US Senate advances $1 trillion “infrastructure” boondoggle scheme

Source: Reuters

“A roughly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure investment [sic] bill advanced in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, passing a key milestone that moves the emerging legislation toward formal debate and possible passage. The Senate voted 67-32 to take the first procedural step toward debating the measure that has the support of Democratic President Joe Biden. The bipartisan agreement, which follows months of negotiations, gained the support of all 48 Democrats, two independents and 17 Republicans on this first procedural vote. … Democrats intend the bill — which includes funding for roads, bridges, broadband and other physical infrastructure — to be the first of a pair of packages, followed by a sweeping $3.5 trillion ‘human infrastructure’ package that faces staunch Republican opposition and some dissent among moderate Democrats.” (07/28/21)

Armenia: Regime to request Russian troops deployment on Azerbaijan border

Source: Dhaka Tribune [Bangladesh]

“Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Thursday he would request the deployment of Russian border guards along his country’s frontier with Azerbaijan to prevent further escalation after new clashes. Last year Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a six-week war over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The conflict claimed some 6,500 lives and ended with a Russian-brokered ceasefire that saw Armenia cede territories it had controlled for decades. In recent months tensions have been running high over the two countries’ shared border. On Wednesday, three Armenian soldiers were killed in fresh border clashes with Azerbaijani forces, in some of the heaviest fighting between the Caucasus rivals since last year’s war.” (07/29/21)

US Census Bureau threatens to delay data release if it can’t keep records secret

Source: US News & World Report

“The U.S. Census Bureau could be forced [sic] to delay even further the release of redistricting data used for drawing congressional and legislative districts if it’s ordered to disclose more records in response to a lawsuit, the agency’s chief scientist said in court papers this week. The redistricting data is set to be made public by the middle of next month. That could be postponed by as much as six additional months, however, if the statistical agency is ordered to release more records dealing with how it counted people living in what it refers to as ‘group quarters,’ Census Bureau Chief Scientist John Abowd said in a declaration.” (07/28/21)

UK: Regime says no Covid quarantine for fully jabbed US and EU travellers

Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“People who have been fully vaccinated in the EU or US will not need to isolate when coming to England and Scotland from an amber list country. The change will come into force at 04:00 BST on Monday. Currently, only people who received their jabs in the UK can avoid quarantine when arriving from amber list countries, except France. The UK government said the rule change would help to reunite family and friends whose loved ones live abroad. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said it would apply to people who have been fully vaccinated with a jab approved by the EU or US. Travellers will still need to take either a lateral flow or PCR test pre-departure and a PCR test on the second day after they arrive. Under-18s will be exempt from isolation, and some will not have to test, depending on their age.” (07/28/21)

Peru: Castillo sworn in as president

Source: Al Jazeera [Qatar state media]

“Peru has sworn in new President Pedro Castillo, a leftist former teachers’ union leader who already faces mounting challenges to build his government, tackle the coronavirus crisis and unite a deeply polarised country. Castillo was sworn in at midday local time (17:00 GMT) on Wednesday in the capital, Lima, after weeks of uncertainty following a hard-fought June presidential runoff that saw him edge right-wing rival Keiko Fujimori by about 44,000 votes. … Castillo, a 51-year-old former rural schoolteacher, becomes Peru’s first president in decades with no ties to the country’s political or economic elite and he has promised, among other things, to ensure there are ‘no more poor people in a rich country.'” (07/28/21)

TX: Voters reject Trump-endorsed Republican in special US House election

Sourc: The Guardian [UK]

“Jake Ellzey of Texas won a US House seat on Tuesday night over a fellow Republican rival backed by Donald Trump, dealing the former president a defeat in a test of his endorsement power since leaving office. Ellzey’s come-from-behind victory over Susan Wright, the widow of the late Representative Ron Wright, in a special congressional election runoff near Dallas is likely to be celebrated by Trump antagonists who have warned against his continued hold on the GOP. … The north Texas district won by Ellzey — who narrowly lost the GOP nomination for the seat in 2018 — has long been Republican territory. But Trump’s support in the district had also plummeted: after winning it by double-digits in 2016, he carried it by just three percentage points last year, reflecting the trend of Texas’s booming suburbs shifting to purple and, in some places, outright blue.” (07/28/21)

UK: Tidal turbine in Orkney starts generating power

Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“What’s being described as the most powerful tidal turbine device in the world has connected to the grid in Orkney. Orbital Marine Power’s O2 tidal turbine is anchored in the Fall of Warness where a subsea cable connects the two-megawatt offshore unit to the local onshore electricity network. It comes as industry leaders call for government support to help the tidal industry develop commercially.” (07/28/21)

China: Regime court sentences agricultural tycoon to 18 years for “provoking trouble”

Source: Hindustan Times [India]

“A Chinese court sentenced agricultural tycoon Sun Dawu to 18 years in jail on Wednesday for a catalogue of crimes including ‘provoking trouble’ after the outspoken billionaire and grassroots rights supporter was tried in secret. The court in Gaobeidian near Beijing said Sun was found guilty of crimes including ‘gathering a crowd to attack state organs,’ ‘obstructing government administration’ and ‘picking quarrels and provoking trouble,’ a catch-all term often used against dissidents. He was detained by police in November along with 19 relatives and business associates after his firm was embroiled in a land dispute with a state-owned competitor.” (07/28/21)

CT: Gun maker offers $33 million to settle frivolous Sandy Hook lawsuit

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“The maker of the rifle used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting has offered some of the victims’ families nearly $33 million to settle their lawsuit over how the company marketed the firearm to the public. Lawyers for now-bankrupt Remington filed the offers late Tuesday in Waterbury Superior Court in Connecticut. The nine families suing the company, who are being offered nearly $3.7 million apiece, are considering the proposals, their lawyers said. A Hartford lawyer representing Remington, James Rotondo, declined to comment Wednesday. The settlement offers were filed a day after a judge denied Remington’s request to dismiss the lawsuit.” (07/28/21)

Report: Korean peninsula regimes in talks over possible summit

Source: The Hill

“North and South Korea are reportedly in talks to hold a potential summit between the two countries. Reuters reported on Wednesday that South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have been sending each other letters since last April that discuss strategies to enhance their nations’ strained ties. The news service cited three unidentified South Korean government sources with knowledge of the matter in its reporting. The two sides reportedly decided to revive hotlines as a first step to improving relations. The countries are also looking at possibly setting up a summit between the two leaders, Reuters noted, adding that no time frame or other information have been discussed because of the ongoing global threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.” (07/28/21)