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News Burst 6 June 2020
- Alleged members of the Gulf Cartel and Jalisco New Generation Cartel distributed aid in Mexico over the weekend. Considered the most powerful cartel in Mexico, Jalisco New Generation Cartel visited eight different towns in the state of San Luis Potosí to provide aid. In recent days, videos and photos were disseminated across social media channels, showing alleged members of the Gulf Cartel and Jalisco New Generation Cartel handing out boxes and plastic bags filled with supplies to residents in low income neighborhoods. The assistance provided by the criminal organizations comes as the poor in a nation of 126 million have clamored for help from government officials tasked with stopping the spread of the contagious virus which has set back the local economy. But now they must said “Thank you mr. El Mencho.” Mexican drug trafficking cartels have made more than 60,000 people have disappeared in Mexico since the start of the country’s war on drugs in 2006, according to authorities. Around 53% of those who disappeared were between the ages of 15 and 35, and 74% were men, officials said.
- Louisiana has declared a state of emergency ahead of Tropical Storm Cristobal. The storm system weakened into a Tropical Depression Thursday, but it is expected to gradually strengthen as it moves toward the United States. Once it makes landfall, it will likely become a Tropical Storm. Tropical Storm Cristobal churns in the Caribbean, just off the eastern coast of Mexico. Cristobal is forecast to approach the Louisiana coast by Sunday evening, with winds up to 60 mph. It brought heavy rain and flooding to parts of Mexico and Central America, and now, the same is expected to happen in the U.S. Flood watches have been issued for much of Louisiana, including Baton Rouge and New Orleans, which could see up to 4 inches of rain by the weekend and into early next week.
- A giant, sprawling structure almost a mile long has been discovered at the southern tip of Mexico, with researchers saying it may represent the oldest and largest monument of the ancient Maya civilisation ever found. The site, called Aguada Fénix, is located in the state of Tabasco, at the base of the Gulf of Mexico. It’s so vast for its age, the find is making archaeologists recalibrate their timelines on the architectural capabilities of the mysterious Maya. Before now, the Maya site of Ceibal (aka Seibal) was thought to be the oldest ceremonial centre, dating back to around 950 BCE. Aguada Fénix, which measures over 1,400 metres (almost 4,600 ft) in length at its greatest extent, dates to a similar timeframe, with researchers estimating it was built between 1000 and 800 BCE – but its immense size and scope make it unlike anything found before from the period.
- As new fiscal year draws near, government’s plan to plant 50million tree saplings in 2019-20 is nowhere near its target. Government officials are confident about meeting the plantation target but they are not willing to bet on the survival of the plants. The plan, made on the occasion of International Forest Day 2019, would be supported by the budgetary backing when the government allocated a budget for a tree plantation programme. Presenting the budget in Parliament, Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada announced, “The coming fiscal year will be declared the Afforestation Year during which a plantation campaign of timber, non-timber and fruit saplings will be undertaken.” The campaign included tree plantation on vacant forest areas, reclaimed river areas, public lands and private forests.
- 26 Nepalis who were stranded in Myanmar were brought to Nepal on Friday. A Myanmar Air Force aircraft landed at Tribhuvan International Airport at around 11 am with the 26 Nepalis. Of the 26, 17 are from Bagmati Province, four each from Province 1 and Gandaki Province and one from Province 5. “They have been kept in a holding centre at Yeti Party Palace in Basundhara,” said Brigadier General Bigyan Dev Pandey, the spokesperson of the Nepal Army.
- Bolivia ordered the closure of its embassies in Nicaragua and Iran while also shuttering three federal ministries in a cost-cutting move to free up money to fight the coronavirus, President Jeanine Anez said Thursday. Former leftist president Evo Morales had established close political and economic ties with the two countries before he resigned last November following days of violent unrest. “We have nothing against those countries, noble people and brothers whom we respect and who are friends,” Anez said in a televised message in which she announced she would “close the Bolivian embassies in Iran and Nicaragua.”
- Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said his attitude towards “Black Pete”, a figure from the country’s winter holiday celebrations that has been criticized as a racist caricature, had undergone “great changes” in recent years. In a debate in parliament over anti-racism protests in the Netherlands prompted by solidarity with US demonstrations, Rutte said late on Thursday his view had changed since 2013, when he said “Black Pete is just black and I can’t do much about that” and dismissed the discussion. In the Dutch tradition, St. Nicholas brings gifts to kids accompanied by numerous “Petes”, clownish servants usually portrayed by white people in black face paint wearing frizzy wigs and red lipstick.
