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Intel Co-Founder, Philanthropist Gordon Moore Dies at 94

Gordon Moore, the Intel Corp. co-founder who set the breakneck pace of progress in the digital age with a simple 1965 prediction of how quickly engineers would boost the capacity of computer chips, has died. He was 94.

Moore died Friday at his home in Hawaii, according to Intel and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

Moore, who held a Ph.D. in chemistry and physics, made his famous observation — now known as “Moore’s Law” — three years before he helped start Intel in 1968. It appeared among several articles about the future written for the now-defunct Electronics magazine by experts in various fields.

The prediction, which Moore said he plotted out on graph paper based on what had been happening with chips at the time, said the capacity and complexity of integrated circuits would double every year.

Strictly speaking, Moore’s observation referred to the doubling of transistors on a semiconductor. But over the years, it has been applied to hard drives, computer monitors and other electronic devices, holding that roughly every 18 months a new generation of products makes their predecessors obsolete.

It became a standard for the tech industry’s progress and innovation.

“It’s the human spirit. It’s what made Silicon Valley,” Carver Mead, a retired California Institute of Technology computer scientist who coined the term “Moore’s Law” in the early 1970s, said in 2005. “It’s the real thing.”

‘Wisdom, humility and generosity’

Moore later became known for his philanthropy when he and his wife established the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, which focuses on environmental conservation, science, patient care and projects in the San Francisco Bay area. It has donated more than $5.1 billion to charitable causes since its founding in 2000.

“Those of us who have met and worked with Gordon will forever be inspired by his wisdom, humility and generosity,” foundation president Harvey Fineberg said in a statement.

Intel Chairman Frank Yeary called Moore a brilliant scientist and a leading American entrepreneur.

“It is impossible to imagine the world we live in today, with computing so essential to our lives, without the contributions of Gordon Moore,” he said.

In his book “Moore’s Law: The Life of Gordon Moore, Silicon Valley’s Quiet Revolutionary,” author David Brock called him “the most important thinker and doer in the story of silicon electronics.”

Helped plant seed for renegade culture

Moore was born in San Francisco on Jan. 3, 1929, and grew up in the tiny nearby coastal town of Pescadero. As a boy, he took a liking to chemistry sets. He attended San Jose State University, then transferred to the University of California, Berkeley, where he graduated with a degree in chemistry.

After getting his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology in 1954, he worked briefly as a researcher at Johns Hopkins University.

His entry into microchips began when he went to work for William Shockley, who in 1956 shared the Nobel Prize for physics for his work inventing the transistor. Less than two years later, Moore and seven colleagues left Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory after growing tired of its namesake’s management practices.

The defection by the “traitorous eight,” as the group came to be called, planted the seeds for Silicon Valley’s renegade culture, in which engineers who disagreed with their colleagues didn’t hesitate to become competitors.

The Shockley defectors in 1957 created Fairchild Semiconductor, which became one of the first companies to manufacture the integrated circuit, a refinement of the transistor.

Fairchild supplied the chips that went into the first computers that astronauts used aboard spacecraft.

Called Moore’s Law as ‘a lucky guess’

In 1968, Moore and Robert Noyce, one of the eight engineers who left Shockley, again struck out on their own. With $500,000 of their own money and the backing of venture capitalist Arthur Rock, they founded Intel, a name based on joining the words “integrated” and “electronics.”

Moore became Intel’s chief executive in 1975. His tenure as CEO ended in 1987, thought he remained chairman for another 10 years. He was chairman emeritus from 1997 to 2006.

He received the National Medal of Technology from President George H.W. Bush in 1990 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush in 2002.

Despite his wealth and acclaim, Moore remained known for his modesty. In 2005, he referred to Moore’s Law as “a lucky guess that got a lot more publicity than it deserved.”

He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Betty, sons Kenneth and Steven, and four grandchildren.

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US State Department Monitoring Reports of Kidnapped Couple in Haiti 

A U.S. State Department spokesperson said Saturday the government is aware of reports of two U.S. citizens missing in Haiti, after media outlets said a Florida couple had been kidnapped.

Abigail Toussaint and Jean-Dickens Toussaint, both 33, were taken near capital Port-au-Prince and have been held for days, according to an online petition started by a woman who said she is a relative of the couple.

The couple was on a trip to visit family and attend a festival when they were kidnapped during a bus ride, the relative said, according to CNN.

“We are aware of reports of two U.S. citizens missing in Haiti,” the State Department spokesperson said. “When a U.S. citizen is missing, we work closely with local authorities as they carry out their search efforts, and we share information with families however we can.”

A spokesperson for Haiti’s national police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Haiti’s gangs have grown in strength since the 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moise, with large portions of the capital and much of the countryside considered lawless territory.

The security situation has devolved further in recent months with routine gun fights between police officers and the gangs.

Bloody turf battles have left hundreds dead and thousands displaced.

