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US Overtakes Italy, China In Most Number Of Covid-19 Cases

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The United States now has the highest number of Covid-19 patients with over 82,000 cases overtaking China and Italy. The per capita rate of cases in (the US, China and Italy) differs due to the countries’ vast differences in population. 

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As of Friday morning, the United States had at least 85, 594 cases while China was reporting 81,782. There have been more than 510,000 cases reported worldwide. The gloomy figures comes just as US officials said there was a new high for fatalities reported in a single day.

At least 246 new deaths were reported Thursday, bringing the total number of deaths nationwide to at least 1300 as of Friday morning, IST.

In New York, where more than half of the US cases have been reported, fatigued medical staff are turning to increasingly drastic measures to combat the pandemic.

Over 122,000 people globally have recovered from COVID-19, while more than 24,054 people have died, including 1,288 in the US. Italy reported the highest death toll with more than 8,200 deaths.

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Earlier, reported deaths in New York jumped to 385 (now at 466), with 100 new deaths recorded in a single day as Governor Andrew Cuomo warned residents on Thursday that the state’s situation was dangerous. “Almost any scenario that is realistic will overwhelm the current capacity of the healthcare system,” Cuomo said during the briefing.

The US Senate had earlier passed a whopping $2.2 trillion economic rescue package steering aid to businesses, workers and healthcare systems.

US Group Sues China For $20 Trillion Over Using Coronavirus As Bio Weapon

But Cuomo warned the economic toll of the Covid-19 outbreak will be drastic in New York and rebuked officials for what he called a failure to address lost revenue in their $2.2 trillion relief package. “The Congressional action, in my opinion, simply failed to address the governmental need,” he said. “I find it irresponsible. I find it reckless.”

Cuomo said the pandemic creates a “double whammy” of heightened state costs and lost revenue of up to $15bn as businesses shutter and workers are laid off. The governor said the state will have to modify its budget plan for the fiscal year beginning April 1 because revenue figures are so uncertain.

Americas

F-35 vs F-35: Israel To Further Upgrade Stealth F-35 Jets, Could Even Outgun The US Fleet – Experts

Israel became the first country to select the F-35 through the US government’s Foreign Military Sales process when a Letter of Agreement was signed in October 2010. On June 22, 2016, the Israeli Air Force received the first F-35A Adir for Israel at a ceremony at the Fort Worth, Texas, F-35 factory

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Israel is looking to upgrade its fleet of F-35s into high-tech electronic warfare machines, a move that would bring the stealth F-35 jets to the next level. With Lockheed Martin developed F-35s upgraded to next level, Israel will be able to dominate the skies over the Middle East with relative ease.

According to reports in National Interest Magazine, Israeli engineers are planning to upgrade the already quite advanced Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) Electronic Warfare (EW) system of the Lockheed Martin-produced F-35 fighter jets.

Israel became the first country to select the F-35 through the US government’s Foreign Military Sales process when a Letter of Agreement was signed in October 2010. On June 22, 2016, the Israeli Air Force received the first F-35A Adir for Israel at a ceremony at the Fort Worth, Texas, F-35 factory

While specifics regarding EW technologies, particularly with the U.S. F-35, are often unavailable due to security reasons, aspects in which EW could substantially contribute to the aircraft’s combat power include emitting electronic signals and perform critical defensive functions.

An advanced EW system on the F-35 can likely contribute to the aircraft’s Mission Data Files threat data library,i.e, it could detect the electronic signature of approaching enemy aircraft or even ground-based air defences and alert the aircraft’s sensor targeting and surveillance systems.

The F-35’s Mission Data Files includes profiles of known enemy threats, such as a specific sensor or electronic data related to particular enemy threats likely to emerge in certain geographical areas.

The F-35s sensors, including cameras, infrared targeting systems or on-board Active Electronically Scanned Array radar, can detect the existence and trajectory of enemy targets and bounce the information off of the Mission Data Files to inform pilots regarding the specifics of the threat.

EW can function as a fundamental part of this equation, thus shedding further light upon why Israel is likely to seek EW upgrades for its fleet of F-35. Advanced EW could potentially help detect and “jam” or disable Iranian air defences mostly built on Russian platforms.

Additionally, the range and fidelity of on-board sensors can give the F-35 new dimensions of targeting and surveillance technology. The aircraft’s Distributed Aperture System (DAS), which includes a 360-degree display of surrounding cameras, can find threats at great distances.

