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Handy hidden features on Instagram, X and Facebook


If you’re one Facebook argument away from lighting your social media accounts on fire, I don’t blame you. Before you log out for good, I’ve got a few hidden features that’ll make using your social media accounts stink a little less.

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Stop video autoplay

  • Facebook: Maybe you want to scroll at work undetected or you just prefer the sound of silence. On desktop, disable autoplaying videos under Settings and privacy > Settings > Videos. On mobile, go to Settings & privacy > Settings > Preferences > Media.
  • X: On desktop, click More > Settings and privacy > Accessibility, display and languages > Data usage. On mobile, tap your profile picture to find Settings and privacy.

You can’t stop autoplay on Instagram, which is a dang shame — unless it’s one of my vids that pops up.

AI EXPERT: CHATGPT PROMPTS YOU’LL WISH YOU KNEW SOONER

Love it and list it

  • X: Organize people in private or public lists without following them. Maybe you make a list for cooking tips and another for gadget news — whatever floats your boat. Easy.
  • Instagram: Sort your saved posts into Collections — just like you do on Pinterest. Create a new collection by tapping and holding the bookmark icon below a post, then tapping the + (plus sign). Enter a name, like “Recipes,” and voila! View your collections by tapping the three lines in the top right of your profile, then Saved.

Pin your DMs

  • Instagram: Pin up to three chats to the top of your list for quick access. Just press and hold down on a conversation, then select Pin. No more scrolling to find your besties!
  • Messenger: You can pin an individual message in a chat. Super handy for remembering shared addresses or recipes! From a chat, tap and hold the message you want to pin and tap Pin. To see pinned messages in a chat, tap View Pins.
Icons of facebook, twitter, and whatsapp

The icons of X (then Twitter), Facebook and WhatsApp are seen on an iPhone. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)

Say ‘shhhh’

If you’ve got a turbo-posting friend you want to see a little less from on Facebook or Instagram, tap the three dots on one of their posts and pick Hide. You’ll see their posts a little less often — without the drama of unfollowing them. You can also choose to Mute your pal altogether on the next screen.

Shake to report

Something not working correctly on Instagram? Don’t throw your phone across the room — shake it! This brings up the option to report a technical error. Pretty clever. FYI, this isn’t the place to report stalkers or abuse. To do that, tap the three dots next to a post or a username.

1-MINUTE TECH CHANGES FOR MORE PRIVACY

Split your life

Facebook finally realized we’re not the same people to our friends, family and colleagues. You can set up multiple profiles linked to your Facebook account. On the web version, click your profile picture, then click Create a new profile. Just use it for good, not trolling.

The poke is back

Technically, it’s always been there, but Facebook users are rediscovering the “poke.” What does it mean? Whatever you want it to — from flirting to just being funny. Head to your Pokes page to let people know you’re there, I guess.

Bonus: If you want to step away, try this

Ignoring apps that are literally developed to capture your attention is tough. There are settings built into your phone to make it easier. Namely, app time limits. 

The concept is simple: Set an amount of time you’re allowed to spend on an app, and once you hit it, you’re locked out. You can get around the limit — but remember you set it for a reason in the first place.

The Instagram logo

The Instagram logo is seen displayed on a smartphone. Instagram allows users to shake their device to report “bugs,” or instances of the app not working properly. (Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Use an iPhone? 

Before you begin, enable Screen Time on your device: Under Settings, tap Screen Time. Select Turn On Screen Time, followed by Continue.

Here’s how to set up specific app time limits:

  • Go to Settings > Screen Time and turn on Screen Time.
  • Tap App Limits > Add Limit.
  • Select as many categories as you want or choose All Apps & Categories. To select individual apps, tap a category, then find the app.
  • Tap Next and set the time limit. You can set an amount of time for each day by tapping Customize Days.
  • Tap Add when you’re finished.

TECH LIFE UPGRADES SMARTER THAN THE STUFF ON TIKTOK

How to set time limits on apps for Android

Android’s Digital Wellbeing works similarly. Note that different manufacturers put these settings in different places, so use these steps as a starting point.

  • Open Settings > Digital Wellbeing & parental controls.
  • Tap the chart. Next to the app you want to limit, tap Set timer.
  • Choose how much time you can spend on that app. Then, tap Set.

Just like that, you’re on your way to less doom scrolling.

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Get tech-smarter on your schedule

Award-winning host Kim Komando is your secret weapon for navigating tech.

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CDC, WebMD give update on current bird flu outbreak: ‘Be alert, not alarmed’

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As bird flu continues to spread among cattle in the U.S., WebMD and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) joined forces on Thursday to present a live-streamed briefing on the status of the outbreak.

The presentation, called “WebMD and CDC Presents, 2024 Bird Flu: What You Need to Know,” was moderated by Neha Pathak, M.D., chief physician editor for WebMD in Atlanta, Georgia.

The first reports of sick dairy cows came to the USDA in early March, according to Eric Deeble, deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Congressional Relations at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Washington, D.C.

AMID BIRD FLU SPREAD, EXPERTS REVEAL IF IT’S SAFE TO DRINK MILK

Testing revealed that the cows had contracted H5N1, more commonly known as avian influenza, or bird flu.

“Any new disease of cattle is a great concern to us,” Deeble said during the briefing. 

As bird flu continues to spread among cattle in the U.S., WebMD and the CDC issued an update on Thursday. (Getty Images)

“The H5N1 in cattle is a relatively mild disease. They generally recover after supportive care” within two to three weeks, he said.

“Their milk volume returns to normal, and they appear healthy and continue to feed as they did before they became sick.” 

“Any new disease of cattle is a great concern to us.”

So far, the USDA has detected H5N1 in 49 dairy herds in nine states, Deeble stated. 

“To put that into perspective, that’s around 1% of dairy farms in the affected states and about 1/10th of 1% nationally,” he said. 

On April 29, a federal order from the USDA took effect, limiting the movement of lactating dairy cattle in an effort to monitor and compile H5N1 test results.

