BBC

The Latest: Global Mob Sting, Internet Crash, Canadian Hate Crime

A devastating fire swept through one of the largest slums in Bangladesh’s capital city Dhaka, leaving hundreds of people homeless
A devastating fire swept through one of the largest slums in Bangladesh’s capital city Dhaka, leaving hundreds of people homeless

Welcome to Tuesday, where an encrypted messaging app leads to a major global organized crime bust, many of the world's biggest websites were hit by global internet outages and there's a new basketball-court-long dinosaur in town. Jeune Afrique also dives into the Rastafari ital diet, a precursor to some current food trends.

• Report: Intelligence breakdown prior to U.S. Capitol insurrection: A bipartisan Senate investigation has outlined how thousands of protestors were able to breach the Capitol building in January. New revelations show that intelligence agencies, including Capitol police, had greater prior knowledge than previously thought that violence could erupt.

• Global internet outage downs leading websites: A number of major websites such as Amazon, Target, CNN, Reddit and Twitch have been affected by global internet outages. Many of the impacted websites are displaying the error code: "Error 503 Service Unavailable." Early reports link the issue with the Cloud service, Fastly.

• Hundreds arrested in organized crime sting after cops enter encrypted app: More than 800 organized crime suspects have been arrested after communicating using ANOM, a messaging app infiltrated by the FBI. Law enforcement in the U.S., Europe and Australia were able to monitor encrypted messages on the app, many of which were related to organized crime.

• Killing of Canadian Muslim family premeditated, hate crime: A driver struck five people in Ontario, Canada, killing four of them on Monday. Police believe the attack was planned, and the victims are thought to have been targeted due to their Islamic faith.

• "Butcher of Bosnia" faces verdict: Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb warlord who took part in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2017 after being found guilty of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. A final decision on Mladic's fate will be made today when the Hague announces its verdict on his appeal against genocide charges.

• U.S. recovers most of ransom paid to hackers: After the Colonial Pipeline hacking last month which severely impacted oil and gas production, particularly for the U.S. east coast, authorities have been able to recover 63.7 Bitcoin ($2.3 million). The ransom had been paid to the hackers from the eastern European based group, DarkSide, with the seizure being viewed as a potential message to dissuade future cyber criminals.

• Basketball-court length dinosaur discovered in Australia: Palaeontologists in Australia have discovered a new species of dinosaur: the Australotitan cooperensis. The dinosaur is among the top five largest to ever be discovered, measuring two stories in height and 82-98 feet in length — the equivalent of a basketball court.


"Let's also vaccinate children," titles Slovakian daily Dennik as the country opens vaccination for children aged 12 or more.

The ital diet, a rastafarian recipe for eating right

For a combination of spiritual and political reasons, Rastas developed a diet based on healthy, local ingredients that was a precursor, it turns out, to some current food trends, reports Eva Sauphie in weekly news magazine Jeune Afrique.

The "ital diet" was born with the Rastafari movement in the 1930s. The word "ital" is a contraction of "vital" and "I" (the unifying English pronoun "I" favored by Rastafaris), and the diet that goes with it consists mainly of vegetables and unprocessed products. Homemade is the key word for ital followers. "For Rastas, preparing their own food means rejecting consumerist society," says Alexandre Grondeau, founder of reggae.fr. "We can see a political interpretation, because to consume what we produce is to be anti-Babylon, anti-colonial."

Cooking at home, cultivating and eating locally: a triptych that is reminiscent of the consumption patterns encouraged by environmental protection activists in the context of the current ecological crisis. Like vegans, followers of ital cuisine do not eat meat or animal products such as milk and eggs. Environmentally-friendly before its time, their approach is less political and social than spiritual.

At a time when being a city dweller in Western capitals is synonymous with chia seeds and yoga, the ital diet is slowly beginning to be accepted in practice. But for a long time it was an oddity, something associated with out-there 1970s eating habits. "Today, concert organizers no longer receive Jamaican artists the way they used to, by laughing at them and serving them platters of cold cuts," says Alexandre Grondeau. "Society has changed its view and has understood that Rastas were avant-garde in their way of eating."

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


24,000 years


Russian scientists have discovered that microscopic animals called Bdelloid rotifers have gotten their fair share of beauty sleep — 24,000 years of it! Found in Siberia's deep permafrost, these tiny multicellular creatures were previously thought to only be able to survive 10 years when frozen.

Face masks for burping cows, a new way to fight climate change

For more than a year now, humans around the world have been masking up to limit the spread of COVID. Now, masks may be deployed among another species to combat a very different global ill: cow burps.

