China Extends Reach in the Caribbean, Unsettling the U.S. – Repeating Islands

China has offered Jamaica loans and expertise to build miles of new highways. Throughout the Caribbean, it has donated security equipment to military and police forces, and built a network of Chinese cultural centers. And it has dispatched large shipments of test kits, masks and ventilators to help governments respond to the pandemic.

The initiatives are part of a quiet but assertive push by China in recent years to expand its footprint and influence in the region through government grants and loans, investments by Chinese companies, and diplomatic, cultural and security efforts.

Source: China Extends Reach in the Caribbean, Unsettling the U.S. – Repeating Islands

Nagorno-Karabakh: Russia deploys 1960 peacekeepers — Anna Van Densky blog

Brussels 09.11.2020 According to Russian TASS Agency a peacekeeping contingent of the Russian Federation will be deployed along the line of contact in Nagorno-Karabakh and along the Lachin corridor in the amount of 1,960 servicemen with small arms, 90 armored personnel carriers, 380 units of automobile and special equipment, the statement signed by Russia, Armenia, […]

Nagorno-Karabakh: Russia deploys 1960 peacekeepers — Anna Van Densky blog

COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer Pfizer has made a big announcement — here’s what to make of it – ABC News (some cautions)

But independent scientists, including leading vaccine developer Dr Stanley Plotkin, have cautioned against banking on the results too soon, noting that the data are incomplete and that many questions still remain.

At this stage, no long-term safety and efficacy data has been collected, and it will take months — if not years — to understand how long immunity (generated by the vaccine) lasts.

“That there is early efficacy of 90 per cent is great, but … we don’t know whether vaccine protects against infection, so that individuals who are vaccinated won’t be able to excrete the virus and infect other people,” Dr Plotkin, emeritus professor of paediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania, told RN Breakfast.

“We don’t know whether it protects the elderly as well as the young.

There is also concern the vaccine will present significant manufacturing and logistical challenges, says Professor Nolan.

Source: COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer Pfizer has made a big announcement — here’s what to make of it – ABC News

Facebook removes pages tied to former Trump advisor Steve Bannon

  • Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon exits the Manhattan Federal Court, following his arraignment hearing for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering, in New York, August 20, 2020. Facebook said it took the pages down “for using inauthentic behavior tactics to artificially boost how many people saw their content.”
  • The decision to remove Bannon’s network of pages comes after Twitter last week made the decision to permanently suspend an account that belonged to Bannon.

Source: Facebook removes pages tied to former Trump advisor Steve Bannon

Facebook, Google, other major developers decline to offer native Apple silicon apps at launch

They don’t want me business – good bye

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A number of major app makers, including Facebook, Google and Candy Crush Saga developer King, will not offer initial support for Apple silicon Macs at launch, according to a report on Monday.

Apple SiliconApple is widely expected to unveil the first Macs powered by its in-house A-series processors at a special event on Tuesday. The company has been working hard to get developers aboard the new platform, but some larger companies are taking a wait-and-see approach.Because Apple silicon Macs run on chips bearing a largely identical architecture to those in iPhone and iPad, iOS developers can port their wares to the new Mac operating system with minimal effort. Apple is also allowing iOS and iPadOS app makers to offer apps through the Mac App Store. While some, like Netflix and HBO, have elected to do so, others have declined.

Read more…

Intelligent birds | Neuroscience | The Guardian

emma the new caledonia crow and her vending machine On the south-west Pacific island of New Caledonia, a crow called Emma has stunned researchers by operating a vending machine they constructed for it, remembering the size of a token needed to release a treat. The ongoing investigation into the intelligence of the species follows the discovery that it works material into fishing hook-style tools to extract larvae from holes in dead wood. Source: Intelligent birds | Neuroscience | The Guardian