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Switzerland

Is Your Airplane Carrying Radioactive Cargo?

"Ladies and gentlemen, we are sorry to inform you that we cannot proceed to takeoff because we are still waiting to receive papers for the radioactive cargo on board – please excuse the delay...."

What's in the cargo? (SWISS)
What's in the cargo? (SWISS)
Ruedi Baumann

GENEVA - If the captain of a recent SWISS International Air Lines flight departing from London hadn't been upfront about informing passengers on why their flight was delayed, they would have remained blissfully ignorant about the surprising cargo on board.

However, the captain of the Airbus A320 announced: "Ladies and gentlemen, we are sorry to inform you that we cannot proceed to takeoff because we are still waiting to receive papers for the radioactive cargo on board – please excuse the delay." Unperturbed, some passengers continued to leaf through their magazines, while others murmured questions about why a regular scheduled passenger flight would be carrying radioactive materials.

Fifteen minutes later, the captain's voice came over the loudspeaker again to announce that the papers still hadn't arrived due to a computer breakdown, and that SWISS was doing its utmost to expedite matters. According to the account of one passenger on the flight, most passengers were still not alarmed, although there was a lot of whispering.

An hour later the captain announced that since the papers had still not arrived, the cargo was being unloaded, and thanks to tail winds part of the lost time would be made up.

SWISS spokeswoman Sonja Ptassek confirmed the incident, stating that it was common practice for small amounts of radioactive substances -destined for medical use- to be flown by regular scheduled airlines. To be able to fly, the substances must be specially packed, so as not present a risk in the event of an emergency landing. SWISS did its best to brief passengers honestly, although the airline did aknowledge that in the specific instance the information could have caused consternation for some passengers.

Radioactive materials are used by hospitals and universities, and urgent delivery is often required. Through injection of the substances into the bloodstream, nuclear medicine makes it possible to diagnose tumors, or dysfunction of the thyroid gland, heart or lungs.


Read the article in German in Tages Anzeiger.

Photo - SWISS

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Geopolitics

New Probe Finds Pro-Bolsonaro Fake News Dominated Social Media Through Campaign

Ahead of Brazil's national elections Sunday, the most interacted-with posts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Telegram and WhatsApp contradict trustworthy information about the public’s voting intentions.

Jair Bolsonaro bogus claims perform well online

Cris Faga/ZUMA
Laura Scofield and Matheus Santino

SÂO PAULO — If you only got your news from social media, you might be mistaken for thinking that Jair Bolsonaro is leading the polls for Brazil’s upcoming presidential elections, which will take place this Sunday. Such a view flies in the face of what most of the polling institutes registered with the Superior Electoral Court indicate.

An exclusive investigation by the Brazilian investigative journalism agency Agência Pública has revealed how the most interacted-with and shared posts in Brazil on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Telegram and WhatsApp share data and polls that suggest victory is certain for the incumbent Bolsonaro, as well as propagating conspiracy theories based on false allegations that research institutes carrying out polling have been bribed by Bolsonaro’s main rival, former president Luís Inácio Lula da Silva, or by his party, the Workers’ Party.

Agência Pública’s reporters analyzed the most-shared posts containing the phrase “pesquisa eleitoral” [electoral polls] in the period between the official start of the campaigning period, on August 16, to September 6. The analysis revealed that the most interacted-with and shared posts on social media spread false information or predicted victory for Jair Bolsonaro.

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