Global Highlights 06/05/2020

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1. Australia and NZ could form a trans-Tasman bubble

On Tuesday, New Zealand Prime Minister JacindaArdern joined Australia’s national cabinet meeting to discuss whether Australia and New Zealand could reopen international borders between the two countries, forming a “trans-Tasman bubble”. Such an arrangement not only provide a boost to tourism industries hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, it also provide families spread across the Tasman a chance to reconnect before wider travel bans are lifted.

This is possible as both Australia and New Zealand appear to have controlled their COVID-19 outbreaks, with no new cases reported in New Zealand on Monday and consistently low new case numbers in Australia.

2. Washington warns Beijing will face serious consequences if it violates trade agreement

In an interview with Fox News on Monday, US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said that if the Beijing authorities fail to implement the Sino-US trade agreement, the consequences will be very serious.

Earlier, President Trump also warned that if the CCP does not fulfill its commitment to purchase American products, the United States will resume the tariffs that has agreed to reduce. Trump said: “The Chinese side must purchase American goods in accordance with the agreement. If not, the United States will terminate the agreement. It’s that simple.”

China and the United States signed the first-phase trade agreement on 15thJanuary  this year. China agreed to increase the purchase of US products and services worth US $ 200 billion on the basis of the previous two years.

In his interview, Trump also mentioned that the CCP virus epidemic has caused great harm to the United States and the world. Beijing is said to prevent people from entering China, but it does not prevent people from going abroad. Trump said the US government will provide a strong report to explain the origin and spread of the virus.

Reuters also reported last Friday that Washington is considering a series of sanctions against Beijing, including a new round of tariff and non-tariff restrictions, as well as the lifting of the Chinese Communist government ’s sovereign immunity to facilitate the US government and citizens to file a lawsuit against Beijing for damages.

3. Four more U.S. military B-1 bombers deploy Guam

Less than a month after the U.S. military announced the end of the continuous deployment in Guam, the United States Pacific Air Force (PACAF) sent four more B-1B strategic bombers back to Anderson Air Force Base in Guam, this be considered as starting its military training and its strategic deterrence missionin the Indo-Pacific region.

The US military saidthe aim of the bomber contingent suddenly redeployedis to demonstrate the US military can operate at “unpredictability” at different parts of the world.

4. Studies have found that microorganisms can survive in pure hydrogen environment may help discover alien life

Laboratory studies conducted by astronomers and planetary scientists Sara Seager of MIT and her team have found that microorganisms like E. coli and yeast can survive and reproduce in a pure hydrogen environment, which means there may be life on planets that ignored by human previously, and humans may soon discover these alien creatures on these planetsbased on these signs.

According to the Daily Mail report, Professor Seager state in an article published in the journal Nature Astronomy, in a laboratory environment, microorganisms such as E. coli and yeast can survives in an extremely harsh environment, and will reproduce at a speed about 300 times slower than in the best state; at the same time, the warming effect of the hydrogen surrounding these planets also increases the possibility of life on these planets.

She also said that microorganisms such as E. coli and yeast can also release living substances that humans can easily recognize, such as nitrous oxide, ammonium sulphide and other chemicals. It can be used to judge the existence of life on these planets.

5. Uzbekistan investigate Saldoba  reservoir dam break

Uzbekistan authorities launched an investigation into the official negligence and construction of the Saldoba Dam break accident on the 3rd of May.

The Sardoba Dam broke down has destroyed farmland and inundating hundreds of houses, injuring at least 56 people in eastern Uzbekistan. Uzbek authorities evacuated some 70,000 people in 22 villages in the Syr Darya. Kazakh President Tokayev issued a statement on the 3rd, saying that 10 Kazakh villages near the Uzbek border also suffered a severe impact, and 22,000 people were forced to evacuate.

The Saldoba Reservoir was built in 2010 by Mirziyoev, who was then Prime Minister and now President of Uzbekistan. At that time, the Uzbek government signed a 23 million US dollar contract with the Chinese Communist government to start construction of a hydroelectric power plant on the dam in 2010, which was completed in 2017. But just three years after the completion of the dam, such a serious dam break occurred.

By Harvey / Frances Lee

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