News Burst 21 February 2020
- Archaeologists working in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings have made the bombshell claim that they may have discovered the secret tomb of Queen Nefertiti – hidden in a previously unknown space beyond Tutankhamun’s burial chamber. The team, led by former Egyptian minister of antiquities, Mamdouh Eldamaty from Ain Shams University, used ground-penetrating radar and found a secret corridor near the tomb of one of Egypt’s most famous royals, the pharaoh Tutankhamun. The boy king’s remarkable burial site was discovered in 1922 by English archaeologist Howard Carter.
- German court allows Tesla to continue to clear forest near Berlin to build its gigafactory. The clearing work, granted to Tesla by the State Office for the Environment, was temporarily stopped by the same court earlier this month after the Brandenburg Green League filed an appeal and requested legal protection. The Higher Administrative Court of Berlin-Brandenburg has ruled that Tesla Inc can continue to clear forest near the capital of Berlin to build its first European car and battery factory.
- Thousands of trucks are still heading for the Vietnam-China border gates, though the exports are getting stuck because of the Covid-19 epidemic. Vietnam’s farm produce remains unsold because of the closure of border gates. Retailers have decided to collect watermelons and dragon fruit in large quantities for distribution in response to the call to rescue Vietnam’s farm produce.
- The Fijian Ministry for Foreign Affairs may invite Tongan counterparts to have talks over a long standing territorial dispute over the Tele ki Tonga and Tele ki Tokelau Reefs, also known as Minerva Reef. The reefs lie to the south end of Tonga and Fiji.
- The deputy leader of the Taliban and one of the world’s most wanted militants has written an opinion piece for the New York Times in which he says the Afghan insurgents are “fully committed” to a deal with Washington. The article, headlined “What the Taliban Want”, represents the highest-level statement from the group on months of negotiations with the United States, and comes as they are believed to be days away from signing an agreement that would see America begin to withdraw troops from its longest war.
- Researchers at cybersecurity firm McAfee have shown that two inches can make all the difference, fooling two types of Tesla car into speeding up by 50mph (80.5kph). Using a small, almost imperceptible sticker on a speed limit sign, the McAfee scientists were able to trick the cars’ MobilEye EyeQ3 camera system into thinking the sign read ‘85’ and not ‘35,’ confirming that autonomous driving systems and the machine learning algorithms that power them still have a long way to go. Both the 2016 Model X and Model S both sped up during the testing of the adversarial machine learning attacks.
- ‘Squad’ congresswoman Ilhan Omar told friends years ago that the man who went on to become her second husband was in fact her brother, DailyMail.com can confirm. And now for the first time one of those friends has come forward to reveal exactly how Omar and Ahmed Elmi scandalized the Somali community in Minneapolis. Abdihakim Osman is the first person to go on record to speak of how Omar said she wanted to get her brother papers so he could stay in the United States, at a time when she was married to her first husband Ahmed Hirsi.
- Despite a contract that prohibits MGM from using robots to displace workers, the casino seeks to implement those plans. Its 2020 plan calls for reducing the workforce by about 2,100 people to save $300 million in the coming years.
- Longtime Trump ally Roger Stone was sentenced to 40 months in prison and pay a $20,000 fine on Thursday for witness tampering and lying to Congress. He will be on probation upon his release.
- Julian Assange will seek asylum in France, according to the Associated Press. Lawyers for the WikiLeaks founder are currently preparing for his lates hearing, where he faces extradition to the United States on 17 criminal charges for unlawfully publishing the names of classified sources, as well as conspiring with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to obtain access to classified information.
- Cybersecurity researchers have discovered a large-scale ongoing fraud scheme that lures unsuspecting Russian Internet users with promises of financial rewards to steal their payment card information. “Like of the Year” is just one of six different fraud campaigns that operate under the same modus operandi, each of these schemes was found to operate 100 to 350 domains, with the Like campaign alone accounting for more than 1,000 domains, most of which have since been blocked.
- “Don’t panic! Betelgeuse is not likely to undergo a supernova explosion anytime soon,” says South Korean research astronomer Bum-Suk Yeom. “The red supergiant star Betelgeuse appears to have finally stopped its unprecedented dimming. It’s been brightening over the last few days.” According to the data, Betelegeuse reached its minimum brightness between Feb. 12th and 14th, and now it is slowly brightening again.
- In December 2019, Russia’s special services detained two people planning to carry out terrorist attacks in crowded places in St. Petersburg during New Year celebrations. Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) later confirmed that the two were arrested thanks to intelligence information received from the US. Russian President Vladimir Putin has once again thanked the United States for sharing intelligence that helped to thwart a terrorist attack in St. Petersburg in late 2019.
The sun has been blank (without sunspots) for 18 consecutive days. This is a sign that Solar Minimum is still underway despite recent signs of life from Solar Cycle 25. Even during the nadir of the solar cycle, however, it is still possible to observe bright polar auroras–as the events of Feb. 18-19 demonstrated. spaceweather.com
Strongest EQ in Europe M3.1 Corse, France
Strongest EQ in North America M3.2 California
Strongest EQ on the Planet M5.7 Kamchatka, Russia
Deepest EQ M5.4 201 km Philippines News Burst 21 February 2020