TEXAS CATS DIE ON DAIRY FARM AFTER DRINKING RAW MILK CONTAMINATED WITH BIRD FLU, CDC WARNS

“Under this order, dairy farmers are required to test their cows before moving them across state lines so that we know those cows are H5N1-free and don’t pose a risk to any new herd,” Deeble said.

The order also requires that any test results that detect the presence of H5N1 are reported to USDA labs.

No current food risk, experts say

Deeble assured those tuning in on Thursday that there is no risk with consuming milk and meat.

“I can say without reservation that our commercial milk and meat supplies are safe,” he said. “At no time were animals that are sick from H5N1 or any other animal disease permitted to enter into our food supply.”

He added, “USDA has never detected H5N1 in meat sold at retail.”

Dairy farm milk

The first reports of sick dairy cows came to the USDA in early March, health officials said. (iStock)

Tests have confirmed that cooking meat to an internal temperature of 155 or above is sufficient to eliminate all traces of the virus, Deeble noted.

For milk, the pasteurization process ensures it is safe to drink, he said.

“Our milk is cleared to a high temperature for a brief period of time, inactivating H5N1, as well as other bacteria and viruses that could make someone sick,” he said.

Risk of transmission to humans

The overall risk to the public from bird flu is low, according to Dr. Nirav D. Shah, M.D., principal deputy director of the CDC in Atlanta.

“That is in part because it’s rare for people to get infected with bird flu viruses — but it has happened,” he said during the briefing.

“If and when it does happen, it’s most often through direct unprotected contact with infected animals — for example, not wearing gloves, face masks or eye protection.”

COULD A BIRD FLU PANDEMIC SPREAD TO HUMANS? HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

In April, the CDC reported one human case of bird flu in a dairy worker in Texas, Shah said. 

“This person’s only symptom was eye redness, or conjunctivitis,” he said. “After testing positive, this person was provided [with] an antiviral medicine and thankfully made a full recovery. There have been no new or additional human cases since this individual in Texas.”

Other symptoms to watch for include cough, fever, muscle aches and fatigue, according to Shah.

Cows and milk

Experts said there is no risk associated with drinking milk purchased commercially. (iStock)

Although the overall risk to humans is low, the CDC is taking “aggressive steps” to make sure Americans stay well and informed, Shah said. 

“Right now, one of our top areas of focus is around farm worker safety and protection — specifically making sure that workers have access to personal protective equipment … like gloves, goggles or face masks, which can help reduce their risk of exposure if they happen to be working around affected cows.”

MAINE WILDLIFE AUTHORITIES FIND 6 DEAD WILD DUCKS THAT TESTED POSITIVE FOR BIRD FLU

The CDC is also working with local health departments to ensure that sick farmers are tested for bird flu and to monitor their status.

“In addition to that, scientists in our laboratories here at CDC are looking closely at the bird flu viruses to see if there are any changes in their DNA that might tell us if these viruses are able to spread more easily to people, between people, and, importantly, whether they might be causing more serious illness,” Shah added.

Bird flu vaccine

Although the overall risk to humans is low, the CDC is taking “aggressive steps” to make sure Americans stay well and informed, a doctor said. (REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo)

Although the risk to the public “remains low” currently, the doctor offered guidance for certain groups that may be at a higher risk.

“If you happen to work around animals, whether it’s chickens, whether it’s cattle, or whether it’s pigs, and you develop signs and symptoms that might otherwise be the flu, it’s important to make sure you call a health care provider and have a conversation with them.”

Not another COVID, experts say

The current situation with bird flu is different from the early days of COVID-19, Shah said during the briefing.

“We are in a much different place because of over two decades of investment in planning and preparing for things like influenza,” he said.

CDC WARNS OF INVASIVE BACTERIAL OUTBREAK AMID SPIKE IN CASES AND FATALITY RATES: ‘RARE BUT SEVERE’

“As a result of that extensive planning and preparedness, there are medicines in place.”

If those medications are given early, they can reduce the severity and duration of illness, as was the case with the farmer in Texas, Shah noted.

“This is just one of many ways in which … influenza and bird flu differs from what many of us remember from four years ago,” he added.

Vaccines and prevention

The traditional influenza vaccine doesn’t provide much protection against avian flu, the experts noted.

“Even though they are … basically the same virus, they differ just enough to where the flu shot — which we hope everyone gets — doesn’t do a great job at protecting you,” said Shah.

“It might do a little bit of work, but it’s not enough to take you to the bank.” 

Child receives vaccines

“We’re not at a spot where vaccination is recommended for anyone,” a doctor said in the briefing on Thursday. (Julian Stratenschulte/dpa)

David Boucher, PhD, director of Infectious Diseases Preparedness and Response at ASPR in Washington, D.C., spoke during the Thursday briefing about the potential need for a bird flu vaccine.

“We’re not at a spot where vaccination is recommended for anyone,” he said. 

Through the National Influenza Vaccine Program, the ASPR works with health partners to identify influenza viruses that are “just a little bit different from the things that we’ve seen in the past,” Boucher said. 

WITH WHOOPING COUGH CASES ON THE RISE, DO YOU NEED A BOOSTER VACCINE?

For a novel virus, the team develops “building blocks” of a vaccine, he noted.

“The good news here is that this system has worked the way we hoped it would, and we have an initial supply of the building blocks we would need if we needed vaccines for the [H5N1] virus,” he said.

Test tube labelled "Bird Flu"

To monitor potential spread, the CDC is on the lookout for an increase in emergency department visits or laboratory tests that might signal a “cluster of cases,” a doctor said. (REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration)

In that scenario, Boucher said, the ASPR could partner with manufacturers of seasonal influenza vaccines for “large-scale” production.

Boucher also emphasized the importance of personal protective equipment (PPE) — such as gloves, goggles, face shields and N95 masks — for agricultural workers who may be close to infected animals.

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To monitor potential spread, the CDC is on the lookout for an increase in emergency department visits or laboratory tests that might signal a “cluster of cases,” Shah said. 

“We’re also more recently looking at wastewater to see if there are changes there,” he said.

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People can stay up to date on the latest bird flu developments from the CDC, the USDA, the FDA and other trusted sources of information, Shah added.

“We should be alert, not alarmed.”

