english news

Public Works Ministry blames Finance Ministry for flooding

5 (14.30 uur) Public Works Ministry

The Finance and Planning Ministry is being held responsible for the floodings that occurred as a result of heavy rainfalls. Even areas that were always dry after heavy rainfall were flooded recently. Residents complained that their kitchens and bedrooms were flooded tna that their toilets threw up their smelly ‘contents’.
Public Works Minister Riad Nurmohamed claimed that a lack of funds made it impossible to prevent the flooding issue. “If we had received the funds prior to the rainy season, we would not have these floodings. The water would have receded faster,” said Minister Nurmohamed who added that the water causes a lot of damage if it reaches the inside of people’s homes. Excavators have to deepen and widen water channels on a regular basis to keep the flooding issue under control. Most of the water channels have not had any maintenance for a long time which is why the drainage system is currently clogged. The minister urges residents to lend a helping hand by taking a shovel and deepening the small and narrow channels located near their homes. “We have to tackle the wide channels but lack the funds to do so. We have only done a small portion of the work that we have to do.”…[+]

Maduro faces biggest test yet

4 (12.30 uur) Maduro faces

VENEZUELA – Millions of Venezuelans are expected to cast their ballots on Sunday, July 28, in what many see as the most consequential election in the country since strongman leader Nicolás Maduro came to power more than a decade ago.
The vote pits the authoritarian Maduro – who has overseen unprecedented levels of poverty and emigration from the country – against Edmundo Gonzalez Urrutia – a quiet, bird-loving grandfather who has built a strong following despite being the opposition’s third choice after its two preferred candidates were barred from running.
But experts warn that the result of the vote may well be contested. Maduro has a habit for clinging to power, they point out: his government has long been accused of rigging votes and the 2018 election that returned Maduro to office was described as illegitimate by an alliance of 14 Latin American nations, Canada and the United States.
Maduro, who took the mantle of the populist Chavismo movement after his predecessor Hugo Chavez’s death in 2013, is seeking his third consecutive six-year term in office. His last race was largely boycotted by the opposition. The Organization of American States called that vote a “farce,” noting that it was “held with a generalized lack of public freedoms, with outlawed candidates and parties and with electoral authorities lacking any credibility, subject to the executive power.”
At campaign events this year – usually rollicking, dance-filled affairs – Maduro has framed his opponents as “fascist” and “manipulable,” claiming that they would privatize the country’s healthcare and oil industry and “give away our wealth.” Though under his watch, Venezuela has seen the rapid collapse of its democracy and nearly eight million of its people flee the country. Inflation has soared and food shortages spread as the country underwent “the single largest economic collapse for a non-conflict country in almost half a century,” as the International Monetary Fund put it. (CNN)…[+]

Huge batch of marijuana candy in circulation

3 (10.30 uur) Huge batch

A huge batch of THC gummies also known as weed gummies or marijuana gummies were recently intercepted and confiscated. The National Anti Drugs Council reported that many of these edible cannabis products that are infused with THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, are on the streets and that they are being bought by youths in particular. These marijuana gummies are not only illegal but they are also harmful to one’s health. The authorities have therefore urged people to steer clear from these weed gummies. In addition to gummies, other edible cannabis products containing THC may include: Chocolate bars, candies, lollipops, fudge, popcorn and ice cream.
These cannabis products often look like a real piece of candy, brownie or sweet treat. But just one serving may contain several times the recommended dose of THC for adults, making children very sick. Frequently, they may require a trip to the emergency department or hospitalization.
Edible THC products take longer than smoked marijuana to have an effect. Smoking takes just seconds to minutes, but an edible containing THC typically takes 30 to 60 minutes after being eaten and digested. The peak effect typically happens three to four hours after ingesting. Because of this, kids might accidentally consume large amounts of THC before feeling or showing any effects.
The concentration and strength of THC in these edible products is very difficult to measure and is often unknown. Consuming even a small amount of THC in a gummy or baked item can cause kids to experience symptoms of a marijuana overdose.
Children who have consumed cannabis edibles may: act lethargic, feel dizzy, have trouble walking or sitting up, have an accelerated heart rate and have trouble breathing. Parents whose children have consumed weed gummies can contact the AZP’s Emergency Room at 442222 extension 420 or the police hotline at 115.…[+]

Harris could be the first Black woman and Asian American to lead a major party ticket

