Showing posts with label World. Show all posts
Showing posts with label World. Show all posts
18 March 2021

TikTok Star Selling the clip as an NFT - and opening bid is set at half a million


  • Last September, Nathan Apodaca shared a short video to TikTok that showed him skateboarding down a street as Fleetwood Mac's song Dreams played
  • The video went viral and garnered a whopping 12 million 'likes'
  • TikTok described the video as ''a resonant moment across pop culture'
  • Now, Apodaca is selling the video as an non-fungible token (NFT), with a starting bid of $500,000 
  • Non-fungible tokens (known as NFTs) are digital assets encrypted with their creator's signature to prove their authenticity 
  • NFTs have exploded in popularity amid the pandemic, as many people seek to invest in digital artifacts
  • Earlier this month, an NFT digital artwork sold for a staggering $69 million through Christie's auction house

TikTok star Nathan Apodaca says he is selling one of his viral video clips as a non-fungible token (NFT) - and he expects bidding to start at $500,000. 

An NFT is a unique digital asset encrypted with the creator's signature, which authenticates it as their original work. NFTs created by famous artists and musicians have become coveted collector's items and have enjoyed an explosion in popularity in recent months. 

Apodaca - who is better known by his TikTok name of 'Doggface' - announced that he was cashing in on the craze during an interview with TMZ on Wednesday. 

The viral sensation boasts a whopping 6.6 million TikTok followers, and one of his most famous videos on the social media site is a 23-second clip which shows him skateboarding down a street to Fleetwood Mac's iconic song, Dreams. 

The video garnered more than 12 million likes when it was posted in September last year, with TikTok even releasing a press release about the clip, calling it as 'a resonant moment across pop culture'.

Idaho-based Apodaca, 38, created a new generation of Fleetwood Mac fans by exposing young TikTok users to the 70s supergroup. 

His viral video tripled sales of the song, and caused streams on Spotify to spike by 127 percent.  

Now, Apodaca himself is hoping to make some money off the back of his big clip - and is auctioning it off as an NFT. 

TikTok star Nathan Apodaca says he is selling one of his viral video clips as a non-fungible token (NFT) - and he expects bidding to start at $500,000

TikTok star Nathan Apodaca says he is selling one of his viral video clips as a non-fungible token (NFT) - and he expects bidding to start at $500,000

What are NFTs?  

What is a NFT?

A Non-Fungible Token (NFT) is a unique digital token encrypted with an artist's signature and which verifies its ownership and authenticity and is permanently attached to the piece.

What do they look like?

Most NFTs include some kind digital artwork, such as photos, videos, GIFs, and music. Theoretically, anything digital could be turned into a NFT.  

Where do you buy them?

At the moment, NFTs are most commonly sold in so-called 'drops', timed online sales by blockchain-backed marketplaces like Nifty Gateway, Opensea and Rarible.

Why would I want to own one? 

There's an array of reasons why someone may want to buy a NFT. For some, the reason may be emotional value, because NFTs are seen as collectors items. For others, they are seen as an investment opportunity similar to cryptocurrencies, because the value could increase.  

When were NFTs created? 

Writer and podcaster Andrew Steinwold traced the origins of NFTs back to 2012, with the creation of the Colored Coins cryptocurrency. But NFTs didn't move into the mainstream until five years later, when the blockchain game CryptoKitties began selling virtual cats in 2017.  

However, the viral video sensation told TMZ that the clip will come without the Fleetwood Mac music included, as he does not the rights to that iconic track. 

Bidding is set to start Friday - with the opening bid starting at half a million dollars. 

While some may be surprised that tech aficionados may splash six figures on a digital asset, NFTs can sell for astonishing sums.  

 NFTs are similar to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin in that they live on blockchain networks - a decentralized, distributed ledger that records transactions of digital assets.

NFTs have boomed in popularity amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as many people stay home and spend more time on their computers.

Art collector Pablo Rodriguez-Fraile - who has been selling of NFTs - explained their popularity in a recent interview with Business Insider. 

He says blockchain technology allows the items to be publicly authenticated as rare or one-of-a-kind, unlike other online items which can be endlessly reproduced.

A fan of Apodaca's viral clip, for instance, might thus be thrilled to declare ownership of the popular video which will come encrypted with the creator's signature to prove its authenticity. 

'You can go in the Louvre and take a picture of the Mona Lisa and you can have it there, but it doesn't have any value because it doesn't have the provenance or the history of the work,' said art collector Pablo Rodriguez-Fraile, who recently sold a 10-second video for $6.6million.  

'The reality here is that this [NFTs] is very, very valuable because of who is behind it.' 

OpenSea, another marketplace for NFTs, saw monthly sales volume grow to $86.3million in February, as of Friday, from $8million in January. 

Monthly sales were at $1.5million a year ago, the firm said, pointing to blockchain data.  

'If you spend 10 hours a day on the computer, or eight hours a day in the digital realm, then art in the digital realm makes tonnes of sense - because it is the world,' said OpenSea's co-founder Alex Atallah.

Apodaca - who is better known by his TikTok name of 'Doggface' - announced that he was cashing in on the NFT craze during an interview with TMZ on Wednesday.

Apodaca - who is better known by his TikTok name of 'Doggface' - announced that he was cashing in on the NFT craze during an interview with TMZ on Wednesday.

Earlier this month, musician Grimes made nearly $6 million in just 20 minutes by selling her digital artworks as NFTs. 

The 32-year-old musician sold 10 items from a collection called WarNymph that included dramatic illustrations of winged baby goddesses battling in apocalyptic skies. 

Auction house Christie's recently launched its first-ever sale of digital art - a collage of 5,000 pictures which exist solely as an NFT.

The collage - created by a digital artist named Beeple - sold for a staggering $69 million. 

Earlier this month, Grimes made nearly $6 million in just 20 minutes by selling her digital artworks as NFTs

Earlier this month, Grimes made nearly $6 million in just 20 minutes by selling her digital artworks as NFTs 

Auction house Christie's recently launched its first-ever sale of digital art - a collage of 5,000 pictures which exist solely as an NFT. The collage - created by a digital artist named Beeple - sold for a staggering $69 million

Auction house Christie's recently launched its first-ever sale of digital art - a collage of 5,000 pictures which exist solely as an NFT. The collage - created by a digital artist named Beeple - sold for a staggering $69 million

'We are in a very unknown territory. In the first 10 minutes of bidding we had more than a hundred bids from 21 bidders and we were at a million dollars,' said Noah Davis, a specialist in post-war and contemporary art at Christie's. 

