China on Thursday condemned a new Indo-Pacific security alliance between the United States, Britain and Australia – dubbed AUKUS - which would provide Australia with the technology and capability to deploy nuclear-powered submarines. China’s foreign ministry said the three countries were (quote) "severely damaging regional peace and stability, intensifying an arms race, and damaging international nuclear non-proliferation efforts."And the backlash is not just coming from China...France lost its own submarine deal with Australia as a result of the U.S. deal.French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian called the plans "brutal and unpredictable"...And, accused Biden of stabbing France in the back and acting like his predecessor Donald Trump.On Thursdsay, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki pushed back:"We are engaged closely and we were engaged in advance of this announcement with leaders in France about this purchase.... they were aware in advance of the announcement, yes."EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said he was not consulted on Wednesday's agreement:"I guess a deal of this nature wasn't cooked up the other day. It takes a while. Despite that, no, we were not consulted."The U.S. and its allies are looking for ways to push back against China’s growing power and influence, particularly its military buildup.U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Thursday said the pact was about more than just countering China: “This morning we had a robust discussion across the full-range of those security interests to include terrorism, climate change and the increasingly contested security environment in the Indo-pacific. We spoke in detail about China’s destabilizing activities and Beijing’s efforts to coerce and intimidate other countries, contrary to established rules and norms..."The U.S., UK and Australia all stressed it would not be fielding nuclear weapons, but that Australia would be using nuclear propulsion systems for the vessels to guard against threats. U.S. officials did not give a time frame for when Australia would deploy a nuclear-powered submarine, or how many would be built.
More than 100 Afghan evacuees departed Pristina International Airport in Kosovo on Thursday, September 16, to travel to Britain for resettlement, according to the UK Embassy in Kosovo.The 117 Afghans had all previously worked with NATO, the organization said, and were evacuated from Afghanistan following the United States’ withdrawal from the country.“As some Afghans complete their resettlement, the process continues for others. Around 2,000 Afghans who worked with NATO, and their families, were evacuated from Kabul in August, as part of the largest evacuation mission in NATO’s history,” NATO said in a press release. “NATO worked around the clock to coordinate evacuations. Over the course of two weeks, more than 120,000 people were flown out, on hundreds of Allied flights. Troops from the US, UK, Turkey, and Norway played a key role in securing the airport and operating a field hospital, while around 800 NATO staff maintained key operations such as fueling and communications.” Credit: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty via Storyful
Non-urgent blood testing in England and Wales is set to fully resume next month after it was scaled back due to a lack of vials.
Good news for the economy on Main Street turned out to be too good for much of Wall Street. An unexpectedly strong retail sales report prompted a sell-off in tech stocks, helping drag down the Dow and S&P 500 Thursday. Retail sales grew despite Hurricane Ida and the Delta variant, and that helped drive up stocks of retailers like The Gap and Tapestry. But it also triggered a rise in bond yields, which led investors to unload rate-sensitive, market leading tech titans like Apple and Alphabet. Terence Gabriel is Stocks Buzz Analyst at Thomson Reuters. “Stronger-than-expected economic data gets the market worrying again that the Fed is going to taper aggressively, so it's a difficult moment for the market to be in.” The Dow and S&P 500 declined nearly two-tenths of a percent. But a rally by Amazon helped lift the Nasdaq a tenth of a percent. U.S.-based casino operators with operations in Macau extended their steep slide. J.P. Morgan downgraded Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Resorts and Melco Resorts to “neutral” from “overweight” after Macau launched a regulatory overhaul. Shares of Ford Motor gained one-and-a-third percent. The automaker said it’ll boost production of its electric pickup truck, the F-150 Lightning due to strong demand. Sales start next spring.
Home computing pioneer Sir Clive Sinclair has died at the age of 81, according to reports. The pocket calculator trailblazer and the brains behind the Spectrum home computers died at his home in London on Thursday morning, according to the Guardian. Sir Clive Sinclair launched the first affordable consumer computer in 1980, costing less than £100.
A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for parts of southeastern Pennsylvania on Wednesday, September 15, as a line of storms brought heavy rain and frequent lightning to the region, the National Weather Service (NWS) forecast.This footage filmed by Ethan Kerr, who said it was taken at Millersville University on Wednesday night, shows lightning flashing across the night sky.Storms were expected to bring heavy rainfall, thunder, and possible localized flooding to parts of southern Pennsylvania again on Thursday evening, according to the NWS. Credit: Ethan Kerr via Storyful
Trinidad-born Minaj sparked an international furor earlier in the week when she alleged on Twitter that her cousin in Trinidad refuses to get a vaccine because his friend became impotent after being vaccinated."His testicles became swollen. His friend was weeks away from getting married, now the girl called off the wedding," Minaj, who has 22.6 million Twitter followers, said on Monday.The comments triggered an international backlash, with senior U.S. and British coronavirus officials condemning the claims.When asked about Minaj's tweets, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, said there was a lot of misinformation on social media.Minaj had said in a tweet that she had not been able to complete enough research of her own on the COVID-19 vaccines to get one in time for the Met Gala, a star-studded fundraiser for New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.Later, Minaj added that she will get vaccinated to be able to tour.