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Vaper who required double lung transplant warns others of dangers of e-cigarettes

E-cigarette sales are climbing — and it’s primarily young people who are getting hooked. 

Those between the ages of 18 and 24 vape the most, but 9% of youth between 11 and 15 years old say they’re regular vapors, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

One of them, 22-year-old Jackson Allard of North Dakota, almost lost his life due to his vaping habit — and now he’s warning others of the dangers.

SMOKING CIGARETTES CAN DESTROY LUNGS, BUT SHOCKING NEW STUDY REVEALS WHY VAPING CAN HARM THE HEART

Besides leading to addiction, vaping can cause permanent lung damage, according to the CDC.

Last October, Allard developed parainfluenza, which led to pneumonia and then acute respiratory distress syndrome. His lungs were full of fluid.

Jackson Allard, pictured, was in the hospital for three months before he was healthy enough to qualify as a transplant recipient. Now he meets weekly with other lung transplant recipients for rehab. “I’m the youngest person by far, so it’s a little weird,” Allard said.  (Doreen Hurlburt )

“I was really sick, barely able to sleep, puking constantly,” Allard told Fox News. 

The young man was on ECMO, a form of life support, for 70 days. 

“I had a 1% chance to live,” Allard said. 

His lungs were damaged so badly that in Jan. 2024, he received a double lung transplant — a rare procedure for someone his age. 

SMOKING SHRINKS THE BRAIN AND DRIVES UP ALZHEIMER’S RISK, NEW STUDY FINDS

“The first thing that went through my head was, ‘Can I live a normal life after this?’” Allard said. 

Allard and his family live in Fargo, North Dakota, but they’re renting an apartment in Minneapolis while he recovers from his transplant. 

Twice a week, he attends rehabilitation and gets weekly bloodwork. He also gets his PICC line, a tube connected to his veins for long-term medication, cleaned each week. Allard takes 30 pills a day and his family is responsible for giving him his IV medication. 

“I had a 1% chance to live.”

Based on his doctors’ input, Allard and his grandmother, Doreen Hurlburt, believe vaping is to blame for his lung failure.

“When I first started vaping, I was probably 14. I was pretty much non-stop doing it,” Allard said. He later started using a weed vape as well. 

“I told my friend who smokes weed, I was like, ‘Be careful with that,'” Allard said, suggesting that people use marijuana gummies instead of vapes.

pic

“It’s just scary to know that we can make a misstep and cause something bad to happen,” said Doreen Hurlburt, Jackson’s grandmother, pictured here. (Mills Hayes/Fox News)

His grandmother, Doreen Hurlburt, said she complained daily about Jackson’s vaping habits.

“Multiple doctors said, ‘If you smoke cigarettes for 50 years, we’ll see you with lung cancer, and if you vape for five years, we’ll see you with permanent lung damage,'” Hurlburt told Fox News.

Allard can’t drink alcohol or smoke, and his weakened immune system means he has to avoid big crowds.

FIRST NEW ‘QUIT-SMOKING’ DRUG IN 20 YEARS SHOWS PROMISING RESULTS IN US TRIAL: ‘HOPE AND EXCITEMENT’

Dr. Brooke Moore, a pediatric pulmonologist at Children’s Minnesota, did not treat Allard but often sees patients with vaping-related lung injuries. 

“We’ve seen kids who have been vaping for short periods of time, and not necessarily with heavy use, come in with pretty significant lung injury from that,” Moore told Fox News.

jackson now scaled

Most of Allard’s friends just turned 21 and all go out to the bars — but after his double lung transplant, he’s not allowed to drink or be in crowded places. “It’s the social aspect that I’m kind of worried about,” he told Fox News. (Mills Hayes/Fox News)

The majority of the patients Moore sees with vaping-related issues are between 16 and 19 years old. 

Some patients have lung injury and others have milder respiratory symptoms. 

“We’ve done a very good job of educating youth about not starting to smoke traditional tobacco-based cigarettes,” Moore said. 

“With vaping products, we don’t have as much long-term data, but in the short term, the risk seems to be as high as cigarettes — and I would argue in some cases worse.”

US SCHOOLS INVEST MILLIONS IN SURVEILLANCE TECHNOLOGY TO COMBAT TEEN VAPING EPIDEMIC 

Moore said her patients typically vape THC and nicotine. 

“It doesn’t seem to be that vaping just nicotine or just THC is less of a risk for lung disease than one or the other,” she said. 

Most vaping patients have some underlying mental health concerns, such as anxiety, depression or a combination of those, the doctor noted. 

dr moore scaled

Dr. Brook Moore, pictured here, said patients will come in with a cough and shortness of breath due to vaping. “They’ve created flavors and advertising that mimics a lot of the things that kids, teenagers and young adults like to use,” she said about the manufacturers. (Mills Hayes/Fox News)

“They’re using their vape products to self-medicate,” Moore said. “It shows there is a much bigger issue at play than just people vaping to vape.”

In 2019, there was an outbreak of e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury, or EVALI. Those cases were linked to vitamin E acetate in vaping products. 

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As of Feb. 2020, more than 2,800 patients had been admitted to various hospitals in the U.S. due to EVALI, with 68 deaths reported. 

But in 2020, the CDC stopped tracking EVALI cases. 

That’s when Johns Hopkins Children’s Center Dr. Christy Sadreameli started to pay more attention.

A new study found that teens and young adults who vape have a much higher risk of COVID-19 infection than their peers. (iStock)

Many of the vape products commonly sold are “kind of on the market illegally,” a doctor warned. (iStock)

“If you were to ask me how many cases of EVALI happen every year in the U.S., we don’t know that anymore,” Sadreameli told Fox News Digital. 

“It’s definitely still out there. And I’m still concerned about it.”

Many of the vape products commonly sold are “kind of on the market illegally,” Sadreameli added.

“They’re on the market without approval and without undergoing review.”

“They haven’t gone through the FDA review or approval process, and it’s hard to enforce something like that. These things were already being sold,” she continued. 

“They’re kind of on the market without approval and without undergoing review. So that’s kind of messed up.”

Symptoms of vaping-related lung injury include coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, fever or gastrointestinal symptoms, according to WebMD.