At the time the auction was announced, Christie's - which was was founded in 1766- said it would accept payment in the digital coin Ether as well as traditional money.

'I think that this moment was inevitable and whenever institutions of any kind try to resist inevitability, it does not work out very well,' Davis said of accepting crypto payment. 'And so the best thing you can do is embrace the terrifying.'

Even Elon Musk appeared eager to cash in on the NFT trend earlier this week. 

He claimed he was willing to sell one of his tweets as an NFT, which sparked a furious bidding war on Valuables - a social media network built on blockchain.

Bids reached a staggering $1.1 million within four hours before Musk announced he was rescinding his offer to sell his tweet. 

'Actually, doesn't feel quite right selling this. Will pass,' he wrote.

Denmark will limit the number of 'non-Western' residents in neighbourhoods to 30% to 'reduce the risk of religious and cultural parallel societies'


  • The Social Democratic government made the announcement on Wednesday
  • Each neighbourhood will be limited to a maximum of 30 percent within 10 years if the legislation passes, which it is expected to, after being discussed by parties
  • Data shows 11 percent of Denmark's 5.8 million inhabitants are of foreign origin 
  • Of this group, 58 percent are from a country considered 'non-Western'
  • Denmark has for years had one of Europe's most restrictive immigration policies 

Denmark will limit the number of 'non-Western' residents in neighbourhoods to up to 30 percent to 'reduce the risk of religious and cultural parallel societies'. 

The Social Democratic government made the announcement on Wednesday, and scrapped the controversial term 'ghetto' in its proposed legislation when referring to the country's 'disadvantaged neighbourhoods'.

In the bill - a review of existing legislation on combating parallel societies - the interior ministry proposed that the share of residents of 'non-Western' origin in each neighbourhood be limited to a maximum of 30 percent within 10 years.

Denmark has for years had one of Europe's most restrictive immigration policies, which Social Democratic Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has continued since coming to power in June 2019 amid growing opposition from the right.

Denmark has for years had one of Europe's most restrictive immigration policies, which Social Democratic Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen (pictured on March 9) has continued since coming to power in June 2019

Denmark has for years had one of Europe's most restrictive immigration policies, which Social Democratic Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen (pictured on March 9) has continued since coming to power in June 2019

According to Interior Minister Kaare Dybvad Bek, too many non-Western foreigners in one area 'increases the risk of an emergence of religious and cultural parallel societies,' he said in a statement.

He said however that the term 'ghetto', used to designate disadvantaged neighbourhoods, would be removed from the new legislation.

'The term ghetto is misleading... I think it contributes to eclipsing the large amount of work that needs doing in these neighbourhoods,' he said.

Until now, the term was used legally to designate any neighbourhood of more than 1,000 people where more than half were of 'non-Western' origin, and which met at least two of four criteria.

The four criteria are: more than 40 percent of residents are unemployed; more than 60 percent of 39-50 year-olds do not have an upper secondary education; crime rates three times higher than the national average; residents have a gross income 55 percent lower than the regional average.

Fifteen Danish neighbourhoods currently fall into this category, and 25 others are considered 'at risk'. The list is updated each December.

In these neighbourhoods, misdemeanours carry double the legal penalties in place elsewhere, and daycare is mandatory for all children over the age of one or family allowances are withdrawn.

The existing legislation also calls for council homes in these areas to be reduced to 40 percent of available housing by 2030.

The bill will be discussed by Danish political parties and is expected to pass, though no date has been set for the vote.

According to Statistics Denmark, 11 percent of Denmark's 5.8 million inhabitants are of foreign origin, of whom 58 percent are from a country considered 'non-Western'. 

Earlier this month, Denmark became the first European nation to tell Syrian migrants they must return to their home country, saying it is now safe for them there.

Pictured: Migrants, mainly from Syria and Iraq, walk at the E45 freeway from Padborg, on the Danish-German border, heading north to try to get to Sweden on September 9, 2015 (file photo). Millions of migrants fled the middle east into Europe after conflict broke out in Syria

Pictured: Migrants, mainly from Syria and Iraq, walk at the E45 freeway from Padborg, on the Danish-German border, heading north to try to get to Sweden on September 9, 2015 (file photo). Millions of migrants fled the middle east into Europe after conflict broke out in Syria

The Scandinavian nation stripped 94 Syrian refugees of their residency permits after it determined Damascus and the surrounding area as being safe.

Migrants will be sent to deportation camps, but will not be forced to leave. But rights groups say the government is trying to give migrants no other option than to return to Syria on their own accord.

Mattias Tesfaye, Denmark's immigration minister, said last month that the country had been 'open and honest from the start' with refugees coming from Syria.

'We have made it clear to the Syrian refugees that their residence permit is temporary. It can be withdrawn if protection is no longer needed,' he said, according to The Daily Telegraph

His comments came as Denmark extended the parts on Syria considered safe for people to return, to include the southern Rif Dimashq Governorate. 

'We must give people protection for as long as it is needed. But when conditions in the home country improve, a former refugee should return home and re-establish a life there,' he said. 

Denmark's ruling centre-Left Social Democratic Party has taken a fierce anti-immigration stance in an effort to fend off challenges from parties on the Right.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has promised to target 'zero' asylum seekers applying for residence in the country.

17 March 2021

Alaska Republican Party Censures Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Vows To Primary Her


The Alaska Republican Party voted to censure Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and vowed to issue a primary challenge to her in 2022—coming after she voted to convict former President Donald Trump during February’s impeachment trial.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) arrives before the fifth day of the Senate Impeachment trials for former President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Feb. 13, 2021. (Stefani Reynolds - Pool/Getty Images)

The state Republican Party said (pdf) it passed a resolution to censure—another term for a strong condemnation—Murkowski not only for her vote to convict Trump last month, but because she voted in favor of Democratic-led initiatives such as not placing limits on abortions, against the GOP-led repeal of Obamacare, and voted in favor of President Joe Biden’s pick for Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, among others.

