William Prochnau, Journalist and Author, Is Dead at 80

Supported by Obituaries William Prochnau, Journalist and Author, Is Dead at 80 Photo William Prochnau in an undated photograph. His article “Adventures in the Ransom Trade” was the basis for the movie “Proof of Life,” a kidnapping thriller starring Meg Ryan and Russell Crowe. Credit Laura Parker William Prochnau, a journalist and author who wrote a critically acclaimed book, “Once Upon a Distant War,” about a handful of skeptical reporters whose early warnings that the United States wasn’t winning in Vietnam went unheeded, died on March 28 in his home in Washington. He was 80.
The cause was coronary artery disease, said his wife and frequent collaborator, Laura Parker, a staff writer for National Geographic magazine.
Mr. Prochnau was a reporter for The Washington Post and a contributing editor of Vanity Fair, where his article “Adventures in the Ransom Trade” was the basis for the movie “Proof of Life” (2000), a kidnapping thriller starring Meg Ryan and Russell Crowe. (Ms. Parker ..

White House Says U.S. Will Remain in Syria Despite Trump’s Eagerness to Withdraw

White House Says U.S. Will Remain in Syria Despite Trump’s Eagerness to Withdraw Photo American forces in northern Syria last month. Credit Hussein Malla/Associated Press WASHINGTON — The White House said on Wednesday that the United States is committed to continuing to fight the Islamic State in Syria, signaling a retreat by President Trump from his insistence that the 2,000 American forces there quickly return home from the conflict.
“The military mission to eradicate ISIS in Syria is coming to a rapid end, with ISIS being almost completely destroyed,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the press secretary, said in a statement issued one day after Mr. Trump met with military commanders to discuss the future of the mission. “The United States and our partners remain committed to eliminating the small ISIS presence in Syria that our forces have not already eradicated.”
The statement indicated that the president’s top military advisers, who have argued that maintaining United States forces in Syri..

Google Workers Urge C.E.O. to Pull Out of Pentagon A.I. Project

Google Workers Urge C.E.O. to Pull Out of Pentagon A.I. Project Photo Thousands of Google employees have signed a letter to Sundar Pichai, the company’s chief executive, protesting Google’s role in a program that could be used to improve drone strike targeting. Credit Michael Short/Bloomberg WASHINGTON — Thousands of Google employees, including dozens of senior engineers, have signed a letter protesting the company’s involvement in a Pentagon program that uses artificial intelligence to interpret video imagery and could be used to improve the targeting of drone strikes.
The letter, which is circulating inside Google and has garnered more than 3,100 signatures, reflects a culture clash between Silicon Valley and the federal government that is likely to intensify as cutting-edge artificial intelligence is increasingly employed for military purposes.
(Read the text of the letter.)
“We believe that Google should not be in the business of war,” says the letter, addressed to Sundar Pichai, t..

Zuckerberg to Testify to Congress on Facebook’s Handling of Data Next Week

Zuckerberg to Testify to Congress on Facebook’s Handling of Data Next Week Photo Mark Zuckerberg is expected to appear before multiple congressional committees. Credit Steven Senne/Associated Press WASHINGTON — Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, will testify before Congress next week on the company’s handling of sensitive user data, lawmakers said on Wednesday.
Mr. Zuckerberg will testify before the House Energy and Commerce Commerce Committee on April 11. He is also expected to also appear before at least one Senate committee next week.
It will be Mr. Zuckerberg’s first appearance before lawmakers, and it comes after revelations that personal information of more than 50 million Facebook users was improperly harvested by a political consulting firm connected to President Trump that used the data to target voters in the 2016 election.
“This hearing will be an important opportunity to shed light on critical consumer data privacy issues,” said Representatives Greg Walden, Republ..