News Burst 23 May 2020 – Live Feed ~ May 23, 2020

News Burst 23 May 2020

  • Digital Currencies Could Threaten US Geopolitical Power, Warns JPMorgan. So goes the stark warning from analysts at the U.S.’ largest bank, JPMorgan Chase in a new report. While the analysts do not anticipate the dollar losing its status as global reserve currency anytime soon, they pointed to some of the weaker links in the currency’s dominance — including in trade settlement and the SWIFT messaging system. SWIFT was notably a key lever in imposing sanctions on the Iranian regime, falling into line with the U.S. administration and suspending access for Iranian banks back in 2018. This caused tension with the European bloc, where finance ministers had attempted — and ultimately failed — to exempt the cross-border payments network from the restrictions. Some contend the SWIFT suspension violated European Union laws. Were countries able to circumvent SWIFT, JPMorgan notes, the United States would find itself less able to achieve its geopolitical strategic goals, which in part relies upon the greenback’s global dominance.
  • Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, American leftists have been repeatedly caught parroting the rhetoric of the CCP as they decried President Trump’s use of the term “Chinese Virus” as racist. Democrats have taken a distinctly “soft on China” tack, in opposition to President Trump’s increasing hawkishness, even going so far as to side with the CCP (which, remember, just put 1 million+ Muslims into concentration camps) over the White House, as the National Review pointed out in a recent article. One of the most galling examples of this phenomenon to date occurred Thursday, when former Obama-era ambassador and noted Sinophile Max Baucus, also a former Democratic Senator from Montana, compared President Trump to Hitler during an appearance in the Chinese press.
  • Washington State Loses “Hundreds Of Millions” To Nigerian Fraud Scheme Washington state officials admitted losing “hundreds of millions of dollars” to an international fraud scheme, originating out of Nigeria, that robbed the state’s unemployment insurance system and could mean even longer delays for thousands of jobless workers still waiting for legitimate benefits. Suzi LeVine, commissioner of the state Employment Security Department (ESD), disclosed the staggering losses during a news conference Thursday afternoon. She conceded that the amount was “orders of magnitude above” the $1.6 million that ESD reported losing to fraudsters in April. Thursday’s disclosure helped explain the unusual surge in the number of new jobless claims filed last week in Washington, which as we showed this morning was the state with the highest weekly increase in claims. The ESD disclosed that it had seen a surge in bogus claims reportedly filed by identity thieves who appeared to be targeting the extra-generous benefits available under federal pandemic relief legislation. That same day, the Secret Service issued an alert describing Washington as the top target so far of a Nigerian fraud ring “exploiting the COVID-19 crisis to commit large-scale fraud against state unemployment insurance programs.” It remains unclear how the fraudulent benefit payments made their way all the way to Nigeria.
  • New York City has recorded 58 days without a pedestrian traffic death, the longest stretch since the city started tracking the numbers in 1983.
  • After dragging his feet on marijuana legalization for years (one of the biggest complaints of Cuomo’s progressive critics is that after becoming one of the first states to approve medical marijuana, NY has basically given up on reform in that area), it looks like legalization is back on the agenda. $$$
  • A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight en route from Lahore has crashed near Karachi airport. The aircraft, with almost 100 people on board, hit a residential district. The plane crashed in the populated Model Colony area located on the outskirts of the city, approximately two kilometers from Jinnah International Airport.It is not yet clear how many fatalities there were among those affected on the ground, but rescue workers said around 15-20 have been helped out from under rubble.
  • The German government has announced that people arriving in Germany from Finland are no longer required to observe a mandatory two-week quarantine. The decision comes as a number of EU countries prepare to relax travel restrictions in anticipation of the summer tourist season.
  • Researchers at the university of Helsinki have begun trials exploring the use of trained sniffer dogs to detect instances of coronavirus infection in the general population. It is hoped that the method will prove more effective than current testing tools. The University’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine has joined forces with the Faculty of Medicine to measure how effectively trained dogs are able to distinguish urine samples from infected people from those who do not have the virus. Similar trials have already begun in the UK, USA, and Hong Kong, among others. Early results have suggested that dogs are able to quickly and effectively detect the presence of COVID-19. Given mounting evidence that existing tests are far from 100% effective, health authorities around the world are looking to alternative testing methods.
  • Since US domestic passenger carriers began operating some aircraft in cargo-only mode two months ago, they have been largely restricted to loading freight in the lower hold where baggage and shipments normally ride. On Thursday, the Federal Aviation Administration issued an exemption allowing airlines to carry cargo on seats. Airlines had requested a two year break from existing regulations, but the FAA said the exemption is only valid through the end of 2020.
  • As China took the first step to impose a new national security law on Hong Kong, international opposition grew Friday, with the foreign ministers of Britain, Australia and Canada issuing a joint statement of alarm about the move and the European Union calling for the need to preserve the city’s high degree of autonomy.
  • Greater Jakarta, with more than 30 million people, sends more than 14,000 tons of waste to eight landfills every day. To put it into perspective, the waste that Greater Jakarta has produced in the past three years could fill up Jakarta’s tallest skyscraper, the 310-meter-tall Gama Tower. The gigantic flow of trash, coupled with poor waste management, has brought the metropolitan area into a crisis. Some of the landfills are already overloaded or face the risk of becoming overloaded. Soon, Greater Jakarta residents will run out of places to dump waste.

Sun Activity

Sunspot number: 0
Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 20 days
2020 total: 111 days (78%)
2019 total: 281 days (77%)

2018 total: 221 days (61%)
2017 total: 104 days (28%)
2016 total: 32 days (9%)
2015 total: 0 days (0%)
2014 total: 1 day (<1%)
2013 total: 0 days (0%)
2012 total: 0 days (0%)
2011 total: 2 days (<1%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
2008 total: 268 days (73%)
2007 total: 152 days (42%)
2006 total: 70 days (19%)

Active Weather

The weather forecaster missed completely the forecast, now they can luckily blame the AI models for their incompetence. The Tropical Cyclone Mangga never become so, probably it did not even rain…

Strongest EQ in Europe M5.1 Crete, Greece
Strongest EQ in North America M5.3 Nevada
2nd Strongest EQ on the Planet M6.1 Mexico
Deepest EQ M4.3 207 km Afghanistan News Burst 23 May 2020

About cindyloucbp

Cynthia is the typical Pisces! Her left brain activities include scientific activities in the hospital laboratory as a director. Her right-brain activites show as a painter, photographer and musician. She is known as the scientist who sings!
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