Billionaire lost out to Elon Musk’s SpaceX in lunar bid
Contract is to build craft to take astronauts to the moon
Fresh off his trip to space, Jeff Bezos on Monday offered to cover up to $2bn in Nasa costs if the US space agency awards his company Blue Origin a contract to make a spacecraft designed to land astronauts back on the moon.
Nasa in April awarded SpaceX, owned by rival billionaire Elon Musk, a $2.9bn contract to build a spacecraft to bring astronauts to the lunar surface as early as 2024, rejecting bids from Blue Origin and defense contractor Dynetics. Blue Origin had partnered with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper in the bid.
Los Angeles court filing reveals singer’s request for Jason Rubin
Father Jamie Spears has been conservator for 13 years
An attorney for Britney Spears has asked that a new conservator be named to oversee the pop singer’s finances following recent testimony that she wanted her father ousted from the role, the New York Times reported on Monday.
In a Los Angeles court filing, lawyer Matthew Rosengart requested that accountant Jason Rubin be named the conservator of Spears’ estate, a post currently held by her father, Jamie Spears, the Times reported.
Downing Street says Brussels overtures are insufficient and ‘comprehensive’ solutions needed
Boris Johnson has rejected Brussels’ latest attempt to iron out problems with the post-Brexit arrangements for Northern Ireland, insisting that the withdrawal agreement signed last year must be renegotiated.
Former waiter Tong Ying-kit, 24, has pleaded not guilty to charges of terrorism and inciting secession, as well as an alternative charge of dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm. The acts he is accused of allegedly occurred on 1 July 2020 shortly after the law was enacted.
Action comes as Kremlin increases pressure on opponents and critics ahead of parliamentary elections
Russian authorities have restricted access to Alexei Navalny’s website and those of dozens of his close allies, the imprisoned opposition leader’s team said on Monday.
The action came as the government increased pressure on opposition supporters, independent journalists and human rights activists ahead of the country’s parliamentary election. The September vote is widely seen as an important part of Vladimir Putin’s efforts to cement his rule before a 2024 presidential election.
Fifty-two people are being held in prison units in England and Wales in conditions that a UN human rights expert has said may amount to torture, the Guardian has learned.
Close supervision centres (CSCs) hold some of the most dangerous men in the prison system in small, highly supervised units within high-security jails in conditions previously described by the prisons inspector as “the most restrictive … with limited stimuli and human contact”.
Overhaul of UK infrastructure needed to ensure it is not overwhelmed by impact of extreme weather
Flash flooding of the type seen in London this weekend will become a more common occurrence as the climate crisis worsens, scientists have warned, and the UK government, businesses and householders must do much more to protect against future harm.
Dr Jess Neumann, a hydrologist at the University of Reading, said: “Flooding from intense summer rainfall is going happen more frequently. No city, town or village is immune to flooding and we all need to take hard action right now if we are to prevent impacts from getting worse in the future.”
Daley and Matty Lee pip China to synchronised diving gold
‘I hope any LGBT person can see … you can achieve anything’
“I feel incredibly proud to say that I am a gay man and also an Olympic champion. When I was younger I didn’t think I’d ever achieve anything because of who I was. To be an Olympic champion now just shows that you can achieve anything.”
Protesters wanted someone from outside the elite, but parliament went for Najib Miqati, who has led the country twice before
After a year-long standoff, Lebanon has named a new prime minister who its feuding factions hope can ward off a total economic collapse and save an estimated 2 million people from the brink of poverty.
Protesters had demanded the selection of a figure removed from the political elite, but the Lebanese parliament instead named a billionaire tycoon, Najib Miqati, who had led the country twice before, with little success, and was accused by a state prosecutor in 2019 of embezzlement – a charge he denies and has described as politically motivated.
Investigation finds groups are claiming official organisations are failing in salvage operations
Far-right groups in Germany including Covid vaccine opponents and supporters of the rightwing, populist AfD party are reportedly attempting to win support by offering assistance to salvage operations in flood-stricken parts of the country.
About 30,000 people remain homeless or without water and electricity in large parts of the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate as a result of the floods that devastated swathes of Germany just under two weeks ago.
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.
France on Monday passed the threshold of 40 million people having received at least one vaccine dose – close to 60% of the population. Macron tweeted: “Together we will defeat the virus. We continue!”
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 British economy is growing at its fastest pace in 80 years and could recover its pre-pandemic size by the end of this year, according to a leading economic forecaster.
