Mourning and anger amid devastation after Beirut explosion; One-third of Afghanistan may have had COVID-19; 75-years since Hiroshima bombing

Aug 6, 2020

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Still reeling from the massive explosion that flattened Beirut’s port on Tuesday, many Lebanese are turning toward anger and frustration over corrupt Lebanese officials for the presence of a warehouse full of ammonium nitrate at the center of the blast. French President Emmanuel Macron visited Beirut today and warned that without serious reforms the country would “continue to sink.”

The blast, which killed at least 137 people and injured more than 5,000, appears to have been caused by an accidental fire that ignited the warehouse at the city's port, according to Lebanese President Michel Aoun. The devastation in Beirut — with buildings across the city damaged and more than 250,000 people displaced from their homes, forced to move in with relatives and friends — is compounded by the ongoing pandemic and an economic crisis.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has said test results for a man who is possibly North Korea's first case of the coronavirus are “inconclusive,” even as the country moved to isolate 3,635 of his apparent contacts. Pyongyang declared a state of emergency on July 26.

In Afghanistan, the country’s health minister said an antibody survey revealed almost one-third of the nation may have been infected with the coronavirus. The research was conducted by WHO and Johns Hopkins University. While the testing showed Kabul and other urban areas were worst affected, it is believed a significant percentage of cases have been asymptomatic.

And, with Hiroshima marking the 75th anniversary of the 1945 nuclear blast on Thursday, the survivors were a diminished presence due to the threat of the coronavirus and their old age. Hibakusha, the name for the survivors of those atomic tragedies, have been a force for peace and strong advocates for a nuclear-free world. The two bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed at least 200,000 people.

From The WorldJohn Bolton: Trump doesn’t understand ‘the gravity of responsibility’

The former White House national security adviser tells The World's host Marco Werman that the president is not “very well-informed,” which means he “doesn't really see the bigger-picture implications” of foreign policy decisions he makes on his gut feelings rather than intelligence.

NHL players kneel to protest police brutality

After a four-month delay, National Hockey League players are back on the ice, bringing social justice movements with them.

“For those unaffected by systematic racism, or unaware, I’m sure that some of you believe that this topic has garnered too much attention during the last couple months,” Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba said through the loudspeakers at Rogers Place arena Aug. 1 in Edmonton, Canada. But, he added, “Black Lives Matter. Breona Taylor’s life matters. Hockey is a great game, but it could be a whole lot greater, and it starts with all of us.”

Bright spot

A trade deal between Canada and the European Union may collapse over cheese … specifically the grillable, briny (and “rubber delicacy,”) halloumi from Cyprus. Government officials from the Mediterranean island recently voted against the EU trade deal with Canada over a lack of protections for halloumi raising many questions over the potential of a single EU government sinking a deal for the entire block.

In case you missed itListen: Lebanon declares a state of emergency after explosion

After Tuesday’s explosion in Beirut, Lebanon's government has declared a two-week state of emergency. Emergency crews are still on the scene after nearly 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate produced the blast that killed more than 100 people with several thousand more wounded. And, what would President Trump’s foreign policy look like in a second term? Trump’s former National Security Adviser John Bolton offers his thoughts. Plus, high-resolution images of poop stains via satellites show that there are nearly 20% more emperor penguin colonies than previously thought on the icy continent of Antarctica.

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