- The Pentagon is using an Air Force base in Texas to fly illegal migrants on passenger planes for “resettlement” across the United States, Fox News host Tucker Carlson has revealed. “This show has confirmed that the Biden administration has enlisted the US military to move illegal immigrants secretly around our country”, Carlson said, citing an internal email sent in the Laughlin Air Force Base that he obtained. The news anchor showed off the email sent by Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Burrows, who was stationed at the Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas, in which Burrows explained the situation to his subordinates.
- The European Court of Justice has issued a ruling on two cases brought by Muslim women in Germany: they were suspended from their jobs – one at a childcare centre in Hamburg and another at the Mueller drugstore chain. Neither of the women wore headscarves when they started their jobs but decided to put them on after coming back from parental leave. “A prohibition on wearing any visible form of expression of political, philosophical, or religious beliefs in the workplace may be justified by the employer’s need to present a neutral image towards customers or to prevent social disputes”, the court stated. The hijab remains one of the most controversial issues for Muslims in Europe, as over the past several years some EU countries have prohibited wearing them in schools, and banned being photographed in them for documents.
- Police are probing Scotland’s ruling Scottish National Party (SNP) for alleged fraud over £600,000 in missing donations to an independence campaign fund. A formal complaint was filed in April by an unnamed independence activist said to be angry at the separatist party’s failure to account for the money. The SNP has now raised over £666,000 since 2017 from supporters for independence campaigns, but has conceded that only £57,000 was spent on campaigning on its promise for a repeat of the 2014 independence referendum that it lost, 55 to 45 percent.
- A UK House of Commons committee has called for a ban on all new long-term detentions of autistic people and individuals with learning disabilities, except admissions for forensic cases. The report also referred to the “fatal misunderstanding” that autistic people at inpatient facilities are treated as if their conditions are illnesses, not a fundamental part of their identity. The MPs pointed to a “shocking” six-year average stay of autistic people in assessment and treatment units, which should be closed in the next few years amid the “immediate action on the use of restrictive practices by staff”. The lawmakers stressed that some descriptions of the use of physical restraint and long-term segregation at in-patient facilities are not “worthy of a 21st century healthcare system”. According to them, bespoke community care should be offered instead of individuals being detained in hospitals.
- A man from Brighton on the south coast of England, whose two sons were killed fighting in Syria, has been charged with terrorist offences. Abu Bakr Deghayes, 53, from Saltdean, has been charged with encouraging the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism under Section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006.
Mr Deghayes’ brother Omar was held at Guantanamo Bay between 2002 and 2007 after being detained in Pakistan shortly after the Taliban were ousted in Afghanistan. Superintendent Rachel Swinney, of Sussex Police, said: “This operation demonstrates that we, along with our partners in CTPSE take seriously reports of all forms of toxic ideology which has the potential to divide our communities and threaten the safety of our people.”
- The US’ Federal Bureau of Investigations issued an alert about scams involving the sale of falsified vaccination cards, warning that offending individuals would be subjected to applicable laws: 20 years behind bars on the wire fraud charge and five years on the false statements offense. However, both charges carry a maximum $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.
- When in bloom, unique kinds of single-celled algae stains massive stretches of water along the southwest coast of Florida in blood red. The microorganisms are poisonous to marine inhabitants because of deadly toxins that affect the nervous system of aquatic animals. Early flowering of toxic algae blooms has killed hundreds tons of fish in the Tampa Bay area, in the US state of Florida. Local services have already cleared an estimated 600 tons of dead marine inhabitants and more is expected, NPR has reported, citing officials.
- The United States is evaluating maritime surveillance technology in support of Coast Guard efforts to protect its maritime borders and commercially navigable waterways, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said in a press release. The effort is reportedly in support of the US Coast Guard’s mission of protecting the more than 95,000 miles of maritime border shoreline and 15,000 miles of waterways, seaports, and other commercially navigable waters, according to the release.
- India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India, on Wednesday said that American Mastercard was forbidden to issue new cards from 22 July since it had not complied with local data-storage rules. Under data-storage rules, payments firms are required to store all Indian transaction data within servers in the country. This data includes end-to-end transaction details, information collected, carried and processed as part of the message. American firms claim that storing data at a local server will increase their infrastructure costs and impinge on their global fraud detection platforms.
- Pure cocaine fell through someone’s roof after being dropped by a plane in a botched drug drop —and now the pilot is in police custody. In March, Francesco Rizzo, the pilot, who is a flight instructor from Rome, Italy, tried to make the 8kg drop to a contact in Sardinia. The drug trafficker used a South American narcos technique for drug delivery. According to the Daily Mail, Rizzo flew his Cessna propeller plane at a low enough altitude as he dropped the canvas bag near Baratici San Pietro, a small village. However, the plan didn’t go smoothly.
- Round diamonds that weighed a total of 350,000 carats (70 kilogrammes or roughly 154 pounds) and worth around $140 million have vanished from repositories of the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) and Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), the website New Zimbabwe has reported. In a recently issued 2019 report by Auditor-General Mildred Chiri, neither of the entities are able to locate the gems that should have been in their vaults. At the same time, the report suggested there were serious diamond stock reconciliation loopholes, providing vast opportunities for looting.
- Hong Kong action movie Legend Jackie Chan, has pulled yet another “stunt” by saying that he is eager to join the ruling Communist Party of China. The actor made the remark at a symposium in Beijing, where he was welcomed to share his thoughts on Xi Jinping’s keynote speech dedicated to the the CPC’s centennial. The prolific actor who starred in more than 150 movies throughout his lengthy career previously threw his weight behind China’s official policies, controversially saying he feels that “Chinese people need to be controlled”.
- Cuba is considering moving from fixed toward fluctuating salaries at state enterprises, Economy Minister Alejandro Gil Fernandez announced on Thursday. “We have reached an agreement in the government to introduce an unprecedented measure – to abandon the fixed salary scale at state enterprises”, the minister said as aired by Cuban broadcasters. The measure will not concern all companies at an early stage, but it will allow them to manage the wage bill more efficiently and reward the most productive employees. The introduction of the said measures is set for the second half of 2021, he elaborated.
- Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has been hospitalised to investigate the cause of an unrelenting bout of hiccups, according to a note from the president’s office, released by the G1 Globo news portal. The president will remain under medical observation for up to 48 hours, the note said, adding that he was “in good spirits and doing well”. Bolsonaro previously complained about hiccups, which he attributed to drugs he had been prescribed after undergoing dental surgery on 3 July.
- The US Fish and Wildlife Service reportedly started referring to Asian Carp as Invasive Carp in April, according to AP, while the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee will change its name on August 2. In the US, Asian Carp typically refers to four species of the fish: Grass Carp, Silver Carp, Bighead Carp, and Black Carp. US Fish and Wildlife Service Great Lakes regional director, Charlie Wooley, claimed the agency “wanted to move away from any terms that cast Asian culture and people in a negative light,” as cases of anti-Asian hate attacks continue to make the news in the US. Song Qian, an environmental sciences associate professor at the University of Toledo, also warned that “if you say it’s invasive, bad and needs to be eradicated, even though it’s because of miscommunication, that’s why there’s talk about cultural insensitivity.”
News Burst 16 July 2021