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- Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals shut down the company’s petition for a stay on an earlier order on Tuesday, saying Apple’s rules for payments on its App Store amounted to “incipient antitrust conduct,” also accusing it of “supercompetitive commission rates resulting in extraordinarily high operating margins.” “Other than, perhaps, needing time to establish guidelines, Apple has provided no credible reason for the court to believe that the injunction would cause the professed devastation,” the judge added, referring to Apple’s argument that the changes ordered to in-app payments would cause “irreparable harm” to the company.
- Two quietly announced Microsoft 365 updates have huge implications for employees of many organizations – and will go a long way to preventing leaks of damaging material, even in cases of serious criminal conduct. Microsoft 365 – formerly Microsoft Office – is depended upon by private and public sector organizations of every ilk and size. In the US alone, upwards of 730,000 businesses utilize Excel, Outlook, Teams, Word, and the like on a daily basis. Now new “insider risk management” tools are set to radically overhaul how these resources work, although the average employee may be none the wiser. However, this update goes even further than surveilling potentially damaging activities by staff.
- The indictment of Igor Danchenko on Thursday is the latest development in the painfully slow unravelling of the conspiracy behind the Russiagate hoax. The scandal began, all accounts show, when Democratic contender Hillary Clinton’s campaign hired a private research firm, Fusion GPS, to dig up dirt on its political rival – then-Republican presidential contender Trump. Fusion GPS contracted the work out to former British MI6 agent Christopher Steele. FBI Director James Comey gave Congressional testimony in December 2018, explaining how he came to give credibility to the obviously fraudulent Steele Dossier. Comey managed to say he “can’t remember,” “can’t recall,” and “doesn’t know” no fewer than 245 times. It has also been revealed that the DNC never gave the FBI access to its servers, allegedly hacked by Russians, and instead outsourced the investigation to the private corporation CrowdStrike.
- Doctors who oppose vaccination against Covid-19 could be found criminally liable because they pose a serious threat, Russia’s health minister revealed to a parliamentary committee on Wednesday. Mikhail Murahsko also suggested that the country should take a stricter stance on vaccination as a whole, citing Singapore’s decision to refuse medical care to unvaccinated citizens as a possible inspiration for policy.
- Earlier in the day, Google won a major case in the UK, with charges that it had used the Safari browser to “illegally” track the personal information of millions of iPhone users being dismissed. However, it seems that a fine imposed on the tech giant by the European Commission will remain in force. The General Court, which is a part of the Court of Justice of the European Union, upheld a 2017 ruling of the European Commission to impose a 2.4 billion euro ($2.7 billion) fine on Google for an antitrust breach.
- Two large groups of illegal migrants have broken through from Belarus to Poland, Polish Radio Bialystok has reported. Groups of at least several dozen people broke through the fence in the area of Krynki and Bialowieza, the broadcaster said. In recent months, Poland, (as well as Latvia and Lithuania) have faced a significant increase in the number of people trying to illegally cross their borders. Warsaw accused Minsk of encouraging migrants from the Middle East and Africa to cross into the EU via Belarus. Belarusian authorities denied those accusations, saying they have no resources to suppress migration due to the sanctions imposed by the EU.
- Japan has detected its first outbreak of bird flu for the 2021 winter season, with confirmation of a case of “highly pathogenic avian influenza” at a poultry farm in the northeast of the country, the agriculture ministry said on Wednesday.About 143,000 egg-laying chickens are being exterminated at the farm in Yokote city in Akita Prefecture. China has reported 21 human infections with the H5N6 subtype of avian influenza in 2021 to the World Health Organization.Outbreaks of bird flu have also been reported in recent days and weeks in Europe with farms in Poland the latest locations for infections, totalling 650,000 poultry.
- The collapse of Evergrande, the world’s most indebted corporation, is considered the largest business default in Chinese history, and reportedly might eventually lead to a “Great Reset,” or the global financial system’s catastrophic implosion. One of the largest Chinese developers, China Evergrande Group, defaulted on interest payments to international investors for the second time on Wednesday, German Market Screening Agency (DMSA), an investor company, announced.
- The Pakistani team beat its arch-rival India for the first time on 24 October in the ongoing T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates. The loss triggered massive outrage from cricket lovers as they mocked the Indian team for its performance. India’s Mumbai Police Cyber Cell on Wednesday arrested a man from Hyderabad city for recently threatening to rape former T20 Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli’s the 10-month-old daughter. The accused has been identified as 23-year-old Ramnagesh Alibathini. He is a software engineer.