The agricultural multinational Cargill is inaugurating a new kind of face mask designed to absorb cows' gaseous emissions. The idea might sound odd, but as French radio station RTL reports, the blue masks could help cut down as much as half the world's farming gas emissions. Contrary to popular belief, it is indeed the belching part of a cow's digestive output that is responsible for most of its noxious methane (yes, bovine farts get more laughs, but cause less damage to the environment).

All in all, the methane produced by cows — whichever way — is said to be responsible for 14% of the greenhouse gas emissions in the world.

This led the British start-up Zelp to develop a muzzle-mask which relies on small ventilators, powered by solar batteries, able to absorb and filter the ruminants' burps. Fixed on the cows' nostrils, the masks allow them to keep grazing and drinking at leisure.

"Our research shows that these masks don't affect our milk production," Cargill France's director of technology additives Deplhine Melchior tells RTL.

Starting this summer, farmers will be able to start renting the masks deployed by Cargill, at 65 euros a piece, reusable for a year, with at least part of the cost covered by environmental subsidies. And if you hear extra moo-ing while driving past the pastures, it may just be the anti-maskers among the herd...?

➡️ Keep up with all the planet's police reports and plot twists on Worldcrunch.com


Exclusive: Russia hacked Dutch police systems in 2017

Russian hackers penetrated deep into the Dutch national police's digital system in 2017, during a period that Russian separatists were being investigated for the downing of a Malaysia Airlines flight that had departed from the Netherlands, Dutch daily De Volkskrant reports in an exclusive investigative probe.

The cyber attack, reportedly carried out by hackers belonging to the Russian security service SVR, was cause for great concern, De Volkskrant reports, because the police were working on the criminal investigation into the downing of flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur that was shot down on July 17, 2014 over eastern Ukraine.

Of the 283 passengers and 15 crew that were killed on July, 17 2014, when MH17 was shot down, 196 were Dutch. Multiple investigations have shown that MH17 was hit by a BUK missile, fired from a field in eastern Ukraine that was in the hands of pro-Russian separatists at the time. Russia has been blamed for consistently trying to undermine the enquiries.

The news of this new hack comes to light following the opening day of the Dutch MH17 criminal trial.


Do not come.

— U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris used her first overseas trip to warn would-be migrants in Guatemala not to try to enter the United States, saying they would be turned back at the U.S. border. The administration of President Joe Biden is under pressure to stem a surge in migrant arrivals from Central America since the start of 2021.

✍️ Newsletter by Genevieve Mansfield, Meike Eijsberg, Bertrand Hauger & Anne-Sophie Goninet

Badge
AL JAZEERA
Al Jazeera is a state-funded broadcaster in Doha, Qatar, owned by the Al Jazeera Media Network. Initially launched as an Arabic news and current-affairs satellite TV channel, Al Jazeera has since expanded into a network with several outlets, including the Internet and specialty television channels in multiple languages.
Badge
Denník N
Slovak daily and online news site.
Badge
DE VOLKSKRANT
De Volkskrant (The People's Paper) is a Dutch daily headquartered in Amsterdam. Founded in 1919, it was originally a center-left Roman Catholic publication, it took on a clear left-wing stance in the 1960s and later evolved to a more centrist stance. It was named the European Newspaper of the Year in the category of nationwide newspapers in 2013.
Badge
CNN
CNN (Cable News Network) is a multinational news organization and TV channel. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, it is part of the Warner Media group and was founded in 1980 by Ted Turner and Reese Schonfeld.
Badge
THE NEW YORK TIMES
The New York Times (sometimes abbreviated to NYT) is an American daily newspaper, founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. It has won 117 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other news organization. Its daily circulation is estimated to 1,380,000.
Badge
JEUNE AFRIQUE
Jeune Afrique is a French-language weekly news magazine. It was cofounded by Bechir Ben Yahmed and other Tunisian intellectuals in Tunis in 1960, and is now headquartered in Paris.
Badge
BBC
The BBC is the British public service broadcaster, and the world's oldest national broadcasting organization. It broadcasts in up to 28 different languages.
Badge
THE GUARDIAN
Founded as a local Manchester newspaper in 1821, The Guardian has gone on to become one of the most influential dailies in Britain. The left-leaning newspaper is most recently known for its coverage of the Edward Snowden leaks.
Badge
WORLDCRUNCH
Premium stories from Worldcrunch's own network of multi-lingual journalists in over 30 countries.
Keep up with the world. Break out of the bubble.
Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
food / travel

The True Horrors Behind 7 Haunted Locations Around The World

With Halloween arriving, we have dug up the would-be ghosts of documented evil and bloodshed from the past.