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If people who often vape are experiencing a combination of those symptoms, they should see a doctor as soon as possible, experts advise. 

Patients who want to quit can work with their doctor to make a plan. 

There are also cessation support groups and programs available.

For more Health articles, visit www.foxnews.com/health

Keyless car theft is on the rise. This is how to protect yourself.


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  • Using a relay device, car thieves can amplify the signal from your wireless key fob, even if it is inside your house, and use it to unlock your car.
  • Storing your key fob in a Faraday bag or using a physical steering wheel lock can help guard you from car theft.
  • As technology evolves, so do criminal methods. Staying current on information is another important way to protect yourself.

They appear like ghosts in the night, standing outside your house, one holding up an antenna while the other crouches next to the car parked on the driveway. Within seconds, your car is gone, yet another victim amid a surge in auto theft enabled by the technology designed to make it easier to unlock and start vehicles.

Auto technology has evolved and many newer cars use wireless key fobs and push-button starters instead of traditional metal keys. The fob sends a short-range signal, so when the driver approaches the car, it automatically unlocks the door. This saves you the hassle of digging out your keys when you’ve got your hands full with groceries.

But that technology also makes things easier for thieves. The wireless fob will continue to emit a signal even if you’re not using it. Thieves prowl neighborhoods at night looking for cars parked outside so they can carry out so-called relay attacks. Using portable equipment that can pick up the faint signal from a fob inside the house or parking lot, they relay it back to a transmitter that can clone the signal.

NEW TREND OF ‘BURGLARY TOURISM’ ON THE RISE

Officials have urged carmakers to reduce the security vulnerabilities and warn owners about the risks.

So what can you do to reduce the odds that your car will be gone in 60 seconds? “It’s relatively easy for drivers to protect themselves,” said Steve Launchbury, principal engineer of automotive security at Thatcham Research, a U.K.-based automotive risk intelligence company. Here are some tips:

USE A SIGNAL BLOCKER

A simple but effective way to stop auto bandits from purloining your key fob signal is to use a Faraday bag or pouch. They’re lined with a conductive metal mesh that blocks the transmission of electromagnetic signals.

Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Anthony Walsh sets out steering wheel locks at an anti-crime event in Washington

Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Anthony Walsh sets out steering wheel locks at an anti-crime event in Washington on Nov. 7, 2023. A physical lock that attaches to the steering wheel can act as a visible deterrent to car thieves. (AP Photo/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades, File)

The pouches aren’t expensive, and you can also get boxes that do the same thing. But experts advise testing to make sure they work. Just put the key fob inside and approach your car. If the doors don’t automatically unlock, then the signal is being blocked.

It’s also important to remember to use it whenever you leave your vehicle, and don’t forget to put all of your key fobs inside, including any spares.

But ignore some advice making the rounds on the internet telling you to put your fob in the microwave or freezer. It doesn’t have the same effect as a Faraday bag, and you risk damaging your key.

GET AN OLD-FASHIONED LOCK

Try an old-school solution by using a physical lock. Some police forces advise car owners to use them to make your vehicle look less tempting to steal. The reasoning is that a would-be thief might be deterred by the effort needed to cut through the lock and instead turn their attention to an easier target.

Locks, in the shape of a disk or a long bar, clamp onto the steering wheel and make it difficult to steer. There are also versions that prevent the car from being put in gear. The downside is you’ll need extra time to attach or remove it whenever you aren’t driving.

CHANGE UP YOUR SETTINGS

For many cars, it’s possible to deactivate the wireless setting so that you can’t open the door remotely. For Fords, Hondas and Audis, use the touchscreen menus. If you own a Toyota, you can temporarily disable the signal by holding down the fob’s lock button and at the same time pressing the unlock button twice. If you’ve done it correctly, the fob’s indicator light should blink four times. Be aware that the next time you press any button, remote unlocking will be reactivated.

The method will vary depending on make and model so consult your owner’s manual for the exact process. If it sounds complicated, there are YouTube videos that walk you through it. Don’t forget that in most cases you’ll now have to manually press the fob’s unlock button.

Automakers have started adding motion sensors to key fobs. If the sensor doesn’t detect recent movement because it’s been, say, left on the kitchen counter after you come home, the fob goes into sleep mode and stops transmitting. If it lacks this capability, check with your dealer whether it’s possible to upgrade it.

If you buy a used car, some experts also advise getting the keys reprogrammed, just in case the previous owner kept one of the fobs.

WATCH OUT FOR NEW METHODS

Researchers have uncovered a new auto theft technique that doesn’t target radio signals. The controller area network, or CAN, is “a feature of modern cars which allows different components and systems to communicate, (and) has recently been targeted and exploited by thieves,” said Thatcham’s Launchbury.

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The network allows sensors and control modules to talk to each other directly, instead of going through a central node. Thieves take advantage by accessing the network from the car’s exterior, usually by removing a headlight and connecting a device that can “inject” a signal, tricking the car into unlocking and starting.

While automakers work on improving CAN security, “there are steps drivers can take today to add layers of security and deter criminals,” such as using a physical lock, Launchbury said.

Aftermarket electronic immobilizer systems “should render a criminal’s theft tool useless,” and might even get you a discount on auto insurance, he said. Thatcham and other companies offer them but the downside is they can be quite pricey.



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Even with glitches, planning your next trip with AI is making me rethink travel


With vacation planning, most people fall into two camps: those who love planning and those who hate it.

Artificial intelligence tools like GuideGeek, developed by Matador Network and accessible via Meta’s Messenger app, offer a glimpse into a future where vacation planning is as simple as sending a text.

Yet, as we lean into this new era, it’s clear that these amazingly powerful tools come with their own set of quirks.

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passport and boarding pass

Man walking through airport with passport in his hand (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

AI travel ‘hallucinations’ can derail a trip

Take, for instance, the phenomenon known as “AI hallucinations.” These occur when the AI, attempting to fill gaps in its knowledge, invents answers. A classic example unfolded when an AI-powered assistant was asked about travel details for “Crete Freeze” instead of “Crete, Greece”. Instead of clarifying the query, the AI crafted a detailed story about a non-existent ice cream parlor in Pittsburgh. While creative, such responses aren’t particularly useful when you’re trying to plan an actual trip.

