10/16/2020 News Briefs: (1)

“The Virus”: first published in 1982, is reissued this summer after the PM’s father shrugged off accusations of cashing in on the coronavirus crisis. A novel about a deadly virus by Stanley Johnson, the father of UK prime minister Boris Johnson, is—
— reissued in June, during the coronavirus pandemic. Johnson senior’s 1982 novel The Virus has been snapped up by Black Spring, an imprint of Eyewear Press, an independent publisher founded by poet Todd Swift. Originally titled The Marburg Virus, the novel follows an—
— epidemiologist who must race against time to develop a vaccine when an unknown virus breaks out in NY. Jonathan Lloyd, Johnson’s literary agent at Curtis Brown, said the novel was presented to 4 publishers but it “did not get a positive response” until Black Spring responded.
(2) The Delaware computer repair shop owner, John Paul Mac Isaac, who turned over the Apple Macbook Pro containing Hunter Biden’s stuff said that he is legally blind, and therefore he “can’t be 100% sure” that the individual who dropped off the laptop was Hunter Biden. The man—
— whom Isaac believes to be Hunter Biden dropped off “three laptops” at his shop in April 2019, but only one was salvageable. Isaac said the customer never returned for the laptop, and, after being unable to get in touch with the customer, Isaac began looking through the contents
— of the hard drive. He searched the emails by keyword in June or July. “I just don’t know what to say, or what I’m allowed to say,” Isaac said. “I know that I saw, I saw stuff. And I was concerned. I was concerned that somebody might want to come—
— looking for this stuff eventually and I wanted it out of my shop.”
(3) Update: Italian police arrested Cecilia Marogna in Milan late Tuesday on a warrant from the Vatican City State. A Vatican official told Reuters that Holy See magistrates suspect her of embezzlement and misappropriation of funds, in complicity with others. Before her arrest,—
— Marogna told Italian media she had received half a million euros to run behind-the-scenes diplomacy to assist missionaries in conflict zones in Africa and Asia. Marogna, 39, is an associate of Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu. Last month, Pope Francis forced Becciu to resign as—
— head of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints and stripped him of his right as a cardinal to vote for a new pope. Francis did not give a reason for Becciu’s dismissal. But his firing apparently stemmed from Becciu’s activities in his previous post, as the second-ranking
— official in the Vatican secretariat of state, where he handled the Holy See’s investments.
(4) The deportation case of a Tamil family from Biloela in Queensland rests with their three-year-old daughter, the youngest person currently held in an Australian immigration detention center. She and her five-year-old sister Kopika, who were both born in Australia
— been detained on the remote Christmas Island, an Australian territory, with their asylum seeker parents for almost 14 months, since a court injunction prevented their deportation to Sri Lanka. The family had been living in Biloela since 2014 until taken from their home—
— in a dawn raid in March 2018 and detained. Despite last week’s federal budget announcement that a further $55.6 million will be spent on upgrading the Christmas Island detention center, the family of four have had to share a bed for the nearly—
— 14 months they have been held on the island, mother Priya Murugappan said. Christmas Island Immigration Reception and Processing Centre or commonly just Christmas Island Immigration Detention Centre, is an Australian immigration detention facility located on Christmas Island in
— the Indian Ocean. Under the Migration Act, people who arrive to Australia by boat cannot apply for a visa while in Australia.
(5) The $3.5 billion China-built Dara Sakor International Airport in Koh Kong province is scheduled to be operational in mid-2021, close to three years after work started, according to a report from the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA). It will be able to handle—
— long-haul aircraft such as Boeing 777s and the Airbus A340. During a site inspection of the construction earlier this week, the SSCA’s technical working group said by the end of 2020 or early 2021 it will fully complete flight validation. The report added that on March 20—
— next year the company will complete acceptance of the construction and conduct a flight test the following day. It noted the construction company, Tianjin-based Union Development Group, will send the completed building documents to the SSCA by May 30 and,—
— by mid-2021, the company will request the SSCA to service and operate the airport.
(6) The Swedish Minister of Higher Education, Research and Space, Matilda Ernkrans, recently visited the space base Esrange in northernmost Sweden and has since announced that the government is investing SEK 90 million ($10.1 million) in infrastructure that will enable—
