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North Korea: Children and elderly risk starvation

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The strict pandemic restrictions imposed on the people of North Korea is leaving many at risk of starvation

The UN is warning that vulnerable children and the elderly impacted by a growing food crisis in the isolated Asian nation are at risk of starvation.

UN Investigator Tomás Ojea Quintana stated in a report to the UN General Assembly that North Korea’s agriculture sector appears to be facing multiple challenges due to a drop in imports of fertiliser and other agricultural items from neighbouring China.

The impact of UN and international sanctions stemming from its nuclear program, and an outbreak of African swine fever is also proving challenging.

He said prolonged and strict pandemic measures since January 2020 have resulted in “severe economic hardship and increased vulnerability to human rights violations among the general population.”

Among the measures include a full-scale border shutdown, travel restrictions between cities and regions, and restricted imports of non-essential supplies including humanitarian goods.

Quintana stated that prior to the COVID pandemic, over 40 per cent of North Koreans were “food insecure,” with many suffering from malnutrition and stunted growth.

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un urged officials to overcome the “grim situation” and “unprecedented difficulties” facing the country and make stronger efforts to improve the food and living conditions of his people.

Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 

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Jeff Bezos unveils plans for commercial space station

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Jeff Bezos’ space tourism company, Blue Origin, has announced plans to launch a space station in Earth’s orbit.

The station will be named “Orbital Reef,” and is projected to be built and operational by the end of the decade.

The company says the station will be serve as a “mixed-use business park” in space and will host up to 10 people.

Promotional material released by the company revealed the 32-thousand square foot station will provide customers with an ideal location for “filmmaking in microgravity”, or “conducting cutting-edge research”.

It’s also speculated that the space station will include a “space hotel”.

The company will partner with Sierra Space and Boeing to build the outpost.

The announcement comes amid NASA efforts to find a proposal to replace the International Space Station (ISS), which is now more than 20 years old and in desperate need of repair.

This will include $400m in private contracts to space companies to help the agency replace the ageing outpost.

There is likely to be stiff competition for the funding, and Blue Origin is the latest firm to unveil their space station concept, joining space firms Nanoracks, Voyager Space and Lockheed Martin, who have teamed up to launch a station into low orbit by 2027.

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Facebook, YouTube remove Bolsonaro video with false vaccine claim

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Facebook and YouTube have both removed videos from their platforms featuring Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro, in which the leader makes a false claim that COVID-19 vaccines are linked to developing AIDS.

Both sites said the video violated their policies.

“We removed a video from Jair Bolsonaro’s channel for violating our medical disinformation policy regarding COVID-19 for alleging that vaccines don’t reduce the risk of contracting the disease and that they cause other infectious diseases, and that they cause other infectious diseases,” YouTube said in a statement.

Last month, YouTube moved to remove vaccine misinformation of all kinds from its platform, and has removed more than 1 million videos related to COVID-19 vaccine misinformation since the pandemic began.

Earlier this year, YouTube removed videos from Bolsonaro’s official channel where he recommended using hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin against COVID-19, two drugs that are proven to be ineffective in the treatment of the disease.

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Sudan’s military dissolves civilian rule

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Sudan Military Coup

Coup turns deadly with the country’s Prime Minister arrested and the military in power

A state of emergency has been declared and civilian rule has been dissolved in Sudan as a military coup escalates.

The coup leader has blamed political infighting as the reason behind the takeover… as political leaders are arrested.

Protests have erupted throughout the country, including the capital… with reports three people have died after being shot by armed forces.

The military and leaders have been clashing for years after Sudan’s previous ruler was overthrown two years ago.

At hospitals and medical clinics, doctors and healthcare professionals are refusing to work under military rule… meanwhile, experts believe the protests will only continue to escalate.

The army and other troops have been deployed across the capital… and the city’s airport is out of operation and international flights have been suspended.

Sudan’s internet is also down.

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