Good morning. A couple has been charged with trying to sell U.S. nuclear secrets to another country stewed over funds and politics.
What brings about this kind of confidence?
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South Africa. The country's drug regulator has rejected the Russian-made coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V, citing some safety concerns the manufacturer wasn't able to answer.
Barbados. Sandra Mason has been elected as its first-ever president to replace the United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth as head of state in a decisive step towards shedding the Caribbean island’s colonial past.
United States. President Joe Biden has said the United States would come to Taiwan’s defence if the island were attacked by China, in comments that appeared to be a departure from a longstanding US policy of ‘strategic ambiguity’.
China. More than 40 mainly Western countries have criticised China at the United Nations over the reported torture and repression of the mostly Muslim Uighurs and other religious and ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, keeping a spotlight on a region where foreign governments and researchers say one million people or more have been confined in camps.
1879 Thomas Edison perfects carbonized cotton filament light bulb
1884 International Meridian Conference in Washington, D.C. adopts Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) worldwide, creating 24 international time zones with longitude zero at the Greenwich meridian
Turkey President Accuses Nigeria
The Story Discussions around Nigeria's insecurity crisis took a new dimension as Turkey says actors responsible in an attack on its own territory are based in Nigeria.
Is that so? President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey says the “terrorist organisation” behind the July 2016 failed coup in his country are operating illegally in Nigeria. Speaking through an interpreter, Erdogan, who is in Nigeria on a two-day visit, disclosed this on Wednesday at a media briefing in Abuja.
Did he name the group? Erdogan had blamed the “Fethullah terrorist organisation (FETO)” for the incident, and described the failed coup as a victory for democracy in Turkey. “We have been closely monitoring the developments unfolding in Nigeria. The perpetrator of the heinous failed coup of July 15, FETO, is still illegally active in Nigeria", the president said.
Is that why he's in Nigeria? Speaking in Abuja, the Turkish president said his country is willing to offer the necessary support to Nigeria to assist in the country’s fight against insurgency and other armed groups. “We are ready to share our ever expanding capabilities with Nigeria, especially in the field of defence industry and security which are being praised by the entire globe. This sensitivity that we showcase in fighting terrorism, I hope will be reciprocated by our Nigerian brothers and sisters and our counterparts", he added. SOURCE
El-Rufai Complains of Bandit Nomenclature
The Story Kaduna state governor Nasir El-Rufai says his government has been asking the federal government to declare bandits as terrorists since 2017.
How will it impact the situation? While receiving a Q3 security report on the state on Wednesday, the governor, who said his government has written letters to the federal government, requesting that bandits be declared terrorists, explained that declaring bandits as terrorists would allow the military to “kill” them without worrying about international laws.
What's he doing in the absence of such designation? While explaining that many state governments in the north-west and north-central have adopted an unconventional approach to helping the federal security agencies better protect communities, El-Rufai said the state government will soon establish a farmer-herder reconciliation council, with committees set up at the LGA and emirate levels.
The governor made a case for an increase in the number of Nigeria's security operatives, saying; “There is no alternative to launching simultaneous operations. I call for a consensus between the federal government and the 36 states on an emergency programme of recruitment into the security agencies". SOURCE
Large-Scale Kidnapping In Haiti
The Story 17 members from an Ohio-based organization called Christian Aid Ministries were kidnapped by a gang in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, after leaving an orphanage on Saturday.
That's serious! Five children are among the group of 16 Americans and one Canadian traveling by vehicle to another location north of the capital. One of the abductees posted a call for help in a WhatsApp group as the kidnapping was occurring. "Please pray for us!! We are being held hostage, they kidnapped our driver. Pray pray pray. We don't know where they are taking us," the message said. Kidnappings of rich and poor alike are common, surging this year, with gangs becoming more comfortable committing crimes outside the territories they control.
How did they get here? Haiti has been in political upheaval for years, and security has broken down as the country's politics disintegrated following the ouster of President Jovenel Moise two years ago. Since the still-unsolved assassination of Moise in July, the number of kidnappings has risen 300%. The violent gangs that control roughly half of the capital city of Port-au-Prince operate at will, hijacking public buses to kidnap children on their way to school or taking pastors in the middle of delivering their sermons.
What's being done to rescue the kidnapped? Over the weekend, a State Department spokesman said that the U.S. does not know the current location of the kidnapped missionaries, but that "officials are working around the clock to secure the release of Americans." Parts of the city are so dangerous many residents have fled, leaving once bustling streets nearly abandoned. But even in a country accustomed to widespread lawlessness, Saturday's abduction of such a large group of Americans shocked officials for its brazenness. It came just a day after the U.N. Security Council unanimously voted to extend its mission in Haiti until July 2022.
Many Haitians have called for the U.S. to send troops to stabilize the situation, but so far the Biden administration has been reluctant to commit to boots on the ground. Last month, the president came under fire from some Democratic lawmakers and immigrant advocates for his decision to send too many Haitians, who had amassed on the southern U.S. border seeking asylum, back to the unsafe, unstable island. SOURCE
Bacon of Hope
A major breakthrough has scientists squealing.
Give me the news.
First, some background: In US alone, nearly 107,000 people are waiting for an organ transplant. Over 90,000 of them are in need of a kidney. But getting off the waitlist can take an average of at least three years. And 12 people die each day waiting for a new one. For decades, scientists searched for alternatives to help save human lives. They tried (and failed) to use animal organs – from chimp kidneys to a baboon heart. But have made progress with pigs, whose organs are similar to humans'. Now, scientists reached a new milestone: successfully attaching a pig kidney to a human for the first time ever.
Hambitious. How’d it work?
Doctors at NYU used a genetically engineered pig for the experiment – getting rid of a sugar molecule that human bodies reject. After the green light from the patient's family and medical ethicists, they attached the kidney to a brain-dead patient’s blood vessels, observing it for 54 hours. Almost immediately, docs said ‘it’s working’ – finding that the pig kidney started producing urine and waste. And the biggest success of all: the body didn’t reject the organ. Doctors are calling it a game-changer.
The scientists behind the study say the experiment could mean similar trials for patients with end-stage kidney failure in the next year or two. And they could expand to include hearts, lungs, and livers – all organs that can also have long wait times. PETA said animals aren’t “warehouses for human spare parts.” And that “human organs are still the best hope” for successful transplants. But the long-term effects – like whether pig viruses can infect patients – are still unknown. Still, researchers are calling the engineered pigs a potential “renewable source of organs” that could save lives.
A mix of science
Tens of thousands of people’s lives hang in the balance every day as they wait for an organ transplant. Now, scientists are proving that collaborations in fields like genetic engineering, cloning, and medicine could provide people with a renewed chance of survival. SOURCE
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