english news

French street artist Miss. Tic dies aged 66

french

The influential French street artist Miss. Tic has died in Paris aged 66, her family has announced. In a short statement her family said the artist, whose real name was Radhia Novat, passed away on Sunday after suffering from an unspecified illness. Miss. Tic is seen as one of the pioneers of stencil art and her graffiti of enigmatic female figures became a common sight in Paris. She was briefly arrested in 1997 on charges of defacing public property. But her works came to be shown in galleries in France and abroad. She also collaborated with the fashion brands Kenzo and Louis Vuitton.(BBC)…[+]

Monkeypox virus outbreaks are containable – WHO

monkey pox

Monkeypox can be contained in countries outside of Africa where the virus is not usually detected, the World Health Organization (WHO) says. More than 100 cases of the virus – which causes a rash and a fever – have been confirmed in Europe, the Americas and Australia. That number is expected to rise still, but experts say the overall risk to the broader population is very low. The virus is most common in remote parts of Central and West Africa. “This is a containable situation,” the WHO’s emerging disease lead Maria Van Kerkhove said at a news conference on Monday. “We want to stop human-to-human transmission. We can do this in the non-endemic countries,” she added – referring to recent cases in Europe and North America.(BBC)…[+]

‘Guatemalan attorney general involved in corruption’ – US

guatemala

The US has barred Guatemala’s Attorney General Consuelo Porras from entering the country, accusing her of being involved in corruption. The US state department said Ms Porras had “repeatedly obstructed and undermined anti-corruption investigations in Guatemala”. Ms Porras has denied any wrongdoing and said that fighting corruption has been her priority. On Monday, she was sworn in for a second four-year term in office. As he re-appointed her, Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei described Ms Porras as “a professional who meets all the constitutional requirements” to serve another term. He also said that the independence and autonomy of the attorney general’s office would be strengthened so that it “will not be used ever again by [Guatemalan] nationals or foreigners to impose an ideological or political agenda”.(BBC)…[+]

Drugs tunnel connecting US and Mexico found

drugs

A huge drugs tunnel has been found running from Tijuana in Mexico to a warehouse in San Diego in the US. With a length of 1,744ft (531m), the passage had a rail track, electricity and a ventilation system. US authorities had been carrying out surveillance at a property previously used as a stash house for smuggling cocaine when they made the discovery. They seized cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin. Six people are being held on drug-trafficking charges. The US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California said the tunnel was 61ft (18m) deep and 4ft (1m) in diameter. Prosecutors say that before the discovery, officers saw several vehicles come and go from the property in Tijuana and the warehouse on Friday 13 May. They were then stopped and searched, the drugs were seized and arrests were made. When officers entered the warehouse, the cross-border tunnel exit point was found carved out of the floor.(BBC)…[+]

Mexico disappearances reach record high of 100,000 amid impunity

mexico

The number of people reported as disappeared in Mexico is at a record high of 100,000, figures suggest. Government data, which goes back to 1964, shows that almost all the disappearances have occurred since 2007, when then-President Felipe Calderón launched his “war on drugs”. The United Nations has called it “a human tragedy of enormous proportions”. Many of the missing are victims of organised crime and hardly any of those responsible are punished. The latest update to the national registry of missing people kept by Mexico’s attorney general’s office shows that over the past two years, the number of disappeared has risen from 73,000 to more than 100,000.(BBC)…[+]

Full lunar eclipse creates rare super blood Moon

lunar

Stargazers have been treated overnight to a stunning and unusual sight – a super blood Moon. Shortly after 03:30 GMT on Monday, Earth’s orbit meant that for several minutes our planet was positioned directly between the Sun and the Moon. In that time the Moon fell completely into Earth’s shadow – temporarily turning it a dusky shade of dark red. Its hue was created by sunlight being projected through Earth’s atmosphere onto the Moon’s shadowed surface. The lunar eclipse coincided with a separate event – a super Moon. This is when the Moon is at its closest point to Earth in its orbit and so appears larger than usual.(BBC)…[+]

Shireen Abu Aqla: Christian leaders condemn violence at reporter’s funeral

vatican

The Vatican’s representative in Jerusalem has accused Israel of “brutally violating” a decades-old agreement to uphold religious freedom. It follows Friday’s attack by Israeli police on the funeral of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Aqla. Officers kicked and beat pallbearers and fired stun grenades into the crowd of mourners at St Joseph Hospital. Monsignor Tomasz Grysa, who represents the Holy See in Jerusalem, said the action was unjustified and unprovoked. The Israeli police declined to respond to the church leaders’ statement, but has already said there will be a review into its handling of the funeral. Abu Aqla, a veteran Al Jazeera correspondent who was a Christian, was shot dead during an Israeli army arrest raid in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday.(BBC)…[+]

Buffalo shooting: Black Americans describe grief and fear

black baffolo

The rainy, grey weather in Buffalo certainly suited the mood on the ground on Monday. The black community is grieving and they are scared after 10 people – now named by officials – were gunned down in a racially-motivated attack in a New York supermarket. The victims, aged between 32 and 86, were shot dead by the suspected gunman on Saturday afternoon. Three others were injured. Among those killed were a former police officer, a woman who helped feed the poor and a man who drove shoppers to and from the market. Eleven out of the 13 people killed or injured at Tops Friendly Market were black, and Buffalo’s police chief has described the attack as a “racist hate crime”. The neighbourhood where the attack was carried out is predominantly black. Lakisha Chambers lives a few blocks away from the Tops grocery store – one of the few markets available to residents in the area – and walked over to the scene for the first time since the shooting on Monday. There is still a police presence, the area is taped off and memorials with balloons and candles dot the area. Seeing it in person makes it more real, she tells BBC. “We all could’ve been in here”.(BBC)…[+]

Sri Lanka crisis: Gotabaya Rajapaksa appoints veteran politician as PM

veteran

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed a new prime minister as he tries to defuse protests over his handling of a severe economic crisis. Senior opposition MP Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in to lead a proposed cross-party government. The move came after the president ignored calls to resign, and vowed to restore order in a national address. Nine people have been killed and 200 injured in unrest since his brother resigned as prime minister on Monday. During his nationwide address, Mr Rajapaksa said he would appoint a new prime minister who commanded the majority of support in parliament, as well as a new cabinet. Mr Wickremesinghe has been on Sri Lanka’s political scene for decades – this will be his sixth stint as prime minister, although he’s never seen out a full term.(BBC)…[+]

North Korea: ‘First’ Covid cases prompt strict national lockdown

north korea

North Korea has ordered a strict national lockdown after confirming its first official Covid infections. State media have reported an Omicron outbreak in the capital, Pyongyang, but did not state the number of cases. North Korea has rejected any kind of vaccine programme, even when offered a supply by other countries. Instead, it controlled Covid by sealing its borders – and had never recorded a case, despite experts believing the virus has long been present. Outsiders say the nation’s 25 million population is vulnerable due to the lack of a Covid-19 vaccine programme, even rejecting offers from the international community to supply millions of AstraZeneca and Chinese-made Sinovac jabs last year. There have also been concerns about North Korea’s impoverished healthcare system.(BBC)…[+]