Jul 26, 2021

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India: How reliable are COVID surveys and herd immunity claims?

  • Two-thirds of India's over 1.3-billion-strong population have antibodies against the coronavirus, according to data released recently from a serological survey conducted by the country's top medical body, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
  • Sero surveys provide data on the proportion of population exposed to the coronavirus, including asymptomatic individuals through the presence of antibodies that typically start appearing after two weeks of the onset of infection.
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Lebanon names Najib Mikati as new prime minister

  • Lebanese telecoms tycoon and former prime minister, Najib Mikati, was chosen by lawmakers Monday to serve as Lebanon's new prime minister as the nation reels from multiple political-economic crises .
  • He is endorsed by most of Lebanon's political parties including the Iran-backed militant group Hezbollah, but he faces opposition from the party of President Michel Aoun, a Maronite Christian.
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Student, 19, hopes to be youngest woman to fly solo around the world

By PA Media
  • Rutherford, who intends to study computer science or electrical engineering and whose ambition is to become an astronaut, said: “At first, I was planning to fly around the world as an adventure during my gap year, not realising I would become the youngest woman to do so if I achieved it.
  • Announcing the record bid at Popham airfield near Winchester, she told the PA news agency: “The greatest challenge will be the remote places like northern Russia or Greenland – there aren’t many people who live there so if anything were to go wrong I would be in a bit of an awkward situation.
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Doctors, air pollution experts forecast worsening health effects of wildfire smoke

By Ken Bradshaw
  • While the longer-term health effects of exposure to wildfire smoke have yet to be thoroughly studied, linkages between disease, death and air pollution in general offer hints, said Dr. Courtney Howard, an emergency physician in Yellowknife.
  • “Stroke, heart disease, cancer, chronic or respiratory diseases, these are all worsened by air pollution,” Howard said in a recent interview from Cranbrook, where smoke from a nearby wildfire had rolled in while her family was at the beach.
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Meghan and Harry’s daughter finally added to royal line of succession

  • Meghan, Duchess Of Sussex, and Prince Harry’s second child, daughter Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, has officially been added to the royal line of succession almost two months after her birth.
  • The official royal website was updated Monday days after the family faced backlash on the weekend when it was noticed by royal watchers that Lilibet had not been added to the succession line following her birth in June of 2021, reported Fox News.
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SSP agents save a two-year-old boy from dying in Progreso

By Yucatan Times
  • MÉRIDA, Yucatán, (July 26, 2021).- The prompt and timely intervention of agents of the Ministry of Public Security (SSP), prevented a two-year-old boy from drowning in a swimming pool in the port of Progreso.
  • As it became known, SSP agents were in a summer area of ​​the port, when they met a desperate woman, who explained that her two-year-old son had gotten into the pool without his floats, and was underwater in the deep part.
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Thousands march in Hungary Pride parade to oppose anti-LGBTQ law

  • Budapest Pride spokesperson Jojo Majercsik said this year's march is not just a celebration and remembrance of the historical struggles of the LGBTQ movement but a protest against Orban's current policies targeting gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer people.
  • Rising anger over the policies of Hungary's right-wing government filled the streets of the country's capital on Saturday as thousands of LGBTQ supporters marched in the annual Budapest Pride parade.
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‘Record-shattering’ heat becoming much more likely, says climate study

By Damian Carrington Environment editor
  • Preparing for such unprecedented extremes was vital, said the scientists, because they could cause thousands of premature deaths, and measures taken to adapt to date had often been based only on previous heat records.
  • The research found that highly populated regions in North America, Europe and China were where the record-shattering extremes are most likely to occur.
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The pandemic has opened up a deep rift within the Conservatives. It will grow | Polly Toynbee

By Polly Toynbee
  • The Conservatives’ clever election campaign raised voter expectations that everything from NHS waiting times to failed flood defences would be repaired, yet the Institute for Fiscal Studies says Treasury plans expect another £17bn of public services to be cut .
  • (Has she visited an A&E department lately?) In her Telegraph rallying cry, it’s time Johnson “returns the Conservative party to its roots and starts delivering lower taxes”.
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Weekly Horoscope: July 26 – August 1

By Randon Rosenbohm
  • You’re thinking about things in a new light as the planet of communication, Mercury, enters your chart’s domestic sector.
  • Since May, you’ve been learning about what you believe and hope for, but as Jupiter, the planet of growth, retrogrades back into your house of shared resources, you’re reviewing inventory and remembering things that began in 2020.
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Covid: more EU states to restrict venue access for unvaccinated people

By Daniel Boffey and Kim Willsher in Paris and Kate Connolly in Berlin
  • But by the far the most impressive results following a government intervention on vaccine uptake are being enjoyed in France, where record numbers have been administered in the two weeks since Macron announced his intention to legislate to limit access to hospitality to benefit those who are fully vaccinated, in possession of a negative PCR test or able to prove that they have recovered from infection.
  • An increasing number of European governments are planning to prevent unvaccinated people from being able to attend hospitality venues such as bars and restaurants this summer, as Emmanuel Macron celebrates the fruits of the recent announcement of the policy in France.
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A Golden Moment for Calgary and Canada — Mark Tewksbury’s 1992 Olympics: From the Archives

By Monica Zurowski, Calgary Herald
Swimmer Mark Tewksbury may have entered the 1992 Barcelona Olympics as an underdog in terms of his chances of striking gold, but he emerged a national hero thanks to his persistence, passion and performance. In what many Olympic watchers call one of Canada’s most memorable Summer Games moments, Tewksbury won the 100-metre backstroke in 1992 and broke an Olympic record in the process. A few days later, Tewksbury also won bronze as part of Canada’s men’s swimming relay team. Here are some Calgary Herald archived pages from Tewksbury’s performance at those Games. Read More […]Read more >Similar articles >
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That stench? Ghislaine Maxwell’s high society pals soiling themselves