The aforementioned votes, the state Republican Party said, were “in conflict with the Alaska Republican Party platform.”

The Alaska Republican Party said it will now “recruit a Republican primary challenger to oppose and prohibit Senator Murkowski from being a candidate in any Republican primary to the extent legally permissible.”

According to the GOP’s resolution, Murkowski also voted “present” rather than in support of the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and “repeatedly spoken critically of President Trump throughout his term in office.”

NRSC chair Sen. Rick Scott (R-Florida) has attempted to quell in-party fighting and said his committee will support incumbent senators for reelection in the 2022 midterms. That goes against what Trump proclaimed in his speech to conservative activists in Florida last month, where he promised to primary Murkowski, the six other Republican senators who convicted him, and all of the House members who voted with Democrats to impeach him.

Last week, Trump issued a statement saying he would pledge to campaign against her next year.

She represents her state badly and her country even worse. I do not know where other people will be next year, but I know where I will be—in Alaska campaigning against a disloyal and very bad senator,” the former president said.

The Epoch Times has contacted Murkowski’s office for comment.

In February, the Alaska senator said she would “vote again” to convict Trump if she were asked to do so.

“If the party is to censure me because they felt that I needed to support the party, they can make that statement, but I will make the statement again that my obligation is to support the Constitution that I have pledged to uphold, and I will do that, even if it means I have to oppose the direction of my state party,” Murkowski said, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

Murkowski hasn’t said whether she would seek another term in office. Murkowski won her reelection with 44 percent of the vote in 2016 against Libertarian candidate Joe Miller, who netted 29 percent.

Other than Murkowski, Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) have been censured by Republicans in their home states following the impeachment vote. The Utah GOP said it will not censure Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), while Maine’s Republican Party has yet to meet on how to handle Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine). Both Collins and Romney also voted to convict.

*  *  *

It seems Murkowski may pay the price for her loyalty to the Democrats...

15 March 2021

39 Reported Killed in Myanmar as Chinese Factories Burn forces killed at least 22 anti-coup protesters in the poor, industrial Hlaingthaya suburb of Myanmar’s main city on Sunday after Chinese-financed factories were set ablaze there, an advocacy group said.

A further 16 protesters were killed in other places, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) said, as well as one policeman, making it the bloodiest day since the Feb. 1 coup against elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Chinese embassy said many Chinese staff were injured and trapped in arson attacks by unidentified assailants on garment factories in Hlaingthaya and that it had called on Myanmar to protect Chinese property and citizens. China is viewed as being supportive of the military junta that has taken power.

As plumes of smoke rose from the industrial area, security forces opened fire on protesters in the suburb that is home to migrants from across the country, local media said.

“It was horrible. People were shot before my eyes. It will never leave my memory,” said one photojournalist on the scene who did not want to be named.

Martial law was imposed in Hlaingthaya and another district of Yangon, Myanmar’s commercial hub and former capital, state media announced.

Army-run Myawadday television said security forces acted after four garment factories and a fertiliser plant were set ablaze and about 2,000 people had stopped fire engines from reaching them.

A junta spokesman did not answer calls requesting comment.

Doctor Sasa, a representative of elected lawmakers from the assembly that was ousted by the army, voiced solidarity with the people of Hlaingthaya.

“The perpetrators, attackers, enemies of the people of Myanmar, the evil SAC (State Administrative Council) will be held accountable for every drop of blood that shed,” he said in a message.

The latest deaths would bring the toll from the protests to 126, the AAPP said. It said more than 2,150 people had been detained by Saturday. More than 300 have since been released.


China’s embassy described the situation as “very severe” after the attacks on the Chinese-financed factories. It did not make a statement about the killings.

“China urges Myanmar to take further effective measures to stop all acts of violence, punish the perpetrators in accordance with the law and ensure the safety of life and property of Chinese companies and personnel in Myanmar,” its statement said.

No group claimed responsibility for burning the factories.

The embassy’s Facebook page was bombarded with negative comments in Myanmar language and more than half the reactions - over 29,000 - used the laughing-face emoji.

Anti-Chinese sentiment has risen since the coup that plunged Myanmar into turmoil, with opponents of the army takeover noting Beijing’s muted criticism compared to Western condemnation.

Only two factories had been burnt for now, protest leader Ei Thinzar Maung posted on Facebook.

“If you want to do business in Myanmar stably, then respect Myanmar people,” she said. “Fighting Hlaingthaya, we are proud of you!!”

The United Nations Special Envoy for Myanmar condemned what she termed the “ongoing brutality”.

Christine Schraner Burgener said she had “personally heard from contacts in Myanmar heartbreaking accounts of killings, mistreatment of demonstrators and torture of prisoners over the weekend”.

The repression undermined the prospects for peace and stability, she said, appealing to the international community support the people of Myanmar and their democratic aspirations.

Britain, Myanmar’s former colonial ruler, said it was appalled by the security forces’ use of deadly force against innocent people in Hlaingthaya and elsewhere.

“We call for an immediate cessation of this violence and for the military regime to hand back power to those democratically elected by the people of Myanmar,” British Ambassador Dan Chugg said.

The army said it took power after its accusations of fraud in a Nov. 8 election won by Suu Kyi’s party were rejected by the electoral commission. It has promised to hold a new election, but has not set a date.

Suu Kyi has been detained since the coup and is due to return to court on Monday. She faces at least four charges, including the illegal use of walkie-talkie radios and infringing coronavirus protocols.

Away from Hlaingthaya, at least 16 deaths were reported elsewhere in Myanmar, including in the second city of Mandalay and in Bago, where state television MRTV said a police officer had died of a chest wound after a confrontation with protesters.

He is the second policeman reported dead in the protests.

The violence took place a day after Mahn Win Khaing Than, who is on the run along with most senior officials from the Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy Party, said the civilian government would give people the legal right to defend themselves. It announced a law to that effect on Sunday.

