NATO Summit Invites Sweden & Finland to be members; Will Aid Ukraine

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NATO summit was held in Madrid, Spain on Wednesday. NATO invited Sweden and Finland members to join but Turkey opposed the two countries’ membership. Since Russia has attacked Ukraine, NATO declared Russia the “most significant and direct threat”  to its members.

According to NPR, The U.S. said it would boost its military presence in Europe, including a permanent army headquarters in Poland for the U.S. 5th Army Corps. President Biden supports another $450 million in aid to Ukraine including more naval destroyers stationed in Spain, and two F-35 fighter jet squadrons positioned in the United Kingdom. At the G-7 summit, President Biden emphasized how important the defense of Ukraine for NATO against Russia is.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, U.S. troops in Europe increased from 80,000 servicemembers to more than 100,000. Ukraine President, Zelensky addressed NATO leaders that he needs more weapons and aid to defeat Russia.

The members will elevate their military powers and build them up whenever needed to be. The members announced their military measures are:

  • Poland: permanent station for the 5th Army Corps Headquarters Forward Command Post, an Army garrison headquarters, and a field support battalion, to allow the U.S. to more easily deploy combat troops along NATO’s eastern flank
  • Romania: position a rotational brigade combat team
  • The Baltic region: increase rotational deployments of armored, aviation, air defense, and special operations forces
  • Spain: increase the number of destroyers stationed at Rota from four to six
  • United Kingdom: station two squadrons of F-35 fighter jets.
  • Germany: forward-station an air defense artillery brigade headquarters, a short-range air defense battalion, a combat sustainment support battalion headquarters, and an engineer brigade headquarters
  • Italy: forward-station a short-range air defense battery

Turkey seems not to take the two countries (Sweden and Finland) joining NATO seriously.

From 4 a.m. on 24 February 2022, when the Russian Federation’s armed attack against Ukraine started, to 24:00 midnight on 26 June 2022 (local time), the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) recorded 10,631 civilian casualties in the country: 4,731 killed and 5,900 injured. This included:

  • a total of 4,731 killed (1,812 men, 1,225 women, 134 girls, and 155 boys, as well as 41 children and 1,364 adults whose sex is yet unknown)
  • a total of 5,900 injured (1,196 men, 829 women, 131 girls, and 174 boys, as well as 184 children and 3,386 adults whose sex is yet unknown)
    • In Donetsk and Luhansk regions: 6,029 casualties (2,773 killed and 3,256 injured)
      • On Government-controlled territory: 5,061 casualties (2,582 killed and 2,479 injured)
      • On territory controlled by Russian-affiliated armed groups: 968 casualties (191 killed and 777 injured)
    • In other regions of Ukraine (the city of Kyiv, Cherkasy, Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Kherson, Kyiv, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Sumy, Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovsk, Poltava, Rivne, Vinnytsia, Ternopil and Zhytomyr regions), which were under Government control when casualties occurred: 4,602 casualties (1,958 killed and 2,644 injured)

Most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons within a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems, and missile and air strikes. More than 500 Ukraine civilian abductions by Russian troops are not included in the official number count.

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SEC Fines EY for Staying Silent on Employee Cheating on Ethical Exam

EY (Ernst & Young) was fined $100 million by SEC. According to NPR, since 2012, the firm’s auditors had cheated to pass key exams that are needed for certified public accountant licenses. EY also had internal reports but didn’t report their wrongdoing to its regulators during the investigation.

“It’s simply outrageous that the very professionals responsible for catching cheating by clients cheated on ethics exams of all things,” Gurbir S. Grewal, director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, said in a release.

The fine is the largest penalty ever imposed by the SEC on an audit firm. The CPA, or certified public accountant, licenses are needed by auditors to evaluate the financial statements of companies and ensure they are complying with laws.

However, the SEC says that a “significant number” of Ernst & Young audit professionals specifically cheated on the ethics component of the CPA exams that were required for their accounting jobs.

