Capitol riot: Policeman ‘feared he would die’
A police officer who defended the US Capitol during a riot by Donald Trump supporters on January 6th said he feared he would be crushed by the mob. “This is how I’m going to die”, a tearful Aquilino Gonell told a Congressional committee as an inquiry opened into the Washington DC attack. Another officer, Harry Dunn, said he was racially abused. At least 535 rioters have been arrested since the attack that left five dead, including one police officer.
Putin ‘trying to influence US vote’
Russia is already spreading disinformation in an attempt to influence the American mid-term elections next year. Visiting the headquarters of the National Intelligence Directorate, US President Joe Biden described Vladimir Putin as a threat. “He knows he is in trouble and that makes it even more dangerous,” Biden said, adding that cyber attacks could one day “trigger a real armed conflict”.
Satellites unveil second China nuclear missile base – NYT,
China is said to be building a second nuclear missile base in the desert about 2,000 km west of Beijing. The discovery, as reported by the New York Times, was made thanks to satellite images showing work in progress to build at least 110 silos to host and launch ballistic missiles. In recent weeks, analysts discovered another similar area in the Xinjang region.
Vatican trial on the funds’ mismanagement opens
The trial of Cardinal Angelo Becciu and nine other defendants – including prelates, officials of the Holy See and external managers – for the mismanagement of Vatican funds has opened. The trial is the result of an investigation into the purchase of the building in Kensington, in London, and also extended to other events. Crimes being discussed range from embezzlement to corruption and extortion. In a note at the end of the first hearing of the maxi-trial, the lawyer of the former cardinal said, “Cardinal Becciu renews his confidence in the Court.”
Sydney lockdown extended by another month
Millions of Sydney residents will spend another month in confinement: as a result of ever-growing coronavirus infections and low vaccination rates. Australia’s largest city was expected to exit the five-week lockdown on July 30, but the restrictions will remain in effect until August 28, as the number of cases has continued to rise.
Tougher US rules to combat COVID
The US has announced tougher meausres to combat the COVID pandemic following a sharp rise in cases caused by the more-infectious Delta variant. The Centre for Desease Cotrol has recommended, even vaccinated people, use masks indoors in areas with a high risk of infection. It explained that some vaccinated people infected with the Delta variant can continue to spread the virus.
Tokyo hits record COVID-19 cases
Tokyo has recorded 2,848 COVID-19 infections on Tuesday – the Olympic city’s highest since the pandemic began. Media reports say the authorities had asked hospitals to prepare more beds for patients as the Delta variant drives the surge. Broadcaster TBS said the city aims to boost the number of beds from the present 5,967 to 6,406 by early next month.
Olympics: Russia upsets American gymnasts
Russia’s gymnasts took gold in Tokyo on Tuesday in one of the biggest upsets of the Olympics so far.Barred from using its name, flag, or anthem over a systemic doping scandal, the team hung their medals around each other’s necks to the music of Russian composer Tchaikovsky. Although the Russian team’s triumph was attributed to the departure of US gymnastics superstar Simone Biles, who withdrew from the tournament citing a ‘medical issue’, they won by 3.5 points – a large margin.Meanwhile, Biles was praised for prioritising “mental wellness over all else” after pulling out of the women’s team final.