11 March 2021

'Shoot till they are dead': Some Myanmar police say they fled to India after refusing orders,f_auto/image/14341392/16x9/991/557/fe51629094f71ac2e3c6a8e7881b772/UV/a-trickle-of-people-have-begun-escaping-the-turmoil-in-myanmar-into-india-some-of-them-police-refusing-to-take-part-in-the-violent-crackdown-1614932746049-2.jpgA trickle of people have begun escaping the turmoil in Myanmar into India, some of them police refusing to take part in the violent crackdown. (Photo: AFP/STR

CHAMPHAI, India: When Tha Peng was ordered to shoot at protesters with his submachine gun to disperse them in the Myanmar town of Khampat on Feb 27, the police lance corporal said he refused.

"The next day, an officer called to ask me if I will shoot," he said. The 27-year-old refused again, and then resigned from the force.

On Mar 1, he said he left his home and family behind in Khampat and travelled for three days, mostly at night to avoid detection, before crossing into India's northeastern Mizoram state.

"I had no choice," Tha Peng told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday (Mar 9), speaking via a translator. He gave only part of his name to protect his identity. Reuters saw his police and national ID cards which confirmed the name.

Tha Peng said he and six colleagues all disobeyed the Feb 27 order from a superior officer, whom he did not name.

Reuters could not independently verify his or other accounts gathered near the Myanmar-India border.

The description of events was similar to that given to police in Mizoram on Mar 1 by another Myanmar police lance corporal and three constables who crossed into India, according to a classified internal police document seen by Reuters.

The document was written by Mizoram police officials and gives biographical details of the four individuals and their account of why they fled. It was not addressed to specific people.

Riot police officers hold down a protester as they disperse protesters in Tharkata Township on the outskirts of Yangon, Myanmar, Mar 6, 2021. (AP Photo)

"As the civil disobedience movement is gaining momentum and protest(s) held by anti-coup protesters at different places we are instructed to shoot at the protesters," they said in a joint statement to Mizoram police.

"In such a scenario, we don't have the guts to shoot at our own people who are peaceful demonstrators," they said.

Myanmar's military junta, which staged a coup on Feb 1 and deposed the country's civilian government, did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The junta has said it is acting with utmost restraint in handling what it has described as demonstrations by "riotous protesters" whom it accuses of attacking police and harming national security and stability.

Tha Peng's is among the first cases reported by the media of police fleeing Myanmar after disobeying orders from the military junta's security forces.

Daily protests against the coup are being staged across the country and security forces have cracked down. More than 60 protesters have been killed and more than 1,800 detained, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, an advocacy group, has said.

Reuters has not been able to confirm the figures independently.

Among the detainees is Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who led the civilian government.

Armed police stand guard on a major street to preven anti-coup demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar, Mar 5, 2021. (Photo: AP)


Around 100 people from Myanmar, mostly policemen and their families, have crossed over a porous border into India since the protests began, according to a senior Indian official.

Several have taken shelter in Mizoram's Champhai district bordering Myanmar, where Reuters interviewed three Myanmar nationals who said they had served with the police.

As well as his ID cards, Tha Peng showed an undated photograph of him wearing a Myanmar police uniform. He said he joined the force nine years ago.

Tha Peng said that, according to police rules, protesters should either be stopped by rubber bullets or shot below the knees. Reuters could not verify police policies.

But he was given orders by his superiors to "shoot till they are dead", he added.

Protesters hold out bullet cartridges and ammunition for slingshots after security forces fired on demonstrators at a rally against the military coup in Mandalay on Feb 20, 2021. (Photo: AFP)

Ngun Hlei, who said he was posted as a police constable in the city of Mandalay, said he had also received orders to shoot. He did not give a date, nor specify whether the order was to shoot to kill. He did not give details of any casualties.

The 23-year-old also gave only a part of his full name and carried his national ID card.

Tha Peng and Ngun Hlei said they believed police were acting under orders from Myanmar's military, known as the Tatmadaw. They did not provide evidence.

The other four Myanmar police agreed, according to the classified police document.

"The military pressured the police force who are mostly constables to confront the people," they said.

Anti-coup demonstrators are detained by police officers during a protest against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar, Feb 26, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Stringer)

Ngun Hlei said he was reprimanded for disobeying orders and transferred. He sought help from pro-democracy activists online and found his way by road to Mizoram's Vaphai village on Mar 6.

The journey to India cost him around 200,000 Myanmar kyat (US$143), Ngun Hlei said.

Although guarded by Indian paramilitary forces, the India-Myanmar border has a "free movement regime", which allows people to venture a few miles into Indian territory without requiring travel permits.


Twenty-four-year-old Dal said she had worked as a constable with Myanmar police in the mountainside town of Falam in northwestern Myanmar. Reuters saw a photograph of her police ID and verified the name.

Her job was mostly administrative, including making lists of people detained by the police. But as protests swelled in the wake of the coup, she said she was instructed to try to catch female protesters - an order she refused.

Fearing imprisonment for siding with the protesters and their civil disobedience movement, she said she decided to flee Myanmar.

All three said that there was substantial support for the protesters within Myanmar's police force.

Police stand after they seized Sanchaung district in search of anti-coup demonstrators in Yangon, Myanmar, on Mar 8, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Stringer)

"Inside the police station, 90 per cent support the protesters but there is no leader to unite them," said Tha Peng, who left behind his wife and two young daughters, one six-months-old.

Like some others who have crossed in recent days, the three are scattered around Champhai, supported by a network of local activists.

Saw Htun Win, deputy commissioner of Myanmar's Falam district last week wrote to Champhai's top government official, Deputy Commissioner Maria C T Zuali, asking for eight policemen who had entered India to be returned to them "in order to uphold friendly relations between the two neighbour countries".

Zuali confirmed she had received the letter, a copy of which has been seen by Reuters.

Zoramthanga, Mizoram's chief minister, told Reuters that his administration would provide temporary food and shelter to those fleeing Myanmar, but a decision on repatriations was pending with India's federal government.

Tha Peng said that although he missed his family he feared returning to Myanmar.

"I don't want to go back," he said, sitting in a first-floor room overlooking rolling green hills that stretch into Myanmar.

Source: Reuters/dv

French nuclear tests infected 'almost entire Polynesian population': Report

PARIS (AFP) - France concealed the levels of radioactivity that French Polynesia was exposed to during French nuclear tests in the Pacific from 1966-1996, with almost the "entire population" of the overseas territory infected, a report said on Tuesday (March 9).

