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Recent News

Five people injured in Fort Worth Park Shooting

On Sunday, 600 people gathered at a park in Forth Worth, Texas when multiple shots were fired at around 6:30 pm. Two were critically injured, the other three sustained minor injuries. According to Police, the crowd had gathered in the park despite social distancing orders.

So far, it's unclear who and why opened fire. Another shooting was reported 30 minutes later at a convenience store less than a mile away from the park. Police are investigating whether the two shootings were related.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Airline Avianca filed for bankruptcy
Avianca Boeing on Runway
Avianca Boeing on Runway Credit: Richard Vandervord / CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0)

Colombian airline Avianca, the world's second-oldest airline, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. According to a statement on its website, the airline cited "unforeseeable impact of the Covid-19 pandemic" as the reason for its decision. After the impact of the pandemic cut 80% of the airline's income, 20,000 employees have been put on unpaid leave.

Regional News • Africa
Mauritius starts reopening businesses and launches platform for work permits

The Republic of Mauritius has launched an online platform for the public to apply digitally for work permits as the country eases its Covid-19 lockdown. So far only food and gas distributors, supermarkets and convenience stores are permitted to open. Hairdressers and hardware stores will be allowed to re-open from May 14th on. Also, a few other businesses will be allowed to operate, including medical facilities, petrol stations, hotels, port and airport and related businesses, security services, as well as cleaning and scavenging services.

Russia has third-highest number of Covid-19 cases

Russia currently counts over 220,000 Covid-19 cases, more cases than both Italy and the UK. On Monday, the country recorded 11,656 new cases. The death toll remains lower than in many other countries, currently standing at around 2,000 Covid-19 related deaths.

Regional News • Asia • China
China reclassified city near Russia and North Korea as "high risk" again

After multiple locally transmitted cases, China has reclassified the city of Shulan near the borders of North Korea and Russia as "high risk" and has closed all public places including cinemas, libraries and others with the order that all residents must stay home with the exception of "unusual circumstances". The country had reported a total of 17 new cases on Sunday.

Education • University Education
Princeton University announces first black valedictorian

Princeton, one of the eight Ivy League colleges, has announced its first black valedictorian in its 274-year history. Nicholas Johnson, a Montreal native, is majoring in financial engineering and operations research and has previously worked as a software engineer at Google.

"It feels empowering. Being Princeton's first Black Valedictorian holds special significance to me particularly given Princeton's historical ties to the institution of slavery," Johnson told CNN.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Mike Pence won't self-quarantine and go back to White House this week

The spokesperson of the vice president, Devin O'Malley has announced that Mike Pence won't go into self-quarantine after his press secretary has been tested positive for the coronavirus. While the vice president plans on coming to the White House on Monday, his schedule will most likely not contain as many appointments as normal.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Soul and R&B singer Betty Wright dies age 66

Betty Wright, legendary Soul and R&B singer, dies of cancer at age 66. She died at her home in Miami, according to Billboard. Wright is known for hits such as "Tonight Is The Night" and "Clean Up Woman".

Science • Animals
First animal discovered that doesn't need oxygen

In a study published in the journal of PNAS, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists described their findings of a jellyfish-like parasite without oxygen dependency, called Henneguya salminicola. The microscopic parasite has less than 10 cells and has been found to live in salmon muscles. This discovery has changed the assumption that multicellular organisms need a mitochondrial genome to live. The paper further states that "H. salminicola provides an opportunity for understanding the evolutionary transition from an aerobic to an exclusive anaerobic metabolism".

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Jerry Stiller dies age 92 of natural causes
Jerry Stiller in New York City for a book reading for Festivus
Jerry Stiller in New York City for a book reading for Festivus Credit: Daniel Krieger (Smoothdude) / CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

Comedian and Seinfeld actor Jerry Stiller has died at age 92 from natural causes. His son Ben Stiller confirmed the passing of his father on Twitter: “I’m sad to say that my father, Jerry Stiller, passed away from natural causes. He was a great dad and grandfather, and the most dedicated husband to Anne for about 62 years. He will be greatly missed. Love you Dad."

