Ten monks in Grottaferratta, Italy’s ancient monastery are striving to keep alive a1,600-year-old spiritual tradition.
A huge, already damaged radio telescope in Puerto Rico that has played a key role in astronomical discoveries for more than half a century completely collapsed on Tuesday. The telescope's 900-ton receiver platform fell onto the reflector dish more than 400 feet below. The U.S. National Science Foundation had earlier announced that the Arecibo Observatory would be closed.
Multinational corporations including Nike and Coca-Cola are lobbying to water down legislation that would ban products made with forced labor in China's Xinjiang province, the New York Times reported on Sunday.China has attempted to cement state power over millions of Muslim citizens in Xinjiang, mostly Uyghur Muslims along with Kazakhs and other minorities. The ruling Communist Party has placed Uyghurs in so-called reeducation camps that attempt to erase their attachment to Islam, and has also embarked on a campaign of forced sterilization of Uyghur women.Numerous global supply chains are based in Xinjiang, including for cotton and coal, and China has employed forced Uyghur labor for various factories. The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which passed the House 406-3 in September and is currently under consideration in the Senate, would ban imports of good from Xinjiang unless U.S. customs officials could verify that the goods were not produced using forced labor.However, multinational companies are lobbying against the legislation, saying that while they do not support use of forced labor, the bill could have a detrimental impact on their supply chains. Along with Nike and Coca-Cola, tech giant Apple is also pushing to weaken some restrictions, the Washington Post reported last week.Coca-Cola "strictly prohibits any type of forced labor in our supply chain" and employs third-party auditors to enforce the policy, the company said in a statement to the Times. Nike said it "did not lobby against" the legislation but had "constructive discussions" with congressional aides on keeping its supply chain free of forced labor.Pro-business groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have also joined the lobbying efforts.A report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in March of this year concluded that at least 80,000 Uyghurs have been sent away from their homes to labor in factories in other parts of China.
The retort came after Canberra demanded an apology over a fake image of a soldier killing a child.
President launches attacks on his own party despite two decisive Senate races in Georgia next month
The U.S. Senate on Monday confirmed two of President Donald Trump's picks for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), in a move that could secure a Republican majority on the panel through June. The Senate passed Mark Christie, a Republican, and Allison Clements, a Democrat, by voice vote to FERC, an independent panel of the Energy Department.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has returned to his Washington office two weeks after he tested positive for COVID-19, his team announced Monday.While Grassley wasn't the first lawmaker to contract the virus, many people were concerned about the diagnosis because the senator is 87. It turned out, however, that he remained asymptomatic throughout the course of his infection and was able to keep working remotely.Still, Grassley didn't let his fortunate situation reshape his stance on the severity of the pandemic. In a statement, he noted that the disease "affects people differently" and "more than a thousand Americans are dying every day and many more are hospitalized." So, Grassley said, he'll "continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing."He also repeated his previous calls for Congress to pass a "long overdue," bipartisan relief bill to "help families, businesses, and communities get through this crisis." Tim O'Donnell> Grassley, 87, is back at the Senate today after testing positive for Covid-19. His office says he was asymptomatic the entire time. pic.twitter.com/qJImIJl8ZC> > -- Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) November 30, 2020More stories from theweek.com Americans are choosing death over deprivation GOP Sen. Josh Hawley tries to explain how Democrats are both 'Marxists' and 'corporatists' Our parents warned us the internet would break our brains. It broke theirs instead.
The news that former Vice President Joe Biden would become the next president of the United States was met in Russia with grim resignation, bordering on despair. Experts on Russian state television have described Biden’s presidency as “Obama’s third term” and predicted a slew of new sanctions dreaded by the Kremlin. This anticipation revived the wave of racist attacks against former President Barack Obama, which were commonplace during his administration.Overt racism in Russian state media is far from uncommon but nonetheless continues to be shocking. Tigran Keosayan—the husband of Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of the Kremlin-funded RT and Sputnik—took racist mockery to new lows on his program Mezhdunarodnaya Pilorama (“International Sawmill”). Keosayan described Barack Obama as “the dark page of American history,” while introducing a highly offensive sketch by an actress in blackface impersonating the former president, which was first reported by the Moscow Times.The purported portrayal of Obama was tasteless and crude, with the actress in a bandana gesticulating as a rapper and describing the former president as a “chocolate bunny.” The show, which aired on NTV—a network funded by state-owned gas company Gazprom, mocked “Black Lives Matter” and claimed that none of Obama’s relatives know how to write. The sketch concluded with a recommendation that rather than read Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope, viewers should opt for “reading the label on the bathroom air freshener.”Facing worldwide condemnation for the latest racist episode, Margarita Simonyan—heralded as one of the most influential women in news media—attempted to backpedal, using her husband’s Armenian ethnicity as some kind of an excuse for his indefensible racism. She described the offensive sketch as a “parody of Obama” and disingenuously claimed, “As someone who is part of an ethnic minority in Russia, Tigran regularly makes fun, on the air, of his large 'ethnic' nose and his belonging to a 'Black' community (look it up if you don't know which ethnicities are referred to as 'Black' in Russia).”Despite Simonyan’s clumsy excuses, her husband is not the only one who considers himself somehow entitled to mock Black Americans. In June, RT’s editor-in-chief shared a despicably racist article from the Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda, which made references to “muscular criminal Negroes,” described “twerking” as the “national Negro dance,” recommended the use of amphetamines, and encouraged violence and death.Russian state media outlets have long expressed their desire for civil unrest in the United States. The author of the article, Dmitry Steshin, urged, “Beat the whites until they turn Black.” Simonyan shared the article, describing it as a piece of “good advice from an international journalist to the negroes of Minnesota and the United States.”Simonyan’s husband followed up the obscene sketch on his program with a ludicrous assertion: “There is no racism in Russia.” It was no more believable than the notorious Soviet claim, “There is no sex in the USSR.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
Some establishment Republicans are sounding alarms that President Donald Trump’s conspiratorial denials of his own defeat could threaten the party’s ability to win a Senate majority and counter President-elect Joe Biden’s administration. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, who face strong Democratic challengers in Jan. 5 runoffs that will determine which party controls the Senate at the outset of Biden’s presidency. Republicans acknowledge Trump as the GOP’s biggest turnout driver, including in Georgia, where Biden won by fewer than 13,000 votes out of about 5 million cast.
New Zealand's workplace regulator has filed charges against 13 parties following an investigation into a volcanic eruption on White Island in 2019 which killed 22 people. A surprise eruption on the White Island, also known by its Maori name of Whakaari, on Dec 9 last year, killed 22 people and injured dozens. Majority of them were tourists from countries like Australia, the United States and Malaysia who were part of a cruise ship that was travelling around New Zealand.