Boeing receives ″ green light ″ to start testing the controversial 737 MAX model

Boeing has received approval from the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to begin testing the controversial 737 Max model, to demonstrate that it can fly safely with new flight control software.

The flights, which may start this Monday, according to local media, represent an important step in the company’s efforts to ensure that its best-selling planes fly again.

The model stopped flying in March 2019, after some fatal accidents in Indonesia and Ethiopia, which killed a total of 346 people.

The crisis cost Boeing several billion dollars, including compensation to victims and airlines. The case also led to the dismissal of the company’s executive director, raised doubts about the company’s solvency and suspicions regarding supervision related to the speed with which MAX was approved.

Certification flights, carried out by FAA pilots, are likely to take place in the Seattle area, where the plane has undergone changes.

One of Boeing’s top test pilots will also integrate the flights.

“The tests are expected to take several days and will include a wide range of flight maneuvers and emergency procedures to allow an assessment of whether the changes meet FAA certification standards,” the agency said in an email sent to the commission Sunday. supervision of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

If the flights are successful, it may still take months for the aircraft to return to the skies, not least because if the FAA identifies more problems, Boeing may still need to make additional changes.


The last-minute runner shading Andrzej Duda

Rafal Trzaskowski is the liberal Warsaw mayor who opposes Europeanism to the ruling party’s populism.

None of this was foreseen: the Polish president, Andrzej Duda, supported by the conservative party that governs Poland, Law and Justice (the PiS of Jaroslaw Kaczynski), saw an opponent rise up out of nowhere who shuffled the accounts. Duda’s favoritism remained, but eroded, and yesterday’s vote resulted in the need for a second round. And the enthusiasm became such that the turnout at the polls was 48%, in the middle of the afternoon, 14 points more than in 2015. A record.

He is 48 years old, called Rafal Trzaskowski and is the center-right mayor of Warsaw, who runs for the Civic Coalition (KO), led by his party, the Civic Platform that ruled Poland between 2007 and 2015 (namely with Donald Tusk , who has since become President of the European Council).

And, in the space of just over a month, it won 30% of the voting intentions, against 41% of Duda (down from 60%), confirmed yesterday in the projections at the bottom of the ballot box (30.4% against 41.8% ), and therefore the second round on 12 July. And there, the polls are tougher: the final difference could be a few thousand votes, to one side or the other.

One month campaign

Trzaskowski showed up for the race on May 15 after KO candidate Malgorzata Kidawa-Blonska saw his popularity fade to below 5% for calling for a boycott of the election before it was postponed. The covid-19 pandemic had prompted PiS to announce the maintenance of the consultation for May 10, but by correspondence. Postponed in extremis, elections were by post only in areas most affected by the disease.

The mayor of the Polish capital again made KO “a potential threat”, according to analyst Ben Stanley, from the University of Social Sciences and Humanities Warsaw, quoted by “El País”. Because? Because the president, although with limited powers, can veto legislation from the parliament, controlled by PiS, which, among other reforms, implemented one that makes the executive’s judicial power dependent. And it has been widely contested by the European Union, which has highlighted the risks to the rule of law.

Nor did Duda’s visit to Washington, on the first visit of a foreign head of state to the White House since the pandemic began, guarantee victory at the first. Not even with the idea left in the air of installing in Poland part of the US military contingent that Trump announced he wanted to remove from Germany, in a maneuver considered internationally risky given the proximity of Russia.

Liberal, pro-European and cosmopolitan – the KO has more strength in urban areas, while PiS controls the rural world -, Trzaskowski defends sex education and prefers to leave the doubt about same-sex marriage. That is why he is classified as “extremist” by PiS. On the contrary, Duda said for days that the LGBT community advocates “an ideology more destructive than communism” against which it is imperative to “protect children”.


Northern Europe detects high levels of radioactivity and suspected Russian plant

The Nordic authorities announced this month that they had detected slightly increased levels of radioactivity in northern Europe, with the Netherlands having advanced power due to the malfunctioning of a Russian nuclear power plant.

The possibility was, however, rejected by a spokesman for Russian nuclear energy operator Rosenergoatom, who assured, in statements to the Tass news agency, that no problems were reported.

The Leningrad plant, near St. Petersburg, and Kola, near the northern city of Murmansk, “are operating normally, with radiation levels within the norms,” ​​he added.

Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish nuclear security watchers said this week they had detected small amounts of radioactive isotopes that are harmless to humans and the environment in parts of Finland, southern Scandinavia and the Arctic.

The Swedish Radiological Safety Authority said on Tuesday that it was not possible, for now, to “confirm the source of the increased levels” or the origin of a cloud containing radioactive isotopes that will be over the skies of northern Europe.

Finnish and Norwegian authorities have also not speculated about the possible source of the altered levels of radioactivity, but the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and Environment said on Friday that the data show that “radionuclides (radioactive isotopes) come from towards the west of Russia “.

“Radionuclides are artificial, that is, they were created by humans. The composition of the nuclides may indicate damage to a fuel element in a nuclear power plant,” said the Dutch organism, adding that “the specific origin cannot be identified due to the limited number of measurements “.

The executive secretary of the Total Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization, Lassina Zerbo, said in a message posted on Friday via Twitter that the organization’s radiation monitoring sensors in Sweden detected a slight increase in several harmless isotopes in the northwest European airspace.


Child among five killed by shooting at party in Rio de Janeiro

At least five people died, including a 10-year-old boy, and seven others were injured when a group of strangers shot at a street party organized by neighbors in Rio de Janeiro.

The multiple homicide occurred on Saturday night in a residential complex in Anchieta, a neighborhood in the north of Rio de Janeiro. The neighbors organized a “junina” party, as some traditional popular festivals are known in Brazil, during June and July.

According to the witnesses, the participants in the party, including whole families with children, were shot by at least four armed men, which fired from a moving vehicle.

There are records of 12 people shot who were transported alive to the nearest health center, where four did not survive the injuries and died.

A fifth injured man, the most serious of all, was transferred to the public hospital Getulio Vargas, but he also did not survive.

In addition to the 10-year-old boy, fatalities also include three young adults between 20 and 22 years of age.

The police work on the hypothesis that the snipers will be members of the criminal organization that controls drug trafficking in the Complexo do Chapadão, a set of slums close to the crime scene.

Several favelas in the most emblematic city in Brazil are dominated by drug traffickers and in Rio de Janeiro armed clashes between rival groups and between criminals and police are common.

According to the latest official statistics, although measures of social distance imposed to slow the progress of the covid-19 pandemic have slowed homicides in May, the shootings in disputes over control of drug sales in the city have not changed.

Homicides in Rio de Janeiro fell from 345 in May 2019 to 273 in the same month this year, representing a reduction of 21%, according to the latest bulletin from the Secretariat of Public Security.

According to the report, the number represents the lowest homicide rate registered in May since 1998, a reduction possible thanks to social isolation.

One of the measures of social distancing against the pandemic in Rio de Janeiro is precisely that which prohibits the “June” parties.

Brazil is the second country in the world most affected by the new coronavirus, with 57070 deaths and more than 1.3 million cases.

The covid-19 pandemic has already claimed more than 498,000 deaths and infected more than 10 million people in 196 countries and territories, according to a report by the French agency AFP.

The disease is transmitted by a new coronavirus detected in late December in Wuhan, a city in central China.

After Europe succeeded China as the center of the pandemic in February, the American continent is now the one with the most confirmed cases and the most deaths.


How the Portuguese app about beaches that triumphed abroad works

An application developed by students from São João da Madeira to indicate the capacity of 580 Portuguese beaches during the pandemic was one of the winners of the international competition “Apps for Good”. Find out how the idea was born and how the app works.

During the confinement and with the summer on the prowl, four students from the Serafim Leite Secondary School, in S. João da Madeira, created a smartphone application, in just four days, which allows bathers to see how the beaches are doing even before leave home and thus avoid unnecessary travel. Now available for Android.

“We were talking in the chat and thinking about what summer holidays would be like. We saw the rules for using the beaches in the news and started to think about an idea”, says Nuno Castro, who got to work with Diogo Resende, Jorge Correia and Bruno Dylan, all students of the 12th year of the Technical-Professional Programming Course. They worked remotely, from home, about 14 hours a day, and teacher Fátima Pais helped. They had already experienced the world of applications in the course, but they had never created one “seriously” to be used.

They wanted to encompass all the country’s maritime and river beaches, on the continent and islands, and identifying them was the most difficult task. “Because there is no database that has information on all beaches,” says the professor. In the survey, 580 beaches counted. “For each one, we saw the georeferencing system, the longitude, the latitude”, explains Diogo. THE
app is called SandSpace and you can search for beaches by name, or by county and district, and you can even see the temperature and wind speed in each one.

