Carlo Acutis: British computer whizz is beatified in cathedral in Italy

A British-born computer whizz who died from leukaemia aged 15 has been placed on the path to sainthood during a beatification ceremony at a cathedral in Italy.

Carlo Acutis, who was born in London in 1991 to Italian parents before moving as a child to Milan, was honoured with a ceremony at the Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi in Assisi, central Italy, on Saturday.

Despite being born to non-practicing Christian parents, Acutis became devout at a young age – asking to be taken into churches aged three. Aged 11, he used his IT skills to create websites documenting  miracles. He died in 2006.

The beatification ceremony acknowledges that Acutis has performed one miracle – decreed by Pope Francis to be the healing of a seven-year-old Brazilian boy who was cured of a pancreatic disorder in 2013 after praying to Acutis and coming into contact with a relic, in the form of a piece of his t-shirt.

Carlo Acutis, a British-born Italian who died from leukaemia aged 15 in 2006, has taken the first step towards sainthood after being beatified at the Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi in central Italy

Carlo Acutis, a British-born Italian who died from leukaemia aged 15 in 2006, has taken the first step towards sainthood after being beatified at the Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi in central Italy 

Acutis, who has been nicknamed the 'Patron Saint of the Internet', came to the attention of the Vatican aged 11 when he used his IT skills to program websites documenting Eucharistic miracles and Marian apparitions (pictured, a relic containing the boy's preserved heart is placed on display during the ceremony)

Acutis, who has been nicknamed the ‘Patron Saint of the Internet’, came to the attention of the Vatican aged 11 when he used his IT skills to program websites documenting Eucharistic miracles and Marian apparitions (pictured, a relic containing the boy’s preserved heart is placed on display during the ceremony)

Despite being born to non-practicing parents, Acutis became devout at a young age - asking to be taken into churches aged three, and receiving the sacrament aged seven after being granted an exemption due to his age

Despite being born to non-practicing parents, Acutis became devout at a young age – asking to be taken into churches aged three, and receiving the sacrament aged seven after being granted an exemption due to his age

Acutis's parents, Antonia (front) and Andrea (rear) are greeted by Cardinal Agostino Vallini during the beatification ceremony in Assisi, central Italy, on Saturday

Acutis’s parents, Antonia (front) and Andrea (rear) are greeted by Cardinal Agostino Vallini during the beatification ceremony in Assisi, central Italy, on Saturday

The ceremony began with a procession through Assisi, which drew some 3,000 people, most of whom watched the beatification on large screens outside the church

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The British Armed Forces Now Has a Drone That Can Shoot Stuff

An example of a hexacopter drone.

An example of a hexacopter drone.
Photo: Omer Messinger (Getty Images)

In partnership with the United Kingdom’s Strategic Command, which supports the Ministry of Defence, an unnamed company has developed a new battle-ready drone to assist armed forces with dangerous ground operations during urban warfare.

Reported by Popular Mechanics (via The Times), the i9 is a human-operated drone that can fly indoors, uses AI to locate and identify targets, and is outfitted with dual shotguns. If reading that makes you feel like we’re living in a 90s science fiction movie, well, I guess we are. Except Arnold is not headed to Mars.

As Popular Mechanics points out, breaching operations—when armed forces storm into a sealed off, enclosed area where enemy forces could be hiding—are one of the most dangerous type of ground operations. Casualties are usually high, especially among soldiers who enter the building first. Sending in a drone first is ideal for these kinds of operations. But hexacopters, or six-bladed drones like the i9, usually have issues with crashing to the ground if they get too close to a wall inside a small room, particularly if they are carrying something heavy, like a shotgun. The wall disrupts the airflow needed to keep the drone flying, which isn’t very useful in breaching operations.

The i9 is the UK’s first drone that can fly indoors while carrying heavy weaponry. The Ministry of Defence also hopes to develop other uses for the i9 as well, such as using it as a battering ram to knock other drones out of the sky and replacing the dual shotguns with either a rocket or chain gun. No, that is not the rambling of a video game designer. That is the desire of the UK’s Ministry of Defence.

Neither Popular Mechanics nor