2020.08.05

News Headlines - 05 August 2020

Massive blast rips through Beirut, killing 78 and injuring thousands - Reuters

A powerful blast in port warehouses near central Beirut storing highly explosive material killed 78 people, injured nearly 4,000 and sent seismic shockwaves that shattered windows, smashed masonry and shook the ground across the Lebanese capital... President Michel Aoun said that 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, used in fertilisers and bombs, had been stored for six years at the port without safety measures, and said it was “unacceptable”.
He called for an emergency cabinet meeting on Wednesday and said a two-week state of emergency should be declared.

1/3 Brazilian ministers contract coronavirus | NHK WORLD

An increasing number of Brazilian government officials have been infected with the coronavirus, including one-third of the Cabinet ministers.
Eight ministers have tested positive so far, such as the chief of staff, education minister, energy minister, and science minister. The wife of President Jair Bolsonaro also contracted the virus.
The president confirmed in early July that he had the virus. But since testing negative later last month, he has traveled around Brazil urging people not to be afraid of the virus.

Osaka to study gargle for anti-virus effects | NHK WORLD

Yoshimura said doctors instructed about 40 coronavirus patients to gargle with a mouthwash containing an antiseptic, povidone iodine, four times a day in June and July. The patients had mild or no symptoms and were quarantined at designated accommodations.
Among patients who used the mouthwash, only nine percent tested positive for the coronavirus in PCR tests conducted on the fourth day. Forty percent of those who didn't use it tested positive.
The prefecture plans to launch a study involving about 1,000 patients with mild or no symptoms to find out the efficacy of the gargle against the virus.

South Korean court moves closer to sale of Japanese steel-maker assets | The Japan Times

A South Korean court on Tuesday gained the right to order the sale of assets belonging to a Japanese steel-maker over a 2018 top court wartime forced labor compensation order that has roiled ties between the two countries.
Monday was the last day before the Daegu District Court's Pohang branch could legally consider court documents regarding its seizure of the Nippon Steel Corp. assets, by way of publishing them on its website for the last two months.
The court is expected to begin considering in earnest the ordering of the assets' sale to pay each of the four Korean plaintiffs the 100 million won (¥8.9 million) in damages the Supreme Court found they are entitled to receive.

Hong Kong activist Agnes Chow convicted of assembly charges over police HQ siege - The Mainichi

A Hong Kong court on Wednesday convicted prominent activist Agnes Chow of rallying in an unauthorized protest that saw thousands of protesters besieging the police headquarters amid a rising anti-government movement last year.
The West Kowloon Magistracy convicted Chow, 23, of taking part in and inciting others to join an unauthorized assembly on June 21 last year, where a crowd rallying at the legislature complex protesting against a proposed China extradition bill and police brutality against protesters in past demonstrations moved to blockade the nearby police headquarters.

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