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More than 100 killed in a massacre by armed men in western Ethiopia (but those Black Lives do not Matter)

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More than 100 people were killed in an attack by armed men in western Ethiopia on Wednesday, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) reported.

The massacre occurred from 4 a.m. local time (1 a.m. GMT) until noon in several locations in the Meketel area of the Benishangul-Gumuz region, just one day after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed visited the region and addressed the issue of ethnic violence.

In a statement, the Commission noted that 36 people were seriously injured, mostly as a result of gunfire, and are being treated at a hospital.

In addition, “houses were set on fire” and fields were burned, said the EHRC, an independent human rights institution.

“The police and defense forces assigned to the protection of this area were not present during the attack,” the Commission stressed, indicating that these troops were mobilized to reinforce security during the visit of the delegation from Abiy.

“It is not clear to the Commission why all the security personnel received instructions to withdraw from the area in the name of protecting the security of the visiting authorities,” the communiqué said, adding that communities of the Amhara, Shinasha and Oromo ethnicities, among others, live in the area.

Ethiopia
More than 100 people were killed in an attack by armed men in western Ethiopia on Wednesday

Official sources in that region had previously suggested that the killing might be aimed at members of the Amhara ethnic group, although the Commission did not take a position on the matter.

And survivors of the attacks who spoke with the media agency in the neighboring Amhara region assured that the attacks were identity-based and were attacks against the Amhara people.

Civilians were the target of the attack, which lasted several hours and in which more than 90 people were killed, houses were set on fire and hundreds were displaced, a witness told the local newspaper Addis Standard on condition of anonymity.

The bodies are lying in the street and on the farms,” said Admasu Kebede, a resident of Bekuji Kebele, who said he was not sure of the number of dead because not all the bodies have been recovered.

Tesfahun Amogne, another witness, told the newspaper that he woke up with gunshots at dawn. “Soon we were surrounded by as many as 500 armed men. Some of us ran for our lives, while others were killed,” he explained, adding that the police were “repeatedly” warned, but they were late.

The authorities have not clarified, for the moment, the authorship of the attacks, but the official Benishangul-Gumuz Prosperity Party condemned in a statement “the atrocities committed against our civilians by armed bandits.

The Amhara, the second most populous ethnic group in Ethiopia, have been the target of past attacks in the region.

On November 1, at least 54 people were killed in an attack that authorities attributed to the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) armed group, according to Amnesty International (AI).

The attack occurred in the Wollega area of the Oromia region, home to the country’s largest ethnic group, the Oromo, and where Addis Ababa is located.

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission indicated that the attackers targeted residents of the Amhara ethnic group.

Since coming to power in 2018, Abiy, 44 years old and Oromo, has promoted important reforms in Ethiopia, the second most populated country in Africa, such as amnesty for thousands of political prisoners, legalization of opposition parties and commitment to hold elections.

But the president has been criticized for not solving some of the root problems, such as the ethnic tensions that have caused waves of violence and have made Ethiopia one of the countries with the most displaced people in the world.

Recently, Abiy, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019, has also been criticized for launching last month an armed offensive against the rebel authorities in the northern region of Tigray, which has caused hundreds of deaths and the flight of more than 52,000 people to neighboring Sudan.

Russia and North Korea have attacked companies involved in the investigation against COVID-19

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Microsoft claims that they have detected a series of cyber-attacks on companies researching or developing a vaccine against COVID-19. The report details that the origins of these attacks lay with cyber-criminals in Russia and North Korea.

The report details that the origins of these attacks lay in cyber-crooks in Russia and North Korea. The attacks came mainly from these two players, who targeted the United States, Canada, South Korea, India and France. Fortunately, Microsoft was able to detect the greatest number of attacks in time thanks to its protection systems included in computers.

Hacking PC
Microsoft claims that they have detected a series of cyber-attacks on companies researching or developing a vaccine against COVID-19.

Once attacks were detected, Microsoft offered its help to prevent and improve security systems in health-oriented companies. They also warned of the possibility of destabilizing society through this type of attack, together with the historical stage we are going through with the COVID-19.

Cyber-crooks used phishing through various emails. This method is known as phishing and is often very common among both advanced cyber-crooks and amateurs trying to defraud a large number of users.

Other measures used to perpetrate attacks on companies involved in COVID-19 research and vaccination were brute force attacks and computer hijacking, better known as ransomware.

