The CEO of Wells Fargo offered a groveling apology for his “unconscious bias” and promised more diversity at one of the largest US banks, after a quote from an internal memo caused outrage; even some members of Congress joined in. “I apologize for making an insensitive comment reflecting my own unconscious bias,” Charlie Scharf said in a statement released on Wednesday. “There are many talented diverse individuals working at Wells Fargo and throughout the financial services industry and I never meant to imply otherwise.” The San Francisco-based Wells Fargo is now “requiring diverse candidate slates for key roles with compensation of more than $100,000 and increasing business with diverse suppliers,” the statement said. Moreover, year-end bonuses for executives will be tied to “progress in improving diverse representation and inclusion in their area of responsibility.”
Welcome to Amy Biehl Nation. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that it’s getting harder and harder to be a “white ally” in the service of racial justice. And yet sometimes it actually does take a rocket scientist. U.K. native Nick Berry has lived in Seattle for the past quarter century. Berry is a rocket scientist, like, fer real, man (his degree is in aeronautical and astronautical engineering). Berry’s your standard Seattle white male…Trump bad, masks good, Trump hates science, STEM needs diversity, etc. He’s even done a TEDx talk (a rite of passage in that tribe). In his spare time, he runs a neat little science blog that’s actually quite worth a visit. Nick Berry is dying of stage IV cancer, and he’s using what little time he has left to give free science lectures at colleges and universities. His politics aside, he seems like a decent enough guy who’s handling his bum deal with humor and dignity. Last week, Berry was sitting in Seattle’s Ravenna Park minding…
Leaked reports revealed that the US branches of Deutsche Bank are suspected of facilitating money transfer to ISIS in Iraq at the height of the group’s terror campaign. The ISIS terrorist group launched a campaign of bloodshed and destruction against Iraq in 2014, seizing more than 121 bank branches, before its expulsion in late 2017, PressTV reported. Despite the terrorists’ control over some financial institutions, some banks, including Deutsche Bank and particularly its US branches, continued to allow money transfers to be sent to the Arab country. Classified financial reports submitted by banks all over the world to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the US Treasury Department (FinCen), which were leaked to the Buzzfeed news site and in turn shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, revealed suspicious money transfers of at least $4 billion flagged by Deutsche Bank’s US branches and Bank of America, to a number of Iraqi banks between June…
An asteroid the size of a bus is set to fly past Earth in the coming hours. The object, known as 2020 SW, will fly just 13,000 miles above the Earth’s surface on 24 September, Nasa has said. That is closer than the artificial objects that are in orbit around our planet. The object was only discovered on 18 September by a Nasa-funded project in Arizona, and further observations were able to track its trajectory and rule out any chance that it might collide with Earth. Those estimates showed that it would make its closest pass around noon UK time on Thursday. It will then fly off to continue its trip around the solar system. It will not come back anywhere near Earth until 2041, when it will be at an even further distance. The asteroid is thought to be about five to ten meters wide, roughly the size of a “small school bus”, the space agency said. The size is estimated from the brightness of the object.
Dense wildfire smoke that blanketed the state for weeks in August and early September — contributing to dangerous air quality from the San Francisco Bay area to Sacramento to Fresno and beyond — may have contributed to the deaths of hundreds of Californians and sent thousands more to the emergency room, Stanford University researchers say. Nearly 30 people have died in California wildfires that have destroyed millions of acres and continue to burn into late September. For weeks, skies above the Golden State were soiled brown or an apocalyptic orange grabbing headlines of a state on fire. But “the total cost in terms of human lives and health is likely far larger due to the immense amount of smoke that has been inhaled over the last 3 weeks by the very large number of people living on the West Coast,” said researchers at Stanford’s Center on Food Security and the Environment. Massive amounts of smoke pumped out from California’s infernos sent soot levels soaring across Northern…
Five of the six largest wildfires in California state history have been sparked in the past two months — and they’re all still raging. The state’s most aggressive fire, August Complex, has so far scorched nearly 860,000 acres of NorCal’s Tehama County — nearly doubling the now second-largest Mendocino Complex in 2018, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Rounding out the all-time top six are four other blazes still currently burning, according to the agency and The Sacramento Bee, which first reported the staggering toll. The SCU Lightning Complex has now consumed 396,624 acres near Santa Clara and Alameda counties, while the LNU Lightning Complex has decimated 363,220 acres around Sonoma and Napa counties.
A 60-year-old woman was killed in a tiger attack on Saturday afternoon at a field near Andharwadi village in Pandharkawada, Yavatmal district in Maharashtra. Forest officials said a tiger had been moving across villages Andharwadi, Koparmandvi, Vasari, and Kobai in the Pandharkawada Forest Reserve for the last 10 days and was also spotted at the site of the attack after Saturday’s incident. This is the second tiger attack and first death reported from the area and a committee empowered to decide on the tiger’s capture (as per National Tiger Conservation Authority guidelines) will be sending its recommendations to senior forest officials by Sunday. According to the forest department, around 1.30 pm Saturday, Laxmibai Bhimrao Dadanje, resident of Andharwadi was attacked and killed by a tiger at a field located between Patanbori and Andharwadi villages.