The EY is a multinational professional partnership, the headquarter located in London, England, and one of 4 big accounting firms worldwide. Revenue is $40 billion (US dollars, as of 2021), privately owned the seventh-largest firm in the US, and continuously have ranked for the past 21 years for 100 Best Companies to Work For in the Fortune magazine.

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Homicide rises in Washington D.C. and Children’s health concern

As of June 23, 2022, Homicides are rising in Washington D.C. and it is having an impact on children’s health, physically and psychologically. As Children are less safe while they are playing outside, after school. As such, most of the children remain stuck in their houses. In recent years, parents fear unexpected events happening in their kid’s schools and playgrounds.

In less than half a year, 80 homicides occurred, and only 33% of cases resolved to date. According to DCHomicides.com, children who live in the Southeast, Northeast, and Central zone of D.C. are prone to get exposed to the crimes.

Homicide methods are by gun (69 cases), knife (7), and others (4). Average victims’ ages are 35 and the average arrestee’s age is 29.

Recently, A 15-year-old teenage boy was shot and died at the scene of a small musical event, where he called his mother before death. No one could help him despite there being a crowd, other than a wounded police officer.

Why do we hear about homicide news which is related to gun violence every single day? Don’t we have any solutions? Do we have any preventive programs? IF there are no healthy children, there will be no healthy future.

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More than 1,000 people killed in Afghanistan due to M 5.9 Earthquake

Photo from USGS

An earthquake erupted at the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan killing more than 1,000 and Injuring 1,600 people on early Wednesday. This earthquake struck 28 miles southwest of the provincial capital of Khost, the USGS stated.

Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan, its economic crisis and humanitarian issues became further widespread. Now another disaster comes in a form of an earthquake, hitting the area which needed help,  “Nearly all government and private hospitals are full of victims,” said Awal Khan Zadran, a doctor in the Urgun district of Paktika. some of the victims were transported to Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan by helicopters and other transportations.

According to The NYT, Afghanistan was operating off of foreign funds before the US troop withdrawal. Since the Taliban takeover, foreign aids from Western donors are being much withheld, especially after the Taliban issued edicts barring girls from attending secondary schools and restricting women’s rights.

The Biden administration states that it is seeking a way to help Afghanistan from the earthquake.

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Red Air Flight crashes at Miami International Airport, Injures 3

A Red Air Flight from the Dominican Republic to Miami collapsed at the Miami international airport on Tuesday. The flight was coming from Santo Domingo at 5:30 pm. The landing gear collapsed and caused a fire. According to CNN, three people received minor injuries and were transported to the local hospital.

This airplane had 126 passengers on board. As soon as the airplane caught fire, Miami-Dade Fire and Rescue took care of the incident.

The NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) is investigating the incident of the McDonnel Douglas MD-82 airplane.

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Heavy rains and wildfires Lay Siege to more than 13 States in the US

Overheated air temperatures have brought heavy storms and wildfires to at least 13 states in the US since Monday.  We don’t expect wildfires in Alaska, but this time it happened 23 times, now one of 6 states dealing with wildfires. As of June 14, 40 large fires have occurred and burnt 1 million-acre of land in 6 states.

Severe storms hit more than 7 states from West to East, and at least a half-million residents are out of power. Yellow Stone National Park closed due to the heavy rain which led to flooding and left more than 10,000 people stranded. Yellowstone flooding hit a neighboring town and submerged houses in the State of Montana. The Governor of Montana has declared a state emergency.

A 10-year-old boy from Milwaukee, Wisconsin was swept away by the sudden rise of water. It was reported that his father and a neighborhood man jumped into the water to rescue him, but eventually he was found dead. Two people went missing in the sudden rapids.

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British Journalist and Brazilian Indigenous Affairs Expert Missing in the Amazon

 
Last Sunday, a British journalist, Dom Philps, who works for The Guardian as an Amazon specialist contributor, and a Brazilian indigenous affairs expert, Bruno Araújo Pereira went missing in the Vale do Javari, the Amazon jungle. The families of the pair are asking the authorities to intensify the effort in their search. The journalist from Britain was approaching news of illegal mines and drug trafficking in the Amazonian jungle with the Brazilian indigenous affairs expert.
According to CNN,

“The British journalist, Dom Phillips, and Bruno Araújo Pereira were first reported missing in the remote Javari Valley, in the far western part of Amazonas state on Sunday. They had reportedly received death threats just days prior.”