Seventeen missionaries from the United States and Canada were taken hostage and held for ransom in 2021 while on a trip to Haiti organized by the Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries.

The group said ransom money was paid for the release of the captives, but a dozen had escaped on their own.

(Reporting by Harold Isaac in Port-au-Prince, Cassandra Garrison in Mexico City and Rami Ayyub in Washington; editing by Diane Craft)

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West Regains ‘Unity, Purpose’ in Light of Russian Ukraine War, Poll Indicates 

A poll of global attitudes toward Russia’s Ukraine war suggests the West has regained its “unity and sense of purpose” following the invasion, according to the European Council on Foreign Relations.

The survey, conducted in nine EU countries, Britain, China, India, Turkey, Russia, and the United States in December and January, portrays markedly different attitudes in non-Western nations.

“We asked the question whether they agree strongly with the idea that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine needs to stop as soon as possible, even if that means giving Russia control of some areas of Ukraine,” Susi Dennison, an analyst at the council, which commissioned the poll, told VOA earlier this week.

“What we found was that within the EU, but also in Great Britain and the United States — so what you might refer to as the West — there is a general agreement with the idea that Ukraine needs to regain all of its territory. And that has grown in the European countries that we looked at since we asked a similar question last summer,” Dennison said.

The report says Americans and Europeans are united in believing that Russia is an adversary or a rival. Seventy-one percent of U.S. respondents, 77% in Great Britain, and 65% in the EU countries “regard the future of relations with Russia as one of confrontation,” according to the report.

Non-Westerners gave very different answers.

In China, 42% of those asked are said to agree that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine must stop as soon as possible, even if it means Ukraine giving control of parts of its territory to Russia. The desire to quickly end the war is stronger in Turkey, with 48% and India, with 54%, the report said.

“It is worth noting, however, that almost a third of people in both these countries would prefer Ukraine to regain all of its territory, even if it means a longer war or more Ukrainians being killed and displaced,” the report added.

The authors say three factors have driven Western unity: Ukrainian battlefield success, the way the war has united the political left and right, and the perceived return of a strong West led by the United States.

Europeans also feel they have survived a difficult winter, despite high energy prices caused by Russia’s invasion, Dennison said.

“There is a certain sense among Europeans that we weathered that particular storm, we can sustain economically the position that we’re taking against Russia and that we need to do so because of the nature of the war that Russia is fighting — that it threatens the fundamental rules on which the international order is based.”

As Russia tries to take more territory in a spring offensive, the report authors say Western leaders should exploit the public support for arming Ukraine.

“Military aid and support in dealing with that is needed now, because if it starts to look like actually this is not something that the Ukrainians could push back against, then we could see the support among Europeans begin to dissipate,” Dennison added.

The survey also asked citizens about their expectations of the likely global geopolitical order, a decade from now.

Most respondents in Europe and America expect a bipolar world, dominated by the U.S. and China. Most of those outside the West, though, expect a fragmented global order, with several competing powers making up a multipolar world.

“You have strong majorities that say Russia is either an ally or a necessary partner. They see a world of multipolarity in which they are going to have to form pragmatic, relatively interest-based alliances. And so to a certain extent, most global players are seen as necessary partners within that picture. What was quite striking is that Russia is no exception,” Dennison told VOA.

The report concludes that Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine has “confirmed the renewed centrality of American power to Europe — with billions of dollars spent maintaining the war effort, which has sustained unity across the Atlantic on sanctions and diplomatic positions towards Russia and given a new lease on life for Western-led institutions such as NATO and the G-7. This reality has not gone unnoticed by global publics.”

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Pope Expands Sex Abuse Law, Reaffirms Adults Can Be Victims 

Pope Francis on Saturday updated a 2019 church law aimed at holding senior churchmen accountable for covering up cases of sex abuse, expanding it to cover lay Catholic leaders and reaffirming that vulnerable adults can also be victims of abuse when they are unable to consent.

Francis reaffirmed and made permanent the temporary provisions of the 2019 law that were passed in a moment of crisis for the Vatican and Catholic hierarchy. That law had been praised at the time for laying out precise mechanisms to investigate complicit bishops and religious superiors, but its implementation has been uneven, and the Vatican has been criticized by abuse survivors for continued lack of transparency about the cases.

The new rules conform to other changes in the Catholic Church’s handling of abuse that have been issued since then. Most significantly, they are expanded to cover leaders of Vatican-approved associations headed by lay leaders, not just clerics. That is a response to the many cases that have come to light in recent years of lay leaders abusing their authority to sexually exploit people under their spiritual care or authority.

They also reaffirm that even adults can be victims of predator priests, such as nuns or seminarians who are dependent on their bishops or superiors. Church law previously considered that only adults who “habitually” lack the use of reason can be considered victims alongside minors.

The new law makes clear that adults can be rendered vulnerable to abuse even occasionally, as situations present themselves. That is significant given resistance in the Vatican to expanding its abuse rules to cover adults.

