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- South Korea’s industrial conglomerate SK Hynix recently announced that it was investing in an enormous semiconductor facility in China. The planned factory is a logical business choice. China is the world’s largest market for semiconductors, and there are few other countries as dependent upon exports and sales to it than neighbouring South Korea. Now, the plans are reportedly in a state of uncertainty, albeit not formally cancelled, with SK Hynix saying it will make “wise decisions” in navigating the path between this certain country’s competition against China. South Korea has limited sovereignty over its own semiconductor industry, which is being strategically hollowed out and effectively placed under the command and control of the United States.
- A German coffeehouse chain landed in hot water after it offered free beverages to unvaccinated patrons at its Berlin shops. The stunt was in response to stricter lockdown measures that came into force last weekend. The ad landed Wonder Waffles right in the middle of heated debate in Germany over vaccine mandates and whether the authorities were overstepping their boundaries in the effort to get people vaccinated.
- The 16th season episode 12 of The Simpsons, has simply disappeared without any explanation. Episode 12 is where the Simpsons travel to Beijing for Marge’s sister Selma to adopt a Chinese baby and in which they mention the Tiananmen Square massacre.
- A man from Houston, Texas was handed more than nine years in prison for fraudulently receiving over $1.6 million in pandemic relief money from the government and blowing it on a life of luxury and leisure. Lee Price III was sentenced to 110 months in prison on Monday after pleading guilty to wire fraud and money laundering. According to prosecutors, starting from May 2020, Price had been using fake companies to apply for low-interest loans under the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The money was meant to help small businesses struggling during the pandemic. In an application submitted to a bank in Boston, Price claimed he owned a company called Price Enterprises with 50 employees and an average monthly payroll of $375,000. In an application to a California lender, he listed a dead man as the chief executive of a different company. Price used the funds to buy a $233,000 Lamborghini Urus SUV, a $85,000 Ford F-350 pickup truck, and a $14,000 Rolex watch. He blew around $2,000 at a strip club, and spent large sums at liquor stores and nightclubs. The money also was used to pay off a loan on a residential property.
- French presidential candidate Eric Zemmour announced his bid for the presidency on Tuesday in a video that featured him speaking over footage of women in headscarves and black men engaging in civil disobedience. Movie production company Gaumot quickly accused him of using its content without permission. “Gaumont was surprised to discover that clips of the films from its catalogue have been included into Eric Zemmour’s campaign video without any authorization. Gaumont reserves the right to initiate legal proceedings,” read the statement by the company, which owns the rights for Luc Besson’s Joan of Arc movie and Henri Verneuil’s ‘A Monkey In Winter’, both featured in Zemmour’s video.
- Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has discussed the chances of SpaceX going bankrupt, saying it’s “not impossible” under the right conditions amid reports of a production “crisis” plaguing the firm’s Raptor engines. “If a severe global recession were to dry up capital availability / liquidity while SpaceX was losing billions on Starlink & Starship, then bankruptcy, while still unlikely, is not impossible,” he said in a tweet.
- Protesters in Sudan were met with tear gas as they marched in the country’s capital Khartoum on Tuesday. They want the nation to return to full civilian rule after the military seized power in October. Security forces fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse protesters that chanted “Soldiers belong in the barracks,” demanding the return to full civilian authority. In 2019, the Sudanese army overthrew Omar al-Bashir, the country’s leader of more than 25 years. The military staged another coup last October, ousting civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.
- As the Ghislaine Maxwell trial entered day two on Tuesday, the first of four female accusers in the indictment against her testified that the British socialite was often present in the room when the witness, then just 14, had sexual interactions with the financier Jeffrey Epstein. The accuser, appearing in the downtown Manhattan courtroom of US District Court Judge Alison J. Nathan under the name “Jane”, alleged that Maxwell was not averse to participating in the “abuse”. As the prosecutor Alison Moe asked “Jane” if she ever had sexual contact with Jeffrey Epstein, the witness answered in the affirmative, adding that it had happened “more than once”. The witness was asked: “Was there ever anyone else in the room?” “Yes,” responded “Jane”. Four alleged victims of Epstein’s abuse are expected to testify in court in the coming days, with proceedings set to last about six weeks with a brief pause over Christmas.
- Following the resignation of longtime Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, the man at the helm of one of the largest social media platforms in history says Twitter’s “role is not to be bound by the First Amendment.” When asked about Twitter’s role in protecting free speech during an interview with the MIT Technology Review last year, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal said the company’s “role is not to be bound by the First Amendment, but our role is to serve a healthy public conversation and our moves are reflective of things that we believe lead to a healthier public conversation.” “The kinds of things that we do about this is, focus less on thinking about free speech, but thinking about how the times have changed,” Agrawal continued during the interview. “Most people can speak. Where our role is particularly emphasized is who can be heard.”
- US Space Force General David Thompson said that American satellites are being attacked “every single day” by adversaries in a war-like manner, according to an op-ed published in The Washington Post. “The threats are really growing and expanding every single day. And it’s really an evolution of activity that’s been happening for a long time,” Gen. Thompson, who is vice chief of Space Operations in the recently-established military branch. “We’re really at a point now where there’s a whole host of ways that our space systems can be threatened.”
- The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has signed an agreement with Russian pharmaceutical holding Binnopharm Group and Vietnamese holding T&T Group to set up a full production cycle of the Sputnik V vaccine in Vietnam, a Sputnik correspondent reported on Wednesday. Another agreement was signed by the RDIF with Vietnamese investment group Sovico Group and Vietnamese pharmaceutical company Vabiotech, which already produces the Russian vaccine, to bring the bottling and packing of Sputnik V and Sputnik Light, its single-dose version, to Vietnam.
News Burst 2 December 2021