Phillips’s wife, Alessandra Sampaio, posted a video on Tuesday pleading for the federal government to step up in their search operations, saying, “We still have a little bit of hope that we’ll find them.”

“Even if they don’t find the love of my life alive, they have to be found, please,” she said.

The area of the Javari Valley is home to 16 isolated groups and thousands of indigenous people in the Javari Valley, and it isn’t easy to reach out to the communities. The area has come under different rules for life, and the area is continuing to become home to increasing numbers of illegal miners, loggers, hunters, and international drug traffickers exploiting the peoples who live in the jungles.

They were supposed to arrive at the borders of the valley and Peru to take a two-hour trip to Atalaia do Norte on Sunday, but they didn’t show up.

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Folks Over the Age of 60 Scammed 5 Times More through Tech

After retirement, seniors now face phone scams from Africa or Caribbean countries. According to CBS, older adults were scammed out of roughly $1.7 billion in 2021, a 74% increase from 2020, increasing significantly in 2022.

“Upwards of 92,000 seniors fell victim to elder fraud last year. 2,189 of them were from Georgia. Not only has the number of elderly victims increased at an alarming [rate but] so has the amount of money they’ve handed over to scammers. The average dollar loss per victim was $18,000, according to the FBI. Tech fraud was the most reported type of scheme affecting older adults, with 13,900 reported victims. Also relatively common were identity theft schemes, with 8,902 victims; and romance scams, with 7,658 reported victims.”

Scams occur all over the world, from identity theft to phone scams to the extortion of retirement benefits for seniors.

They often claim to have won the lottery and seek to obtain taxes and other fees over the phone, or ask for contact information such as an email address and home address, as well as sensitive private information such as social security numbers.

Never react to someone giving you too good of news over the phone or email. If you receive such a call by mistake, use another phone to record the other person’s call and report it to the police or to the relevant government office.

If You Paid a Scammer

Did you pay with a credit card or debit card? Contact the company or bank that issued the credit card or debit card. Tell them it was a fraudulent charge. Ask them to reverse the transaction and give you your money back.
Did a scammer make an unauthorized transfer from your bank account? Contact your bank and tell them it was an unauthorized debit or withdrawal. Ask them to reverse the transaction and give you your money back.
Did you pay with a gift card? Contact the company that issued the gift card. Tell them it was used in a scam and ask if they can refund your money. Keep the gift card itself, and the gift card receipt.
Did you send a wire transfer through a company like Western Union or MoneyGram? Contact the wire transfer company. Tell them it was a fraudulent transfer. Ask them to reverse the wire transfer and give you your money back.

  • MoneyGram at 1-800-MONEYGRAM (1-800-666-3947)
  • Western Union at 1-800-325-6000
Did you send a wire transfer through your bank? Contact your bank and report the fraudulent transfer. Ask if they can reverse the wire transfer and give you your money back.
Did you send money through a money transfer app? Report the fraudulent transaction to the company behind the money transfer app and ask if they can reverse the payment. If you linked the app to a credit card or debit card, report the fraud to your credit card company or bank. Ask if they can reverse the charge.
Did you pay with cryptocurrency? Contact the company you used to send the money and tell them it was a fraudulent transaction. Ask to have the transaction reversed, if possible.
Did you send cash? If you sent it by U.S. mail, contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 877-876-2455 and ask them to intercept the package. To learn more about this process, visit USPS Package Intercept: The Basics.

If you used another delivery service, contact them as soon as possible.

If You Gave a Scammer Your Personal Information

Did you give a scammer your Social Security number? Go to IdentityTheft.gov to see what steps you should take, including how to monitor your credit.
Did you give a scammer your username and password? Create a new, strong password. If you use the same password anywhere else, change it there, too.

