News Burst 23 June 2022
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News Burst 23 June 2022 – Featured News
- An eagle-eyed team of a curator and a librarian tracked down a pair of portraits by Ammi Phillips that were stolen from a historical society in New Paltz, New York, 50 years ago, the New York Times reports. It turns out that they had been sold at auction at Sotheby’s in 2005; the F.B.I. subpoenaed the house to find the buyer, who returned them. Sotheby’s did not comment. Meanwhile, a bronze sculpture of a wolf has been stolen from a Cincinnati park, Cincinnati Public Radio reports. The piece is part of a copy of the Lupa Capitolina—depicting the fabled founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus—that was donated to the Ohio city by Rome in 1931. Police are investigating.
- A two-seater plane whizzed through half a dozen eastern European countries without permission, alerting air forces, before being abandoned in Bulgaria by a mysterious crew, the defense ministry in Sofia said. The aircraft flew over Hungary, crossed briefly into Serbia and then Romania before entering Bulgarian airspace at 7:09 pm local time (1609 GMT) on Wednesday 8 June, the Bulgarian defense ministry said in a statement. The twin-engine Beechcraft with two people onboard had no approved flight plan and its transponders were turned off. The pilot did not respond to radio requests and visual signals, the Romanian defense ministry said. Two Hungarian Gripen fighter jets, two US F-16s and two Romanian F-16s intercepted the intruder one after the other and escorted it until it entered Bulgarian airspace, Bucharest added. Bulgaria’s air force did not immediately send up fighters as “the plane was not considered a threat at any moment,” Defense Minister Dragomir Zakov told journalists. The plane had stopped to refuel in the Danube town of Vidin, in northwestern Bulgaria, and the interior ministry later found it abandoned in an old airfield near Targovishte, in the nation’s northeast. The crew had vanished and their whereabouts were still unknown.
- A powerful earthquake has killed at least 920 people and left scores injured in Afghanistan, according to the country’s state news agency. The quake struck about 44km (27 miles) from the south-eastern city of Khost shortly after 01:30 local time (21:00 Tuesday GMT), when many people were at home, asleep in their beds. “Unfortunately, last night there was a severe earthquake in four districts of Paktika province, which killed and injured hundreds of our countrymen and destroyed dozens of houses,” government spokesman Bilal Karimi tweeted. “We urge all aid agencies to send teams to the area immediately to prevent further catastrophe.”
- WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange has been treated “very unfairly” to the shame of the entire world, and Mexico is willing to take him in, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told reporters on Tuesday. He said he would bring up Assange’s case with his US counterpart Joe Biden when they meet in July. The decision by UK Home Secretary Priti Patel was “very disappointing,” said Lopez Obrador, who is commonly known by his initials AMLO. He also said he intends to ask Biden to drop charges against Assange when they meet next month. Such an action would go counter to the “hardliners in the US” but “humanity must prevail,” AMLO added.
- NASA would like to have nuclear reactors for lunar and planetary expeditions, the US space agency said on Tuesday, announcing three contracts for developing concept designs by the end of the decade, in partnership with the Department of Energy. Military-industrial behemoth Lockheed Martin is one of the companies involved, along with the nuclear veteran Westinghouse. NASA hopes to have a design for the “fission surface power system” ready to launch by the end of the decade. John Wagner, director of the DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory, called the project “a very achievable first step toward the US establishing nuclear power on the Moon.”
- Former leftist guerrilla Gustavo Petro won Sunday’s runoff vote in Colombia’s presidential election, marking the first time ever that the US-allied nation has voted for a leftist candidate. This election represents a historic shift for Colombia’s economic model – but perhaps an even bigger one for US strategic interests in the region. By Petro’s own account, “Real change is coming.” That is at least what he said in his victory speech. He has promised to turn the country in a greener direction by phasing out oil and coal. He also plans to enlarge pensions, institute universal healthcare and make university education free – to be paid for by taxes on the wealthy. He has also said that he wants to use import tariffs to protect local industry and negotiate trade agreements, a staunch move against the country’s neoliberal system of commerce. In general, his entire platform is aimed squarely against the neoliberal clientelism, and even the elite’s obvious relationship with drug cartels, that has plagued Colombia for generations.