2 (08.30 uur) Harris could be the first

WASHINGTON DC – Vice President Kamala Harris has President Joe Biden’s support to become the next Democratic presidential nominee, a mantle that would make her the first Black woman and first Asian American to lead the ticket of a major political party. Harris said she was “honored” to receive Biden’s endorsement and intends to “earn and win” the nomination. “I am honored to have the President’s endorsement and my intention is to earn and win this nomination,” she said in a statement.
The historic endorsement came after Biden announced Sunday that he is dropping out of the race following weeks of disarray within the Democratic Party. The president’s disastrous debate called into question his ability to win a second term and govern for another four years.
“My fellow Democrats, I have decided not to accept the nomination and to focus all my energies on my duties as President for the remainder of my term. My very first decision as the party nominee in 2020 was to pick Kamala Harris as my Vice President. And it’s been the best decision I’ve made. Today I want to offer my full support and endorsement for Kamala to be the nominee,” Biden said.
Despite the president’s backing, it remains unclear whether Harris will become the nominee, or what process the Democratic Party would take to select an alternative. Democratic National Committee chairman Jaime Harrison said in a statement that in the coming days the party will “undertake a transparent and orderly process to move forward as a united Democratic Party with a candidate who can defeat Donald Trump in November.”
Logistically, Harris is the natural heir to the ticket as Biden’s running mate. She would inherit the Biden campaign’s massive political operation and war chest. Recent polling has also shown her performing better against former President Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, than Biden and other potential Democratic contenders.
Should there be efforts to pass over Harris in favor of Democrats seen as likely to run in 2028, there may be backlash from the vice president’s supporters and prominent Black Democrats. But Harris has also experienced something of a renaissance within her party, as Democrats showered her with praise in the days following the debate.
Throughout her vice presidency, Harris has struggled to define herself while juggling an issue portfolio that has included difficult topics such as voting rights and stemming the tide of migrants coming from Central America. On the former, an effort to bolster the Voting Rights Act failed in Congress. On migration, Harris was criticized on the right for not spending enough time on the border and on the left for telling migrants in a speech, “Do not come.” As recently as last year, some Democrats were worried that negative views of Harris could hurt the ticket, prompting prominent Democrats to urge the party to stop undermining her. (CNN)…[+]

More than 20 killed in Bolivia’s worst road accident this year

1 (05.30 uur) More than 20 killed

PATACAMAYA – A head-on collision between a truck and a bus on a highway in the Bolivian Andes has killed 22 people and injured 16 in the country’s worst road accident this year, according to police.
Fourteen of the dead have been identified so far, police said yesterday, with Chile’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs saying there was at least one Chilean national among them.
Earlier, officials said the drivers of both vehicles were among the dead.
The accident happened on a road between Bolivia‘s town of Patacamaya and the town of Tambo Quemado in northern Chile, according to Unitel channel.
The bus had been heading towards Chile on the busy commercial and tourism route linking the two South American countries.
The initial investigation showed that the truck had crossed into the opposite lane while trying to overtake a vehicle, traffic officer Nilo Torrico said.
“This truck made a prohibited manoeuvre and, as a result, we have this unfortunate accident,” he said.
Images of the accident shared by Unitel showed the bus with its front section shattered and the smashed truck. Some bodies were seen on the road.
First responders were working to remove bodies trapped in the destroyed vehicles, Torrico said.
Bolivia sees about 1,400 traffic deaths each year, government statistics show. Accidents are mainly due to poor driving and mechanical failures. A collision on a busy road in southwestern Bolivia on April 4 killed 14 people and left two injured. (Al Jazeera)…[+]

Photo: First responders working at the scene of the accident. (Mehr News Agency)

South African police discover multimillion-dollar meth lab on farm

CAPE TOWN  –  Police in South Africa arrested four people including two Mexican nationals after uncovering a multimillion-dollar drug manufacturing lab on a farm in the country’s north.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, commonly known as Hawks, raided the property in the town of Groblersdal after receiving information suspicious activity was taking place there, SAPS said in a statement.

After searching four structures on the property, police found large quantities of chemicals used to make illicit drugs including acetone and crystal meth, with an estimated street value of 2 billion South African rand ($109.4 million).

The four suspects detained last Friday include the farm owner and two Mexican nationals, the police service said, adding that the Hawks are not ruling out the possibility of further arrests.

