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Three members of the Australian athletics team remain in isolation after close contact with American pole vaulter Sam Kendricks, who has tested positive for Covid-19.
Sun Dawu has in the past been vocal in criticising authorities and has spoken out about human rights.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's comments came after Taliban envoys went on a visit to China.
Six state capitals have seen record prices for the third quarter in a row, the survey said.
It is building a site that will have extra capacity to store and launch missiles, scientists say.
Blinken Meets Tibet Exile Government Representative in India
The New Delhi rendezvous was is being read as a message to China and others.
Desperate COVID Families Hoist Flags For Donations in Myanmar’s Cities
Aid groups use the markers to locate homes in desperate need of food and medical supplies.
US Defense Secretary Arrives in Vietnam for Talks on Regional Security
Discussions will focus on stability and security in the South China Sea, where China is encroaching on territorial waters and maritime resources claimed by Vietnam and the Philippines.
‘No Fewer Than 10’ Bodies Discovered in Graves in Myanmar’s Kani Township
The discovery comes weeks after villagers found more than a dozen corpses scattered in a nearby forest.
North Korea Watchers Parse Motives Behind Restored Hotline with Seoul
Pyongyang likely wants something from Seoul after reopening links that it unilaterally froze, experts say.
- Diya GUPTA
India: New Delhi urban rebuild sparks controversy
New Delhi's Central Vista used to be a favourite spot with residents of the Indian capital. But the large public space, close to the president's house and heritage buildings, is being remodelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government. The €2 billion construction caused uproar when it was deemed an "essential service" at a time when Indians were dying by the thousands from Covid-19. The move reopened debate around heritage conservation and public spaces in India’s ancient capital. Our correspondents report.
- NEWS WIRES
Kabul faces 'existential crisis' in face of Taliban surge, US watchdog says
The Afghan government faces an “existential crisis” after the Taliban doubled their attacks following the February 2020 US deal with the insurgents, a watchdog report said Thursday.
- NEWS WIRES
Chinese court sentences whistleblowing agricultural tycoon to 18 years in prison
A Chinese court sentenced agricultural tycoon Sun Dawu to 18 years in jail on Wednesday for a catalogue of crimes including “provoking trouble” after the outspoken billionaire and grassroots rights supporter was tried in secret.
- NEWS WIRES
Without apologising, Macron says Paris owes 'debt' to French Polynesia over nuclear tests
French President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday that Paris owed “a debt” to French Polynesia over nuclear tests conducted in the South Pacific territory between 1966 and 1996, but stopped short of apologising.
- FRANCE24
South, North Korea have restored once-severed hotline
South and North Korea have restored hotlines that were severed last year and the two countries' leaders have agreed to rebuild trust and improve ties, the South's presidential Blue House said on Tuesday.
Thailand builds Covid-19 hospital in Bangkok airport amid biggest outbreak to date
Thai volunteers on Wednesday turned a cargo warehouse at Bangkok's Don Muang Airport into a 1,800-bed field hospital for Covid-19 patients with less severe symptoms, as the country deals with its biggest outbreak to date.
Countries welcoming US tourists back
Once one of the world's most powerful travel documents, the might of the United States passport has been diminished during the pandemic. With US Covid-19 cases now past the 32.4 million mark, some nations continue to view vacationers warily even as more Americans get vaccinated.
2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season
Here is a look at the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.
- Emma Kemp (now) and Tom Lutz (earlier)
Tokyo 2020 Olympics day six: swimming, men’s golf and women’s rugby sevens begin and more – live!
Games schedule | Results | Medal table | Full coverageGallery: Tokyo 2020 Day Five in picturesSign up for the Guardian’s daily Olympic briefingEmail Emma with your thoughts, tweet or comment below

5.27am BST

Between a LOT of swimming and quite a few other sports I took a peek at the BMX, which really looked a lot of fun (if you are more proficient on a bike than I). Australians Saya Sakakibara and Lauren Reynolds are through to the semi-finals.

It was a turbulent opening day, with Lauren Reynolds also qualifying for Friday’s semis but Anthony Dean crashing early and then finishing last overall in his quarter-final heat to drop out of contention.

5.05am BST

Kendricks won the world title in 2017 and 2019 and Olympic bronze in Rio 2016. His battle with world record holder Mondo Duplantis of Sweden was expected to have been one of the highlights of the athletics program, which begins on Friday.

His father and coach posted the news to Instagram before it was confirmed by officials, though appears to have taken the post down.

Breaking news: Sam Kendricks’ dad/coach is reporting that Sam has tested positive for COVID and will not be able to compete in the #Olympics pic.twitter.com/YSDJMFUEA6

Continue reading...
- Rebecca Ratcliffe in Bangkok
Myanmar could become Covid ‘super-spreader’ state, says UN expert

Special rapporteur urges security council to call for ceasefire amid fears Covid will spread across wider region

Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage

Myanmar is at risk of becoming a super-spreader Covid state that fuels outbreaks across the region, the UN special rapporteur for the country has warned as he urged the security council to call for a ceasefire.

The south-east Asian country is facing its most severe outbreak yet, on top of a deep political and economic crisis brought about by the military coup in February. Its vaccination programme has ground to a standstill, testing has collapsed, and government hospitals are barely functioning.

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- Martin Chulov, and Simon Speakman Cordall in Tunis
Tunisia in turmoil as president purges officials and seizes judicial power

Days after PM’s overthrow fears grow that Kais Saied will undo democratic gains achieved by Arab spring

Tunisia’s president has launched a purge of senior officials, including prosecutors and judges, and taken on judicial powers, days after overthrowing the prime minister and imposing emergency law.

Kais Saied’s crackdown has dragged the country deeper into uncertainty days after its elected parliament was suspended for a month in a shock move that brought a decade of faltering democracy to a sudden halt.

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- Guardian sport
Simone Biles: support has made me realise I am more than my gymnastics
Olympic champion withdrew from two events at OlympicsAmerican has spoken of importance of mental health

Simone Biles has expressed her thanks for the support she has received since withdrawing from two gymnastics events at the Tokyo Olympics.

“[T]he outpouring love & support I’ve received has made me realize I’m more than my accomplishments and gymnastics which I never truly believed before,” she wrote on Twitter on Thursday.

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- Damian Carrington Environment editor
New Zealand rated best place to survive global societal collapse

Study citing ‘perilous state’ of industrial civilisation ranks temperate islands top for resilience

New Zealand, Iceland, the UK, Tasmania and Ireland are the places best suited to survive a global collapse of society, according to a study.

The researchers said human civilisation was “in a perilous state” due to the highly interconnected and energy-intensive society that had developed and the environmental damage this had caused.

