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Blinken says China “has to cooperate” with international probe into coronavirus origins – CBS News



Washington — Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday that China must cooperate with further investigations from the United States and the World Health Organization into the origins of COVID-19, with the world now “insisting” that Beijing do so.

In an interview with “Face the Nation,” Blinken said the main purpose of the examinations is to ensure proper policies and mechanisms can be put in place to prevent another pandemic from happening again or mitigate another outbreak.

“China has to cooperate with that,” the secretary of state told “Face the Nation.” “Transparency, access for international experts, information sharing, that has to happen and, again, I think you’re seeing countries come together to insist on that.”

While President Biden ordered last month the U.S. intelligence community to redouble efforts to investigate the origins of COVID-19, the Group of Seven leaders are also calling for a so-called “Phase II” study from the World Health Organization (WHO) into how the pandemic started, Blinken said.

While the WHO issued a study in March on COVID-19’s origins and found it is “extremely unlikely” the virus leaked from a lab in Wuhan, China, the Biden administration has raised concerns about the methodology and process for the examination, as well as China’s involvement.

“Coming out of this, we need a couple of things,” Blinken said. “We need to understand what happened, we need to get to the bottom of it, and we’re working on that through the WHO, we’re also working on that ourselves.”

Mr. Biden and his fellow G-7 leaders met in Cornwall, England, this weekend for the G-7 Summit, which concluded Sunday. In a communique issued by the group, the nations pledged to commit to removing forced labor from global supply chains, fight ransomware and take action to combat corruption. The U.S. and its allies also called on China to respect the “high degree of autonomy for Hong Kong” and “human rights and fundamental freedoms, especially in relation to Xinjiang,” and reiterated their promise to donate 1 billion coronavirus vaccines for poorer nations.

Blinken called this G-7 summit “the most consequential one” he’s participated in and said Mr. Biden united member countries in dealing with the challenges posed by China.

“It’s a complicated relationship for virtually all of the G-7 countries. It’s in some aspects adversarial, in other aspects competitive and in other aspects cooperative,” he said. “But the common denominator, and I think this is where these countries are coming together, is we need to be able to deal with China in all of those areas, coming from a position of strength and coming from a united position.”

Following the G-7, Mr. Biden will travel to Brussels for a NATO Summit and U.S.-European Union Summit, followed by a highly anticipated meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday in Geneva, Switzerland. 

Blinken said the Mr. Biden’s summit with the Russian president will not be a “light switch moment” in terms of results, but instead a chance to “tell President Putin directly that we seek a more predictable, stable relationship.”

“If we’re able to do that, there are areas where it’s in our mutual interest to cooperate, but if Russia continues to take reckless and aggressive actions, we’ll respond forcefully, as we’ve already done, when it comes to election interference, when it comes to the SolarWinds cyber attack, when it comes to the attempt to poison and kill Mr. Navalny,” Blinken said, referencing Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny. “This is a beginning of testing that proposition, and Russia will have to decide by its actions which direction it wants to go in.”

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Internet down: Multiple global, Australian news sites down including BBC, New York Times, SMH, Age




The Verge, Financial Times and Bloomberg also experienced outages which lasted almost an hour, while locally, The Guardian, Nine, SMH and The Age were affected, including Channel 10 and 10play online. Users have also reported issues with 7Plus.

The outage has gone as far as sites for the White House along with the UK government’s website – gov.UK.

Retail giant Amazon, Reddit, Netflix, Pinterest, Twitch, PayPal and Shopify were also affected.

It appears News Corp sites were unaffected by the outage.

Internet sleuths have suggested a “big attack” but the outage was caused by a data centre provider, San Francisco based Fastly.

Most users were receiving ‘Error 503’ messages when attempting to access the sites and while a fix has been applied, users have been warned that they may “continue to experience decreased cache hit ratio and increased origin load as global services return”.

“When huge outages like this strike the internet, they are generally traced back to some central service provider, such as AWS,” said The Verge, which was forced to communicate through Google Docs.

“In this case, it seems the cause of the problem is due to a company called Fastly, which provides CDN (content delivery network) services to many websites.

CNN as it appeared in a major outage.Source:Supplied

The Age confirmed that tech teams for Nine publications, “including this masthead, confirmed that the issue was linked to CDN vendor Fastly.”

CDNs are “graphically distanced” networks of servers, which “help minimise delays in loading web page content, by reducing the physical distance between the servers and users”, according to The Australian’s David Swan.

Fastly provides updates.Source:Supplied

Those servers are located in “data centres” around the world, connected via subsea cables.

“Fastly is one of four hosting service providers that looks after CDNs, Akamai, Cloudflare and Amazon Web Services, are the other three.

On its website, Fastly said: “The issue has been identified and a fix has been applied. Customers may experience increased origin load as global services return.”

Sites began to return but Fastly failed to indicate what had happened in the first place.

Lollll Fastly’s own blog is down:

— Rhiannon Williams (@RhiannonJudithW)

Breaking: the internet. Huge parts of the web are currently offline, including Reddit, Twitch, and (regrettably) The Verge. We’ll keep you posted 👍

— The Verge (@verge)

Down Detector shows mass outages hitting major platforms all at the same time.

Cloud services like Fastly and AWS could be the root of the problem:

— Dexerto (@Dexerto)

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Giant dinosaur species found in Australia, among world’s largest | History News | Al Jazeera




Palaeontologists in Australia have identified a new species of dinosaur, naming it the Australotitan cooperensis and recognising it not only as the largest to ever roam the continent but also among the biggest in the world.