The attacks received from Russia -Strontium- and those from North Korea -Zinc and Cerium- were repudiated in time by the Microsoft team. In addition, it offered its help to improve the security of IT environments so that it could continue with its main activity without major setbacks.

Pandemic exceeds 51.5 million cases with more than half a million positive cases on the last day

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The pandemic of the new coronavirus already accumulates more than 51.5 million cases worldwide and has added in the last 24 hours more than 538,000 positive cases, driven by the growth of the United States, which again adds more than 100,000 new cases in the last day, according to the balance published this Wednesday by Johns Hopkins University.

Specifically, worldwide have been recorded in the last day 538,072 new positive, while the global figure of deaths is 1,272,911. More than 33.5 million people have managed to overcome the disease worldwide.

In recent days, the United States has recorded the worst case data of the entire pandemic and sets a new daily record in this balance, with 136,325 infections in 24 hours, which amounts to 10.25 million in global terms. Fatalities from COVID-19 have risen to 239,683 on U.S. soil.

India, however, has managed to reduce the rate of infection in recent weeks, although it already exceeds 8.63 million cases and accumulates more than 127,571 deaths. The Asian country is the one that has registered more recoveries to date, more than 8 million.

Brazil, on the other hand, remains in third place on this list, which is based on data from 190 countries and territories. The South American giant has registered more than 5.69 million cases and 162,802 deaths.

In recent days, France has become the epicenter of the second wave in Europe and already includes in its balance sheet more than 1.85 million positive, which has led it to overtake Russia, which has accumulated more than 1.82 million cases of COVID-19. France has recorded 41,062 deaths, some 10,000 more than Russia, which has recorded 31,326.

Spain is next, with more than 1.38 million cases and 39,345 deaths. Argentina is the second country with the most cases in Latin America, with 1.26 million infected, and has accumulated 34,183 deaths from the disease.

The United Kingdom is also above the one million positive cases, with 1.23 million infected and 49,861 deaths; and Colombia, with 1.15 million infections and 33,128 deaths.

Italy, on the other hand, is ahead of Mexico and is close to a million infections, with 995,463 people infected and 42,330 dead, compared to 978,531 infected and 95,482 dead on Mexican soil. Peru has 925,431 people infected and 34,992 dead.

South Africa, the country most affected by the pandemic in Africa, has recorded 740,254 cases and 19,951 deaths, while Germany and Iran have recorded 715,693 and 703,288 infections, respectively, although in the case of Germany the number of deaths is 11,781 and in the case of Iran it is 39,202.

Trump drags Biden into the mud in a rough and tumble debate

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The first debate between the two leading candidates for the White House will not go down in history for its depth or for the political messages that were put forward in it, but for the more than obvious struggle between a president, Donald Trump, comfortable between disqualifications and half-truths, and an aspirant, Joe Biden, struggling to cope with the challenges of an adversary he came to call a “clown”.

First Trump Biden debate
The first debate between the two leading candidates for the White House will not go down in history for its depth or for the political messages

Biden came in first in the televised head-to-head as the favorite in the polls, the last representative of a political lineage that is no longer a winning horse in Trump’s America.The President, for his part, promised to remain true to his tough style, the same style that four years ago allowed him to win against the odds the Oval Office he now aspires to keep.

In front of a moderator at times unable to contain the dialectic escalation, Chris Wallace, the two aspirants starred in an hour and a half of tension and interruptions. Wallace’s efforts to redirect the debate towards current issues such as the coronavirus pandemic, the situation of the health system, the renewal of the Supreme Court or climate change were of little use.

U.S. approaching seven million coronavirus infections

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The United States reached this Wednesday the 201,882 deaths by COVID-19 and totaled 6,940,721 cases, according to the independent count of Johns Hopkins University.

This balance at 20.00 local time (00.00 GMT on Thursday) is 50,707 more infections than on Tuesday and 1,228 new deaths.

Despite the fact that New York is no longer the state with the highest number of infections, it continues to be the most affected in terms of deaths in the United States with 33,090 (no change from last day), more than in all of Peru, France or Spain.

In New York City alone, 23,780 people have died from the disease (unchanged from Tuesday), according to the count of local authorities.

