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Jack of all Trades Top Pentributor
co-founder of Pendect. Trying to protect free speech and democracies by creating a global news platform that is built through expert contribution. In love with vinyl, psytrance and penguins.
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Science • Animals
Numbers of elephants in Kenya have doubled over the last three decades
Numbers of elephants in Kenya have doubled over the last three decades
Credit: Kenya Wildlife Service via Facebook

Kenya's Tourism Minister Najib Balala has announced that the authorities of the country have "managed to tame poaching" over the past decades which lead to the doubling of the elephant population in the country.

While in 1989 only 16,000 lived in the country the number has grown to over 34,000 in 2018 according to the Director of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) John Waweru.

Politics • Asian
India raids multiple Chinese entities over suspicion of money laundering

According to an official statement, multiple premises of Chinese entities have been raided by the tax authorities of India.

The Indian authorities are investigating suspected money laundering but did not specify which entities and individuals have been raided. Following the statement over 40 bank accounts in dummy entities have been created and entered into credits of over $134,03 million in the local currency rupees.

One of the checked Chinese companies has allegedly taken over $13,4 million from shell companies to open "retail showrooms" in India.

Sports
Tony Hawk announces renaming of skateboard trick from "mute grab" to "Weddle grab"
Tony Hawk announces renaming of skateboard trick from "mute grab" to "Weddle grab"
Credit: Tony Hawk Instagram

Professional skater Tony Hawk has announced that for the new installation of the Tony Hawk skating game, the "mute air" or "mute grab" called trick has been renamed. According to him around 1981 the trick had been invented by Chris Weddle a back then "prominent amateur on the competition circuit". As Weddle is a deaf skater and the other skaters wanted to give credit to the inventor, it became known as "mute air". Hawk states that "we all went along with it in our naive youth".

Hawk states that he has talked to Weddle last year and decided to change the name of the trick to "The Weddle Grab".

Politics • European • Germany
Russian Covid-19 vaccine possibly "dangerous" according to German Health Minister
Jens Spahn
Jens Spahn Credit: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

In a radio interview with Deutschlandfunk, the German Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn has stated: "it is not about being first somehow, but about having an effective, a tested and therefore safe vaccine, which - and this is the important part - will vaccinate 100 million, if not billions of people".

According to his judgment, Russia has not been transparent enough about the studies, trials and science behind the Covid-19 vaccine that has already been approved.

He stated that "at least we now know that there have been no phase 3 studies" adding that it could be "dangerous to start vaccinating millions". Possible negative effects could "be quite fatal to the acceptance of vaccination if it goes wrong" as the approved Vaccine "has not been sufficiently tested here".

Politics • European
Lithuania prepares to grant access to the country for Belarusians in light of protests
Representative image Brest (Belarus) border checkpoint
Representative image Brest (Belarus) border checkpoint Credit: Szajci (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Lithuanian Interior Minister Rita Tamašunienė has announced that "in light of the current developments in the neighboring country" people from Belarus should be excluded from the entry restrictions in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

She referenced that "these are foreigners coming to Lithuania for special humanitarian purposes" and a spokesperson for the government has stated that people from Belarus will be able to apply for humanitarian help. The procedure for the application process the expected to be confirmed on Thursday.

Business • Entrepreneurship & Startups
Founders of German N26 startup bank obtain temporary injunction to prevent election of works council
Founders of German N26 startup bank obtain temporary injunction to prevent election of works council
Credit: N26

The founders of the German startup bank N26 have previously stated that a works council would be "against almost all the values in which we at N26 believe" while a group of employees has stated that the trust in the management of the company is "at an all-time low".

This group of employees had intended to elect a works council this week but the management has obtained a temporary injunction from the Berlin labour court on the grounds of a missing hygiene concept during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The workers union Verdi has criticized the actions of the management while an N26 spokesperson has stated that "we would like to make it clear once again that neither the founders nor the management team of N26 are against employee representation and participation - in whatever form - or are taking action against them".

Politics • Middle Eastern
Syrian President Assad halts speech after suffering from low blood pressure
Syrian President Assad halts speech after suffering from low blood pressure
Credit: Kremlin (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

During a speech in the Syrian parliament the president Bashar al-Assad has halted his speech after stating "I need to sit for a minute if you don't mind". While it is unclear for how long he took a break from his speech, al-Assad stated after returning that he had not "eaten since yesterday afternoon. I have no sugar or salt, and this happens". Adding that "doctors are the worst patients" referencing his training as an eye doctor.

Bashar al-Assad has no known underlying health conditions.

Technology • Games
Police in Belarus detains professional esports athlete Oleg "Lasthero" Demidovich, location unknown
Police in Belarus detains professional esports athlete Oleg "Lasthero" Demidovich, location unknown
Credit: B8 Twitter

The professional Dota 2 esports organization B8 has announced that one of their players has been detained by the police in Belarus. On Tuesday evening he went out to meet with friends on Victoria Square in Minsk. According to the statement "police officers approached them and, for reasons unknown to us, took them into Victoria Square metro station building, where there were already about 50 detainees".

On Wednesday his friends found out that he had been detained. His exact location and condition are unknown, but his friends suspect him to be detained in a preliminary prison in the Zhodino, Minsk region.

Demidovich currently plays for the organization of Danil "Dendi" Ishutin the winner of the Dota 2 world championships "The International" in 2011.

Politics • European
Police in Belarus admits that they have used live rounds against protestors

The interior ministry in Belarus has published a statement regarding the use of police force in the ongoing protests following the election on Sunday.

It states that "warning shots did not stop" the protestors and that "to protect the lives and health of officers, firearms were employed. One of the assailants is injured". According to the official numbers from the ministry over 1,000 people were arrested in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday taking the number of total arrested people to at least 4,000.

As the internet is still partially shut down in Belarus, information is scarce but one video shows arrested people being held lying face down outside on a floor at a police station in Minks. Other videos show police hitting and ramming cars as the protests escalate further.

Technology • Internet & Web
Facebook faces lawsuit over illegal harvesting of biometric information from Instagram users
Facebook faces lawsuit over illegal harvesting of biometric information from Instagram users
Credit: Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum

In a new lawsuit, filed Monday in Redwood City, Facebook is accused of collecting, storing and profiting from biometric data of more than 100 million Instagram users, without explicitly asking for their consent.

According to the suit, Facebook started informing Instagram users about their biometric data being collected only at the beginning of 2020, which allegedly violated an Illinois privacy law.

Last month, the social media company offered to pay $650 million to settle a different lawsuit in which it was accused of illegally collecting biometric data through a photo-tagging tool provided to Facebook users.