Online investigation site Disclose said it had over two years analysed some 2,000 pages of French military documents declassified in 2013 by the defence ministry concerning nuclear tests on the archipelago.

It worked alongside the British modelling and documentation firm Interprt as well as the Science and global security programme of the University of Princeton in the United States, it said.

For the Centaur test carried out in July 1974, "according to our calculations, based on a scientific reassessment of the doses received, approximately 110,000 people were infected, almost the entire Polynesian population at the time," it said.

Using the modelling of toxic clouds to back up the findings, Disclose said it also showed how "French authorities have concealed the true impact of nuclear testing on the health of Polynesians for more than 50 years".

It said the investigation was able to reassess the thyroid exposure to radioactive doses of the inhabitants of the Gambier Islands, Tureia and Tahiti during the six nuclear tests considered to be the most contaminating in the history of French tests in the Pacific.

"Our estimates are between two and 10 times higher than those made by the French Atomic Energy Commission in 2006," Disclose said.

Disclose said its interpretation of existing data was different to that of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA).

For example, for an aerial nuclear test called Aldebaran carried out in 1966 on the Mururoa atoll, CEA scientists "considered that the local population only drank riverwater but not rainwater".

However, many inhabitants of this archipelago drank rainwater, according to the investigation.

It added the examination of data also showed that CEA estimates of radioactive soil deposits were under-estimated by more than 40 percent.

This CEA study served as the reference for the Compensation Committee for Victims of Nuclear Tests (CIVEN) for studying the files of victims of nuclear tests.

Up until now only 63 Polynesian civilians, excluding soldiers and contractors, have received compensation, according to the investigative media.

French soldiers in the  Mururoa atoll of French Polynesia, where French forces conducted nuclear weapon tests.
French soldiers in the Mururoa atoll of French Polynesia, where French forces conducted nuclear weapon tests.PHOTO: AFP
07 March 2021

Mountain Where Soil Is ‘90% Gold’ Discovered In Democratic Republic Of The Congo

By Emily Brown
Mountain Where Soil Is '90% Gold' Discovered In Democratic Republic Of The CongoAhmadAlgohbary/Twitter

Authorities have had to ban mining in a village in the Democratic Republic of the Congo after a mountain made up of gold-rich soil was discovered. 

Dozens of people flooded to the mountain in Luhihi, in Congo’s South Kivu province, following the discovery of the gold-rich ore in late February, with videos from the scene showing people digging at the ground with shovels and using their hands to try and extract the precious material from the ground.

Venant Burume Muhigirwa, South Kivu Mines Minister, said that the influx of diggers had put pressure on the small village where the mountain is located, around 50km (30 miles) from the provincial capital, Bukavu.

The soil in the mountain is thought to be made up of ‘60% to 90%’ of gold, according to BBC associate Tori Pesin.

Subsistence mining, as those in the video could be seen doing, involves extracting minerals with rudimentary tools and is common across Democratic Republic of Congo, Reuters reports.

‘Artisanal’ gold mining is said to be especially widespread in the gold-producing east and northeast of the country, but a decree released on Monday, March 1, required that all miners, traders and members of Congo’s armed forces (FARDC) leave the mine sites in and around Luhihi.

Gold mountain discovered in DRC@AhmadAlgohbary/Twitter

Of the artisanal miners that work in the northeast, 90% work in the gold sector, and 64% of the artisanal gold mines in the region have armed groups present on site.

The order, confirmed by Muhigirwa, also said that all mining activities were suspended until further notice, and that the presence of FARDC at the mine sites, which is prohibited under Congo’s mining code, contributed to the ‘disorder’ at Luhihi.

The suspension aims to give authorities time to identify the miners working at the mountain and ensure they are properly registered with artisanal mining regulators.

The decree noted that order must be re-established in mining activities in Luhihi ‘not only to protect lives but also to ensure the traceability of the gold produced in line with Congolese law.’

Congo is full of natural riches, including oil, timber, diamonds and minerals, but the ease with which these materials can be found drives greed and societal grievances, according to the website Congo’s Gold.

Along with tin, tungsten and tantalum, gold is one of the resources known as ‘conflict materials’, with research suggesting that armed groups mine, or force others to mine, the material before taxing, smuggling and trading the gold.

The site claims that the proceeds from the material are then used to buy weapons or pay for fighters’ salaries.

Cape Clean - India's Top Facade and Window Cleaning Company
05 March 2021

19 Myanmar Cops Take Shelter in Mizoram

  • ‘They got instructions from the military rule, which they cannot obey so they have run away,’ Indian officer said
  • Dozens of people have been killed in Myanmar since February 1 coup as security forces have responded with increasing force

At least 19 Myanmar police have crossed into India to escape taking orders from a
military junta that is trying to suppress protests against last month’s coup, an Indian police official said on Thursday, adding that more were expected.

The men have crossed into Champhai and Serchhip, two districts in the northeastern state of Mizoram that share a porous border with Myanmar, the official said, declining to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue.

All the men, who are lower-ranking policemen, were unarmed, the official said. “We are expecting more to come,” he said, citing intelligence reports.

There have been several instances recounted on social media of police joining the civil disobedience movement and protests against the junta, with some arrested, but this is the first reported case of police fleeing Myanmar.

The official said that the policemen crossed over fearing persecution for disobeying orders and would be temporarily housed by local Indian authorities.

“They didn’t want to take orders against the civil disobedience movement,” he said, referring to the agitation in Myanmar calling for the reversal of the February 1 coup and the release of elected leader
Aung San Suu Kyi

Of the 19, three Myanmar policemen came across the border near the town of North Vanlaiphai in Serchhip district on Wednesday afternoon and authorities there were assessing their health, another police official said.

“What they said is they got instructions from the military rulers which they cannot obey, so they have run away,” Serchhip police superintendent Stephen Lalrinawma said. “They are seeking refuge because of the military rule in Myanmar.”

India shares a 1,600km land border with Myanmar, where more than 50 people have been killed during protests against the coup.

The junta overthrew a democratically elected government, and detained its leader, Suu Kyi, having disputed her party’s landslide victory in November.