By Brad Hunter
  • As the clock races towards Ghislaine Maxwell’s November sex trafficking trial, her society pals are making themselves scarce.
  • According to the publicity release, the documentary is “charting the story of one of the most extraordinary family sagas the world has ever seen … a staggering tale of fortunes built and lost, mysterious deaths, society intrigue and a spectacular descent into scandal, culminating in the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell’.
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Russia Starts Building Upgraded ‘Doomsday Plane’ – Reports

  • Russia has begun building an upgraded version of its top-secret aerial command center nicknamed the “Doomsday” plane, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported Monday.
  • A new version of the plane, modeled after the Ilyushin Il-96-400M, is currently being manufactured in the southern Russian city of Voronezh, RIA Novosti reported, citing an unnamed source in the military-industrial complex.
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Fewer active fires in B.C., but no end to wildfire threat in southern regions

By The Canadian Press
  • Emergency Management B.C. says more than 250 active wildfires have charred 4,142 square kilometres since the fire season started almost four months ago, which is down slightly from last week when just over 300 were burning.
  • Emergency Management B.C. says more than 250 active wildfires have charred 4,142 square kilometres since the fire season started almost four months ago
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29 police reports for public indecency issued around Belgium’s nude beach this year

By Maïthé Chini
  • You can only walk around naked on private property or on the nude beach, which does not include the dunes,” Dennis Goes of the Bredene police said on Flemish radio.
  • All 29 police reports concern people who walk around naked in the dunes – which are part of a protected nature reserve – or have sex there, both of which are prohibited, according to Goes, who added that the police will carry out extra checks.
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In Yucatán, injuries in traffic accidents increase by 150%

By Yucatan Times
  • Mérida, Yucatán, (July 26, 2021).- The increase in mobility in Yucatán has caused a rise of about 150 percent in the number of people injured in traffic accidents, to the extent that the figure has already exceeded the total for 2020, revealed the federal Ministry of Health.
  • In Yucatan, there are 854 injured, with an increase of 144 percent over the same period last year, when the sum was 350 hospitalized.
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‘Finally!’ Bayreuth festival gets a female conductor for first time

By Kate Connolly in Berlin
  • For the first time in its 145-year history, the Bayreuth opera festival has been opened by a female conductor.
  • Katharina Wagner, the great-granddaughter of Richard Wagner, and the festival’s outgoing director, said there had been few female conductors in the past to choose from, but that Lyniv represented a new generation “courageous enough” to learn to conduct.
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COVID-19 Update: Learning to live with COVID | Many people surveyed ’dread’ long-term care | Alberta cases climbing

By Ari Yanover
  • The risk of a spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations in Alberta is “very low” due to high vaccination rates, Alberta Health Services leadership say, but the provincial health authority is prepared to bolster acute-care capacity in case of a fourth wave.
  • COVID-19 Update: Learning to live with COVID | Many people surveyed ’dread’ long-term care | Alberta cases climbing
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US monitoring over 200 people for potential monkeypox exposure

By Maya Yang
  • The CDC said it was working with airline, state and local health authorities in 27 states to identify and assess individuals who may have been in contact with the person on flights from Lagos to Atlanta and Atlanta to Dallas on 9 July.
  • US health officials are monitoring more than 200 people for potential exposure to monkeypox, after an individual who contracted the disease in Nigeria returned to Texas in July.
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Solar power tax to boost energy grid gains backing of consumer advocate

By Mike Foley
  • Australia has the highest uptake of rooftop solar panels globally and renewable energy can account for as much as half of supply to the national energy market during peak periods.
  • Last week, the new head of the Australian Energy Market Operator, Daniel Westerman, called for investment to make the system capable of handling bursts of 100 per cent renewable energy by 2025.
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French parliament approves COVID passes despite protests – Al Jazeera English

  • But President Emmanuel Macron’s government has argued the rules are needed to protect vulnerable populations and hospitals as a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections grips France, as well as to avoid fresh lockdowns.
  • France’s parliament has approved legislation to make COVID passes a key part of daily life and vaccinations mandatory for health workers amid a surge in infections across the country.
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Facebook and tech giants to target attacker manifestos, far-right militias in database

  • A counterterrorism organisation formed by some of the biggest US tech companies including Facebook and Microsoft is significantly expanding the types of extremist content shared between firms in a key database, aiming to crack down on material from white supremacists and far-right militias, the group told Reuters.
  • Until now, the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism's (GIFCT) database has focused on videos and images from terrorist groups on a United Nations list and so has largely consisted of content from Islamist extremist organisations such as Islamic State, al-Qaeda and the Taleban.
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Germany to warn of future floods with phone alerts

  • Germany will issue mobile phone alerts in the future to inform citizens of impending dangers, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said on Monday (July 26) after deadly floods prompted a rethink of the country's warning systems.
  • Government spokesman Martina Fietz last week said the country's weather warning system and mobile phone app Nina had "worked" but admitted that "our experiences with this disaster show that we need to do more and better".
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Strong undersea quake shakes Indonesia; no tsunami warning

By Mohammad Taufan | AP
  • The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude-6.2 quake was centered at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) about 98 kilometers (60 miles) west-northwest of Luwuk, a town in Central Sulawesi province.
  • Still, many people in the provincial capital of Palu ran to higher ground, haunted by the memory of a devastating 7.5 magnitude earthquake in the city three years ago that set off a tsunami as well as a phenomenon called liquefaction, in which wet soil collapses because of the shaking.
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Johnson could rethink national insurance rise after Tory backlash

By Heather Stewart and Jessica Elgot
  • Boris Johnson could rethink plans for a national insurance rise to fund an overhaul of social care, after a significant backlash from cabinet ministers and Tory MPs.
  • At least five cabinet ministers are said to oppose plans for a 1% national insurance rise, likely to be branded a health and social care levy, to tackle the NHS Covid backlog and long-term funding for a more generous social care package based on a cost cap.
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Russia mulls trade zone in disputed Kuril islands

By AT Contributor
  • Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin visited the disputed Kuril Islands Monday and said authorities wanted to establish a free economic zone there, sparking a protest from Japan.
  • The Japanese Foreign Ministry issued a protest over Mishustin’s visit to the Northern Territories, as they are known in Japan, and summoned the Russian ambassador.
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Far-right accused of aiding German floods clear-up to win support

