Tuesday 3rd August 2021
In Japan, Belarusian Olympian Krystsina Tsimanouskaya has been given a humanitarian visa by Poland. This was announced by Poland’s deputy foreign minister yesterday. This is after the 24-year-old sprinter refused to fly back to Belarus from Tokyo on Sunday. She said that her team was trying to force her to fly back to Belarus. The Olympian instead asked the Japanese police for protection. Yesterday, she travelled to Poland’s embassy in Japan’s capital, Tokyo. These events apparently began after Tsimanouskaya criticised how officials were managing the Belarusian Olympic team. The sprinter has said that she is scared of returning to Belarus.
In China, the death toll from the floods in China's central Henan province last month has risen to at least 302. About 50 people remain missing after the province was hit by severe flooding caused by heavy rainfall. Almost 13 million people were affected and nearly 9,000 homes were damaged. The majority of the deaths were reported in the city of Zhengzhou. In Zhengzhou, the floodwater filled the city's subway system and cars were washed away. The city reported a year's rainfall within the space of three days. Yesterday, the mayor of Zhengzhou confirmed the death toll. He said 39 people were found dead in underground car parks.
US shot-putter Raven Saunders has made the Tokyo Olympics' first award ceremony demonstration. This was after winning her event's silver medal. As the medallists posed for photos on Sunday, Saunders raised her arms and crossed them into an X shape. She said it represented "the intersection of where all people who are oppressed meet.” The 25-year-old, who is black, gay, and has openly spoken about her struggles with depression, said she wanted to give light to people all around the world who are oppressed. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) relaxed a ban on protests ahead of the Tokyo Games. They agreed to allow athletes to "express their views" during news conferences. However, political demonstrations are still banned on the medal stand.
In Brazil, a group of Supreme Court justices announced yesterday that there is no fraud in Brazil’s voting system. This is despite criticism by President Jair Bolsonaro. Currently, the president is pushing for changes to the voting process. Thousands of his supporters on Sunday demonstrated in Rio de Janeiro. They showed support for Bolsonaro’s idea of changing the electronic voting system that has been used for 20 years. Bolsonaro wants a physical receipt to be printed by electronic voting machines in next year’s presidential election. The president has said, without providing any evidence, that fraud affected the 2018 elections.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, police announced yesterday that thirty-three people died in a clash between a truck and a bus during the weekend. The victims were killed by a huge fire that was sparked by the accident. The bodies recovered were buried yesterday. Deadly road accidents are common in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the roads are in need of repair and many vehicles do not meet safety requirements.
In Ghana, lecturers and staff at universities began their strike over pay yesterday. The government had announced a 4% salary increase for lecturers and workers this year. But some university staff unions have criticised the increase, saying it's too small. The unions also want Ghana's government to follow a 2012 agreement that promised an entry-level lecturer's salary of more than $2,000 per month - but it's currently still below $1,000. Classes have been cancelled and universities are now closed.
In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised to create a "simple and user-friendly" system for overseas travel. This is after he faced criticism over plans to create another category for travel restrictions, called the amber watchlist.
BJ: "We must try and stop variants coming in, must stop importing variants from abroad; so we have to have a balanced approach. And what I want to see is a something that is as simple and as user-friendly for people as possible."
And finally, in France, a giant panda from China gave birth to twin female cubs yesterday. Panda reproduction - both in captivity and in the wild - is known to be very difficult. Experts say, only a few bears native to China reproduce.
And that’s your Simple English world news for today. You can find transcripts or send us a message at send7.org. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook @send7podcast. I’m Namitha Ragunath and tomorrow you will be with Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great day.