New York is followed in number of deaths – according to the Johns Hopkins map – by neighboring New Jersey (16,082), Texas (15,422), California (15,263) and Florida (13,618).

Other states with large numbers of deaths are Massachusetts (9,328), Illinois (8,744), Pennsylvania (8,038) and Michigan (7,013).

In terms of infections, California leads the list with 794,876, followed by Texas with 746,860, while the third is Florida with 690,499 and New York fourth with 451,892.

The provisional death toll – 201,882 – far exceeds the lowest of the initial White House estimates, which projected at best between 100,000 and 240,000 deaths from the pandemic.

US President Donald Trump lowered those estimates and was confident that the final figure would be more like 50,000 to 60,000 deaths, although he later predicted up to 110,000 deaths, a number that has also been exceeded.

For its part, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, in whose prediction models of the evolution of the pandemic the White House is often set, estimates that by the November 3 presidential election the United States will have surpassed 258,000 deaths and by December 31, 400,000.

Warning to Turkey: joint manoeuvres by Greece, France, Italy and Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean

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Greece, France, Italy and Cyprus are planning, between 26 and 28 August, a “joint military exercise” south of Crete, in the eastern Mediterranean, a possible “dissuasive warning” aimed at Turkey.

Days ago, Emmanuel Macron ordered the sending of two “Raphael” and a ship to the eastern Mediterranean, when the Greek-Turkish tensions broke out. The discoveries of important oil deposits in the eastern Mediterranean in recent years precipitated a rosary of tensions and disputes between Ankara and Athens. Those tensions were aggravated last week when a Greek ship and a Turkish ship “collided”, more or less “accidentally”, in Mediterranean waters claimed by Greece and Turkey.

French ship in the Mediterranean sea
Greece, France, Italy and Cyprus are planning, between 26 and 28 August, a joint military exercise south of Crete, in the eastern Mediterranean

At the end of June, the French Minister of Defense denounced the “hostile behavior” of the Turkish navy, before her colleagues of the Atlantic Alliance. After sending two “Raphael” and a warship to the eastern Mediterranean, France and its president received from the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, this warning: “Macron does not know where he is putting his feet”.

The “joint military exercise” of Greece, France, Italy and Cyprus, between August 26 and 28, unofficially announced by Athens, could be interpreted as a double gesture of armed solidarity with Athens and a new warning to the growing Turkish interventionism. Within the European Union (EU), only Italy has adopted a behaviour of double solidarity with Greece and France. Germany, for its part, is trying to mediate between Greece and Turkey, without much success, until now.

Kim Jong Un is in a coma and his sister has reportedly taken control of the country, according to a South Korean diplomat

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The international press, based on the claims of a South Korean diplomat, reports that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is in a coma and his younger sister Kim Yo Jong has taken over the government in his absence.

The diplomat, named Chang Song-min, was working to help the South Korean president. “I can say he is in a coma, but his life is not over,” he told the South Korean media in a statement picked up by the New York Post. “A full succession structure has not been formed, so Kim Yo-jong is coming to the fore as a vacuum cannot be sustained for an extended period,” he said.

Although his successor has not been officially appointed, the North Korean governor’s younger sister has taken provisional control of government bodies. Kim Jong Un’s alleged state of coma comes after strong controversy and speculation about her health status, and even rumors that she had died.

At the end of April, the American media TMZ assured that the Korean dictator had died in a medical operation. Apparently, Kim Jong-un had suffered a heart attack during a visit to a rural area. He was admitted to a hospital to undergo surgery that would not have achieved its goal.

Although the sources seemed reliable, the dictator reappeared in May canceling all the rumors that are frequent about him. Now we have to wait for confirmation and more information on whether the state of coma in which he is supposed to be now is true or not.

Cuties, Netflix’s controversial new film accused of inciting paedophilia

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One way or another, Netflix ends up managing to incite controversy around the products they launch on their platform, regardless of their theme. This time, however, it’s quite serious, as many people have caused a stir on the networks with Cuties, the new film to be launched on the platform in September, which they accuse of inciting paedophilia.

Directed by Maïmouna Doucouré and starring Maïmouna Gueye, Fathia Youssouf Abdillahi, Demba Diaw, Medina El Aidi, Esther Gohourou, Ilanah Cami-Goursolas and Myriam Hamma, the film revolves around Amy, an 11-year-old girl who is fascinated by a girls’ dance group and wants to join them, even if it means challenging her family’s religious beliefs.

