15 Jun 2020

Earthquake with 5.8 magnitude hits Gujarat
Reports coming in from the NCS indicate that the quake clocked in at 5.8 on the Richter scale. “Chief Minister Vijay Rupani held an immediate telephone conversation with the Collectors of Rajkot, Kutch and Patan districts following the tremors in the state and got information about the situation there,” the Gujarat Chief Minister’s Office said.

Earthquake rattles parts of Jamaica
Jamaica — An earthquake rattled parts of the island just before 3:00 this morning. Tremors have so far been reported in Kingston, St Andrew, St Ann, St Mary, Portland, Clarendon and St Catherine. The United States Geological Survey initially reported that the magnitude 4.0 quake was recorded 8 km NNW of Buff Bay, Portland.

As Protesters Target Confederate Statue, Armed Citizens Form ‘Battle Line’ in Front of the Memorial
Proclaiming themselves to be a “battle line,” a crowd gathered in Kentucky on Friday and Saturday to guard a monument to Confederate soldiers against potential attacks by Black Lives Matter protesters. Although protesters did gather in Brandenburg, about 30 miles southwest of Louisville, so did others who blocked access to the monument. Some of the monument’s defenders were armed.

Earthquake of magnitude 6 strikes Taiwan region- EMSC
June 14 (Reuters) – An earthquake of magnitude 6 has struck the Taiwan region, the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said. The quake was at a depth of 55 km, EMSC said. (Reporting by Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru)

Japan: 6.7-magnitude earthquake strikes north-northwest of Amami Ōshima June 13
The US Geological Survey (USGS) recorded a 6.7-magnitude earthquake that occurred on Sunday, June 14, around 131 km (81.4 mi) north-northwest of Amami Ōshima island (Kagoshima prefecture). The quake hit at around 00:47 (local time) at a depth of 164.8 km (102 mi). No tsunami warning was immediately issued.

Met Éireann issue potato blight warning for Ireland
Blight is a fungus that causes disease in potatoes and tomatoes. The fungus was the primary cause of the Irish potato famine from 1845-1850 which killed around two million people and forced a further two million people to emigrate.

Colorado seeing very dry conditions heading into summer
Precipitation well below normal coupled with above-average temperatures have led to early snowmelt, according to a news release from the Natural Resources Conservation Service. A map in the release shows statewide precipitation at just 50% of normal, with the Colorado basin slightly better at 53% of average.

Drought Monitor: Abnormally dry in the North Country, Adirondacks
According to the latest drought report from the U.S. Drought Monitor released June 11, abnormally dry conditions have expanded into parts of northern New York to include a good portion of Jefferson and Lewis Counties and the Adirondacks. The recent lack of decent rainfall in central and northern New York has lead to dry conditions across the area and parts of New England.

Entire Florida SWAT Team Resigns After Police Chief Takes Knee With Protesters
A 10-member SWAT team for a Florida police department has resigned en masse after their chief knelt with racial justice protesters, saying they felt “restrained by the politicization of our tactics.”

Police Reform Faces Key Test at Supreme Court
The new national push to reform police practices will face an early test at the Supreme Court in the coming weeks, as the justices decide whether to revisit a legal rule that protects police officers from lawsuits involving constitutional violations.

Sapiens pays $250,000 in Bitcoin to hackers who took over its computers
Nasdaq and Tel Aviv- listed Israeli software company Sapiens International Corp. N.V. (NASDAQ: SPNS) was forced to pay $250,000 ransom in Bitcoin to hackers that threatened to shut down its computers, a person with knowledge of the matter told Calcalist on condition of anonymity. The company, which is based out of the Tel Aviv suburb of Holon did not report the matter to the American or Israeli exchange authorities.

LGBTQ ideology ‘destructive to man’, says Polish president
Incumbent Polish President Andrzej Duda, who is expected to secure a second term in his country’s June 28 election, spoke out against “LGBT ideology” in a speech on his campaign trail. … last week, Duda signed a series of election promises, including pledges to prevent LGBT couples from getting married or adopting children as well as a ban on discussing LGTB-related issues in Polish schools.

