News ID: 93696
Publish Date : 28 August 2021 - 21:41

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – People gathered for a protest on Saturday in the U.S. capital to call for expanded voting rights. This comes on the 58th anniversary of the historic March on Washington when Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Two years later, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law. There are going to be several protests staged by different groups: civil rights activists will gather in McPherson Square under the slogan “March On For Voting Rights”, urging Congress to protect and expand voting rights in certain states. Another protest, organized by voting rights NGOs and Black Voters Matter, will take place at the Lincoln Memorial.

TOKYO (AP) — Too little is known about melted fuel inside damaged reactors at the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant, even a decade after the disaster, to be able to tell if its decommissioning can be finished by 2051 as planned, a UN nuclear agency official says. “Honestly speaking, I don’t know, and I don’t know if anybody knows,” said Christophe Xerri, head of an International Atomic Energy Agency team reviewing progress in the plant’s cleanup. He urged Japan to speed up studies of the reactors to achieve a better long-term understanding of the decommissioning process. A massive earthquake and a tsunami in March 2011 destroyed cooling systems at the Fukushima plant in northeastern Japan, triggering meltdowns in three reactors in the worst nuclear disaster since the 1986 Chernobyl accident. Japanese government and utility officials say they hope to finish its decommissioning within 30 years, though some experts say that’s overly optimistic, even if a full decommissioning is possible at all.

BIJOYNAGAR (Al Jazeera) – At least 21 people were killed and dozens remain missing as a boat packed with passengers and a sand-laden cargo ship collided in a lake in eastern Bangladesh. The boat was reportedly carrying some 60 passengers when the incident occurred on Friday on a lake in the town of Bijoynagar, local official Hayat-ud-Doula Khan said. The cargo ship’s steel tip and the boat collided, causing the passenger vessel to capsize, he said. “We have recovered 21 bodies including nine women and six children so far,” he told AFP news agency, adding the death toll will likely rise. It is unclear how many people were on board at the time of the collision, and exactly how many remain missing. According to police official Imranul Islam, survivors said about 100 people were on board. Local fire service spokesman Taufiqul Islam said divers were searching the scene for bodies, and reinforcements had been called in from neighboring towns. Locals also joined the rescue efforts. Police said at least seven people were taken to a local hospital after they were rescued from the sunken boat.

COPENHAGEN (AFP) – Scientists have discovered what is believed to be the world’s northernmost landmass -- a yet-to-be-named island north of Greenland that could soon be swallowed up by seawaters. Researchers came upon the landmass on an expedition in July, and initially thought they had reached Oodaaq, up until now the northernmost island on the planet. “We were informed that there had been an error on my GPS which had led us to believe that we were standing on Oodaaq Island,” said the head of the mission, Morten Rasch from Copenhagen University’s department of geosciences and natural resource management. “In reality, we had discovered a new island further north, a discovery that just slightly expands the kingdom” of Denmark, he added. Oodaaq is some 700 kilometers (435 miles) south of the North Pole, while the new island is 780 meters (2,560 feet) north of Oodaaq. Copenhagen University said in a statement late Friday the “yet-to-be-named island is... the northernmost point of Greenland and one of the most northerly points of land on Earth.” But it is only 30 to 60 meters above sea level, and Rasch said it could be a “short-lived islet”.

SYDNEY (AFP) – Australia reported a record 1,126 Coronavirus infectious on Saturday, the vast majority in New South Wales, the epicenter of the Delta-fueled outbreak. More than half of Australians have been in weeks-long lockdowns as officials in Sydney and Melbourne, the country’s largest cities, and the capital Canberra struggle to quell the outbreak. New South Wales, the most populous state and home to Sydney, reported 1,035 locally acquired COVID-19 infections, breaking Thursday’s record of 1,029 as the outbreak that started in mid-June continues to grow. Victoria reported 64 cases, mostly in its capital Melbourne, and Australian Capital Territory that includes Canberra had 26 infections. Queensland had one, Australia’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd told a briefing. Despite the record in New South Wales, the state’s conservative Liberal Party government said it would ease some restrictions next week, allowing for five-guest weddings. The state’s management of the outbreak — which has nearly 14,700 active cases — has been criticized by officials in neighboring Victoria, who have imposed stricter restrictions, believing the outbreak there can be suppressed. “I’m not sure 1,000 cases a day is a sign of hope,” Victoria’s Health Minister Martin Foley said of the New South Wales infections. “I’m pretty sure that if you ask those intensive care nurses in Sydney hospitals at the moment how they saw the situation, it wouldn’t be a hugely rosy picture.”

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