A China-developed airborne sounding system has helped the completion of the country’s first integrated typhoon observation based on a large unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), according to the developer.
A Wing Loong-10 UAV carried the airborne sounding system to the targeted airspace to observe Typhoon Sinlaku, the third typhoon this year, said the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC).
The typhoon observation was undertaken on Aug. 2 as the storm swept the coastal waters of south China’s Hainan Province.
The UAV dropped 30 sondes, which conducted a stereoscopic scan of the typhoon’s outer cloud system by sending back real-time data on temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind direction and wind speed.
China has achieved steady improvement in forecasting typhoons, while deficient maritime observation data limited study and technology upgrade in this field.
The airborne sounding system is helpful in improving typhoon forecast as it features stronger, targeting ability as well as broader detection range and greater flexibility, said CASIC.
The system is expected to play a role in various fields such as meteorological emergency, disaster monitoring, ecological monitoring and weather modification.
Integrated typhoon observation was initiated by the China Meteorological Administration.
It marked the success of China’s first marine and typhoon integrated observation carried by a large UAV, filling a gap the country had in the field.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)https://nnn.ng/china-developed-airborne-sounding-system-helps-study-typhoon/
UN urges Belarus to grant entry to UN rights expert
Belarus should grant free access to specialised UN experts to monitor human rights issues, including prisons, the UN Human Rights Council urges in a resolution.
In addition to demanding entry for UN Belarus monitor Anais Marin, the Human Rights Council also calls on Belarus to stop using violence, torture and arrests to quash civil rights.
The resolution, which was initiated by European countries says Belarus authorities should start a dialogue with the opposition and civil society.
The resolution was adopted with 23 yes votes, two no votes from Eritrea and Venezuela, and 22 abstentions.
Similarly, Belarusian opposition leader, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, appealed to the UN on Friday for an international monitoring mission to be sent to Belarus to document an ongoing violent police crackdown on her supporters.
“The scope and the brutality of the extensive force used by the regime is in clear violation of all international norms and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN,” Tikhanovskaya said in an address to the UN Human Rights Council.
At least 7,000 protesters have been detained in Belarus since a disputed presidential election more than a month ago.
The UN has received 450 reports of torture and other abuse of detainees.
President Alexander Lukashenko, 66, has led Belarus, a former Soviet republic between Russia and EU member state Poland, for more than a quarter-century, tolerating little dissent.
Tikhanovskaya placed second in the Aug. 9 election, according to the disputed official tally.
She says she won and has demanded a new election. There have been protests in Belarus every day since the vote.
“We demand … an international monitoring mission to document the regime’s atrocities,” Tikhanovskaya, 38, told a special meeting of the UN council via video link.
She dismissed the Belarusian leadership’s allegations that, by seeking to intervene in Belarus’ post-election crisis, foreign powers have been meddling in the country’s internal affairs.
“It is very important to recognise that standing up for democratic principles and human rights is not interfering in internal affairs.
“It is a universal question of human dignity,” Tikhanovskaya said.
The UN Human Rights Council held the urgent debate in spite diplomats from Belarus and its close allies trying to prevent reports on violations from being presented at the meeting in Geneva.
“It is vital for the future of Belarus to break these cycles of increasing repression and violence,” Deputy UN Rights Chief Nada al-Nashif said.
“Civil society is a valuable partner, not a threat,” she added.
After al-Nashif’s speech, envoys from Belarus, Russia, Venezuela and China raised a long series of points of order to complain that the UN official had been allowed to speak, and to stop additional reports from a UN rights investigator and from Belarusian civil society representatives.
The Austrian diplomat, who presides over the Human Rights Council, Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger, finally issued a ruling to stop these interventions.
Belarusian Ambassador Yury Ambrazevic rejected all accusations voiced in the council, which heard video messages from the foreign ministers of Denmark, Slovakia, Poland, the Netherlands and Ukraine.
“We believe it is not acceptable to use this body here to interfere in the election in any individual country,” Ambrazevic said.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Ifeyinwa Omowole
Coronavirus: Biden says Trump trusted less than Russia’s Putin, China’s Xi
United States Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden said that President Donald Trump Administration’s way of handling the coronavirus outbreak in the United States was one of the reasons he was trusted by fewer foreigners than Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Biden said this during a CNN town hall meeting in the Pennsylvania state.
The United States is set to hold a presidential election on Nov. 3.
“I’ve been doing this for a long time. I never ever thought I would see such a thoroughly totally irresponsible administration,” Biden said.
“It’s one of the reasons why if you take a look at the Pew Foundation poll — guess what, Russia’s Putin, China’s Xi Jinping are trusted by more people in the world than the president of America.