By Kate Connolly in Berlin
  • An investigation by a team of reporters on the ground for the news weekly Der Spiegel found that social media channels operated by the so-called Querdenker (lateral thinker) organisation, which includes vaccination opponents and preppers (people who prepare for catastrophic events), have put out calls for helpers to travel to Ahrweiler in Rhineland-Palatinate, one of the worst-hit locations.
  • According to the report, the groups say help is needed because official organisations such as the fire brigade, the police, the army and the voluntary Technisches Hilfswerk (THW) brigade are failing to provide sufficient help and are even hindering attempts by volunteers to get to the scene.
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Taiwan’s Wang posts top 2 qualifying time in Olympic 200m butterfly

  • Taipei, July 26 (CNA) Taiwanese swimmer Eddie Wang Kuan-hung (王冠閎) on Monday posted the second best time among all swimmers in the initial men's 200-meter butterfly heats at the Tokyo Olympic Games, and will vie for a place in the final eight Tuesday morning.
  • The only swimmer to go faster in the heats, which pared down the 38 entrants into the final 16 in the event, was world record holder Kristof Milak of Hungary, who finished in a time of 1:53.58.
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As Taliban Advance, Thousands of Afghans Seek Refuge in Turkey

  • “I want my daughters to go to school,” said Mr. Kohi as he sat resting with his family on the concrete floor of a half-built house on the edge of the city of Van, in eastern Turkey.
  • Instead of heading to Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul or on to Pakistan—the destination for many Afghan exiles—the 41-year-old mechanic and his wife from Faryab province paid a smuggler $4,000 to take their family into Iran.
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Touristic surge in Valladolid, Yucatan

By Yucatan Times
  • Mérida, Yucatán.- Although in the last two weeks there has been a slight increase of a little more than 30 percent in hotel and restaurant occupancy, businessmen in the eastern part of the state expect to have better rates for the remainder of the summer vacation, in which they will seek to create strategies to boost the arrival of visitors to the area of Valladolid and Chichén Itzá.
  • Valladolid tourism authorities reported that in the last week a little more than 300 tourist vehicles arrived in the region, including buses and vans; although it is true that this is not a flattering figure compared to vacation seasons before the pandemic, at least there are indications that tourism is “breathing” with improvement in these months.
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Pakistan PM Khan’s ruling party wins Kashmir regional election

  • The ruling party of Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan has won a majority of seats in Pakistan-administered Kashmir's regional assembly, the head of the election commission announced on Monday (July 26).
  • The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) of former premier late Benazir Bhutto secured 11 seats, while the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, which had previously held a majority in the body, took just six seats.
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Gertrude Stein: A complex pioneer of modernism

  • Gertrude Stein definitely lived a storied life: Remembered as a language innovator, lesbian role mode, feminist pioneer and literary anarchist, she hosted in her Paris apartment avant-garde authors and artists such as Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Picasso.
  • But along with her progressive lifestyle, the Jewish-American experimental writer and art collector also developed ties with a powerful Vichy government official and Nazi collaborator during World War II — a close friendship which presumably saved her life and her exceptional art collection.
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Brussels starts in-depth probe of France’s lottery operator

By Giorgio Leali
The European Commission launched an in-depth state aid investigation on Monday into the country’s lottery operator, Française des Jeux (FDJ.) After its partial privatization by the Macron administration, FDJ in 2019 was granted by the French state an exclusive right on some lottery and sport betting services. FDJ paid the French state a €380 million consideration in exchange. Following two complaints, Brussels is concerned that France granted a preferential treatment to FDJ, formerly a state-controlled monopoly. “The Commission will verify the conformity of the remuneration with market conditions and does not exclude at this stage that the […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Iraq: Biden and al-Kadhimi to announce end of US combat mission

  • US President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi are set to announce the shift of the US military's combat role in Iraq to a purely advisory one, a senior Biden administration official said on Monday.
  • "We're talking about shifting to a new phase in the campaign in which we very much complete the combat mission against ISIS and shift to an advisory and training mission by the end of the year," the US official said Monday.
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Malaysia’s striking doctors defiant after police probe, vow further action ‘if promises are not kept’

By Norman Goh
Malaysian contract doctors who staged a wildcat walkout on Monday in protest over unfair treatment are satisfied with the wide public attention their industrial action has received and will cooperate with police investigations, according to a spokesman.Organisers of the Hartal Doktor Kontrak – or “contract doctors’ strike” – estimated that some 6,000 to 8,000 of the 23,077 contract doctors in the national health care system took part in the walkout at 11am.This Week in Asia could not […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Iraq’s coronavirus surge sparks ‘epidemiological catastrophe’ warning

By Agence France-Presse
Iraq has recorded 12,180 Covid-19 infections over the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Monday, the highest number detected in a single day so far in the pandemic.More than 1.5 million people have now tested positive and 18,347 have officially died of Covid-19 in Iraq, where the health infrastructure is dilapidated.Much of the 40-million-strong population remains sceptical of vaccines, with only 1.3 million having been inoculated, the health ministry says. It is not clear how many of […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Unusually large meteor lights up the skies of Norway, part of it may have landed near Oslo (Watch Video)

By Yucatan Times
  • OSLO (Reuters) -An “unusually large meteor” briefly lit up southern Norway on Sunday, creating a spectacular sound and light display as it rumbled across the sky, and a bit of it may have hit Earth, possibly not far from the capital, Oslo, experts said.
  • The meteor traveled at 15-20 km per second and lit up the night sky for about five to six seconds, Bilet said.
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Hong Kong trade hits HK$4.75 trillion high but mutant Covid-19 strains threaten recovery with many overseas markets