Buoyed by the vaccine rollout and a bounce back in consumer spending, the EY Item Club said it now expected GDP to grow by 7.6% – which would be the fastest annual growth in national income since 1941. The UK economy shrank by 9.8% in 2020, the worst performance in the G7.
Report reveals ‘acute rise’ in deaths and injuries since 1 May as Taliban exploit departure of foreign troops
Record numbers of civilians have been killed and injured in Afghanistan in intense fighting since 1 May, when international forces began their final drawdown and the Taliban launched a major offensive.
The heavy toll so far comes largely from battles in rural areas, according to the UN. If the conflict were to spill into more densely populated towns and cities, the consequences could be catastrophic, it says in its report, The Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict.
Several more were in hospital with critical injuries after high winds blew up dust and impaired visibility
At least seven people have been killed in a 20-vehicle pileup during a sandstorm in Utah, the highway patrol said.
The crashes happened on Interstate 15 near the town of Kanosh on Sunday, the agency said in a news release. Several people were reportedly taken to hospitals in critical condition. Ground and air ambulances were used to transport crash victims.
Fast-spreading blazes destroy 20,000 hectares of forest and force 1,500 people to be evacuated from homes
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.
Many agricultural businesses and private properties have been damaged by the fires, which began on Saturday in the province of Oristano.
Reporters confronted in street and accused of ‘smearing China’ amid increasing sensitivity to any negative portrayals of China
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.
Reporters from the Los Angeles Times and German outlet Deutsche Welle were confronted by an angry crowd in Zhengzhou on Saturday, who filmed and questioned them, and accused them of “rumour mongering” and slandering China. Other journalists have also been targeted, with a specific focus on the BBC.
The MSC’s coveted blue tick is the world’s biggest, and some say best, fishery ecolabel. So why is it in the headlines – and does it really do what it says on the tin?
This month, two right whales in the Gulf of St Lawrence were found entangled in fishing gear. One, a female, was first spotted entangled off Cape Cod last year, but rescuers were not able to fully free her; the other, a male, is believed to have become entangled in the Gulf.
Hunted to near extinction before a partial whaling ban in 1935, North Atlantic right whales are once more critically endangered, with only 356 left. The main threat remains human contact: entanglement in fishing gear, and ship strikes. Fatal encounters, caused in part by the whales’ migratory shift into Canada’s snow crab grounds, have soared: more than a tenth of the population died or were seriously injured between 2017 and 2021, mostly in Canada and New England.
Jacinda Ardern said it was the ‘right step’ to allow return of woman and her children from Turkey
New Zealand has agreed that a suspected member of Islamic State who grew up in Australia can be repatriated from Turkey along with her two young children, a decision prime minister Jacinda Ardern said was “not taken lightly”.
Fighting between Rwandan forces and insurgents linked to Islamic State breaks out in Cabo Delgado
Foreign troops sent to reinforce local security forces in Mozambique have clashed with Islamist militants for the first time, as the conflict in the east African country moves into a new and potentially dangerous phase.
Rwandan soldiers who recently arrived in Mozambique fought a series of engagements against the extremists last week. Few reliable details of the fighting, which took place near Mozambique’s border with Tanzania, have emerged, but officials claim the insurgents suffered dozens of casualties.
Skateboarding: Australia’s Hayley Wilson finished eighth in her heat for the women’s street skateboarding which is not going to be enough for her to reach the medal round. Roos Zwetsloot topped the charts with 13.48.
Hayley wraps up with a score of 5.34. She's currently in 8th place with two heats still to run.
Swimming: Why is the women’s 400m freestyle later on such a big deal? In part because Katie Ledecky has set the global standard in recent times - continuing a golden era for US swimming - but as Tom Lutz reports, that could be coming under threat.
Titmus overcame an unwell Ledecky to win the 400m freestyle at the 2019 world championships and delivered another statement of intent at the Australian trials in June, swimming the distance in 3:56.90. That is less than half-a-second slower than Ledecky’s world record, and more than four seconds quicker than the time the American posted in the US trials.
Australian optimism is understandable, though they also looked to be emerging as a force capable of mounting a sustained challenge to American supremacy in the early 2000s, only to underwhelm in the end. The two nations even duked it out in made-for-television battles in 2003, 2005 and 2007 called the Duel in the Pool. The hyped-up rivalry proved almost as strained as the rhyme in the title. A team of elite Europeans was sourced as fresh opposition from 2009 to 2015, but fared no better. The US will be hoping it’s the same story in Tokyo. The coming days should be interesting.
