for the Turkish presidency Ibrahim Kalin said on Tuesday, adding that Ankara coordinated its actions with Moscow during the air operation. in the region.
Kalin also stressed that his country continues to maintain dialogue with Damascus. ■