By Kathleen Magramo
Hong Kong trade rebounded sharply over the first half of 2021 to record a new high, fuelled by business with mainland China, but the global surge of Covid-19 infections involving mutant strains threatens to stall the recovery with other markets.Total merchandise trade for the first six months of the year amounted to HK$4.748 trillion (US$610 billion), according to Hong Kong government figures, a 13 per cent increase on the pre-pandemic high posted for the same period in 2018, which predated the […]Read more >Similar articles >
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China hits half-year high in daily coronavirus cases

By Agence France-Presse
China reported 76 new coronavirus cases on Monday, the highest daily rise since January, including 40 domestic transmissions prompting authorities to test millions in eastern Jiangsu province.Beijing has a zero-risk approach to the virus, which was first reported in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019. It locks down cities and performs mass testing whenever small clusters appear.“Of the 40 domestic cases, 39 were from Jiangsu province and one from Liaoning,” the National Health […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Severe disease, not mild infection, makes a pandemic – vaccines still offer our best hope

By Andrew Pollard and Shabir A. Madhi
  • Beta has almost completely been pushed out by the Delta variant in the third wave in South Africa, and in other countries, like the UK, where both are present.
  • On the contrary, taking data together from the laboratory, animal studies, and trials of other similar vaccines we can be confident that the Oxford vaccine will be highly effective at preventing severe disease and death with Beta, just as it does with Alpha and Delta variants.
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Column: That time I met KKK Grand Wizard David Duke – Al Jazeera English

  • America best knows Duke as the erstwhile grand wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, America’s oldest white supremacist terrorist hate group and star of director D.W. Griffith’s 1915 silent movie “Birth of a Nation”.
  • I can guarantee Duke meets that pitiless definition because the New York Daily News, where I covered crimes in New York City to civil wars in Latin America, in 1978 sent me to meet him in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, and return with a detailed story about how this child of the peace, love and brown rice 1960s somehow missed Woodstock and was transformed into a professional racist.
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UK Ambassador: Britons in Slovakia are a resilient community

  • Ambassador Baker, who has returned to Slovakia 24 years after he first served here as the deputy head of missions in the 1990s, admits the coronavirus and Brexit are the two main things that have kept him occupied, but not the only ones, because, as he says, British ambassadors will always have a long list of things to do in Slovakia.
  • NB: Just Covid and Brexit alone meant a lot of things to do, but even putting that aside, there’s a lot of work with supporting existing businesses and trying to bring new ones.
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Mexico signs agreement with the U.S. FAA to recover Category 1 air safety rating

By Yucatan Times
  • Mexico has signed an agreement with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aimed at helping the country recover its Category 1 air safety rating, Mexico’s ministry of communications and transportation said on Monday.
  • Mexico’s communications and transportation ministry said the FAA experts visiting the country would provide a report of their findings and recommendations for further improvement.
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US-China tech war: Beijing calls on Chinese firms to ‘seize overseas opportunities’ in race for self-reliance

By Orange Wang
China has urged domestic businesses to boost overseas investment in emerging sectors like artificial intelligence and 5G, while slashing restrictions on imported technology as it seeks to gain an advantage in its tech war with the United States.Beijing said last Friday tech firms should “seize overseas market opportunities in digital infrastructure” by investing in assets such as land-sea optical cables, broadband networks, satellite communications, big-data centres and cloud computing around […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Basic goods prices increase persists in Mérida and the rest of the state

By Yucatan Times
  • Mérida, Yucatán.- In the first two weeks of July, the National Consumer Price Index (INPC) registered a variation of 0.24 percent with respect to the previous fortnight, thus maintaining an increase in prices for the sixth consecutive month, according to information provided by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography.
  • With the increase in prices in the first 15 days of July, Yucatan is among the five states with the lowest biweekly variation.
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Search for disabled South Korean mountaineer lost in Himalayas ends at his family’s request

By Michelle Lee
  • After Kim Hong-bin lost all 10 of his fingers to frostbite during a climbing accident 30 years ago, he set out to achieve his dream: Becoming the first disabled person to climb the world’s 14 tallest mountains.
  • Kim said he felt determined to achieve his goal to become the first disabled person to climb the 14 mountains, and that he had hoped it would serve as an inspiration for others to do the same.
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Tunisia police storm Al Jazeera office in Tunis – Al Jazeera English

  • President Saied suspended parliament and dismissed Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi on Sunday in a move condemned as an attack on democracy by his rivals but which others greeted with celebrations on the streets.
  • Tunisian police has stormed Al Jazeera’s bureau in the capital Tunis, expelling all the staff, after President Kais Saied late on Sunday ousted the government in a move his foes called a coup.
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Energy Independence Doesn’t Mean What It Used To

By Parker Bolstad and Jordy Lee
  • As climate change continues to destabilize at-risk regions worldwide, threatening to draw the United States into more protracted, international conflicts, the administration needs to do more to treat climate change as a matter of national security rather than as just an environmental concern—and to move toward true energy independence in the process.
  • First, climate change is its own national security threat; second, real energy independence now means securing the resources and ideas needed for 21st-century energy technologies—among other things, solar panels, rare-earth metals, batteries, and wind turbines.
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Prabmeet Sarkaria is the new face of the PC party after cabinet shuffle

By Laura Stone
  • “I think I really bring a different perspective, not only to the cabinet table, but to Queen’s Park,” Mr. Sarkaria said recently, over a lunch of paneer and garlic naan at an Indian restaurant in Brampton.
  • Now, the 32-year-old first-term politician, who represents the Peel Region riding of Brampton South, is one of the most powerful players in Premier Doug Ford’s government, recently elevated to president of the Treasury Board as part of last month’s wide-ranging cabinet shuffle.
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Hong Kong education: exodus of students could worsen, educators warn

By Cannix Yau
Hong Kong educators have warned of an increasing exodus of students as part of a wave of emigration following the introduction of the national security law, after official data showed more than 15,000 pupils had quit school over the past academic year.To cope with the shift in local demand for education, authorities should reallocate resources to improve standards and help schools suffering from a high dropout rate to allow smaller classes and the option of running more foreign curriculum […]Read more >Similar articles >
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The state of Zacatecas suffers bloody fallout of cartel rivalry