- A Ukrainian LGBTQ group has called for the firing of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s top adviser, Alexey Arestovich, on Tuesday after he stated that he considers queer persons “people with deviations.” On June 19, Arestovich was asked during a livestream about his opinion about the LGBTQ community. “I’ve said this before and I won’t hide it: I treat LGBT as people with deviations, meaning deviations from normal behavior. In this sense I am a conservative,” he said, adding that he was “completely against the persecution” of LGBTQ members and that people should always treat each other like people. “This is the propaganda of a deviation from the norm, which has very concrete negative effects on society,” said Arestovich. “I do not accept it at all and am a resolute opponent of it,” he added, concluding that he treats LGBTQ people with sympathy.
- Switzerland imported gold from Russia in May for the first time since February, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. According to the article, the move suggests that the industry’s stance toward Russian precious metals may be softening. Switzerland shipped more than 3 tons of gold from Russia last month, Bloomberg cited data from the Swiss Federal Customs Administration. The purchase represents about 2% of Swiss bullion imports in May. The country is a key refining hub that handles two-thirds of the world’s gold. Following the start of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine and the rollout of international sanctions, the London Bullion Market Association suspended all Russian gold and silver refineries from its list of approved suppliers. The move was viewed by the industry as a de facto ban and most refiners refused to accept new gold from Russia.
- Germany has for the first time made public the exact numbers and types of weapons, ammunition, and other military aid it has already delivered or is preparing to deliver to Ukraine. Released on Tuesday on the German government’s official website, the data is prefaced by a short clarification. The note states that the list includes both “contributions from the stockpiles of the German military,” as well as the weapons purchased directly from German manufacturers and paid for by Berlin. The statement also details that in 2022, a total of €2 billion will be earmarked from Germany’s budget for these shipments, and to fund the country’s contributions to the European Peace Facility (EPF), which is the EU’s “off-budget instrument aimed at enhancing the Union’s ability to prevent conflicts, build peace and strengthen international security.” According to the document, the EPF can be used to refund EU members states for the support they provide to Ukraine.
- Researchers have published the most detailed map of Antarctica’s frigid Southern Ocean to date, including the ocean’s new deepest point, the “Factorian Deep,” which sits nearly 24,400 feet (7,437 meters) below the sea surface. Resting at a depth equivalent to about 17 Empire State Buildings stacked top to bottom, the Factorian Deep was discovered in 2019 by American explorer and entrepreneur Victor Vescovo, as part of his Five Deeps Expedition(opens in new tab) to map the deepest points of the world’s five oceans. Vescovo personally piloted a submersible named “Limiting Factor” (for which the Factorian Deep was named) to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean’s South Sandwich Trench – an undersea canyon that spans roughly 600 miles (965 kilometers) of seafloor between South America and Antarctica. The trench crosses the 60th parallel south, an invisible circle of latitude that is 60 degrees south of the equator, separating the Atlantic and Southern oceans.
- Some of the coins found outside the city of Turku are believed to have been minted in the 10th century by famous Viking king Harald Bluetooth, who ruled over Denmark and Norway and introduced Christianity to Scandinavia. A group of amateur metal detectorists have found a Viking-era stash of silver coins and jewellery in a field in Mynämäki in southwest Finland, the Finnish Heritage Agency has reported in a press release. A total of about 100 silver coins and 30 notches of silver was found in a field some 30 kilometres north of Turku, the former capital of Finland. Viking king Harald Bluetooth, the ruler of Denmark and Norway introduced Christianity in Scandinavia. Of them, only a few had been found in Finland before.
