Andrew Cuomo resigns
New York governor Andrew Cuomo has resigned and with him his trusted friend, strategist and closest adviser Melissa DeRosa. The woman, according to the report by Attorney General Letitia James who accuses Cuomo of sexual harassment, would have led the governor’s efforts to try to cover up the facts and to take revenge on one of the accusers. DeRosa had also gotten into the blizzard over her involvement in Cuomo’s efforts to hide actual data on COVID-19 deaths in New York state nursing homes, which is being investigated by federal and state authorities. Last week, President Biden has called on Cuomo to resign.
Strong winds push flames towards Greek villages
Wildfires are continuing to rip through the Greek island of Evia with strong winds driving flames towards villages. More than 2,000 people have already been evacuated from the island, many by ferry. On Evia, two fire fronts have destroyed thousands of hectares of land, along with a number of houses and businesses. Greece is experiencing its most severe heatwave in 30 years as temperatures have spiked to 450C.
COVID: Lambda variant causes increase in US infections
Infections caused by the Lambda variant, discovered in Peru, are spreading in the US. Experts recall how the transmission favours the mutation of COVID in increasingly contagious forms. CNN reports that the first case of this variant was identified in Texas, and since then genomic sequencing has identified 1,060 cases attributable to it. So far, Lambda appears to be more transmissible than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus. Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump has reiterated that if it were not for him, “there would have been 100 million deaths from COVID in the US”.
Thousands protest in France against Green Pass
Over 230 thousand people took to the streets in France to protest against the Green Certificate. The protests, held in Paris, Nice and Lille, were the largest mobilisation staged so far, on the fourth consecutive weekend. There were moments of tension with the police: 35 were detained and seven officers slightly injured.
Road deaths in Europe fall by 36%
Between 2010 and 2020, the number of road deaths in Europe fell by 36%. Compared to 2019, when 22,800 deaths were recorded, 4,000 fewer people lost their lives on European roads in 2020. Preliminary data indicate that 18 EU countries have the lowest number of victims ever recorded. In 2019, the European countries with the best road safety scores were Sweden and Ireland, while those with the worst were Romania, Bulgaria and Poland. Sweden still holds the record for the safest roads (with 18 deaths per million of inhabitants) while Romania in 2020 recorded the highest number of victims (with 85 deaths per million inhabitants). In the EU, the average is 42 victims per million inhabitants, compared to the world average, which exceeds 180 victims.
Bach closes the games: “Thank you Tokyo, you’ve inspired us”
IOC president Thomas Bach has declared “the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games ended”. Just before the Olympic flame went out, he said: “The Tokyo Games were the Games of hope, solidarity and peace. Thank you Tokyo, thank you Japan. It was a great message of solidarity and peace. You inspired us with this union of strength in sport. With the pandemic. sport has become central, a moment of joy and inspiration, of hope and faith in the future. We did it. See you in Paris.” During the closing ceremony, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike handed the Olymic flag to the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, in a symbolic handover between Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024.