Microsoft 365 Goes Down affecting Multiple Continents

On September 28, 2020, around 6 PM EST, those using Microsoft 365 and Outlook services observed difficulty logging into its services.

The outage was attributed to a recent change to Microsoft and Microsoft reverted to an older version to mitigate the impact of the outage. Unfortunately, approximately one hour after spotting the possible issue, Microsoft tweeted that the it was not seeing an increase in successful connections after rolling back the recent change.

Microsoft then rerouted the traffic to its alternative infrastructure while continuing to investigate. This outage may have shown the dangers of relying solely on one contractor for major government services such as 911, which also complained of difficulty of logging into Microsoft administrative services.

As of 8 PM, Microsoft seems to have become accessible to a limited extent, although still not fully operational.

Anyone impacted can stay updated on its twitter page:

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No More Gasoline Car Sales by 2035, says Governor of California

Gov. Gavin Newsom of California signed an executive order on Wednesday, banning the sale of new gas cars and trucks after 2035. Gas cars and trucks may be owned and sold on the used car market, however.

The governor is also calling for the end of petroleum fracking, but unlike his gas-car ban, decided to leave the this matter to the California legislature.

As wildfires become an yearly event in California (and much of the west coast), Newsom wants to become more aggressive in fighting anti-climate matters; however, it has not been so successful as the Trump administration had sought to revoke California’s authority to mandate zero-emission vehicles. The matter landed in court.

According to the state statistics, transportation is the state’s biggest and rising source of emissions.

Although zero-emission vehicles have been on the incline, they still only accounted for less than 8 percent of all new cars sold in California in 2019.

Institute for Energy Research, a think tank that sides with the fossil fuel industry, called out the Governor’s act as silly, stating that driving cars is not what causes forest fires or makes them worse. The spokesperson also stated that while the zero-emission cars might not have emissions while being driven, it still requires fossil fuel usage at the power plant.

This however, will provide much needed data on whether zero-emission cars can truly decrease the tremendous carbon footprint environmental pundits have been arguing.

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Trump Promises New Supreme Court Nominee by End of Week

(Photo from Google Images)

When Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away past weekend, much of the nation mourned her death.

With the election looming so close, many of the Democratic Party members oppose the nomination and the appointment of a new Supreme Court justice.

However, Pres. Trump has promised to come up with a nominee for consideration by the end of the week, and the Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have agreed to evaluate the nominee.

However, Iowa Republican senator Chuck Grassley, a former Judiciary Committee chairman stated that while he would review the nominee, the confirmation process should be up to the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Judiciary Committee Chairman, Lindsey Graham.

They have both said the Senate should vote on Trump’s nominee.

Democrats criticize McConnell for deciding to push through Trump’s nominee less than 2 months before the election, especially when McConnell had blocked then-President Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland in 2016 after the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016, more than 9 months before that year’s presidential election.

Democrats need at least 4 GOP senators to side with them to delay the confirmation.

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UN PEACEKOR Hosts The 1st Global Virtual Forum Amidst Covid-19 Pandemic

On September 16, UN PEACEKOR (Chairman Dug-Ryong Kim) held the global meeting through Zoom and Youtube live for the first time ever in history due to coronavirus pandemic.

This forum was held by foreign compatriots from around the world with different time zones on the actual conditions and prospects of North Korea’s three sufferings (sanctions, corona, flood damage), and where to find clues for the recovery of South-North relations in this difficult situation. We had time to express each other’s opinions using the internet space as a place.

The forum was hosted by Jun-Hyuk Huh, Secretary General of UNPEACEKOR, and led to discussions by Yong-Han Choi, head of the National Security Strategy Research Institute, Jong-Cheol Park, a Research Fellow at the Institute for Unification, Yoo-seok Jeong, a senior research fellow at the Northeast Asia Research Center at Export-Import Bank of Korea, and Dae-jin Jeong, a professor at Ajou University.

The chairman of the organization stated that despite US’ distraction during a presidential election year, and North Korea focusing on its internal structure, there is still tremendous responsibility to bring to awareness, the importance of restarting the peace process on the Korean Peninsula.

