The world at a glance

China unveils photos of Mars rover

BEIJING – The dusty and rocky surface of Mars along with a Chinese rover and lander bearing small national flags were seen in photos released Friday that the rover took on the Red Planet.

The four images released by the Chinese Space Administration also show the top stage of the Zhurong rover and the view from the rover before it leaves its platform.

Zhurong placed a distant camera about 10 meters from the landing pad, then withdrew to take a group portrait, the space agency said.

China landed the Tianwen-1 spacecraft carrying the rover last month after spending about three months orbiting the Red Planet. China is the second country to land and operate a spacecraft on Mars, after the United States.

The six-wheeled rover surveys an area known as Utopia Planitia, looking for signs of water or ice that could give clues to the survival of Mars.

In addition to the mission to Mars, the Chinese space program plans to send the first crew to its new space station next week. The three crew members plan to stay at Tianhe Station, or Heavenly Harmony, for three months, far exceeding the duration of any previous Chinese mission. They will conduct spacewalks, construction and maintenance work, and conduct science experiments.

Cuban banks will stop taking US dollars

Cuba will temporarily stop accepting dollar cash deposits at its banks from June 21, the central bank said Thursday evening.

Bank transfers will still be accepted and account holders will be able to withdraw funds from their dollar accounts, the bank said. Deposits in other currencies such as the euro, Japanese yen, Canadian dollar and British pound, among others, will also be accepted, the statement said.

“In view of the obstacles that the US embargo creates for the domestic banking system to deposit US dollars collected in the country abroad, a decision has been made to temporarily suspend deposits of US banknotes in the banking and financial system of Cuba, “according to the statement, read by the host of a forum on state television.

Cuban and foreign bank account holders on the island will have until June 21 to deposit dollars into their accounts. The bank has not indicated how long the suspension will last.

The US dollar on Cuba’s black market has climbed in recent months to around 70 Cuban pesos, about triple the official exchange rate of 24 pesos. The Cuban peso weakened significantly against the dollar after the island eliminated a confusing dual currency system that kept one currency valued at par with the dollar and another much weaker currency. This created distortions in the economy and kept workers in state-owned enterprises earning much less than those in cooperatives or private enterprises.

Central bank vice president Yamile Berra Cires said the suspension of cash deposits was a necessary measure to protect the local financial system. She said 24 banks had stopped doing business with Cuba since former President Donald Trump stepped up US sanctions on the island.

Bones found near the Auschwitz extermination camp

WARSAW, Poland – Polish prosecutors are investigating an apparent mass burial site revealed this month near the area of ​​Auschwitz, the former Nazi German death camp.

A resident spotted a dozen human skulls and numerous bones on the bank of the Sola River, which runs through the town of Oswiecim in southern Poland, when the water level was very low, said Friday the Onet portal.

Police and prosecutors are investigating whether the remains could have a connection to the former death camp, and the State’s National Institute of Remembrance, which is investigating crimes of World War II and the Communist era, has been informed.

During World War II, 1940-1945, over 1.1 million people were killed at Auschwitz, which Nazi Germany operated in Oswiecim, occupied Poland. Most of the bodies, but not all, were cremated in the camp’s crematoria.

The UN sits 5 nations on the Security Council

UNITED NATIONS – The United Nations on Friday elected five countries to join the powerful UN Security Council without suspense because all were without opposition: Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, Albania, Ghana and Gabon.

Winning a seat on the 15-member Security Council is seen as an accomplishment for many countries as it gives them a strong voice on international peace and security issues ranging from the conflicts in Syria, Yemen, Mali and Burma. , to the nuclear threat posed. by North Korea and Iran and attacks from extremist groups such as the Islamic State and al-Qaida.

The five new members of the Council will begin their terms on January 1, replacing five countries whose two-year terms end on December 31 – Estonia, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia and Vietnam.

They will join the five permanent council members with veto power – the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom and France – and the five countries elected last year: India, the ‘Ireland, Kenya, Mexico and Norway.

In this image released by the National Space Administration of China (CNSA) on Friday, June 11, 2021, the landing platform with a Chinese national flag and the outlines of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games mascots in Beijing 2022 on Mars is seen from the Zhurong rover. China on Friday released a series of photos taken by its Zhurong rover on the surface of Mars, including one of the rover itself taken by a remote camera. (CNSA via AP)

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