As crowds celebrate ousting of an administration blamed for economic stagnation, opposition accuses Kais Saied of staging a coup
Tunisian president Kais Saied has suspended parliament and dismissed prime minister Hichem Mechichi after a day of protests against the ruling party brought the country’s political crisis to a head.
Cheering crowds quickly flooded the streets of the capital Tunis after Saied’s announcement on Sunday, celebrating and honking car horns in scenes that recalled the 2011 revolution that brought democracy and triggered the Arab spring protests that convulsed the Middle East.
Researchers say cases linked to products claiming to promote muscle growth or weight loss are rising and more rigorous oversight is needed
The number of patients being admitted to hospital with severe liver injuries caused by herbal and dietary supplements claiming to promote muscle growth or weight loss is increasing, with some people harmed so severely they required a liver transplant.
A study led by Dr Emily Nash from the Royal Prince Alfred hospital examined hospital records of 184 adults admitted to the AW Morrow Gastroenterology and Liver Centre with drug-induced liver injury between 2009 and 2020. She and her co-authors found liver injury cases linked to herbal and dietary supplements increased from two out of 11 patients (15%) during 2009–11, to 10 out of 19 patients (47%) during 2018–20.
CEO Jacek Olczak says product should be treated like petrol cars, which will be outlawed from 2030
The chief executive of tobacco business Philip Morris International has called on the UK government to ban cigarettes within a decade, in a move that would outlaw its own Marlboro brand.
Jacek Olczak said the company could “see the world without cigarettes … and actually, the sooner it happens, the better it is for everyone.” Cigarettes should be treated like petrol cars, the sale of which is due to be banned from 2030, he said.
Young people are getting “seriously ill” from Covid-19, a member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has warned, as he urged them to get vaccinated.
Prof Adam Finn, from the University of Bristol, said there have been close to 200 admissions, with a mean age of 40, in the city during the Delta variant wave. England’s remaining Covid restrictions were eased on Monday and pictures of crowded nightclubs, filled with revellers not wearing masks or social distancing, have raised fears among some experts that infections could surge among unvaccinated young people.
More than 250 people in the UK and Ireland have been convicted of child sexual abuse offences committed while they were Scout leaders or in other positions of responsibility within the Scout movement, according to analysis that raises questions about the organisation’s safeguarding procedures.
For decades, the Scout movement has been promoted as offering the chance to experience adventures and gain life skills but a review of offenders shows that for scores of children it has led to abuse at the hands of someone entrusted with their welfare.
French president reportedly spoke to Naftali Bennett to ensure ‘proper investigation’ after Pegasus project
Emmanuel Macron has reportedly spoken to the Israeli prime minister, Naftali Bennett, to ensure that the Israeli government is “properly investigating” allegations that the French president could have been targeted with Israeli-made spyware by Morocco’s security services.
In a phone call, Macron expressed concern that his phone and those of most of his cabinet could have been infected with Pegasus, hacking software developed by the Israeli surveillance firm NSO Group, which enables operators of the tool to extract messages, photos and emails, record calls and secretly activate microphones from infected devices.
Experts warn of danger of untraceable funds if companies accepting payments in cryptos go bust
The government could face “limitless” losses as a result of businesses that accept payments in untaxed and untraceable cryptocurrencies going bust, an insolvency expert has warned.
A growing number of companies, including the ethical cosmetics firm Lush and office-sharing firm WeWork, have begun taking payments for goods and services in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, alongside debt, credit or cash.
Hundreds sign petition after the jobs of Tanya Barson and Pablo Martínez, two senior figures at Macba, are axed
A row has broken out in the international art world over the departures of Tanya Barson, the English curator, and Pablo Martínez, the head of programmes, from the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (Macba).
The pair departed on 16 July, the day after Elvira Dyangani Ose, the director of the Showroom in London, was appointed as the museum’s new director.
Leading radicals are raising their voices against the demand for uncritical backing for the government
Luis Emilio Aybar is a voice from the left, which in Cuba means pretty far left. By any measure, he should be a stalwart defender of the island’s communist regime. After widespread public protests that two weeks ago roiled the nation, the 34-year-old published an article in the magazine La Tizza, which bills itself as “a space to think about socialism”.
After the prerequisite denunciation of the US, he wrote: “What happened on 11 July is also because we communists and revolutionaries do not fight with sufficient force and efficiency the harmful practices of the state.
‘Disastrous’ energy policies of China, Russia, Brazil and Australia could stoke 5C rise in temperatures if adopted by the rest of the world
A key group of leading G20 nations is committed to climate targets that would lead to disastrous global warming, scientists have warned. They say China, Russia, Brazil and Australia all have energy policies associated with 5C rises in atmospheric temperatures, a heating hike that would bring devastation to much of the planet.
