Global Review – 21th July

Tokyo Olympics preliminaries start

Like most Summer Olympics, Tokyo 2020 began a couple of days before the opening ceremony to cram in the group games in some team sports. In women’s softball, Japan beat Australia 8-1 and Australia beat Italy 2-0. Britain, which in 2012 reached the quarter finals before losing to Canada, kicked off the football tournament against Chile. Thursday sees the start of the men’s football. The last match to kick off, Brazil v Germany is a rematch of the 2016 Olympic final, when hosts Brazil beat Germany on penalties. A total of 71 people accredited for the Tokyo Olympics have tested positive for COVID-19. Among those who tested positive were athletes, officials, and volunteers.

Bezos completes new mission in space

Jeff Bezos fulfilled his longtime dream of going to space Tuesday and potentially opening a door to space tourism. The Amazon founder spent a few minutes in space on reusable rocket built by his firm Blue Origin as part of a four-member crew, in a small step towards his stated goal of building floating space colonies. The journey comes just two weeks after he stepped aside as chief executive of Amazon, which grew from a garage startup into one of the world’s most formidable businesses.

Paris opens Pegasus spy-case investigation

The Paris prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation into the Pegasus case on the spying of international leaders, activists and journalists after the revelations by a consortium of international media. The investigation concerns infringements related to the outrage of a computer system, including the potential fraudulent introduction, extraction and transmission of data. The president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said that “if the story is true, it is totally unacceptable”.

China says the US is the world champion of cyberattacks

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian has claimed “the United States is the world champion of cyberattacks” and it is “unacceptable” that they have formed a coalition “with their allies” to blame Beijing for cyberattacks”. He said the purpose was political, and it was only to defame and to contain China. He said that Washington had “built” a dossier “out of nothing”.

Russia unveils new fighter aircraft

Russian aircraft makers have unveiled a prototype of a new fighter jet that features stealth capabilities and other advanced characteristics. Russian President Vladimir Putin inspected the prospective warplane displayed with much fanfare at the MAKS-2021 International Aviation and Space Salon. The prototype is set to make its maiden flight in 2023.

Red Cross to join Ocean Viking ship

Teams of the International Federation of the Red Cross will join the crew of SOS Méditerranée from August on board the Ocean Viking, the ship that rescues migrants in the Mediterranean. On board will be doctors, a midwife and health personnel. In addition to medical support, Red Cross will also provide material help and psychological support. Red Cross has launched an urgent appeal for €1.8 million in support of the operation. According to the IOM, at least 1,146 people died at sea in the first half of 2021 compared to 513 in 2020 and 674 in 2019.

Indian victims 10 times more numerous

Indian victims of the pandemic could be ten times more numerous than official data: this is the hypothesis of the largest research released so far on the dramatic consequences of the virus in the Indian subcontinent. The study by Arvind Subramanian estimates that the unaccounted deaths from January 2020 to June 2021 are 3 to 4.7 million more than the 414,000 officially declared.

South Australia on lockdown again

South Australia has entered a snap lockdown of seven days, joining neighbouring Victoria and New South Wales as the third state to implement stay-at-home orders, with half of the country’s population now under restrictions to quell a spike in coronavirus cases. All educational institutions will be shut and transferred to online learning.

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