• in ,

    Assault of Black politician shines spotlight on lack of racial diversity

    The killing of George Floyd in the United States and the subsequent Black Lives Matter protests around the world have given reason for some awkward, long-overdue soul-searching in the European Union about the treatment of its Black and ethnic minority citizens.

    Earlier this month, Margaritis Schinas, a senior member of the European Commission, told the Financial Times that an incident like the killing of Floyd and the demonstrations that followed were “not likely to happen in Europe at this scale.”

    “I do not think that we have issues now in Europe that blatantly pertain to police brutality or issues of race transcending into our systems,” Schinas said. “But we do have an issue in Europe, which is the issue of inequalities and income distribution — making the best for everyone of what we have.”

    Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana told an EU debate on racism that police in Brussels had “brutally” pushed her against a wall. But a recent account from another European leader suggests otherwise. 

    Pierette Herzberger-Fofana, a German Member of the European Parliament and who is Black, said in an EU debate on racism earlier this month that she had been the “victim of police violence” in an act she believed had “underlying racist tendencies.”But a recent account from another European leader suggests otherwise.

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    Shooting of Zimbabwe workers by Chinese mine owner shows 'systemic'

    The shooting of two Zimbabwean workers by a Chinese boss shows the “systematic and widespread” abuse that locals face in Chinese mining operations, says the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Society (ZELA).

    In a court affidavit, police said Zhang Xuen shot an employee five times and wounded another at the mine he runs in Gweru province, in central Zimbabwe, during a row with workers over outstanding pay.

    Zhang has been charged with attempted murder, said Zimbabwe police spokesman Paul Nyathi.

    According to local media reports, Zhang did not enter a plea because there was no approved interpreter in court. He will remain in custody until at least July 7, the report said.

    The shooting happened on Sunday morning, when miner Kenneth Tachiona confronted Zhang after he allegedly refused to pay his wages in US dollars, as agreed, according to the affidavit.

    Tachiona charged toward Zhang, who then drew his gun, shooting the worker three times on his right thigh and twice on the left, according to the affidavit.

    Police said Zhang fired another shot at workers, and one of the bullets grazed the chin of a member of staff. The wounded workers are being treated at a private hospital.

    A video that many alleged to be of the incident has circulated on social media in Zimbabwe, provoking public anger and calls from a local watchdog for a re-evaluation of Chinese mining operations in the country.

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    India opens one of the world's largest hospitals to fight coronavirus

    India has opened one of the largest hospitals in the world to help fight coronavirus, as health authorities announced the country’s biggest one-day increase in the number of new infections.

    The Sardar Patel COVID Care Centre, the largest facility of its kind in India, became partly operational on Sunday, with 2,000 of its 10,000 beds available, according to the Delhi government.

    The remaining 8,000 beds at the facility, which is located in the Chattarpur area of Dehi, will be in use from Wednesday.

    India’s Home Minister Amit Shah and Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal visited the care center on Saturday ahead of its launch.

    In a message posted on Twitter that day, Kejriwal described the center as being “among the largest hospitals in the world.”

    Meanwhile, the Home Minister tweeted that the 10,000-bed facility “would provide huge relief to the people of Delhi.” The administration and operations of the facility will be run by the Indo-Tiberan Border Police (ITBP), Shah confirmed.

    “I applaud our courageous ITBP personnel, who would be operating this COVID Care facility during these trying times. Their commitment to serve the nation and people of Delhi is unparalleled,” he added in a tweet.

    The opening of the hospital coincided with the release of India health ministry data on Sunday which showed the largest rise in the daily number of new Covid-19 cases.

  • in ,

    Meet rich Sultan Hassanal with 500 Rolls-Royce, used over N7m for haircut

    The Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, is one of the richest religious monarchs in the world. According to Insider, he was once worth $40 billion (N15.5trn)

    Some of his lavish lifestyles include reportedly racing Ferraris at midnight through Brunei’s capital, building a 1,788 room palace, and spending as much as $20,000 (N7,750,000) to get a haircut.

