- Japan plans to release more than 1 million tonnes of contaminated water from the plant in the country’s northeast into the sea after treating it, as the site reaches storage limits for the water. Although international authorities support the plan, it has sparked concern from neighbours China and South Korea and worried local fisherman and farmers. “We’re just about seeing our prices go back to normal after a big drop following the disaster, but now we will have to deal with the potential reputational damage all over again because of the release of the water,” said Hiroaki Kusano, a pear farmer and vice-leader of the local agricultural co-operative. The water is to be processed to remove radioactive contamination other than from tritium, which cannot be removed. Water with the radioactive isotope diluted to one-seventh of the World Health Organization’s guidelines for drinking water will be released into the Pacific a kilometre out from the plant around spring 2023, under a government plan. Nuclear plants worldwide routinely release water containing tritium, considered the least-toxic byproduct of atomic power.
- President Bidya Devi Bhandari has expressed the confidence that the Nepal Sambat 1142 would help support further strengthen national unity by promoting mutual goodwill, tolerance and brotherhood. President recalled that Shankhadhar Sakhwa introduced the Nepal Sambat by relieving the farmers and poor people of the Kathmandu Valley off debt during the rule of Lichchhavi King Raghavdev. Stating that Sakhwa gave priority to agriculture, the President has expressed the confidence that the welfare and philanthropic works of Sakhwa would inspire all of us to remain active for society’s interest and progress in a selfless manner. Our festivals and such good traditions have made our society further strong, according to the President.
- Jakarta. There have been growing protests among Indonesian airlines and passengers against the PCR test requirement because it’s both costly and slow in delivering a result. President Joko Widodo has earlier decided to cut the ceiling PCR test tariff to around $21 but public objection still persists. The preferred option is a cheaper and quicker antibody test called antigen. The number of domestic air passengers soared by 84 percent to 2 million in September when the government began to ease travel restrictions, in comparison to the previous month, the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) announced on Monday.
- A monoclonal “antibody cocktail” drug developed by U.S. firm Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. obtained fast-track approval from the Japanese health ministry on Friday for use as a post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent the spread of the coronavrius within households and for the treatment of asymptomatic CVD patients. But the drug is no substitute for the CVD vacc, the health ministry said.
- Danish transport giant Maersk, Denmark’s largest company and the world’s biggest container shipping operator, is to introduce a requirement for its staff to be vaccinated against CVD to be able to work from the company’s offices. As Maersk CEO Søren Skou told the newspaper Berlingske, the requirement will be introduced “within the next three months”. Maersk is the first major Danish company to apply a vaccination mandate. Maersk is keen to help in locations where it is harder to get staff to accept vaccination – in compliance with local laws and trade union agreements. ‘Invasive and really violent’, Danish Trade Unions claimed.
- Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had a throwback Thursday – literally – recalling the day when then-FBI Director James Comey decided to reopen the investigation into her infamous e-mails. She walked down memory lane during a Thursday promotional event for the memoir “Both/And” penned by her aide Huma Abedin. The FBI’s 2016 decision followed the confiscation of a laptop belonging to Abedin’s then-husband, Anthony Weiner, a former American politician and convicted sex offender. As part of the probe into the contents of the laptop – particularly Weiner’s sexting with a high school student – the bureau had discovered a plethora of e-mails exchanged between Clinton and Abedin. Abedin’s memoir titled “Both/And” was released on 2 November, with the publisher describing the tome as grappling with “family, legacy, identity, faith, marriage, motherhood—and work—with wisdom, sophistication, and clarity”.
- The United States has secured millions of doses of Pfizer’s experimental anti-viral pill for CVD, Joe Biden announced on Friday. “If authorised by the FDA we may soon have pills that treat the virus in those who become infected. We’ve already secured millions of doses. The therapy would be another tool in our toolbox to protect people from the worst outcomes of CVD”.
- On 24 November, NASA will launch the first spacecraft designed to collide with an asteroid and help test technologies preventing space catastrophes. The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission is set to hit the smaller asteroid of the two-asteroid system Didymos and change its trajectory through kinetic impact. The diameter of the smaller asteroid, known as Dimporphos, is about 160 metres (530 feet) while the larger one is about 780 metres; they pose no threat to Earth. The size of the DART is hundreds of times smaller than Dimorphos and will hit it at a speed of 24,000 kilometres per hour (14,900 miles per hour). However, the collision doesn’t aim to fully destroy the asteroid, but to slightly change its orbit, within one degree, according to DART coordination lead Nancy Chabot. DART will be launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in the US state of California.
- Boeing has agreed to pay about $225 million to settle a shareholder lawsuit that claimed the company’s directors failed to monitor safety issues related to the crashes of two 737 MAX planes, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing informed sources. According to The Wall Street Journal, the agreement does not mean that Boeing’s directors pleaded guilty. Two Boeing 737 MAX passenger airlines crashed, one in Indonesia in October 2018 and another in Ethiopia in March 2019, killing a combined 346 people. The use of the 737 MAX was suspended worldwide. Boeing admitted that in both cases, there was a malfunction in the manoeuverability enhancement system before the planes crashed.
- A new large-scale project for climate-friendly aviation fuel is planned for launch in the Swedish town of Forsmark in Uppland County north of Stockholm. Carbon dioxide will be captured from a local combined heat-and-power plant in Uppsala and mixed with hydrogen gas, produced from fossil-free electricity. The arising ethanol will subsequently be converted into aviation fuel. The parties involved – airline SAS, energy giants Vattenfall and Shell, and carbon recycling company Lanzatech – have described the project as very exciting and promising. “It’s like mimicking photosynthesis, but a bit the other way around”, Vattenfall strategy manager Andreas Regnell told national broadcaster SVT.
- The National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Benin Zonal Command, says it has rescued about 96 victims of human trafficking in the zone. Mrs Chidiebere Oruruo-Ifudu, Zonal Commander of the zone, comprising Edo and Delta States, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin, on Friday. “Many innocent Nigerian youths have been lured away by human traffickers under the guise of helping them get abroad. The victims either die before they get to their desired destination, or become victims of organ harvesting.”
- Berlin police discovered the body of the unnamed 35-year-old Russian diplomat on the sidewalk in front of the embassy complex in Berlin on Oct. 19 at around 7.20 a.m. (0620GMT), weekly news magazine Der Spiegel reported. The man fell from an upper floor of the embassy building located in Berlin’s Mitte district, according to the report. Reacting to the deadly incident, Foreign Ministry’s deputy spokesman Christofer Burger told journalists in Berlin he was aware of the case but he could not say anything, citing privacy reasons. According to an official list of diplomats, the diplomat had been accredited as the embassy’s second secretary in Berlin since summer 2019. German security authorities, however, regarded him as an undercover employee of the Russian domestic intelligence agency FSB (Federal Security Service).
News Burst 6 November 2021