By Yucatan Times
  • Mexico’s two strongest cartels — Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation — are locked in a battle for control.
  • In a country that has suffered more than a decade of violence at the hands of powerful drug cartels, the situation in Zacatecas, as well as violence-plagued states like Michoacán and Tamaulipas, shows that neither the head-on drug war launched by former President Felipe Calderón in 2006, nor the softer “hugs not bullets” approach of current President Andrés Manuel López Obrador have managed to break Mexico’s cycle of violence.
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Bleach Peddler Kerri Rivera Appears To Have Been Raided by German Police

By Anna Merlan
  • Messages posted to a Telegram group run by Kerri Rivera, a pseudo-medical expert who advocates for the use of a dangerous bleach solution to “cure” autism and other serious illnesses, say that she’s being criminally charged as a result of advice she gave to a parent.
  • Eaton, a U.S.-based activist who’s gone undercover in Facebook groups where parents are discussing giving their kids chlorine dioxide, told Motherboard that she reported Rivera to German police and consumer protection agencies.
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COVID-19 cluster reported at Taipei Main Station

  • The seven cases involve four cleaners and members of their households, who were confirmed over the past four days to have contracted the disease, said Deputy Taipei Mayor Huang Shan-shan (黃珊珊) in a press briefing.
  • Taipei, July 26 (CNA) At least seven COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in a cluster infection linked to workers at Taipei Main station, the Taipei City Government said Monday.
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New York City to extend Covid-19 vaccine mandate to all city workers

  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to announce on Monday (July 26) that all city workers will be required to receive the Covid-19 vaccine or get tested weekly, according to a city official.
  • The vaccine mandate is the first expansion of a policy announced last week that requires health care workers in public hospitals and clinics to be vaccinated by Aug 2 or submit to weekly tests, said the city official, who wasn't authorised to speak publicly on the matter.
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Kais Saied: the ‘RoboCop’ president accused of launching Tunisia coup

By Peter Beaumont
  • A surprise winner of the 2019 elections, the rise to power of Saied, 63, a dry law professor with little political experience and no party to speak of, spoke to the disillusionment of Tunisians with their country following the 2011 revolution that sparked the Arab spring.
  • Saied, who taught law at Tunis University, made no bones about his conservative beliefs – he is opposed to LGBTQ+ rights – and presenting himself as the anti-corruption and social justice candidate in a country where many had become disillusioned with the post-dictatorship democratic politics, not least that represented by Ennahda, the moderate Islamist political movement.
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World reacts to Tunisia’s political turmoil

  • A spokeswoman for the foreign ministry, Maria Adebahr, told reporters that Germany hoped Tunisia would return “as soon as possible to constitutional order”.
  • “The preservation of Tunisia’s democratic achievements, which is a success story in terms of the democratic process conducted in line with the expectations of people in the region, is of great importance for the region as well as for Tunisia,” the ministry said.
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Diversifying the Dismal Science

By Alicia Sasser Modestino
  • By discriminating against women and underrepresented minority groups, the economics profession perpetuates a hidden bias in data collection and analysis that pervades many important areas of policymaking.
  • This model makes many economists wary of analyses that ascribe wage differences across gender and racial groups to discrimination.
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Send the marching sookies off to scrub hospital floors

  • Scott Morrison once again abrogates his responsibility to deliver vaccine to the nation by insisting lockdown is the only solution to the Delta outbreak.
  • Once again, the Coalition government has showcased its anti-science credentials, this time by successfully lobbying against the inclusion of the Great Barrier Reef in a list of World Heritage Sites “in danger”, despite the fact a scientific assessment by UNESCO concluded that the reef was in clear danger from climate change.
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China’s revised data law a de facto ban on US IPOs

By Frank Chen
  • China is updating a vital ordinance governing cybersecurity rules that analysts say will effectively ban Chinese tech firms from listing in the United States and other foreign markets.
  • A summary of the amendment reviewed by Asia Times noted that any Chinese tech companies with more than a million users must file applications and be subject to a CAC-led cybersecurity and data review and approval before going public on any foreign stock exchange, with the CSRC empowered to scrutinize IPO plans and make recommendations.
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Police Are Telling ShotSpotter to Alter Evidence From Gunshot-Detecting AI

By Todd Feathers
  • Motherboard’s review of court documents from the Williams case and other trials in Chicago and New York State, including testimony from ShotSpotter’s favored expert witness, suggests that the company’s analysts frequently modify alerts at the request of police departments—some of which appear to be grasping for evidence that supports their narrative of events.
  • Paul Greene, ShotSpotter’s expert witness and an employee of the company, testified at Simmons’ trial that “subsequently he was asked by the Rochester Police Department to essentially search and see if there were more shots fired than ShotSpotter picked up,” according to a civil lawsuit Simmons has filed against the city and the company.
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Dozens of medical groups call for mandatory health worker vaccinations – US politics live

By Joan E Greve in Washington
  • “Due to the recent Covid-19 surge and the availability of safe and effective vaccines, our health care organizations and societies advocate that all healthcare and long-term care employers require their workers to receive the Covid-19 vaccine,” the groups said in a joint statement, which was shared with the Washington Post.
  • De Blasio announced on Wednesday that all workers at city-run health care facilities and hospitals would be required to get vaccinated or receive weekly coronavirus tests.
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Southern India’s only chief minister from PM Modi’s party resigns

  • The chief minister of India's Karnataka, the only state ruled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party in the country's prosperous south, resigned on Monday (July 26) in the latest political shake-up in the Hindu nationalist group.
  • Mr B.S. Yediyurappa, a four-time chief minister of the state, home to India's technology capital of Bengaluru, had helped the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) form its first government in India's southern region in 2008.
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‘Not responsible’: Netherlands cancels multi-day summer festivals

By Maïthé Chini
  • The Netherlands is cancelling all multi-day events, such as the Lowlands festival, that were planned to take place before 1 September, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced on Monday.
  • The decision was taken “in consultation with the events sector,” Rutte said, adding that festival organisers are eligible for compensation for the costs they have already incurred.
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Violent, militarized park encampment clearings won’t end homelessness in Toronto. Here’s a human rights approach