If a Scammer Has Access to Your Computer or Phone

Does a scammer have remote access to your computer? Update your computer’s security software, run a scan, and delete anything it identifies as a problem. Then take other steps to protect your personal information.
Did a scammer take control of your cell phone number and account? Contact your service provider to take back control of your phone number. Once you do, change your account password.

Also check your credit card, bank, and other financial accounts for unauthorized charges or changes. If you see any, report them to the company or institution. Then go to IdentityTheft.gov to see what steps you should take.

Report a Scam to the FTC

When you report a scam, the FTC can use the information to build cases against scammers, spot trends, educate the public, and share data about what is happening in your community. If you were scammed, report it to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

You can check out what is going on in your state or metro area by visiting ftc.gov/exploredata.

 

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CDC alerts gay and bisexual men are prone to getting monkeypox

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention alerted that gay and bisexual men are getting the monkeypox virus more easily and spreading it to the community on Monday.

A CDC official, Dr. John Brooks stated that anyone who can contract monkeypox through closed personal contact would be in danger regardless of their sexual orientation. Dr. Brooks added that many of those affected are gay and bisexual, however. While it did not mean that sexual orientation determined who contracted the monkeypox, the population susceptible is in the gay and bisexual community.

Dr. Brooks said monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted disease, but it can be transmitted through sexual and intimate contact as well as through shared bedding. The virus spreads through contact with body fluids and sores. He added that it is very important for physicians and individuals to be aware of the symptoms associated with monkeypox, particularly anal or genital lesions that can be confused with herpes, syphilis, or chickenpox.

“Anyone with a rash or lesion around or involving their genitals, their anus or any other place that they have not seen it before, should be fully evaluated, both for that rash but particularly for sexually transmitted infection and other illnesses that can cause rash,” Brooks said.

Monkeypox usually begins with symptoms similar to the flu including fever, headache, muscle aches, chills, exhaustion, and swollen lymph nodes. It leads to body rashes on the face, hands, feet, eyes, mouth, or genitals that turn into raised bumps that become blisters.

Dr. Jennifer McQuiston, a CDC official said that while the virus has a long incubation period, patients are considered most infectious when they have a rash. Though monkeypox can spread through respiratory droplets, the virus comes from infected lesions in the throat and mouth that can expel it into the air. Transmission from respiratory droplets requires prolonged face-to-face contact, according to CNBC,

“This is not Covid,” McQuiston said. “Respiratory spread is not the predominant worry. It is contact and intimate contact in the current outbreak setting and population.”

The smallpox vaccine appears to be about 85% effective at preventing monkeypox, based on research in Africa, according to the CDC. The U.S. has a stockpile of 100 million doses of an older generation vaccine called ACAM2000 that is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for people at high risk of smallpox, according to McQuiston. However, the vaccine can have significant side effects and any decision to use it widely would require serious discussion, she said.

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New Deadline for Mariupol’s Surrender: Ukraine Still Stands

Russia is now offering a surrender of Wednesday for Ukraine to give up Mariupol, and important city that will link up the Russian-controlled Crimea with Russia.

However, the western governments are continuing to promise more weapons to help Kyiv.

So far, Russia has failed to capture any of Ukraine’s main cities since its invasion 8 weeks ago. This has made Russia change its tactics to separatist regions instead. That being said, the invasion of Ukraine has led to 5 million Ukrainian exodus, with many of its cities now in rubbles.

Ukraine reported that Russia attacked the Azovstal steel plant, which is the remaining stronghold in Mariupol. It has not yet been verified. No Ukrainian soldiers have surrendered, and Ukrainian commanders have also vowed not to surrender.

The Russian ministry have issued a renewed ultimatum of April 20.

The U.S., Britain, and Canada have continued to promised to send more artillery.

Pres. Zelensky of Ukraine has called the Russian army as inscribing itself as one of the most barbaric and inhuman army in the world.

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