“What makes this different from other [seizures] is the involvement of Mexican citizens,” Katlego Mogale, national spokesperson for the Hawks told Reuters, adding: “It means that our task has just become very difficult.”

It is not clear if the drugs seized were intended for South African market or overseas.

The Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs said its embassy in South Africa had “not received the respective consular notification and is in contact with local authorities to find out the details of the case and the alleged Mexicans involved.”

The suspects will appear at Groblersdal Magistrate’s court on Monday on charges of manufacturing, dealing and possessing illicit drugs, according to the police service.

In January, police said around 131 drug labs had been shut down across the country since 2019, adding that during the festive season last year more than 19,000 people were arrested for drug possession.

So far this year, the Hawks have discovered 10 secret drug labs and arrested 34 people as they continue their war on drugs in the country, the statement said.

South Africa is dubbed as potentially one of the “largest meth consumer markets in the world,” researchers at the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime highlighted in a 2021 report.

It was also described by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) last year as “an attractive drug transit country.” The UNODC attributed the nation’s growing market for synthetic drugs to its “porous borders,” as well as its geography and international trade links. (CNN)

Photo: Large quantities of chemicals used to make illicit drugs including acetone and crystal meth. (South African Police Service)…[+]

Ukrainian nationalist ex-MP shot dead in Lviv street

ukrain

LVIV –  A former Ukrainian nationalist MP has died after being shot on the street in the western city of Lviv.

Iryna Farion caused controversy in 2023 by suggesting that “true patriots” of Ukraine should not speak Russian under any circumstances.

The 60-year-old linguistic professor’s killing on Friday is being investigated and police say it may have been a targeted attack.

Her attacker has not been identified. Police say a power outage affected CCTV in the area.

Lviv regional head Maksym Kozytskyi said on Telegram that Ms Farion died in hospital after the shooting.

Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said “this was not a spontaneous killing” and police were looking for a motive.

“We already have several versions. The main ones, I can say, are [linked to Farion’s] social and political activities and personal dislike,” he said in a statement via the Telegram message service.

“We do not rule out that the murder has a commissioned character,” he added.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said that a major police operation was under way.

“All versions are being investigated, including the one that leads to Russia,” he said.

The hardline nationalist Svoboda (Freedom) political party Ms Farion was a member of blamed Russia directly for the killing.

“Moscow shoots in the temple for the Ukrainian language,” it said in a statement.

In 2023, Ms Farion said that true patriots of Ukraine should not speak Russian in any settings, including on the front lines, as it is the language of the aggressor country.

She described Russian as “the language of the enemy, who kills, discriminates, insults and rapes me”, and added: “How crazy should you be to fight in the Ukrainian army and speak Russian?”

Her words provoked a strong reaction in Ukraine at the time, with people accusing her of inciting hatred based on linguistic preferences.

She was dismissed from a university in western Ukraine and was investigated by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).

In May, the Lviv Court of Appeal reportedly issued a ruling reinstating her to the position. (BBC)…[+]

German citizen sentenced to death in Belarus, charged with terrorism, mercenary activities

German citizen sentenced

BELARUS  –  A German citizen has been sentenced to death in Belarus after being charged with terrorism and mercenary activities, according to a Belarusian human rights group.

The group Human Rights Center “Viasna” said the German national is a 29-year-old German Red Cross employee named Rico Krieger.

According to his LinkedIn profile, he worked as an emergency medical technician for the German Red Cross and as an armed security officer for the US Embassy in Berlin.

Krieger was sentenced in the Minsk Regional Court on June 24, Viasna said on its website.

Krieger was charged under six articles of the Criminal Code of Belarus, according to Viasna, including “mercenary activity,” “agent activity,” an “act of terrorism,” the “creation of an extremist formation,” “intentional disrepair of a vehicle or communication lines,” and “illegal actions in relation to firearms, ammunition and explosives.”

Viasna also reported that Krieger was found guilty of “arranging an explosion in order to influence decision-making by authorities, intimidate the population, [and] destabilize public order.” It is unclear exactly what led up to Krieger’s alleged crimes or when they occurred.

“The Federal Foreign Office and the Embassy in Minsk are providing consular support to the individual concerned and are working intensively on his behalf with the Belarusian authorities,” a spokesperson from the German Foreign Office told CNN, in an apparent reference to Krieger.

“The death penalty is a cruel and inhumane form of punishment that Germany rejects under all circumstances. We are actively working worldwide to abolish it and are strongly advocating against its execution in all affected cases,” the spokesperson added.

