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- Barbados has become a republic, replacing the British monarch as its head of state and severing its last remaining colonial bonds nearly 400 years after the first English ships arrived at the Caribbean island. The new republic was born to the cheers of hundreds of people lining Chamberlain Bridge in the capital, Bridgetown, at the stroke of midnight. A 21-gun salute fired as the national anthem of Barbados was played over a crowded Heroes Square.
- A northern California town has declared itself a “constitutional republic” in response to Covid-19 health restrictions imposed by the governor, in the latest sign of strife between the state’s government and its rural and conservative regions. The city council in Oroville, located at the base of the Sierra Nevada foothills about 90 miles from the capital of Sacramento, adopted a resolution this week stating it would oppose state and federal orders it deems to be government overreach. Oroville leaders said the designation was a way of affirming the city’s values and pushing back against state rules it doesn’t agree with, although a legal expert said the designation was merely a gesture and did not grant the city any new authority.
- ‘Bonnybridge the UFO Capital’ of the UK – Bonnybridge is a village in Scotland with an unusual claim, thousands of strange objects have been spotted in the sky above the village. ‘Time Slip’ – a bizarre phenomenon. Some people find themselves in places miles and miles away from where they just were minutes ago others don’t remember where the past few hours or even days went.
- Twitter has updated its policy on personal information to cover videos and photos of private individuals shared without their consent, unless that is done by legacy media, in “public interest,” or other context they approve of. “Sharing personal media, such as images or videos, can potentially violate a person’s privacy, and may lead to emotional or physical harm. The misuse of private media can affect everyone, but can have a disproportionate effect on women, activists, dissidents, and members of minority communities,” Twitter’s Safety division said on Tuesday.
- The efficacy of coronavirus vaccines will decrease significantly with the emergence of the new Omicron variant, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel has said. “I think it’s going to be a material drop [of effectiveness]. I just don’t know how much because we need to wait for the data. But all the scientists I’ve talked to … are like ‘this is not going to be good,’” Bancel said in an interview with Financial Times, published on Tuesday. According to the Moderna chief, the high number of spike protein mutations along with the variant’s quick spread in South Africa may warrant modification for the current vaccines line-up next year. The business executive added that most experts were not expecting such a highly-mutated strain for a year or two and that scientists were concerned about Omicron’s 32 mutations.
- According to the Daily Star, Seth Shostak, who works for the SETI Institute, suggested that searching for planets that can sustain human life may not be such a good idea when the goal is to look for aliens, since, if the latter are “intelligent enough to seek out Earth, they will probably have gone beyond biological smarts and, indeed, beyond biology itself.”
- ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ website address spotted in ‘NFW Emergency Warning’ on Fox News. The URL featured in the broadcast was apparently not registered by Fox; the website in question was likely made by “a troll watching the segment.” The “emergency warning” also featured a web address – http://www.foxnflemergencyalert.com – which, if typed in a web browser address bar without the “www” part, leads to a website greets visitors with slogans “Let’s Go Brandon”. As the outlet notes, the website’s URL was apparently never registered by Fox and got “swooped up” mere minutes after the message aired, which “strongly suggests” that “a troll watching the segment made the page.”
- Will the truth about Epstein’s murky schemes see the light of day? Rolling Stone noted on 18 November that during the penultimate pre-trial conference Epstein’s alleged madam, Ghislaine Maxwell, looked radiant and confident. The American magazine further quoted some of the socialite’s old friends who doubt that she is “really the monster” she’s been pictured as in the media and wonder whether the government can prove its case. On top of this, bombshell accusations made by alleged Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre were left out of the Maxwell case apparently causing Britain’s Prince Andrew to breathe a sigh of relief.
- A bipartisan group of US Senators on Tuesday urged the Biden administration to strengthen responses to incidents in space in wake of Russia’s recent anti-satellite test. “The space domain is essential for the United States’ modern economy. From fostering scientific discovery and planetary exploration to facilitating next-generation communications and the Global Positioning System (GPS), these scientific, technological, and national security benefits must be protected,” the Senators wrote in a letter to Vice President Kamala Harris. “We request that you advocate for aligning space sustainability priorities and activities across the federal Government and work to develop international dialogue on norms of responsible behavior in space.”
- France needs a rather high number of nuclear reactors to implement full-scale re-industrialization, Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Tuesday. “If we want to re-industrialize the country, reach a real industrial reconquest, which is at the heart of our ambition with the President of the Republic [Emmanuel Macron], we need a significant number of nuclear reactors,” Le Maire told journalists on the sidelines of the World Nuclear Exhibition (WNE), as cited by the BFMTV broadcaster.
- Animal rights NGO People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has taken aim at retailers dealing in leather clothing by setting up a website for a fake store advertising goods supposedly made of human skin. According to a PETA press release, the “store” pretends to sell clothes, boots, and bags “made of the finest leather – that are actually made of human skin, with faces, teeth, and blood covering the items. The move comes as part of the organisation’s bold marketing campaign aimed at multinational lifestyle retail corporation Urban Outfitters; PETA wants it to “realize that we’re all sentient beings with emotions, intelligence, and the desire to live” and to persuade it to “stop selling the skin anyone was born in.”
News Burst 1 December 2021