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Phuket Media Watch – Russian oil rig sank; Helicopter crashes in Siberia

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Media Watch – Russian oil rig sank; Helicopter crashes in Siberia | The Thaiger
PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

More bodies found after oil rig sinks in southeastern Russia
Phuket Gazette

Nearly a dozen more bodies were found on Monday after an oil rig sank in southeastern Russia on Sunday, local media reported on Tuesday. Dozens more remain missing and are feared to have been killed.

The Kolskaya drilling rig sank in the Sea of Okhotsk, some 3,800 miles northeast of Phuket, Thailand while it was being towed by the ‘Neftegaz 55’ tugboat, which was being led by the Magadan icebreaker from the Kamchatka Peninsula to Sakhalin Island.

According to a spokesman for the rescuers, eleven more bodies were recovered on Monday, raising the confirmed death toll to 16. A total of 14 people were earlier rescued, while 37 others remain missing and are presumed to have drowned.

The port of Murmansk has been identified as the owner of the Arctic sea oil and gas prospecting company, which operates the Kolskaya drilling rig. Investigators believe that safety regulations regarding towing operations may have been violated or ignored even though a severe storm affected the area at the time.

World’s largest helicopter crashes in Russia, killing one
Phuket Gazette

One person was killed on early Tuesday morning when a large helicopter crashed in western Siberia, federal aviation officials said. Several others were injured.

The accident happened at around 08:34 GMT when the Mi-26T helicopter crashed near an oil plant in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous region, which is located in western Siberia. A total of six crew members were on board the aircraft, which was transporting freight.

The Federal Air Transport Agency said the helicopter was preparing to land when it went into an uncontrollable spin and crashed into the ground before it caught fire. The cause of the accident was not immediately clear, officials from the agency said.

A flight engineer, who was identified as Igor Eroshkin, was killed in the accident. Several other people were injured, but they were not believed to be in a life-threatening condition, according to the Nefteyugansk United Air Group, the aircraft’s operator.

The Mi-26 is the world’s largest and most powerful helicopter to have ever gone into production. It is used for both military and civilian purposes and has a capacity to carry up to 95 people.

— Phuket Gazette Editors



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Entertainment

‘Game of Thrones’ finale rates high, fails the landing

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‘Game of Thrones’ finale rates high, fails the landing | The Thaiger

WARNING: GOT Spoiler alerts!!

“This final season has obviously been divisive, and a good deal of the criticism, especially of the penultimate episode, was justified.”

by Brian Lowry

After eight seasons, 73 episodes and a much-debated flurry of plot developments, that signature first-season line proved the key to unraveling the “Game of Thrones” finale, which, after a season that was at various times exhilarating, exhausting and aggravating, came as something of a relief.

Given the passions ignited (somewhat literally, given all that dragon fire) by the penultimate chapter, the finale couldn’t possibly please everyone. While there was validity in many of the criticisms, a degree of silliness crept into the discussion, starting with those who actually signed a petition petulantly demanding some kind of cosmic do-over.

From Mash to Friends to Seinfeld, the most watched series finals HERE.

“Flaws and all, ‘Game of Thrones’ rewrote the rules for a TV epic, providing a brilliantly cast serialised storyline, produced with a scope and scale that rivaled theatrical blockbusters.”

In the final analysis, the first half of the last episode, both written and directed by show-runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, was strong, logical and satisfying. Overall, it wasn’t a one-for-the-ages finale, held up against the best examples of them and the abundant hype, but it wasn’t an unworthy one either.

Read the rest of the CNN review from Brian Lowry HERE

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Technology

Google cut off Huawei’s access to some Android apps and services

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Google cut off Huawei’s access to some Android apps and services | The Thaiger

In a surprise response to the ongoing Huawei vs Trump administration spat, Google has halted its business operations with Huawei.

Huawei is one of the leading mobile phone manufacturers in the world. The Google ‘pull out’ is effective immediately, according to a report from Reuters. The halted business streams include anything in relation to the transfer of hardware and software products except the open source ones. If the reports end up being fully rolled out, it would send shockwaves across the world and massively impact Huawei users and businesses.

Huawei was posed to overtake Samsung soon as the largest seller of Android phones in the world.

According to Reuters…

“Huawei Technologies Co Ltd will immediately lose access to updates to the Android operating system, and the next version of its smartphones outside of China will also lose access to popular applications and services including the Google Play Store and Gmail app,”

Google have responded…

“We are complying with the order and reviewing the implications,” a company spokesperson wrote in an email.

Reuters first reported the news via unnamed sources on Sunday afternoon, and The Verge followed up a couple hours later with — again, anonymously sourced — confirmation.

Last Thursday, the US Trump administration added Huawei to their trade blacklist and owing to that it will be extremely difficult for Huawei to do business with US companies. Google is one of the US companies with the highest number of consumers in the world using its open-source operating system Android.

The move will put the users of Huawei smartphones in limbo. They won’t be able to get any new Android updates, security patches and even will lose access to Google Play Store which makes a huge portion of Android phone experience. The list of smartphones includes the recently launched high-end flagships of Huawei including P30, P30 Pro, Mate 20 Pro, and the list continues.

Huawei, in just the recent quarter of 2019, shipped more than 59 million smartphones which makes a huge chunk of devices powered by Android Operating System. A source closer to the matter mentions that Google was forced to end ties with Huawei as a result of trade blacklisting of Huawei in US. Otherwise, Huawei was expected to become the biggest seller of Android-powered devices in the world beating Samsung and other Chinese smartphone manufacturers by a good margin.

Huawei will continue to have access to the licensed open source version of the Android operating system, which is available for everyone to use.

Huawei has not yet commented on the development. But in a recent interview to a Japenese publication Nikkei, Huawei’s CEO Ren had mentioned, “Huawei’s growth might slow under the U.S. restriction, but only slightly.”

The recent move by Google is going to change the power game between different smartphone manufacturers but only time will tell how Chinese smartphone companies and Chinese establishment will react and respond over this.

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Technology

Twitter and Facebook work to block anti-vax misinformation

The Thaiger

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Twitter and Facebook work to block anti-vax misinformation | The Thaiger

If you search for the word ‘vaccines’ in Twitter, the first thing you see from today is a post from the US Department of Health and Human Services pointing you to reliable health information instead of misinformation from the anti-vax adherents.

Twitter says it now has a new tool in ‘search’ prompting users to head to vaccines.org, which is run by informed officials and health professionals. Social media companies like Facebook and Twitter are facing intense pressure from lawmakers to remove anti-vaccination propaganda from their platforms. The push-back is coming from officials and netizens.

The tool shows up on Android, iOS, Twitter’s mobile site, and on the newly designed desktop site in the US, Canada, the United Kingdom, Brazil, and Korea – more countries soon.

Twitter has used a similar tool that prompts users who search for terms related to suicide to contact a hotline for help. According to the blog post, Twitter intends to extend this tool to other health-related search terms in the future.

Last week, it was announced that Instagram would hide search results for anti-vax hashtags on its platform, effectively blocking any associated content. Two months ago Facebook announced it would also work to curb vaccine misinformation.

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