Tory peers today voted down a last-minute bid to stop an estimated 55,000 struggling private renters from being evicted. Since Monday, tenants who were handed notices by landlords from March to August have been at risk of being turfed out of their homes. Housing campaigners fear that it will mean a rise in homelessness and more pressure on cash strapped councils just as the UK braces for a second wave.
A hunter was killed by a grizzly bear at one of Alaska’s national parks on Sunday, marking the first ever fatality from such an incident at the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. According to the National Park Service (NPS,) the hunter was taking part in a 10-day-long moose hunting trip when they were mauled to death by the bear in Wrangell-St. Elias. Officials are yet to disclose their identity, and no further details have been released regarding the incident. An investigation into the mauling is underway, according to the NPS. It is not clear if a search is being conducted to look for the bear that was responsible.
The Pentagon has still seen no proof for reports that Russia paid the Taliban to kill US troops in Afghanistan, a defense official said, while a senior US diplomat noted Moscow has instead supported the country’s peace process. While the military is “always looking at threats,” it has yet to uncover evidence for the “bounties” allegation reported by the New York Times in June, David Helvey, the Pentagon’s deputy assistant secretary for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs, told the House Oversight Committee during a hearing on Tuesday. “Since those reports have come out regarding Russian programs, we’ve been looking specifically to identify corroborating information. We’ve not yet found it, but we continue to look for that,” Helvey said, answering a question from Rep. Harley Rouda (D-California) about the Times story and “outside actors” operating in Afghanistan.
House Democrats on Wednesday proposed a bill to curb presidential abuses, a pitch to voters weeks ahead of Election Day as they try to defeat President Donald Trump, capture the Senate from Republicans and keep their House majority. The legislation, a wide-ranging package of new and revised bills, would limit the president’s pardon power, strengthen laws to ban presidents from receiving gifts or payments from foreign governments, better protect independent agency watchdogs and whistleblowers from firing or retribution and require better reporting by campaigns of foreign election interference. Each of the bill’s provisions is a response to actions by Trump or his administration that Democrats see as abuses of presidential power. It builds on an elections and ethics reform package the House passed soon after Democrats reclaimed the majority in 2019.
Production on affected farms will be below normal levels for at least a month, Acorbanec said The eruption of Ecuador’s Sangay volcano has left around thousands of hectares of banana production under a carpet of ash. According to exporter association Acorbanec, around 55,000ha have been affected. “We estimate that this will lead to a 25 per cent fall in the weekly exportable offer from the affected farms for at least a month,” Richard Salazar told Fruitnet. Sangay volcano is one of the highest active volcanoes in the world and one of Ecuador’s most active ones. Since June, it has registered very high levels of activity. The latest eruption occurred on Sunday morning, with ash continuing to fall until Monday night.
Blasting New York’s “sanctuary city” policies, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials announced a felon released by NYPD on 10 separate occasions was finally arrested on federal charges and may face deportation. ICE has filed 10 immigration detainers for Jhonny Alejandro Soto-Ubaldo over the past two years, only to see him released as police refused to honor them, the agency announced on Tuesday. Soto-Ubaldo is a Dominican national allegedly in the US illegally.
Democratic nominee Joe Biden said Tuesday that Cindy McCain, the wife of the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), will endorse him for president. Biden made the announcement during a virtual fundraiser, saying Cindy McCain made the decision because of President Trump’s reported comments about fallen service members detailed in The Atlantic earlier this month. “Maybe I shouldn’t say it, but I’m about to go on one of these Zooms with John McCain’s wife, who is, first time ever, is endorsing me because of what he talks about with my son and John’s who are heroes, who served their country, you know he said they’re losers, they’re suckers,” Biden said during the fundraiser, according to a pool report of his comments.
The government in Ethiopia reports that unprecedented flooding caused by the overflow of the Awash River has displaced more than 144,000 persons in Afar Regional State. According to state disaster officials, the overflow of Kesem, Tendaho, and Koka dams on the Awash River were the cause of displacement of more than 144,000 people. Flooding in the state has affected 240,000 people, demolished 105 schools, 200 rural roads, 6 bridges, and killed over 21,000 domestic animals. Flooding has also damaged around 60,000 hectares of crops and farmland.