Demonstrators hold banners calling to release Myanmar's ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi in Naypyidaw. Photo: EPA
Demonstrators hold banners calling to release Myanmar's ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi in Naypyidaw. Photo: EPA

India is already home to thousands of refugees from Myanmar, including ethnic Chin people and Rohingya who fled the southeast Asian country during previous bouts of violence.

A Chin community leader in New Delhi said police have rarely fled to India.

“This is something unusual,” said James Fanai, president of the India-based Chin Refugee Committee. “Because in the past, police and military just follow orders.”

Myanmar’s ruling military council has stressed the importance of police and soldiers doing their duty.

Cape Clean - India's Top Facade and Window Cleaning Company
04 March 2021

Volcano near Reykjavík, Iceland about to erupt

It has just been confirmed that there is volcanic unrest on the Reykjanes peninsula, according to Kristín Jónsdóttir, division head for natural disaster monitoring at the Met Office.

Scientists are still analysing the data, but the measurements indicate the pulses of instability beneath the surface usually expected just before a volcanic eruption.

"That is not to say that we are seing signs that an eruption has started. But it does appear to be the sort of instability pulses we'd expect in the run up to an eruption," Kristín says.

A statement from the Met Office says the pulses began at 14.20.

"It is being recorded on most seismometers and is located south of Keilir, by Litla Hrútar. Such readings are registered in the run up to a volcanic eruption but there is no confirmation that an eruption has begun. Further analysis is underway."

Myanmar security forces kill at least 34 protesters


Anti-coup protesters run as one of them discharges a fire extinguisher to counter the impact of tear gas fired by riot policemen in Yangon, Myanmar, Wednesday, March 3, 2021. Demonstrators in Myanmar took to the streets again on Wednesday to protest last month's seizure of power by the military. (AP Photo)

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar security forces dramatically escalated their crackdown on protests against last month’s coup, killing at least 34 protesters Wednesday in several cities, according to accounts on social media and local news reports compiled by a data analyst.

That is the highest daily death toll since the Feb. 1 takeover, exceeding the 18 that the U.N. Human Rights Office said were killed on Sunday, and could galvanize the international community, which has responded fitfully so far to the violence. Videos from Wednesday also showed security forces firing slingshots at demonstrators, chasing them down and even brutally beating an ambulance crew.

The toll could even be higher; the Democratic Voice of Burma, an independent television and online news service, tallied 38 deaths.

Demonstrators have regularly flooded the streets of cities across the country since the military seized power and ousted the elected government of leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Their numbers have remained high even as security forces have repeatedly fired tear gas, rubber bullets and live rounds to disperse the crowds, and arrested protesters en masse.


The intensifying standoff is unfortunately familiar in a country with a long history of peaceful resistance to military rule — and brutal crackdowns. The coup reversed years of slow progress toward democracy in the Southeast Asian nation after five decades of military rule.

The Wednesday death toll was compiled by a data analyst who spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared for his safety. He also collected information where he could on the victims’ names, ages, hometowns, and where and how they were killed.

The Associated Press was unable to independently confirm most of the reported deaths, but several square with online postings. The data analyst, who is in Yangon, the country’s biggest city, said he collected the information to honor those who were killed for their heroic resistance.

According to his list, the highest number of deaths were in Yangon, where the total was 18. In the central city of Monywa, which has turned out huge crowds, eight deaths were reported. Three deaths were reported in Mandalay, the country’s second-biggest city, and two in Salin, a town in Magwe region. Mawlamyine, in the country’s southeast, and Myingyan and Kalay, both in central Myanmar, each had a single death.

As part of the crackdown, security forces have also arrested hundreds of people, including journalists. On Saturday, at least eight journalists, including Thein Zaw of The Associated Press, were detained. A video showed he had moved out of the way as police charged down a street at protesters, but then was seized by police officers, who handcuffed him and held him briefly in a chokehold before marching him away.

He has been charged with violating a public safety law that could see him imprisoned for up to three years.

The escalation of the crackdown has led to increased diplomatic efforts to resolve Myanmar’s political crisis — but there appear to be few viable options. It’s not yet clear if Wednesday’s soaring death toll could change the dynamic.

The U.N. Security Council is expected to hold a closed meeting on the situation on Friday, council diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to make the information public before the official announcement. The United Kingdom requested the meeting, they said.

Still, any kind of coordinated action at the United Nations will be difficult since two permanent members of the Security Council, China and Russia, would almost certainly veto it. Some countries have imposed or are considering imposing their own sanctions.

On Wednesday, U.N. special envoy for Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, who supports sanctions, told reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York that she receives some 2,000 messages per day from people inside Myanmar, many “who are really desperate to see action from the international community.”

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, of which Myanmar is a member, held a teleconference meeting of foreign ministers on Tuesday to discuss the crisis.

But there, too, action is unlikely. The regional group of 10 nations has a tradition of non-interference in each other’s internal affairs. A statement by the chair after the meeting merely called for an end to violence and for talks on how to reach a peaceful settlement.

Ignoring that appeal, Myanmar’s security forces on Wednesday continued to attack peaceful protesters.

In addition to the deaths, there have been reports of other violence. In Yangon, a widely circulated video taken from a security camera showed police in the city brutally beating members of an ambulance crew — apparently after they were arrested. Police can be seen kicking the three crew members and thrashing them with rifle butts.

Security forces are believed to single out medical workers for arrest and mistreatment because members of the medical profession launched the country’s civil disobedience movement to resist the junta.

In Mandalay, riot police, backed by soldiers, broke up a rally and chased around 1,000 teachers and students from a street with tear gas as gun shots could be heard.

Video from the AP showed a squad of police firing slingshots in the apparent direction of demonstrators as they dispersed.


Associated Press writer Edith M. Lederer at U.N. Headquarters in New York contributed to this report.

02 March 2021

Defiant Protesters March Despite Crackdown

Suu Kyi in good health as she appears at court hearing via video; US condemns ‘abhorrent violence’

Police fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse hundreds of protesters in the main city of Yangon on Monday
Police fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse hundreds of protesters in the main city of Yangon on Monday

Myanmar’s ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi appeared at a court hearing via video conferencing on Monday as supporters marched in several towns and cities in defiance of a crackdown after the bloodiest day since the February 1 military coup.