— Sweden to start launching satellites into orbit in the near future. “It feels good. I believe it’s important, we are a committed space nation. Just last year, we bolstered the space budget, we are in the process of changing space legislation that needs to be upgraded, and now—
— we can give the message to continue developing our space base Esrange with this new capability”, Matilda Ernkrans said, as quoted by Swedish Radio. Matilda Ernkrans announcement was met with a round of applause at the space base outside the mining town of Kiruna, among others,—
— by Stefan Gardefjord, CEO of the state-owned Swedish Space Corporation, SSC, which operates Esrange.
(7) 70% of Americans say they would rather stay home and watch movies instead of paying to go to theaters, even if theaters reopen. Industry spin doctors will claim that the drop in interest is due solely to the coronavirus, but this is a lie. Domestic movie attendance hit a 25
— year low in 2017, and this is part of a long term slide which was building for years beforehand. Hollywood is no longer a business. They are no longer concerned with making a profit. They do not care if the public is repelled by their content. Everything is changing.—
— Hollywood is becoming what I suspect it was always meant to be: An Orwellian bullhorn blaring in the ears of the people 24/7. (Brandon Smith)
(8) Beersheba in Israel could have been home to the world’s first furnace 6,500 years ago, according to a study by Tel Aviv University and the Israel Antiquities Authority. The results of the archaeological research, published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, have—
— described an ancient workshop for smelting copper ore, discovered in the Neveh Noy neighborhood of Beersheba, capital of the desert and semidesert region of Negev in southern Israel. The scientists claim that their find proves the theory that there existed an elite in society—
— of that era which had expertise and professional secrets, such as how to create copper.
(9) Afghan Files
ABC journalist Dan Oakes won’t be charged over a series of reports called the Afghan Files, Australian Federal Police have confirmed. The 2017 reports were based on leaked Defense papers and revealed Australian defense personnel may have committed war crimes in—
— Afghanistan. Oakes was facing three potential charges linked to obtaining classified information but the AFP on Thursday said it wasn’t in the public interest for the journalist to be prosecuted. The national broadcaster is again calling for media law reforms to protect —
— Journalists and their sources, with ABC managing director David Anderson describing the series of events as “disappointing and disturbing”. Journalists in this country should not be prosecuted for doing their jobs. The Afghan Files is factual and important reporting which—
— exposed allegations about Australian soldiers committing war crimes in Afghanistan. Its accuracy has never been challenged.” MEAA president Marcus Strom said the current laws punish journalists and whistleblowers when governments are embarrassed by what is published.
(10) In India, where many admire President Donald Trump, one rural farmer worshipped him like a god, praying to a life-size statue of the US president in his backyard every morning. When Mr Trump announced he had the coronavirus, it devastated Mr Krishna. The farmer posted a—
— tearful video on Facebook in which he said: “I feel very sad that my god, Trump, has contracted the coronavirus. I ask everyone to pray for his speedy recovery.” He stopped eating to show solidarity with his idol’s suffering from COVID-19, his family said. He fell into a deep—
— depression. On Sunday, the same day Mr Trump recovered, he died of cardiac arrest. Mr Krishna became a fan when the president appeared to him in a dream and predicted that India’s national cricket squad would beat its arch-rival, Pakistan, in a match the next day.
(11) Chkalov State Flight Test Center
US media have taken note of “some very unusual flying” that was featured in a newly released video by the Russian Ministry of Defence. The video, dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the founding of the legendary Chkalov State Flight Test—
— Center, includes several seconds of footage of a Su-57 flying without its canopy. “Because sometimes you just have to take a cruise without the shield that protects you from freezing to death,” Popular Mechanics contributor Kyle Mizokami quipped, adding that the canopy-free
— flight was probably a test meant “to ensure there are no unexpected issues flying plane if the canopy were suddenly to come off.” Mizokami suggested that, judging by the clip, the Su-57’s pilot “appears to be wearing a very heavy jacket or flight suit as a means of protection.”
(12) Beyond Imagination
(13) Surprise
(14) Twitter puppet master is backtracking... wonder if he’s gonna ban everybody that sends some cursing across...

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10/17/2020 News Briefs: (1)

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