Video
Special Video
Video Streaming
nuke

nuke

01
August

People stage a protest against the COVID-19 vaccination pass in Rome on Jul 28, 2021. (Photo: AP/LaPresse/Cecilia Fabiano) - 

 

 

Shouts of “Liberty!” have echoed through the streets and squares of Italy and France as thousands show their opposition to plans to require vaccination cards for normal social activities, such as dining indoors at restaurants, visiting museums or cheering in sports stadiums.

Leaders in both countries see the cards, dubbed the “Green Pass” in Italy and the “health pass” in France, as necessary to boost vaccination rates and persuade the undecided.

Italian Premier Mario Draghi likened the anti-vaccination message from some political leaders to “an appeal to die”.

The looming requirement is working, with vaccination requests booming in both countries.

Still, there are pockets of resistance by those who see it as a violation of civil liberties or have concerns about vaccine safety. About 80,000 people protested in cities across Italy last weekend, while thousands have marched in Paris for the past three weekends, at times clashing with police.

 

European nations in general have made strides in their vaccination rates in recent months, with or without incentives. No country has made the shots mandatory, and campaigns to persuade the undecided are a patchwork.

 

Denmark pioneered vaccine passes with little resistance. Belgium will require a vaccine certificate to attend outdoor events with more than 1,500 people by mid-August and indoor events by September. Germany and Britain have so far resisted a blanket approach, while vaccinations are so popular in Spain that incentives are not deemed necessary.

In France and Italy, demonstrations against vaccine passes or virus restrictions in general are bringing together otherwise unlikely allies, often from the political extremes. They include far-right parties, campaigners for economic justice, families with small children, those against vaccines and those who fear them.

Many say vaccine pass requirements are a source of inequality that will further divide society, and they draw uneasy historic parallels.

“We are creating a great inequality between citizens," said one protester in Verona, who identified himself only as Simone because he said he feared for his livelihood. “We will have first-class citizens, who can access public services, the theatre, social life, and second-class citizens, who cannot. This thing has led to apartheid and the Holocaust."

In France and Italy, demonstrations against vaccine passes or virus restrictions in general are bringing together otherwise unlikely allies, often from the political extremes. They include far-right parties, campaigners for economic justice, families with small children, those against vaccines and those who fear them.

Many say vaccine pass requirements are a source of inequality that will further divide society, and they draw uneasy historic parallels.

“We are creating a great inequality between citizens," said one protester in Verona, who identified himself only as Simone because he said he feared for his livelihood. “We will have first-class citizens, who can access public services, the theatre, social life, and second-class citizens, who cannot. This thing has led to apartheid and the Holocaust."

Some protesters in Italy and France have worn yellow Stars of David, like those the Nazis required Jews to wear during World War II.Holocaust survivors call the comparison a distortion of history.“They are madness, gestures in poor taste that intersect with ignorance," said Liliana Segre, a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor and Italian senator for life.

“It is such a time of ignorance, of violence that is not even repressed any more, that has become ripe for these distortions.”The French health pass is required at museums, movie theatres and tourist sites, and comes into effect for restaurants and trains on Aug 9.

To get it, people must be fully vaccinated, have a recent negative test, or proof they recently recovered from COVID-19.Italy’s requirements are less stringent. Just one vaccine dose is required, and it applies to outdoor dining, cinemas, stadiums, museums and other gathering places from Aug 6.

Expanding the requirement to long-distance transport is being considered. A negative test within 48 hours or proof of having recovered from the virus in the last six months also provide access.

Vaccine demand in Italy increased by as much as 200 per cent in some regions after the government announced the Green Pass, according to the country's special commissioner for vaccinations//CNA

 

01
August

Japan's summer combines high temperatures and humidity, and there have been persistent concerns about conditions for athletes. (Photo: AFP/Behrouz Mehri) - 

 

 

Japan's northern Hokkaido region was supposed to offer cooler climes for next week's Olympic marathons and race walks, but now the area is battling a heatwave.

Olympic organisers moved the two events from Tokyo in 2019, worried that even shifting the start times to dawn would not be enough to keep athletes safe from the heat.

The summer temperatures in Hokkaido's Sapporo were expected to be kinder - around five or six degrees Celsius cooler than Tokyo, the International Olympic Committee said.

 

But in the last week, temperatures in Sapporo hit over 34 degrees Celsius, and they are forecast to hover between maximums of 31 and 34 degrees over the next week, when the race walks and marathons will take place.

 

The mercury has surged even higher elsewhere in Hokkaido, with one town in the region becoming the first place in Japan this year to record temperatures over 38 degrees.

The men's 20km race walk takes place in the region on Thursday, followed by the women's race and the marathons for men and women over the next few days.

Temperatures in Tokyo over the coming week are forecast to range from maximums of 30 to 34 Celcius.