By Diana Chan McNally - Contributor,Dr. Naheed Dosani - Contributor

When looking at all of these clearings together, no one was housed, and only 27 of 68 people, or 40 per cent, entered the shelter system (and, to be clear, entering the shelter system does not make anyone any less homeless). For us, it is unequivocal: the City’s current approach to encampments simply doesn’t work, Diana Chan McNally and Dr. Naheed Dosani write. […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Foreign journalists harassed in China over floods coverage

By Helen Davidson in Taipei
  • Foreign journalists reporting on the aftermath of China’s flooding disaster have faced hostile confrontations in the street and been subjected to “vicious campaigns”, amid increasing nationalistic sensitivity to any negative portrayals of China .
  • Stephen McDonell, another BBC correspondent in China, said on Twitter there was a “clearly orchestrated campaign of harassment”, with a focus on the BBC, which included threats of violence and family-targeted abuse sent to the private phones of to those working in the foreign media.
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UK Covid live: Downing Street warns recent fall in UK Covid case numbers could be reversed

By Andrew Sparrow
  • Ministers are meeting today to consider extending the arrangements that will allow some workers to use daily testing as an alternative to isolation if they are pinged by the NHS Covid app, or contacted by test and trace, because they have been in contact with someone testing positive.
  • On Saturday the government announced that workplace testing would be extended, with 200 testing sites opening so that frontline emergency service staff – some police, firefighters, Border Force staff and transport workers – would be able to use testing as an alternative to isolation.
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Biden and Iraqi PM to announce end to US military combat mission

  • Joe Biden and the Iraqi prime minister, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, are expected to announce on Monday an agreement to end the US military combat mission in Iraq by the end of the year, according to a senior Biden administration official.
  • The plan to shift the US military mission, whose stated purpose is to help Iraq defeat the Islamic State, to a strictly advisory and training role will be spelled out in a broader communique to be issued by the two leaders following a White House meeting on Monday afternoon, said the official.
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Wildfires raging across south-west Sardinia force evacuations – video

Firefighters are working to put out wildfires that have spread quickly across parts of south-western Sardinia, destroying 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres) of forest and forcing 1,500 people to be evacuated from their homes. On Sunday the EU sent four firefighting planes, including two Canadair planes provided by France, to support 11 aircraft working to extinguish the fires raging close to 13 towns. Efforts have been hampered by strong and hot winds

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Czechs win their first medals at Tokyo Olympics

  • A very promising canoeist while still competing in the youth categories, Lukáš Rohan has since gone on to win silver at the adult C1 European Canoe Slalom Championships in Prague last year.
  • Meanwhile, the Czech team’s second Olympic medal was won just a few hours later by fencer Alexander Choupenitch, The son of Belarusian-born opera singers, Choupenitch defeated three opponents as he advanced through the rounds into the semi-finals, but lost to Hong Kong’s Cheung Ka Long 10:15 on points.
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Pace yourself and party on! 10 ways to avoid social burnout this summer

By Elle Hunt
  • You might feel obliged, on catching up with acquaintances you have not seen since the start of the pandemic, to fill them in on all your lockdown highs, lows and learnings – but there’s no need to relive them if you don’t want to, says Pickens.
  • Take whatever steps you need to feel happy and rested before you head out – “whether that’s meditating, or going for a run or walk, or having a bath,” says Syphas.
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Man Under Table review – microbudget meta comedy makes fun of itself

By Leslie Felperin
  • And also because the end credits reveal said protagonist’s name is actually Guy. An irritable, self-absorbed scribe on the fringe of the indie movie scene, Guy, who spends a bit of time under a real table as well as under pictures of tables, is played by the film’s writer-director-producer Noel David Taylor, who is clearly having fun mocking the milieu as well as himself.
  • Taylor has made scads of jokey short films and this is his first feature, which ends up feeling like a series of jokey shorts strung together.
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Why the end of Tencent’s exclusive music deals not the panacea for China’s smaller music-streaming apps

By Iris Deng
Small operators of music-streaming apps in China will soon be able to offer some of the most popular tracks that were controlled for a long time by Tencent Holdings, but analysts said these firms still face an uphill battle to challenge the internet giant in this market.On Saturday, China’s antitrust watchdog the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) slapped Tencent with a 500,000 yuan (US$77,117) fine and ordered the company to end its exclusive music licensing deals with global […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Tottenham bid to complete triple-swoop after landing Bryan Gil deal as Erik Lamela departs

By Mike McGrath
  • Tottenham are stepping up their attempts to land Atalanta centre-back Cristian Romero after securing the signing of winger Bryan Gil from Sevilla, with Erik Lamela moving to the Spanish club as part of the deal.
  • Spurs have also signed Romero’s team-mate Pierluigi Gollini as a back-up goalkeeper to Joe Hart on a season-long loan, and have tied Son Heung-min to a new long-term deal until 2025.
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Duterte vows to lead Philippines out of Covid-19 pandemic in last year in office

  • President Rodrigo Duterte vowed on Monday (July 26) to shepherd the Philippines out of the Covid-19 pandemic in his last year in office, outlining plans to pull the economy out of a deep recession and keep the coronavirus at bay.
  • "Back when I decided to answer your call to run for higher office, never did I imagine that my presidency would not only be judged on how I made good on my promises to fight drugs, criminality and corruption but how well I led my nation during the global pandemic," he said in his sixth and last State of the Nation Address.
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166 people in Singapore being investigated for involvement in loan sharking

  • SINGAPORE- A total of 166 suspects are being investigated for their alleged involvement in loan-sharking activities, one of whom provided false information that led to an innocent person being harassed.
  • The other 121 suspects allegedly opened bank accounts and provided their ATM cards, Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) or Internet banking tokens to unlicensed moneylenders for their businesses.
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COVID and the coup: Myanmar in the grip of double crisis

