News Burst 20 July 2021
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News Burst 20 July 2021 – Featured News
- Disgraced late financier Jeffrey Epstein welcomed Bill Gates into his Manhattan house at least three times in the early 2010s, according to a forthcoming book by Miami Herald investigative journalist Julie Brown. In “Perversion of Justice: The Jeffrey Epstein Story,” she writes that during one of the visits the Microsoft co-founder stayed with Epstein very late into the night, as the banker was trying to secure a deal with The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help them get more funds. The New York Times’s bombshell report previously revealed similar details about the two influential men, including their multiple meetings, claiming that they first met face to face on the evening of 31 January 2011 at Epstein’s townhouse on New York’s Upper East Side. At the time, Epstein was a registered sex offender who pleaded guilty to soliciting prostitution from a minor back in 2008, just few years before meeting Gates, whose wife was reportedly “furious” over their relationship.
- An international investigation by over a dozen news outlets including the Guardian and the Washington Post concluded on Sunday that the Israeli cyber firm NSO Group sold “authoritarian governments” around the world hacking software to spy on journalists, politicians and various activists. The Israeli firm NSO Group, which is alleged to be behind the Pegasus spyware that was used by governments across the world to target their opponents and media figures, once hired the firm of Joe Biden’s senior adviser Anita Dunn, it was claimed. Anita Dunn is a partner and a founding member of SKDKnickerbocker political consulting firm, according to the company’s website. The webpage states that the adviser, who also previously worked as ex-President Barack Obama’s chief strategist, is currently on leave from SKDK but is expected to return to the company soon.
- The spyware scandal involving Israel’s software firm NSO Group and tens of thousands of smartphone numbers was “completely unacceptable” if true, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said. “What we could read so far, and this has to be verified, but if it is the case, it is completely unacceptable and against any kind of rules we have in the European Union,” European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said at a press conference in Prague. This comes after earlier in the day, an investigation by The Washington Post and 16 other media outlets claimed that the Pegasus software, developed by the NSO Group and used by government agencies to track criminals and terrorists, was being deployed by state services to hack the private phones of activists, journalists, and opposition figures around the world.
- Members of Indian opposition parties, including Congress and others like the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen on Monday demanded a parliamentary committee probe into the “Pegasus” spyware that reportedly targeted around 300 Indians, including journalists, politicians, activists, businesspersons, and scientists to extract sensitive data from their phones.
- Pakistan’s Minister of Information and Broadcasting Fawad Hussain Chaudhry on Monday slammed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government over reports that it had employed the services of an Israeli spyware company to snoop on nearly 300 Indian phone numbers. About 40 of them reportedly belong to senior journalists, political opponents, government officials and even two cabinet ministers.
- The recent shootout, in which two small children were shot, has been described as “breaking new boundaries” and “another border crossed”, sparking an uproar from politicians across the aisle. In recent years, Sweden has seen a marked uptick in violent crime. “This is indescribable darkness. It is difficult to take in, but we see that new borders are constantly being crossed in Sweden around this serious crime,” Moderates legal policy spokesman Johan Forssell told national broadcaster SVT, calling for “completely different measures to deal with growing gang crime”.
- France will next year ban the controversial practice of culling unwanted male chicks shortly after they hatch, Agriculture Minister Julien Denormandie said on Sunday. “The year 2022 will see an end to the grinding and gassing of male chicks in France,” he was quoted as saying in an interview by the France TV news channel. The culling of male chicks has long been condemned by animal welfare charities for its extreme brutality. The minister estimated that the law will save 50 million chicks this fate every year. It will cost France 10 million euros ($11.8 million) in subsidies to have hatcheries equipped with the technology. Together with Germany, the French government will push other EU agriculture ministers to ban the culling.
- The yet-to-be-published figures of the European Asylum Support Office showed that Germany received 47,231 requests during the first six month of 2021. The EU’s total nears 195,000. The largest share of asylum seekers (36%) came to Germany from Syria, 18% from Afghanistan and 6.6% from Iraq. France was the runner-up, with 32,212 submissions made from January until the end of June. Spain came next with 25,823 and Italy with 20,620. Latvia, Estonia and Hungary brought up the rear with 58, 30 and 19 applications, respectively.
