Brazil stops beef exports to China after “mad cow” cases
Two cases of mad cow disease have been detected in Brazil, resulting in the suspension of beef exports to China. The Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture said the measure was taken as part of an existing bilateral protocol, although it stressed that “there is no risk to human or animal health”. A ministerial statement explained the two cases are “atypical” because the disease appeared “spontaneously and sporadically, unrelated to the ingestion of contaminated food”. The two cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) were identified during health inspections. “Brazil has never registered a classic case of BSE,” said the ministry, which officially notified the World Organization for Animal Health. Mad cow disease first appeared in the UK in the 1980s and has spread to many countries in Europe and around the world, causing consumer alarm and triggering a major crisis in the beef sector.
Biden to visit the three sites of the 11/9 attacks
US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill will pay tribute to the victims by visiting all three sites of the 9/11 attacks that day, on the 20th anniversary: New York, Shanksville in Pennsylvania and the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. The White House said Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband will instead go to Shanksville for a separate event and then join the president and Jill at the Pentagon.
Slovakia’s U-turn on anti-COVID vaccine
Slovakia has decided to revoke its decision to allow only people vaccinated against COVID-19 to participate in public events during Pope Francis’ upcoming visit, due to the low number of registrations. The Slovak Catholic bishops’ conference said in a statement that “a negative test or proof of cure from COVID-19 in the last 180 days would be enough to get a ticket”. The ban on unvaccinated people had been challenged in the EU member state, where only 49.5% of adults are fully vaccinated, compared to 70% in the EU as a whole.
Taliban break up women’s rights protest in Kabul
Taliban officials have broken up a demonstration by dozens of women in Kabul demanding rights following the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan. The group say the Taliban targeted them with tear gas and pepper spray as they tried to walk from a bridge to the presidential palace. Clashes have meanwhile continued in the Panjshir Valley, north of Kabul, where resistance fighters have been thwarting efforts by the Taliban to exert control. Also, an iconic mural created in Kabul after the Doha agreement has been canceled by the Taliban. One of the authors, Omaid H. Sharifi, said on Twitter, “The Baradar Khalilzad mural is gone. In its place a black and white writing that says ‘Do not trust the enemy’s propaganda’“.
Italian athlete dedicates bronze medal to Afghanistan
Historic Italian hat-trick in the final of the women’s 100 meters category T63 (athletes who compete with prosthetic limbs) at the Tokyo Paralympics. On the top step of the podium 19-year-old Ambra Sabatini, who set the world record with 14’’11. Silver to Martina Caironi, 31, and bronze to Monica Graziana Contrafatto, 40, who told Rai Sport she wanted to dedicate her medal “to that other country that took something away from me but actually gave me a lot – Afghanistan”. In 2012 while a corporal major of the Bersaglieri on a mission in Afghanistan, she was hit in the leg by shrapnel from a bomb during an attack on the Italian base. The bomb caused her damage to the femoral artery, intestines and hand. Her right leg was then amputated.
Tabacconist pockets €500,000 win and flees
Police in Naples have mounted a massive search for a tabacconist who convalidated a €500,000 Scratch and Win ticket and fled. An elderly woman won the prize and went to the tobacconist’s to get confirmation of the prize. She returned later to find he had validated the winnings and escaped on a scooter.