News Burst 15 January 2022 – Get The News!

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  • A councilor in York, England has started a campaign to strip Prince Andrew of his dukedom, claiming the embattled royal is not worthy of such a link to the ancient northern city. Andrew was stripped of his HRH style on Thursday. In a tweet on Thursday, Darryl Smalley, a member of the City of York Council, took aim at Prince Andrew on the day that the royal lost his honorary military roles and gave up his HRH style. Andrew is facing a sexual assault civil case in New York.
  • A bipartisan piece of legislation to be introduced in the US Senate on Friday would force defense contractors to stop buying rare earth minerals from China by 2026, Reuters reports. The bill will also require the use of the Pentagon to create a permanent stockpile of the strategic minerals. Rare-earth metals – a group of 17 elements that are critical for a wide range of industries from consumer electronics to military hardware – have long been at the center of the US-China trade war. The US used to be the world’s number-one producer of those minerals, but is now heavily dependent on Chinese exports.
  • Astronomers have identified signals emitted by what they believe could be the first moon to be discovered outside the solar system. The findings are tentative, with the celestial body being too distant to observe it directly. Details of the discovery were published in the scientific journal Nature Astronomy. The moon, which apparently orbits a star some 5,500 light-years away from Earth, was given the name Kepler-1708 b-i. If the evidence obtained by the now-decommissioned Kepler space telescope is anything to go by, the newly discovered moon might be 2.6 times the size of Earth and made of gas.
  • US electric car manufacturer Tesla has begun testing a payment option for the digital currency dogecoin a month after the company’s CEO, Elon Musk, hinted in a tweet that it would be doing so. The option appeared on the Tesla store on Friday, and is currently related to only some of the company’s merchandise, including belt buckles, chargers, and its mini all-terrain vehicle Cyberquad for Kids, which is retailing for 12,020 dogecoin. The dog-themed token is the only accepted currency for these products.
  • Listed under the name TOI-674 b, the exoplanet – so called because it orbits not around the Sun, but another star – has a promising element in its detectable atmosphere. Jonathan Brande of the University of Kansas, who led the study by an international team of scientists, revealed on Thursday that water vapor had recently been discovered there. The planet, which Brande dubbed “very rare,” orbits a red dwarf star located some 150 light years away from Earth. A light year is equivalent to six trillion miles (or 9.7 trillion kilometers), but the distance is still considered “nearby” in astronomical terms, according to NASA. The US space agency said it would now be the subject of a detailed exploration.
  • [Always “rules for thee but not for me”] As UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his office continue to apologise about the partying which allegedly went on in Downing Street while the rest of the country was observing government-imposed coronavirus lockdown restrictions in 2020 and 2021, the internet keeps throwing up what it deems to be damning footage.
  • The United States still does not know what the illness known as Havana Syndrome is or who is responsible for it, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in an interview on Thursday after more American diplomats were reported ill in Paris and Geneva. Blinken said the entire federal government is working to get to the bottom of the illness, which has afflicted about 200 U.S. diplomats, officials and family members overseas. The Biden administration has until April to draft rules for awarding compensation; the State Department and the C.I.A. are working on separate sets of rules. Once they are finished, the law requires the administration to brief Congress. A State Department official said the screening tool was central to evaluating people with symptoms but was not a diagnostic tool. As a result, the official said, it cannot be used for determining compensation.
  • A regional health minister has come under fire in South Africa for telling schoolgirls to “open your books and close your legs”. Phophi Ramathuba made the comment during a visit to a secondary school in a bid to encourage abstinence and reduce teenage pregnancy rates. Ms Ramathuba defended the message, which she said was aimed at boys too.
  • King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands has announced that he and other royals will stop using De Gouden Koets – the golden carriage used for ceremonial purposes like the opening of parliament. The move was prompted by criticism of the images drawn on one side of the carriage. They depict Black and Asian people, some of them kneeling, offering various goods, such as cocoa, to a young white woman believed to be representing the country. One of the images also shows a white man offering a book to a boy, which was interpreted by the painter back in 1896 as the portrayal of the Netherlands’ gift of “civilisation” to the colonies it controlled.
  • The Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) organised an 11-day nationwide public awareness campaign about religious conversions in India. During the campaign, the VHP also demanded that the government pass a law to forbid forced religious conversions. The campaign will last until 23 January. VHP’s national spokesman Vinod Bansal said: “For centuries, various forces have tried to divide India on the basis of caste, language and other things. We firmly believe that all Hindus are equal.”
  • The Philippines has long expressed an interest in acquiring BrahMos, one of the world’s fastest anti-ship missiles, to augment naval capacity in order to thwart any threat to the nation’s maritime domain from outside incursions. The Philippines has become the first foreign customer for the Indo-Russian supersonic cruise missile BrahMos by issuing a “notice of award” to the missile manufacturer BrahMos Aerospace Ltd. “The proposal of BrahMos Aerospace Pvt Ltd for the shore-based anti-ship missile system acquisition project for the Philippines Navy, with a corresponding price proposal in the amount of 374.962 million, is hereby accepted”, the order issued by the Department of National Defence read.

News Burst 15 January 2022

By cindyloucbp

Cynthia is the typical Pisces! Her left brain activities include scientific activities in the hospital laboratory as a director. Her right-brain activites show as a painter, photographer and musician. She is known as the scientist who sings!

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