Month: December 2021

Pentagon building new secret courtroom at Guantánamo bay

The Pentagon is building a second courtroom for war crimes trials at Guantánamo Bay that will exclude the public from the chamber, the latest move toward secrecy in the nearly 20-year-old detention operation. The new courtroom will permit two military judges to hold proceedings simultaneously starting in 2023. On those occasions, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and […]

Why Covid-19 means the era of ever cheaper air travel could be over

After its worst two years since the second world war, 2022 is looking brighter for the global airline industry. For passengers, though, the chance to travel at low cost again may prove short-lived. In 2020 international passenger demand was less than 25% that of 2019, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The data […]

How democracy was dismantled in Hong Kong in 2021

As the days of 2021 dwindled, so did any remaining traces of democracy in Hong Kong. On Wednesday, a vocal pro-democracy media outlet – one of the last openly critical voices in the city – closed after a police raid. Earlier in December, the opposition was shut out from elections under a new law that […]

Myanmar rebels bury more than 30 people killed in ‘barbaric’ attack

A Myanmar insurgent group said it has buried the remains of more than 30 people who were killed and had their bodies set ablaze, as the UN Security Council called for accountability and an immediate end to violence in the country. Opposition activists have blamed Myanmar’s army for the Dec 24 attack near Mo So […]

Germany’s long anti-nuclear protest ends

An icy wind is blowing across the Brokdorf nuclear power plant that stands between damp meadows and a dike covered in a thin layer of snow. A small group of mostly elderly people have hung up a yellow banner on the guarded gate to the nuclear reactor which reads: “Shut down nuclear power plants.” Gathered […]

The peanut butter secret, A lavish tax dodge for the ultrawealthy

This is the story of the incredible cloning tax break. In 2004, David Baszucki, fresh off a stint as a radio host in Santa Cruz, California, started a tiny video game company. It was eligible for a tax break that lets investors in small businesses avoid millions of dollars in capital gains taxes if the […]

Chile rewrites its constitution, confronting climate change head-on

Rarely does a country get a chance to lay out its ideals as a nation and write a new constitution for itself. Almost never does the climate and ecological crisis play a central role. That is, until now, in Chile, where a national reinvention is underway. After months of protests over social and environmental grievances, […]

Fears of omicron’s rapid spread are tempered by signs of milder illness

The omicron variant of the coronavirus is blazing around the world with such speed that even the leader of Israel, one of the most highly vaccinated countries, warned Tuesday that it cannot be stopped. “We can’t prevent it,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said, in blunt comments that reflected a growing consensus in nations where omicron […]

CDC reduces estimates of Omicron variant among US Covid-19 cases

The CDC also revised down the Omicron proportion of cases for the week ending Dec 18 to 22% from 73%, citing additional data, and the rapid spread of the variant that in part caused the discrepancy. “We had more data come in from that timeframe, and there was a reduced proportion of Omicron,” a CDC […]

Alaska records highest ever December temperature

An unusual winter warm spell in Alaska has brought daytime temperatures soaring past 15.5°C and torrents of rain at a time of year normally associated with bitter cold and fluffy snow. At the island community of Kodiak, the air temperature at a tidal gauge hit 19.4°C on Sunday, the highest December reading ever recorded in […]