- New research published by the Molecular Biology and Evolution journal has found they may soon go extinct as its genetic code “erodes” — but scientists say that’s not a good thing Study co-author Dr Alejandra Perotti of the University of Reading said the Demodex follicularum mites live in beneficial symbiosis with us from just after birth, when they are passed on from our mothers during breastfeeding. “We should love them because they’re the only animals that live on our bodies our entire life and we should appreciate them because they clean our pores,” Perotti says. “Besides, they’re cute,” she insists. Demodex follicularum has the fewest functional genes of any arthropod — the biological term for all articulated creepy-crawlies including crustaceans, insects and arachnids.
- Two prominent Chinese rights lawyers are set to go on trial behind closed doors this week on charges of state subversion, campaign groups said, part of a clampdown on dissent and rights activism under President Xi Jinping.
- The elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, where a teenage gunman killed 19 children and two teachers last month will be demolished, the city’s mayor said.
- Two high-tech Airbus A350 jets sit idle with their windows taped and engines covered in a floodlit hangar in the Gulf, hobbled by an international legal dispute between European industrial giant Airbus (AIR.PA) and Qatar’s national carrier. The two planes, worth around $300 million combined according to analysts, are among 23 grounded A350s at the centre of a $1 billion London court battle over whether the damage represents a potential safety risk, something Airbus strongly denies. The planes were grounded by Qatar’s regulator after premature paint erosion exposed damage to a metallic sub-layer that provides protection to the fuselage from lightning strikes.
- One by one, over the last week of May, Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) rang up some members of its incoming class of new hires who had recently graduated from college and revoked the job offers in 15-minute calls, according to some of the recipients. More than 21,500 tech workers in the United States have lost their jobs so far this year, according to Layoffs.fyi, a website that monitors job cuts. The number of tech layoffs in May alone skyrocketed 780% over the first four months of the year combined, according to outplacement services firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. For the incoming class of new hires out of college, losing their job offers now is especially damaging as they said they are locked out of companies like Meta Platforms, Alphabet Inc’s Google and other tech giants, which have already secured their new cohort of recruits.
- Roughly six million years ago, paleo-earthquakes created a type of geological phenomenon called trovants. They are also known as the stones of Costesti, after their most famous location in Romania, or the “living stones.” Romania’s rare trovants were formed under highly complex circumstances involving seismic shifts, sand sediment in rivers and rain, and lots of time. And the locals of Costesti, Romania consider them to be alive! Having witnessed them grow, expand, and move over generations the Romanians have turned the trovants into local legends and myths. For geologists, trovants have long been a captivating mystery. Trovants are made up of a hard stone center surrounded by sandstone and vary in size from extremely small and pebble-like trovants to stones weighing several tons. The name trovant is a synonym from the German word “ Sandsteinkonkretionen” meaning “cemented sand,” which explains how these rocks are made. Trovants can only be formed when sand accrues with sandstone deposits around a hard stone core and is cemented by water that has a high concentration of calcium carbonate . This mixture melds together to make these truly fascinating rocks known by locals as the “growing stones.”
News Burst 23 June 2022 – Bonus IMG
Burial in Bulgaria
A reconstruction of a Burial in Bulgaria with some of the world’s oldest known gold jewelry, 4600 BCE.
News Burst 23 June 2022 – Bonus Video
The bagworm moth caterpillar designs a log cabin, lined with silk in which to shelter. These strcutures are called cases, bagworm moths are commonly known as case moths, only the male will fly free after pupation, for the female this is a “forever home”
News Burst 23 June 2022 – Bonus Video
An advanced 3,000-year-old Chinese culture, whose existence was not known about until the 1980s, has been further revealed by recent excavations. Apparently, the existence of the highly developed southwest Chinese Sanxingdui civilization, in Sichuan province, was omitted from official records, despite hundreds of years of flourishing development. On Monday last, at the Sanxingdui ruins, Chinese archaeologists reported that they have unearthed a treasure trove of artifacts across six sacrificial pits, as reported by the Chinese state news agency Xinhua.
News Burst 23 June 2022 – Earthquakes
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