The analysis, by the peer-reviewed group Paris Equity Check, raises serious worries about the prospects of key climate agreements being achieved at the Cop26 summit in Glasgow in three months. The conference – rated as one of the most important climate summits ever staged – will attempt to hammer out policies to hold global heating to 1.5C by agreeing on a global policy for ending net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050.
‘David Taylor’ claims hooding, sensory deprivation and waterboarding was to persuade him to cooperate with the CIA
A British citizen has claimed he was tortured in Somalia and questioned by US intelligence officers, raising concern that controversial practices of the post-9/11 “war on terror” are still being used.
The 45-year-old from London alleges he has endured hooding, sensory deprivation and waterboarding at the hands of the Somali authorities to persuade him, he believes, to cooperate with the CIA. Foreign Office officials are aware of the allegationsof torture and US involvement, but their failure to act has raised questions over UK complicity.
Hundreds of fines have been issued and dozens charged in Sydney after anti-lockdown protesters marched and clashed with police in what one deputy commissioner called “violent, filthy, risky behaviour”.
The Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, said on Sunday the previous day’s protests – in which thousands breached the region’s coronavirus measures to protest – were “selfish and self-defeating”, adding: “It achieves no purpose. It won’t end the lockdown sooner.”
Multibillion-dollar settlements specifically exclude admission of wrongdoing over a crisis that has claimed 600,000 lives
There is growing anger among families bereaved by the US opioid epidemic at pharmaceutical companies “buying their way out of accountability” with multibillion-dollar settlements that specifically exclude any admission of wrongdoing.
Sajid Javid has provoked a wave of anger from families of the victims of Covid after he said people must no longer “cower” from the virus.
The health secretary announced on Saturday that he had made a “full recovery” from Covid-19 after falling ill eight days ago, and said: “Please, if you haven’t yet, get your jab, as we learn to live with, rather than cower from, this virus.”
One person has died as officials struggle to provide adequate Covid-safe emergency shelter for nearly 15,000 residents
Thousands of residents have fled flooded communities and swollen rivers in the Philippine capital, Manila, and outlying provinces after days of torrential monsoon rains that left at least one villager dead.
Officials say they are struggling to open more emergency shelters in order to allow social distancing among the displaced residents and prevent evacuation camps from turning into epicentres of Covid-19 infections. In the hard-hit city of Marikina in the capital region, nearly 15,000 residents were evacuated to safety overnight as waters rose alarmingly in a major river.
Although profits may be down this week, the airline’s shares – and its chief executive’s optimism – are defying gravity
Who’s afraid of the Delta variant? Not Michael O’Leary. Over the last 16 months of sickness, death and lockdown, the billionaire Ryanair boss has rediscovered his controversy button and has lately been loudly telling governments to stick their “scariants” and let everyone fly again.
Much of his ire has been reserved for Ireland, whose scientific and medical leaders must envy the UK’s Chris Whitty for only getting accosted in the park.
Thanks Bryan, what a few hours we have in store. I had to restart my router before this stint because it was overwhelmed by Olympic content, splashes of excess Olympics were sloshing all over the place like a poorly executed yard of ale.
There will be more medals on offer in the swimming, shooting, and skateboarding, as well as Ash Barty, Naomi Osaka and Andy Murray in the tennis, Simone Biles in the gymnastics, Jade Jones in the taekwondo, the start of the women’s road race… and, and… phew!
Demonstrators in several cities denounce president for alleged corruption and Covid mismanagement
Protesters took to the streets in several Brazilian cities on Saturday to demand the impeachment of Jair Bolsonaro, the country’s far right president whose popularity has fallen in recent weeks amid corruption scandals against the backdrop of the pandemic.
This week, news broke that Brazil’s defence ministry told congressional leadership that next year’s elections would not take place without amending the country’s electronic voting system to include a paper trail of each vote.
Insurgents have captured key border crossings and encircled several provincial capitals
Afghan authorities have imposed a night-time curfew across 31 of the country’s 34 provinces to curb surging violence unleashed by a sweeping Taliban offensive in recent months, the interior ministry has said.
The widespread Taliban offensive has seen the insurgents capture key border crossings, dozens of districts and encircle several provincial capitals since early May.
Real estate holdings published for first time show it owns 4,051 properties in Italy, 1,120 abroad
The Vatican has released information on its real estate holdings for the first time, revealing it owns more than 5,000 properties, as part of its most detailed financial disclosures ever.
