News Burst 4 August 2021
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News Burst 4 August 2021 – Featured News
- Kyle DeFreytag, a four-year veteran of the Metropolitan Police Department, was found dead on 10 July, the department confirmed to The Hill late Monday. DeFreytag, 26, is the fourth officer among those who responded to the 6 January attack on the Capitol said to have taken his own life.
- A Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent used provocative photographs of young female bureau staffers to lure suspected child sex predators while carrying out investigations, an internal Justice Department review has revealed, according to a report by USA Today. In a practice that was largely unsupervised, the unidentified FBI agent posted the photographs on social media sites, says the probe spearheaded by Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz. The agent in question also neglected to document where he’d put the images of the staffers, who were clothed and whose faces were blurred.
- Tens of thousands of antiquities vanished from Iraq after the 2003 US invasion that toppled the country’s leader Saddam Hussein. Since then, Iraqi authorities have been trying to track down the nation’s archaeological relics with the help of international agencies and have them returned. The United States is to return over 17,000 ancient artifacts that were smuggled out of Iraq after the American invasion in 2003, Iraq’s Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein said in a joint press conference with Culture Minister Hasan Nadhim. Among them is a 3,500-year-old clay tablet inscribed with a portion of the Sumerian epic poem of Gilgamesh. Known as the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet, it originated in modern-day Iraq and was brought illegally to the US, according to US federal prosecutors.
- On Tuesday the Indian Government announced that it’s developing a manned submersible capable of diving to depths of 600 metres. Delhi is also working on technologies for deep-sea mining and exploration missions to analyse marine biodiversity – a total of $549 million will be spent on the project – called Deep Ocean Mission – over five years. “The scientists will also develop technologies for deep-sea mining, exploration of deep-sea mineral resources and marine biodiversity, acquisition of a research vessel for ocean exploration, deep-sea observations, and capacity building in marine biology,” a government minister stated.
- An ancient fortress that has long been considered a myth has been found on the Swedish island of Öland. The castle Sörby Borg was first mentioned by local priest Nicholaus Vallinus in his dissertation in 1703. However, no clear place for the castle was described, and despite numerous attempts, the ancient castle remained a mystery until archaeologist Jan-Henrik Fallgren found it. According to Fallgren, the reason for the failed attempts is that the researchers were looking in the wrong place. The present-day village of Sörby is located just over 10 kilometres from the site. “The land here belonged to Sörby in the 18th century”, Jan-Henrik Fallgren explained to national broadcaster SVT. The castle is located on a former island called Kvinnön (“Women’s Island”), which disappeared as the Skedemosse moor was drained some 400 years ago, yielding a plethora of sacrificial arms and other artefacts, which are now on display in the Swedish History Museum in Stockholm.
- French Minister of State for European Affairs Clement Beaune does not exclude the possibility that Pfizer and Moderna could have increased prices for their COVID-19 vaccines due to the introduction of higher production standards and adapting the vaccines to the new coronavirus variants. “The negotiations [on new vaccine doses for the EU] are still going on, thus the information is confidential… Today nobody knows the final price for these vaccine shots, but it’s likely that they will rise,” Clement Beaune told the French CNews broadcaster. Beaune noted that now the talks revolve around the supplies of the Europe-made vaccines that are adapted to the new COVID-19 variants. “Therefore the current contracts are more demanding than the previous ones. We will not pay more for the same product; we will pay more for the product that is adapted to the new virus variants and abide by the higher European production standards,” the minister added.
- Australia’s Defense Department has released a four-year plan to tackle “serious and systemic” failures in its military structure and culture – eight months after a bombshell probe into war crimes in Afghanistan. Last November, the Brereton inquiry found sufficient credible evidence to allege that 25 Australian soldiers were involved in the murder of 39 Afghan civilians and prisoners. Recommending a criminal investigation, it warned of a “warrior culture” within the country’s special forces, and of “the clique of non-commissioned officers who propagated it.”
- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced an aggressive new strategy to get people vaccinated against Covid-19, confirming that activities like indoor dining and attending gyms will soon be exclusively for the inoculated. “The only way to patronize these establishments indoors will be if you’re vaccinated,” the mayor announced on Tuesday, citing concerns over the fast-spreading Delta variant. De Blasio did not get into specifics about how the mandate would be enforced. He said the rules will go into effect on August 16, but inspections won’t be carried out until September 13.
- Devastating scenes of dark-red skies, and the Sun completely blocked by smog from wildfires are coming today from the Republic of Sakha. Russia’s largest territory, used to be known as the Kingdom of Permafrost is turning into the Capital of Wildfires with this summer catastrophic forest infernos engulfing two million hectares of territory. Residents of Yakutsk, the world’s largest city built on permafrost, have spent weeks suffocating in poisonous smog brought by the fires. People living in settlements east, west and north of the capital complain of struggling to breathe.
- The reason Epstein left Bear Stearns in 1981 remains murky. Though some former Bear Stearns employees claim he was fired, others — including Epstein himself — claimed that he resigned of his own volition. Journalist Vicky Ward suggests that Epstein may have left the bank owing to a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation into insider trading in a case that involved a tender offer placed by the Seagrams corporation for St. Joe Minerals Corp. Seagrams owner Edgar Bronfman, son of Meyer Lansky associate Samuel Bronfman and member of the Mega Group, had tipped off several investors and bankers of the coming tender offer. Epstein resigned from Bear Stearns the day after the SEC opened the case and later claimed he had left the company as a result of a relatively minor “Reg D” violation and rumors that he had an “illicit affair with a secretary.” Yet, as Ward noted: The SEC never brought any charges against anyone at Bear Stearns for insider trading in St. Joe, but its questioning seems to indicate that it was skeptical of Epstein’s answers. Some sources have wondered why, if he was such a big producer at Bear Stearns, he would have given it up over a mere $2,500 fine.” ~ Whitney Webb
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News Burst 4 August 2021 – Earthquakes
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