Monthly Archives آگوست 2020

MTA ends free rides on buses, resumes front-door boarding

Straphangers, say goodbye to free city bus rides in the Big Apple.

The MTA on Monday resumed front-door boarding on buses — which means that the agency is now collecting fares again.

Local buses were previously boarding from back door-only and were fare-free since late March amid the coronavirus pandemic as part of a bid to prevent the spread of the killer bug, which included the closure of much of the front areas of city buses.

With the resumption of front-door boarding, there will be up to 40 percent more space on buses for social distancing, the MTA said.

The MTA’s entire 5,800-vehicle bus fleet is being equipped with new barriers, including polycarbonate sliders and vinyl curtains, to protect bus operators and to allow more distance between the operator and riders, according to the...

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China adopts new rules that thwart TikTok sale ahead of US ban

China appears to be putting up roadblocks to TikTok parent ByteDance’s efforts to divest the video-sharing app’s US operations to comply with President Trump’s orders to sell it to a US company by September 15 or see it shut down in the US.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce added 23 items Friday to a list of technologies that require Beijing’s OK before they can be exported. They reportedly include artificial-intelligence technology that plays a key role for TikTok, which uses an algorithm to feed users a stream of videos based on their preferences and behavior.

That means ByteDance will likely have to go through Beijing’s licensing procedure to transfer its software code out of China to the US, according to Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives...

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Two plane passengers arrested amid ‘security threat’ after UK jets scrambled

Two passengers aboard a Ryanair flight from Vienna to London have been arrested by British counterterrorism police after two fighter jets were scrambled to intercept the plane due to a “potential security threat,” according to a report.

The two men – a 34-year-old from Kuwait and a 48-year-old from Italy – were arrested Sunday night when the airliner landed at London Stansted Airport amid reports that suspicious items had been found in the toilets, the Independent reported.

“Counter Terrorism Policing officers from the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit have this evening (Sunday) detained two men under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act (2000),” police said in a statement.

“Enquiries are ongoing,” it added.

The Royal Air Force said it had launched two Typhoon jets from a...

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Gunfire prompts police standoff at pro-Trump rally in Los Angeles

Reports of shots fired during a pro-President Trump rally in Los Angeles led to a standoff and search of three apartment buildings by police for the possible shooter.

Protesters pelted a caravan of Trump supporters riding in cars along Ventura Boulevard on Sunday with bottles and other items when shots were allegedly fired and a motorist in the rally reported getting a flat tire.

Police couldn’t determine whether a gun was fired.

The pro-Trump convoy, playing the National Anthem, waving American flags and shouting “four more years,” was partly shut down by police after three men were allegedly caught on camera throwing bottles at the motorcade, CBS Los Angeles reported.

A SWAT team arrived at the scene after police said the trio ran into an apartment and refused to come out.

At aro...

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New Jersey to resume indoor dining this week at 25 percent capacity

Restaurants in New Jersey will be able to open for indoor dining with reduced capacity starting this week, the state’s governor announced Monday.

Indoor dining can resume in the Garden State beginning this Friday at 25 percent capacity and with social distancing between tables, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said in a tweet.

“Reopening responsibly will help us restore one of our state’s key industries while continuing to make progress against #COVID19,” Murphy wrote.

Like in New York City, eateries and bars in New Jersey have been open for outdoor dining only since June amid the coronavirus pandemic.

There’s been pressure on the city’s Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Gov...

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Historic first Israel-United Arab Emirates commercial flight takes off

The first-ever commercial flight from Israel to the United Arab Emirates took off Monday morning, with top US and Israeli delegations aboard the vessel as it flies over Saudi Arabian airspace.

Israeli airline El Al flight LY971, the same digits as the UAE’s zip code, departed at 11:21 AM from an almost empty Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv en route to Abu Dhabi.

Israeli officials were able to shorten the trip by about four hours after Riyadh officials approved their request Sunday to fly over Saudi territory, another major first.

“For the very first time, an Israeli-registered aircraft will overfly Saudi Arabia and after a non-stop flight from Israel, land in the UAE...

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Berkshire Hathaway invests $6 billion in five Japanese companies

Warren Buffett got himself a $6 billion birthday present.

The billionaire investor’s Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate revealed Sunday — on the Oracle of Omaha’s 90th birthday — that it bought stakes of slightly more than 5 percent in each of Japan’s top five trading companies.

Berkshire said it had amassed long-term investments in Itochu, Marubeni, Mitsubishi, Mitsui and Sumitomo over the course of about a year. The trading houses, known as “sogo shosha” in Japan, are international conglomerates that deal in a wide range of industries from food and clothes to shipping and commodities.

“The five major trading companies have many joint ventures throughout the world and are likely to have more of these partnerships,” Buffett said in a statement...

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FDA willing to fast-track COVID-19 vaccine before end of Phase Three trials

The head of the US Food and Drug Administration is willing to fast-track a coronavirus vaccine as quickly as possible – even before Phase Three clinical trials end — as long as officials are convinced the benefits outweigh the risks, according to a report.

Commissioner Stephen Hahn told the Financial Times that the move would not be a result from any pressure from Team Trump to roll out COVID-19 vaccines as a means to increase the president’s re-election chances.

“It is up to the sponsor [vaccine developer] to apply for authorization or approval, and we make an adjudication of their application,” Hahn told the outlet. “If they do that before the end of Phase Three, we may find that appropriate. We may find that inappropriate, we will make a determination.”

President Trump re...

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Trump still plans to visit Kenosha despite Wisconsin governor’s plea

President Trump still plans to visit Kenosha this week despite Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers’ letter urging him to call off his trip amid concerns his presence “will only hinder our healing” after the police shooting of Jacob Blake, the White House said.

“The White House has been humbled by the outreach of individuals from Kenosha who have welcomed the President’s visit and are longing for leadership to support local law enforcement and businesses that have been vandalized,” White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said in a statement late Sunday, CNN reported.

“President Trump looks forward to visiting on Tuesday and helping this great city heal and rebuild,” he added.

Earlier Sunday, Evers portrayed Kenosha — where Blake, 29, was shot seven times by a cop on Aug...

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Hundreds of South Carolina college students busted at massive pool party

Hundreds of raucous party-goers crammed into a pool area near the University of South Carolina over the weekend in violation of coronavirus rules, authorities said.

The Columbia Fire Department said it broke up the massive bash on Saturday at around 6 p.m. after receiving calls from concerned neighbors, The State reported.

“It was almost like Mardi Gras,” Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins told the newspaper.

The pool at The Apartments at Palmetto Compress was packed with revelers, who also crowded the side of the swimming area and even stood on top of the pool house, the fire chief said.

No one was practicing social distancing or wearing a mask, Jenkins said, “but there was lots of drinking going on.”

Even without the raging pandemic, “there still would have been too many people in the p...

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