“And one of the reasons they say is COVID-19.”
According to Biden, not only did the Trump administration’s response to COVID-19 cause loss of lives in the United States, but it also caused Washington “to lose [its] influence in ways that are profound.”
The Democrat politician further described China as a “serious competitor” and Russia as an “opponent” to the United States, vowing more sanctions on Moscow in the case if it meddles in the upcoming presidential election.
The United States repeatedly accused Russia of meddling in its political processes, in particular, during the 2016 presidential election. Moscow has consistently denied these allegations.
In 2019, United States Special Counsel Robert Mueller, mandated to investigate the alleged interference, found no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
But established that Moscow systematically interfered in the United States elections via two chief methods — social media campaigns and intelligence-backed cyberattacks.
Moscow responded by pointing to the lack of actual evidence to support this assumption.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Ali Baba-Inuwa
United States democratic senators unveil $350bn funding package to counter China’s rise
Nearly a dozen United States Senate Democrats have sponsored new legislation to fund efforts to counter China’s edge in areas such as manufacturing, technology and science.
“The proposal includes over 350 billion dollars in new funding to synchronise and mobilise all aspects of United States national power,” a release from Sen. Sherrod Brown’s office revealed.
“Sponsored by 11 leading Democrats, the legislation is guided by four pillars: (1) invest in American competitiveness; (2) support American alliances and partners; (3) restore and advance a values-centered foreign policy; and (4) ensure China pays a price for its predatory actions.”
The so-called “America Leads Act,” according to the statement, is needed as a “course correction, after almost four years of destruction under President (Donald) Trump.”
The package aims to make comprehensive investments in United States workers, alliances, and diplomacy “to confront the rise of china.”
The proposal also seeks to “reaffirm America’s strong security commitment in the Indo-Pacific and a forward-deployed posture in the region to ensure that all nations can exercise their rights in the region’s international waters.”
In addition, the senators hope to strengthen trade enforcement across a wide range of areas including intellectual property, supply chains, currency manipulation, and counterfeit goods, the release said.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Emmanuel Yashim
China testing 11 COVID-19 vaccines, 4 undergoing stage 3 trials — Minister
China is conducting clinical trials of 11 vaccines against the coronavirus disease, four of which are in phase 3, the country’s Science and Technology Minister Wang Zhigang said on Friday.
“At the moment, 11 vaccines have entered the phase of clinical trials, four of them are already in phase 3,” Wang said while speaking at the Zhongguancun forum in Beijing.
According to the minister, Chinese researchers focused on the development of five types of COVID-19 vaccine at once.
The vaccines are a recombinant protein subunit vaccine, an inactivated vaccine, an adenoviral vector-based vaccine, a nucleic acid-based vaccine, and a live attenuated influenza vaccine.
“The COVID-19 epidemic continues to spread around the world, it has not yet been taken under full control, and with the arrival of the autumn-winter season, there is still a possibility of a return to what it was initially.
“The situation in the prevention and control of the epidemic remains serious.
“The virus knows no boundaries, we need to join forces, provide each other with assistance and support in order to overcome difficulties together,” Wang said.
One of the Chinese vaccines is being developed by China National Biotec Group, which said earlier in September that around 50,000 people from several countries were participating in Phase 3 clinical trials.
Another vaccine, which is also in Phase 3 of the trials, was created by Sinovac, which is testing the vaccine in several countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Brazil and Indonesia.
Similarly, China is leading in the development of a vaccine against COVID-19 and thus Beijing does not need to steal vaccine-related data from other countries, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Friday,
Wang said this while commenting on media reports claiming that Chinese hackers had allegedly stolen data on coronavirus vaccine development from Spain.
Earlier in the day, El Pais newspaper reported, citing sources informed about cyberattacks, that hackers from China had allegedly stolen information from Spanish centres working on coronavirus vaccine.
According to the publication, cyberattacks targeting research centres were carried out from several countries, mostly from Russia and China, and in the case of Spain, it is known that the hackers had acted precisely from China.
“China strongly opposes and fights against all forms of cyberattacks and cybercrime, and this position is clear and unchanging.
“I would also like to add that China is one of the world leaders in [anti-coronavirus] vaccine research and development.
“We do not see any need for any illegal means to obtain a vaccine,” Wang said.
According to the spokesman, cyberattacks are the common enemy of all countries, and China hopes that other countries will not draw so many reckless and irresponsible conclusions if they do not have any evidence.
At the same time, Spanish scientists are now working on dozens of vaccines against COVID-19, with none of them having entered the clinical trial stage yet.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Wale Ojetimi