Engineers put tens of thousands of artificial brain synapses on a single chip
MIT engineers have designed a “brain-on-a-chip,” smaller than a piece of confetti, that is made from tens of thousands of artificial brain synapses known as memristors — silicon-based components that mimic the information-transmitting synapses in the human brain.

International Involvement in Temporarily Assuaged India-China Border Tensions
International powers are beginning to choose sides in the border dispute between China and India over the highest altitude real estate in the world. Though a “positive consensus” has been reached, this particular border has a long history of conflict.

Nickelodeon Presents SpongeBob as Gay Against Creator’s Intentions
However Nickelodeon’s revelation seems to be contradict the show’s creator Stephen Hillenburg. “It doesn’t have anything to do with what we’re trying to do,” Hillenburg told Reuters back in 2005. “We never intended them to be gay. I consider them to be almost asexual. We’re just trying to be funny and this has got nothing to do with the show.”

Rare ‘Blood Rainbow’ Mystifies Small Canadian Town
I have never seen a full sunset rainbow before and I managed a few shots in the pouring rain. The first shot is when the sun was just setting and the second shot was after the sun had set.” The spiritual implications of the image were not lost on Thomas. In the end, even he acknowledged the religious effect of the sight. “ And yes we should cry out ‘Hosanna in the Highest’,” Thomas wrote.

Is BLM Being Used to Funnel Illegal Donations to the Democratic Party?
Through a backdoor loophole, donations given to Black Lives Matter for fighting racism may actually be ending up in the coffers of Democratic candidates strapped for cash. But when pressed for answers, the outspoken BLM leaders go strangely silent. On the Black Lives Matter official website, clicking on the ‘donation’ button redirects you to the donation webpage of Act Blue, … ActBlue is a nonprofit technology organization established in June 2004 that enables Democrats, progressive groups, and nonprofits to raise money on the Internet by providing them with online fundraising software.

Turkey Threatens to Unite all Muslim Countries Against Israel
“If the occupying power [Israel] crosses the red line, we [Muslim countries] must show that this will have consequences,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said during a special meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Executive Committee, according to Turkey’s Anadolu Agency. The virtual ministerial meeting, initiated by Turkey at the request of the Palestinian Authority, was dedicated to the issue of Israel’s planned sovereignty move.

Blue and White minister: Annexation dangerous for Israel
The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Alternative Prime Minister Benny Gantz should not annex any land at all unilaterally, Blue and White Minister Alon Schuster told The Jerusalem Post late Sunday night. Schuster said he was speaking for himself and was not aware if his party leaders, Benny Gantz and Gabi Ashkenazi agreed.

Russia joins anti-annexation chorus
Russia has joined the chorus of international voices cautioning Israel against going ahead with its plan to annex West Bank settlements by July 1. At the Russian National Day reception that he hosted in Jaffa last week, Russian ambassador Anatoly Viktorov stated: “We believe that the realization of intentions to apply Israeli sovereignty to parts of the West Bank would be a very dangerous development.

Netanyahu, Gantz to meet on coalition spat
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz are set to meet on Monday to resolve a dispute in the coalition. Netanyahu wants to open the coalition agreement to ensure he would remain prime minister if elections are called after a Supreme Court decision to prevent him from serving as alternate prime minister when Gantz would become prime minister in November 2021.

IAEA has ‘serious concern’ on Iran undeclared nuke material, activities
IAEA Director-General Rafel Grossi expressed serious concerns…regarding Iran’s failure to clarify questions regarding possible undeclared nuclear material and related activities…Grossi ratcheted up the pressure on the Islamic Republic for failing to grant his inspectors access to two nuclear facilities and failing to clarify undeclared nuclear material which the inspectors discovered last year.

Gov. Cuomo threatens to ‘reverse’ reopening in Manhattan, Hamptons amid rampant coronavirus social-distancing violations
Stir-crazy party animals may ruin the city’s planned reopening for the rest of us. Areas including Manhattan and the Hamptons where businesses have been widely reported for violating social distancing rules could see their reopening plans “reversed,” Gov. Cuomo threatened Sunday, even as Saturday marked the lowest number of new COVID-19 deaths in the state since the peak of the nightmare in April.