Inside Poveglia Island's abandoned asylum

Laure Gautherin and Carl-Johan Karlsson

When Hallows Eve was first introduced as a Celtic festival some 2,000 years ago, bonfires and costumes were seen as a legitimate way to ward off ghosts and evil spirits. Today of course, with science and logic being real ghostbusters, spine-chilling tales of haunted forests, abandoned asylums and deserted graveyards have rather become a way to add some mystery and suspense to our lives.

And yet there are still spooky places around the world that have something more than legend attached to them. From Spain to Uzbekistan and Australia, these locations prove that haunting lore is sometimes rooted in very real, and often terrible events.

Shahr-e Gholghola, City of Screams - Afghanistan

photo of  ruins of Shahr-e Gholghola,

The ruins of Shahr-e Gholghola, the City of Screams, in Afghanistan

Dai He/Xinhua via ZUMA Wire


According to locals, ghosts from this ancient royal citadel located in the Valley of Bamyan, 150 miles northwest of Kabul, have been screaming for 800 years. You can hear them from miles away, at twilight, when they relive their massacre.

In the spring 1221, the fortress built by Buddhist Ghorids in the 6th century became the theater of the final battle between Jalal ad-Din Mingburnu, last ruler of the Khwarezmian Empire, and the Mongol Horde led by Genghis Khan. It is said that Khan's beloved grandson, Mutakhan, had been killed on his mission to sack Bamyan. To avenge him, the Mongol leader went himself and ordered to kill every living creature in the city, children included.

The ruins today bear the name of Shahr-e Gholghola, meaning City of Screams or City of Sorrows. The archeological site, rich in Afghan history, is open to the public and though its remaining walls stay quiet during the day, locals say that the night brings the echoes of fear and agony. Others claim the place comes back to life eight centuries ago, and one can hear the bustle of the city and people calling each other.

Gettysburg, Civil War battlefield - U.S.

photo of rocks and trees in Gettysburg

View of the battlefields from Little Round Top, Gettysburg, PA, USA

Unsplash/@nemo23


Even ghosts non-believers agree there is something eerie about Gettysbury. The city in the state of Pennsylvania is now one of the most popular destinations in the U.S. for spirits and paranormal activities sight-seeing; and many visitors report they witness exactly what they came for: sounds of drums and gunshots, spooky encounters and camera malfunctions in one specific spot… just to name a few!

The Battle of Gettysburg, for which President Abraham Lincoln wrote his best known public address, is considered a turning point in the Civil War that led to the Union's victory. It lasted three days, from July 1st to July 3rd, 1863, but it accounts for the worst casualties of the entire conflict, with 23,000 on the Union side (3,100 men killed) and 28,000 for the Confederates (including 3,900 deaths). Thousands of soldiers were buried on the battlefield in mass graves - without proper rites, legend says - before being relocated to the National Military Park Cemetery for the Unionists.

Since then, legend has it, their restless souls wander, unaware the war has ended. You can find them everywhere, on the battlefield or in the town's preserved Inns and hotels turned into field hospitals back then.

Belchite, Civil War massacre - Spain

photo of sunset of old Belchite

Old Belchite, Spain

Belchite Town Council


Shy lost souls wandering and briefly appearing in front of visitors, unexplainable forces attracting some to specific places of the town, recorded noises of planes, gunshots and bombs, like forever echoes of a drama which left an open wound in Spanish history…

That wound, still unhealed, is the Spanish Civil War; and at its height in 1937, Belchite village, located in the Zaragoza Province in the northeast of Spain, represented a strategic objective of the Republican forces to take over the nearby capital city of Zaragoza.

Instead of being a simple step in their operation, it became the field of an intense battle opposing the loyalist army and that of General Francisco Franco's. Between August 24 and September 6, more than 5,000 people were killed, including half of Belchite's population. The town was left in rubble. As a way to illustrate the Republicans' violence, Franco decided to leave the old town in ruins and build a new Belchite nearby. All the survivors were relocated there, but they had to wait 15 years for it to be complete.

If nothing particular happens in new Belchite, home to around 1,500 residents, the remains of old Belchite offer their share of chilling ghost stories. Some visitors say they felt a presence, someone watching them, sudden change of temperatures and strange sounds. The ruins of the old village have been used as a film set for Terry Gilliam's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen - with the crew reporting the apparition of two women dressed in period costumes - and Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth. And in October 1986, members of the television program "Cuarta Dimensión" (the 4th dimension) spent a night in Belchite and came back with some spooky recordings of war sounds.