COUPLE on vacation

A couple on vacation (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

MORE: 5 GREAT TIPS FOR PLANNING YOUR NEXT TRAVEL GETAWAY

When tiny missed details turn into big trouble

This isn’t an isolated incident. Across the travel industry, AI tools have mistakenly concocted false job histories and even non-existent travel destinations. This tendency can lead to significant travel planning errors, such as suggesting routes that don’t exist or accommodations that are the stuff of fiction.

Why does this happen? AI systems, particularly those based on generative models, strive to provide answers for every query. In doing so, they sometimes create plausible but incorrect information. While these errors are often corrected quickly, they highlight an important aspect of using AI in travel planning: verification is key.

FAMILY at beach

Family at the beach (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

MORE: TRAVELING? BRING THIS TRIPLE PROTECTION FOR SAFER ONLINE BANKING 

Embracing the new AI travel planning experiment

Matador Network has taken steps to mitigate these errors by introducing stringent checks and balances for GuideGeek. They’ve reduced the occurrence of hallucinations significantly, from a startling 14% down to a more manageable 2%. They achieved this by enhancing the AI’s training and integrating real-time data from reliable sources like Skyscanner and Expedia.

Despite these improvements, the responsibility ultimately falls on the travel planner to double-check all AI-generated plans. When using AI tools like GuideGeek, it’s prudent to verify the details of your itinerary as you would with a travel agent. Check flight schedules, hotel bookings and travel routes against trusted sources.

family at the beach 2

A family at the beach (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

Verify any travel plans, whether from AI or a human expert

Incorporating AI into travel planning requires a balanced approach. While these tools can efficiently handle vast amounts of data and provide quick responses, their current propensity for errors cannot be overlooked. People should approach AI-generated travel plans with a healthy dose of both excitement and skepticism, reviewing and confirming details to avoid potential pitfalls.

WHAT IS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI)?

father-daughter at beach

Dad and daughter at the beach (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

AI trip planning can open doors you never knew to knock on

The process of integrating AI into travel planning is undoubtedly exciting, and it promises a more streamlined and accessible future for travelers.

Matador Network CEO Ross Borden points to the benefits of AI travel planning, saying, “We all know that typical experience of booking travel online – you’ve got 30 browser tabs open and a headache. GuideGeek is a travel genius that makes creating detailed travel plans much faster and more personalized. As the AI learns about you, the recommendations get more tailored to your interests and how you travel.”

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I checked AI on one of my favorite Hawaiian destinations for trip-planning ideas known mostly by the locals and deeply entrenched experts. AI was able to identify a really fun area to hike in Kaua’i, along with the little-known secret of how to find parking nearby. I seldom see tourists there, and AI is about to change that. What it didn’t know to tell me is what happens if a common rain shower interrupts the hike, turning the elevated trail into a treacherous trench of mud – something a local or expert may have warned you about.

GuideGeek website 1

GuideGeek website (GuideGeek)

MORE: THE BEST TRAVEL GEAR FOR 2024

How to plan travel with AI using GuideGeek

Unlike other travel guides, if you have Instagram, Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp, you do not need to download a separate app to use GuideGeek. All you need to do is go to the main GuideGeek website. In the app you likely have already downloaded, you can either click the link or scan the QR code, which will launch GuideGeek on your designated app.

GuideGeek on Instagram

GuideGeek screens on Instagram (GuideGeek)

MORE: 5 GREAT TIPS FOR PLANNING YOUR NEXT TRAVEL GETAWAY

Chat with GuideGeek: Your personal, nonhuman AI travel assistant on Instagram

For instance, if you click “Open on Instagram,” GuideGeek will begin a direct message on the Instagram account you have on your device. You can ask any sort of travel question, and it’ll respond with an answer as a message.

The best part is that once you have opened it, you can continue to dialogue with GuideGeek for other areas of your travel needs – just don’t delete the chat window with GuideGeek. Of course, if you do, it is just as easy to restart another message with GuideGeek.

GUIDEgeek on Facebook

GuideGeek AI on Facebook (GuideGeek)

MORE: BEST TRAVEL ADAPTERS OF 2024

Planning travel with GuideGeek vs Google

What’s the difference between using GuideGeek instead of googling your questions? Targeted answers, so you’re not digging around many websites for that one piece of travel information you’re looking for. Additionally, the use of the Matador Network is hooking you up with an established online travel publication located in San Francisco with ​​more than 80 million monthly visitors and 16 million social media followers.

Kurt’s key takeaways

With so much travel information online, it can be difficult to parse through all the data. And sometimes, too much information can actually create decision fatigue. Instead of trying to cobble together an itinerary from your neighbors, family, friends and the internet, you can use AI to pull together an exciting trip – just be sure to check each little detail for accuracy before packing your bags.

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Have you utilized AI to help start or finish travel planning? If you could have a travel agent available on demand, would you use it? Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact.

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Freak robot made in China can learn, think, work like humans


Sometimes, you have to see it to believe it.

And in rare cases, like this one, it freaks out observers watching. In the ever-expanding world of humanoid robots, a new star is rising, and its name is Astribot. 

The Chinese company’s latest creation, the S1 model, is turning heads with its astonishing speed and precision.

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AI robot 1

S1 AI-powered robot (Astribot)

Astribot S1: How it’s breaking speed records

Imagine a robot that can move at a blistering pace of approximately 32.8 feet per second and handle a payload of 22 pounds per arm. That’s Astribot’s S1 for you. It’s like watching a superhero in action. Only this one is made of wires and metal.

The S1’s capabilities are not just impressive; they’re record-setting. The robot’s dexterity is showcased in a video where it performs tasks with such finesse that it can delicately shave a cucumber.

WHAT IS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI)?

AI ROBOT 2

S1 AI-powered robot (Astribot)

It can even engage in the art of calligraphy.

AI robot 3

S1 AI-powered robot (Astribot)

That’s not all. It can also open and pour wine and flip a sandwich in a frying pan.