The information released on Saturday was contained in two documents – a consolidated financial statement for 2020 for the Holy See and the first ever public budget for the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (Apsa).
Demonstrators say law that bans teaching of issue in schools is causing division in Hungary
Thousands of Hungarians have joined the annual Budapest Pride march to support LGBTQ people and protest against a law that limits teaching about homosexuality and transgender issues in schools.
Hungary’s nationalist prime minister, Viktor Orbán, in power since 2010, has introduced social policies that he says aim to safeguard traditional Christian values from western liberalism, stoking tensions with the EU.
A South Korean broadcaster has apologised after using offensive images to depict several countries during the opening ceremony of the Olympics on Friday.
MBC displayed photos and facts about each country as athletes walked out during the parade of nations. Most of them varied from inane to odd: Great Britain’s athletes were accompanied by a photo of the Queen, and, somewhat mystifyingly, El Salvador was summed up by a bitcoin symbol.
Government cites national security in civil case over 2019 death of British teenager in road crash
The US government has requested that the civil courts prevent the disclosure of the employment details of Harry Dunn’s alleged killer in the interests of “national security”.
The 19-year-old’s parents, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, lodged a claim against Anne Sacoolas and her husband following the teenager’s death in a road crash outside a US military base in Northamptonshire two years ago.
Will Cathcart claims government officials around the world among 1,400 WhatsApp users targeted in 2019
Senior government officials around the world – including individuals in high national security positions who are “allies of the US” – were targeted by governments with NSO Group spyware in a 2019 attack against 1,400 WhatsApp users, according to the messaging app’s chief executive.
Will Cathcart disclosed the new details about individuals who were targeted in the attack after revelations this week by the Pegasus project, a collaboration of 17 media organisations which investigated NSO, the Israeli company that sells its powerful surveillance software to government clients around the world.
Workers have become unlikely stars of the video app, while revealing harsh conditions
Agricultural workers throw their buckets into the air at the end of harvest like at a graduation ceremony. A construction site turns into a concert hall, with workers wearing strands of hemp as wigs and singing into bits of plastic piping instead of microphones. A market stall becomes a runway as fruit vendors strut their stuff: a bunch of bananas as headgear, leeks dangling from their necks.
With posts from factories, fields and construction sites, workers in Turkey are going viral on TikTok. The app’s staples such as challenges, dancing and comedy abound, but amid the joy it is hard not to miss the criticism of dire working conditions.
Move by international body set up to implement post-war peace deal follows attempts to downplay 1995 Srebrenica massacre
The top international official in Bosnia has outlawed denial of genocide in the Balkan country to counter attempts by Bosnia’s Serbs to deny the scope of the 1995 massacre in Srebrenica, Europe’s only post-second world war genocide.
Valentin Inzko, the outgoing head of Bosnia’s Office of the High Representative, or OHR, introduced the changes to the country’s criminal code on Friday, bringing in prison sentences of up to five years for genocide denial and for the glorification of war criminals, including naming of streets or public institutions after them.
UN human rights experts decry arrests and evictions of ethnic Karen from Kaeng Krachan national park
UN human rights experts have urged Unesco not to grant World Heritage Site status to a national park in Thailand, where they said Indigenous people are being arrested and evicted from their traditional lands.
The UN experts said in a statement: “This is an important precedent-setting case, and may influence policies on how Indigenous peoples’ rights are respected in protected areas across Asia.
Firefighters have officially ended their efforts following one of the nation’s deadliest engineering failures
Firefighters have declared the end of their search for bodies at the site of a collapsed Florida condo building, concluding a month of painstaking work removing layers of dangerous debris that were once piled several stories high.
The collapse on 24 June at the oceanside Champlain Towers South killed 97 people, with at least one more missing person yet to be identified. The site has been mostly swept flat and the rubble moved to a Miami warehouse. Although forensic scientists are still at work, including examining the debris at the warehouse, there are no more bodies to be found where the building once stood.
Family of missing British hiker have been informed of report and are seeking ‘urgent clarification’, says charity representing them
The charity representing the family of British hiker Esther Dingley says it is seeking urgent clarification after reports emerged that possible human remains had been found close to where the woman went missing in the Pyrenees.
LBT Global said in a statement posted to Facebook it was “aware of the discovery of what MAY be human remains close to the last known location of Esther DINGLEY. We are urgently seeking clarification. The family have been informed of the discovery and we are supporting them now.”