Belarus says it has ensured consular access to a German national, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Anatoly Glaz said in a statement on X. Minsk has “proposed a number of options” to Germany “for the development of the situation,” he said, according to Belarusian state media BelTA. 

“There have been contacts with the German side on this topic, of course. This criminal is a German citizen and we understand the German side’s concern for him,” said Glaz, according to BelTA.”Consultations on this topic are being held by the foreign ministries of the two countries,” he added.

The German Red Cross (DRK) told CNN’s German affiliate N-TV that while “the man in question,” without naming Krieger, had previously worked for them, his stay abroad was not related to his work with the DRK.

CNN has also reached out to the German Red Cross for comment.

“I am concerned by news that German citizen Rico Krieger was sentenced to death by Lukashenko’s regime in Belarus,” exiled Belarusian opposition figure Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya said on X.

“We are collecting more information on his case at the moment. From what we know, he was accused of several so-called ‘extremism’ related crimes,” she added. (CNN)…[+]

Couple found dead after trying to cross Atlantic

Couple found dead

NOVA SCOTIA  –  The bodies of a couple who set off on a sailing trip across the Atlantic Ocean have been found on a washed-up life raft almost six weeks after they were last seen.

Briton Sarah Packwood and her Canadian husband Brett Clibbery are thought to have abandoned their yacht and perished before washing up on Sable Island near Nova Scotia in Canada on 12 July.

The couple were reported missing on 18 June after leaving Nova Scotia in their 13m (42ft) eco-friendly yacht, Theros, a week earlier.

They were on the way to the Azores – about 3,228 km away – with the trip planned to take 21 days.

In a post on Facebook, Mr Clibbery’s son James confirmed the pair had died, saying that the last few days had been “very hard”.

He said the couple would be “forever missed”, adding: “There isn’t anything that will fill the hole that has been left by their, so far unexplained passing.”

It is unclear how the couple’s dream transatlantic crossing ended in tragedy. An investigation is still under way, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police told the BBC.

One theory investigators are exploring is that the yacht was struck by a passing cargo ship that did not notice the collision, according to Canadian news website Saltwire.

“The sailboat crew were either unable to avoid collision” or they could have been down below with Theros on automatic pilot, an anonymous source told Saltwire.

The Canadian coastguard and military aircraft have not spotted wreckage or any sign of the boat, Saltwire reports.

In a video posted to their YouTube channel, Theros Adventures, the pair explained how their trip – dubbed the Green Odyssey – would rely on sails, solar panels, batteries and an electric engine repurposed from a car.

“We’re doing everything we can to show that you can travel without burning fossil fuels,” Mr Clibbery said in the video, posted on 12 April.

“It’s probably the biggest adventure of our lives so far,” Ms Packwood added.

The pair met by chance in London in 2015, when Ms Packwood was preparing to donate a kidney to her sister and Mr Clibbery, a retired engineer, was visiting London.

They married in Canada on their yacht a year later, before affirming their vows in a traditional handfasting ceremony at Stonehenge in 2017, according to Ms Packwood’s personal blog.

Their story was featured in a 2020 “How We Met” article in The Guardian.

Ms Packwood, originally from Warwickshire, had worked in Rwanda with the UN after the 1994 genocide and had extensive experience as a humanitarian.

In what would be their final post on 11 June, the pair wrote on Facebook: “Captain Brett and First Mate Sarah set sail on the 2nd leg of The Green Odyssey on board Theros – GibSea 42 foot sailboat. Powered by the wind and sun. Heading east to the Azores.” (BBC)…[+]

Biden drops out of race, scrambling the campaign for the White House

President Biden trekt zich terug uit verkiezingsrace

WASHINGTON – President Biden abandoned his campaign for a second term under intense pressure from fellow Democrats on Sunday, upending the race for the White House in a dramatic last-minute bid to find a new candidate who can stop former President Donald J. Trump from returning to the White House.

“It has been the greatest honor of my life to serve as your President,” he said in a letter posted on social media. “And while it has been my intention to seek re-election, I believe it is in the best interest of my party and the country for me to stand down and to focus solely on fulfilling my duties as President for the remainder of my term.”

