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News Roundup: Gun Bill, Turkey’s Türkiye, & AI Mayflower

US House of Representatives Passes Gun Control Bill

On Wednesday, the US House of Representatives  passed a new bill aimed at limiting gun violence  in the US. The bill was a response to several recent mass shootings in the US. One of the most shocking events recently was a shooting at an elementary school.

The new bill would limit the sales of semi-automatic weapons to people who are at least 21 years old. Currently, the age limit is 18. Several shooters involved in recent mass shootings were still teenagers. The new bill also takes steps to limit the number of bullets these guns can shoot without reloading.

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On Wednesday, the US House of Representatives passed a bill aimed at limiting gun violence in the US. The new bill would limit the sales of semi-automatic weapons to people who are 21 or older. Above, Representative Nancy Pelosi, the leader of the House, speaking on Wednesday.

The bill passed 223-204 with most Democrats  voting for it and most Republicans voting against it. It’s highly unlikely that the Senate will pass the new bill, since Democrats don’t have enough votes to pass it without Republican support. The Senate is working on a different bill to tackle gun violence, but it’s not nearly as strong.

Turkey Changes Its Name to Türkiye

The government of Turkey wants people to call the country “Türkiye” (pronounced “turkey-yay”). This is the country’s name in the Turkish language, and the name most Turkish people use for the country. On Wednesday, the United Nations agreed to call the country the “Republic of Türkiye” from now on.

The name change is being pushed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is facing re-election next year. Some people believe the move is meant to make it look like Mr. Erdogan is defending the country. The government also doesn’t like the country’s name being confused with the birds called turkeys.

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The government of Turkey wants people to call the country “Türkiye”. The name change is being pushed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is facing re-election next year. Above, Mr. Erdogan speaks to members of his political party on Thursday.

The country has created ads to encourage people to use the name Türkiye. Mr. Erdogan has also told Turkish businesses that they should mark their products as “Made in Türkiye”.

Other countries have also changed their names. For example, Macedonia is now known as North Macedonia, and the country once known as Swaziland is now called eSwatini.

Self-Driving Boat Retraces Mayflower’s Path – More or Less

A self-driving boat named after the Mayflower has successfully crossed the Atlantic. But motor trouble ruined its efforts to retrace the trip made by the original Mayflower in 1620. The boat landed in Nova Scotia, Canada, instead of Virginia.

Mayflower Autonomous Ship during sea trials in March, 2021.
A self-driving boat named after the Mayflower has successfully crossed the Atlantic. But motor trouble ruined its efforts to retrace the trip made by the original Mayflower in 1620. The boat landed in Nova Scotia, Canada, instead of Virginia. Above, the boat being tested.
(Source: IBM.)

The robotic boat is called the Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS). It carries no passengers, and is designed to run automatically. It’s guided by an artificial intelligence (AI) system called “AI Captain”.

In 2021, the MAS took off from Plymouth, England, but a problem with its motor forced organizers to bring the boat back. After improving and testing the boat, the MAS was launched again on April 27.

The Mayflower Autonomous Ship after it arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Because of problems with the motor and the charging system, the boat’s planned path was changed. But the AI Captain worked very well. On June 5, the self-driving boat arrived safely in Halifax, Nova Scotia after having crossed roughly 3,500 miles (5,630 kilometers) of open ocean.
(Source: IBM.)

There were again problems with the motor and the charging system. As a result, the boat’s planned path was changed. Luckily, the AI Captain – the real focus of the project – worked very well. The organizers told the AI Captain to steer for Halifax, Nova Scotia. On June 5, the self-driving boat arrived safely after having crossed roughly 3,500 miles (5,630 kilometers) of open ocean.

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