The Charity Commission has launched an inquiry into charities connected to Viateschlav Kantor, a billionaire sanctioned by the UK over Ukraine.
Mr Kantor donated £9m to King Edward VII’s Hospital in London.
One of Prince Charles’s charities, The Prince’s Foundation, had also been promised £3m.
The Russian-born billionaire had been made a “life governor” of the private hospital in Marylebone, of which the Queen is patron.
But Mr Kantor has stepped down from that role and as a trustee of the hospital, which is known for its links to royalty.
The King Edward VII recently opened the “Kantor Medical Centre”, a new wing built with Mr Kantor’s support, but in the wake of the sanctions, his name has been removed.
Donations were paid through the Kantor Charitable Foundation, whose bank accounts have now been frozen by the charity regulator: Queen’s hospital donor on UK Russia sanctions list
Source: LONDON: Russian Oligarch Charity Donates to Hospital Used by Queen & Royal Family – 💥Peace & Truth
Scientists have uncovered evidence that dangerous versions of superbugs can spread from pigs to humans. The discovery underlines fears that intensive use of antibiotics on farms is leading to the spread of microbes resistant to them.
The discovery of the link has been made by Semeh Bejaoui and Dorte Frees of Copenhagen University and Soren Persson at Denmark’s Statens Serum Institute and focuses on the superbug Clostridioides difficile, which is considered one of the world’s major antibiotic resistance threats.
“Our finding indicates that C difficile is a reservoir of antimicrobial resistance genes that can be exchanged between animals and humans,” said Bejaoui, who is due to present her study at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases in Lisbonon Sunday. “This alarming discovery suggests that resistance to antibiotics can spread more widely than previously thought, and confirms links in the resistance chain leading from farm animals to humans.”
C difficile infects the human gut and is resistant to all but three antibiotics in use today. Some strains contain genes that allow them to produce toxins that can trigger gut inflammation and life-threatening diarrhoea in the elderly and in hospital patients. The bacterium is considered one of the biggest antibiotic resistance threats in developed countries. In the US, it caused an estimated 223,900 infections and 12,800 deaths in 2017 and cost the healthcare system more than $1bn.
Source: Pigs can pass deadly superbugs to people, study reveals | Antibiotics | The Guardian
One of the greatest weapons we now have against Putin is international solidarity and support. This is something that really bothers him. I know that, while news about our war made headlines all over the world and dominated the global conversation for several weeks, interest in stories of our territorial defenders is starting to wane. Fatigue towards the horrors of war is sadly common; we saw this with Syria, Yemen and our own Donbas. But those of us in Ukraine cannot afford to feel fatigued, or else we risk losing sight of victory. Our strength is now more important than ever. Although various Russian retreats are taking place, we hear stories that Russian troops are regrouping and planning to continue their attack. It is now that we must resolve to win this war.
We cannot do this without external support. This war is a defining moment, not just in Ukrainian history, but in defence of democracy. This is not just a regional conflict between Ukraine and Russia but a fight against tyranny and imperialism. Our army continues to need weapons and military assistance from all our allies. And we need monetary assistance to help us plug the holes that this war is blowing in our previously strong economy. Our leadership is not only at the forefront of the war with Russia, but is also fighting behind battle lines – in the safety of international offices and institutions – to secure the support from allies that we need in order to restore peace and freedom to Ukraine.
At the same time, we have an army of volunteers who must keep supplying our territorial defenders with the protective equipment they need in order to keep fighting on the frontlines. Thankfully, civil society organisations such as the Ukrainian World Congress have worked tirelessly to ensure a steady stream of non-lethal supplies to our defenders. They have also mounted a mammoth effort to advocate for our allies to send the weapons we desperately need, and impose the economic blockades and sanctions necessary to defeat Russian aggression. Our defenders will keep fighting until we finally achieve victory, and our supporters will keep doing everything they can to help them.
Source: I’ve dealt with Putin before: I know what it will take to defeat this brutal despot | Viktor Yushchenko | The Guardian
Last week, it was revealed that a San Francisco judge had determined that one of Musk’s 2018 tweets about taking his company private was a lie.
