News Burst 27 July 2021 – Get The News! July 26, 2021

  • British finance minister told the Bank of England on Monday to look at the case for a new “Britcoin”, or central bank-backed digital currency, aimed at tackling some of the challenges posed by cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. A BoE-backed digital version of sterling would potentially allow businesses and consumers to hold accounts directly with the bank and to sidestep others when making payments, upending the lenders’ role in the financial system. “We’re launching a new taskforce between the Treasury and the Bank of England to coordinate exploratory work on a potential central bank digital currency (CBDC),” British finance minister told a financial industry conference.
  • The biggest US tech companies, including Facebook and Microsoft, have said that they will extend the type of extremist content they are sharing with the database of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, Reuters reported on Monday. In the next few months, they will add manifestos from anarchist groups, as well as other publications flagged by the UN Initiative Tech Against Terrorism, to the database. “Anyone looking at the terrorism or extremism landscape has to appreciate that there are other parts…that are demanding attention right now,” the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism’s Executive Director Nicholas Rasmussen told Reuters.
  • London has introduced sanctions against Teodoro Obiang Mangue, Equatorial Guinea’s First Vice President and the son of the country’s president. The UK accuses Obiang of misappropriating millions of dollars on his luxury life style. Equatorial Guinea announced on Monday that it will be closing down its UK embassy after Britain sanctioned the son of the country’s president on Thursday. “The first decision that the government has taken is the total closure of our diplomatic mission in London,” Foreign Minister Simeon Oyono Esono told the state’s broadcaster TVGE. The foreign minister added that Equatorial Guinea will not accept “interference into the country’s internal affairs” that “violate the principle of international law”.
  • Jordan’s King Abdullah II has alleged that his country has been attacked by Iranian-made drones. “Unfortunately, Jordan has been attacked by drones that have come out that are Iranian signature that we have to deal with,” Abdullah II said, speaking to CNN on Sunday. The king did not provide any additional information, such as who was using the drones or what they targeted, but went on to urge Amman’s American allies to discuss a range of security matters with Iran.
  • Norway’s female beach handball team opted to wear shorts instead of bikini bottoms during a recent European championship match in Bulgaria and was fined for it. The fine amounted to 1,500 euros (150 euros per player), with the European Handball Federation (EHF) saying in a statement that its disciplinary commission had dealt with “a case of improper clothing” in the bronze medal match between Norway and Spain – which the Spanish team won. The EHF also stated that the shorts were “not according to the Athlete Uniform Regulations defined in the IHF Beach Handball Rules of the Game”, with Reuters pointing out that, as per the current Beach Handball’s rules, women are supposed to wear bikini tops and bottoms while men should wear tank tops and shorts.
  • Despite the deal made by Britain and France last year, which allowed a greater package of cutting-edge surveillance technology, the use of drones won’t be allowed in France. According to a ruling by France’s National Commission on Informatics and Liberty (CNIL), the government might have breached migrants’ privacy by using drones.
  • The head of Greenpeace Russia’s wildfire unit, Grigory Kuksin, has apologised for his recent comments in which he blamed forest fires in Siberia on certain social practices of the Yakut people. Kuksin stated that “Yakuts who do not put out campfires are a hazard of its own,” citing the Siberian people’s folk belief that doing so would enrage fire spirits. “I apologise if somebody was offended by my comments about the Yakuts and campfires.” Kuksin wrote on Facebook.
  • A hollow axe, which archaeologists believe may date back to the Bronze Age, has been found at a depth of 12 metres of the coast of Arendal in southern Norway. The hollow axe, also known as the celt, was the dominant type of axe in the Nordic Bronze Age (1800-500 BC). The hollow axe was attached to an angled wooden shaft inserted into the opening at the end of the axe. This construction provided a functional axe with minimal use of the precious metal.
  • A report by Amnesty International claims that Pegasus spyware was used to unlawfully snoop on over 50,000 people around the world. According to reports published by a media consortium, the ‘Pegasus’ spyware was used by a client of Israeli firm NSO to snoop on 300 Indian phone numbers, including journalists, politicians, government officials, activists and bureaucrats.
  • Thanks to the daughter of a former exotic dancer, a prominent strip club that previously tempted tourists off the main highway going into Anchorage is now a church for soul redemption, rather than the temptation of a mortal body. “This church came about because I prayed for five years,” Dunegan, who was born in Vietnam and arrived in the US in 1975, said. In the early 1980s, she and her mother came to Anchorage, where her mother first went to work as a waitress and then moved to exotic dancing in various bars to make ends meet. According to the report, Dunegan explained that she had attempted to purchase the building previously but had to abandon her efforts when she and the owner couldn’t come to an agreement. The owner then gave a real estate agent a week to sell the building and advised the agent to contact Dunegan, and that’s how the former site of debauchery became a future church, according to AP.
  • China is outperforming the US in terms of online money innovation, posing a threat to the dollar’s standing as the de facto monetary reserve, CNBC reported, citing researchers from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative. According to the report, a CBDC, or Central Bank Digital Currency, a regulated type of money that exists exclusively online, is being developed by around 80 countries, including China and the US. And more than a million Chinese citizens have reportedly already received their digital yuan, but the US is still primarily focused on research.
  • A shaman has been forced into a medical facility after concerns were raised about his mental health. Gabyshev is from Yakutia, an area in Siberia known for its intense winters with bone-chilling temperatures. Shamans have served in the area for centuries and played the role of healers or mystics in society. In 2019, he became known after announcing plans that he would walk from his home region to Moscow, a journey of around 7,500km, to perform the rite of “banishing” Putin, a man he called a “demon.” In the time since, he has made multiple attempts, each time being stopped by law enforcement.
  • The pipeline, which stretches through the Baltic Sea and connects the gas fields of Siberia direct-ly to Germany, is already 98% complete, with the final stretches set to be laid in August. Though White House has sought to portray the new settlement with Berlin as the final word on the matter, some American lawmakers are still pushing to see the US impose sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 project.
  • NASA announced on Friday that it had selected SpaceX to launch a planned voyage to the Jupiter’s icy moon,with its 120-mile high plumes erupting from a global ocean that lies 15 miles below a chaotic, churning surface. Europa is a rare planetary body that may have maintained volcanic activity over billions of years and that has an enormous ocean between its icy crust and a rocky interior and a long-lived source of energy. NASA’s decision represents yet another huge win for Elon Musk’s company as it sets its sights deeper into the solar system, using the Space X Falcon Heavy rocket. The main goal of the mission, called Europa Clipper, is to determine if Jupiter’s icy moon has conditions suitable for life. The project, “Earth’s first mission to conduct detailed investigations of Jupiter’s moon Europa,” will launch October 2024 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, according to a Friday statement from NASA.

By 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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