World Briefs: Beijing appoints mayor as capital's party chief

Beijing appoints mayor as capital's party chief

BEIJING • Beijing mayor Cai Qi has been appointed as party chief of the capital city, the official Xinhua news agency reported yesterday.

Mr Cai is close to Chinese President Xi Jinping, sources with ties to the leadership have told Reuters, and is virtually assured a seat in the decision-making Politburo during the 19th Party Congress in autumn.


Construction begins on largest optical telescope

ATACAMA DESERT • Construction has begun in Chile on the European extremely large telescope (ELT), which, when completed, will be the world's largest optical telescope, some five times larger than the top observing instruments in use today.

The size of the ELT has the potential to transform our understanding of the universe, say its backers, with its main mirror that will measure some 39m across. It is due to begin operating in 2024.


Google retires AlphaGo after it beats top player

SHANGHAI • The Google-owned computer algorithm AlphaGo is retiring from playing humans in the ancient Chinese game of Go after roundly defeating world number one player Ke Jie, its developer said yesterday.

DeepMind founder Demis Hassabis said AlphaGo's developers will turn to "the next set of grand challenges, developing advanced general algorithms that could one day help scientists" find new cures, reduce energy consumption or invent revolutionary new materials.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 28, 2017, with the headline 'World Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe