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Myanmar authorities open new corruption cases against Suu Kyi

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Myanmar authorities open new corruption cases against Suu Kyi. New corruption cases have been opened against Myanmar’s deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other former officials from her government, the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar said on Thursday.

The cases are the latest of an arrangement brought against elected leader Suu Kyi, who was overthrown by the army on Feb. 1 in a coup that has plunged the Southeast Asian country into chaos.

The state newspaper quoted the Anti-Corruption Commission as saying the accusations related to the misuse of land for the charitable Daw Khin Kyi Foundation, which she chaired, just as earlier accusations of accepting money and gold.

It said case records had been opened against Suu Kyi and several other officials from the capital Naypyidaw at police stations on Wednesday.

“She was seen as liable of committing corruption using her position. So she was charged under Anti-Corruption Law section 55,” the paper said. That law provides for up to 15 years in prison for those saw as liable.

Reuters was not immediately able to reach Suu Kyi’s lawyers for comment.

Cases Suu Kyi already faced ranged from the illegal possession of walkie-talkie radios to breaking the Official Secrets Act. Her supporters say the cases are politically motivated.

The army overthrew Suu Kyi saying her party had cheated in November elections, an accusation rejected by the previous election commission and international monitors.

From that point forward, the army has failed to establish control. It faces every day protests, strikes that have paralyzed the economy by opponents of the junta, a rash of assassinations and bomb attacks and a resurgence of conflicts in Myanmar’s borderlands.

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Explained: What is Turkey’s ‘sea snot’ outbreak that could jeopardize its economic activity, marine life

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The sea of Maramara, which exists in Turkey and separates Istanbul between Europe and Asia, is festered with another challenge-sea snot. The huge mass of organic matter has taken over the water body, disturbing the aquatic ecosystem and local communities. The crisis has been triggered by global warming and increasing pollutants.

In the midst of growing concerns over the accumulation of the vile green muck, Turkey has vowed to save its shores from new development building up in its waters. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said, “We will save our seas from this mucilage calamity.”

The slime has also been found in the adjoining Black Sea and Greece’s Aegean Sea, which are connected by the Sea of Marmara. Now the government has unleashed a massive campaign to get freed of the crisis that threatens Turkey’s marine ecosystem.

What is Sea-Snot and how has it formed?

Sea snot is a thick, vile dark brown sheet known as marine mucilage that is formed by dead and living organic material. The ooze forms when green growth overloaded with nutrients fests on warm weather because of climate change. It is to be noted that green growth are the prime source of maintaining oxygen concentration in water bodies, in any case, if their growth is overlooked, they could lead to the formation of this mucilage that could block sunlight from entering the deep waters.

While the exact cause of their rampant growth is being ascertained, one prime reason is pollution from organic mixtures like nitrogen and phosphorous. In the mean time, the rising water temperatures have also played their part. Baris Salihoglu, head of METU’s Institute of Maritime Sciences told DW, “We know that the water temperature in Marmara has increased by 2 to 2.5 degrees Celsius over the past 20 years, above the global average.”

The sea is surrounded by a population of almost 20 million people, which has triggered overfishing in the area causing a significant loss to the aquatic biodiversity making it vulnerable to such outbreaks. Industrial and agricultural runoff has also been contributing to Marmara’s degradation.

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Meghan and Harry announce birth of daughter Lilibet

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Meghan and Harry announce birth of daughter Lilibet. Britain’s Duchess of Sussex Meghan has brought forth her second child, a baby girl, who she and husband Prince Harry have named after Queen Elizabeth and his late mother Princess Diana.

Lilibet ‘Lili’ Diana Mountbatten-Windsor was born on Friday at the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in California, with Harry in attendance.

“On June 4th, we were blessed with the arrival of our daughter, Lili. She is more than we could have at any point imagined, and we remain grateful for the love and prayers we’ve felt from across the globe,” Harry and Meghan said in a statement published on their website.

“She weighed 7 lbs 11 oz. Both mother and child are healthy and well, and settling in at home,” the statement said.

The newborn is named after her great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, whose family nickname is Lilibet, the document read.

Shortly after the announcement, Buckingham Palace said the queen, Harry’s father Prince Charles and his brother and wife, Prince William and Kate, were delighted with the information.

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson joined them in sending his congratulations.

The birth comes after Harry and Meghan’s explosive TV interview with Oprah Winfrey in March.

The couple described agonizing discussions about the color of their first child’s skin, losing royal protection and the intense pressures that led Meghan to contemplate suicide.