Barack Obama would like to wish you good luck (if you are a world-class athlete. And American. But I’m sure he wishes you well even if you’re not):
I could not be prouder of the incredible athletes representing @TeamUSA at the Olympics. Their determination and hard work got them this far, and they’re ready to seize this moment. We'll be rooting for them all the way.
Last night was a big one for team Australia, with the pageantry and symbolism of the opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium. Even though just 63 members of Australia’s 480-odd delegation formally marched, the rest gathered around their televisions in the athletes’ village or their team hotels (for those out of Tokyo).
There might be a few sleepy heads this morning. It was an emotional night for the Aussies, with Patty Mills becoming the first Indigenous Australian to fly the flag in an opening ceremony. Mills has been a major force for Australian basketball, with Tokyo 2020 his fourth Olympics and he is widely-admired by his peers for his sporting success and social justice activism.
But this morning attention turns to the action on the pitch/pool/field. Australia do not have high medal hopes on day one, but there are plenty of important preliminary encounters around the venues. The Kookaburras face Japan in the hockey, Richie Porte, Lucas Hamilton and Luke Durbridge are all in action in the road race and Jian Fang Lay will make her sixth Olympic appearance in the table tennis. Tonight, all eyes will be on the heats at the Aquatics Centre, with Emma McKeon expected to shine in the 100m butterfly, Elijah Winnington and Jack McLoughlin jostling for lane position in the 400m freestyle and the women’s 100m freestyle relay closing out the night.
The White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, delivered an update today on US efforts to share its Covid vaccine doses with other countries around the world. The news comes as domestic vaccination rates stagnate and the White House ramps up its efforts to fight vaccine hesitancy.
The AP reports:
White House press secretary Jen Psaki says the United States has shipped 22 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine to other countries this week.
The total was a weekly record as vaccines went to 23 countries. Psaki says the recipients included Pakistan, Vietnam, Guatemala, Panama, Senegal, Cameroon and Morocco, among other nations. By this weekend, roughly 80 million doses in total will have shipped from the United States to other countries.
Amid growing concerns about rising Covid-19 cases across the US, my colleague Erin McCormick took a closer look at one state experiencing an alarming spike: California.
The Golden State has had some of the strictest lockdowns during the pandemic, and now has some of the highest vaccination rates. But just over a month after the governor lifted the last of the state’s Covid restrictions, case numbers are climbing, and some counties are bringing back mask mandates.
In Los Angeles, county figures show that Covid-19 infections have increased twentyfold in a month. In San Francisco, they’ve almost tripled in two weeks and, overall, California’s hospitalization numbers have increased by 58%, according to New York Times data.
Despite the fact that California is one of the country’s most vaccinated states, experts blame the highly contagious Delta variant for a new surge that has disrupted businesses’ and politicians’ plans to celebrate the state’s reopening.
Amid the darkness of the Tokyo skyline, a moment of hope and raging illumination. After nearly four hours of an opening ceremony that veered from the sombre to the spectacular, the Olympic flame was passed to the face of these Games, Naomi Osaka. As the steps of the Mount Fuji stage opened up before her, Japan’s globally recognised tennis star jogged towards the summit, nodded, and then set the cauldron – and perhaps these troubled Tokyo 2020 Olympics – alight.
It was the culmination of a ceremony that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) president, Thomas Bach, promised would offer a “moment of hope” in a Covid-riven world.
Bill could mean 10 years in prison for LGBTQ+ people and those who support their rights
Draft anti-gay legislation submitted to Ghana’s parliament could propose up to 10 years in jail for LGBTQ+ people as well as groups and individuals who advocate for their rights, express sympathy or offer social or medical support, in one of the most draconian and sweeping anti-gay laws proposed around the world.
Support for intersex people would also be criminalised and the government could direct intersex people to receive “gender realignment” surgery, said the draft legislation.
The ‘counter-sanctions’ are in response to Washington’s actions and are the first under China’s new anti-foreign sanction law
Barely 48 hours before the arrival in China of one of Biden’s most-trusted diplomats, Beijing has announced its decision to impose counter-sanctions on seven American citizens and entities, including former commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, in retaliation against Washington’s earlier sanctions on Chinese officials over Hong Kong crackdowns.
The Biden administration announced sanctions on seven Chinese officials on 16 July and warned US businesses of the “growing risks” posed by Beijing and Hong Kong.
Mourners and officials dive for cover as teargas and black smoke spread into ceremony
Mourners and dignitaries including a US delegation rushed for cover amid reports of gunfire and teargas outside the funeral on Friday of late Haitian president Jovenel Moïse.