- The lawsuit against President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s decision to cut off the internet in Papua and West Papua during antiracism protests in the two provinces last year was meant to be a call for better policies in the future, the suit’s plaintiffs have said. The plaintiffs, which include the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI), the Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SAFEnet), the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) and the Legal Aid Institute for the Press (LBH Pers), said they hoped the government would respect the court’s ruling. The Jakarta State Administrative Court (PTUN) ruled on Wednesday that the government had unlawfully shut down the internet in the two provinces during heightened security tensions caused by waves of protests in August and September of last year.
- Argentina extended on Thursday a mandatory lockdown in Buenos Aires, the capital, and some other parts of the country until June 28, as confirmed coronavirus cases continue to rise, surpassing 20,000 earlier in the day. The three-week extension of the lockdown, which had been due to expire June 7, will impact the capital city, the province of Buenos Aires and some other areas that account for the highest concentration of confirmed infections, President Alberto Fernandez said during a press conference. The rest of the country will move to a phase of “mandatory and preventive social distancing.” The next phase will include new permissions, including outdoor exercise during certain hours in the city of Buenos Aires, which has the highest concentration of cases, officials said.
- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte renewed on Friday a threat to kill drug dealers after police seized 756 kg of methamphetamines, a haul he said proved the Southeast Asian country had become a transhipment point for narcotics. The crystal methamphetamine, with a Philippine market value that police put at 5.1 billion pesos ($102.22 million), was one of the biggest seizures since Duterte unleashed his bloody war on drugs, which has defined his presidency, in 2016. “If you destroy my country distributing 5.1 billion pesos worth of shabu … I will kill you,” Duterte said in recorded address, referring to the drugs.
- There are reports from northern Mozambique that 12 people have died, including several children, when a boat sank in the bay of Pemba. Thirty-five people survived after swimming ashore on Wednesday. But they were then apprehended by the police on suspicion that they could be recruits to an Islamist militant group that has been mounting attacks in Cabo Delgado province. A new report by the UN says displacement of Mozambique’s civilian population has risen rapidly in recent months as the jihadists have stepped up their attacks. More than 200,000 people – most of them women and children – have been forced to flee their homes since the insurgency began in 2017.
- A team of university researchers has found that the probability of scientists discovering Earth-like planets within their early stages of formation is actually higher than previously presumed. New research published in The Astrophysical Journal from scientists at the UK’s University of Sheffield noted that there are many more stars in space that are comparable to our solar system’s sun than expected in the groups of Milky Way stars the study examined, according to the school’s June 5 news release on the matter. As a result, there is a higher chance of finding “magma ocean planets” – or Earth-like planets still in their early stages of being formed from the collisions of rocks and smaller planets – than previously assumed.
- Two crew members of an Iranian cargo ship sank off the Iraqi coast Thursday night have died and two others, including an Indian national, are still missing. According to Iranian news agencies, late on Thursday the ship which was carrying a load of 850 tons capsized and sank in Khawr Abdullah Canal between Iraq and Kuwait. The accident has been attributed to bad weather as well as the age of the ship and the weight of its cargo. The five-decade-old and 500 ton Behbahan was carrying ceramic tiles and other construction materials to Iraq’s Umm Qasr Port.
Solar Cycle 25 is stirring. The latest sign of life is sunspot AR2765, now turning toward Earth in the sun’s southern hemisphere. The sunspot’s primary dark core is almost twice as wide as Earth, and it is followed by a frothy wake of magnetic turbulence stretching 70,000 miles behind the sunspot. These dimensions make it an easy target for backyard solar telescopes.
The sunspot is crackling with minor solar flares. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded this B3-class eruption at 00:01 UT on June 5th. The explosion hurled a cloud of plasma into space, but not toward Earth. Future explosions could be geoeffective, however, as the sunspot turns toward Earth this weekend. Video Player
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Tropical Storm Cristobal North of Yucatan, Mexico – Maximum Sustained Winds: 35 knots; 40 kts – 1000 hPa Moving N 11 kts Video Player
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Strongest EQ in Europe M5.0 North of Svalbard/North Pole – M4.7 Azores Islands
Strongest EQ in North America M3.8 Idaho
Strongest EQ on the Planet M5.2 Turkey
Deepest EQ M4.4 524 km Fiji News Burst 6 June 2020