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August 21, 2018updated 20 Aug 2018 2:50pm

US Senate debates fresh Russian sanctions / HRW call for global ‘killer robot’ ban / Gamers descend on Gamescom

By Luke Christou

Good morning, here’s your Tuesday morning briefing to set you up for the day ahead. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.

US Senate debates imposing fresh Russian sanctions

The United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs will meet to discuss the current sanctions placed on Russia as a result of the Ukrainian crisis.

The open session will focus on the effectiveness of the current sanctions and whether further steps need to be taken to defuse Russian’s recent aggression.

In March 2014, Russian troops moved into Ukraine and annexed Crimea, the capital of the Simeferopol region. A referendum found that the majority of Crimea’s citizens wished to join the Russian Federation rather than remain part of Ukraine.

However, sanctions were imposed on Russia by the United States, the European Union and a number of other international countries and organisations, which prompted the 2014 Russian financial crisis.

Representatives from the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Treasury Department, National Protection and Programs Directorate, and Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs will be present today.

HRW call for global ‘killer robot’ ban

Non-governmental organisation Human Rights Watch (HRW) has today published its report into fully autonomous weapons, frequently referred to as ‘killer robots’.

Heed the Call: A Moral and Legal Imperative to Ban Killer Robots calls on governments to support a global ban on the development of fully autonomous weapons, which are capable of searching for and engaging targets without the input of a human. Current technology requires a human to give the final command before an attack is launched.

HRW claims that fully autonomous weapons would breach part of the Geneva Conventions known as the Martens Clause.

Business leaders such as Tesla’s Elon Musk and DeepMind’s Mustafa Suleyman have previously called for a total ban on killer robots.

Gamers descend on Gamescom

Thousands of gaming industry experts will descend on Cologne, Germany, today for the start of Gamescom, Europe’s biggest gaming expo.

Gamescom attracts the biggest players in the industry.  Major publishers such as Ubisoft, Activision Blizzard and Bethesda will be present throughout the convention. So too will console developers Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo.

While the leading video game companies tend to save their big title reveals for E3, we can expect to get a better look at some of the upcoming titles announces back in June, as the industry attempts to get its customers excited for the year ahead.

Gamescom will open its doors to trade visitors today at 8am. The Koelnmesse convention centre will then open to the public on Wednesday.


Yesterday’s highlights

Despite growing Tesla production numbers the company won’t be market leaders for long

Brexit deadline: Five scenarios for leaving the EU

Are organisations really adapting to the remote working revolution?