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Opinion/Middendorf: Artificial intelligence and the future of warfare

Opinion/Middendorf: Artificial intelligence and the future of warfare

COLUMNSBy J. William MiddendorfJ. William Middendorf, who lives in Little Compton, served as Secretary of the Navy during the Ford administration. His recent book is "The Great Nightfall: How We Win the New Cold War."Thirteen days passed in October 1962 while President John F. Kennedy and his advisers perched at the edge of the nuclear abyss, pondering their response to the discovery of Russian missiles in Cuba. Today, a president may not have 13 minutes. Indeed, a president may not be involved at all. “Artificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia, but for all humankind. It...

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3d ago
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State activates Code Triage Level I; Slater Hospital cancels all medical staff vacations

State activates Code Triage Level I; Slater Hospital cancels all medical staff vacations

The Providence JournalCorrection: The state activated the Code Triage Level I, but only Slater Hospital has canceled vacations for medical staff.PROVIDENCE -- Prompted by a shortage of medical workers, the state has activated a Code Triage Level I, and Slater Hospital has responded by informing medical staff that any vacations they had scheduled are canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic has lowered the number of staff and raised the number of patients.Even the national temporary staffing agencies are unable to find enough people to meet demand.A letter addressed to all staff of the...

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5d ago
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Gov. Raimondo's coronavirus press conference: Hospitalizations rising at 'alarming rate'

Gov. Raimondo's coronavirus press conference: Hospitalizations rising at 'alarming rate'

The Providence JournalPROVIDENCE – With hospitalizations for COVID-19 continuing to rise and fears that Thanksgiving-week gatherings and travel could result in a bleaker situation as winter approaches, Gov. Gina Raimondo on Wednesday once again beseeched Rhode Islanders to stay home and celebrate only with people who share a household.There were 357 COVID-positive patients in Rhode Island hospitals on Monday, the most recent date for which data were available. That's the most hospitalized patients since May 1, and just 20 short of a record. Thirty-five patients were in intensive care, with...

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6d ago
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One in four Rhode Islanders can't meet basic food needs, food bank's annual report says

One in four Rhode Islanders can't meet basic food needs, food bank's annual report says

The Providence JournalPROVIDENCE — Thanksgiving guest lists must be pared down to household members in hopes of stopping COVID-19 before it steals Christmas, but most families will still load the holiday table with abundance. They’re likely to focus on who’s missing from the table, not whether there’s enough food.And yet an increasing number do worry about food. The pandemic that has taken almost 1,300 Rhode Island lives has also plunged people into food insecurity at a rate not seen since the Great Depression. In 2019, the number reporting food insecurity was 9.1%. This year, 25% said they...

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Nov 23
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U.S. Rep. Cicilline loses run for assistant speaker

U.S. Rep. Cicilline loses run for assistant speaker

The Providence JournalU.S. Rep. David Cicilline lost his bid Wednesday for assistant speaker, the number-four spot in the House Democratic leadership. He issued a statement after the vote, which took place virtually, and congratulated the winner, U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark, of Massachusetts. "This was a hard fought campaign and a spirited discussion of the future direction of our caucus," the statement says. "Now, as we always do, we will come together and work together to deliver on the promises we have made to raise wages rebuilding our infrastructure, lower health care costs, take on...

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Nov 18
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WJAR dealing with at least a half-dozen COVID cases

WJAR dealing with at least a half-dozen COVID cases

The Providence JournalLocal NBC affiliate WJAR-TV is among the businesses dealing with clusters of positive COVID tests as the virus surges in Rhode Island.According to three sources at the station and a union representative, at least a half-dozen people have tested positive for the virus in the last two weeks or so. WJAR, which is on Channel 10, has its offices in Cranston. The three sources spoke anonymously because they weren’t authorized to discuss the problem publicly.But Fletcher Fischer, the business manager for a union representing WJAR employees, confirmed that several cases have...