Police fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse hundreds of protesters in the main city of Yangon on Monday, witnesses said. They later combed through side streets firing rubber bullets and at least one person was hurt, media reported.

Suu Kyi, aged 75, looked in good health during her appearance before a court in the capital Naypyitaw, one of her lawyers said. Two more charges were added to those filed against her after the coup, she said.

“I saw Amay on the video, she looks healthy,” lawyer Min Min Soe told Reuters, using an affectionate term meaning “mother” to refer to Suu Kyi.

“She asked to meet her lawyer.” The Nobel Peace laureate, who leads the National League for Democracy (NLD), has not been seen in public since her government was ousted and she was detained along with other party leaders.

She was initially charged with illegally importing six walkie-talkie radios. Later, a charge of violating a natural disaster law by breaching coronavirus protocols was added.

On Monday, two more charges were added, one under a section of a colonial-era penal code prohibiting publication of information that may “cause fear or alarm”, and the other under a telecommunications law stipulating licences for equipment, the lawyer said.

The next hearing will be on March 15. Critics of the coup say the charges were trumped up.

Myanmar has been in chaos since the military seized power after alleging fraud in a November election won by the NLD in a landslide, with daily protests getting increasingly violent as police and troops try to stamp them out. On Sunday, the police fired on crowds in several places killing 18 people, the UN human rights office said.

A committee representing lawmakers elected last year said 26 people were killed but Reuters was unable to verify that. “We have to continue the protest no matter what,” Thar Nge said after police firing tear gas forced him and others to abandon a barricade in a Yangon street.

“This is my neighbourhood. It’s a lovely neighbourhood but now we’re hearing gunfire and we don’t feel safe.” The military has not commented on Sunday’s violence and police and military spokesmen did not answer calls.

The state-run Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper warned that “severe action will be inevitably taken” against “anarchic mobs”. Demonstrators marched on Monday in the northwestern town of Kale holding up pictures of Suu Kyi and live video on Facebook showed a crowd in the northeastern town of Lashio, chanting slogans.

The police and soldiers later raided a church in the town and detained 11 people, a church group said in a statement.

The coup brought a halt to Myanmar’s tentative steps towards democracy after nearly 50 years of military rule and has drawn condemnation from western countries and growing concern among its neighbours. Foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), of which Myanmar is a member, will hold a video meeting on Myanmar on Tuesday and “listen to the representative of the Myanmar military authorities”, Singapore’s foreign minister, Vivian Balakrishnan, told parliament. Balakrishnan called for the security forces to desist from the use of lethal force, for Suu Kyi’s release and for talks on solutions and a way back to democratic transition.

US secretary of state Antony Blinken denounced what he called “abhorrent violence” by security forces, while Canada’s foreign minister, Marc Garneau, called the use of lethal force “appalling”. Tom Andrews, a UN special rapporteur, said it was clear the junta’s assault would continue so the international community should ratchet up its response. He proposed a global arms embargo, more sanctions on those behind the coup and on military businesses and a UN Security Council referral to the International Criminal Court.

“We must act,” Andrews said in a statement. The generals have for years shrugged off diplomatic pressure, partly because of the support of China and Russia. A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman urged Myanmar parties to keep in mind “the big picture” of development and stability and exercise restraint.

01 March 2021

At Least 18 Killed In Myanmar's Single Bloodiest Day Of Anti-Coup Protests

Myanmar has witnessed its bloodiest and deadliest day yet since the start of the Feb.1st coup which saw the military arrest the country's democratically elected civilian leadership, citing a "fraudulent election".

Eighteen have been reported killed Sunday in clashes with police and armed troops, which have over the past week increasingly resorted to 'live fire' to disperse 'banned' demonstrations. "Myanmar police fired on protesters around the country on Sunday in the bloodiest day of weeks of demonstrations against a military coup and at least 18 people were killed, the U.N. human rights office said," according to Reuters.

Arrests being made in Yangon, Myanmar. Getty Images

Over the past two weeks anti-coup protests have grown increasingly large and visible despite the large army presence - including armored vehicles and armed troops on city streets - and despite a near month-long communications and internet lockdown of the country.

The United Nations human rights office in a statement condemned the use of lethal force, saying, "Police and military forces have confronted peaceful demonstrations, using lethal force and less-than-lethal force that – according to credible information received by the UN Human Rights Office – has left at least 18 people dead and over 30 wounded."

Rubber bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades have also been used to quell protests, but over the last week social media videos that made it past the junta's attempts to impose a firewall on the country have increasingly appeared to show live ammo being used, with victims suffering gunshot wounds to the chest, head, and legs.

Reuters documented some of the deaths Sunday as follows:

Among at least five killed in Yangon was internet network engineer Nyi Nyi Aung Htet Naing, who a day earlier had posted on Facebook about his concern at the growing crackdown, medics said.

Teacher Tin New Yee died after police swooped to disperse a teachers’ protest with stun grenades, sending the crowd fleeing, her daughter and a fellow teacher said.

The US embassy in the country has also condemned the crackdown, saying in a statement: “We are heartbroken to see the loss of so many lives in Myanmar. People should not face violence for expressing dissent against the military coup. Targeting of civilians is abhorrent."

Already the Biden administration has slapped sanctions on Burmese military leaders believed involved in orchestrating the coup, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken vowing more "firm action" to come against military authorities in recent statements.

25 February 2021

US Army Building World's Most Powerful Laser To Kill Drones


The US Army appears to be developing a laser weapon that is a "million times stronger" than anything ever used before - instead of concentrating a beam of light to destroy a target, the new weapon will fire short pulses, sort of like laser beam weapons from science-fiction movies, according to New Scientist.

The Tactical Ultrashort Pulsed Laser (UPSL) for Army Platforms will be designed to fire pulse-like bursts for a brief 200 femtoseconds or one quadrillionth of a second. The laser, firing bullet-like pulses of light would be enough to vaporize a drone, cruise missile, mortar, and or any other threat in its vicinity. UPSL can also function as an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapon. 

"The sheer amount of intensity in a terawatt pulse laser is able to cause a non-linear effect in the air resulting in a self-focusing filament," according to the Small Business Innovation Research (or SBIR) posting titled Tactical Ultrashort Pulsed Laser for Army Platforms. 

