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While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Aug 5

Massive blast rips through Beirut, killing 50 and injuring thousands

A huge explosion in port warehouses near central Beirut killed more than 50 people, injured over 2,750 and sent shockwaves that shattered windows, smashed masonry and shook the ground across the Lebanese capital.

Officials expected the death toll to rise further after Tuesday’s blast as emergency workers dug through rubble to rescue people and remove the dead.

It was the most powerful explosion to hit Beirut in years.

Lebanon’s interior minister said initial information indicated highly explosive material, seized years ago, that had been stored at the port had blown up.


China’s top diplomat to US says Beijing does not want tensions to escalate

China does not wish to see tensions between Beijing and Washington escalate further following tit-for-tat consulate closures over the past weeks, the Chinese ambassador to the United States said on Tuesday.

Striking a conciliatory tone when asked about deteriorating bilateral ties, Ambassador Cui Tiankai told the Aspen Security Forum virtually that the world’s top two economies should work to cooperate instead of confronting each other.

“I don’t think a new Cold War would serve anybody’s interest,” Cui said.


Proportion of youth with Covid-19 triples in five months, says WHO

Young people who are hitting nightclubs and beaches are leading a rise in fresh coronavirus cases across the world, with the proportion of those aged 15 to 24 who are infected rising three-fold in about five months, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said.

An analysis by the WHO of six million infections between Feb 24 and July 12 found that the share of people aged 15-24 years rose to 15 per cent from 4.5 per cent.

Apart from the United States which leads a global tally with 4.8 million total cases, European countries including Spain, Germany and France, and Asian countries such as Japan, have said that many of the newly infected are young people.


Tennis: Defending champion Nadal won’t play US Open, slams schedule

Defending champion Rafael Nadal said on Tuesday he will not play the US Open, citing concerns over the coronavirus and slamming tennis’ “barbaric” schedule.

“After many thoughts I have decided not to play this year’s US Open,” Nadal said on Twitter.

“The situation is very complicated worldwide, the Covid-19 cases are increasing, it looks like we still don’t have control of it… This is a decision I never wanted to take but I have decided to follow my heart this time and for the time being I rather not travel.”


Football: Fulham beat Brentford to reach Premier League promised land

Fulham beat Brentford 2-1 in the Championship play-off final on Tuesday to return to the Premier League after a single season in the English second tier.

Defender Joe Bryan struck twice in extra time after the two London sides were locked at 0-0 at the end of 90 minutes at Wembley.

Henrik Dalsgaard scored a late consolation for Brentford.


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