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Britain Gets Its First Unmanned Minesweeping System, Announces Minister Guto Bebb

Easily transported by road, sea and air, the high-tech design means a small team could put the system to use within hours of it arriving in any theatre of activity, added Bebb.

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Easily transported by road, sea and air, the high-tech design means a small team could put the system to use within hours of it arriving in any theatre of activity, added Bebb.
Guto Bebb, Defence Minister (Britain), wikimedia commons
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Britain’s Royal Navy has taken delivery of its first unmanned autonomous minesweeping system, Defence Minister Guto Bebb said on Saturday.

Bebb said the system, capable of safely clearing sea lanes of mines, could go on to be used in the future to defeat the threat of modern digital mines following a period of successful trials.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) said the system has been designed and manufactured by Atlas Elektronik in Dorset, England, under a $20.3 million contract.

“This autonomous minesweeper takes us a step closer to taking our crews out of danger and allowing us to safely clear sea lanes of explosives, whether that’s supporting trade in global waters and around the British coastline, or protecting our ships and shores,” Xinhua quoted Bebb as saying.

Britain's Royal Navy has taken delivery of its first unmanned autonomous minesweeping system, Defence Minister Guto Bebb said on Saturday.
Flag of Britain with Navy, wikimedia commons

Easily transported by road, sea and air, the high-tech design means a small team could put the system to use within hours of it arriving in any theatre of activity, added Bebb.

The sweeper system, which features a sense and avoid capability, could also work together with other similar autonomous systems for the common goal of making our waters safer, said the MOD.

The project, designed to be operated from a land or ship-based control station and can be deployed from a suitable ship or port, also aims to demonstrate the viability of an unmanned system that can safely and successfully clear mines.

Also Read: Warren Buffett Says That The World Depends on US and China For Progress 

Brigadier Jim Morris from the Royal Marines who is senior responsible officer for the Mine Counter Measures and Hydrographic Capability (MHC) programme said: “The mine sweeping system is the Royal Navy’s first fully autonomous capability demonstrator and paves the way for the introduction of this technology across the full range of maritime capabilities.”

“This autonomous system will restore the Royal Navy’s sweep capability, enabling it to tackle modern digital mines that may not otherwise be discovered in challenging mine hunting conditions.” (IANS)

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Britain’s Princess Beatrice Speaks Out About Online Bullying

Beatrice said mobile technology should be a force for good for girls in developed and developing countries

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Princess Beatrice
Britain's Princess Beatrice is pictured at the wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. VOA

Bullied herself online, Britain’s Princess Beatrice is determined to ensure other girls are equipped to deal with internet abuse and get the best from the digital world.

Beatrice — who as the eldest daughter of Prince Andrew and his former wife, the Duchess of York, is eighth in line to the British throne — said her bullying, about her weight and her appearance, were very public and could not be ignored.

But she said other girls faced this in private and needed to be encouraged to speak out and to know where to get support, which prompted her to get involved in campaigns against cyber bullying.

A recent study by the U.S.-based Pew Research Center found about 60 percent of U.S. teens had been bullied or harassed online, with girls more likely to be the targets of online rumor-spreading or nonconsensual explicit messages.

cyberbullying, beatrice
One in two parents in the current survey reported knowing a child in their community who had been cyberbullied, up from 45 per cent in 2011. Pixabay

“You’d like to say don’t pay attention to it … but the best advice is to talk about it,” Beatrice, 30, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation during an interview on Wednesday at the Web Summit, Europe’s largest annual technology conference.

“Being a young girl, but now being 30 and a woman working full time in technology, I feel very grateful for those experiences. But at that time it was very challenging.”

Beatrice, who works at the U.S.-based software company Afiniti, co-founded the Big Change Charitable Trust with a group of friends, including two of Richard Branson’s children, in 2010 to support young people who also grew up in the public eye.

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She also last year joined the anti-bullying campaign “Be Cool Be Nice” along with other celebrities such as Kendall Jenner and Cara Delevingne, which included a book.

princess beatrice
One of the most public attacks on the princess was at the 2011 wedding of her cousin Prince William when her fascinator sparked a barrage of media attention.

“There are lots of people who are ready to help and I want to make sure young people feel they have the places to go to talk about it,” said Beatrice, adding that teachers and parents also had a role to play.

Beatrice said her bullying was so public that she could not hide from it, but her mother, Sarah Ferguson, was a great source of support.

One of the most public attacks on the princess was at the 2011 wedding of her cousin Prince William when her fascinator sparked a barrage of media attention. A month later she auctioned the hat for charity for 81,000 pounds ($106,500).

Her mother, who divorced Prince Andrew in 1996, had to get used to unrelenting ribbing by Britain’s royal-obsessed media.

“She has been through a lot,” said Beatrice, whose younger sister, Eugenie, married at Windsor Castle last month.

Princess Eugenie, beatrice
Princess Eugenie wedding. Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank on the steps of St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle after their wedding.

“When you see role models who are continually put in very challenging situations and can support you … [then] some of the tools that I have had from her I would like to share.”

Beatrice said mobile technology should be a force for good for girls in developed and developing countries, presenting new opportunities in terms of education, careers and health.

Also Read: Google Launches New Cyber Security Unit For Play Store

“Social media and the pressures that these young people now face is a new phenomenon … and if I can do more to give young people the tools [to cope], that is my mission,” she said.

“I would say to young girls: You are not alone. Keep going.” (VOA)