Month: July 2020

Study points to race, equipment access for higher virus risk in health staff

Paris (AFP) – Researchers raised fears that “systematic racism” in the provision of protective equipment was putting minority health workers at greater risk on Friday, as a study showed higher coronavirus infection rates among British and American medical staff. The report, published in The Lancet Public Health journal, found that frontline healthcare workers were over three…

Hurricane might delay SpaceX-NASA return trip from ISS

Washington (AFP) – The first US astronauts to reach the International Space Station on an American spacecraft in nearly a decade might not come home this weekend as scheduled because of Hurricane Isaias, NASA said Friday.Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley blasted off from Cape Canaveral on May 30 on board a SpaceX Crew Dragon, and…

Fitch downgrades US outlook to negative from stable

Washington (AFP) – Ratings agency Fitch on Friday downgraded the outlook for the United States to negative from stable, warning of high debt and deficits made worse by the coronavirus downturn.”The outlook has been revised to negative to reflect the ongoing deterioration in the US public finances and the absence of a credible fiscal consolidation…

US oil giants report big losses, prepare for longer downturn

New York (AFP) – Exxon Mobil and Chevron reported hefty losses in the latest quarter Friday as the weakened economic outlook due to the coronavirus pandemic pressures the industry to double down on cost cuts.”We’ve never seen a market demand crash so far so deep,” said Exxon Mobil senior vice president Neil Chapman.While he noted…

Brazil’s Pantanal wetlands hit by record fires in July

Brasília (AFP) – The Pantanal, the largest tropical wetlands in the world, suffered a record number of fires in July, according to satellite data, prompting the Brazilian government to deploy the army to fight them.Brazil’s national space agency, INPE, identified 1,669 fires this month in the Brazilian Pantanal, triple the number from July 2019 and…

Boston Marathon bomber wins death penalty appeal

New York (AFP) – A US appeals court overturned the death penalty for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on Friday and ordered a lower court to hold new sentencing hearings.Tsarnaev, 27, was sentenced to death in 2015 for planting two home-made bombs near the finish line of the race in 2013, killing three people and…

Fauci urges caution on China and Russia virus vaccines

Washington (AFP) – Anthony Fauci, the United States’ top infectious disease official, raised concerns Friday regarding the safety of COVID-19 vaccines under development by China and Russia.Several Chinese companies are at the forefront of the global vaccine race, while Russia has said it hopes to be the first in the world to produce a vaccine for…

US teen charged as ‘mastermind’ in epic Twitter hack

San Francisco (AFP) – Criminal charges were filed on Friday against the suspected teenage mastermind of an epic Twitter hack and two others who allegedly helped hijack celebrity accounts to swindle people out of more than $100,000 in a cryptocurrency scheme.Prosecutors in Florida said they filed 30 felony counts against 17-year-old resident of the state…

Liftoff to the Red Planet!

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover onboard launches from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Thursday, July 30, 2020. via NASA https://ift.tt/2XecjNN July 30, 2020

Beyonce delights fans with stylized visual album ‘Black Is King’

New York (AFP) – Pop royalty Beyonce on Friday released her much-hyped visual album “Black Is King,” an aesthetically ambitious video billed as a companion to her 2019 album of songs inspired by Disney’s live-action remake of “The Lion King.”The highly stylized visual narrative released on the Disney Plus streaming platform runs an hour and…