The application is in English with tourists in mind and now depends on everyone’s help. “The people on the beach will tell you in the app if there are a lot of people or little“, says Nuno. Based on information from swimmers, each beach appears on the map with a colorful traffic light style sign. Green means that there are few people, yellow indicates that there is little space to extend the towel and red warns that the beach it’s crowded.

Updated information

The colored signs only use data provided by users in the last two hours, so that the information is as up-to-date as possible, and the app shows how many contributed to the information. SandSpace is free and is now available on Google Play, on the Android operating system. “It was our contribution to this phase that we are going through. Meanwhile, the Portuguese Environment Agency, which manages the Info Praia app, got in touch with us. And also a Spanish multinational that is making an app for the whole world”, concludes the teacher.


Russia, where a vote can count for an apartment

It is the golden referendum for Vladimir Putin, who has to be counted in order not to look bad in an increasingly contested Russia.

The Russians have already started to vote on the constitutional reform that will give the Russian president the possibility to remain in power until 2036 and which determines the inclusion of “faith in God” in the text, although this has never been central to the Government’s campaign.

But it was the bizarre initiative of organizing prize lotteries (including apartments, cars, mobile phones, movie tickets, discounts) for those who put the bulletin in the ballot box. And there are known reports of pressure on public officials and subsidies for online influencers who can appeal for the vote, in a consultation that is not officially a referendum, but only a “popular vote” to guarantee a reform called for by the people, as announced by Putin, in January.

The official date of the referendum, postponed since April 22, is the next July 1, but the covid-19 pandemic has prompted authorities to extend the vote for several days, since June 25, online and in polls scattered around the sites. more obtuse – even in public transport. And it was decided on July 1 with the argument of the questionable epidemic slowdown (“Putin canceled the epidemic to allow the vote”, recently quipped the newspaper “Nevassimaïa Gazeta”, in the face of thousands of new daily cases), which several analysts cited in the press prefer to see it as a hurry for everything to happen before the coming economic crisis.

One question, 46 amendments

Because increasing participation will give the consultation the legitimacy of a referendum, a figure that exists in the Russian Constitution, drafted in 1993, but implies strict rules of financing and inspection. Now, that is not what is intended.

It is rather the sneaky passage of a nationalist text that glorifies the Russian past (understand, Soviet), forbids citizens with dual nationality to hold public office, forbids homosexual marriage, introduces God into the State and enshrines the preservation of the family and language . And that adds to the consecration of minimum income and the remodeling of the Government. Total: 46 amendments to a single question.

Zero mandates

Approved in the Duma (parliament) a short two months after being presented, Putin’s proposal was amended hours before the parliamentary vote, to include the return to zero of presidential terms as of the entry into force of the new text.

This means that, in 2024, when the current term ends (the second in a row, after a break as prime minister which, in turn, has followed two presidencies, started in May 2000), Putin can run again. if twice, the limit of mandates that, thus, it was not even necessary to change. Until 2036. In the name of stability and in order not to waste precious time discussing putative successors instead of working, Putin himself admitted, now 67 years old and his popularity in erosion.

Among the authorized parties, the communist opposition criticized the reform – because it will make Putin “a pharaoh, the tsar” – but did not campaign against it. And the leader of the challenge to the president, the ever detained and released Alexei Navalny, prefers to defend the boycott over the vote, lest the reform be backed up by a massive “popular vote”.


Brazil recorded the biggest lightning strike in the world, with 709 kilometers

The biggest lightning strike in the world was recorded in Brazil, with an extension of 709 kilometers, informed the World Meteorological Organization, when recognizing the record.

The ray in question occurred on October 31, 2018 and covered 709 kilometers on a horizontal line, crossing part of southern Brazil. According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the extent of electrical discharge equals the distance “between London and the Swiss border”. The new record was set due to new satellite imaging technology. However, according to WMO, both the previous and the new register used the same methodology to measure the extent of the lightning.


Portuguese app on beach stocking wins international award

The telephone application developed by students from São João da Madeira to indicate the capacity of 580 Portuguese beaches during the pandemic was one of the winners of the international competition “Apps for Good”.

