August 7th, 2020.
An Air India plane with 191 people on board has crashed in southern India after a botched landing, causing the death of several people and injuring many others. After the explosions which practically destroyed the port area of Beirut, Lebanon is struggling with a record high number of novel coronavirus cases. A report accused Brazilian first lady Michelle Bolsonaro of receiving several payments from Fabrício Queiroz, a former aide of her stepson, senator Flávio Bolsonaro. US president Donald Trump has signed an executive order banning all transactions with the company responsible for developing social media app TikTok, accusing it of sending personal data from American citizens to the Chinese government. Finally, NASA has announced it will begin a review process to change nicknames given to cosmic objects in order to avoid using terms which could be considered offensive.
Take a look at our highlights.
India plane crash leaves several dead and wounded
At least 14 people died in a plane crash which happened on Friday evening in the city of Kozhikode, in the state of Kerala, on the southwestern coast of India. The Air India pilot, who died in the accident, tried to land in heavy rain at the local airport but was unable to bring to a halt the aircraft, which skidded off the runway. According to India’s Civil Aviation General Director, the plane then collided with a wall and fell into a valley 30 feet below, splitting into two. 191 people were on board the Boeing 737, and several of them were taken with serious injuries and in critical condition to hospitals in the region.
After explosion, Lebanon records new coronavirus record high
Two days after the recent explosion which tore through the port area of its capital, Beirut, the Middle Eastern nation of Lebanon registered between Wednesday and Thursday 255 new novel coronavirus cases, the biggest number of infections within a 24-hour period since the beginning of the pandemic. Hospitals in the country are already overcrowded due to the high number of patients injured during the tragedy. President Michel Aoun made a statement in which he said that the cause of the accident is yet to be determined, but did not rule out any foreign interference, “perhaps through a rocket, bomb, or other act.” Members of Brazil’s Lebanese community are organizing a shipment of supplies and aid to the country, on a Brazilian Air Force plane.
Michelle Bolsonaro received more payments from Queiroz, says magazine
Brazilian first lady Michelle Bolsonaro allegedly received 21 checks from Fabrício Queiroz, a former aide of president Jair Bolsonaro’s son, senator Flávio Bolsonaro, during his term as a state legislator in Rio de Janeiro, who has recently been arrested on graft charges. The total paid to Bolsonaro’s wife amounts to R$ 72 thousand. The information was disclosed today by Crusoé magazine, after journalists had access to Queiroz’s financial records, following a court order that lifted his bank secrecy. In December 2018, after a similar accusation surfaced, president Bolsonaro said he had loaned some money to Michelle, claiming he “didn’t have time to go out”; at the time, the amount involved was R$ 40 thousand.
Trump signs executive order banning transactions with TikTok’s parent company
United States president Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday banning all transactions with ByteDance, developer of social media app TikTok, as well as Tencent Holdings, owner of WeChat. The measure must be enforced within 45 days, according to Bloomberg. According to the order, WeChat “automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users, like internet activity, location data, and browsing history, and potentially gives China access to Americans’ personal information,” and adds that the spread in the U.S. of “mobile applications developed and owned by companies in the People’s Republic of China” is threatening the nation’s “national security, foreign policy and economy.” TikTok issued an official statement expressing shock at the decision, “issued without any due process.”
NASA to review allegedly offensive names of planets, stars and galaxies
The United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA, announced Wednesday it will begin to review the names it uses to refer to stars, planets, and galaxies, in order to avoid terms which could be considered offensive or prejudicial. “As the scientific community works to identify and address systemic discrimination and inequality in all aspects of the field, it has become clear that certain cosmic nicknames are not only insensitive, but can be actively harmful. NASA is examining its use of unofficial terminology for cosmic objects as part of its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said the organ in its official statement. The first one to have its name changed will be NGC 2392, the glowing remains of a Sun-like star known as “Eskimo Nebula”.