News Burst 28 July 2021 – Get The News! ~ July 27, 2021

  • The Iranian monthly Peivast is reporting that Iran has blocked the private encrypted messaging application Signal, ordering mobile operators to filter it from their networks. The move follows the January 14 removal of Signal from local application stores after it was reportedly deemed “criminal content” by the Islamic republic’s filtering committee.
  • The annual data on coral cover for the Great Barrier Reef, produced by the Australian Institute of Marine Science, was released on Monday showing the amount of coral on the reef is at record high levels. Record high, despite all the doom stories by our reef science and management institutions. One reason is that occasionally colossal amounts of coral are killed, mostly by cyclones, but also by the crown of thorns starfish and bleaching. So the media, with its predilection for bad news, can be fed a regular diet of doom. Our scientists are always happy to oblige. The quiet recovery is generally downplayed or ignored.
  • Shops in Saudi Arabia may now stay open during prayer times, a leading government-linked newspaper said on Friday, relaxing the kingdom’s strict rules on closing shops and businesses for prayer five times a day. It is the latest in a series of social and economic reforms intended to modernise the conservative kingdom and boost the private sector’s contribution to its oil-dependent economy. The decision, taken by the Council of Saudi Chambers, will end decades where all shops had to shut for at least half an hour during daily Muslim prayers. These are held at dawn, midday, mid-afternoon, sunset and evening. “To prevent crowding, gatherings, long waiting under preventive measures to fight coronavirus and to maintain the health of shoppers, we urge shop owners and businesses to remain open through all working hours, including prayer times,” Okaz cited a circular by the official business federation.
  • The Pegasus Project exposé has caused an outcry not only among rights organizations but also among governments and even the United Nations, as the list of potential targets included high-ranking state officials and royal figures. This ran counter to the claim of NSO Group that it sold Pegasus only to governments to be used against terrorists and criminals. Earlier this month, the media reported that Pegasus spyware, developed by Israel’s NSO Group and used by government agencies to track criminals and terrorists, was deployed by state services to hack some 50,000 private phones of activists, journalists, and opposition figures around the world.
  • U.S. just raised the travel advisory for Israel, one of the most fully vaccinated countries, to “Level 3: Reconsider Travel,” the second-highest.
  • Authorities in Haiti arrested a top official who served as general security coordinator when President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated, his attorney told The Associated Press on Monday. Jean Laguel Civil joins more than two dozen suspects arrested by Haiti National Police as the investigation continues into the July 7 attack at Moïse’s private home.
  • A total of 210 state institutions in the Iranian capital of Tehran have been disconnected from the city’s power grid because of their non-compliance with electricity consumption regulations, Iran’s state-run ISNA news agency reported on 27 July. Earlier this week, dozens of activists demonstrated at a rally in Tehran against the power cuts amid water shortages that began seven days ago in the country’s southwest, where at least four people were reportedly killed. It is Iran’s worst drought in 50 years. According to an Iranian water supply and sanitation company, out of 304 cities in the country that are suffering a water crisis, 101 cities are in the “red zone.”
  • Protests have erupted in different parts of Pakistan, as demonstrators seek justice for Noor Mukadam, the 27-year-old daughter who was beheaded last week of a former diplomat. The victim was the daughter of Pakistan’s former ambassador to South Korea and Kazakhstan, Shaukat Mukadam. She was reportedly decapitated by a man from an affluent family in Islamabad. The accused, Zahir Zamir Jaffer, the son of a prominent businessman, has reportedly been arrested.
  • Scientists have managed to gain new insight into the nature of a pulse of high-energy radiation known as a gamma-ray burst (GRB) that’s been aimed at our planet “for nearly half the present age of the universe,” SciTechDaily reports. The signal, coined GRB 200826A, was originally detected in August 2020 by NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and, according to the media outlet, turned out to be the shortest GRB “caused by the death of a massive star” ever seen. “We already knew some GRBs from massive stars could register as short GRBs, but we thought this was due to instrumental limitations,” said Bin-Bin Zhang from Nanjing University in China and the University of Nevada, who is the lead of a new study that delves into the gamma-ray data of the burst in question.
  • The history of the mysterious submerged continent Zealandia is being questioned after researchers discovered a piece of ancient supercontinent under New Zealand dating back 1.3 billion years. The study, published in the Geology journal and outlined by the National Geographic, revealed that Zealandia may be much older than previously thought, although its crust is still much younger than those of other major continents. Looking through some 169 samples from New Zealand’s South and Steward Islands that were collected by geologist Rose Turnbull and her team, the scientists separated thousands of zircon minerals for chemical analysis. They were then able to trace the parent rock that gave birth to these zircons, which surprisingly dates back over a billion years. At that time, landmasses were forming the Rodinia supercontinent, which broke up between 750–633 million years ago.
  • Burundi’s government has clamped down on what it says are unfair deals with foreign mining companies, blocking exports of high-demand rare earth metals until profits from the operation are more equitably shared with the impoverished country. “The state, which owns the soil and minerals, is not making a profit as it should,” Ibrahim Uwizeye, Burundi’s Minister of Water, Energy and Minerals, said to a group of mining firms doing business in the country in a recent letter that was recently viewed by AFP. Describing the agreements as “unbalanced,” Uwizeye wrote, “We want to renegotiate all these agreements for the benefit of the people, because these minerals must be used to finance the development of the country.”
  • Hindus made up more than 23 percent of Pakistan’s population when the country gained independence from British colonialists in 1947. Today, the community comprises just under 2 percent of the population. Forced conversions and other forms of persecution are often cited as the reasons behind the dwindling Hindu numbers. A video of a Hindu boy being forced to abuse his own religion in Pakistan’s Sindh province has once again brought to fore the problems faced by the minority community in the predominantly Muslim nation. ​”Abuse your religion… say it out loud. You people have spread dirt in Pakistan,” the abuser can be heard saying in the video.
  • Twitter on Tuesday banned several accounts linked to official 2020 election audits, including Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, Pennsylvania. What’s Twitter worried about?
  • For the first time, a Hong Kong court has convicted a protester charged under the national security law imposed on the territory by Beijing last June. Tong Ying-kit has been convicted of inciting secession and terrorism for ramming his motorcycle into a crowd of police while flying the Hong Kong “Liberation” flag (which itself has been banned by the new national security law) during a protest last July. His flag carried a message: “Liberate Hong Kong Revolution in our Times”. The maximum penalty under the national security law is life in prison, and it’s possible Tong could receive the maximum.
  • The CDC will reportedly ask some fully vaccinated Americans to once again wear face masks in certain indoor settings. The decision, made amid a surge in Covid-19 cases, dramatically reverses the organization’s earlier guidance. Two months ago, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cleared fully vaccinated Americans to return to indoor areas such as restaurants and work spaces without masks. Now, they’re ready to backpedal, according to media reports on Tuesday.
  • The Saudi government has threatened its own citizens with a three-year travel ban if they undertake trips to countries deemed unsafe by the kingdom’s authorities due to the prevalence of Covid-19: Afghanistan, Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Lebanon, Pakistan, South Africa, Turkey, Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates.
  • The Vatican released information on its real estate holdings for the first time on Saturday, revealing it owns more than 5,000 properties as part of its most detailed financial disclosures ever. The information was contained in two documents, a consolidated financial statement for 2020 for the Holy See and the first-ever public budget for the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See.

News Burst 28 July 2021

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!

1 comment

  1. Right here is the perfect website for everyone who hopes to find out about this topic. You know a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually would want to…HaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a subject which has been discussed for a long time. Great stuff, just wonderful!


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