Welcome to Tuesday, where Peru's contested election finally gets a winner, the Olympics bubble system is broken and another billionaire is blasting off for space. German daily Die Welt also explains why Asian countries, which were previously considered successful COVID tamers, are now struggling with new waves of infections.
• Pedro Castillo declared winner of Peru election: Weeks after a contested run-off election, Pedro Castillo has been declared the next president of Peru. The country's election authority confirmed his win after reviewing electoral fraud claims made by Mr Castillo's right-wing rival, Keiko Fujimori. Castillo won by just 44,000 votes and will be sworn in as President on July 28.
• China blamed for Microsoft hack: The Biden Administration has formally blamed China for a massive hack of the Microsoft Exchange email server software, accusing criminal hackers associated with the Chinese government for the cyber attack. China has called the accusations "groundless" and stated that it opposes all forms of cyber crime.
• Baghdad suicide bombing kills dozens: At least 35 people were killed and more than 60 injured by a suicide bomber in a crowded market in the Sadr City neighborhood of the Iraqi capital. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack.
• Haiti's new prime minister: Ariel Henry, a 71-year-old neurosurgeon and public official, will be taking office as the new prime minister of Haiti, taking over from Claude Joseph, who had seized political control after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse.
• Emissions to hit record high 2023: According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), global greenhouse emissions are very likely to reach unprecedented levels in the next two years if the so-called "green recovery" fails. Such a rise would put the goals of the Paris climate agreement out of reach.
• Ben & Jerry's to stop sale in Palestinian territories: The popular ice cream company Ben & Jerry's will end sales in the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, stating that it was "inconsistent with our values." The company said the decision reflected the concerns of "fans and trusted partners," while Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid blasted the decision as a "capitulation" to the movement to boycott Israel over its treatment of the Palestinians.
• Another billionaire blasts into space: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is about to blast into space accompanied by his brother, an 82-year-old female aviator and an 18-year-old student. The rocket ship New Shepard, built by Bezos' company Blue Origin, is designed to serve the market for space tourism. Bezos is the second billionaire to travel to space, after Richard Branson's trip last week.
Peruvian daily La Republica reports on the victory of leftist candidate Pedro Castillo, who was confirmed as Peru's president-elect more than six weeks after the vote, the country's longest electoral count in 40 years. The former teacher defeated right-wing politician Keiko Fujimori by just 44,000 votes.
Role model no more: Why COVID is spreading in Asia
Asia was considered a role model in the fight against the pandemic. But now COVID-19 numbers are rising, forcing lockdowns just as the U.S. and Europe regain their freedom thanks in large part to high vaccination rates, reports Christina zur Nedden in German daily Die Welt.
Indonesia recorded 1,205 deaths on July 16 and a record 54,000 confirmed new infections. Images from the capital, Jakarta, are reminiscent of India a month or two ago: lines outside hospitals, crowded cemeteries and desperate people looking for oxygen for their relatives. The island nation of 270 million is not the only country in Southeast Asia struggling with rising COVID case numbers. Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Myanmar are also currently experiencing new waves of infections. The tide seems to be turning for the previously successful COVID tamers. How could this have happened?
The cause of Asia's new wave of infection is the highly contagious delta variant, but also because people are adhering less and less to hygiene rules, international travel has been partially relaxed, and countries are making no progress with vaccination. In Thailand, only 4.8% of the population is fully vaccinated. In Vietnam, the figure is only 0.3%, in Indonesia 5.7% and India 5.5%. "These countries have no prospect whatsoever of overcoming the pandemic through a rapid vaccination campaign in the next few months," says Donald Low, professor of public policy at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
In addition, large countries such as Indonesia, have been immunized with the far less effective Chinese vaccines. Without sufficient vaccine doses, the governments of Southeast Asia have no choice but to close themselves off again, as Australia is doing. In the process, the already beleaguered economy suffers each time. But in countries like Indonesia, where people live closely together, lockdowns and stand-offs are difficult to implement.
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Malaysian authorities steamrolled 1,069 Bitcoin mining machines, which had been seized in raids after miners allegedly used them to steal $2 million worth of siphoned electricity from nearby power lines. The local Sarawak news outlet Dayak Daily shared a video of the "crypto-crackdown."
In Monaco, four-year-old runs over man with dad's Bentley
The idea that the streets of Monaco are lined with luxury vehicles isn't an overstatement. The recently crowned "supercar capital of the world" also comes with risks, as stretch limousines and sports cars must navigate the tiny city-state's meandering streets and narrow squares.
Yet last Friday, when a Bentley crashed into a Belgian man outside the Place du Casino, the driver at fault turned out to be quite a wildcard: a four-year-old boy.
Police report that the child slid into the driver's seat when his father, an Armenian visiting from Prague, stepped out of the vehicle to give the car keys to the hotel valet. The boy then managed to hit the gas pedal, making the big British car lurch forward a dozen meters, where it ran over the unfortunate pedestrian.
The 53-year-old victim had to undergo emergency surgery in nearby Nice after being trapped under the wheels of the Bentley, but is now out of danger, reports local daily Nice-Matin.
Belgian daily Le Soir writes that the ongoing investigation by the Monaco police will determine how the boy was able to drive forward if the father had brought the keys to the valet. First-world problems, Monaco-style.
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It's obvious that the bubble system is kind of broken.
— Kenji Shibuya, a prominent Japanese public health expert and the former director of the Institute for Population Health at King's College London, said as officials reported the first athlete to have tested positive for coronavirus in the Olympic village on Sunday, raising fears about the possibility of the village becoming a cluster for infections.
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