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Lawyer for Hong Kong protester asks court for shorter term
A lawyer for the first person convicted under Hong Kong’s national security law has asked for no more than 10 years in prison
N Korea leader pays respect to Chinese war dead at memorial
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has paid tribute to China’s war dead at a Pyongyang memorial and vowed to maintain firm ties with Beijing, as he seeks to bolster relations with his country’s main ally amid deepening hardships linked to the pandemic
Chinese farmer who praised lawyers sentenced to 18 years
A prominent Chinese pig farmer who was detained after praising lawyers during a crackdown on legal activists by President Xi Jinping’s government has been sentenced to 18 years in prison on charges of organizing an attack on officials and other offenses
Macron: France owes 'debt' to Polynesians over nuclear tests
President Emmanuel Macron has reasserted France’s presence in the Pacific on a visit to French Polynesia aimed in part at countering growing Chinese dominance in the region
China's ties to Taliban warm ahead of US leaving Afghanistan
China's foreign minister has met with a delegation of high-level Taliban officials as their ties warm ahead of the U.S. pullout from Afghanistan
- HYUNG-JIN KIM / AP
The Two Koreas Talk Again and Agree to Improve Ties
But any resumption of stalled negotiations to rid the North of its nuclear weapons is still a long way off
- Amy Gunia
UNESCO Says Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Isn’t In Danger Yet. Many Environmentalists and Divers Disagree
UNESCO's decision to delay the listing of the reef as endangered has pleased Canberra but upset environmentalists
- KEN MORITSUGU and NG HAN GUAN / AP
The U.S. and China Hold High-Level Talks, Highlighting Their Differences
But the tone appeared somewhat less contentious than at their last meeting
- Aria Chen/Tokyo
The Tokyo Olympics’ Newest Stars Are Two 13-Year-Old Skateboarders
And they're already inspiring a new generation of skaters.
- BOUAZZA BEN BOUAZZA / AP
Tensions in Tunisia After President Suspends Parliament
Tunisia’s economy has been struggling for years, and the country recently reimposed lockdowns and other virus restrictions because it’s facing one of Africa’s worst virus outbreaks
Tokyo Olympics: top Japanese doctor urges clear risk message as Games report 24 new Covid-19 cases
Japan faces its most serious situation since the Covid-19 pandemic began, the country’s top medical adviser warned on Thursday, urging the government to send a “clearer, stronger message” about growing risks, including to the medical system.Olympic host city Tokyo recorded 3,177 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, hitting a daily record high for a second straight day as a spike in infections puts pressure on hospitals. Nationwide new infections topped 9,500 for the first time, media reported…
Coronavirus: walk-in vaccinations for Hong Kong’s over 70s launch to queues, as elderly brave hot weather warning in morning rush for appointment-free jabs
Hong Kong’s launch of walk-in coronavirus vaccinations for residents aged 70 or above attracted queues early on Thursday despite a hot weather warning.Many of the dozens seen waiting in line at two vaccination centres said they were taking advantage of the new appointment-free system because they did not know how to book online, previously the only way to secure a slot under the government’s jabs drive.About 40 older people were queuing at the inoculation centre in Prince Edward’s Boundary…
Communing with coronavirus: Indonesia’s indigenous shamans battle Covid-19 pandemic with animist rituals
As the Delta variant sweeps through Indonesia, causing a record 2,069 deaths on Tuesday, regions outside the worst-hit areas of Jakarta, surrounding Java island and tourist hotspot Bali are now reporting worrying coronavirus spikes.The province of East Kalimantan alone had reported more than 111,000 infections and over 3,000 deaths as of Wednesday, with surges reported elsewhere in Indonesian Borneo – the island the country shares with Malaysia and Brunei – as well as other regions such as…
For the first time, light has been spotted from behind a black hole
Astronomers recently saw something they’d never seen before while peering at a black hole some 800 million light-years away: X-ray light emissions coming from directly behind the black hole at the centre of a distant galaxy.The findings were reported in a new study published Wednesday in the British journal Nature.“Any light that goes into that black hole doesn’t come out, so we shouldn’t be able to see anything that’s behind the black hole,” study lead author Dan Wilkins of Stanford University…
Geologist may have discovered oldest animal fossils ever: 890 million years old
A geologist in Canada may have discovered fossils of ancient sponges dating back 890 million years, making the potential discovery between 330 and 350 million years older than the oldest undisputed sponge fossils.The fossilised structures found in rock samples potentially show sponges that existed in underwater reefs millions of years ago. The findings may represent the oldest animal fossils ever discovered, Laurentian University professor Elizabeth Turner described in an article published…
Illinois seeks Ben & Jerry's divestment over Israel stance
Illinois seeks Ben & Jerry's divestment over Israel stance
Biden to ask federal workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or face testing: Source
U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday is expected to announce that about two million civilian federal workers will need to be vaccinated against the coronavirus or face testing, social distancing, mask requirements and limits on travel, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Monsanto told to pay teachers US$185 million over chemical exposure
Monsanto told to pay teachers USUS$185M over chemical exposure
New Zealand gives provisional nod to AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine
WELLINGTON: New Zealand's health regulator Medsafe has granted provisional approval for the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 18 years of age and older, acting minister for COVID-19 response, Dr Ayesha Verrall, said on Thursday (Jul 29). New Zealand secured 7.6 million doses of the ...
China's new ambassador arrives in US with words of optimism
WASHINGTON: China's new ambassador to the United States, Qin Gang, on Wednesday (Jul 28) wished the US victory against COVID-19 and said great potential awaited bilateral relations, striking an optimistic tone as he arrived at his new post amid deeply strained ties. Qin's arrival comes days after ...
He stands down next year, but will be no lame duck waddling quietly off
Corruption helps spread covid-19
The Delta variant combined with a low vaccination rate is causing trouble
Supporters at home and abroad are wary of throwing their full weight behind them
Their country’s diversity is becoming harder to ignore
- Joe Buckley
The Vietnam General Confederation of Labor may be unable to fight for workers' rights, but it is well-placed to help them amid the COVID-19 crisis.
- Mercy A. Kuo
Insights from David Yoffie.
- Yong Kwon
The obvious path out of South Korea’s demographic crisis is encouraging more immigrants and women to join the workforce. What’s standing in the way?
- Itay Noy
The story of Karampot illustrates how local politics around mining can ultimately result not in resistance but, rather, participation in the economy of resource extraction.
- Wayne Soon
How did Taiwan suppress this wave, even as Australia, Vietnam, and Singapore are struggling with an uptick of the virus?
- Asia Sentinel
Chaos in Thai Home Food Delivery Industry
Creative destruction runs wild in the food business
- John Berthelsen
Is it Too Late to Stop Climate Change?
Little likelihood of reversal
- Asia Sentinel
Malaysia Seeks a Covid-19 Endgame
The nation needs to avoid becoming a lockdown loser
- Asia Sentinel
Afghanistan: No Peace without a Clear Vision
Call for greater US involvement in post-war process
- Asia Sentinel
Entry of Chinese Workers to Indonesia Spurs Anger
Smelter plant workers arrive amid pandemic with no permit