Every major automaker is rushing to get all-electric models to the market and that includes Ford Motor.Detroit's No. 2 automaker on Thursday announced plans to boost production capacity for its planned F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck to 80,000 per year by 2024. That's basically double Ford's previous target. The increase, according to Ford, is due to strong demand for the Lightning, which is the electric version of its iconic gas-powered F-150. The truck, which Ford hopes will help it steal some of the limelight from Tesla, will start selling in the spring, Ford also announced Thursday. Interest really got a boom once prospective buyers heard the price, says Kumar Galhotra. He's president of The Americas and International Markets Group at the Ford Motor Company. "We introduced the pricing for the vehicle because it'll start at under forty thousand dollars. There was even more interest from customers, commercial customers, personal use customers. So the demand has been increasing steadily. We now have over 150,000 orders. So as the demand was growing, we were also breaking constraints."In order to keep up, Ford is investing $250 million and adding 450 hourly jobs across three of its facilities in Michigan. But its Rouge Electric Vehicle Center is expected to do most of the heavy lifting. But Ford is not alone. Other global automakers are also racing to shift their gasoline-powered lineups to all-electric power under pressure from regions like Europe and China to cut vehicle emissions. The U.S. has also issued guidelines to move the industry away from gas-powered engines - blamed for contributing to global warming. For its part, Ford has gone all-in on the Lightning, even taking it on a road show last spring in New York City. President Biden even got a chance to take it for a spin during a visit to Detroit in May. But industry observers question whether individual buyers will give up their gas-powered pickups for a plug-in version. Ford is betting they will, and the Federal government could help tip the balance in favor of vehicles like the Lightning. Congress is currently debating whether to expand tax credits for electric vehicles, including offering an extra $4,500 to EVs, such as the Lightning, that are made in the United States with union labor.
A fire hydrant burst on a busy intersection in the recently water-afflicted city of Montpellier, France, on September 16, causing a geyser of water to shoot into the air as cars passed by.Montpellier is located in the department of Herault in southern France, where heavy rain and hail have caused severe flooding in the region since Tuesday, September 14.An orange alert is in place in the Herault and Gard departments until Friday, September 17, according to local reports. Credit: @jeanphi9840, Instagram via Storyful
Is Space X's latest launch, Inspiration 4, a leap forward in commercial space travel or a risk too far? Euronews talked to two experts to find out.View on euronews
Heavy rainfall brought flooding to the Milano-Malpensa Airport in Ferno, Italy, on Thursday, September 16, leading to evacuations, according to local news reports.Firefighters and river rescue specialists helped to evacuate people trapped in floodwaters, reports said, with rainfall and high winds causing problems for flights.These videos taken by Jessica Rocca show flooding at the airport and the nearby roadway.Italy’s Department of Civil Protection issued an adverse weather warning for 11 regions, including Lombardy, on September 16, warning of potential “very intense showers, local hail, frequent power and strong activity winds” extending into Friday. Credit: Jessica Rocca via Storyful
The US Coast Guard (USCG) continued to support recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Ida on September 16, footage taken at Air Station Clearwater in Florida shows.The USCG has responded to the hurricane’s impacts to waterways and assessed the environmental threats across southeast Louisiana, according to a press release.This video, released by the USCG, shows guardsmen loading hurricane relief supplies including lodging equipment for Ida responders onto an aircraft, according to a caption. Credit: US Coast Guard via Storyful
Facebook is taking a more aggressive stance against harmful users, aiming their anti-troll strategy designed for fake accounts, to take down real users. The company told Reuters the new approach, uses the tactics usually taken by Facebook's security teams for wholesale shutdowns of networks engaged in influence operations that use false accounts to manipulate public debate, such as Russian troll farms.It could have major implications for how the social media giant handles political and other coordinated movements breaking its rules, at a time when Facebook's approach to abuse on its platforms is under heavy scrutiny from global lawmakers and citizen groups. The approach will target real accounts that systemically break its rules, through mass reporting, where many users falsely report a target's content or account to get it shut down, or brigading, a type of online harassment where users might coordinate to target an individual through mass posts or comments.The expansion means Facebook's security teams could take more sweeping actions than the company removing posts or individual accounts as it otherwise might.High-profile instances of coordinated activity around last year's U.S. election, from teens and K-pop fans claiming they used TikTok to sabotage a rally for former President Donald Trump in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to political campaigns paying online meme-makers, have also sparked debates on how platforms should define and approach coordinated campaigns.
MATT GOHD, CEO, ZERO GRAVITY CORPORATION: "So what we're offering people is the ultimate experience…”While billionaires blast off into spacethere’s a less expensive alternative for those who want to experience zero gravitya 90-minute trip on board the G-Force Onefor $7,500 per personGOHD: “The experience of what it feels like to be an astronaut, to float weightlessly in the cabin of our hollowed-out cabin of our highly retrofitted and customized Boeing 727, where you're doing somersaults and hanging upside down and you are free from what we experience daily - gravity. And when you do a push up, you don't come back down."Passengers feel the weightlessness for about 20-30 secondsas the pilots reach a certain altitude while increasing the angle of the planeThe maneuver is repeated about 15 times during the flightGOHD: "When people go up on the flight in the first parabola, everybody's giggling and wow and other exclamations. They've never felt anything like this. And they're like children again."Zero G has been offering flights since 2004
Campaigners calling for more government action to speed up the removal of dangerous cladding on their homes protested outside Parliament today. Many homes have become practically worthless, and the costs of replacement work have spiralled since the presence of dangerous cladding was highlighted by the Grenfell Tower fire. .
The population of White’s seahorses, also known as Sydney seahorses, have been in decline due to habitat loss and degradation of their natural habitat.Video shared on social media captured diver releasing seahorses into their new home.According to Laura Simmons, curator at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, they are in the second year of a multi-year project that aims to recover the endangered White’s seahorse. Simmons said she was extremely proud to see over 140 tagged seahorses released into the wild, where she hopes they will go on to bread all around Sydney Harbour and the East Coast of Australia.