News ID: 90741
Publish Date : 29 May 2021 - 21:43

WASHINGTON (DW) – American troops on U.S. bases in Europe housing nuclear weapons have been using publicly accessible online flashcard apps to remember long and complex security protocols, the investigative website Bellingcat revealed on Friday. The military personnel turned to sites such as Quizlet, Chegg Prep and Cram to memorize codes, jargon and even the status of nuclear vaults, according to the report. While European governments generally refuse to confirm or deny the specific locations of U.S. nuclear weapons being stored within their borders, leaked documents, photos and comments by retired officials often confirm the presence of the weapons. The latest leaks, however, have gone so far as to identify the exact number and location of the weapons within the bases, including whether the vaults they are stored in are “hot” — with live weapons — or “cold.” “By simply searching online for terms publicly known to be associated with nuclear weapons, Bellingcat was able to discover cards used by military personnel serving at all six European military bases reported to store nuclear devices,” the investigative website reported.

TULSA (Sputnik) – The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, which claimed the lives of at least 36 people, is believed to be the single worst episode of racial violence in the history of the United States. Organisers have abruptly cancelled a key event to commemorate the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot in Oklahoma after legal representatives for survivors demanded more money than previously agreed. The 31 May “Remember and Rise” ceremony was put on hold when organizers referred to “unexpected circumstances with entertainers and speakers”. Kevin Matthews, chairman of the Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission, for his part, told reporters on Friday that lawyers for the three living survivors approached the commission over including them in the ceremony in return for $100,000 each and a $2 million seed gift to a reparations coalition fund. After the parties agreed to those terms, the lawyers suddenly decided to request $1 million for each and $50 million for the fund, according to Matthews. On 31 May 1921, a white mob attacked black residents of the Tulsa neighborhood of Greenwood, which was sparked by allegations that an African American teenager had sexually assaulted a white woman. Over 1,200 businesses across 35 blocks were destroyed, and more than 10,000 people lost their homes. While only 39 dead black men were confirmed by a state commission in 2001, there are rumors that African Americans were dumped in mass graves as authorities sought to cover up the hate crime.

CALI (AFP) – Colombian President Ivan Duque announced Friday he was deploying military troops to the city of Cali, as international alarm grows over the policing of deadly anti-government protests across the country in recent weeks. Friday marked a full month of nationwide protests, which began over a proposed tax increase but have since morphed into a broader anti-establishment mobilization. Three people died during protests in Cali on Friday, authorities said, bringing the officially reported toll over weeks of unrest to 49, two of them police officers. After chairing a security meeting in the city, Duque announced “the maximum deployment of military assistance to the national police” would begin immediately. The latest deaths occurred in clashes between “those blocking and those trying to get through” a barricade, Cali mayor Jorge Ivan Ospina said in a video posted to social media. A representative from the Cali prosecutor’s office said an off-duty investigator had shot at the crowd, killing a civilian, before being lynched by protesters. Video footage showed a man lying in a pool of blood and another nearby wielding a gun, who was then attacked by a group of people.

HANOI (AFP) – Vietnam has discovered a new Covid-19 variant which spreads quickly by air and is a combination of the Indian and British strains, state media reported Saturday. The country is struggling to deal with fresh outbreaks across more than half of its territory including industrial zones and big cities such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. More than 6,700 cases including 47 deaths have been reported in Vietnam -- the lion’s share have occurred since April. “We have discovered a new hybrid variant from the Indian and the UK strains,” Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long was quoted telling a national meeting on the pandemic Saturday. “The characteristic of this strain is that it spreads quickly in the air. The concentration of virus in the throat fluid increases rapidly and spreads very strongly to the surrounding environment.” He did not specify the number of cases recorded with this new variant but said Vietnam will soon announce the discovery in the world’s map of genetic strains. There were seven known coronavirus variants in Vietnam before Long’s announcement, according to the Ministry of Health.

NEGOMBO (AFP) – Sri Lanka is facing its worst beach pollution crisis as tons of plastic waste from a burning container ship wash ashore, a senior environment official said Saturday. Fishermen have been banned from an 80-kilometre (50-mile) stretch of coast near the Singapore-registered MV X-Press Pearl as an international firefighting operation went into a 10th day. “There is smoke and intermittent flames seen from the ship,” navy spokesman Captain Indika de Silva told AFP. “However, the vessel is stable and it is still in anchorage.” Authorities are more worried about millions of polyethylene pellets washing up on beaches and threatening fish-breeding shallow waters. The affected seafront is known for its crabs and jumbo prawns as well as its tourist beaches. “This is probably the worst beach pollution in our history,” said Dharshani Lahandapura, head of Sri Lanka’s Marine Environment and Protection Authority (MEPA). Thousands of military and security personnel are cleaning the beaches of plastic waste and other debris from the ship, which caught fire on May 20. The impact on mangroves, lagoons and marine wildlife in the region was being assessed.

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