Monday, January 30, 2023

BIG Wrap

‘Scorpion’ police unit disbanded after Tyre Nichols death

(BBC News) The Memphis Police Department has disbanded the so-called Scorpion special unit, five officers of which are accused of murdering Tyre Nichols. Scorpion stands for "Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods". The unit is a 50-person team tasked with bringing down crime levels in particular areas. But now it is being abolished after some of its officers were seen beating Nichols, 29, in the videos from January 7. In a statement, the department said...

North Korea condemns U.S. tank shipment to Ukraine

(Al Jazeera Media Network) The influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has condemned the decision by the United States to supply Ukraine with advanced battle tanks to help fight Russian forces, accusing Washington of crossing a “red line” and escalating a “proxy war” designed to destroy Moscow. The comments on Friday by Kim Yo Jong underscored North Korea’s deepening alignment with Russia over the war in Ukraine while it confronts the U.S. and its Asian allies...

Former NATO general Pavel is new Czech president

(BBC News) Retired NATO general Petr Pavel has been elected as the new president of the Czech Republic, seeing off populist challenger Andrej Babis. The 61-year-old took 57.6% of the vote, initial results released by the state statistics office showed. Babis, who served as prime minister from 2017 to 2021, conceded defeat in a speech to supporters soon after the results were announced. The ex-general will replace Milos Zeman, whose second term ends in March. The second-round runoff...

Intel and Spartronics add to tech layoffs

(Tribune Content Agency) The jolts from Intel's announced job cuts have intensified with disclosures of plans by the chip-making giant to slash more jobs in Santa Clara, California, according to new state filings. Spartronics, a maker of printed circuit boards and other electronic equipment, revealed in a separate filing with the state Employment Development Department, that it had decided to shut a Milpitas, California, manufacturing plant. Intel is planning to eliminate 177 jobs in Santa Clara, effective on or...

Authorities release police video in death of Tyre Nichols

(Al Jazeera Media Network) The city of Memphis has released shocking video of the violent encounter between Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old black man, and the five police officers charged with murder in his beating death earlier this month in the United States. The footage from police body-worn and dashboard cameras was posted on Friday evening on the city’s Vimeo site, a day after the officers were charged with second-degree murder, assault, kidnapping, official misconduct and oppression. The footage...

Pope Francis says laws criminalizing homosexuality must end

(Al Jazeera Media Network) Pope Francis has criticized laws that criminalize homosexuality as “unjust”, saying God loves all his children just as they are and called on Catholic bishops who support the laws to welcome LGBTQ people into the church. “Being homosexual isn’t a crime,” Francis said during an interview on Tuesday with The Associated Press. Francis acknowledged that Catholic bishops in some parts of the world support laws that criminalize homosexuality or discriminate against the LGBTQ...

Facebook and Instagram end suspension of Trump

(BBC News) Donald Trump will be allowed back on to Facebook and Instagram, after Meta announced it would be ending its two-year suspension of his accounts. The suspension will end "in the coming weeks,” the social media giant said. In a statement, Nick Clegg, Meta's president of global affairs, said the public "should be able to hear what their politicians are saying." The then-U.S. president was indefinitely suspended from Facebook and Instagram after the Capitol riot in...

Power cuts affecting water system in South Africa

(The Conversation) South Africans had to deal with the worst ever series of power cuts in 2022. All told, the country lost a record 205 days of electricity due to constant breakdowns at the coal-fired power plants run by Eskom, the state-owned electricity utility. The plants are old and have not been sufficiently maintained. The country's energy crisis has been escalating since April 2008, when scheduled power cuts were first implemented. One of the biggest casualties of more than a decade...

Another California shooting leaves 7 dead

(BBC News) The U.S. state of California is reeling from its third mass shooting in eight days after a man shot dead seven former co-workers south of San Francisco. The attacks took place in the coastal city of Half Moon Bay. Some of the victims were Chinese-American. Suspect Chunli Zhao, 66, was arrested after driving to a police station. It comes as the state mourns the deaths of 11 people in Monterey Park – about six hours...

Falling birth rate has Japan on ‘verge of whether we can continue to function as a society,’ says PM

(BBC News) Japan's prime minister says his country is on the brink of not being able to function as a society because of its falling birth rate. Fumio Kishida said it was a case of "now or never." With a population of 125 million, Japan is estimated to have had fewer than 800,000 births last year. In the 1970s, the annual figure was more than two million. Birth rates are slowing in many countries, including Japan's neighbours. But...