  • About four months before the third wave of the coronavirus struck Myanmar, killing hundreds of people daily, Soe Moe Naung (name changed), a businessman, posted on social media that he and his family had gotten vaccinated at a public inoculation center.
  • His critics believe that getting vaccinated legitimizes, in some ways, the military coup in February that led to the overthrow of the democratically elected government led by Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party .
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Floods, heat, then floods again, as England is battered by wild weather

  • The downpour, which dumped about a month's worth of rain in some areas on Sunday (July 25), was part of a broader pattern of extreme weather causing disruption and destruction around the world this summer.
  • Thames Water, a company responsible for Greater London's sewage and water services, said on Monday that the rainfall had led to surface flooding and that crews had been working through the night to make repairs.
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Latitude festival review: a hyper-real return to glitter, beer and British musical brilliance

By Kate Hutchinson
  • S tanding in a field, wearing glitter, watching bands, with a warm pint in blazing hot sun: these human behaviours had to be relearned for the first full-capacity UK music festival since the pandemic began.
  • There are clear challenges in booking overseas acts, so Latitude leans on beery Brit biggies (Kaiser Chiefs, Bastille with a guest orchestra, a “secret” Vaccines set) and dance mainstays (Chemical Brothers, Hot Chip) among the usual comedy draws ( Bill Bailey has a rockstar welcome on the main stage on Sunday).
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How ‘Genshin Impact’ Content Creators Handle a Multi-Generational Audience

By Ty Schalter
  • It was when I tried to look up better progression strategies that I realized how young the fan community skewed, and how different my experience of the game as a parent was from the kids playing it.
  • Dan is a 35-year-old Twitch partner whose Discord is sponsored by miHoYo. He told me he leans into his how-do-you-do-fellow-kids persona to ingratiate himself with the teens that flock to his content.
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How we made Viz: ‘We printed 150 copies for £42.52’

By Interviews by Rich Pelley
  • Jim and Chris then created The Daily Pie, which was lots of little comic strips on one page of A4, and Arnold the Magazine, which we sold for 2p – the price of a photocopy – at pubs and youth clubs to amuse our friends.
  • Jim also introduced us to adult comics like Fat Freddy’s Cat and The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, which inspired Chris to start drawing little cartoons, such as an inept superhero called The Fat Crusader on our dad’s spare invoice pads, to pass around at school.
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China blames U.S. for ‘stalemate’ in two-way ties as talks begin

By Reuters
  • China blamed the United States on Monday for a "stalemate" in two-way ties, accusing it of creating an "imaginary enemy", and setting a confrontational tone during a meeting with Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.
  • Monday's meeting took place amid frayed relations between Beijing and Washington that have worsened in the months since an initial diplomatic meeting in March in Anchorage, the first under President Joe Biden's administration.
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Words used in court to be simplified and remote hearings to be allowed under proposed changes to law

  • The changes proposed in the Courts (Civil and Criminal Justice) Reform Bill are aimed at supporting digital transformation plans, and are part of efforts to keep the legal system efficient and accessible for everyone, said the Law Ministry in a statement.
  • SINGAPORE -The courtroom of the future will no more use words like plaintiff, subpoena or in-camera hearing under proposed rules to simplify language used in court and the statute books.
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Firefighters battle wildfires raging across south-west Sardinia

By Angela Giuffrida in La Maddalena
  • Firefighters are working to put out wildfires that have spread quickly across parts of south-western Sardinia, destroying 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres) of forest and forcing 1,500 people to be evacuated from their homes.
  • The EU on Sunday sent four firefighting planes, including two Canadair planes provided by France, to support 11 aircraft working to extinguish the fires raging close to 13 towns.
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How China exports repression via a network of spies

By Sebastian Rotella and Kirsten Berg
  • To reconstruct Hu’s trajectory and other Fox Hunt activities, ProPublica interviewed leaders of the FBI and Justice Department, current and former national security officials with expertise on China-related cases, and Chinese dissidents and expatriates.
  • It grew to at least 19 American and Chinese operatives: hired muscle, private detectives (including a former New York Police Department sergeant), and undercover repatriation specialists who slipped in and out of US airports with ease.
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What’s the Deal With That Security Slot on Your Laptop, Anyway?

By Ernie Smith
  • While there have been some changes over the years, the Kensington slot survived on many Apple laptops through to the unibody MacBook Pro, which was sold until 2016; many modern Windows PCs and Chromebooks still have it, and for devices that don’t have one, like iPads, the company has been known to create custom proprietary designs to secure them.
  • But a company that became famous for turning a paper clip company into a stationery conglomerate is largely responsible for the rise of the Kensington security slot in the modern day.
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Olympics bump in public support yet to materialise for Japan PM Suga: Nikkei poll

  • But rather than showing a plateau in support or even an uptick in approval given the feel-good factor of the Games, the survey results were aligned with those held by other media outlets earlier this month in the controversial run-up to the sporting extravaganza.
  • The boost in public support that Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is hoping the Olympic Games will bring has yet to materialise.
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Russian FM Spokeswoman Throws Punches at ‘Press’ in Support of Olympic Athletes

  • Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has released a clip in support of Russia’s Olympic athletes that shows her taking aim at the press — literally.
  • She has a similar reaction when asked about her thoughts on the replacement of the Russian national anthem with music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky: “We love our rivals on the pedestal, so let them listen to classical.”
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UK could bar China firm from nuclear projects: Reports

  • LONDON (AFP) - Britain is investigating ways to block China's state-owned nuclear energy company from all future power projects in the UK, amid chilling relations between London and Beijing, according to reports on Monday (July 26).
  • The move could see China General Nuclear (CGN) excluded from several projects, including a consortium planning to build a nuclear plant on the Suffolk coast in eastern England, according to the Financial Times.
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Your letters for July 26

By Michele Jarvie
  • Recent letters about traffic light synchronization have merit but let’s showcase Calgary’s innovative and creative spirit and be really progressive.
  • Let’s envision a city where traffic lights are optimally synchronized to ensure maximum time efficiency and the least amount of idling.
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Gaps in Covid-19 safe management measures at Jurong Fishery Port to be rectified: Grace Fu