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Nov 16
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RI economy sprang back this summer, but lags region, nation

RI economy sprang back this summer, but lags region, nation

By John KostrzewaSpecial to the JournalRhode Island’s economy expanded in July, August and September and regained a significant number of jobs that had been lost earlier in the year, according to a new economic indicator released Tuesday.But the rebound was not strong enough to repair all the damage done in April, May and June after the outbreak of the coronavirus and government-imposed lockdowns here and across the country to stop the spread.Also, Rhode Island’s partial recovery in the third quarter was slower than in New England and the nation as a whole, according to the Current Economic...

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Nov 10
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Narragansett voters give the boot to council members who blocked Belmont plan

Narragansett voters give the boot to council members who blocked Belmont plan

The Providence JournalNARRAGANSETT — Three Town Council members determined to scuttle a plan to move the library to the former Belmont grocery building were sent packing on Nov. 3, with voters making their wishes known by electing five proponents of the library move.Twice as many voters answered yes than answered no to ballot questions prompted by the council majority’s refusal to comply with voter wishes. (The statewide proposal to remove “plantations” from the state name lost by 128 votes in Narragansett.) Council President Matthew Mannix, President Pro Tem Jill Lawler and Richard Lema...

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Nov 8
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'We demand a recount in Jesus' name:' RI Trump supporters hold rally

'We demand a recount in Jesus' name:' RI Trump supporters hold rally

The Providence JournalCRANSTON — For years Keith Lambert, who said he owns  22 “New England for Trump” merchandise stores, has gauged the “hot market vending business,” where entrepreneurial success demands speedy reaction to fluctuating circumstances.On Friday, as the national trajectory of presidential vote-counting arced in favor of former Vice President Joe Biden, Lambert swung his white van into the parking lot of the state Board of Elections, where 100 Trump supporters stood shouting unsubstantiated allegations of election corruption. Then he began selling T-shirts and other items at...

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Nov 6
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RI priest arrested on child molestation charges

RI priest arrested on child molestation charges

The Providence JournalA Rhode Island priest was arrested Thursday morning on charges of sexually abusing three boys decades ago. John Petrocelli, 75,  released by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence last year. Petrocelli was removed from ministry in 2002. The charges stem from Petrocelli’s time as an assistant pastor at Holy Family Parish in Woonsocket between Nov. 6, 1981 and Oct. 3, 1990, Attorney General Peter Neronha’s office said.A grand jury indictment, handed up Monday and unsealed Thursday, charged Petrocelli with three counts of first-degree child molestation and nine counts...

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Nov 5
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RI reports 2 COVID deaths, 579 additional cases

RI reports 2 COVID deaths, 579 additional cases

Journal StaffThe Rhode Island Department of Health on Wednesday reported two more coronavirus-related deaths and 579 additional cases of COVID-19.Of the 579 additional cases, 466 were people who tested positive for the first time on Tuesday, and 113 were people who tested positive for the first time on previous days.That brings the total toll in the state to 1,214 deaths and 35,122 known cases.There were 169 COVID-positive patients in Rhode Island hospitals on Monday, the most recent date for which data were available; down from 177 reported the previous day. Twenty-one were in intensive...

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Nov 4
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RI House Speaker Mattiello concedes defeat by Fenton-Fung

RI House Speaker Mattiello concedes defeat by Fenton-Fung

The Providence JournalCRANSTON — House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello has conceded defeat, sparking an immediate House leadership succession battle.On Wednesday morning, House Majority Leader K. Joseph Shekarchi appeared to be nearing an announcement of his own candidacy for the top spot, while the Rhode Island Democratic Womens' Caucus doubled down on its support for a woman, and more specifically: freshman Liana Cassar.In a statement Wednesday morning, Mattiello said:"First, a sincere thank you to the residents of District 15 who have allowed me to serve as their representative for the last...

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Nov 3
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RI reports 9 COVID deaths, 1,214 additional cases over last 3 days; hospitalizations continue to rise

RI reports 9 COVID deaths, 1,214 additional cases over last 3 days; hospitalizations continue to rise

Journal StaffThe Rhode Island Department of Health on Monday reported nine more coronavirus-related deaths and 1,214 additional cases of COVID-19 over the last three days.Of the 1,214 additional cases, 1,154 were people who tested positive for the first time on Friday, Saturday or Sunday; 60 were people who tested positive on earlier days.According to the updated data, the state set a new record on Thursday when 527 people tested positive. The total toll in the state is 1,210 deaths and 34,120 known cases.There were 170 COVID-positive patients in Rhode Island hospitals on Saturday, the most...

