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Egypt demands Netflix, others adhere to ‘societal values’

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This Netflix combination of photos shows promotional art for upcoming films

Egypt’s media regulator demanded Wednesday that Netflix and other steaming services adhere to this majority Muslim county’s “societal values” — a veiled reference to programs featuring members of the LGBTQ community.

The statement came a day after Gulf Arab countries asked Netflix to remove “offensive content” on the streaming service, apparently targeting programs that show gays and lesbians.

According to the Egyptian government’s statement, streaming services should comply with “societal principles and values of the country” they are streaming in. The statement called for them to undertake “necessary measures if they air content contradicting values of the society.”

The statement by the Supreme Council for Media Regulation did not elaborate. Later Wednesday, Netflix, based in Los Gatos, California, declined an Associated Press request for a comment.

Homosexuality is highly taboo in Egypt, where a 2013 survey by the Pew Research Center found that 95% of those polled said it should be “rejected by society.”

Though it is not explicitly prohibited by law, members of the LGBTQ community are often prosecuted under charges of “immorality” and “debauchery.” Authorities regularly arrest gay men, with large police raids on private parties or locations such as public baths, restaurants, and bars.

Egypt’s movie industry, long celebrated in the Mideast, also bans films and programs from featuring gays and lesbians.

In June, countries in the Muslim world banned the public showing of Disney’s latest animated film “Lightyear” which has a brief moment showing two lesbian characters kissing. After that, the company’s Disney+ streaming service said its “content available should align with local regulatory requirements” in Gulf Arab countries.

In January, the first Arabic Netflix movie, “No Dearer Friends,” sparked controversy, with critics claiming it was a threat to family and religious values, encouraged homosexuality and that it was allegedly unfit for Arab societies. At least one lawmaker, Mostafa Bakry, called for Netflix to be banned in Egypt.

The film contains scenes unprecedented for audiences in the country: an Egyptian wife discreetly slips off her black, lacy underwear from under her clothes before heading out for dinner; a man reveals that he is gay, and a Lebanese father tells his teenage daughter she is free to choose whether to have sex with her boyfriend despite his reservations.

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Elon Musk Hopes to Test a Brain Implant in Humans Next Year

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In this still image from the Neuralink presentation video on YouTube, a presenter, lower left, described how a monkey used a wireless transmitter to “type” characters on a keyboard.Credit...Neuralink

Neuralink, the startup Elon Musk founded to link our brains directly to computers, showed progress Wednesday in two medical areas: helping blind people to see and helping people with spinal cord injuries to walk or use their hands.

The company, one of five that Musk leads, is working on technology to drop thousands of electrodes thinner than a hair into the outer surface of human brains. Each electrode is a tiny wire connected to a battery-powered, remotely recharged, quarter-sized chip package that’s embedded into a spot that once held a circle of skull. The chip, called the N1, communicates wirelessly with the outside world.

The technology is still far from the initial medical uses, much less Musk’s ultimate vision of using Neuralink to hang out with superintelligent AIs. But the company is making significant progress, including applying with the Food and Drug Administration to begin human trials it hopes to start within six months, the company said at a “show and tell” event lasting more than two hours.

“Our goal will be to turn the lights on for someone who’s spent decades living in the dark,” said Neuralink researcher Dan Adams, who’s working on the effort to repackage camera data into a brain-compatible format and pipe it directly to the visual cortex.

Musk has some cred when it comes to revolutionary tech. His electric-vehicle company Tesla is profoundly changing cars and his SpaceX outfit is transforming space access with reusable rockets. His reputation as a tech genius has taken a beating, though, with the chaos at Twitter after his $44 billion acquisition. Musk’s Boring Company, which aims to revamp auto transportation with tunnels, also hasn’t lived up to its promises yet.

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US President Joe Biden turns 80 Today: New Generation’ of Democratic Leaders Takes Control in Congress

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President Joe Biden will celebrate his 80th birthday on Sunday, marking the first time a sitting president has reached that milestone while in office and fueling speculation about how his advancing age will affect his political future.

Biden — who was the oldest person to assume the presidency in January 2021, just 61 days after his 78th birthday — has said he intends to make another White House bid, even as his age-adjacent peers, including 82-year-old House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have made the decision to step away from leadership in order to make way for a younger generation.

“My intention is that I will run again. But I’m a great respecter of fate and this is ultimately a family decision. I think everybody wants me to run but we’re going to have discussions about it. And I don’t feel any hurry one way or the other to make that judgment.” he said last week, after helming what many say is the most successful midterm election for a sitting president’s party in decades, though noting that those results would not have an impact on his decision to run again.

PHOTO: President Joe Biden greets guests before speaking at an event at the White House complex, Nov. 18, 2022, in Washington, D.C.

Biden is the oldest person to serve as commander in chief in the nation’s history. Should he seek reelection in 2024 and win, the president would be 86 by the end of his second term. He has said he’ll talk over his future with his wife and the rest of his family over the holidays.

Biden has said he is hoping that he and his wife “get a little time to actually sneak away for a week around between Christmas and Thanksgiving” and that his decision to run for reelection will likely “be early next year we make that judgment.”

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Shanquella Robinson’s Death in Cabo, Father Believes Attack Was a Set Up

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Shanquella Robinson‘s mysterious death in Mexico smells like a set up to her father … he tells TMZ he believes his daughter was attacked as part of a diabolical plan.

Shanquella, who was from North Carolina, was found dead last month in her room in Los Cabos … where she was vacationing with a group of friends. Her parents say the friends told them the 25-year-old died of alcohol poisoning.

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