News Burst 15 August 2021 – Get The News! ~ August 15, 2021

  • A Western Sydney official has compared the latest anti-Covid measures imposed on his area by the New South Wales (NSW) state government to the times of Nazi Germany. His comment, since removed, caused a rumpus on social media. Mayor Steve Christou, of Cumberland City Council, tweeted an official graphic illustrating new lockdown rules on Friday. Having posted the image that warned residents of the mandate that requires them to have a permit to leave the region and to register their personal details to be allowed to visit a “singles buddy” within a five-kilometer (three-mile) reach, he wrote: “Welcome to Nazi Germany.” The comment from the councilor, who describes himself as having “a tendency to speak what I think,” was later deleted.
  • Molly Montgomery, deputy assistant secretary for European and Eurasian affairs, expressed apprehension about the end of the United States’ nearly 20-year occupation of Afghanistan, claiming that the withdrawal would have devastating consequences for Afghan women and girls. “Woke up with a heavy heart, thinking about all the Afghan women and girls I worked with during my time in Kabul,” Montgomery tweeted on Friday. “They were the beneficiaries of many of the gains we made, and now they stand to lose everything. We empowered them to lead, and now we are powerless to protect them.” The message was deleted shortly after it was posted.
  • Opposition to France’s compulsory vaccine regime and its so-called health pass has sparked another weekend of protests across the country. Thousands of demonstrators marched through the French capital on Saturday as riot police clad in helmets and body armor tagged along. The vast majority of protesters appear to have been peaceful, although several isolated incidents were observed in which police deployed pepper spray.
  • Apple has unveiled limits to its new scanner looking for child abuse content after the technology was criticised for possible violations of user privacy. The company will allow the “neuraMatch” software, designed to detect Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) to scan photos uploaded to the iCloud by US users. If a case of child sexual abuse imagery is confirmed, the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) will be notified of the user’s account. Many, however, were quick to claim that the system could be expanded to scan for images unrelated to child abuse, something that could ride roughshod over the privacy of Apple users.
  • After seven days of locking, Twitter on Saturday restored the restricted features of Congress MP Rahul Gandhi’s account, so now the politician is able again to react to tweets, interact on direct messages as well as post fresh tweets from his handle. In a bid to get his account unlocked, Gandhi submitted to Twitter a copy of a formal consent letter from the people depicted in the image whose publication prompted his account to be restricted, asking the platform to make his account functional again.
  • In a move that was embarrassing for both the government and the opposition, the Swedish military has put an end to the debate surrounding the fate of its Afghan personnel amid the Taliban’s recent advances by stressing that it hasn’t used any local interpreters in the war-torn country since 2014, the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet reported. Earlier, the Swedish government came under fire from the opposition for failing to evacuate and provide asylum to the Afghan interpreters who have worked for the Swedish forces.
  • The new multi-functional space laboratory module Nauka was docked with the International Space Station (ISS), a source in the rocket and space industry said on Friday. Nauka docked with the ISS on 29 July after 14 years of waiting on the Earth and eight days of orbital flight. This is the first Russian module sent to the station in 11 years. The module was originally scheduled to go into orbit in 2007, but the launch was postponed multiple times for various reasons.
  • The Indonesian Air Force scrambled on Wednesday to stem the fallout from a viral video showing the mistreatment of a deaf Papuan man by two of its members. “[The incident] happened solely because of the fault of our members, and there was no particular motive whatsoever, let alone an official order,” the Air Force chief of staff, Air Chief Marshal Fadjar Prasetyo, said in a video on Tuesday. The video, which has been widely circulated on social media, has triggered another debate about systematic racism against native Papuans.
  • Accused sex-trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell has lost a bid to have her case dropped, after her lawyers argued she should be released from prison because – like Bill Cosby – she was covered by a 2007 immunity deal struck by dead pedophile Jeffrey Epstein with federal prosecutors in Florida. U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan rejected Maxwell’s arguments that prosecutors waited too long to charge her with sex trafficking between 2001 and 2004, saying Congress’s 2006 elimination of the statute of limitations applied retroactively. – Reuters
  • Martha’s Vineyard is experiencing a four-month high in Covid cases, after 74 people tested positive following former President Barack Obama’s ‘scaled down’ 60th birthday party last Saturday. Local health officials say it’s too early to tell whether the spike in cases are linked to the hundreds of maskless guests and (masked) workers at Obama’s birthday, while the former president says he held his guests and staff to a ‘high standard’ regarding vaccinations, and attendees were required to submit negative Covid tests prior to entry.
  • A former president flying half the world’s celebrities to spend three days in a maskless ring-kissing romp at a $12 million Martha’s Vineyard mansion, at a moment when only a federal eviction ban prevented the outbreak of a national homelessness crisis, was already an all-time “F*** the Optics” news event, and that was before the curveball. Because of what even the New York Times called “growing concerns” over how gross the mega-party looked, not least for the Joe Biden administration burdened with asking the nation for sober sacrifice while his ex-boss raised the roof with movie stars in tropical shirts, advisers prevailed upon the 44th president to reconsider the bacchanal. But characteristically, hilariously, Obama didn’t cancel his party, he merely uninvited those he considered less important.
  • The demand for U.S.-grown marijuana has exploded across Mexico. Wealthy Mexicans want to be smoking the best stuff. Traditionally, weed has been illegally smuggled into the U.S. through speedboats, planes, drones, tunnels, and even slingshot devices. But the days of drug “mules” crossing the U.S.-Mexico border could be over and soon reversing. Cannabis grown in California is some of the best in the world. Mexicans are demanding California grown weed that drug dealers have been forced to source from the States, according to WaPo. They’re labeling the weed “IMPORTADO” and charging a hefty markup.
  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Wednesday he received a letter from the state’s Department of Family and Protective Services determining that genital mutilation of a child through gender transitioning surgery constitutes child abuse. Abbott had directed DFPS to issue a determination on the matter last week and the department’s commissioner Jaime Masters replied with his findings. “This surgical procedure physically alters a child’s genitalia for non-medical purposes potentially inflicting irreversible harm to children’s bodies,” he wrote. There are currently an estimated 1.4 million transgender people in the U.S. according to a study put out by the Williams Institute, a think tank at UCLA Law.
  • “Earlier this year, Baidu’s autonomous driving unit Apollo launched paid robotaxi services, that operate without a driver behind the steering wheel, in Beijing and Guangzhou,” Yahoo noted about the company’s progress thus far. Baidu has said it wants to target robotaxi services to 3 million users by 2023.
  • The Keck Observatory 2018 study sheds light on the strange birth of S0-2 and its stellar neighbors in the S-Star Cluster –a small cluster of high velocity stars that surround the pothole in eternity known as Sagittarius A, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. The fact that these stars exist so close to the supermassive black hole is unusual because they are so young; how they could’ve formed in such a hostile environment is a mystery. “S0-2 is a very special and puzzling star,” said Chu of the star that every 16 years orbits 11 billion miles from Sagittarius A. “We don’t typically see young, hot stars like S0-2 form so close to a supermassive black hole. This means that S0-2 must have formed in a different way.”

News Burst 15 August 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!

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