AI robot 4

S1 AI-powered robot (Astribot)

And for those who hate ironing and folding laundry, the S1 does that, too.

AI robot 5

S1 AI-powered robot (Astribot)

MORE: ELECTRIC HUMANOID ROBOT POISED TO SHAKE UP THE JOB MARKET

What sets the Astribot S1 apart from other robots?

The S1’s ability to mimic human movements sets it apart from other robots. This robot is a learner, an imitator and a potential pioneer in robotics. The questions it raises are as intriguing as its abilities. Does it have a lower half? Can it walk, or is it destined to remain stationary? These are the mysteries that have yet to be answered.

AI Robot 6

S1 AI-powered robot (Astribot)

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The backstory of the Astribot S1 robot

Founded in 2022 in Shenzhen, the Astribot maker Stardust Intelligence has roots that trace back to the Tencent Robotics Laboratory, Baidu, and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, with its founder, Lai Jie.

The S1 took a year to evolve and is expected to hit the market later in 2024. The robot’s name, inspired by the Latin proverb “Ad astra per aspera,” reflects its journey and commitment to AI robot technology.

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AI Robot 7

S1 AI-powered robot (Astribot)

MORE: HOW AI IS PAVING THE WAY TO SMOOTHER STREETS USING AUTONOMOUS ROBOTS

Kurt’s key takeaways

As Astribot prepares to launch the S1 robot, the world watches with bated breath. Will it revolutionize the way we think about humanoid robots? Will it outshine its competitors and set a new standard in the industry? Can the U.S. keep us with this Chinese technology? Only time will tell. But one thing is certain: the robot wars have begun and Astribot’s S1 is leading the charge.

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As humanoid robots become more adept at tasks traditionally performed by humans, how do you feel about the potential impact on employment and job security? Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact.

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Copyright 2024 CyberGuy.com. All rights reserved.



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CBP records fewer migrant encounters in April 2024

The U.S. Border Patrol recorded ar decline in migrant encounters in April, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said in a news release Wednesday.

In April, the Border Patrol recorded 128,900 encounters between ports of entry along the southwest border. The figure was 30% lower than in April 2023, and 6% lower than in March.

“CBP continues to surge resources and personnel to impacted sectors along the border to ensure the safe, swift, and orderly processing of individuals to maximize expedited removals,” Troy Miller, a senior official performing the duties of the commissioner, said in a statement.

DHS’ FAILURE TO FILE PAPERWORK HAS LED TO 200K IMMIGRATION COURT CASES TOSSED UNDER PRESIDENT BIDEN: TRAC

A group of over 100 migrants attempting to enter the U.S. illegally rush a border wall on March 21. Migrant encounters at the southern border declined slightly in April, border officials said. (James Breeden for New York Post / Mega)

Despite the decline, separate figures obtained by Fox News revealed there were 1.6 million known gotaways from fiscal year 2021 to fiscal year 2023. In the decade of FY 2010 through FY 2020, under former Presidents Obama and Trump, authorities recorded more than 1.4 million known gotaways.

Known gotaways are illegal immigrants seen or detected via cameras, sensors, footings, etc., but are never apprehended.

“If a person is willing to put themselves into harm’s way crossing through very remote, very dangerous conditions to evade capture, you have to ask yourself why. What makes them willing to take that risk?” Border Patrol Chief Jason Owens asked a House committee in May 2023. 

BORDER PATROL OFFICIALS SAY THREAT POSED BY ‘GOTAWAYS’ AT SOUTHERN BORDER ‘KEEPS US UP AT NIGHT’

President Biden visits the southern border

President Biden has recently touted the decline in illegal border crossings. Border authorities on Wednesday said the number of migrant encounters declined in April. (Getty Images)

“That’s of concern to me. What’s also of concern to me is I don’t know who that individual is,” he added. “I don’t know where they came from. I don’t know what their intention is. I don’t know what they brought with them. That unknown represents a risk, a threat. It’s of great concern to anybody that wears this uniform.”

In April, CBP processed 41,400 people through appointments at ports of entry submitted on the CBP One app, authorities said. Since the app was introduced in January 2023, more than 591,000 people have scheduled appointments to present at ports of entry, CBP said. 

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who has been heavily criticized for the record numbers of migrants entering the U.S., has previously noted changes in migration flow in correspondence with Congress.

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“Before 2013, the majority of individuals attempting to cross the border entered without being caught,” he said in a letter in January to the House Homeland Security Committee. “Under this administration, the estimated annual apprehension rate has averaged 78%, the same average rate of apprehension as in the prior administration.”

Fox News Digital’s Adam Shaw and Bill Melugin contributed to this report. 

Chicago nurse free of COVID-19-related PTSD, depression after electrical brain tapping therapy

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A Chicago nurse has been liberated from her own mind, thanks to a brain-tapping technology called deep TMS.

Gulden, who requested to omit her surname for privacy reasons, worked as a nurse for more than 40 years before COVID-19 rocked the hospital system and took a toll on her mental health.

The mother of four worked at Advocate South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest, Illinois, as an ICU and ER nurse.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE NOT ALWAYS HELPFUL FOR REDUCING DOCTOR BURNOUT, STUDIES SUGGEST

In an interview with Fox News Digital, Gulden described the “massive chaos” that the 2020 coronavirus pandemic brought to the hospital.

“No matter what we did, it was like a failure,” she said. “We were not prepared [for] the onslaught of patients.”

Housekeeper Tonia Harvey changes a bed in the Roseland Community Hospital intensive care unit after a COVID-19 patient passed away, April 17, 2020. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

“The predictable outcome of coming in through the ER and leaving in a body bag was just devastating.”

Despite her many years of medical work, New York City-born Gulden admitted that she “could not cope with it.” 

By Sept. 2020, she was a “different person,” she said.

“I was on autopilot. I lived at work and when I came home, I was not functioning … My organization and concentration skills were gone.” 

NURSES CALL FOR CHANGE AS MANY REVEAL THEY’RE ‘EXTREMELY LIKELY’ TO LEAVE PROFESSION: ‘EMOTIONAL, STRESSFUL’

“It was very, very unlike me, because I’m a single mom. I’ve raised four kids all by myself … but I started to notice that I could not let go of what had transpired during the day.”