Buckingham Palace said the allegations of racism made by the couple were “concerning”. The royal family said the issue would be addressed privately.

Harry and American actor Meghan Markle married at Windsor Castle in May 2018. Their son Archie was born a year later.

Allegations of racism

In mid 2020, Meghan and Harry announced they were quitting royal duties and moving to North America, citing what they said were the unbearable intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media. They live in Montecito, close to Santa Barbara, California.

Last year, Meghan revealed that she had a miscarriage in July 2020, giving a personal account of the traumatic experience in hope of helping others.

Months before the miscarriage, Harry said the royal family cut him off financially at the start of 2020 after he announced designs to step back from his roles.

But he had the option to afford security for his family because of the money his mother, Princess Diana, left behind.

In the interview with Winfrey, Meghan said she grew concerned about her son not having a royal title because it meant he would not be provided security. She said digesting everything while pregnant was “very hard”.

More than the “ruler” title, she was the most concerned about her son’s safety and protection.

Meghan also revealed it was hard for her to understand why there were concerns within the royal family about her son’s skin color. She said it was hard for her to “compartmentalize” those conversations.

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Delta variant 40% more transmissible, threatens open plans: UK health minister

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Delta variant 40% more transmissible, threatens open plans: UK health minister. The Delta variant of Covid-19, or the B1.617.2 variant first identified in India, is around 40 per cent more transmissible than the Alpha or so-called Kent variant of concern (VOC), UK health secretary Matt Hancock said on Sunday.

The senior Cabinet minister said the spread of the Delta variant, behind a recent ascent in coronavirus infections in the country, had made the opening plans set for June 21 more difficult.

Notwithstanding, he pointed out that a majority of those in hospital as a result of the Delta variant had not had a vaccine at all and only a “small minority” had both portions of a Covid-19 vaccine, which the minister said reflects the scientific advice that one vaccine isn’t quite as effective against the Delta VOC as against the Alpha variant but both dosages are just as effective.

“That figure, around 40 per cent more transmissible, is the latest advice that I have. That implies that it is more difficult to manage this virus with the new Delta variant, but crucially we believe that with two portions of the vaccine you get a similar protection as the old variant,” Hancock told Sky News.

The minister also confirmed that vaccines would be opened up to the next age cohort of under-30s in the next couple of days by the National Health Service (NHS).

“This week we will be opening up vaccines to the under-30s and so we are getting a step closer to the point when we’ve been able to offer the vaccine to all adults in this country,” he said.

“Everybody must go and get their second jab though because the first isn’t as effective on its own. We as a whole need to go and get vaccinated and that way we will break this connection between the number of cases and the number of hospitalisations,” he added.

Asked if there could be a delay to the June 21 timeline for an end to all lockdown restrictions in the country, Hancock said the government is “absolutely open” to a delay in the event that it needs to happen and if all the requisite tests set as part of the roadmap are not completely met. One of the four critical tests set by the government for a reopening is that the assessment of the risk from the deadly virus isn’t fundamentally changed by new VOC.

The other three tests cover the vaccine deployment program continuing effectively; evidence showing vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated; and infection rates don’t risk a surge in hospitalisations, which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.

Three out of the four tests are currently being met, with the risk assessment from the Delta VOC the only unknown factor ahead of June 14 when the government is expected to confirm whether the opening roadmap will stay on track for June 21.

The government has indicated that the wearing of face coverings and working from home measures could continue in the long-term, beyond that date.

“Indeed, I wouldn’t preclude that,” Hancock told the BBC.

“The manner in which we are seeing this is step four [of the roadmap] includes the removing of the remaining social restrictions like the standard of six and some of the business closures which are still there. And separately we have a piece of work on what the social distancing decides ought to be after that,” he said.

Latest NHS data revealed on Sunday that more than half of the people in England are now completely vaccinated, with 23,077,511 people receiving both portions, and over three-quarters of the adult population in England have now been vaccinated, with 33,525,485 first dosages delivered.

“In the event that you are contacted to bring forward your second portion appointment, I would ask you to do this at the earliest opportunity, as getting both dosages is what will give everyone the maximum possible protection against Covid,” said Dr Emily Lawson, NHS lead for the Covid-19 vaccination program.

Last month, the government recommended that people aged 50 and over and the clinically vulnerable have their second dosages brought forward to counter the spread of the Delta variant.

The UK recorded a further 6,238 coronavirus cases on Friday as England’s R number, or the rate of infection, began to rise once more, largely attributed to the Delta variant.

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