There were no immediate reports of injuries after hundreds of protesters clashed with police outside the private ceremony. Shots erupted and teargas and black smoke wafted into the event. Protesters’ cries carried over religious leaders speaking at the funeral.
Russia’s justice ministry on Friday named the Insider, an investigative website, along with five journalists for other publications as “foreign agents”, a label that implied the news agencies and individual reporters were taking foreign money to influence Russian politics.
Torrential rains cause landslides as military personnel assist with rescue operations in coastal regions
At least 112 people have died in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, authorities have said, after torrential monsoon rains caused landslides and flooded low-lying areas, cutting off hundreds of villages.
Parts of India’s west coast received up to 594mm (23in) of rainfall over 24 hours, forcing authorities to evacuate people from vulnerable areas as they released water from dams that were threatening to overflow.
Greek capital is first in Europe to create role, which will involve finding new ways to cool the city
Athens has appointed a chief heat officer to protect people from soaring temperatures and try to find ways to adapt the city to the heatwaves and extreme weather that are striking the capital more frequently as the result of the climate emergency.
The UK is eroding its global reputation for conserving its “unparalleled” historic assets, culture bodies have warned, with Stonehenge expected to be the next in line to lose its coveted World Heritage status after Liverpool.
Researchers suggest net increase would mostly occur in renewables sector, with decline in fossil fuels
If some politicians are to be believed, taking sweeping action to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement would be calamitous for energy sector jobs. But a study suggests that honouring the global climate target would, in fact, increase net jobs by about 8 million by 2050.
The study – in which researchers created a global dataset of the footprint of energy jobs in 50 countries including major fossil fuel-producing economies – found that currently an estimated 18 million people work in the energy industries, which is likely to increase to 26 million if climate targets are met.
Trucks, diggers and volunteers try to clear mud and ruined belongings from wrecked homes and businesses
A brown line one and a half metres high on the kitchen wall marks where the waters reached when Christian Ulrich’s house was inundated. The electrician stands amid the mud-splattered walls and his voice breaks as he recalls how he had barely enough time after the warning came to reach the cellar to get food and water and send his mother up the stairs. He had just managed to let in the neighbours who had banged on the door for help, when there was an “almighty crash – like an explosion” as a huge wave of water rolled in from the back and front of the house, so strong it pushed out the front door and many of the windows.
Hungary’s LGBT community expects high turnout for march on Saturday marking end of Pride month
Saturday’s Pride march in Budapest will be “a celebration, but also a protest”, organisers have said, as Hungary’s LGBT community prepares to rally in defiance of an escalating anti-gay campaign by the country’s government.
Johanna Majercsik, one of the organisers of Pride month in Budapest, which culminates with the march, said she expected to see many more in attendance than the roughly 20,000 marchers who attended the last Pride march in the city, two years ago.
Move follows fierce lobbying campaign by the Australian government which said it was blindsided by Unesco recommendation
The Great Barrier Reef will not be placed on a list of world heritage sites “in danger” after a global lobbying effort from Australia against the proposed listing.
The 21-country World Heritage Committee on Friday ignored a scientific assessment from the UN’s science and culture organisation, Unesco, that the reef was clearly in danger from climate change and should be placed on the list.
‘Real prospect’ 1998 attack by dissident republicans could have been prevented, says Mr Justice Horner
A high court judge in Belfast has recommended the UK government undertake a human rights compliant investigation into the Omagh bombing, and urged the Irish government to do likewise, after finding there was a “real prospect” the Real IRA attack in 1998 could have been prevented.
Mr Justice Horner told Belfast high court: “I am satisfied that certain grounds when considered separately or together give rise to plausible allegations that there was a real prospect of preventing the Omagh bombing.
Suzanne Heywood says process was set up to scapegoat the former civil servant and ‘distract attention’
The widow of a former top civil servant who was heavily criticised in the UK government’s inquiry into the Greensill affair has described the process as a “travesty” set up to scapegoat her husband and “distract attention” from events after his death.
Boris Johnson has already been accused of orchestrating a cover-up over the lobbying scandal after an official review mildly rebuked the former prime minister David Cameron.
Bootleg fire is generating enough energy and extreme heat that ‘it’s changing the weather’, says expert
In southern Oregon, the Bootleg fire has now burned a swath of land larger than the city of Los Angeles. It has forced at least 2,000 residents from their homes and burned 160 houses and buildings. And it’s not alone – there are more than 80 fires burning across the United States.