Gulden told her primary care provider about her symptoms, including “horrible nightmares” that prevented her from sleeping and constant “weeping” that came “from her soul.”

gulden sitting in a chair

Gulden, pictured here, said that working in a hospital during the coronavirus pandemic turned her into a “different person.” (Melanie Eilers)

In the span of two years, the doctor prescribed Gulden eight different medications for sleep, PTSD and major depressive disorder, along with cognitive behavior therapy — but nothing worked.

Even after the pandemic began to slow down, the nurse described how she hit a “spiral” when she realized COVID-19 created a “chain reaction.”

AMERICANS NEED MORE SLEEP, LESS STRESS, EXPERTS SAY, AS GALLUP POLL REVEALS TROUBLING FINDINGS

“[There] was a 51-year-old who had bilateral tumors and needed a mastectomy,” she shared. “She’d gone through all her chemo and radiation, and she was ready for her mastectomy, but she had to wait like 11 months.”

Added Gulden, “By the time she came back, her tumors had grown back, and that’s when I was like, This is never going to be over.”

Gulden mentioned that screenings for major health complications were down at least 84% during the pandemic, feeding into a “ripple” of patients who received care too late.

a chicago nurse tends to a covid-19 patient in hospital

Tamara Jones gives antibiotics to James Davis as he recovers from COVID-19 in the intensive care unit at Roseland Community Hospital on Dec. 16, 2020, in Chicago, Illinois. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The nurse said through tears that she decided to leave the hospital and retire, since she “just couldn’t function there.”

After leaving, she fell into a “hibernation state” of sleeping 16 to 18 hours a day.

“The only reason I got up was to go to the bathroom,” she said. “And I’m embarrassed to say I would go weeks without showering.”

KETAMINE THERAPY SHOWN EFFECTIVE IN TREATING SEVERE DEPRESSION IN VETERANS, STUDY FINDS

“I lost 54 pounds — I got to the point where I couldn’t eat, because everything in the refrigerator reminded me of what was on patients’ trays.”

Gulden’s “incredibly vivid, horrible nightmares” continued along with other symptoms, including the inability to stay awake. She called it a “complete shutdown.”

gulden at relief mental health in orland park

Gulden received deep TMS treatment at Relief Mental Health in Orland Park, Illinois. (Melanie Eilers)

After Gulden spent three years in “hibernation,” a friend introduced her to a new type of mental health treatment called deep TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) — a magnetized tapping of the brain used to treat various disorders and diseases.

Gulden agreed to visit Dr. Teresa Poprawski, the chief medical officer of Relief Mental Health in Orland Park, Illinois, who helped “put the threads together” on what was triggering her PTSD and other symptoms.

What is deep TMS?

Dr. Aaron Tendler, a psychiatrist and chief medical officer of BrainsWay, a brain disorder treatment company, discussed how the therapy works in an interview with Fox News Digital.

Tendler is based in West Palm Beach, Florida and was not involved in Gulden’s care. He said the brain is primarily an “electrochemical organ” that sends messages to different parts of the body.

‘PANDEMIC SKIP,’ A COVID MENTAL HEALTH PHENOMENON, COULD DELAY MAJOR MILESTONES, EXPERTS SAY

Most symptoms, including depression and anxiety, are controlled by changes in the brain, Tendler said, which can be treated electrically.

Deep TMS is a more “targeted” approach than electroshock therapy, he told Fox News Digital.

tired nurse during covid-19 next to a deep TMS patient

Gulden described the sensation of deep TMS as “tapping on specific parts of the brain.” (iStock; BrainsWay)

“Transcranial magnetic stimulation uses the principle of electromagnetic induction, where magnetic pulses induce an electrical current inside of neurons,” he said.

“Essentially, we are changing the electrical activity in a group of neurons in an area of the brain.”

COVID-19 PANDEMIC HAS CAUSED ‘COLLECTIVE TRAUMA’ AMONG US ADULTS, NEW POLL SAYS

These magnetic pulses only stimulate a specific area of the brain for “a brief period of time,” he said, with treatments lasting anywhere from six to 20 minutes. Patients undergo treatments for a series of days, depending on what’s necessary.

Tendler described the therapy as a “learning experience” that changes “the state of the brain” through repetitive treatment.

patient sits for deep tms therapy

Deep TMS interrupts activity in the brain that is creating unwanted patterns, an expert said. (BrainsWay)

Gulden received deep TMS treatments for five days a week, for six to eight weeks. She described the sensation as “tapping on specific parts of the brain.”

After three weeks, she reported a noticeable difference in her cognitive state.

“I realized, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s been three years since I’ve heard the birds,’” she said. “I see life again. I see my flowers. Before, I couldn’t even look at the flowers because they just reminded me of funerals.”

PASTOR BASED IN DALLAS SHARES DEPRESSION JOURNEY, URGES OTHERS TO SEEK HELP: ‘DON’T HESITATE’

Gulden described her quality of life as “just so much better” since receiving treatment.

She still attends cognitive behavioral therapy sessions to hone her coping skills, she said.

“And if I need deep TMS again, I will be back there in a heartbeat,” she added.

woman smiles while wearing deep tms helmet

Deep TMS is covered by “every insurer” across the country, according to one expert. (BrainsWay)

‘Very useful tool’

Gulden’s goal is to teach others to not feel ashamed about seeking help for their mental health struggles.

“I want people to know that there are interventions,” she said. 

“The meds did not work for me. Had I not had this treatment today, I don’t know where I’d be.”

woman receives deep tms treatment

Although deep TMS technology was developed in the 1980s, the first treatment application for depression was FDA-cleared in 2009. (BrainsWay)

Most patients experience a 40% to 50% improvement after four weeks of treatment, according to Tendler.

After completing a typical course of 36 treatments, patients have shown 75% to 80% improvement, he said.

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Deep TMS is “not a cure,” Tendler said — but many patients are able to regain normal function for months or years at a time.