    It should be noted that he succeeded his father, Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien, who had 10 children from several wives. Bolkiah’s father abdicated the throne in 1967 and made him the king while he was at UK’s Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst. A year after, Bolkiah ascended the throne when he got done with the academy. The man was also known as a playboy as he had so many extra-marital affairs

    The big palace covers a wide area of 2.2 million square feet. Its designer was the popular Architect Leandro Locsin. It made World Guinness Records as the largest residential palace.

     Another thing worthy of note was that the Sultan’s family reportedly bought half of the world’s Rolls-Royce as Bokiah held a record for having the largest collection. Top 5 Africa’s richest kings published by Forbes magazine in 2014 recently resurfaced. The information regarding the king and their wealth was edited on Thursday, May 28. King Mohammed VI of Morocco led the other four kings on the list with $2 billion.

  • in ,

    Climate Activists Return to the Fray Post-Lockdown | Metropole

    After nearly four months of lockdown, Fridays for Future (FFF) climate activists in Vienna are regaining traction after COVID-19 brought the movement to a sudden halt. Now, with life returning to normal, activist were able to get back together in person on June 12 on Ballhausplatz to relaunch efforts to turn public attention back to the climate crisis. 

    Their first event was a “dome talk” a week later, on June 19th. The question: How citizens can change politics. A canvas-covered dome of wooden poles was thrown up in front of the Rathaus and hung with FFF banners as activists gathered: some with masks, many arriving on bicycles, chatting and laughing, clearly pleased to be back.

     The heavy clouds encouraged rain gear, their first event was a “dome talk” a week later, on June 19th. The question: How citizens can change politics. A canvas-covered dome of wooden poles was thrown up in front of the Rathaus and hung with FFF banners as activists gathered: some with masks, many arriving on bicycles, chatting and laughing, clearly pleased to be back. 

    Among the organizers and long-time activists, teenagers flocked in groups, others in pairs. The heavy clouds encouraged rain gear, as a sea of umbrellas opened like mushrooms against the elements. Nobody minded. At least they were out of the house. 

  • in ,

    Gale force winds, icy weather : Cold front hits western and southern coast

    A cold front has hit the western and southern coasts, bringing with it gale force winds, icy weather and rough seas, with gigantic swells, that are expected to last the weekend. The cold front made landfall on Saturday afternoon.

    On Friday night, the South African Weather Service (SAWS) warned of wave heights of six to nine meters (20 to 30 feet) between Lambert’s Bay and Plettenberg Bay. According to the weather service, gale force winds of 80- 85 km/h are expected along the south-west and south coasts and adjacent interior. High seas are expected to continue until Sunday evening.

    It predicted heavy rain, which may lead to localised flooding in places over the western mountains, where rain of between 25 and 35mm is expected. As much as 50 mm is expected in some places.

    Marine forecaster and Wavescapes founder Steve Pike told News24 on Saturday that residents could expect to see massive swells on Saturday night and into Sunday morning. He estimated waves of around nine to 12 meters (30 to 40 foot), and some as high as 18 meters (60 foot) in certain areas.

    “The storm behind the swell is a million square miles of wind. It’s double the size of South Africa and it’s coming right onto us,” he said.

    Because of this, the waves are likely to be of immense power and size. Pike suggested that ships or boats take shelter before conditions peak overnight.

  • in ,

    Judge orders Brazil's Bolsonaro to use face mask in public

    Brazilian federal judge on Tuesday ordered President Jair Bolsonaro to comply with local rules to wear a face mask whenever he is outdoors in the capital of Brasilia.

    In recent weekends, a sometimes unmasked Bolsonaro has joined throngs of people protesting against Brazil’s Congress and Supreme Court and he has visited bakeries and outdoor food stalls, drawing crowds around him.

    Since the end of April, Brazil’s federal district requires people to wear face masks in public to help control the spread of the new coronavirus. Failure to comply carries a possible daily fine of US$390.

    Judge Renato Coelho Borelli said in his ruling that Bolsonaro “has exposed other people to the contagion of a disease that has caused national commotion.”

    The Brazilian president did not immediately comment on the decision. An earlier court ruling required him to publish the results of three Covid-19 tests he took early March, and all were negative for the virus. He has not disclosed any tests since then.

    Bolsonaro sometimes appears in public events with a mask, unlike some other heads of state, including US President Donald Trump, Mexico’s Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Argentina’s Alberto Fernandez, who has often hugged supporters and taken selfies with them while not wearing a mask, although use of a mask is mandatory in Buenos Aires City. The Peronist leader has come under criticism for not using a barbijo.

  • in ,

    IMF predicts Argentina's economy will slump 9.9% in 2020

    The global coronavirus pandemic has sparked an economic “crisis like no other,” the International Monetary Fund warned Wednesday, predicting that world GDP would plunge by 4.9 percent and Argentina’s own economy by 9.9 percent.

    The IMF said the virus crisis would wipe out US$12 trillion over two years, with Latin America’s economies set to be some of the hardest hit, with Brazil’s economy now expected to shrink 9.1 percent and Mexico’s by 10.5 percent. For 2021, the Fund sees global growth of 5.4 percent, down from 5.8 percent.

    Having already warned of the biggest slump since the Great Depression, the IMF said its increased pessimism reflected scarring from a larger-than-anticipated supply shock during the earlier lockdown, in addition to the continued hit to demand from social distancing and other safety measures. For nations struggling to control the virus spread, a longer lockdown also will take a toll on growth, the IMF said.

    Latin America has been one of the world’s worst hotspots for weeks, and the number of deaths in Latin America and the Caribbean surpassed 100,000 on Wednesday. Brazil was the hardest-hit country, with its new cases surpassing even the United States – over 42,700 recorded Wednesday.

  • in ,

    Ajimobi for burial June 28 in Ibadan – Aide

    Former governor of Oyo state, Sen. Abiola Ajimobi, would be buried on June 28. According to Bolaji Tunji, late Ajimobi’s Media Aide, he former governor would be buried at the Senator Ishaq Abiola Ajimobi Central Mosque, Oke-Ado, Ibadan by 12 noon. According to him, details of the burial ceremony were worked out by the family in consultation with the Lagos and Oyo state governments. 

    “Barring any changes, his body will be interred at the Senator Ishaq Abiola Ajimobi Central Mosque at Oke-Ado, Ibadan at 12 noon on June 28 after the traditional Muslim prayers,’’ he said.

    Tunji said that the family had appealed to the people to observe strict COVID-19 protocols during the burial. 

     The former governor was said to be hospitalised at First Cardiologist and Cardiovascular Consultants Hospital, Lagos on June 2, but he never recovered from the infection after his health deteriorated. If anything could describe Senator Abiola Ajimobi, it would definitely be his bold ideas, rub-hitting speeches and his dauntless courage – the reason he was adorned with a pseudonym “Constituted Authority” following his viral daredevil response to the protest of students of Ladoke Akintola University (LAUTECH) in 2018. 

  • in ,

    Jeff Bezos, Gates among top 7 richest in the word, Dangote is 162nd billion

    The list of richest people in the world in 2020 has been released by Forbes. On the list.

    Jeff Bezos of Amazon is still the richest person in the world according to 2020 Forbes Billionaires – Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsft is at the second position, while the youngest on the top seven richest is Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook – Nigerian richest man, Aliko Dangote is number 162nd in a list of over 2,000 billionaires in the world.

    Jeff Bezos topped it as the richest man with $113 billion net worth. Bill Gates, the Microsoft co-founder, made the second cut with $98 billion. Bernard Arnault and Family in France made number three with $76 billion worth. 

    Warren Buffet and Larry Ellison are number four and five on the list respectively. Nigerian billionaire, Aliko Dangote, rather made 162nd position out of 2,095 billionaires in the world with $8.3 billion. Mike Adenuga and Abudlsamad Rabiu made 286th and 712nd positions with $5.6 billion and $2.9 billion respectively.

  • in ,

    Liverpool are EPL's greatest team with 7 matches to spare, break Unite

    Liverpool became the greatest English team of all-time after confirming their status as Premier League champions following Chelsea’s win over Man City, on GMS.

    Liverpool have been proven to be the best Premier League side in history – Jurgen Klopp’s men clinched the title with eight games left to play 

     Man United formerly hold the record, winning the league with five matches to spare Liverpool became the greatest English team of all-time after confirming their status as Premier League champions following Chelsea’s win over Man City, The Reds have eight games left to spare, a record which no English side have achieved in the history of the Premier League. 

    The Anfield giants broke Manchester United’s initially feat of five games left to play after picking just one loss in 31 matches so far. Liverpool are EPL’s greatest team with 8 matches to spare, break United’s record. 

  • in ,

    Russia Offered Reward to Afghan Militants to Kill US Troops: NYT | TOLOnews

    The New York Times reports the operation was led by the GRU, the unit blamed for the chemical attack in Britain.

    United States intelligence has found that a Russian unit offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to US-led coalition troops in Afghanistan, The New York Times reported. The report says that the alleged bounties gave incentives to the insurgents to target US forces. This comes amid efforts by US President Donald Trump to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan. The Times, citing anonymous officials, said that Trump was briefed on the findings in March, but has not decided how to respond. According to the report, militants were believed to have collected bounty money, but that it was unclear whether specific killings of US troops were under suspicion. The report said that there were different theories on why Russia would support Taliban attacks, “including a desire to keep the United States bogged down in war.” The Taliban operation was “led by a unit known as the GRU,” said the Times article, “which has been blamed in numerous international incidents including a 2018 chemical weapons attack in Britain that nearly killed Russian-born double agent Sergei Skripal.” The New York Times quoted a Kremlin spokesman saying that Russia was unaware of the accusations. Russia has more recently been accused by the United States of quietly providing weapons to the Taliban.

  • in ,

    Pakistan to Ground 150 Pilots for License Cheating | TOLOnews

    Pakistan International Airlines did not give additional details about the alleged cheating but said a process to fire the pilots had been initiated.

    Pakistan’s state-run airline is to ground 150 pilots, accusing them of obtaining licenses by having others take exams for them, an accusation that followed a probe into last month’s crash that killed 97 people in Karachi.

    Pakistan International Airlines did not give additional details about the alleged cheating but said a process to fire the pilots had been initiated.

    Thursday’s announcement came after the country’s minister for civil aviation, Ghulam Sarqar Khan, told parliament on Wednesday that “262 out of 860, which is 30%, of our pilots have dubious licenses or a fake degree.”

    He explained that these pilots did not pass through proper exams, with some of them having someone else sit the exam for them, while others did not have “proper flying experience”.

    “262 out of 860, which is 30%, of our pilots have dubious licenses or a fake degree, they did not pass through proper exams, some of them even did not appear themselves in the exams, and don’t have proper flying experience,” he said.

    The minister’s revelation came as he presented preliminary findings of a probe to parliament into the May 22 Airbus A320 crash.

  • in ,

    Two Human Rights Workers Killed in Kabul | TOLOnews

    Two employees of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) were killed in an IED explosion that targeted their vehicle in Kabul this morning, the commission confirmed.

    One of the victims was a woman who was serving as a legal adviser to the commission. Another victim was a driver.

    The incident happened in PD12 of Kabul in the Pul-e-Charkhi area in the east of the city early on Saturday morning when the two employees were headed to their office.

    Fatima Khalil, 24, was a donor liaison officer at Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and Jawid Folad was a driver at the organization.

    Kabul police in a statement confirmed that it was a magnetic IED blast.

    This comes almost a week after an explosion in Paghman district, Kabul province, killed four civilians, all of whom were family members of Afghan writer Assadullah Walwali. The incident happened when the family was en route to Kabul on June 19.

    Over 12 IED blasts happened in Kabul from May 18 to June 19, including two explosions that targeted two key mosques in the city.  

    At least 12 civilians were killed and 40 others were wounded during this period, according to the findings.

  • in ,

    Airbnb CEO says ‘travel as we knew it is over’ due to coronavirus pandemic

    The way the world travels will never be the same after coronavirus, but Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky does not believe that the tourism industry is doomed forever.

    “Travel as we knew it is over,” he told Deidre Bosa during an appearance on CNBC earlier this week. “It doesn’t mean travel is over, just the travel we knew is over, and it’s never coming back.”

    Chesky, who founded the room rental service in 2008, said that moving forward, he suspects that there will be a “redistribution of where people travel.” Instead of flocking to large cities, tourists will likely turn their focus to smaller communities with less dense populations.

    “No one quite knows what it will look like,” Chesky added.

    Despite being hard hit by the global health crisis, the 38-year-old billionaire said he was optimistic about the market and that Airbnb is prepared for a potential second wave. The company was heavily impacted by travel restrictions and fears brought on by the potentially deadly coronavirus, forcing it to layoff nearly 25% of its workforce.

    At the start of June though, Airbnb had the same volume of bookings as it did in the same time frame in 2019, likely from those traveling domestically, Chesky said.

  • in ,

    Where is the additional css file stored in WordPress

    Where is the additional CSS file stored in WordPress?

    It’s stored in the database, within the wp_posts table, under the custom_css post type, where the post name is the theme slug. There you also have the related customize_changeset and revision post types.

    The custom css post ID is also stored in the wp_options table under each theme mods, e.g. theme_mods_twentysixteen for Twenty Sixteen.

    It’s informative to check out how the custom CSS fetched from the database with:

    and displayed through the wp_head action with:

    Question: If it’s stored in the database does that mean that it will not be removed if/when I update my theme? – 

    Answer: updating the current theme, shouldn’t remove the stored CSS

    type this into the sql query if your new like me, and it should come up.

    SELECT * FROM wp_posts WHERE post_type = ‘custom_css’

  • in ,

    COVID-19: FG approves N2.3trn package to support Nigerian economy

    The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N2.3trillion as a stimulus plan to support the Nigerian economy as the country continues to battle coronavirus.

    the funds were recommended by the Economic Sustainability Committee led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to ensure the country’s economy survives the impact of the pandemic.The council’s virtual meeting which was presided over by President Buhari considered and approved the stimulus plan. 

    It would be recalled that Osinbajo on Thursday, June 11, pointed out that Nigeria can actually turn the pandemic into an economic victory. The vice president disclosed this at the State House in Abuja after presenting post-COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan to President Buhari. 

    Osinbajo led the Economic Sustainability Committee to submit the report entitled, “Bouncing Back: The Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan”. “We are confident that if the proposals are taken as a whole and implemented conscientiously, Nigeria will avert the worst of the impending economic headwinds, and convert this crisis to a victory for the Nigerian economy,” he said.

  • in ,

    WWE suffers big setback as wrestlers, multiple people test positive for Cov

    WWE chiefs are worried as wrestlers and multiple people are now said to have tested positive for the deadly Covid-19 and have ordered another round of testing.

    Serious tension and panic now rocks the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) as multiple people are now said to have tested positive for the deadly Covid-19.

     For close to seven months now since the outbreak of the Covid-19, the pandemic has caused havoc in arguably everywhere on earth with recorded cases every day. Sporting activities were suspended in many parts of the world and football only returned in Europe this month with games in the Premier League and Spanish La Liga.

    the Wrestling association have been hosting shows in America without allowing fans to watch their activities due to the pandemic. Their thinking was that this development would help them to reduce the spread of the virus not knowing that cases would still be recorded.

    Now, there are reports that multiple people have contracted the virus despite locking up their Florida training center from fans. WWE chiefs are now scared and hoping that the virus has not gotten to the production staff and this has forced them to order for another round of testing.

  • in ,

    Google to Pay for Some Content From Australia, Brazil, Germany | TOLOnews

    Alphabet’s Google on Thursday took a step to resolving its spat with publishers, saying it would pay some media groups in Australia, Brazil and Germany for high-quality content and expects to do more deals with others.

    The US internet giant has for years tried to fend off demands for payment from news publishers worldwide in return for using their content, with European media groups among their fiercest critics.

    “Today, we are announcing a licensing programme to pay publishers for high-quality content for a news experience launching later this year,” Brad Bender, Google’s vice-president for news, said in a blogpost.

    “We will start with publishers in a number of countries around the globe, with more to come soon,” he said.

    The new product will be available on Google News and Discover. Bender said Google would also offer to pay for free access for users to read paywalled articles on a publisher’s site where available.

    Publishers that will be paid for their content are Germany’s Der Spiegel, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Die Zeit and Rheinische Post, Australian groups Schwartz Media, The Conversation and Solstice Media, and Brazil’s Diarios Associados and A Gazeta.

    France’s competition authority in April ordered Google to pay French publishers for using their content while Australia said it would force the company and Facebook to share advertising revenue with local media groups.

  • in ,

    Da Afghanistan Bank Suspends 4 Top Officials for 'Corruption' | T

    Da Afghanistan Bank in a statement on Thursday said that it has suspended at least four top officials for alleged involvement in corrupt behavior. Their cases will be sent to the Attorney General’s Office for further legal proceedings, the statement read.

    Those suspended from their jobs have been involved in “seven cases of corruption,” said the bank.

    Also on Thursday, Mohammad Qasim Rahimi, second deputy of the Central Bank, in a Facebook post said that Ajmal Ahmadi, the acting head of the bank, had dismissed him “illegally.”

    “According to the recent decision of the Supreme Council of Da Afghanistan Bank, the highest decision-making authority of the Central Bank, the jobs of four high-ranking officials accused of corruption in seven cases, will be sent to the Attorney General’s Office for further investigation,” the statement said.

  • in ,

    '25 Taliban' Killed in Balkh Airstrike: Officials | TOLOnews

    At least 25 Taliban were killed in an Afghan air force airstrike in northern Balkh province on Wednesday night, local officials said on Thursday.

    The airstrike took place in Dawlat Abad village of Balkh district as the Taliban were gathered, said Munir Ahmad Farhad, a spokesman for the provincial governor.

    Residents of Balkh district said that four members of a family–including women and children–were killed last night in an Afghan airstrike.

    The bodies of the dead have been brought to the governor’s office.

    Police say they are investigating. The Taliban have not yet commented on the airstrike. 

    Local sources said that four civilians, including a child and a woman, were killed in the airstrike.

  • in ,

    Pakistan Remains 'Safe Haven' for 'Terrorist Groups': U

    In an annual report released on Wednesday, the US State Department said Pakistan continued to serve as a “safe haven for certain regionally focused terrorist groups.”

    “It allowed groups targeting Afghanistan, including the Afghan Taliban and affiliated HQN (Haqqani network), as well as groups targeting India, including LeT (Lashkar-e-Taiba) and its affiliated front organizations, and JeM (Jaish-e-Mohammed), to operate from its territory,” it said.

    Pakistan took “modest steps” in 2019 to counter terror financing and to restrain some India-focused militant groups following the February attack on a security convoy in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir claimed by Pakistan-based JeM, the report said.

    The report also stated that Islamabad has “yet to take decisive actions” against Indian- and Afghanistan-focused militants that would undermine their operational capability.However, the report noted that the Pakistani government also played a “constructive role” in US-Taliban talks in 2019, according to the report.

  • in ,

    Barcelona opera house reopens with performance to 2,292 plants

    It’s not uncommon for performances at Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu opera house to be sold out, but musicians played to an unusual audience on Monday to mark Spain’s lifting of lockdown — as thousands of plants filled its seats.

    The event was the work of conceptual artist Eugenio Ampudia and included a performance from the UceLi Quartet string quartet.

    The opera house added in the statement that, following this “strange, painful period,” organizers wanted to “offer us a different perspective for our return to activity, a perspective that brings us closer to something as essential as our relationship with nature.”

    Spain’s coronavirus state of emergency forced the Liceu to suspend its program of events in mid-March.

    The country’s state of emergency ended on Sunday and cultural venues can now reopen with a limited number of spectators. Around the world, performers are contending with restrictions imposed during the coronavirus pandemic.

    Some have tried streaming online, others have played at drive-in movie, and a few have even booked to play in empty stadiums.

    A total of 2,292 plants were packed into the theater, while the string quartet performed Puccini’s “Crisantemi,” according to a statement from the Liceu.

    Although humans were not present in the audience, spectators could watch the “Concierto para el bioceno” via livestream.

  • in ,

    The old 'Twilight Zone' speaks to the strange times we're livin

    “The Twilight Zone” has returned periodically since its debut over 60 years ago, including a CBS All Access revival beginning its second season this week. Yet in a twist worthy of the show’s creepy music, the original series speaks to the strange times through which we’re living more directly and profoundly than the new one.

    Creator Rod Serling’s anthology show defined the genre and shaped untold numbers of science-fiction yarns, but also dealt with issues that resonate to this day. Those include, in no particular order, racism, loneliness, the fragile nature of society, and the enduring notion that the biggest threat to humanity is usually what we tend to do to ourselves.

    It’s worth noting that when “The Twilight Zone” premiered in 1959, the lessons of World War II and horrors inflicted by Nazi Germany were relatively fresh in viewers’ minds. The Cold War was also in full swing, so the idea of oppressive regimes informed Serling and his collaborators.

    Still, as the program made clear on multiple occasions, fear and distrust were potentially our most dangerous enemies, qualities that could quickly upend ordinary people and shatter seemingly idyllic neighborhoods.

    Nothing exemplifies that better than two episodes: “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street,” in which the fear of alien intruders causes neighbors to suspect and turn on each other; and “The Shelter,” where one family’s bomb shelter sparks a crisis among those seeking protection and sanctuary amid the threat of a nuclear strike.

  • in ,

    'White Lives Matter' banner was about inciting 'racial hatred&#

    English football seemed to be united. When the Premier League restarted earlier this month, all the players from 20 clubs took a knee and some raised their fists, paying homage to a symbol of the Black power movement. For the first 12 games players also wore shirts with the message “Black Lives Matter” on the back of their jerseys instead of their names.

    Then on Monday a more discordant note was struck — a plane flew over the Etihad Stadium during Manchester City’s game against Burnley trailing a banner displaying the message: “White Lives Matter Burnley.”

    Burnley condemned the banner, issuing a statement during the match to offer its unreserved apology. After the game, Burnley captain Ben Mee said he was “ashamed and embarrassed.”

    According to the the Mayor of Burnley, Wajid Khan, the people responsible for organizing the “White Lives Matter” banner are “missing the point” of the Black Lives Matter movement.

    He makes the point that although Burnley “has come so far” after the race riots in 2001, a small minority do not realize that the Black Live Matter movement is “not about a phrase.”

  • in ,

    Almost 1 in 3 pilots in Pakistan have fake licenses, aviation minister says

    More than 30% of civilian pilots in Pakistan have fake licenses and are not qualified to fly, the country’s aviation minister revealed Wednesday.

    Addressing Pakistan’s National Assembly, Ghulam Sarwar Khan said 262 pilots in the country “did not take the exam themselves” and had paid someone else to sit it on their behalf.

    “PIA acknowledges that fake licenses is not just a PIA issue but spread across the entire Pakistani airline industry,” spokesperson Abdullah Khan said, adding that some of the fake pilots also fly for foreign carriers.The results of the investigation were announced Wednesday as part of a preliminary report into a plane crash that killed 97 people in the southern city of Karachi on May 22. The PIA plane crashed after taking off from Lahore, killing all but two of the passengers and crew on board.

    “They don’t have flying experience,” he said.

    Pakistan has 860 active pilots serving its domestic airlines — including the country’s Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flagship — as well as a number of foreign carriers, Khan said.

  • in ,

    China releases new details on Hong Kong national security law

    China revealed a blueprint on Saturday night for a controversial new national security law, which critics say threatens political and civil freedoms in Hong Kong and broadens Beijing’s direct control over the semi-autonomous city.

    Under the sweeping draft legislation, Beijing would be able to override Hong Kong’s prized independent legal system and mainland officials will establish a national security office in Hong Kong, further eroding the city’s autonomy.

    The draft, which is being reviewed by China’s top legislature, allows Hong Kong’s top offical to handpick which judges hear national security cases, according to state-run Xinhua news agency, jeopardizing the city’s treasured independent judiciary.

    And while Hong Kong courts will preside over national security criminal cases, mainland Chinese security organs will have the power to “exercise jurisdiction” over cases that “jeopardize national security under specific circumstances.”

    The characteristics of those circumstances were not defined. Criminal offenses under the draft law include secession, subversion of state power, terrorist activities, and collusion with foreign or external forces to endanger national security, according to Xinhua.

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