The members of the forum focused heavily on the kind of development necessary in North Korea, and talked about the impact of Covid-19 on both the social and economic infrastructure of China and North Korea, but also how this could require heavier interest by South Korea or the US to improve relationship with North Korea, especially in the area of trade.

The forum garnered much interest, as almost 400 people tuned in to watch the forum.

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Covid-19 Survivors’ Lungs Likely to Recover over Time, study says

Among concern regarding Covid-19 were multi-organ inflammation, damage, and failure. For example, many as 35% of those testing positive for Covid-19 showed heart inflammation.

However, there is some good news regarding Covid-19 recovery: a new study from University Clinic in Innsbruck, Austria showed that a vast majority of hospitalized Covid-19 patients showed lung damage 6 weeks after discharge, but this proportion dropped significantly after 12 weeks, indicating that the lungs are able to self-repair.

The 86-patient analysis showed that 6 weeks after discharge, approximately 47% of patients struggled with shortness of breath, with 15% struggling with coughing.  However, by 12 weeks, only 39% of patients still experienced shortness of breath, while 15% continued to cough.

12-weeks were chosen due to the newness of the Covid-19, and the lack of data on how long the diseased lungs would react to other infections. Research is ongoing, with data expected at 24-weeks.

The relationship between Covid-19 and the heart was not covered by this research.

While the research was limited by the small patient cohort (only 86 patient pool), and while it is still unclear as to what happens with residual lung lesions, Judith Loffler-Ragg, MD from University Clinic in Innsbruck stated, “… there is resolution of so-called damage.”

It is one silver lining in the cloud storm of the year that has been so very difficult for so many people.

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As COVID-19 Cases Continue to Rise, West Coast Burns

There were confirmed new cases of 36,500 Covid-19 cases on September 10, 2020, bringing the total confirmed case to 6,471,218 in the US. Of course, only about 2,764,361 cases are active currently. But many living on the Pacific west coast are dealing with another problem making breathing difficult.

There are currently more than 13 states being impacted by wildfires, not just California. From Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and California to Texas, almost half of the US is currently battling wildfires.

In many of these states, citizens are struggling between choosing to open the window to breathe in smoke, or to stay stuffed up inside their homes due to Covid-19 pandemic and the risk of going elsewhere.

For example, the Governor of Oregon has declared a state of emergency for the wildfires, as well as extending the state of emergency for COVID-19 for another 60 days until November 3, 2020.

The current state of affairs have forced evacuations for many, as well as putting much strain on the states’ fire-fighting resources. The heat wave has eased a bit for California, and the shift in wind has finally allowed the Utilities to turn the electricity back on.

Nonetheless, the effects of the wind storms continue to have lasting effect in the region. More than half a million acres of forests and grassland have burned in California on Wednesday alone.

A blaze in Butte County has killed at least 3 people.

Air quality throughout San Francisco Bay area have reached unhealthy levels, with thick smoke blanketing much of the Pacific west and Northwest. What is very concerning is that the wildfires have not reached their worst of the season, as wildfires become most dangerous when the dry winds pick up in the fall months.

Unfortunately for the West Coast, there is a ridge of high pressure that has pinned the smoke in place, which means that it will be a while before California, Oregon, and Washington gets any relief from the heavy smoke and soot.

As the climate of the American West continues to show extremes unseen in previous eras, many are worried for their safety, as well as feeling the pressures of anxiety, stress, and fear.

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As California struggles with wildfire, baby gender party blamed for another devastating wildfire

Photo from Google Images

A wildfire consumed approximately 7,300 acres of land east of Los Angeles over the weekend, and the officials are attributing it to a baby gender party disaster and a faulty “smoke-generating pyrotechnic device.”

The device lit a 4-foot-tall grass at El Dorado Ranch Park on Saturday morning, and initial attempts to douse the flames with water bottles were failures. By Monday, only 7% of the wildfire was considered contained. Evacuations were ordered in parts of Yucaipa, city with 54,000 population.

