October 2021

Beirut: How an investigation into the port explosion is rattling Lebanon’s elite, stirring memories of civil war

Snipers shot people from rooftops. Masked gunmen fired back with rocket-propelled grenades and B7 rockets. Terrified schoolchildren took cover in corridors. And to top it all off, the violence was all playing out along the capital’s former “Green Line,” a major battle front that divided Beirut’s Christian east from the predominantly Muslim west during the 15-year civil war that ended in 1990. It was enough to send shivers down the spine of a people still reeling from collective traumas both fresh — such as last summer’s Beirut port blast — and old. The wounds of the civil war continue to…



Former Boeing executive indicted for fraud in 737 Max tragedy

The charges were not against a top executive. Instead they were against Mark Forkner, 49, who was the chief technical pilot for Boeing during the certification process for the jet and is accused of deceiving the FAA during that process in 2016 and 2017. “In an attempt to save Boeing money, Forkner allegedly withheld critical information from regulators,” said Acting US Attorney Chad Meacham for the Northern District of Texas, in a statement. “His callous choice to mislead the FAA hampered the agency’s ability to protect the flying public and left pilots in the lurch, lacking information about certain 737…


Airbus A380: Where to fly in a superjumbo as aviation returns

(CNN) — When Airbus announced plans to cease production of its A380 aircraft back in 2019, heartbroken aviation fans found solace in the fact that the superjumbo wasn’t set to stop flying anytime soon. Production on this much-loved aircraft was due to continue for another couple years, and plenty of airlines had active A380s in their fleet. But fast forward a year, and the A380’s hefty size and steep operational costs had no place in the pandemic’s minimal, cost-efficient international flight schedules. Thanks to Covid-19, most of the world’s A380 fleet were grounded. Lufthansa’s decision to park its A380 turned…


Afghanistan: Kandahar mosque explosion kills at least 30

“Terrorism continues in Afghanistan with at least 30 killed, scores injured, in suicide attack at Kandahar’s largest Shia mosque,” UNAMA said. The United Nations “condemns (the) latest atrocity targeting a religious institution & worshippers. Those responsible need to be held to account,” the mission added on Twitter. Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid also condemned the incident in a statement, and said the perpetrators will be “brought to justice.” No claim of responsibility for the blast has yet been made. Last Friday, at least 20 people were killed and 90 others wounded in a blast from a suicide bomber at another Shia…


Evergrande crisis shines a light on China’s millions of empty homes

For weeks, the ailing Chinese real estate conglomerate has made headlines as investors wait to see what will happen to its enormous mountain of debt. As the slow-moving crisis unfolds, analysts are pointing to a deeper underlying issue: China’s property market is cooling off after years of oversupply. Chinese authorities finally weighed in on the Evergrande crisis on Friday. The People’s Bank of China said the company had mismanaged its business but risks to the financial system were “controllable.” “In recent years, the company has failed to manage its business well and to operate in accordance with market changes,” Zou…


Lhamo: Man sentenced to death in China for setting his ex-wife on fire during a livestream

The victim, 30-year-old Lhamo, was a farmer and livestreamer in a Tibetan autonomous prefecture in southwestern Sichuan province. She was streaming a video of herself last September when a man burst in, poured gasoline on her and set her on fire. She died two weeks later. Her ex-husband, Tang Lu, was arrested soon after. On Thursday in court, he was found guilty of homicide, sentenced to death and ordered to pay compensation, according to state-run broadcaster CCTV. The court found his crime “was extremely cruel” and “deserves severe punishment,” CCTV reported. Tang had a history of physical abuse toward Lhamo, reportedly…


Poland passes legislation allowing migrant pushbacks at border

Poland, Lithuania and Latvia have reported sharp increases in migrants from countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq trying to cross their frontiers from Belarus, in what Warsaw and Brussels say is a form of hybrid warfare designed to put pressure on the EU over sanctions it imposed on Minsk. Rights groups have criticized Poland’s nationalist government over its treatment of migrants at the border, with accusations of multiple illegal pushbacks. Six people have been found dead near the border since the surge of migrants. Border guards argue they are acting in accordance with government regulations amended in August and now…


Norway bow-and-arrow attack suspect Espen Andersen Bråthen handed to health services

Espen Andersen Bråthen, 37, has been charged over the attack, which took place in the Norwegian town of Kongsberg on Wednesday evening and left five people dead. Police have yet to reveal the charges he faces. Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) chief Hans Sverre Sjøvold told reporters on Thursday that the attack “appears as if it may be an act of terrorism” but noted that it is important the investigation goes ahead and “we get to clarify what the motives of the accused are.” Officers had been in contact with the man, including “as a result of previous concerns related…


Microsoft’s Jacky Wright had to leave the UK to become its most influential Black person

Wright, who topped the Powerlist 2022 ranking from Powerful Media, told CNN Business that her career may not have taken off in the United Kingdom because there are fewer opportunities and a lack of Black women role models at the top of the corporate ladder. The Microsoft (MSFT) executive was ranked ahead of Manchester United footballer and child poverty campaigner Marcus Rashford, Netflix (NFLX) vice president Anne Mensah and Oscar-winning actor Daniel Kaluuya in the annual list of Britain’s most influential Black people, which is sponsored by companies including PwC, Facebook (FB) and Mastercard (MA). Wright was born in London,…


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