Biden, who evidently plans to serve out his term through January even as he pulls out as a candidate, said he would “speak to the nation later this week in more detail about my decision” and expressed thanks to Vice President Kamala Harris “for being an extraordinary partner in all this work.” But he did not immediately endorse her and said nothing about how the Democratic Party should proceed to pick a new nominee.

The president’s decision set the stage for an intense, abbreviated scramble to build a new Democratic ticket, the first time in generations that a nomination will be settled at a convention rather than through primaries. Although he did not endorse Harris, she starts the truncated process in the strongest position, but could face challenges from other Democrats.

While Biden has six more months in office, the transition of the campaign to whomever is chosen will amount to a momentous generational change of leadership of the Democratic Party. The eventual nominee will have just over 75 days after next month’s convention to consolidate support from Democrats, establish themselves as a credible national leader and prosecute the case against the Republican former president.

Biden, 81, announced his withdrawal after a disastrous debate performance against Mr. Trump cemented public concerns about his age and touched off widespread panic among Democrats about his ability to prevent the former president from reclaiming power. Democratic congressional leaders petrified by dismal poll numbers pressed Biden to gracefully exit, angry donors threatened to withhold their money and down-ballot candidates feared he would take down the whole ticket.

No sitting president has dropped out of a race so late in the election cycle in American history, and Harris and any other contenders for the nomination will have just weeks to earn the backing of the nearly 4,000 delegates to the Democratic National Convention. While the convention is scheduled to take place in Chicago from Aug. 19 to Aug. 22, the party had already planned to conduct a virtual roll call vote before Aug. 7 to ensure access to ballots in all 50 states, leaving little time to assemble support.

Biden’s campaign for a second term collapsed in swift and stunning fashion after leading Democrats concluded that he would be unable to defeat Mr. Trump in the fall. During their nationally televised debate last month, Biden, the oldest president in American history, appeared frail, hesitant, confused and diminished, losing a critical opportunity to make his case against Trump, a convicted felon who tried to overturn the last election. (The New York Times)…[+]

Caribbean Energy Chamber brings renewable energy into focus

10 Caribbean Energy Chamber brings renewable energy into focus

TRINIDAD – The Caribbean Energy Chamber (CEC) continues to remain focused on prioritising affordable net zero energy security for the region. CEC President and CEO, Eugene Tiah, says energy is one of the largest costs of the Caribbean’s GDP and depending on the source, is estimated to be around 15 per cent of GDP.  “Energy is therefore one of the most important factors influencing Caribbean economies and by extension the lives of all Caribbean citizens.” 

It was noted that historically, the regional energy chambers that have formed to help advocate on energy issues, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana and recently Suriname are from a supply side perspective, that is, fossil fuels supply. However there is a need for the energy demand side and the other Caribbean countries to have a co-operative, sustainable mechanism to help address energy security with the lowest carbon emissions as is possibly affordable.

The CEC President says currently renewable energy is approximately 9 per cent of the energy matrix for the Caribbean (including the Dominican Republic and hydro-electric power). If hydro-electric power is excluded, then renewables penetration is around 5 per cent with a significant portion of renewable energy being in the Dominican Republic.  

“Rollout of renewable energy is ‘de minimis’ currently in the Caribbean. As a region, we will get left behind competitively in all sectors as the rest of the World is “greening” at much quicker rates.  We need therefore to work together to resolve this situation as soon as possible and therefore, yes, the Caribbean Energy Chamber is crucially needed.”

It was stated CEC will be pragmatic in its approach to help enable the energy transition and one of its initial priorities is technical assistance and capacity rollout in a timely manner as there are areas of the Caribbean where there are surplus amounts of technical and other capacities which can be deployed immediately. CEC has developed an online mechanism to allow Caribbean government and relevant agencies, who need resources, to be able to access the pool of Caribbean technical, financial and legal resources available from the various official engineering, legal and other appropriate organisations.  

The new online Job Placement Facility which is available on the CEC website, will allow Caribbean government and related state agencies to access a wider pool of qualified candidates from the Caribbean. CEC hopes that this online mechanism will facilitate more efficient interactions between appropriate employers and professionals in the region.

In the first instance, the CEC will be able to connect Caribbean government and related state agencies with members from the Barbados Bar Association and Law Association of Trinidad & Tobago; Barbados Association of Professional Engineers and the Association of Professional Engineers of Trinidad & Tobago. (Loopnews.caribbean)…[+]

 

Zelensky hints at negotiations with Russia

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during a joint news conference with Greece's President following their meeting at the Mariinskiy palace in Kyiv on November 3, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Photo by Genya SAVILOV / AFP)

UKRAINE – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky struck an unusually subdued tone as he addressed his nation this week, hinting at a willingness to negotiate with Russia for the first time since Moscow launched its full-scale invasion more than two years ago.