The DAS system is networked with the F-35s Electro-Optical Targeting system. That Electro-Optical Targeting system is a high-fidelity, long-range sensor intended to find enemy targets before the F-35 itself can be seen by any enemies.  Merging this sensor system with advanced EW is a likely focus of Israel’s F-35s upgrades.

According to aviation experts at EurAsian Times, with upgraded F-35s, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) would not only dominate the skies of Middle-East with relative ease but the Israeli version of the F-35s could even surpass American F-3s when it comes to Electronic Warfare (EW) system.

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China Imposes Sanctions On US Defence Giant Behind F-16s, F-22 Raptors

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China has threatened to impose sanctions on US defence giant Lockheed Martin – the makers of Stealth F-22 Raptors, in response to US approving of a possible deal for Taiwan to buy parts to refurbish defensive missiles built by the company.

With China In Mind, India To ‘Urgently’ Acquire Heron Drones, Spike ATGM From Israel

Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian made announced at a briefing in Beijing on Tuesday, adding that the US should cut defence ties with Taiwan “so that it doesn’t do further harm to bilateral relations and damage peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.”

“China firmly opposes U.S. arms sales to Taiwan,” Zhao said, adding: “China decides to take measures to protect national interests. We will impose sanctions on the main contractor of this arms sale Lockheed Martin.”

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The US State Department last week approved a possible $620 million foreign military deal for Taiwan to buy parts of Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles so that they can last 30 years.

Beijing’s actions come amid growing tensions between the US and China tensions over various issues including trade war, South China Sea dispute, COVID-19 pandemic, new security law in Hong Kong, 5G network and hostilities against key US allies including India and Australia.

Stealth vs Thrust: Why Indian Air Force needs American jets instead of Russian aircraft?

Despite it being a strategic American ally, the US has no official embassy in Taiwan nor does Australia, Canada, the UK or Germany. China calls Taiwan a ‘renegade province’ and has vowed it to merge it with mainland China, at all costs.

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Americas

Comet Neowise in India: Rare Neowise Comet will be visible in North-West India from Today – NASA

NASA Comet Neowise India: NASA’s Neowise infrared space telescope discovered the comet on 27 March. Scientists involved in the mission said the comet is about five kilometres across and its nucleus is covered with sooty material dating back to the origin of our solar system 4.6 billion years ago.

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The Comet Neowise, or C/20202 F3  will be noticeable in the northwest sky in India from 14 July onwards. As per NASA, Neowise should be visible just before and around the time of first light till 11 July. It will again start to be visible in the evening between 15 and 16 July.

“From July 14, C/2020 F3, a comet discovered on March 27, will be clearly visible in the north-western sky. It will be visible after sunset for around 20 minutes for the next 20 days. People can observe it from naked eyes,” said Subhendu Pattnaik, deputy director of Pathani Samanta Planetarium in Bhubaneswar told ANI.

“In the evenings to follow, the comet will rapidly climb higher in the sky and will be visible for a longer period,” he added.

Comet Neowise swept within Mercury’s orbit a week ago. Its close vicinity to the sun caused dust and gas to burn off its surface and create an even bigger debris tail. According to CNET, Neowise passed a critical point when it survived its closest brush with the sun without cracking up from the heat last week.

NASA’s Neowise infrared space telescope discovered the comet on 27 March. Scientists involved in the mission said the comet is about five kilometres across and its nucleus is covered with sooty material dating back to the origin of our solar system 4.6 billion years ago.

Soon after, numerous amateur photographers began sharing stunning images of the comet just above the horizon during predawn hours. Twitter user Jeremy Perez shared the image shot from close to the Wupatki National Monument showcasing the bright celestial body.

According to the CNET report, as the comet moves farther away from the sun and closer to Earth, it will be visible in the evening sky and not before dawn. As per NASA solar system ambassador Eddie Irizarry, Neowise should be visible just before and around the time of first light till 11 July. It will again start to be visible in the evening between 15 and 16 July.

While it’s visible with the naked eye in dark skies with little or no light pollution, binoculars are needed to see the long tail, according to NASA. It will be about 7,000 years before the comet returns, “so I wouldn’t suggest waiting for the next pass,” said the telescope’s deputy principal investigator Joe Masiero of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Recently, astronauts from the International Space Station managed to get a stunning glimpse of a natural light show from a comet this weekend. NASA astronaut Bob Behnken shared a tweet highlighting Neowise. He captioned the post, “Last night’s fireworks, for real. Because Science.”

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