It’s one of at least a dozen high-profile cases that Tesla or Musk are involved in years after he posted the infamous “funding secured” tweet, sending shares soaring and inviting the wrath of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Now, as Musk ramps up his battle to buy Twitter Inc., the lingering ramifications of his prior use of the social media platform may come back to haunt him.
The judge’s decision tips the scales heavily in favor of Tesla investors who are suing Musk and Tesla for as much as $12 billion in trading losses they blame on the go-private tweets. That case is set for a jury trial in January.
The decision also poses a threat to Musk’s effort to unleash himself from oversight by the SEC — a quest so personal for the world’s richest person that he became visibly emotional while lambasting the agency during a TED talk in Canada last week.
Source: As Elon Musk bids for Twitter, his fight to tweet freely hits snag | The Japan Times
CNN profiles Bellingcat, a Netherlands-based investigative group specializing in “open-source intelligence”. And investigator Christo Grozev tells CNN that authoritarian governments make their work easier, because “they love to gather data, comprehensive data, on … what they consider to be their subjects, and therefore there’s a lot of centralized data.”
“And second, there’s a lot of petty corruption … within the law enforcement system, and this data market thrives on that.”Billions have been spent on creating sophisticated encrypted communications for the military in Russia. But most of that money has been stolen in corrupt kickbacks, and the result is they didn’t have that functioning system… It is shocking how incompetent they are. But it was to be expected, because it’s a reflection of 23 years of corrupt government.
Interestingly there’s apparently less corruption in China — though more whistleblowers. But Bellingcat’s first investigation involved the 2014 downing of a Boeing 777 over eastern Ukraine that killed 283 passengers. (The Dutch Safety Board later concluded it was downed by a surface-to-air missile launched from pro-Russian separatist-controlled territory in Ukraine.) “At that time, a lot of public data was available on Russian soldiers, Russian spies, and so on and so forth — because they still hadn’t caught up with the times, so they kept a lot of digital traces, social media, posting selfies in front of weapons that shoot down airliners. That’s where we kind of perfected the art of reconstructing a crime based on digital breadcrumbs…”
“By 2016, it was no longer possible to find soldiers leaving status selfies on the internet because a new law had been passed in Russia, for example, banning the use of mobile phones by secret services and by soldiers. So we had to develop a new way to get data on government crime. We found our way into this gray market of data in Russia, which is comprised of many, many gigabytes of leaked databases, car registration databases, passport databases. Most of these are available for free, completely freely downloadable from torrent sites or from forums and the internet.”And for some of them, they’re more current. You actually can buy the data through a broker, so we decided that in cases when we have a strong enough hypothesis that a government has committed the crime, we should probably drop our ethical boundaries from using such data — as long as it is verifiable, as long as it is not coming from one source only but corroborated by at least two or three other sources of data. That’s how we develop it. And the first big use case for this approach was the … poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in 2018 (in the United Kingdom), when we used this combination of open source and data bought from the gray market in Russia to piece together who exactly the two poisoners were. And that worked tremendously….
Source: Open-Source Intelligence: How Bellingcat Uses Data Gathered by Authoritarian Governments – Slashdot
Nothing could be more symbolic of Nepal’s goal of being net-zero in energy by 2045 than the sight on New Year’s day on Thursday, April 14, 2022, as three new Chinese electric buses drove past a hydroelectric plant and a solar panel array on the Bhote Kosi River.
The three buses are the first of 40 battery-powered buses ordered by the Sajha Yatayat cooperative public transport service from China. They will be running on renewable energy generated by power plants like the 45MW Upper Bhote Kosi hydroelectric project along the Arniko Highway in Phulping Katti, Central Nepal to the Chinese border.
These three buses arrived at the Tatopani customs, a major customs point along the Nepal-China border, a few days before and will be brought to Kathmandu on flatbed trucks since the highway is rough in places for the low-clearance buses. And after undergoing gradient, roadworthiness and range tests in the capital Kathmandu, the other 37 buses will arrive later this year.
Source: Nepal’s journey to electric public transport · Global Voices
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