Heat has been a persistent concern for organisers, with a raft of counter-measures drawn up including misting stations and ice jackets.

In its bid for the Games, Tokyo argued that its summer included "many days of mild and sunny weather" and would offer "an ideal climate for athletes to perform their best", but many competitors and volunteers have struggled with the conditions.

Tennis matches have now been pushed back until later in the day after multiple complaints, with Russian player Daniil Medvedev warning "I can die" as he sweated through one match.

Organisers on Sunday (Aug 1) defended their heat measures, but Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto admitted "this is something we need to be vigilant about".

He said 30 people involved with the Games have so far been treated for "heat illness", which organisers say is milder than heatstroke.

Those affected were mostly Games staff and volunteers, and none were in serious condition, he added

While the Games have been held in places that are hotter or more humid than Tokyo, including Athens and Beijing, Japan's sweaty summers offer both, in an unpleasant and sometimes deadly combination.

But, Muto added, "so far the counter-measures are going quite well, are successful."//CNA

 

01
August

The Greenland Ice Sheet is the second largest mass of freshwater ice on the planet, second only to Antarctica AFP/SAUL LOEB - 

 

Greenland's ice sheet has experienced a "massive melting event" during a heatwave that has seen temperatures more than 10 degrees above seasonal norms, according to Danish researchers.

Since Wednesday (Jul 29) the ice sheet covering the vast Arctic territory, has melted by around eight billion tonnes a day, twice its normal average rate during summer, reported the Polar Portal website, which is run by Danish researchers.

The Danish Meteorological Institute reported temperatures of more than 20 degrees Celsius, more than twice the normal average summer temperature, in northern Greenland.

And Nerlerit Inaat airport in the northeast of the territory recorded 23.4 degrees on Thursday, the highest recorded there since records began.

With the heatwave affecting most of Greenland that day, the Polar Portal website reported a "massive melting event" involving enough water "to cover Florida with two inches (5cm) of water".

The largest melt of the Greenland ice sheet still dates back to the summer of 2019.

But the area where the melting took place this time is larger than two years ago, the website added.

The Greenland ice sheet is the second largest mass of freshwater ice on the planet with nearly 1.8 million square kilometres, second only to Antarctica.

The melting of the ice sheets started in 1990 and has accelerated since 2000. The mass loss in recent years is approximately four times greater than it was before 2000, say the researchers at Polar Portal.

One European study published in January said that ocean levels would rise between 10 and 18cm by 2100 - or 60 per cent faster than previously estimated - at the rate which the Greenland ice sheet was now melting.

The Greenland ice sheet, if completely melted, would raise the ocean levels by six to seven metres.

But with a relatively cool start to the Greenland summer, with snowfalls and rains, the retreat of the ice sheet so far for 2021 remains within the historical norm, according to Polar Portal. The melting period extends from June to early September//CNA

01
August

Indonesia receives 3.5 million doses of Moderna vaccine donated by the US Government on August 1,2021. (ANTARA/Fauzan) - 

 

The Indonesian government is upbeat of securing COVID-19 vaccine supplies for August, following the arrival of Moderna vaccine donated by the US on Sunday and the planned arrival of AstraZeneca vaccine on Monday from Britain.

“The arrival of 3.5 million doses of ready-to-use Moderna vaccine and 620 thousand doses of ready-to-use AstraZeneca vaccine, has ensured that the stock is  secured. Totally, there are some 178 million doses,” Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Cultural Affairs Muhadjir Effendy said here on Sunday.

He assured that the COVID-19 vaccine supply has achieved the target for inoculating two million people daily throughout August 2021.

“A secured vaccine stock is needed to expedite and expand the vaccination program of two million doses daily in  August, in accordance with the President’s directives,” Muhadjir Effendy said a statement regarding the arrivals of COVID-19 vaccine batch 32 and 33 at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, in Tangerang, Banten, on Sunday.

He confirmed that the Indonesian government has secured the supplies of 440 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines procured in several stages.

The Indonesian Government on Sunday received 3.5 million doses of Moderna vaccine donated by the US Governent and is expected to receive 620 thousand doses of AstraZeneca donated by the Britain on Monday, through COVAX Facility, he said. 

The Indonesian government has established cooperation with various countries in an attempt tp meet the needs for COVID-19 vaccine in country, he remarked.

Furthermore, the government is striving to increase the COVID-19 vaccination coverage aimed at achieving a herd immunity against the diseases, he noted.

Hence, the government urged the private sector, professional organizations, community organizations, and other institutions to work hand-in-hand to accelerate the COVID-19 vaccination implementation.

“The vaccines sent to Indonesia are confirmed to be safe and halal. The people should not hesitate to be vaccinated,” he urged.

He also reminded the public to implement the health protocols by regularly washing their hands, maintaining safe distancing and wearing face masks//ANT

http://wowza58.indostreamserver.com:1935/voinews/live/playlist.m3u8