News Burst 18 August 2021 – Get The News! ~ August 18, 2021

  • Afghanistan has been described as the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,” after geologists discovered enormous deposits of the natural resource estimated to be worth at least $1 trillion. “The Taliban is now sitting on some of the most important strategic minerals in the world,” said Rod Schoonover from the Center for Strategic Risks, a Washington think tank, told the Quartz. And the nation’s minerals might be already attracting some big players. “China and Russia are already retaining diplomatic ties with the Taliban,”and “will almost certainly do business with the new regime” the Quartz says. Experts note, “As long as there are safer and more reliable sources elsewhere, full utilization of Afghan minerals is likely to remain slow.”
  • On July 28, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a high-profile official meeting with a delegation of nine Afghan Taliban representatives, including the group’s co-founder and deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. This was not the first visit by Taliban members to China, but the meeting was unprecedented in its publicity, the seniority of the Chinese attendees, and the political messages conveyed. Most notably, Wang used the meeting to publicly recognize the Taliban as a legitimate political force in Afghanistan, a step that has major significance for the country’s future development.
  • Bob Dylan sexually abused a 12-year-old girl at his Chelsea Hotel apartment in 1965 when he was around 24 years old, a new lawsuit alleges. The Manhattan Supreme Court civil complaint, filed Friday night by a woman identified in court papers as J.C., claims that she was “a victim of one or more criminal sex acts.”
  • Around 4,000 British nationals and Afghans eligible to claim refuge in the UK are trying to flee Kabul. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace who is himself a former soldier, could not hide his dismay and struggled to fight back the tears during a radio interview when discussing the issue. Indeed, he admitted that “some people will be left behind,” before choking at the thought of leaving these people to face the grisly consequences.
  • Three Luftwaffe Airbus A440M transport planes took off from Wunstorf, in Germany, on Monday, bound for Kabul. Carrying paratroopers for security, the aircraft were set to evacuate German diplomats and citizens stranded in Afghanistan following the Taliban’s swift takeover of the country. However, Kabul airport was overrun with crowds of Afghans desperately attempting to hitch a ride out of the country on American military aircraft, or one of the few grounded commercial planes remaining on the tarmac. As a result, the first of the German planes was unable to land, Lieutenant General Markus Laubenthal told broadcaster ZDF.
  • If Monday marked the Taliban’s first day officially in control of the entirety of Afghanistan after conquering almost the entire country with very little resistance from the Afghan National Army (which had 4x the number of troops, yet deserted en masse after their American overseers left), then Tuesday represents the start of Taliban control, and what we’re seeing is hardly a surprise: the Taliban is taking steps to burnish its international reputation while continuing with its traditionally brutal practices (summary executions, burkas for women etc). The Taliban has vowed there will be no reprisal killings, and issued an amnesty for government officials (as it had promised). However, reports surfaced on social media claiming that people were being arrested and executed outside of the capital.
  • A British student flew into the war-torn country, to “goof off and soak in the sun.” When Miles Routledge touched down in Afghanistan on Friday, he made a 4chan post joking that the country seemed “safer than London.” The 22-year-old Loughborough University student posted pictures of the dirt-cheap food on offer, and described pleasant interactions with locals – albeit to the sound of what he said were “bombs” exploding nearby.
  • Amazon founder turned billionaire space enthusiast Jeff Bezos is suing NASA, charging the US space agency wrongly evaluated its proposal for the Project Artemis Moon lander, unfairly awarding the contract to competitor SpaceX. Blue Origin filed its suit with the US Court of Federal Claims under a protective order on Monday The company’s lawyers describe it as a challenge to NASA’s “unlawful and improper evaluation of proposals submitted” under the Project Artemis call for submissions.
  • Finnish President Sauli Niinistö sees the Taliban’s rapid conquest of Afghanistan as a sign of failure on the part of the West, which did not succeed in building a democratic government and a democratic society in the country. “The lesson we must learn from this is that it is quite difficult to introduce a completely new social structure and social thinking to another place. It takes many generations”, Niinistö said in an interview with national broadcaster Yle.
  • Russia earlier suggested to NATO that an algorithm be created for interaction on Afghanistan in case of evacuation in crisis situations, but the alliance showed no interest, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said. “We suggested to NATO members creating an algorithm for interaction in rescue, assistance, evacuation in crisis situations. There was no interest, just as in proposals to establish dialogue and interaction between NATO and the Collective Security Treaty Organization on Afghan affairs,” Grushko said.
  • State media in China have quietly scrubbed reports of an alleged Swiss biologist criticizing the United States’ efforts to investigate the origins of the pandemic, after Switzerland’s embassy in Beijing said the biologist was unlikely to be a real person, according to their records. Swiss diplomats began searching for the biologist, named Wilson Edwards, after his name dominated Chinese state-backed media reports at the end of July. According to Chinese social media chatter and state media reports, the researcher allegedly suffered “intimidation” from the United States for supporting the World Health Organization’s (WHO) investigation into the origins of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Virus.
  • In 2017, astronomers used the light-warping effects of gravity to spot a massive object OGLE-2016-BLG-1190Lb using NASA’s infrared Spitzer Space Telescope, 13 times the mass of Jupiter and orbits a star about 22,000 light years away. This discovery of an absolutely massive planet residing in our galaxy’s “bulge” has scientists struggling to explain if it’s a huge unknown planet or a failed star. The object’s unusual mass suggests it may be a brown dwarf, sometimes called a “failed stars,” an objects so massive that it generates heat, though only in the range of about 300 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, but not massive enough to sustain the nuclear fusion that powers main sequence stars.
  • China Molybdenum (CMOC) is planning to invest as U.S. $2.51 billion to further augment output from its Tenke Fungurume copper and cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Reuters reported, citing the company’s announcement.
  • A proposed Senate bill could end Apple and Google’s dominance of the global app market, worth a reported $110bn in 2020 revenue, by allowing users to bypass the Big Tech pair’s stores. Apple doesn’t allow the process – known as sideloading – claiming it would “expose users to serious security risks”, while both reportedly take between 15-30% of all transactions in what Tesla CEO Elon Musk has branded a “global tax on the internet”.
  • The CEOs of American, Delta, and Southwest Airlines have said that they will not mandate COVID-19 vaccines for employees, setting themselves apart from major US competitors.
  • More evidence of Japanese troops’ atrocities of germ warfare during World War II has been made public, as confessions of a commander of the Japanese germ warfare unit to the US after the war were released in Northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province. The confession was written by Masaji Kitano, the second commander of Japanese Army Unit 731, when he was interrogated by investigators from the US’ Fort Detrick military biological labs, after he was extradited by the US from a prison in Shanghai to Japan in 1946. The confession reveals the Japanese military’s crimes against humanity when it invaded China. Benefiting from the material from Unit 731, the US Army was able to accelerate its research and development of biological weapons at Fort Detrick.
  • Report that the Taliban found 600 brand new American made sophisticated drones worth 3.5M each! The Qatar base tv channel AlJazeera reported that the drones were supplied to the Afghan army by the UAE.

News Burst 18 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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