Netflix
Cuties, the new film to be launched on the platform in September, accused of inciting paedophilia

The film Cuties doesn’t seem to be very controversial at first. However, there has been a lot of commotion on the networks because originally the Netflix synopsis focused more on the sensual realm, considering that girls are being sexualized as a claim in the film. As a result of the controversy, the platform has chosen to slightly modify the synopsis of Cuties.

However, the Cuties poster launched by Netflix has also caused controversy by showing girls wearing little clothes and posing in a sensual way. Nothing to see if we compare it to the original poster of the French film.

The film Cuties will be released on Netflix on September 9, 2020. Even though the social network commotion is based on the premise that the platform will remove the film and boycott it, it is enough that something causes controversy to provoke the opposite effect and it ends up being one of the most watched films, as it happened not long ago with 365 days, the controversial erotic film of Netflix.

What do you think of all the controversy caused by the film Cuties? Tell us your opinion in our comments section.

Airbnb starts the process to go public: does it make sense with the current state of the tourism sector?

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Airbnb has already promised, in far-off 2019, that 2020 would be their year for the IPO. The arrival of the coronavirus, and the direct effect that the pandemic has had on the international tourism market, suggested that Airbnb would relax its intentions. The reality is that this has not been the case.

In an announcement, Airbnb confirmed the submission of a draft statement for its public offering registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). As Uber did at the time and a few weeks ago DoorDash – a competitor of UberEats -, Airbnb has opted for the confidential route until the SEC completes its review of the data.

Although doubts about the IPO remained in the air, sources close to the operation placed the public offering for the end of this year. Finally, The Wall Street Journal announced that August would be the month in which the technology-based vacation home rental company would apply.

AirBnB
Airbnb confirmed the submission of a draft statement for its public offering registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission

The company’s valuation reached its peak in 2017, when Airbnb was close to $31 billion. But the coronavirus was here to stay and take over the global tourism industry. Airbnb has not been immune to the blockade of international travel. Today, with pandemics and debt issues, analysts value Airbnb at $18 billion.

Until the presentation of the accounts, public once the company starts its journey on the stock market, it is not clear what the situation will be at the end of the year. With an unclear growth history – just like Uber, before his IPO, secrecy about quarterly results was absolute – what is certain is that the second quarter of 2020 has been bad for his accounts.

Although the company recorded a 30% rise in June, the rest of the year will not go much better for Airbnb which, in addition to losing most of its users, housing supply and reservations – losses valued at over 1,000 million – has also dismissed 2,000 direct employees and terminated agreements with subcontractors. In total, Bloomberg sources suggest that Airbnb would have lost nearly $400 million in just three months.

Joe Biden is now officially a candidate for the presidency of the United States

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Joseph Robinette Biden is the official Democratic Party candidate for president of the United States. This is what the delegates of that party decided today in an online vote, on the second day of the Democratic Convention, which is being held over the Internet because of the coronavirus, which has already caused 172,000 deaths in that country according to estimates by Johns Hopkins University.

It’s been a long road for Biden. In many cases, the White House candidacy is accompanied by the legend that the candidate’s teachers already saw in him ways of being president. That’s not the case for the Democratic nominee in 2020. Joe Biden was the boy whose stutter was mocked by his classmates with cruel nicknames – “Joe Impedimenta” in Latin class – and who only overcame that problem thanks to the help of his mother – “every time I left the house to go to class I said, ‘Joey, you know that’s not a problem'” – and two nuns from his school. With that support and his willingness, Biden began reading poetry aloud – especially to the American Emerson and the Irish Yates – until he overcame his problem.

Biden, a Catholic who when he was vice president with Barack Obama and was travelling outside Washington on a Sunday had to send ahead an advisor to find a church with a priest willing to give him communion, since he defends abortion, will turn 78 on November 20. He has been a senator for the state of Delaware – which is in all but name a tax haven – for 36 years. The vote on which he was elected was a formality. Everything in his political life has been much more complicated. Gone are two attempts at the presidency that were catastrophic rather than failed. One, in 1988, when, in the campaign to succeed Ronald Reagan, an adviser copied several phrases from British Labour leader Neil Kinnock into a Biden speech. Another, in 2008, when he failed to reach even 1% in the Iowa Primary.