- “A review of our training databases indicates that a small number of the Colombian individuals detained as part of this investigation had participated in past US military training and education programs, while serving as active members of the Colombian Military Forces,” Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Col. Ken Hoffman told the Washington Post on Thursday. He added that US foreign military training is intended to promote “respect for human rights, compliance with the rule of law, and militaries subordinate to democratically elected civilian leadership.”
- Former Haitian Justice Ministry official Joseph Felix Badio is suspected of having ordered the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, Gen. Jorge Vargas, the Colombian police chief, said during a press conference. Capador, a retired Colombian army sergeant responsible for recruiting mercenaries, and Rivera, a former Colombian army captain, made their first trip to Haiti on May 10, when they met with Emmanuel Sanon, suspected of the crime’s organization. Investigators confirmed that Tony Intriago, the owner of CTU Security Service, and his colleagues, James Solages and Sanon, planned the operation in Miami, Vargas added.
- US House Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) spoke about the recent protests in Cuba, putting the blame for the island’s current economic state on both the country’s president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, and Joe Biden. “We also must name the US contribution to Cuban suffering: our sixty-year-old embargo. The embargo is absurdly cruel and, like too many other US policies targeting Latin Americans, the cruelty is the point”, Ocasio-Cortez said in her statement. The congresswoman condemned Biden for continuing to defend the embargo. She noted that the US should not “use cruelty as a point of leverage” if it affects the citizens in the country.
- Over half a million Chinese citizens have signed a joint letter to the World Health Organization (WHO) calling for a probe into US Fort Detrick Lab to “prevent” future epidemics, the Global Times reported. The US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick, Maryland, was briefly shut down in 2019 after an inspection by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The lab said that the reason for its shutdown was “ongoing infrastructure issues with wastewater decontamination.”
- Silsila Alikhil, the daughter of Afghanistan’s Ambassador to Pakistan, was kidnapped for several hours on 17 July while she was riding a rented vehicle in Islamabad. She is said to have been “tortured” and “assaulted” during her captivity. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is ensuring his investigators take this probe as a “top priority”. The Taliban on Monday called on Pakistan to “punish the perpetrators” behind the kidnapping of Silsila Alikhil, the daughter of Afghanistan’s Ambassador to Pakistan Najibullah Alikhil, after Kabul recalled its envoy to Islamabad to protest the incident. The Taliban’s chief spokesperson Suhail Shaheen remarked that the abduction of the 26-year-old woman was “against humanity” and should be probed so that it doesn’t give rise to “hate” between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
- The Russian Ministry of Defense reported on Monday that one of its warships, the Admiral Gorshkov, has conducted the successful test-fire of a high-tech missile. In a statement issued by Moscow, military chiefs said that “the Zircon missile successfully struck the target in the Arctic White Sea with a direct hit at a distance of over 350 kilometers. The test confirmed the tactical and technical performance of the missile, and its flight speed was around Mach 7.” This means that the projectile flew at hypersonic velocity, seven times faster than the speed of sound.
- Over the past 2 decades, researchers have found hundreds of radioactive atoms, trapped in seafloor minerals, that came from an ancient explosion marking the death of a nearby star. Atmospheric reactions triggered by the radiation could have led to a rain of nitrogen compounds, which would have fertilized plants, drawing down carbon dioxide. In that way, the celestial event could have cooled the climate and helped initiate the ice ages 2.5 million years ago, at the start of the Pleistocene epoch. Because Earth is already largely made of elements forged in supernovae billions of years ago, before the Sun’s birth, most traces of more recent explosions are undetectable. One key tracer is iron-60, forged in the cores of large stars, which has a half-life of 2.6 million years and is not made naturally on Earth.
News Burst 20 July 2021 – Bonus Video
Upham, Hampshire UK – July 18, 2021
News Burst 20 July 2021 – Bonus Video
Over Pacific – That’s a Galactic Federation Fleet
News Burst 20 July 2021 – Earthquakes
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