Extremely heavy rainfall inundated wide areas of Mumbai, India, from 22 to 24 September. Local media report that Mumbai recorded nearly 400 mm in 48 hours. Roads of the city were swamped, stranding several vehicles and causing traffic chaos. Flooding on railway lines disrupted rail services. Media reported some residents in the Kranti Nagar area of the city were evacuated. Meanwhile rescue workers continue to look for possible survivors after an apartment building collapsed in Bhiwandi on the outskirts of Mumbai on 21 September. As of 24 September, 35 people had died in the disaster. Officials are still investigating the cause of the collapse.
Government denies claims of potential conflict of interest, maintaining he is not involved in commercial decisions on coronavirus vaccines. The UK’s chief scientific adviser has a £600,000 shareholding in a drugs giant contracted to develop a Covid-19 vaccine for the Government, prompting claims of a potential conflict of interest. Sir Patrick Vallance, who also chairs the Government’s expert advisory panel on vaccines, holds a deferred bonus of 43,111 shares in GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) worth £600,000 from his time as president of the multinational drug company, The Telegraph can reveal.
Edward Snowden has accused CNN of twisting facts by claiming that he was willing to forfeit book proceeds in favor of the US government. He even offered a “better” headline for the contested piece. Citing US court documents, CNN reported that Snowden “agreed” to forfeit more than $5 million he had allegedly earned from his book and speaking fees to the US government. The whistleblower reacted by saying that the news outlet has “badly misreported this.” “A) This is not a settlement; I didn’t agree to it. B) The judgement from this censorship case is not enforceable while I am in exile, but I’ve never had that much money anyway,” Snowden wrote on Twitter.
A public-affairs specialist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases will retire after revelations that he used a pseudonym online to savage the government response to the covid-19 pandemic — including the work of Anthony Fauci, who heads that agency, an NIAID, reports The Washington Post. William Crews told NIAID officials he will retire after the Daily Beast revealed he is also the managing editor of the conservative web site RedState.com, where, under the pseudonym “streiff,” he has ridiculed the government’s activity against the coronavirus outbreak, according to the NIAID spokeswoman. Under the pseudonym, Crews wrote that Anthony Fauci was a “mask nazi” and described him as the “attention-grubbing and media-whoring Anthony Fauci.”
The Russian Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media plans to prohibit websites from using encryption, enabling the country to more efficiently and successfully block access to banned online resources. On Monday, the ministry submitted a draft bill to stop the use of encryption protocols in Russia, including DoH (DNS over HTTPS) and DoT (DNS over TLS), both of which aim to increase privacy and prevent eavesdropping on users. According to officials, these modern encryption technologies enable the bypassing of website blocks, allowing people to access federally banned resources, reducing the effectiveness of internet filters for children.
Biggest floods ever recorded in Ethiopia, right over the new Renaissance Dam, the largest in Africa that is beginning to fill, now with a super charge. I wonder who knew the cycles of change turning desert to grassland that would have billions to fund such a project. First ever cyclone to hit Portugal mainland and hurricanes Beta and Teddy connect across 3000 miles of Atlantic waters.
The American Meteor Society (AMS) have received 120 reports (5282-2020) about a meteor fireball seen over Western Europe (District de Luxembourg, Drenthe, England, Flevoland, Friesland, Gelderland, Groningen, Hessen, Limburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Niedersachsen, Noord-Brabant, Noord-Holland, Nordrhein-Westfalen, North Holland, Overijssel, Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein and Vlaande) on Tuesday, September 22nd 2020 around 03:53 UT.
Leighton Buzzard has been hit by two aftershocks in the space of a few hours – taking the total number of earthquakes felt in the area over the last two weeks to four. A magnitude 2.1 event struck at 1.39pm on Tuesday afternoon, just over four hours after a 3.0 tremor was felt in the Bedfordshire town at 9.32am. Geologists said they were likely to be aftershocks of the first quake felt in the area on 8 September. “There’s obviously been some stress been building up in that particular area and we’ve had the initial earthquake,” said Glenn Ford, a seismologist with the British Geological Survey (BGS). “It’s maybe just still rebalancing the stress regime in that particular part of the world and we’re getting these little aftershocks occurring as well.” The 8 September tremor was magnitude 3.5 and the first aftershock five days later measured 2.1. According to the BGS, residents said Tuesday’s first tremor “only lasted a couple of seconds” and that they “felt a single jolt, a bit like…
In the context of the current overwhelming worldwide COVID-19 panic wave, this text has as goal to provide, on a differentiated scientific basis, a different view of the corona crisis than the one still dominantly presented in the mainstream media and used by many governments and their experts to maintain protection measures imposed on whole populations. Scientific data as well as propositions based on them will be presented, bringing together what many scientists, medical doctors, economists and lawyers have already claimed in the past months. The panic wave and the subsequent scaremongering have not allowed until today that these voices be heard sufficiently. The present specific contribution will concern the potentially deleterious and even fatal role of emotions in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Joel Kettner, professor of Community Health Science at Manitoba University and Medical Director of the International Centre for Infectious Diseases declared in March 2020: “I…