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Russian Food Retailer Dixy Launches Blockchain-based Trade Finance Platform

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Moscow-based fintech start-up Factorin has launched a blockchain-powered supply chain and trade finance platform in cooperation with Dixy, the country’s third-largest food retailer, GTReview reports.

Following a successful 6-month pilot phase, Russian blockchain startup Factorin revealed on Tuesday that it is launching its system into Dixy’s production.

The new Ethereum-based system will allow Dixy’s suppliers to receive payments within one business day, which is way shorter and faster compared with the previous 2 weeks. The system is also connected to several banks, including Alfa Bank, Bank National Factoring Co., and Pervouralsbank, and factoring companies (which expedite the settlements between the retailer and multiple suppliers) like GPB-Factoring using a single interface.

The platform, which can be accessed by members through desktop or smartphones, can also facilitate the verification process and reduce physical labor and related risks.

The blockchain-powered open trade platform has been in the test phase since December and has conducted a total of 12,000 test transactions over the period, Factorin founder Andrei Maclean told CoinDesk. The test results revealed that the platform can significantly reduce the calculation time; thus, the decision to commercially launch the system was made.

Currently, the network is equipped with 20 nodes, and two of which are “full-fledged” nodes on the member servers. Three nodes are currently in the process of being created, while the rest are still working in the cloud.

Last month, payment startup Flexa and Gemini, a Winklevoss-owned digital currency firm, formed a retail initiative that facilitated instant cryptocurrency payments in stores and online for several retail merchants including Crate and Barrel, Nordstrom, Starbucks, Jamba Juice, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Amazon-owned Whole Foods. Through the new SPEDN mobile wallet app, consumers can pay merchants in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Gemini Dollar.

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French police suicides on the rise

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Three riot police officers, a police commander, a police academy teacher, are among eight French police officers who have taken their life killed themselves recently. That makes 64 so far this year, and the number keeps on climbing.

Deaths by suicide for French police now outnumber deaths in the line of duty. The protectors need protecting, say police unions, which are demanding more help to stop the problem.

Many of those who choose to end their lives are from everywhere in France and of all ages, many with young children. The latest death came Wednesday in the Ardeche region in southeast France. Why they step across what one police union calls the “thin blue line” remains a question that French authorities have so far been unable to answer.

A parliamentary inquiry made public in July lists a multitude of reasons for the stress and despair among French police, including overwork since a series of terrorist attacks that started in January 2015 and the weekly, often extremely violent, anti-government protests since November by the yellow vest movement seeking more economic and social justice. It does not single out any one reason.

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Another Bird Strike Causes Utair Flight to Return to Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport

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A Utair airliner headed from Moscow to Ufa, the capital of Russia’s Bashkortostan Region, returned to its departure airport on Friday after a bird hit its windshield, the air carrier’s press service informed TASS.

“The Moscow-Ufa flight returned to Vnukovo after suffering a bird strike shortly after takeoff. A bird hit its windshield. The aircraft landed safely. The airline is changing the plane,” the press service stated.

It noted that the flight to Ufa is scheduled to depart at 15:30 Moscow time.

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At Least 5 Killed, 11 Injured in Blast in Pakistan’s Balochistan

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At least five people were killed and 11 others injured on Friday in an explosion that occurred in Pakistan’s Balochistan province at an Islamic school or madrassa, the Pakistani media reported.

According to Pakistani news website Dawn, the nature of the blast could not immediately be ascertained. The injured in the explosion were transported to Quetta Civil Hospital.

A local police official told media that the IED blast occurred at around 1525 hrs local time and video showed that the explosion caused extensive damage to the madrassa.

Since June this year, the frequencies of attacks have increased. On 23 July, at least three people were killed, and 18 were injured in a bomb attack in the Eastern Bypass area. On 30 July, five people were killed, and 30 people were injured in an attack at a police station.

Earlier this year, Pakistan deployed an army division to protect interests in Sino-Pakistan development projects including those in the Balochistan region.

Pakistan has been facing an insurgency in Balochistan since 1947, with Baloch nationalist organisations struggling to create an independent state. The Balochi are also a dominant ethnic minority in Iran and Afghanistan.

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