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- The executive directors of the US e-commerce giant Amazon have been charged in connection with the alleged use of the retail platform for smuggling marijuana in the South Asian market. Unnamed Amazon India executives have been booked under the nation’s narcotics law, the police in the Indian central state of Madhya Pradesh said on Saturday evening, providing no information as to how many top managers were charged. Police reportedly arrested two men with 20kg of marijuana on November 14, saying the pair had founded a firm, Babu Tex, which was registered with Amazon as a vendor. The marketplace was then reportedly used for smuggling the substance in the guise of stevia leaves to other Indian states.
- Japan’s fifth wave of Covid-19 has virtually disappeared so dramatically that some scientists are puzzled as to why it happened. Ituro Inoue, a geneticist at the National Institute of Genetics, believes that Japan had the good fortune of witnessing the Delta strain mostly rooting out other variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus before then eradicating itself. He explained his team’s theory to the Japan Times newspaper this week. For some time now, Inoue and his fellow scientists were researching mutations of SARS-CoV-2 and how they are affected by the protein nsp14, which is crucial for the reproduction of the virus. RNA viruses, like the one causing Covid-19, tend to have a very high mutation rate, which helps them quickly adapt to changes in the environment. However, this opens the door for a so-called “error catastrophe,” when bad mutations pile up and finally cause the full extinction of a strain.
- Appearing at a book launch party for journalist Jonathan Karl this week at Cafe Milano in Washington DC, Fauci gained the attention of onlookers, according to Politico, by repeatedly putting on and taking off his mask as he talked to numerous people. Sally Quinn, an author who used Fauci as the inspiration for a character in an erotic work of fiction, eventually approached the doctor and asked about his “ambivalence” towards mask-wearing at the event. “He said, ‘I just decided that if anyone came up that I didn’t know, I would put my mask on,” the author recalled from her conversation with Fauci. The head of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases was apparently on his own with his mask-wearing tactics, as Quinn reported all others at the event were not masked.
- A man has been found alive after being kept in a mortuary freezer for almost seven hours in Meerut, a city in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. 40-year-old Srikesh Kumar, an electrician by profession, was hit by a speeding motorbike on Thursday night and was proclaimed dead by a doctor, after which the hospital staff moved him to the mortuary. Seven hours later, when Kumar’s sister-in-law Madhu Bala came to identify him and sign a document for autopsy, she noticed he was moving and called for help.
- Alleged victims of Jeffrey Epstein have asked the prosecution why Ghislaine Maxwell’s co-conspirators are not on trial with her. Earlier, prosecutors said that Maxwell had three accomplices – the late Jeffrey Epstein and two other individuals, whose identities are protected. According to The Telegraph, the said individuals are cooperating with the prosecution. The news has sparked indignation among the alleged victims of Epstein and Maxwell. “It doesn’t seem right that only Maxwell is in the dock. There were others who facilitated the abuse and this makes it seem like it was only her”, one woman, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Telegraph.
- Dutch police have arrested 28 participants in the late night protests against COVID-19 restrictions across the country, the country’s media reported on Sunday.
- Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of the Belgian capital on Sunday. The protesters began setting up barricades in Brussels after the police used tear gas to disperse the demonstrators. The participants of the rally were protesting against newly imposed restrictions, such as banning the unvaccinated from visiting bars, restaurants, cinemas, and gyms. The event attracted some 35,000 people and led to gridlocks in the streets and tunnels in the city centre, according to the police.
- A political settlement between Prime Minister Hamdok and General al-Burhan has been reached in Sudan, as the sides agreed to create a new technocratic cabinet, forming a unified armed forces, and releasing all political prisoners, state TV reported on Sunday.
Al-Burhan also thanked Hamdok and called the prime minister a “trustworthy partner”.
- Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Sunday that it was “normal” for Turkey to promote the concept of pan-Turkic rapprochement, but its depiction on a map presented to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan should have pinned its centre in Russia’s Altai Region. “Our Turkish partners foster the idea of Turkic unity and it is normal. But I can only regret that the map does not have a big red star marking the centre of the Turkic world. It is located not in Turkey but in Russia, in the Altai, which is a sacred place for any Turk as that is where they originate from. I am saying this is a Turkologist”, Peskov told the broadcaster Rossiya 1. The response comes after the leader of Turkey’s Nationalist Movement Party, Devlet Bahceli, earlier this week presented Erdogan with a map of the “Turkic world” that included 20 Russian regions.
- Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial will not be televised, it is a federal case. There will however be a telephone line you can call and listen to the testimonies. In the past these phone lines are linked to live streams by people able to get on the call (often, the lines get jammed). Much to look forward to in the months ahead frens. If this was happening under Trump’s administration, it would be marked as his doing—instead [they] are realizing just how powerless they are in stopping the truth, even with Trump out of the White House. I hope you’ve got enough popcorn.
- US Space Force General David Thompson on Saturday warned that American hypersonic missile capabilities are “not as advanced” as those of China or Russia, implying that the US is falling behind in producing the newest and most cutting-edge weaponry. In an interview conducted at the Halifax International Security Forum in Canada, Thompson stated that the United States falling behind the other two countries could be detrimental to national security. “We have catching up to do very quickly. The Chinese have an incredible hypersonic programme”, he said. “It’s a very concerning development … it greatly complicates the strategic warning problem”.
- GoFundMe will allow fundraisers for Kyle Rittenhouse now that he’s been acquitted, the company said Friday. The fundraising platform said it banned Rittenhouse fundraisers before because its terms of service “prohibit raising money for the legal defense of an alleged violent crime.” The platform has been accused of taking sides because it has allowed numerous other fundraisers for people accused of violent crimes to remain on the platform. For instance, a fundraiser remains up on GoFundMe for Marc Wilson, a Georgia man accused of gunning down a teenager last year. Another one was set up for Zachary Alexander Karas, who was charged by the Department of Justice for possessing Molotov cocktails. GoFundMe did not respond to a request for comment. The company previously called Anthony Huber, who struck Rittenhouse with a skateboard before being shot, a “hero who gave his life attempting to take down a gunman in Kenosha and save others” in promoting a fundraiser for Huber’s girlfriend and stepdaughter.
- The global energy crisis has led to a spike in natural gas, heating oil, propane, and power prices, making the cost of heating a home this fall/winter very expensive. As a result, Americans are panic buying cords of wood and stoves to deflect soaring fossil fuel prices.
- Fewer than 6% of people in Africa are vaccinated. For months, the WHO has described Africa as “one of the least affected regions in the world” in its weekly pandemic reports. WHO data show that deaths in Africa make up just 3% of the global total. In comparison, deaths in the Americas and Europe account for 46% and 29%. In Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, the government has recorded nearly 3,000 deaths so far among its 200 million population. The U.S. records that many deaths every two or three days. [Wonder Why?]
- Newly released Joseph Rosenbaum sex offender documents obtained by Wisconsin Right Now from the Pima County (Arizona) Clerk of Courts confirm Joseph Rosenbaum was charged by a grand jury with 11 counts of child molestation and inappropriate sexual activity around children, including anal rape. The victims were five boys ranging in age from nine to 11 years old.
News Burst 22 November 2021