Queen awards George Cross to NHS
Queen Elizabeth has awarded the George Cross to the NHS as Britain’s health service marks its 73rd anniversary today. The BBC says that in a personal message, the Queen said NHS staff across the UK had worked “with courage, compassion and dedication” for more than 70 years. The George Cross was instituted by King George VI in 1940 during the height of the Blitz in World War Two. On 15 April 1942 it was awarded to the people of Malta to “bear witness to the heroism and devotion of its people” during the great siege they underwent in the early part of World War II.
Pope reacts well to colon surgery
The Vatican says Pope Francis is recovering well after undergoing colon surgery. Avvenire is among the world’s media to publish the first medical bulettin by Vatican Press Office director Matteo Bruni, which said that the planned procedure was carried out under general anaesthetic. The 84-year-old Pontiff is expected to remain at the Gemelli Hospital for the next five days. Italian President Sergio Mattarella and European Parliament President, David Sassoli, have both wished him a speedy recovery.
The news of the surgery which Pope Francis had to undergo was quickly reflected in the international media. CNN published the Vatican spokesman’s statement on its website as breaking news, underlining that colon stenosis is “a common condition that affects more than half of adults in the United States, particularly the elderly”.
The news also appears on the websites of the BBC, The Guardian and The New York Times, which point out that it is the first time that Pope Francis has been hospitalised since he became pope in 2013.The newspaper also takes stock of the health of the Pope who, so far, states, “has not raised great concerns”. The newspaper portal recalls that “more than 60 years ago, an upper lobe of the lung was removed due to tuberculosis complications and at times his breathing seemed laboured during speeches. He also suffers from sciatica, a malaise which at times forced him to cancel commitments”.
The Pope’s health is also at the heart of the Argentine newspapers and the Spanish Vanguardia.
Remaining Miami block demolished over safety fears
The standing portion of a partially collapsed apartment block near Miami has been demolished over safety fears as a tropical storm approaches Florida. Miami Herald reports explosive charges were used to bring down the remaining part of Champlain Towers South. Part of the 12-storey block collapsed on June 24. Twenty-four people are known to have died and 121 are still missing.
Babies, nurses abducted in Nigeria
Gunmen in Nigeria have raided a hospital in the northern city of Zaria, abducting babies, nurses and security guards. Voice of Nigeria says it was not clear how many people were seized. A police station was also attacked.
Nations respond to Cyprus’ call for help
Several nations have answered Cyprus’s appeal to help tackle a huge wildfire, which has since killed four people. The Mirror says the UK, Greece, Italy and Israel are among those helping, including with firefighting aircraft. Cyprus said missions to drop water had helped to reduce fire outbreaks, but warned that blazes could resurge.
Franco-Russia champagne war
A champagne war has been declared between Paris and Moscow. Le Monde reports the French luxury giant LVMH has stopped all exports to Russia of Moet et Chandon, Veuve Cliquot and Dom Perignon, depriving oligarchs and rich people of the main flute of good nights and solemn ceremonies. The hostilities followed legislation, which states that champagne exported to Russia can no longer be called that and will have to be content with the much more modest definition of “sparkling wine”. The classic brand of French bubbles will instead be reserved for those produced in Russia.