Australotitan, or the southern titan, was a long-necked sauropod that is estimated to have reached 25-30 metres (82-98 feet) in length and 5-6.5 metres (16-21 feet) in height, making it as long as a basketball court and as high as a two-storey building.

The findings were published in the journal PeerJ on Monday.

“It’s been a long time coming, but we are very proud to showcase Australia’s largest dinosaur species,” said Scott Hocknull, a palaeontologist at the Queensland Museum and a co-author of the study.  “We know it was a plant-eating dinosaur. It had a very long neck and a very long tail and had the look of a typical brachiosaurus. But it was enormous. It was a titanosaurian.”

Nicknamed Cooper, after the nearby creek where it was first found in 2006, the dinosaur is estimated to have lived more than 90 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period, and is estimated to have weighed about 67 tonnes.

“These are the largest dinosaurs that ever walked on earth and based on the preserved limb size comparisons, this new titanosaur is estimated to be in the top five largest in the world,” said Robyn Mackenzie, the director of the Eromanga Natural History Museum, who first spotted the dinosaur’s remains along with her husband on her family farm in southwest Queensland.

Since excavations for dinosaur fossils began in 2005 in the area, known as Eromanga Basin, two other large sauropods have also been discovered. They are nicknamed George and Zac.

Scott Hocknull poses with a 3D reconstruction and the humerus bone of Cooper, a new species of dinosaur discovered in Queensland and recognised as the largest-ever found in Australia [Eromanga Natural History Museum/Handout via Reuters]

“These dinosaur discoveries have opened a whole new world, not just to our family, but to people throughout Australia,” Mackenzie was quoted as saying by the 9News broadcaster. “It has been the most enriching journey.”

Hocknull told Al Jazeera it had been a “very long and painstaking task” to confirm that Cooper was a new species of dinosaur. The palaeontologists’ research relied on 3D scan models of bones to compare the dinosaur with its relatives in Australia and elsewhere in the world.

“When you have a dinosaur bone that weighs 200 kilograms (440 pounds), you can’t just put in a car and take them to other museums for comparison. So, we used 3D technology to scan the bones, so that I can go compare them in different museums and different collections,” he said.

The process took many years, but over that period Hocknell said: “We have been able to figure out that not only is it different, but it is Australia’s largest dinosaur species”.

The palaeontologist said the study found that the Australotitan was most closely related to three other sauropods that lived in Australia during the Cretaceous period – the Wintonotitan and the smaller Diamantinasaurus and Savannasaurus sauropods.

“That means they are one big happy family,” he said.

The new species also share relations with titanosaurians from South America and Asia, said Hocknell, suggesting they may have travelled to the continent from South America via Antarctica during periods of global warmth.

Or, he said, they might have island-hopped across ancient island archipelagos, which would eventually make up the present-day terrains of Southeast Asia and the Philippines.

This content was originally published here.

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South African woman gives birth to 10 babies, breaks Guinness World Record – Trending News News




South African woman gives birth to 10 babies, breaks Guinness World Record - Trending News News

A woman from South Africa’s Gauteng has broken a Guinness World Record as she gave birth to 10 babies at once. The record was previously set by Halima Cisse who gave birth to nine children in Morocco last month.

Gosiame Thamara Sithole’s husband Teboho Tsotetsi told Pretoria News that she delivered 10 babies at a hospital in Pretoria on June 7. The doctor, in fact, after medical scans earlier had detected that she will give birth to eight babies, but instead, she delivered seven boys and three girls by Caesarean section.

Gosiame Thamara, who has six-year-old twins, previously told the Pretoria News that her pregnancy was natural.

“It’s seven boys and three girls. She was seven months and seven days pregnant. I am happy. I am emotional,” Teboho Tsotetsi told Pretoria News.

Before the birth of her babies, Gosiame Thamara Sithole, during an interview with Pretoria News, had said, “I am shocked by my pregnancy. It was tough at the beginning. I was sick. It was hard for me. It’s still tough but I am used to it now. I don’t feel the pain anymore, but it’s still a bit tough. I just pray for God to help me deliver all my children in a healthy condition, and for me and my children to come out alive. I would be pleased about it.”

Gosiame Thamara Sithole (37) from Tembisa has given birth to a village breaking a world record with 10 kids at once last night. She delivered 7 boys and 3 girls. A true meaning of aiyate Sione.

— Man’s NOT Barry Roux (@AdvoBarryRoux)

At first, doctors had said that she was expecting six children (sextuplets). Following several other scans, Gosiame Thamara Sithole was told that she will deliver octuplets, but ultimately, gave birth to 10 children.

Gosiame Thamara Sithole had said that the two babies could not be detected initially because they were inside the wrong tube.

Professor Dini Mawela, deputy head of the school of medicine at the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, said that Sithole’s case was rare. It was usually caused by fertility treatments, professor said. However, Sithole had clarified earlier that she was not on fertility treatment.

“It’s quite a unique situation. I don’t know how often it happens. It’s extremely high risk (pregnancy). It’s a highly complex and high-risk situation. The danger is that, because there is not enough space in the womb for the children, the tendency is that they will be small. What would happen is that they would take them out pre-term because there is a risk if they keep them longer in there. The babies will come out small, chances of survival compromised. But all this depends on how long she carried them for,” Professor Dini Mawela told Pretoria News.

This content was originally published here.

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