The Church of Scientology released hundreds of balloons at the opening of a California church. Local officials want to make sure it never happens again

The Church of Scientology released hundreds of balloons at the opening of a California church. Local officials want to make sure it never happens again

Officials in California say the Church of Scientology is apologizing after releasing hundreds of balloons during a grand opening of a new church. Saturday's release of the helium balloons angered Ventura city officials, who fear they will damage the environment in and around their community some 68 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

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For Decades, Cartographers Have Been Hiding Covert Illustrations Inside of Switzerland’s Official Maps

For Decades, Cartographers Have Been Hiding Covert Illustrations Inside of Switzerland’s Official Maps

The first three dimensions—length, height, and depth—are included on all topographical maps. The “fourth dimension,” or time, is also available on the website of the Swiss Federal Office of Topography (Swisstopo). In the “Journey Through Time,” a timeline displays 175 years of the country’s cartographic history, advancing in increments of 5-10 years.

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Turkey says will not stop Syrian refugees reaching Europe after troops killed

Turkey says will not stop Syrian refugees reaching Europe after troops killed

Refugees in Turkey headed towards European frontiers on Friday after an official declared that borders had been thrown open in response to the escalating war in Syria, a day after 33 Turkish soldiers were killed by Russian-backed Syrian government troops.

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A government whistleblower alleges US health workers treated coronavirus evacuees without proper protective gear or training

A government whistleblower alleges US health workers treated coronavirus evacuees without proper protective gear or training

A whistleblower from the Department of Health and Human Services has alleged that the US sent more than a dozen government workers to assist Americans who were evacuated from Wuhan, China, without giving them proper training or protective gear, The Washington Post and The New York Times reported on Thursday. The whistleblower is a senior HHS official based in Washington, DC, and oversees employees at the Administration for Children and Families unit within the federal agency, according to The Post and The Times.

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How Hindu supremacists are tearing India apart

How Hindu supremacists are tearing India apart

The long read: For seven decades, India has been held together by its constitution, which promises equality to all. But Narendra Modi’s BJP is remaking the nation into one where some people count as more Indian than others

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Coke and Pepsi sued for creating a plastic pollution ‘nuisance’

Coke and Pepsi sued for creating a plastic pollution ‘nuisance’

Coke, Pepsi, Nestle and other large companies are being sued by a California environmental group for creating a plastic pollution “nuisance” and misleading consumers about the recyclability of plastic. The suit, filed in San Mateo county superior court on Wednesday, argues that companies that sell plastic bottles and bags that end up polluting the ocean should be held accountable for damaging the environment.

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MI5 chief asks tech firms for ‘exceptional access’ to encrypted messages

MI5 chief asks tech firms for 'exceptional access' to encrypted messages

MI5’s director general has called on technology companies to find a way to allow spy agencies “exceptional access” to encrypted messages, amid fears they cannot otherwise access such communications. Sir Andrew Parker is understood to be particularly concerned about Facebook, which announced plans to introduce powerful end-to-end encryption last March across all the social media firm’s services.

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Scientists discover 1st animal that doesn’t breathe oxygen

Scientists discover 1st animal that doesn't breathe oxygen

Scientists have discovered something they didn't think existed: an animal that can't breathe oxygen, and obviously doesn't need to. That animal is a parasite called Henneguya salminocola, distantly related to jellyfish. It lives in the muscles of salmon and trout, causing unsightly little white nodules known as "tapioca disease."

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Opinion: Putting Mike Pence in charge of the US coronavirus response is some kind of sick joke

Opinion: Putting Mike Pence in charge of the US coronavirus response is some kind of sick joke

So Vice President Mike Pence is heading up the US government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. Is that some sort of sick joke? Because I find it hard to think of anyone less suited to manage a complex healthcare crisis. As governor of Indiana, Pence slashed public health spending and then delayed the vital introduction of needle exchange programmes, which contributed to the state’s worst ever outbreak of HIV…

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