• Macron goes to Beirut, world offers help to Lebanon

      Macron goes to Beirut, world offers help to Lebanon

      France on Wednesday sent planes to Beirut with rescuers, medical equipment and a mobile clinic, ahead of a visit on Thursday by President Emmanuel Macron, as world leaders offer support to the Lebanese capital devastated by a massive explosion. Macron will meet his counterpart Michel Aoun, whom he called late Tuesday, as well as PM Hassan Diab, the Elysee Palace announced. Lebanon is a former French protectorate and the countries retain close political and economic ties.

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    • Years of negligence lead to deadly Beirut blast

      Years of negligence lead to deadly Beirut blast

      Initial investigations indicate years of inaction and negligence over the storage of highly explosive material in Beirut port caused the blast that killed over 100 people on Tuesday, an official source familiar with the findings said cited by Reuters. The PM and presidency said on Tuesday that 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, used in fertilisers and bombs, had been stored for six years at the port without safety measures.

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    • North Macedonia in search of new government

      North Macedonia in search of new government

      North Macedonia’s newly elected lawmakers took their seats Tuesday for the first time after the country’s 15 July elections, wearing masks and maintaining social distancing due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The formal first session of parliament starts a 10-day countdown for the leader of the party that came first in the elections to conclude complicated power-sharing negotiations with smaller parties in search of a coalition, news wires reported.

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    • Huge explosion shakes Beirut’s port, dozens dead, thousands injured

      Huge explosion shakes Beirut’s port, dozens dead, thousands injured

      A massive explosion rocked Beirut on Tuesday, flattening much of the port, damaging buildings and blowing out windows and doors across the capital and sending a giant mushroom cloud into the sky, news wires reported. There were hundreds of casualties, with bodies buried under the rubble, officials said. Hamad Hassan, Lebanon's health minister, gave an initial toll of 27 dead and some 2,500 wounded. The death toll was expected to rise.

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    • Interpol warns of

      Interpol warns of "alarming" cyber crime spread, exploiting the pandemic

      Global police body Interpol warned on Monday of an "alarming" rate of cyber crime during the coronavirus pandemic, with criminals taking advantage of people working from home to target major institutions. An assessment by the Lyon-based organisation found a "significant target shift" by criminals from individuals and small businesses to major corporations, governments and critical infrastructure.

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    • In October, Russia starts mass Covid-19 vaccinations

      In October, Russia starts mass Covid-19 vaccinations

      Russian health officials claim a potential coronavirus vaccine has finished clinical trials in a Moscow lab and there could be mass vaccinations by October, news wires reported. Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said state research facility Gamaleya Institute is one step closer to registering the vaccine, according to Interfax news agency.

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    • WHO warns of longer than expected pandemic

      WHO warns of longer than expected pandemic

      The Emergency Committee on Covid-19, convened by the WHO Director-General under the International Health Regulations, held its fourth meeting on 31 July. In its statement following the meeting, it expressed “appreciation for WHO and partners’ Covid-19 pandemic response efforts, and highlighted the anticipated lengthy duration of this pandemic, noting the importance of sustained community, national, regional, and global response efforts.” 

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    • Russia and Belarus clash over mercenaries arrest

      Russia and Belarus clash over mercenaries arrest

      A dispute between Moscow and Minsk over the detention of more than 30 men who Belarus accused of being Russian mercenaries deepened on Saturday, as the two sides contradicted each other about the group’s plans, news wires reported. The arrests could further strain relations between Belarus and Russia, which soured after the neighbours failed to agree on an oil supply contract for this year.

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    • WHO reports record daily coronavirus cases rise

      WHO reports record daily coronavirus cases rise

      The World Health Organisation (WHO) reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases on Friday, with the total rising by 292,527. The biggest increases came from the US, Brazil, India and South Africa, according to a daily report. Deaths rose by 6,812. The four countries have dominated global headlines with large outbreaks.

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