Laser weapons are beneficial when combating enemy drones and missiles. The cost per round depends on the amount of energy available, which is far cheaper than launching costly interceptor missiles. 

A UPSL prototype model could be ready by 2022. Under the Trump administration, funding dramatically increased for laser weapon development. Multiple types of continuous-wave laser weapons have been fielded in the past couple of years. 

We've outlined some of those laser systems that have been fielded, including the high-energy laser (HEL) weapon with various energy output levels measured in kilowatts

The Navy is expected to install the High Energy Laser and Integrated Optical-dazzler (HELIOS) with surveillance sensors aboard an unspecified Arleigh Burke-class Flight IIA destroyer in the early 2020s.

The Air Force has mentioned a roadmap to laser weapons for this decade. It plans to mount lasers on stealth jets. 

Instead of continuous-wave lasers already in deployment among various services, the Army is preparing to test laser, firing bullet-like pulses as early as 2022.

Lasers, hypersonics, fifth-generation fighters, and autonomous war machines are some of the new technologies already entering some modern battlefields. 

Bank of America's equity strategist Haim Israel recently told clients that the next frontier between major superpowers could outer space.

Why Citi’s $500M Mistake Is Really A Design Debt Interest Payment

 Bad user interface design just cost Citi $500M. Three employees using poorly designed software accidentally sent $900 million to one of its client’s creditors instead of $7.8 million — then when creditors refused to return most of the money, a judge ruled in favor of the creditors. 

The judge blamed “human error” in his decision, pointing out that: 

  • The instruction manual for the banking software, Flexcube, explained how to perform this kind of transaction. 
  • Citi uses a “six eyes process” — meaning that three Citi employees reviewed Flexcube’s transfer screen, to approve the transaction. 
  • Flexcube warned that funds would be sent out of the bank, but not the amount. 

However, that explanation misses the bigger picture: If three experienced employees agree on what they expect the software will do, but it does something else, that indicates an interaction design defect that caused the human error. 

Avoiding mistakes is one of the six ways better employee user experience (UX) drives better business results. It’s rarely as dramatic as a single $500 million incident — at most companies, it’s a steady drumbeat of avoidable mistakes that cost time and money and could have been prevented through better UX design. This is a design debt interest payment that almost every business is paying day after day, year after year. 

The Design For Work Opportunity 

Businesses are waking up to the upside opportunity in improving UX design for employees. Already, about half of design teams work on employee-facing software. And based on Forrester’s analysis of the $150 billion-plus design industry, that number is going to grow. 

Citi has many dedicated professionals working on UX for its consumer app and site, both of which are much better designed than that screen in Flexcube, based on Forrester’s UX reviews of apps and sites for banking customers. Citi probably even has a team dedicated to employee-facing software as most large firms do. However, that team is probably overstretched and wishes they’d had the chance to improve this interaction in Flexcube. If you were Citi, wouldn’t you invest in fixing that defect right now? How many other UX issues lurk inside of businesses waiting to cause major or minor mistakes? And how many other companies are in the same boat? Again, this is interest paid on Citi’s design debt — and it’s likely to come due again. 

It’s not just internal teams either — software vendors are being forced to improve UX or face dire consequences. How would you like to be Flexcube right now, knowing that your product caused a customer to lose $500M, and that your competitors are telling all your prospects about it? And consider just how much frustrating software employees interact with every day. Every single one of the vendors of those tools is at risk of being abandoned in favor of a better designed replacement. Just look at commerce suites, for one example among many. 

There have been plenty of major mistakes caused by bad UX before, of course: The tragic accident of the USS John McCain in 2017 that was caused by confusing controls; the Hawaii nuclear missile test warning gone awry in 2018; Three Mile Island’s 1979 meltdown exacerbated by a convoluted control room. And there are minor ones every day that affect us. These issues are everywhere and at every scale. 

Making It Better Requires Effort And Expertise — And Pays Off 

So what’s the first step to improving this situation? Recognizing there’s a problem: Our research has found that most organizations assume employees will use whatever tool they’re asked to, so most companies put minimal effort into design as long as the functionality exists, even if it’s unnecessarily convoluted and obscure. They may have been able to get away with that in the past — but less and less so, now. 

More important, though, is recognizing that UX quality directly affects business results. When UX quality is higher:  Employees try harder and feel invested in their jobs; they’re easier to hire and train quickly; better UX tends to increase market share; digital transformations are more successful because employees adopt required tools and processes; organizations avoid tragic and costly mistakes; and they do better at regulatory compliance.

19 February 2021

Indonesia Moves To Punish Citizens Who Refuse COVID Vaccine

In a uniquely heavy-handed move, the Indonesian government is threatening to punish citizens who refuse to get the COVID-19 vaccine, as the massive island nation, one of the world's most populous, pushes one of the most aggressive vaccination campaigns in the world.

According to Reuters, Indonesia's capital Jakarta is threatening residents with fines of up to 5 million rupiah - about $360 - for anyone refusing a jab, an unusually stiff penalty aimed at guaranteeing compliance with new regulations calling for compulsory vaccinations. In addition to the fines, the government is threatening to withhold social aid.

Deputy Jakarta governor Ahmad Riza Patria said city authorities were merely following rules and such sanctions were a last resort in Jakarta, which accounts for about a quarter of the archipelago nation's more than 1.2 million coronavirus infections.

"If you reject it, there are two things, social aid will not be given, (and a) fine," Riza told reporters.

For those who haven't been following it, Indonesia is fighting one of Asia's largest and most stubborn COVID outbreaks. The country aims to inoculate 181.5MM of its 270MM population within 15 months under a vaccination program that started last month.

New cases have actually inched higher in Indonesia over the past week, while most of the world has seen a continued decline.

Some 34K Indonesians have also died of the virus, and deaths have also ticked higher lately.

Indonesia announced a presidential order earlier this month stipulating anyone who refuses vaccines could be denied social assistance or government services or made to pay a fine. The penalty would be determined by regional health agencies or by local governments.

In a December survey, pollster Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting found that only 37% of 1.2K respondents were willing to be vaccinated, 40% were undecided and 17% would refuse across Indonesia. Though we imagine these new requirements might change that.