It states that a vulnerable person is “any person in a state of infirmity, physical or mental deficiency, or deprivation of personal liberty which, in fact, even occasionally, limits their ability to understand or to want or otherwise resist the offense.”

Francis originally set out the norms in 2019 as a response to the latest chapter in the decades-long crisis, focused on a cover-up exposed by a Pennsylvania grand jury report and the scandal over then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. Francis himself was implicated in that wave of the scandal, after he dismissed claims by victims of a notorious predator in Chile.

After realizing he had erred, Francis ordered up a wholescale review of the Chilean abuse dossier, summoned the presidents of all the world’s bishops conferences to Rome for a four-day summit on safeguarding and set in motion plans for a new law to hold senior churchmen to account for abuse and coverup, and to mandate that all cases be reported in-house.

The law and its update Saturday contain explicit norms for investigating bishops accused of abuse or cover-up — a direct response to the McCarrick case, given it was well-known in Vatican circles and in some U.S. church circles that he slept with his seminarians. The law contained precise timelines to initiate investigations if allegations were well-founded, and that has been retained with some modifications.

The law also mandates all church personnel to report allegations of clergy abuse in-house, though it refrains from mandating reporting to the police. The new law expands whistleblower protections and reaffirms the need to protect the reputation of those accused.

Survivors have long complained that the Vatican for decades turned a blind eye to bishops and religious superiors who covered up cases of abuse, moving predator priests around from parish to parish rather than reporting them to police. The 2019 law attempted to respond to those complaints, but victims have faulted the Holy See for continued secrecy about the investigations and outcomes.

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‘Hotel Rwanda’ Hero’s Release Result of Resolving Diplomatic Discord 

The release of Paul Rusesabagina from a Rwandan prison late Friday was the result of months of negotiations between Washington and Kigali, with both eager to draw a line under what they described as an “irritant” to their relationship.

Two U.S. officials — one from President Joe Biden’s administration and a Congressional aide — said no concrete concessions were made to secure the release of Rusesabagina, a U.S. permanent resident made famous by the 2004 film ‘Hotel Rwanda,’ about his role saving Tutsis during the 1994 genocide.

He was detained in 2019 and subsequently convicted on eight terrorism charges stemming from his leadership role in the Rwanda Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD), whose armed wing, the National Liberation Front (FLN), has attacked Rwanda.

His detention strained relations between the two countries. The U.S. has said Rusesabagina was unlawfully detained, while Rwanda has bristled at the criticism, saying it would not be intimidated.

The U.S. allocated more than $147 million in foreign assistance to Rwanda in 2021, making it Rwanda’s largest bilateral donor.

“The U.S. government made clear to the… Rwandans that this would remain a bilateral irritant until we could reach a mutually satisfactory resolution,” the Biden administration official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Yolande Makolo, a spokesperson for the Rwandan government, said the case was “an irritant in both directions.”

“After a few false starts, progress started to be made precisely when the U.S. abandoned the ‘pressure’ and threats approach — and decided to engage with Rwanda on the substance of the matter and its context — political violence by armed groups and the security of Rwandans,” she told Reuters.

When asked how the U.S. had engaged on these issues, Makolo pointed to a statement issued by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken after Rusesabagina’s release, emphasizing that political change in Rwanda should only come through peaceful means.

The U.S. Congressional aide, who also asked not to be named, said the negotiations were advanced by moves from Washington and Rusesabagina himself to acknowledge Rwanda’s point of view.

Particularly helpful, the aide said, was a letter Rusesabagina wrote to Rwandan President Paul Kagame in October, in which he expressed regret at not ensuring that MRCD members refrained from violence. The Rwandan government released it Friday.

Mobilizing the executive

Before the talks gained momentum, a major challenge for the Rusesabagina family and members of Congress advocating for his release was mobilizing the full capacity of the executive branch, the aide said.

As a Belgian citizen of Rwandan origin with U.S. residency, Rusesabagina’s case did not “fit neatly in a box,” the aide said.

Momentum picked up over the past year as the Biden administration decided in May 2022 that Rusesabagina had been wrongfully detained.

Blinken met Kagame during a visit to Rwanda in August, where U.S. officials said the case was discussed extensively. Another opportunity for discussions came during the U.S.-Africa Summit in Washington in December.

Yet Kigali continued to take a hard line, with Kagame suggesting on the sidelines of the December summit that only an invasion of Rwanda could force Rusesabagina’s release.

The first major public sign of softening came in an interview with the online news outlet, Semafor, less than two weeks ago, when Kagame said there were discussions about “resolving” the case.

Then came the announcement Friday that Rusesabagina’s sentence had been commuted. He was moved hours later from Nyarugenge Prison to the embassy of Qatar.

He will remain in Rwanda for a couple of days before traveling to Doha and then to the United States, U.S. officials said.

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