The US orders Chinese consulate to close based on defense of intellectual property

The Chinese consulate in Houston, in the United States, was closed “to protect American intellectual property and private information from Americans” – a State Department spokeswoman said on Wednesday (7/22) after a vigorous protest. Beijing is against that decision.

“Vienna Convention states that state diplomats must ‘respect the laws and rules of the host country’ and ‘have a duty not to interfere in the internal affairs of that state,'” said spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus, during a visit by the American Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, to Copenhagen.

“We have ordered the closure of the People’s Republic of China consulate in Houston to protect American intellectual property and the private information of citizens,” said the spokeswoman, after Pompeo’s arrival in Copenhagen for an official visit on Wednesday.

This decision is based on the growing tensions between the two countries on several fronts: the controversial national security law in Hong Kong, the espionage charges against China, or the humanitarian situation in the Xinjiang region (northwest China), where the Uighur Muslim minority lives.

“The United States will not tolerate any violation of our sovereignty, nor intimidation of our people by China, nor will we tolerate unfair trade practices, theft of American jobs, and other behavior. President Trump insists on justice and reciprocity in our relations with China, “added the spokeswoman in a statement to the press.

China has five consulates in the United States. The consulate in Houston (Texas) was opened in 1979.

According to Houston newspapers, firefighters went to the Chinese consulate last night because documents were being burned in the building’s courtyard.

On Twitter, local police said smoke was visible, but law enforcement officials “were not allowed to enter” the building.

China reaction

Chinese officials denounced the decision, which they called “political provocation” that will undermine bilateral diplomatic relations.

“It is a political provocation (…) that seriously violates international law,” said a Chinese diplomacy spokesman, Wang Wenbin.

“China condemns this scandalous and unjustified decision,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin, asking Washington to back down, otherwise Beijing will respond in an “appropriate” manner.

Chinese officials accused the United States of “slander” after two citizens of the Asian giant were indicted for cyberattacks on companies involved in the search for a vaccine against the new coronavirus.

The US Department of Justice announced yesterday the accusation against Li Xiaoyu, 34, and Dong Jiazhi, 33, “two Chinese hackers (who) worked with the Chinese Ministry of Security”.

Beijing refuted the charges.

“The Chinese government is a fervent advocate for cybersecurity and has always opposed cyber attacks,” added the spokesman, urging Washington to “end these slanders and defamations” against China.

According to US officials, the two hackers met during their engineering studies and stole thousands of dollars worth of industrial secrets over ten years.

Recently, they reportedly targeted California companies working on a vaccine and treatment for the new coronavirus, according to the federal prosecutor in charge of the case, William Hyslop.

Li and Dong were not arrested and would be in China today.

In this context of escalating tensions, China also warned its students in the United States, on Wednesday, about the risk of suffering “arbitrary interrogation”.

“Recently, the authorities have stepped up arbitrary interrogations, harassment, confiscation of personal property and arrests of Chinese students in the United States,” added China’s Foreign Ministry in a statement.

President Donald Trump’s government has maintained a very critical tone for months with the Chinese authorities, which he accuses of having concealed the magnitude of the spread of COVID-19 since the emergence of the disease in the center of the country in late 2019.

News and photo from: Correio Braziliense


Paraná, one of the States of Brazil, wins its first Green Patent

The city of Cascavel is the first in the State of Paraná to obtain a Green Patent. This nomenclature exists because the patent is related to environmental issues aimed at improving global climate change. The owner of the patent letter is a Doctor in Computational Mechanics, Renato Cesar Pompeu. He developed a combustion engine that reduces the emission of carbon dioxide, which causes the greenhouse effect on the planet. The product will provide greater use of fuel energy, reflecting a more efficient thermal efficiency.

“It took about two and a half years of studies and development for the idea to become an invention. The achievement is immeasurable not only for me but also for our municipality for demonstrating that we have the capacity to create and invent products ”, points out the professor. The “Pompeu engine”, the name given to the invention, is under construction and practical tests on the product should be carried out by the end of the year.

News from: CGN

Brazilian scientists intend to use artificial intelligence to detect COVID-19 through coughing

Brazilian scientists intend to use artificial intelligence to detect COVID-19 through coughing

Scientists at the Butantan Institute and Fiocruz want to train the use of artificial intelligence in the diagnosis of the disease and other lung conditions. The idea of such a program is to detect sound peculiarities that could be indicative of diseases.

The research began this week and its first phase consists of volunteers sending coughing audios. With this, the database obtained will assist in the training of artificial intelligence, which was developed by Intel.

Initially, the goal is to obtain 900 audios, of which 300 of them coming from healthy people, 300 from people diagnosed by Covid-19 by exams, and 300 with other lung diseases. Among healthy people, researchers want to force coughs from people who have had no symptoms of cough, fever, or shortness of breath in the past 30 days.

Participants with Covid-19 must be confirmed by molecular testing (PCR). In this case, the researchers will also collect data such as age, symptom days, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, among others.

Finally, for the group of people who cough without Covid-19, researchers look for diseases such as bacterial pneumonia, gastroesophageal reflux, asthma, or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Only people over 18 can “donate” the cough, which should be done on SoundCov. On the website, the participant must record coughing audio (30 to 60 seconds) and then answer a questionnaire. The data collected by the survey is anonymous.

The public-private partnership was intermediated by the Competitive Brazil Movement (MBC), and also has participation from USP (University of São Paulo) and UFMS (the Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul).

News from: Diário de Pernambuco

Brazilian scientists discover super therapy to cure AIDS

Brazilian scientists discover super therapy to cure AIDS

A survey conducted by the Federal University of São Paulo (Unifesp) showed that the cure for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is near. This is the first study, on a global scale, to test overtreatment in individuals chronically infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

The coordinator of the research is the infectologist Ricardo Sobhie Diaz. Together with his team, Diaz has been working on two fronts to cure the disease. One uses drugs and substances that kill the virus at the time of replication and eliminate the cells where HIV is asleep (latency); the other develops a vaccine that causes the immune system to react and eliminate infected cells that the drug is unable to reach.

The research was carried out with 30 volunteers with an undetectable viral load, under standard treatment, according to what is currently recommended: the combination of three types of antiretrovirals, better known as “cocktail”. The volunteers were divided into six subgroups, each receiving different combinations of medicines, in addition to the “cocktail” itself.

For members of the subgroup that had the best results so far, two more antiretrovirals were administered: Dolutegravir, the strongest drug currently available on the market; and Maraviroc, a substance that forces the virus, previously hidden, to appear.

News from: Exame