Criminal charges are being considered but not until the fire is extinguished. Reimbursement for fighting the fire is also being considered. With the social media, these gender reveal parties have taken a life of their now, going big and spectacular.

Of course, California is not the only state dealing with the gender reveal catastrophes; In April 2017, there was a gender reveal party which resulted in a fire in the Colorado National Forest, destroying 45,000 acres, $8 million in damage and 800 firefighters to battle the fire.

The individual involved pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor violation of the US Forest Service regulations and agreed to pay more than $8.1 million in restitution.

It is unclear how much the people involved in the California fire will have to pay this time around, but it is clear that these gender reveal parties are becoming dangerous.

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Frenchwoman posts nude video for her business, gets arrested by Indian police

Photo from Google Images

27-year old Frenchwoman, identified only as Marie-Helene was arrested on August 27 by the local Indian police in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, after her Indian social media followers recognized the background of her nude video as the holy bridge.

The Ganges is a sacred river to Hinduism, and it is known that at the location of where the holy bridge is, is where Hindu deity Lakshmana crossed the river on jute ropes.

According to the Indian police, the woman filmed the material to promote her jewelry business. In the video, she originally begins by wearing a shawl, but drops it midway through filming, appearing nude.

She is currently on bail but has been charged with obscenity in a public place and with publishing obscene content online.

Marie-Helene stated that she’d chosen to become nude on the holy bridge because each time she crossed the bridge, she felt she was being harassed, and that she felt other Indian women and her “fellow female travelers” surely have experienced the same.

She apologized for her insensitivity to the local culture.

Public nudity is an issue in France as well, with the interior minister defending the right to sunbathe topless, while the localities might impose different rules, to include fines in association with topless or nude sunbathing.

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Large Companies Enforce Gag Orders for Positive Coronavirus cases

(Photo from Wikipedia)

Cheesecake Factory, Amazon.com, Cargill, McDonald’s, Target have given instructions to their employees not to talk about Coronavirus positive cases at work places.

As the countries start to reopen, with many businesses closing or being sluggish, big corporations noted to be important were able to make up some of the financial losses, but in doing so, they’ve also forced their employees to hide the true nature of the positive coronavirus cases occurring at these locations.

According to Bloomberg, Workers at Amazon.com, Cargill, McDonald’s, and Target say they were told to keep coronavirus cases quiet. The same sort of gagging has been alleged in OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) complaint against Smithfield Foods, Urban Outfitters, and General Electric.

At Recreational Equipment Inc., an employee texted colleagues to say he’d tested positive and that “I was told not to tell anybody” and “to not post or say anything on social media.”

These are just on the surfaces, but there is no doubt that many companies are keeping their employees quiet even where positive coronavirus cases are appearing. It is quite saddening that even in times of crises, what is most important are profit margins for these large corporations.

As of August 27, coronavirus positive cases are 5.8 million+ and deaths are 180,635 in US. With nearly 1,000 people dying every day, these behaviors aren’t helping the problem, only worsening it.

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17-year-old boy kills 2 people and injures 1 before arrest

(Photo from CBS)

Tuesday night about at about 11:45pm, Kyle Rittenhouse (17), a high school student shot his long gun at protesters, killing 2 people and injuring 1 on the intersection of 63rd street and Sheridan Rd in Kenosha, Illinois.

It was the third night of protest for justice for the police shooting of 29 year old Jacob Blake, as hundreds of people gathered at the scene. Then an armed young man began to shoot.

Kyle Rittenhouse’s Facebook shows him with a long gun. He apparently had been in a program for kids who were considering a career in law enforcement.

One of the victim identified was a 26-year-old Anthony Huber.

Kenosha County authorities issued an arrest warrant for 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse of Antioch, Illinois, on Wednesday morning, charging him with first-degree intentional homicide.

Rittenhouse was arrested on Wednesday morning in Antioch, and he was taken to the Lake County Juvenile Detention Center near Vernon Hills.

An extradition hearing has been scheduled for Friday.

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