- He already owns a $5.2 million Miami Beach condo at the prestigious St. Regis Bal Harbour resort, but Daoud Wardak apparently also wants a West Coast outpost. To that end, he’s heading for Beverly Hills — records reveal the semi-mysterious businessman, who is a son of former Afghan Minister of Defense Abdul Rahim Wardak, has bought a $20.9 million mansion on a prime Trousdale Estates street.
- A turboprop plane carrying skydivers, with 22 on board, has crashed near the town of Menzelinsk in Russia’s Republic of Tatarstan on Sunday, killing 16 people and injuring six others, the local health ministry has reported. The Czech-built L-410 light aircraft, which belonged to a local aero club, hit the ground immediately after takeoff, witnesses said. The pilots had tried to steer the aircraft away from residential areas to avoid casualties on the ground, he said, adding that it had hit a parked truck with its wing before crashing.
- California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a law requiring large toy retailers to provide gender-neutral toy sections in their stores. The bill, signed into law by Newsom on Saturday, will require toy retailers and chains with more than 500 employees to display toys traditionally marketed at girls or boys together in a special area of floor space. This area can be “labeled at the discretion of the retailer,” according to the bill’s text.
- Conservatives have been up in arms over the recent report that California Governor Gavin Newsom’s 12-year-old daughter has yet to get her Covid-19 jab despite her father publicly encouraging parents to vaccinate their children even though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to fully greenlight the immunization. “Rules for thee but not for me!” one critic tweeted.
- A 16-year-old high school girl was arrested and her entire school locked down, all over her refusal to wear a face mask. Video footage captured on Thursday showed 16-year-old Grace Smith met with school officials and a police officer when she turned up at the doors of Laramie High School in Wyoming. Smith had already served two consecutive suspensions for refusing to wear a face mask in class – per school board requirements – and again attempted to enter the building unmasked. She was given a $500 citation by a police officer, then was handcuffed and arrested when she refused to voluntarily leave the school. As Smith refused to leave, a loudspeaker announcement informed students that “we are in a lockdown, please stay in your rooms.”
- British Airways has instructed its pilots to no longer address passengers as ladies and gentlemen, keeping the greetings gender-neutral instead. The change in policy has been touted as a nod to “inclusion and diversity.” The UK’s flag carrier has become the latest airline to replace the traditional greeting with a gender-neutral alternative, The Telegraph reported on Sunday. The change in policy has been made to avoid discriminating against the passengers who do not fall under either of the two categories, such as children, as well as “to respect new social norms,” the newspaper reported.
- London city councillors agreed to keep the Guildhall statues of former Lord Mayor William Beckford and merchant-cum-MP Sir John Cass, but add plaques to their plinths to explain how the men benefited from the 18th-century slave trade.
- An evening performance of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera ‘Sadko’ at the Bolshoi took a tragic turn on Saturday, when a heavy stage decoration hit a performer on the head. The accident occurred immediately after the opera began, according to several reports.
- A French teen has reportedly been arrested and fined for attempting to enter a hospital using the health pass data of President Emmanuel Macron, which had been leaked online. He said he impersonated the president “just for fun.” The 19-year-old presented Macron’s QR code at the door of a hospital in Marseille earlier this week.
- Italian sailors knew about the Americas more than 150 years before Christopher Columbus, claims Paolo Chiesa, professor of Medieval Latin Literature. Professor Chiesa says he made the discovery after transcribing and detailing an ancient chronicle, Cronica Universalis, written by an Italian monk named Galvano Fiamma. Penned around 1340, the document features an account by sailors from Columbus’ hometown Genoa of a land dubbed “Markland” inhabited by “giants”. “In this land, there are buildings with such huge slabs of stone that nobody could build with them, except huge giants. There are also green trees, animals, and a great quantity of birds”, reads the chronicle.
- A Chilean scientist, Nadac Reales, claims to have found a way to prevent environmental pollution – a metal-eating bacteria. Ms Reales has been conducting tests on extremophiles, organisms that have the ability to thrive under extreme conditions. She discovered that when starved, the bacteria goes to great lengths to feed itself. The first test showed that it took two months for a hungry extremophile to eat a nail. However, after being subjected to longer periods of starvation, the bacteria was able to devour a nail in just three days. The bacteria can be used against metals in the mining industry that cannot be recycled.
- The UK government has reportedly yet to decide on whether it should pay hefty compensation to the Taliban over the almost 20-year war in Afghanistan. The Mirror cited an unnamed Whitehall source as saying that the government doesn’t know “what they’re going to ask for yet but it could be in the billions [of pounds] across everyone involved”, in an apparent reference to the Taliban. The source added that “whether we [the government] pay it or not is a different matter”.
News Burst 11 October 2021