Somehow supporting this thread is like drinking from a fire hose ... /-:
Here are a lot of news articles, mostly sad -- but at the end, a couple of slightly hopeful ones.
The Renowned Arecibo Radio Telescope in Puerto Rico Is to Close[,] in a Blow to Science ...
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The National Science Foundation announced Thursday that it will close the huge telescope at the renowned Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico[,] in a blow to scientists worldwide who depend on it to search for planets, asteroids and extraterrestrial life.
The independent, federally funded agency said it’s too dangerous to keep operating the single dish radio telescope — one of the world’s largest — given the significant damage it recently sustained. An auxiliary cable broke in August and tore a 100-foot hole in the reflector dish and damaged the dome above it. Then on Nov. 6, one of the telescope’s main steel cables snapped, leading officials to warn that the entire structure could collapse.
Hurricane Iota: at least six killed and 60,000 evacuated in Nicaragua
Joe Biden warns on climate emergency as powerful storm inflicts catastrophic damage
Surprise at US move to drop drug charges against ex-Mexican minister
Decision seen as reward from Trump to Mexican counterpart for election support
Protesters in Guatemala Set Fire to Congress Building Over Spending Cuts
After two hurricanes displaced thousands of people and wrecked infrastructure, a bill that cut spending on health and education and bolstered lawmakers’ meal stipends touched off a wave of anger in the capital.
Protests erupt in Brazil after black man dies after being beaten outside supermarket
João Alberto Silveira Freitas was allegedly attacked by security guards at a Carrefour store in Porto Alegre
The ‘false positives’ scandal that felled Colombia’s military hero
When the Colombian army defeated the Farc guerrillas, ending decades of conflict, General Mario Montoya was hailed a national hero. But then it was revealed that thousands of ‘insurgents’ executed by the army were in fact innocent men
They Championed Venezuela's Revolution. They Are Now Its Latest Victims.
In an effort to complete his consolidation of power, Nicolás Maduro is cracking down on the leftist activists who once supported him, but have begun to speak up against his administration's corruption and cronyism.
Landslide in Ecuador Kills 5 at Illegal Mine
At least two more people were missing. The deaths, including that of a minor, occurred as the region was struggling to combat the illegal gold industry.
Peru's week of protests – in pictures ...
Peru’s capital is reeling from an intense week of pro-democracy protests marked by accusations of police brutality. The impeachment of former president Martín Vizcarra unleashed nationwide demonstrations and what analysts have called Peru’s worst political crisis in more than a decade
Uganda Releases Opposition Leader After Clashes Kill at Least 28
Two days after police took him into custody, presidential contender Bobi Wine resurfaced on Friday in court where he was charged with flouting coronavirus rules and released. ...
NAIROBI, Kenya — Ugandan authorities on Friday charged an opposition leader and presidential contender with breaching coronavirus rules and then released him from jail, two days after his arrest sparked protests nationwide that led to the deaths of at least 28 people and almost 600 arrests.
The candidate, Bobi Wine, arrived in court on Friday in the eastern of town of Iganga under heavy security. Sporting a blue polo shirt and jeans, he looked sapped but remained unwavering in his decision to take on the President Yoweri Museveni, who has ruled Uganda since 1986.
“It’s been tough. It’s been hell,” Mr. Wine said in a video streamed live from the courtroom on his Facebook page, before he was granted bail and released. “We shall be free or we shall die while trying to be free. We are not slaves.”
Mr. Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, was arrested on Wednesday morning in the eastern district of Luuka as he prepared to hold a campaign rally which authorities said violated coronavirus safety guidelines for political campaigns. After he was shoved into a police van, the authorities took him to a police station where his campaign team said he was denied access to lawyers, doctors or family members for almost two days.
The loyalty oath keeping Rwandans abroad in check ...
Leaked footage of a controversial "oath" ceremony at the Rwandan High Commission in London has fuelled allegations of an aggressive global crackdown on dissent by the authoritarian government of the small East African nation, dubbed the new "North Korea" by its critics.
Members of the Rwandan diaspora have told the BBC that such ceremonies are commonplace and designed to instil fear and obedience.
One man said his relatives back in Rwanda had been abducted and possibly killed to punish him for refusing to co-operate. The Rwandan authorities have dismissed the allegations as false and unsubstantiated.
In the video footage, recently circulated on WhatsApp, more than 30 individuals can be seen standing in a crowded conference room at the Rwandan embassy in the UK, raising their hands and pledging loyalty to the governing party, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF).
For Netanyahu and Israel, Trump’s Gifts Kept on Coming
Allowing the convicted spy Jonathan Pollard the ability to emigrate to Israel was just the latest in a long list of prizes for America’s closest ally in the Middle East.
Saudi Arabia and Human Rights Activists Fight Over Kingdom’s Image at G-20
As the summit’s host, the kingdom hopes to showcase its advances, while critics see an opportunity to pounce. But the virtual event will have a lower profile. ...
BEIRUT, Lebanon — For Saudi Arabia, hosting the Group of 20 summit in Riyadh this year was supposed to cement its global stature. Heads of state from the world’s richest nations were to be wowed by the kingdom’s rugged beauty and changing society — and encouraged to let its war in Yemen and murder of a prominent journalist drift into the past.
For critics of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, the event looked very different: A golden opportunity to highlight the kingdom’s abuses and press world leaders to embarrass its de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The two-day summit, which started Saturday, is not expected to live up to either side’s hopes. Instead, the coronavirus has effectively reduced the G-20 summit — like so many other meet-ups this year — to a giant webinar.
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How a new type of glove can reduce environmental damage
Scientists, doctors and businesses use three million tonnes of protective latex gloves every year – and Covid means that number is increasing all the time.
Most are synthetic and end up in landfill, where they take 100 years to degrade.
BBC correspondent Richard Westcott met scientists at Cranfield University in Bedfordshire who have developed a new type of latex.
A Holocaust Survivor Lifts Neighbors in Dark Times
Simon Gronowski escaped the Nazis as a child and went on to write and speak widely about his experiences. In April, he began brightening lives by playing jazz tunes from his apartment window. ...
BRUSSELS — Simon Gronowski had committed many acts of bravery and generosity in his 89 years of life, and opening a window in April wouldn’t ordinarily have counted among them, but this was no ordinary April.
It was the height of the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, which hit Belgium as hard as any place in the world. But as a Holocaust survivor, Mr. Gronowski had faced death more intimately before.
The diminutive lawyer summoned his courage, moved his electric piano to beneath a windowsill and flung the window open, letting in spring sunshine along with the thick, wary quiet of a city terrified of the virus. And he began to tap out a jazz tune.
“I was afraid,” he said. “It’s not normal to just open the window and play.”