Some of these fires are now so intense and large they can create their own weather systems, including fire tornadoes, clouds and other weird phenomena – including smoky haze that has reached New York City, 3,000 miles from where the fires started. New York City now has some of the world’s worst air quality, prompting state officials to issue an alert for residents with underlying health conditions, such as asthma, to avoid the outdoors.
Visit comes as China tightens control over region’s Buddhist culture and invests heavily in infrastructure
The Chinese leader has made his first visit to Tibet as president as authorities tighten controls over the Himalayan region’s traditional Buddhist culture, accompanied by an accelerated drive for economic development and modernised infrastructure.
State media reported on Friday that Xi Jinping had visited sites in the capital, Lhasa, including the Drepung monastery, Barkhor Street and the public square at the base of the Potala Palace that was home to the Dalai Lamas, Tibet’s traditional spiritual and temporal leaders.
Extreme rainstorms are continuing their path of destruction, dumping 260mm on the city of Xinxiang in just two hours
Thousands of people remain trapped in areas of central China as floods continue to batter the region after record-breaking rainfall. At least 33 people have been killed in recent days but the death toll is expected to rise as recovery crews access previously submerged roads and tunnels in the capital city.
Extreme rainstorms – which dumped a year’s worth of rain on and around the capital of Henan province, Zhengzhou, earlier this week – have since moved north, affecting outer cities and regional areas, trapping people without electricity or fresh water, including at hospitals.
Spain was not long into the first wave of the Covid pandemic when the poet and hospital laundry worker Begoña M Rueda realised there wasn’t quite enough room on the public pedestal for all those who worked in the country’s over-stretched and often under-resourced health system.
“At eight, people step on to their balconies to applaud / the labours of the doctors and the nurses / but few applaud the labours of the woman who sweeps and mops the hospital / or of those of us who wash the linen of the infected / with our bare hands,” Rueda writes in one of the poems that makes up her latest collection.
With 100 days to go to crucial UN crisis summit in Glasgow, PM is accused of lack of leadership
Protesters will fill London’s Parliament Square on Friday morning, calling on the prime minister, Boris Johnson, to make the climate crisis his top priority, as the UK prepares to host UN talks that will determine whether the world tips into environmental catastrophe this decade.
Giant alarm clocks will show time running out, while 100 protesters chant that Johnson and his chancellor, Rishi Sunak, are “missing in action” on the climate crisis.
For a first taste, this is an excellent curtain-raiser from Sean Ingle, who explores that fine line between opposing an Olympics replete with problems and controversy and being drawn in by the sporting narratives.
Hello and welcome to the Guardian’s live coverage of the Olympic Games. We’re here to provide you with 24-hour rolling coverage of all the highs and lows and in-betweens of perhaps the strangest instalment since the very first in Athens in 1896. This is the “Tokyo 2020” of 2021. The Games that couldn’t happen a year ago because of Covid-19, and the Games many believe shouldn’t happen even now as the pandemic continues to cut a swathe through Japan. Signs of a fifth wave are everywhere in the host nation, where infection and death tolls are rising and vaccination rates remain low, and the capital will be under a state of emergency for the entirety of competition. That’s before mentioning the spiralling financial cost.
But, as International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said, “there is no Plan B”. And so, organisers have pressed on, and almost 80,000 athletes, officials, support staff and yes, us the media, have either arrived or will touch down imminently. The local mood is one of derision, to the point that one of the Olympics’ biggest sponsors, Toyota, announced it will not run Tokyo 2020-related adverts. In such an environment controversy already abounds, likewise with athletes taking the knee, super quick super spikes, and all the others which have unfortunately become something of Olympics tradition such as doping, corruption and the status of Russian athletes, some of whom will compete but under a neutral flag.
Human rights groups say latest series of arrests and searches are part of ‘a total purge on civil society’
The government of Belarus has launched a broad crackdown on civil society, launching raids and arrests on dozens of organisations in what has been described as a “black week” for the country’s NGOs.
The raids, which began last week, have touched all corners of civil society, from groups that campaign for political prisoners’ rights to those that crowdfund medical care and have helped medics in the fight against coronavirus.
Locals in Efrat, an Israeli settlement with US cultural links, give their views on the ban on sales to occupied territories
There are blue skies and green grass outside and inside Pizzeria Efrat, a restaurant in a settlement of the same name in the occupied West Bank.
Outside, the pizza parlour is surrounded by lush parks and wide, quiet roads. Inside, the famous cartoon cows on tubs of Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream greet customers from no fewer than three branded freezer cabinets, stacks of red pizza boxes piled up behind them.