Pentagon surplus handouts stoke the militarization of US police
When US police flooded the streets around the country to confront protesters two weeks ago, for many it appeared like the army had deployed, with camouflage uniforms and combat gear, heavily armored anti-mine vehicles, and high-powered assault weapons. That’s not by accident. For years the US Defense Department has been handing its surplus equipment over for free to police departments…

France must seek greater economic independence after virus – Macron
President Emmanuel Macron said…he was accelerating France’s exit from its coronavirus lockdown and that the crisis had laid bare the country’s need for greater economic independence. In a televised address…Macron promised that the 500 billion euro cost of keeping companies afloat and people in jobs during the worst downturn since World War Two would not be passed to households through higher taxes.

Fears of virus second wave as China battles fresh outbreak
China reported its highest daily number of new coronavirus cases in months on Sunday, triggering fears of a second wave of infections as more European countries prepare to reopen their borders. The shock resurgence in domestic infections has rattled China, where the disease emerged late last year but had largely been tamed through severe restrictions on movement that were later emulated across the globe.

Colombia’s ELN rebels free six more hostages amid peace talks plea
Colombia’s largest rebel group, the National Liberation Army (ELN), has released six hostages, including two police officers and four civilians, officials say. The hostages were handed over to members of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in a rural area near the Venezuelan border on Sunday.

Atlanta police shooting: Rayshard Brooks death declared homicide
A medical examiner in Atlanta, Georgia, has declared the death of an African-American man to be homicide after he was shot in an encounter with police. Rayshard Brooks died while fleeing from two white police officers in a restaurant car park late on Friday. Protests erupted after his death, weeks after another black man, George Floyd, was killed in custody in Minneapolis.

German new debt to rise to 218 billion euros this year: Merkel ally
Germany’s new borrowing will rise to 218 billion euros this year…as Berlin is working on a record stimulus package to counter the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The comments by Eckhardt Rehberg followed a Reuters report from last Wednesday in which a senior official said that Germany’s overall new borrowing would probably balloon beyond 200 billion euros this year.

Israeli security forces raze illegal structures in West Bank outposts
Israeli security forces on Monday tore down a number of structures built in two illegal settlement outposts on the West Bank. Border Police and Civil Administration forces razed six illegal buildings in the Givat HaBaladim outpost and six other illegal structures in the Maoz Esther, both located in area C.

Report: Israel to transfer 50$ million of Qatari aid to Gaza
Israel has agreed to transfer $ 50 million of Qatari aid into the Gaza Strip and continue the social projects started by the Gulf states in exchange for Hamas’ pledge to stop incendiary balloon terror, Beirut-based Al Akhbar newspaper reported Monday. The amount is equal to two installments of Qatar’s monthly payment to the needy population in the coastal enclave.

Paris racial justice protesters chant anti-Israel, anti-Jewish slogans
Tens of thousands of racial justice protesters took to the streets Paris on Saturday, some of whom were heard chanting anti-Israel and anti-Jewish slogans as well as holding up sings criticizing Israeli government. The demonstrations across France started following similar protests in the United States after the death George Floyd, who was unjustly killed last month by a police officer.

sites in northern Iraq
Turkish warplanes struck more than 80 Kurdish targets in northern Iraq in response to an increase in attacks on Turkish army bases, the defence ministry said on Monday. The latest operation, codenamed Operation Claw-Eagle, hit suspected PKK targets in several regions in Iraq’s north, including Sinjar, according to a tweet from the military, which claimed 81 PKK targets were targeted, including shelters and caves.

What is on the agenda for Russia-Turkey talks in Istanbul
A Russian delegation are in Istanbul for talks on regional issues including Libya and Syria. The meeting was scheduled to take place in Moscow and focus on Syria. However, when Moscow decided Libya would top the agenda for the talks, Turkey decided to host them. Backing opposite sides in both Libya and Syria, Russia and Turkey seem to be willing to pursue their fragile cooperation and partnership.