News Burst 21 July 2021
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News Burst 21 July 2021 – Featured News
- A consortium of investors led by the Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are buying UK-based COVID testing company, Mologic, which has developed a 10-minute coronavirus test – and is best known for its deep-nostril swab test for the virus.
- Heavy rain pounded the central Chinese province of Henan on Tuesday (Jul 20), bursting the banks of major rivers, flooding the streets of a dozen cities and shutting the world-famous Shaolin Temple. In Henan, a major logistics hub, train services were suspended, while many highways were closed and flights delayed or cancelled. In the provincial capital of Zhengzhou, by the banks of the Yellow River, residents waded through knee-high water to cross submerged street intersections, state television showed.
- A Norwegian man who went to extreme lengths to illegally milk the country’s Covid relief program has been nabbed by authorities, but only after he used hundreds of stolen identities as part of his massive fraud scheme. The 35-year-old suspect has been accused of collecting around 10 million Norwegian krone ($1.1 million) in pandemic-related compensation from the country’s Labor and Welfare Administration (NAV). The benefits program is designed to help those who have been financially impacted by the health crisis. According to media reports, the man used around 300 stolen identities from employees working at 11 different companies. He reportedly gave the ‘employees’ high incomes so that they could claim the maximum amount of wage compensation. In total, the suspect applied for around 17 million krone, but only received around half the amount before authorities became suspicious. Norwegian police described the scam as one of the largest cases of Covid relief fraud to date. After receiving payments from NAV, it’s believed that the man funneled the cash into a money laundering network. So far police have recovered one million krone.
- The disciplinary commission of the Beach Handball Euro 2021 competition has handed the Norwegian women’s team a fine for ‘improper clothing’, after they decided to rebel against wearing bikini bottoms and donned shorts instead. The Disciplinary Commission has dished out a fine of €150 per player, which amounts to a total of €1,500 ($1,768).
- The Paris prosecutor’s office has launched an investigation into allegations that Morocco’s intelligence agencies used Israeli malware to hack the phones of several French journalists. The probe will consider 10 possible charges, including potential breaches of personal privacy and fraudulent access to personal electronic devices. The move comes after a consortium of more than a dozen media organizations, citing leaked information and subsequent forensic analysis, reported that Israeli surveillance firm NSO Group had allegedly helped numerous governments to spy on journalists, activists and even heads of state using its Pegasus malware program.
- The Netherlands has ordered an Italian drug maker to cough up nearly 20 million euros ($23.58 million), after the pharma firm inflated the price of one of its medications by an eye-watering 30,000%. In a decision issued on Monday, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) said that the drug manufacturer, Leadiant, had charged “far too high a price” for a prescription medication used in the treatment of patients with a rare hereditary metabolic disorder known as cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis. Around sixty patients in the country suffer from the disorder, which requires life-long treatment, the ACM said in its statement. The drug, chenodeoxycholic acid (CDCA), has been in existence for years and was marketed under a variety of names. In 2008, Leadiant acquired a CDCA-based drug from another manufacturer. According to the ACM, at the time the maximum price in the Netherlands for the medication was 46 euros for a package of 100 capsules. A year later, the Italian pharma firm renamed the drug Xenbilox and hiked its price to 885 euros. The price increases continued as Leadiant began to monopolize the CDCA-based drug market in Europe. By 2017, the drug had a price tag of 14,000 euros – sending the cost skyrocketing 30,334% when compared to its 2008 price.
- Companies that transfer bitcoin or other cryptoassets must collect details of senders and recipients to help authorities crack down on dirty money, EU policymakers proposed on Tuesday in the latest efforts to tighten regulation of the sector. EU states and the European Parliament have the final say on the proposals, meaning it could take two years for them to become law.
- China furious at Lithuania over Taiwan opening representative office, urges the eastern European country to bow to the “one-China” principle.
- T“I want to thank every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer, because you guys paid for all this,” Bezos, donning a cowboy hat and blue astronaut coveralls, said at a press briefing on Tuesday after completing the first manned space mission by his Blue Origin rocket-ship firm.
- Photos of a high-ranking Russian traffic cop’s gaudy mansion, including a golden toilet seat and painted ceilings, have gone viral after he was arrested for bribery and abuse of power, along with other police officers. Alexey Safonov, the head of the southern Stavropol region’s traffic police, was detained on Tuesday. The authorities believe he was the head of a criminal organization. According to State Duma MP Alexander Khinshtein, the group of policemen worked as a “mafia, profiting from everything – from license plates to the passage of large trucks involved in the sand trade.” Almost all the top management of the regional traffic department were arrested, he said.
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News Burst 21 July 2021 – Bonus Video
News Burst 21 July 2021 – Earthquakes
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