Zelensky suggested Moscow should send a delegation to the next peace summit that he hopes to hold in November. Russia was not invited to the previous peace conference, held in Switzerland last month, as Zelensky said any talks could only happen after a Russian withdrawal from Ukraine. Kyiv is currently facing the double whammy of a difficult frontline situation and political uncertainty over the level of future support from Ukraine’s closest allies.

While the progress Russian troops are making in eastern Ukraine has slowed significantly since US weapons started arriving in the country in May, it has not stopped entirely. Russia is still gaining territory, albeit at a much slower pace. At the same time, questions are emerging about the willingness of some of Ukraine’s closest and most important allies – notably the United States and Germany – to continue pouring resources into the conflict in support of Kyiv.

Speaking to reporters, Zelensky said Ukraine was not receiving enough Western assistance to win the war, pointing out that its outcome will be determined way beyond Ukraine’s borders. “Not everything depends on us. We know what would be a just end to the war, but it doesn’t depend only on us. It depends not only on our people and our desire, but also on finance, on weapons, on political support, on unity in the EU, in NATO, in the world,” the president said.

Former US Ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst said it was plausible Zelensky’s shift in tone was a reaction to the events unfolding in the United States, where former President Donald Trump announced a staunch critic of sending support to Ukraine. Speaking to CNN from the Aspen Security Forum, Herbst said that it was possible Zelensky was trying to reach out to the potential future Trump administration by stressing he would be willing to negotiate – as long as the deal on the table is just.

“It has to be (a) reasonable peace, which does not permit Russian occupiers to continue to torture, repress and murder the people of Ukraine who are being occupied,” he said. Russia has repeatedly denied accusations of torture and human rights abuses in Ukraine despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. (CNN)…[+]

 

Slow recovery after CrowdStrike update sparks global IT outage

8 Slow recovery after CrowdStrike update sparks global IT outage

GERMANY – Head of the cybersecurity firm issues a public apology but cautions that a total recovery could take weeks. Businesses and services around the world were slowly recovering after a massive technology outage wreaked havoc across the world and raised questions about the vulnerability of the global interconnected economy.

A faulty software update caused the “unprecedented” outage on Friday, grounding flights, knocking out financial companies and news outlets, and disrupting hospitals, supermarkets, small businesses and government offices. By Saturday, several services were back online, but George Kurtz, the CEO of US cybersecurity company CrowdStrike – whose botched software update on its Falcon Sensor hit Microsoft’s Windows operating system – cautioned that a total recovery could take weeks.

CrowdStrike said it had rolled out a fix for the problem and Kurtz said he wanted to “personally apologise to every organisation, every group and every person who has been impacted” by the widespread glitch. “We know that adversaries and bad actors will try to exploit events like this,” he warned in a statement. “I encourage everyone to remain vigilant and ensure that you’re engaging with official CrowdStrike representatives.”

US President Joe Biden’s team was talking to CrowdStrike and those affected and was “standing by to provide assistance as needed”, the White House said in a statement. “Our understanding is that flight operations have resumed across the country, although some congestion remains,” a senior US administration official said. Junade Ali from Britain’s Institution of Engineering and Technology said the scale of the outage “is unprecedented, and will no doubt go down in history”, telling the AFP news agency that the last incident approaching the same scale was in 2017.

“It shows our increasing dependence upon computers,” said Toby Walsh, chief scientist at the Artificial Intelligence Institute, University of New South Wales. “The irony of course is that the internet was designed to be a nuclear-proof communication network. It is clearly not that at all,” he told Al Jazeera. In Europe, major airports including in the German capital, Berlin, which had suspended all flights earlier on Friday, said departures and arrivals were gradually resuming.

However, dozens of European flights were cancelled. Turkish Airlines said it had pulled 84 flights and Italian officials confirmed about 80 departures had been cancelled. Across Latin America, airports were asking passengers to arrive for flights hours earlier than usual. Chinese state media said Beijing’s airports had not been affected. Companies were left patching up their systems and trying to assess the damage, even as officials tried to tamp down panic by ruling out foul play. (Aljazeera)…[+]