Regional News • Asia
South Korea struggles to contain second Covid-19 outbreak

South Korea, who was quick to take action to contain the spread of Covid-19 earlier this year, is struggling to contain new infections. Over the weekend, the country counted 69 new cases, equal to the number reported in the entire previous week and the highest daily number in over a month. Most new cases are linked to Seoul bars and nightclubs and authorities are in the midst of tracking down and testing over 7,000 patrons.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
Cannes Film Festival to announce Selection in June
Viewers in cinema
Viewers in cinema Credit: unsplash.com/@kristsll

A spokesperson of the Cannes Film Festival has announced that they will announce "films from the (initial Official) Selection at the beginning of June". The fall film festival is currently ruling out a physical festival but might organize a “redeployment ‘outside the walls’ (of Cannes), in collaboration with fall festivals", including festivals such as Venice, Toronto and New York.

Anthony Fauci to self-quarantine

After multiple people in the Trump White House tested positive for Covid-19, Anthony Fauci alongside two other Covid-19 taskforce members have gone into self-quarantine. So far, they have been tested negative for Covid-19 and will continue to work remotely.

Brazil: Court overturns restrictions for blood donations by gay and bisexual men

The supreme court in Brazil has, after four years in court, decided to overturn the current rules for blood donations of gay and bisexual men. Currently, these men are prohibited from donating blood for 12 months after having sex with other men. The decision eliminates this waiting period and was made with seven of eleven votes in favor of the elimination.

Science • Medicine
Johnson & Johnson aiming to produce 1 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines in 2021

Johnson & Johnson, multinational medical and pharmaceutical corporation, said in a statement on Sunday that they "aim to deliver 1 billion (Covid-19) vaccines next year". According to Paul Stoffels, chief scientific officer, the company is starting clinical trials in September and is planning to upscale their manufacturing to be able to start producing the vaccine late this year. Stoffel added “We will have some vaccine available this year, but it will depend on the authorities – the FDA and others – to decide whether it can be used earlier, before efficacy data are available".

Regional News • Americas • United States
Pennsylvania becomes third US state to outlaw underage marriage

Previously children under 16 years could marry with court approval and children between the ages 16 and 18 could do so with the consent of their parents. Under the new law, all marriages under the age of 18 are banned. Since 2014 over 2,300 children between age 15 and 17 were married in Pennsylvania, according to the organization Unchained that actively works towards ending underage and forced marriages.

Regional News • Americas • United States
California first state to allow mail-in ballot for presidential election

California state will send out mail-in ballots for the upcoming presidential election to every registered voter, so Governor Gavin Newsom. In-person voting will still be possible and Alex Padilla, Secretary of State, said that they "remain committed to providing as many safe, in-person opportunities to vote as possible on and before Election Day". California is the first state to offer mail-in ballots for the November election.

Science • Space
NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 to begin on May 27
NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 to begin on May 27
Credit: NASA (Public Domain)

NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley have been working and training on SpaceX's next-generation human space vehicle. The two astronauts will lift off on a Falcon 9 rocket on May 27 from the Launch Complex 39A in Florida that will take them to the International Space Station for an extended stay for the Demo-2 mission. NASA calls this mission a "new era of human spaceflight" and believe it will "not only renew American capability to launch astronauts from U.S. soil" but it will also "expand the number of crew members on board the station".

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Musk announces that Tesla will move headquarters from California to Texas/Nevada

The CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, has announced in a tweet that the company will move its headquarters from California to Nevada, Texas. Musk also questioned if the manufacturing plant in Fremont will keep operating in the future after he complained about the Alameda county regulation that all but essential businesses are not allowed to operate until the end of May, due to the coronavirus.

Study shows correlation of Covid-19 cases with lower levels of vitamin D

Vitamin D was previously associated with resistance to acute respiratory infections. A new study shows that countries with lower mean vitamin D levels are also having higher infection and mortality rates of coronavirus.