The electrical therapy doesn’t have the potential side effects that antidepressants and other treatments can cause, Tendler said, noting that the brain manipulation is “temporary.”

gulden at relief mental health clinic

“Had I not had this treatment today, I don’t know where I’d be,” Gulden said. (Melanie Eilers)

“I know this might sound like a disadvantage, but it is also an advantage,” he said. “We don’t do anything to the person’s brain that’s permanent. We’re changing the state of the brain temporarily.”

He added, “Generally, we get you out of the state that you were in … and then nature takes its course.”

Deep TMS can also be paired with other medications, such as antidepressants, Tendler added.

Dr. Marc Siegel

Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel cautioned that deep TMS could potentially cause some cognitive and behavioral changes, but called it a “very useful tool” overall. (Dr. Marc Siegel)

Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel cautioned that deep TMS could potentially cause some cognitive and behavioral changes, but called it a “very useful tool” overall.

He told Fox News Digital that deep TMS is also “very useful for movement disorders like Parkinson’s, with a high rate of success.”  

“We’re changing the state of the brain temporarily.”

Siegel cautioned that deep TMS could potentially cause some cognitive and behavioral changes, but called it a “very useful tool” overall.

“[Deep TMS is] still being investigated for various purposes to interrupt aberrant nerve conduction,” he said.

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For other medical professionals suffering from mental health issues, Gulden stressed the importance of having a “healthy health care team,” especially following the pandemic.

“I don’t care how tough you think you are,” she said. “You need to know what the signs are, and you need to know what treatments are available.”

For more Health articles, visit foxnews.com.com/health.

Mary Trump Thinks She Knows Exactly Why Ivanka And Don Jr. Haven’t Turned Up In Court

Donald Trump’s niece Mary Trump on Wednesday explained why she believes her cousins Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. haven’t shown up in court to support their father, the former president, during his hush money trial in New York.

Eric Trump is the only Trump scion to do it so far.

It’s because the family is so transactional, Mary Trump explained on a MSNBC YouTube livestream. Also, she doubted her uncle is bothered about them being there.

The reasons for Ivanka and Don Jr.’s no-shows are different, she said.

“Ivanka made the calculation a long time ago that it was not in her best interests to remain in any way associated with the rest of her family. She doesn’t need them,” she said. “All of these relationships are transactional. She is a legitimately wealthy person because of the person [Jared Kushner] she is married to. She doesn’t need Donald for anything. She’s not going to show up in a courtroom to support him especially in a case which is so, seriously, at its base so depressingly tawdry.”

Trump Jr., meanwhile, may have lucked out with Eric drawing “the short straw,” she said. “It doesn’t really make sense that it’s just him and not both of them or vice versa.”

Ultimately, though, Mary Trump said her cousins would all be in court “maybe with the exception of Ivanka” if the presumptive GOP nominee had demanded it. Instead, she said Donald Trump doesn’t actually care about their presence.

“He’s much more disturbed by the absence of crowds outside rallying in his defense which is why we’re seeing this parade of increasingly pathetic and sycophantic members of Congress who should be maybe governing but are taking time out of their apparently not very busy days to help undermine Americans’ confidence in the rule of law,” she said.

Whether Trump’s children are there is “irrelevant to Donald,” she added. “His narcissistic needs are much greater than that so somebody else is going to have to make him feel better on that score but it’s a pretty obviously transactional family and if they’re not getting anything out of it, there’s no reason for them to be there.”

Related…

Slovakia’s prime minister expected to survive assassination attempt as shock reverberates across Europe

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Slovakia’s prime minister is expected to survive after he was shot multiple times and gravely wounded during an attempted assassination on Wednesday, according to his deputy.

Doctors fought for several hours to save Prime Minister Robert Fico’s life after he was shot in the abdomen while he was greeting supporters at an event outside a cultural center in the town of Handlova, Defense Minister Robert Kalina told reporters.

“I guess in the end he will survive,” Deputy Prime Minister Tomas Taraba told the BBC, adding: “He’s not in a life-threatening situation at this moment.”

A suspect was swiftly arrested following the attack Wednesday and an initial investigation found “a clear political motivation,” Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estok said.

RUSSIA’S MILITARY CLAIMS TO HAVE SHOT DOWN 10 U.S.-SUPPLIED MISSILES OVER CRIMEA AS BLINKEN VISITS UKRAINE

Rescue workers wheeled Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico to a hospital after the shocking assassination attempt on him on Wednesday. (Jan Kroslak/TASR via AP)

The 59-year-old’s attempted assassination just weeks before an election shocked the small country and reverberated concern across Europe.

“A physical attack on the prime minister is, first of all, an attack on a person, but it is also an attack on democracy,” said outgoing President Zuzana Caputova, Fico’s political rival. “Any violence is unacceptable. The hateful rhetoric we’ve been witnessing in society leads to hateful actions. Please, let’s stop it.”

Robert Fico

Slovakia’s populist Prime Minister Robert Fico was wounded in a shooting at an event Wednesday afternoon, according to his Facebook profile.  (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

President-elect Peter Pellegrini, an ally of Fico, called the shooting “an unprecedented threat to Slovak democracy. If we express other political opinions with pistols in squares, and not in polling stations, we are jeopardizing everything that we have built together over 31 years of Slovak sovereignty.”

US MILITARY CONSTRUCTS HULKING METAL PIER AMID BIDEN’S $320 MILLION GAMBLE TO GET AID INTO GAZA

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also denounced the violence.

“Every effort should be made to ensure that violence does not become the norm in any country, form or sphere,” he said.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala chimed in with other world leaders and wished the prime minister a swift recovery, saying “we cannot tolerate violence, there’s no place for it in society.”

The Czech Republic and Slovakia formed Czechoslovakia until 1992.

A suspect being arrested

The man accused of shooting Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico during an event in the town of Handlova, Slovakia, on Wednesday, was arrested by police quickly after the incident. (Radovan Stoklasa/TASR via AP)

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Fico, a divisive figure in Slovakia, returned to power last year after campaigning on a pro-Russian, anti-American platform. 

At the time, European Union members expressed worry that he could potentially lead Slovakia – a nation of 5.4 million that belongs to NATO – to abandon its pro-Western course.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.