Gur Emir, a conquerer’s mausoleum - Uzbekistan

photo of Gur Emir (Tomb of Timur) i

Gur Emir (Tomb of Timur) in Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Chris Bradley/Design Pics via ZUMA Wire


The news echoed through the streets and bazaars of Samarkand: "The Russian expedition will open the tomb of Tamerlane the Great. It will be our curse!" It was June 1941, and a small team of Soviet researchers began excavations in the Gur-Emir mausoleum in southeastern Uzbekistan.

The aim was to prove that the remains in the tomb did in fact belong to Tamerlane — the infamous 14th-century conqueror and first ruler of the Timurid dynasty who some historians say massacred 1% of the world's population in 1360.

Still, on June 20, despite protests from local residents and Muslim clergy, Tamerlame's tomb was cracked open — marked with the inscription: "When I Rise From the Dead, The World Shall Tremble."

Only two days later, Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union, with the people of Samarkand linking it to the disturbing of Tamerlane's peace. Amid local protests, the excavation was immediately wrapped up and the remains of the Turkish/Mongol conqueror were sent to Moscow. The turning point in the war came with the victory in the Battle of Stalingrad — only a month after a superstitious Stalin ordered the return of Tamerlane's remains to Samarkand where the former emperor was re-buried with full honors.

Gamla Stan, a royal massacre - Sweden

a photo of The red house of Gamla Stan, Stockholm, Sweden

The red house of Gamla Stan, Stockholm, Sweden

Unsplash/@hkblind


After Danish King Kristian II successfully invaded Sweden and was anointed King in November 1520, the new ruler called Swedish leaders to join for festivities at the royal palace in Stockholm. At dusk, after three days of wine, beer and spectacles, Danish soldiers carrying lanterns and torches entered the great hall and imprisoned the gathered nobles who were considered potential opponents of the Danish king. In the days that followed, 92 people were swiftly sentenced to death, and either hanged or beheaded on Stortorget, the main square in Gamla Stan (Old Town).

Until this day, the Stockholm Bloodbath is considered one of the most brutal events in Scandinavian history, and some people have reported visions of blood flowing across the cobblestoned square in early November. A little over a century later, a red house on the square was rebuilt as a monument for the executed — fitted with 92 white stones for each slain man. Legend has it that should one of the stones be removed, the ghost of the represented will rise from the dead and haunt the streets of Stockholm for all eternity.

Port Arthur, gruesome prison - Australia

a photo of ort Arthur Prison Settlement, Tasmania, Australia

Port Arthur Prison Settlement, Tasmania, Australia

Flickr/Eli Duke


During its 47-year history as a penal settlement, Port Arthur in southern Tasmania earned a reputation as one of the most notorious prisons in the British Empire. The institution — known for a brutal slavery system and punishment of the most hardened criminals sent from the motherland— claimed the lives of more than 1,000 inmates until its closure in 1877.

Since then, documented stories have spanned the paranormal gamut: poltergeist prisoners terrorizing visitors, weeping children roaming the port and tourists running into a weeping 'lady in blue' (apparently the spirit of a woman who died in childbirth). The museum even has an 'incidence form' ready for anyone wanting to report an otherworldly event.

Poveglia Island, plague victims - Italy

a photo of Poveglia Island, Italy

Poveglia Island, Italy

Mirco Toniolo/ROPI via ZUMA Press


Located off the coast of Venice and Lido, Poveglia sadly reunites all the classical elements of a horror movie: plagues, mass burial ground and mental institute (from the 1920's).

During the bubonic plague and other subsequent pandemics, the island served as a quarantine station for the sick and anyone showing any signs of what could be Black Death contamination. Some 160,000 victims are thought to have died there and the seven acres of land became a mass burial ground so full that it is said that human ash makes up more than 50% of Poveglia's soil.

In 1922 a retirement home for the elderly — used as a clandestine mental institution— opened on the island and with it a fair amount of rumors involving torture of patients. The hospital and consequently the whole island was closed in 1968, leaving all the dead trapped off-land.

Poveglia's terrifying past earned it the nickname of 'Island of Ghosts'. Despite being strictly off-limits to visitors, the site has been attracting paranormal activity hunters looking for the apparition of lost and angry souls. The island would be so evil that some locals say that when an evil person dies, he wakes up in Poveglia, another kind of hell.

Keep up with the world. Break out of the bubble.
Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS
MOST READ