Japan’s Mt Aso erupts, people warned to stay away

A Japanese volcano has erupted, spewing ash several miles into the sky, prompting officials to warn people to steer clear of the threat of lava flows and falling rocks, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.Smoke and ash are seen during an eruption on Mount Aso in Kyushu on Wednesday. Mount Aso, a tourist destination on the country’s main southern island of Kyushu, spewed plumes of ash 3.5km (2.2 miles) high on Wednesday when it erupted at about 11:43am (02:43 GMT), the Japan Meteorological Agency said. JMA raised its alert level for the volcano to 3 on … Continue reading Japan’s Mt Aso erupts, people warned to stay away

Deadly blast on Syrian military bus kills 13

A bomb attack on a military bus in central Damascus has killed at least 13 people, Syrian state media say. The vehicle was targeted with two explosive devices as it passed under Jisr al-Rais bridge shortly after dawn, Sana news agency reported. Video from the scene showed the charred remains of the bus, which was completely burnt out. Although Syria has been embroiled in civil war for a decade, such attacks in the capital are increasingly rare. Wednesday’s bombing was reportedly the deadliest in central Damascus since March 2017, when at least 31 people were killed in a suicide attack claimed … Continue reading Deadly blast on Syrian military bus kills 13

Facebook is reportedly changing its name because it wants to be known for its ‘metaverse’ focus

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on stage at an Oculus developers conference in 2016. Facebook is planning to change the name of the company next week, The Verge reported Tuesday evening. The new name will aim to recast Facebook’s focus on becoming a “metaverse company” rather than a social media company by rebranding its main app as one of many under a singular parent company, according to The Verge. CEO Mark Zuckerberg will discuss the name change at Facebook’s annual Connect conference on October 28, but the company could announce the name before then, The Verge reported. The metaverse typically refers to the … Continue reading Facebook is reportedly changing its name because it wants to be known for its ‘metaverse’ focus

Chinese EV maker Xpeng’s flying car company raises over $500 million as it aims to roll out in 2024

HT Aero, the flying car company backed by Chinese electric carmaker Xpeng Inc. and its founder, raised more than $500 million from outside investors. The money will be put toward research and development and rolling out a new model that has the ability to operate in the air and on roads. Zhao Deli, founder and president of HT Aero, said in a press release that the company’s next-generation model will be a “fully integrated flying vehicle and automobile, designed for both low-altitude air travel and road driving.” The company is planning for an official roll-out of the new vehicle in … Continue reading Chinese EV maker Xpeng’s flying car company raises over $500 million as it aims to roll out in 2024

Ecological Crime: Near extinct Galapagos tortoise slaughtered, threatens species’ existence

Park Rangers at the Galápagos National Park discovered an unusual site while patrolling a remote part of southern Isabela Island, the remains of 15 slaughtered tortoises. The Galápagos Conservancy said the discovery was “shocking” and that while 13 of the tortoises had been dead for an indeterminate amount of time, two were freshly killed. Giant tortoises like those found in the Galápagos are a historically threatened species due to exploitation for food and materials during the 18th and 19th centuries. Giant tortoises were also harvested for oil. According to the conservancy, “the highly imperiled state of tortoises today on southern … Continue reading Ecological Crime: Near extinct Galapagos tortoise slaughtered, threatens species’ existence

Colombian former guerrilla leader arrested in Mexico

One of the leaders of FARC, the Colombian guerrilla group turned political party, was arrested Tuesday in Mexico.Former FARC leader Rodrigo Granda Rodrigo Granda, head diplomat for the Marxist group, was held under a “red notice” from Interpol, Colombian Defense Minister Diego Molano said on Twitter. He said the red notice and arrest request were issued by Paraguay, not Colombia. “The detention of Mr Rodrigo Granda is due to a red notice from Paraguay for kidnapping, criminal association and intentional homicide,” Molano said. Mexican authorities also confirmed the arrest to AFP, declining to give further details. The arrest was first … Continue reading Colombian former guerrilla leader arrested in Mexico

Couple indicted for trying to sell Nuclear secrets to foreign country

A couple from Maryland charged with trying to sell information about nuclear-powered warships to a foreign country was indicted following their arrest earlier this month, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ). Jonathan, 42, and Diane Toebbe, 45, of Annapolis, each faces a single count of conspiracy to communicate restrictive data and two counts of communication of restricted data. The couple was arrested in West Virginia on October 9 by the FBI and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and charged with violating the Atomic Energy Act, a federal law that assures the proper management of nuclear materials and their byproducts. Jonathan Toebbe worked … Continue reading Couple indicted for trying to sell Nuclear secrets to foreign country

Tragic: 46 people dead in floods in Himalayan state of Uttarakhand

At least 46 people have died in flash floods triggered by heavy rains in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand. Images and videos from the state show flooded roads, submerged homes and fallen bridges. Experts say the Himalayan state, a popular tourist spot, is seeing the effects of both climate change and rampant construction. Floods have also ravaged the southern state of Kerala, where at least 26 people have died in recent days. Both states have recorded excessive rainfall this year, according to data from India’s weather department. Kerala, for instance, recorded 453.5mm rainfall as opposed to the 192.7mm that is considered … Continue reading Tragic: 46 people dead in floods in Himalayan state of Uttarakhand

FBI searches US homes linked to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska

FBI agents are sweeping properties in the US linked to a Russian billionaire oligarch. Mr Deripaska, who has close ties to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, was placed under US sanctions in 2018. The oligarch’s spokesman told Reuters news agency the FBI is searching two homes owned by relatives of Mr Deripaska under court warrants related to those sanctions. Images showed agents carrying boxes out of a Washington DC home. Others stood guard outside behind yellow crime scene tape. The representative said another property in New York was also being searched. So far it is unclear exactly why the searches are … Continue reading FBI searches US homes linked to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska

Polish PM accuses EU of blackmail as row over rule of law escalates

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has accused the EU of blackmail in a heated debate with European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen over the rule of law. The clash in the European Parliament follows a top Polish court ruling that rejected key parts of EU law. Mrs von der Leyen said she would act to prevent Poland undermining EU values. In response, Mr Morawiecki rejected “the language of threats” and accused the EU of overstepping its powers. Poles overwhelmingly support being part of the EU, opinion polls suggest, but Poland’s right-wing nationalist government has increasingly been at odds with … Continue reading Polish PM accuses EU of blackmail as row over rule of law escalates

Shameful: Charges ‘unlikely’ for bystanders who failed to report rape say prosecutors

Bystanders who stood by and failed to help a woman raped on a Philadelphia commuter train last week are unlikely to face criminal charges, local prosecutors say. CCTV cameras show that bystanders on the train “did nothing” as the assault took place, transport officials said. Police had suggested earlier that commuters who may have filmed the incident could be prosecuted. A man was arrested for the incident and now faces rape charges. The alleged rape took place last Wednesday on a train belonging to the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (Septa). In a statement, Septa said that “there were other people … Continue reading Shameful: Charges ‘unlikely’ for bystanders who failed to report rape say prosecutors

Transgender official Rachel Levine sworn in as four-star admiral

The US assistant secretary for health has been sworn in as the first transgender four-star officer in the country’s history. Dr Rachel Levine, 63, is now an admiral of the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. Dr Levine, appointed by President Joe Biden, is already the highest-ranking openly transgender official in the US. She described the occasion as “momentous” and “historic” during a swearing-in speech on Tuesday. “May this appointment today be the first of many more to come, as we create a diverse and more inclusive future,” she said in a speech that paid tribute to other LGBTQ individuals … Continue reading Transgender official Rachel Levine sworn in as four-star admiral