- A flotilla of NATO members is currently carrying out war drills in the area. They include Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey. Sinisterly, the naval forces of Ukraine are also involved, even though it is not a member of the military alliance. The NATO-backed Kiev regime has continually accused Russia of “aggression” and plotting to invade its territory. This week, USS Mount Whitney, the flagship of the US Navy’s Sixth Fleet, entered the Black Sea. The traffic of warships and planes is accumulating. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the buildup is an attempt to “contain” his country. That in itself is a form of aggression.
- California’s Board of Parole Hearings have recommended (for the fifth time) that Leslie Van Houten – who was a follower of the infamous Charles Manson – should be released from prison, where she is serving a life sentence. Gavin Newsom, who has been governor of California since 2019, and his predecessor Jerry Brown, have both vetoed Van Houten’s release: Newsom said she “poses an unreasonable danger to society”, citing the “extreme nature of the crime in which she was involved”. The woman, who is now 72, was a 19-year-old when she joined the genocidal cult subsequently becoming the youngest woman to be handed the death sentence in California (which was later commuted to a life term). Houten helped members of the Manson Family in the gruesome assassination of Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, back in 1969.
- Experts have called the case surrounding the Russian research ship “Akademik Ioffe”, currently detained in Denmark, a “hot-button issue” and a “hot potato”, warning of security policy implications. Prior to the arrest of the Russian research ship “Akademik Ioffe”, the Danish Defence Command made the court aware that it considered the subsequently detained vessel a state ship. According to maritime law, state ships cannot be arrested and must therefore be allowed to sail freely, Danish Radio has reported, citing court documents. Last week, the state-owned Russian research ship “Akademik Ioffe” was detained in Skagen by the court in Hjørring on behalf of a Canadian travel company due to a financial dispute. Prior to that, however, the court received a warning from the Danish military.
- Facebook will remove certain forms of targeted advertisement and expand individual advertisement control features, Facebook Vice President of Product Marketing and Ads Graham Mudd said. “Starting January 19, 2022 we will remove Detailed Targeting options that relate to topics people may perceive as sensitive, such as options referencing causes, organizations, or public figures that relate to health, race or ethnicity, political affiliation, religion, or sexual orientation,” Mudd said in a statement on Tuesday. Example topics that will be removed include health causes, sexual orientation, and religious and political matters, Mudd said.
- The US government and Moderna pharmaceutical company are embroiled in a bitter dispute over the patent rights for the central component of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, The New York Times reported citing officials familiar with the matter. The National Institute of Health (NIH) claimed that three scientists from its Vaccine Research Center have cooperated with Moderna experts to design the genetic sequence, which pushes the vaccine to build an immune response to the virus, the report said on Tuesday. The agency requires that their names should appear on the patent application. Moderna disputed those arguments and included only its own specialists as inventors of the component in the application, which the company filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office. The controversy may seriously delay the vaccine distribution in the long term and could cause billions of dollars in the future, the report added.
- Hundreds of US troops have traveled to Taiwan over the past two years for more than 100 different training programs, while an almost equal number of Taiwanese forces went to the US for the same, the Ministry of National Defense reported in its 2021 National Defense Report. According to the biennial report viewed by the South China Morning Post, nearly 2,800 US and Taiwanese troops were involved in 384 exchange programs between September 2019 and August 2021. That includes 542 Taiwanese military personnel who came to the US for 175 different programs, and 618 US troops who took part in 107 programs on the island of Taiwan. The report also notes 1,639 personnel from both militaries were involved in 102 other programs, but didn’t state where they took place.
- The Norwegian Institute of Marine Research has reported that a 4.3 km-long strategic Lofoten-Vesteralen (LoVe) offshore observatory fiber optic and electric cable network has been cut and possibly stolen. The strategic network, characterized as infrastructure “for research and surveillance of the ocean area,” features platforms on the seafloor fitted with sensors measuring methane emissions, climate change, as well as local sea life. It also has potential strategic and military capabilities, with all sounds, photos and other data collected by the system sent to the military’s Defence Research Establishment institute. In a press release last Friday, LoVe project leader Geir Pedersen told media that “something or someone has torn out cables in outlying areas” of the network, resulting in power to the entire system being lost.
- Blue Origin has lost the lawsuit it filed over the awarding of a lucrative NASA moon lander contract, freeing SpaceX up to resume its work on the project. In April, NASA announced that it had selected SpaceX to develop the initial Human Landing System (HLS) for its Artemis program, which aims to send astronauts back to the moon in the next few years. SpaceX beat out two other private groups for the $2.9 billion contract: Dynetics and “The National Team,” a consortium led by Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin. Both Dynetics and Blue Origin quickly lodged protests with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), citing perceived flaws in the selection process. For example, the companies objected to the selection of a single HLS concept, when NASA had said it wanted to fund the development of at least two private moon landers. (NASA officials have said that the agency’s funding situation precluded awarding multiple contracts.)
News Burst 11 November 2021