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Nov 2
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Mystery nearly solved of Norwich gravestone in Hopkinton tree

Mystery nearly solved of Norwich gravestone in Hopkinton tree

The Providence JournalNORWICH, Conn. — In the nights leading up to Halloween, usually, David Oat gives scary, after-dark tours of the Old Norwichtown Burial Ground, founded in 1700.   He knows it well. He's the "cemetery guy" on the board of the Norwich Historical Society, and he's given so many tours that he wrote a self-guided walking tour. COVID has canceled the flashlight tours, but on a gloomy afternoon in late October, his well-worn index cards in hand, he guided a news team from Rhode Island around the graveyard and to the place where he had solved most of a mystery about a carved...

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Oct 28
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RI reports 7 COVID deaths, 906 additional cases over last 3 days

RI reports 7 COVID deaths, 906 additional cases over last 3 days

Journal StaffThe Rhode Island Department of Health on Monday reported seven coronavirus-related deaths and 906 additional cases of COVID-19 since Friday.Of the 906 additional cases, 800 people tested positive on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, and 106 were positive tests from previous days. That brings the total toll in the state to 1,184 deaths and 31,024 known cases.There were 163 patients with coronavirus in Rhode Island hospitals on Saturday; 14 were in intensive care and eight were on ventilators. On Friday, the state said there had been 140 patients in hospitals on Wednesday; that number...

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Oct 26
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Rhode Island sets new high for daily coronavirus cases

Rhode Island sets new high for daily coronavirus cases

Journal StaffMore Rhode Islanders tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday than on any other day since the start of the pandemic. The Rhode Island Department of Health on Friday reported four coronavirus deaths and 524 additional cases of COVID-19. Of the 524 additional cases, 449 were positive tests from Thursday and 75 were added to previous days' totals. According to the revised data, 470 Rhode Islanders tested positive on Wednesday.The previous record for positive tests was 412 on April 23.The new record was set at a time when the state is performing far more coronavirus tests than in...

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Oct 23
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Goldin exploring challenge to Senate President Ruggerio

Goldin exploring challenge to Senate President Ruggerio

The Providence JournalPROVIDENCE — A challenger has emerged to Senate President Dominick Ruggerio's leadership team from the progressive wing of the Rhode Island Democratic Party: state Sen. Gayle Goldin. Goldin is making her move in a year of upset primary victories by progressives over several high-ranked and deeply entrenched state senators, including Senate Finance Chairman William Conley and Senate President Pro Tempore Harold Metts.Goldin on Tuesday confirmed widespread rumors that she has been exploring a run for Senate president or Senate majority leader, depending on the potential...

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Oct 20
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10 R.I. residents sue Raimondo for depriving them of ’normal events’ and ’air of best quality’

10 R.I. residents sue Raimondo for depriving them of ’normal events’ and ’air of best quality’

Sean FlynnThe Newport Daily NewsMIDDLETOWN — Ten Rhode Islanders have sued Gov. Gina Raimondo for requiring them to test for COVID-19, denying them “air of best quality” by requiring them to wear masks, and denying them freedom of assembly.This resulted in them “not enjoying normal events canceled by fear of said virus.”The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court on Wednesday by Peter Chafee Card Jr., of Middletown, as the lead plaintiff. Three of the other plaintiffs — Mark Hamilton, Karl Berroth and Stacey Sanberg — all give the same address in Middletown. Card said he shares his house...

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Oct 22
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Political Scene: Power, influence go a long way in doling out legislative grants

Political Scene: Power, influence go a long way in doling out legislative grants

 PROVIDENCE — One tradition remained untouched at the Rhode Island State House in 2020, despite the pandemic:The giveaway by state lawmakers, running for reelection, of hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to pet causes: Church-run food pantries, VFW halls, hometown Little League teams and, in one case, an all-male social club where old-timers gather once a week to “play a friendly game of high-low-jack.”For incumbents, it’s a bragging point.In fact, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello has told voters in his district in Cranston that he, as Speaker, has “influence” his challenger, Barbara...