  • Gaps in safe management measures at Jurong Fishery Port (JFP), such as lapses in mask wearing, will be rectified before the port is reopened, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu said in parliament on Monday (July 26).
  • She was responding to questions from several MPs, including Ms Nadia Ahmad Samdin (Ang Mo Kio), who had asked about measures taken to ensure the safe reopening of Jurong Fishery Port, markets and hawker centres.
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More than 70% of K2 children at MOE kindergartens register at affiliated primary school

  • More than 70 per cent of the 3,400 Kindergarten 2 children graduating from MOE kindergartens this year registered for a place at the affiliated primary school usually located in the same compound.
  • MOE said children may register at the school linked to their kindergarten but they may also register at other schools during the other phases they may be eligible for.
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Germany: Emergency response should stay local, says interior minister

  • The emergency response to natural disasters should remain in the hands of the states and local authorities and not be taken over by the German federal government, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said on Monday.
  • Seehofer's remarks at a special session of the parliamentary internal affairs committee come as German authorities investigate the effectiveness of the overall response to the deadly floods in mid-July.
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The wonder of double Olympic champion Peaty

  • Whispered before 03:13 BST on Monday but shouted thereafter, the 100m breaststroke title was only ever going to be Peaty's.
  • I put it simply: if you were looking for a promotion and you'd been working your arse off for five years to get that promotion and you've got to prove yourself within 57 seconds, it's almost like that," he said.
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China’s surging yuan allows Beijing greater financial flexibility, creating capital markets ‘too big to ignore’

By Karen Yeung
A trade weighted index looking at the value of China’s yuan climbed to a five-year high last week, and analysts expect the currency to remain at elevated levels in the foreseeable future as the government allows greater flexibility and tries to remove distortions in the economy.A simulated CFETS RMB basket index, which measures the yuan’s value against a number of foreign currencies, climbed to 98.70 on Friday, marking its highest level since March 2016, according to the China Foreign Exchange […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Man found guilty of murdering daughter, 17, missing since last July

By Jessica Murray Midlands correspondent

Bernadette Walker had told her mother that Scott Walker was sexually abusing her, jury hears

A man has been found guilty of murdering his 17-year-old daughter who went missing in July last year and whose body has never been found.

Scott Walker was found guilty of the murder of Bernadette Walker by a jury at Cambridge crown court.

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Hong Kong Baptist University makes national security education compulsory and a graduation requirement

By Chan Ho-him
All undergraduates including overseas students admitted to Hong Kong Baptist University from September must undergo national security education in the form of seminars and talks as a requirement for graduation, management has revealed.The university also said on Monday it would follow at least five other public universities and stop collecting fees on the student union’s behalf, a move bosses insisted was not an attempt to “cut ties” with the body.The Beijing-imposed national security law – […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Russia blocks 49 websites linked to jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny

By Agence France-Presse
Russia’s media regulator has blocked 49 websites linked to jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, his team said on Monday, as pressure mounts on the movement of the opposition leader ahead of parliamentary elections in the autumn.Navalny, President Vladimir Putin’s most vocal domestic critic, was arrested in January after he returned to Russia following months of treatment in Germany for a nerve agent poisoning he blames on the Kremlin.He was subsequently jailed for two-and-a-half years on old […]Read more >Similar articles >
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What now for the homeless from China’s floods?

By Amber Wang
Ma Chengfeng counts himself lucky.He said that if he had run out of his house just two minutes later, he would have been swept away by floods triggered by heavy rain last week.Ma lives in Mihe township in Gongyi, a small city about 80km (50 miles) west of Zhengzhou in the central Chinese province of Henan.On Tuesday, he was woken by his wife Wang Fengjuan and the couple fled with their two children to a neighbour’s home on higher ground.On the weekend, Ma was sitting by the side of a road […]Read more >Similar articles >
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The last king of Eswatini? Reporting on protests in Africa’s last absolute monarchy

By Kyri Evangelou and Katie Lamborn

Cebelihle Mbuyisa is a freelance journalist who was beaten for covering pro-democracy protests in the kingdom of Eswatini. Formerlyknown as Swaziland, the country has been rocked in recent weeks by anti-monarchy protests calling for King Mswati III, Africa's last absolute monarch, to have his powers diluted.

Protests turned violent, with reports suggesting there have been more than 50 deaths and countless casualties so far at the hands of state security forces. The Guardian spoke to Mbuyisa, who described his experience of being beaten by the police after they accused him of reporting illegally, and explained why protesters are calling for more democracy in Eswatini.

In his first comments since the unrest began, the king called the protests 'satanic' and said they had taken the country backwards.

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Malaysia doctors strike, parliament meets as COVID strain shows – Al Jazeera English

  • Some 62 percent of Sunday’s cases were in the Klang Valley, which includes the capital Kuala Lumpur and the surrounding state of Selangor, Malaysia’s industrial powerhouse and public hospitals, some of which now treat only coronavirus patients, are feeling the strain.
  • Malaysia is under increasing strain from an unrelenting surge in the coronavirus, with parliament to convene on Monday after a months-long hiatus and lockdown during which cases and deaths have only worsened, pushing overworked healthcare workers to strike.
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Girl power at the Bayreuth Festival

  • However, the audience's resounding applause was reserved mainly for two women: Ukrainian conductor Oksana Lyniv and Lithuanian singer Asmik Grigorian, who plays the role of Senta, in this year's opening opera, The Flying Dutchman .
  • As in many Wagner operas, "redemption" is a major theme in The Flying Dutchman — in this case, a man is redeemed from fate by the unconditional love of a woman.
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Covid: Quarantine for Britons vaccinated abroad to be dropped

By Aubrey Allegretti Political correspondent
  • Britons who have been double-vaccinated abroad will soon be able to travel to the UK more easily, as the government prepares to recognise jabs administered overseas.
  • He also hinted that all travellers coming from abroad who have been double-vaccinated with a jab authorised in the UK could have their doses recognised – not just those who are British.
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