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July 26, 2021 | Via The Guardian

US Accused of ‘Demonizing’ China

China has blamed the US for what it called a “stalemate” in bilateral relations and accused Washington of “demonizing” Beijing as high-level face-to-face talks began in the Chinese city of Tianjin. Vice foreign minister Xie Feng urged the US “to change its highly misguided mindset and dangerous policy,” the official Xinhua news agency reported. The ministry described relations as at a “stalemate” and facing “serious difficulties.”

July 26, 2021 | Via BBC

Tunisia’s PM Sacked After Violent Covid Protests

Tunisia’s president has sacked the PM and suspended parliament, after violent mass protests nationwide on Sunday. Anger over the government’s handling of a massive recent spike in Covid cases has added to general unrest over the nation’s economic and social turmoil. President Kais Saied, who was elected in 2019, announced he was taking over. His supporters erupted in celebration, but opponents in parliament immediately accused him of staging a coup.

July 26, 2021 | Via Sky News

New Zealand to Repatriate Alleged Islamic State Militant

A woman alleged to be a Islamic State (IS) member can be repatriated from Turkey, New Zealand has said. New Zealand has agreed to welcome the woman and her two young children, who have been detained in Turkey since February. The decision follows a bitter dispute with Australia over which country needed to shoulder responsibility for the woman, who had been a dual citizen of both countries.

July 26, 2021 | Via NPR

At Least 7 People Die in A 20-Car Pileup in a Utah Sandstorm

At least seven people were killed in a 20-vehicle pileup crash during a sandstorm Sunday afternoon, Utah Highway Patrol said. The crashes happened on Interstate 15 near the town of Kanosh. The pileup occurred during a period of high winds that caused a dust or sandstorm, which reduced visibility, the highway patrol said. Kanosh is located about 160 miles south of Salt Lake City.

July 26, 2021 | Via CNN

Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan Hit Record High Amid US Withdrawal

Civilian casualties in Afghanistan reached record levels in the first half of 2021, the United Nations warned Monday, noting that deaths and injuries spiked markedly from May when the United States and its allies began withdrawing troops from the country. Some 5,183 casualties were recorded in the first six months of the year — a 47% increase from 2020 — the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) found in a report.

July 23, 2021 | Via Reuters

Slimmed-Down Ceremony to Open Pandemic-Hit Tokyo Games

The Tokyo Olympics opens on Friday with a ceremony reflecting a Games like no other, walking a fine line between celebrating the feats of the world’s best athletes while acknowledging the global hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Postponed for a year, organizers were forced to take the unprecedented step of holding the Games without fans as the pandemic continues to take lives around the world.

July 23, 2021 | Via BBC

Eight-Week Gap Seen as Sweet Spot for Pfizer Jab Antibodies

A longer gap between first and second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine makes the body’s immune system produce more infection-fighting antibodies, UK researchers have found. Experts say the findings support the UK’s decision on extending dosing intervals from the initial recommendation of three weeks. An eight-week gap seems to be the sweet spot for tackling the Delta variant.

July 23, 2021 | Via The Guardian

Chinese Leader Xi Jinping Makes First Visit to Tibet as President

The Chinese leader has made his first visit to Tibet as president as authorities tighten controls over the Himalayan region’s traditional Buddhist culture, accompanied by an accelerated drive for economic development and modernized infrastructure. China has in recent years stepped up controls over Buddhist monasteries and expanded education in the Chinese rather than Tibetan language.

July 23, 2021 | Via AP News

Haitian President’s Hometown Holds Funeral Amid Violence

The hometown of slain Haitian President Jovenel Moïse received his body on Friday for a private funeral amid heavy security following violent protests and fears of political volatility in the Caribbean nation. Moïse was shot several times on July 7 during an attack at his private home that seriously injured his wife, Martine. The funeral comes days after a new prime minister supported by key international diplomats was installed in Haiti.

July 22, 2021 | Via BBC

Olympics Director Sacked for Holocaust Joke

The show director of the Olympics opening ceremony has been dismissed, one day before the event is due to be held. Footage of Kentaro Kobayashi from the 1990s recently emerged in which he appears to be making jokes about the Holocaust. Japan’s Olympic chief Seiko Hashimoto said the video ridiculed “painful facts of history”. The dismissal is the latest in a string of scandals to hit the Games.

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