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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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Diversity & Inclusion
Netflix announces $5 million fund to promote female filmmakers
Netflix announces $5 million fund to promote female filmmakers
Credit: unsplash.com/ Thibault Penin

Netflix has announced it will commit $5 million worldwide to programs that promote female talent in the entertainment industry.

“If you have women behind the camera, you see more women in front of the camera,” says Bela Bajaria, Netflix’s head of global TV. “If you have more people of color and underrepresented groups being creators, you absolutely see that reflected—and see those stories—in front of the camera.”

Regional News • Europe
European Commission President Von der Leyen expects 100 million Covid-19 doses for the EU per month as of April
European Commission President Von der Leyen expects 100 million Covid-19 doses for the EU per month as of April
Credit: Ashley Winkler for Pendect

In January and February, 20 and 30 million vaccine doses respectively had been delivered by the manufacturers, said von der Leyen, in March 50 million doses were expected: "From April onwards, the quantities could double again according to the manufacturers' plans. That would be an average of around 100 million doses per month in the second quarter, a total of 300 million by the end of June."

Regional News • Asia • India
"Freedom House rates India as only "partly free"
"Freedom House rates India as only "partly free"
Credit: unsplash.com / Naveed Ahmed

In the world's most populous democracy, political rights and civil liberties have been limited since Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office in 2014, writes the US government-funded organization in this year's democracy report. There has been a spate of fanatical attacks on Muslims - including lynchings. They account for 14 percent of the Hindu country's total population of 1.3 billion. In addition, there is increasing pressure on human rights organizations and intimidation of academics and journalists. According to the report, the developments in India reflect a worldwide trend towards authoritarianism.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
German politician got €288,000 commission through his private firm for brokered mask deals with China
German politician got €288,000 commission through his private firm for brokered mask deals with China
Credit: unsplash.com / Markus Winkler

Last year, CDU MP Nikolas Löbel brokered deals with Corona protection masks to German companies and earned more than a quarter of a million euros in commissions, according to information from Business Insider. According to the report, Löbel offered potential customers in Germany "mask deliveries reliably and quickly from China via Bricon Technology GmbH, based in Wurmlingen". Löbel had contact with this member of the People's Chamber after he had written to the Chinese raw materials company Sinopec, which sells Corona protective masks on a large scale all over the world.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
YouTubers prove that "royal experts lie about Harry and Meghan" by letting them comment on unreleased interview
YouTubers prove that "royal experts lie about Harry and Meghan" by letting them comment on unreleased interview
Credit: Courtesy of Youtube / Josh Pieters & Archie Manners

The British YouTubers Josh Pieters and Archie Manners have released a video in which they interviewed four Royal Experts and let them comment on the yet-to-be-released interview, in which Oprah Winfrey talked to Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

The people that commented on the unreleased interview include Dickie Arbiter, former press secretary of the Queen, Ingrid Seward, Editor-in-Chief of the Majesty Magazine, Richard Fitzwilliams, Royal Commentator and Victoria Arbiter, CNN Royal Commentator.

Lifestyle • Religion
Pope Francis starts his Iraq trip
Pope Francis and Mustafa al-Kadhimi
Pope Francis and Mustafa al-Kadhimi Credit: Vatican News

For the first time, a Catholic leader has travelled to Baghdad.

At the start of his trip, the Pope called for the coexistence of religions. Speaking at a reception with Head of State Barham Salih at the presidential palace, Francis said it was crucial to involve all political, social and religious groups and guarantee the fundamental rights of all citizens. "No one should be considered a second-class citizen," he said. At the same time, he called for an end to violence: "Let the guns be silent".

Business • Farming & Agriculture
Study: Food production Brazil feeds ten percent of the world's population
Study: Food production Brazil feeds ten percent of the world's population
Credit: unsplash.com / sergio souza

A new study has calculated that Brazilian farmers produced food for about ten percent of the world's population last year. The state agricultural research agency Embrapa has examined, among other things, grain and oilseed production and comes to the conclusion that Brazilian products fed almost 780 million people - on the one hand directly, and on the other hand by feeding grain or soy to animals that then ended up on the plate. Brazil is the world's largest exporter of soy, sugar, coffee, orange juice and beef and chicken.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Germany starts testing drive in bid to end lockdown
Germany starts testing drive in bid to end lockdown
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

The German Federal Government is expected to start paying for rapid tests starting next week, as part of the latest pandemic plan agreed to late Wednesday between Chancellor Angela Merkel and 16 state leaders to moving Germany out of lockdown.

German Health Minister Jens Spahn announced on Twitter the government had secured at least 200 million self-tests and 800 million rapid tests, of which 150 million are already in stock with suppliers.

"Opening schools without rapid tests will drive up the incidence rate," Karl Lauterbach, a Bundestag deputy for the Social Democrats (SPD) and an epidemiologist, wrote on Twitter.

Science • Animals
Study: low doses of the insecticide, Imidacloprid, cause blindness in insects
Study: low doses of the insecticide, Imidacloprid, cause blindness in insects
Credit: unsplash.com / Damien TUPINIER

New research has identified a mechanism by which low levels of insecticides such as, the neonicotinoid Imidacloprid, could harm the nervous, metabolic and immune system of insects, including those that are not pests, such as our leading pollinators, bees. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, led by researchers at the University of Melbourne and Baylor College of Medicine, shows that low doses of Imidacloprid trigger neurodegeneration and disrupt vital body-wide functions, including energy production, vision, movement and the immune system, in the vinegar fly, Drosophila melanogaster. "That's an indication of the impact of the insecticide on the function of the brain," said Dr Felipe Martelli, whose PhD work conducted at the University of Melbourne and the Baylor College of Medicine in the laboratory of Professor Hugo Bellen led to the current research paper.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Germany now recommends AstraZeneca for people over 65
Germany now recommends AstraZeneca for people over 65
Credit: Ashley Winkler for Pendect

The German Standing Commission on Vaccination (Stiko) at the Robert Koch Institute now recommends AstraZeneca's vaccine for people older than 65. The Ministry of Health confirmed the change in a statement. The interval between the two vaccination doses is also to be extended.