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Katherine Gregg
Oct 18
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R.I. reports 2 coronavirus deaths, 274 additional cases

R.I. reports 2 coronavirus deaths, 274 additional cases

 Correction: An earlier version of this story had an incorrect number of additional casesThe Rhode Island Department of Health on Thursday reported two coronavirus-related deaths and 274 additional cases of COVID-19.Of the 274 additional cases, 228 were positive tests from Wednesday, and 46 were added to previous days’ totals.TO OUR READERS: This content is being provided for free as a public service during the coronavirus outbreak. Sign up for our daily or breaking newsletters to stay informed. Please support local journalism bysubscribing to The Providence Journal.That brings the total...

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Oct 15
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School-zone speed cameras return to Providence on Monday — and there will be more of them

School-zone speed cameras return to Providence on Monday — and there will be more of them

 A 30-day warning period will start for new locations only.PROVIDENCE — The city will increase its school-zone speed cameras from 15 to 20 when they return on Monday.A warning period begins Monday for new locations only; citations will be issued there starting Dec. 7.For returning locations, citations will be issued immediately starting Monday.The cameras began operating in January of 2018, with locations rotating based on the number of violations issued."Cameras are strategically placed in areas with problematic traffic and speed concerns," the city said in a news release, "and are...

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Oct 16
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Raimondo orders businesses to close break rooms for 90 days to slow COVID spread

Raimondo orders businesses to close break rooms for 90 days to slow COVID spread

 Gov. Gina Raimondo mandated the closure of employee break rooms for 90 days, issued new rules for trick-or-treating and outlined even stricter guidance around mask-wearing as she continued to sound alarms about the rising number of coronavirus infections in Rhode Island."Rhode Island’s in a tough spot right now," Raimondo said at a news conference Thursday, her second in two days.The formal rules announced Thursday were narrow in scope: Companies have to close their break rooms for the next 90 days. There are some exceptions, like if they’re federally or contractually required to have...

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Brian Amaral
Oct 15
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Raimondo says new regulations coming; R.I. reports 8 coronavirus deaths, 204 additional cases

Raimondo says new regulations coming; R.I. reports 8 coronavirus deaths, 204 additional cases

 PROVIDENCE — The somewhat relaxed tone of recent weekly coronavirus briefings turned somber Wednesday as Gov. Gina M. Raimondo announced that climbing daily positive tests and hospitalizations are prompting her to institute new restrictions — some relating to Halloween — which will be announced Thursday at a special briefing.“I don’t want you to panic ... but I do want you to be concerned and alarmed and jolted into making some changes, because we’re on the wrong path,” Raimondo said. “Let this be a wake-up call to us, Rhode Island. It’s time to make some changes. We’ve all, including me...

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Paul Edward Parker
Oct 14
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R.I. reports 9 coronavirus deaths, 666 additional cases over last 4 days

R.I. reports 9 coronavirus deaths, 666 additional cases over last 4 days

 The Rhode Island Department of Health on Tuesday reported nine coronavirus-related deaths and 666 additional cases of COVID-19 over the last four days.Of the 666 additional cases, 554 were positive tests from Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, and 112 were added to previous days’ totals.TO OUR READERS: This content is being provided for free as a public service during the coronavirus outbreak. Sign up for our daily or breaking newsletters to stay informed. Please support local journalism bysubscribing to The Providence Journal.That brings the total toll in the state to 1,139 deaths and...

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Oct 13
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In Warwick, contractor takes on incumbent Solomon for mayoral seat

In Warwick, contractor takes on incumbent Solomon for mayoral seat

 Frank Picozzi, known by more people for his holiday light display than his politics, takes on Mayor Joseph J. SolomonWARWICK — The origins of this season’s political contest between incumbent Mayor Joseph J. Solomon and challenger Frank Picozzi trace back to the outset of the coronavirus pandemic.At the time, holiday-style light displays came into vogue; Picozzi, a vinyl-siding contractor, was known throughout Warwick and beyond for his holiday light display.Of course, people encouraged him to once again deck the halls at his house.Instead, the former School Committee chairman decorated...

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Mark Reynolds
Oct 13
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