The Serafim Leite Secondary School, founded in 1958 in the district of Aveiro, was put out to tender, together with over 513 public and private institutions, in the international initiative “Apps for Good”, promoted by the London platform with the same name, which is dedicated to teaching of technologies and regularly selects student scientific computing projects developed for smartphones or tablets.

The category in which Portuguese students competed was the “People’s Choice Award”, which aims to specifically distinguish the “Choices of the Public”. Among 13 other projects from the United Kingdom and one from the United States, the victory thus fell to the Portuguese application “Sand Space” (“Espaço de Areia”), which allows to know the levels of occupation of the sand of 580 beaches in the country.

It is the users who provide the data on the occupation, generating a chromatic indicator for each beach, according to the colors of the traffic lights (green means few bathers, yellow a considerable number and red maximum capacity).

It was conceived in May, over four days of remote work, by students of the 12th year of the Serafim Leite Technical-Professional Programming Course – Bruno Dylan, Diogo Resende, Jorge Correia and Nuno Castro, under the guidance of Professor Fátima Pais . “We would like to thank everyone who helped us to create, disseminate and present our application. This is not just ours, it is from Portugal”, said Bruno, in thanks for the distinction.

According to a source from the British platform, the pre-selection phase involved “hundreds of projects” and found “sixteen finalists in six categories”. In addition to the rubric entitled “People’s Choice Award”, won by the “SandSpace” application, the other five competitive modalities were: “Digital Explorers”, supported by the LEGO brand; “Technologists of the Future”, supported by BNY Mellon; “Founders and Leaders”, by Eight Roads; “Global Innovators”, by Spotify; and “Community Heroes”, by Vodafone.

“SandSpace” is available for free download on devices with Android operating system.


1.5 million Chinese confined in canton near Beijing

China on Sunday confined about 1.5 million people in an area close to the capital, hit by a new outbreak of covid-19 infections, which the authorities describe as “serious and complex”.

The country had managed to contain the evolution of contagions due to the new coronavirus, but the detection of more than 300 new cases in the city in just over two weeks has fueled fears of a second wave of contamination.

Local authorities have meanwhile launched a vast testing campaign, closed schools, asked Beijing residents to stay in the city, avoiding displacement outside the capital, and confined several thousand people to residential areas considered to be at greatest risk of contagion.

Today, according to the agency France-Presse, the local authorities announced the confinement of the canton of Anxin, located about 60 kilometers south of the capital, in the province of Hebei, where eleven cases related to the outbreak in Beijing were detected. The indications are that only one person per family will be able to go out once a day to buy food or medicine.

The Health Ministry said on Sunday that China had diagnosed 17 new cases of covid-19 in the past 24 hours, including 14 in Beijing. All the cases detected in the capital are of local contagion, the remaining three coming from abroad and were diagnosed in different parts of the country.

According to official data, since the beginning of the pandemic, China has registered 83,500 infected and 4634 dead.


Russia offered money to Taliban to kill NATO troops, says ″ The New York Times ″

The New York Times reported: US intelligence services found that Russia offered money to the Taliban Islamic fundamentalist movement to kill NATO forces in combat in Afghanistan.

According to the New York daily, which is based on sources close to the case, it is likely that some Taliban or criminals linked to the radical group have even received Russian payments to kill international NATO forces, a military alliance of which Portugal is also a member. The newspaper adds that this secret, so far only communicated by US intelligence services to the White House, was shared this week with more members of the Trump Administration and the British Government, whose forces would also be a target.

The document prepared by the American services based on interrogations of Afghan fighters and captured criminals and does not go into much detail about how the alleged Russian rewards work. But he considers the operation to be the responsibility of a Russian military intelligence unit, which has been linked, for example, to the case of former Russian spy Serguei Skripal, poisoned in the United Kingdom. This unit, which has been operating for more than a decade, has the function of carrying out campaigns to destabilize Western countries, according to analysts from these States.

However, the Russian Government has assured The New York Times that it is unaware of any charges, but that it will respond if it is made.

In total, in 2020, 20 Americans were killed in combat in Afghanistan, but it is not clear whether there is any relation to the situation now described.

The U.S. and Russia maintain confrontational positions on a number of issues, which came to frontal clashes, as in Syria, but Donald Trump has had a more Moscow-friendly policy than his predecessors.

The United States and the Taliban signed a peace agreement in February that provides for the withdrawal of the military from the US-led coalition in 14 months, after almost two decades of war, but is still pending negotiations between the Taliban and the Government of Kabul.