Top news stories for today – August 6, 2016
Rio Olympics kick off amid early setbacks
The Rio Olympics are here, with Brazilian officials hoping the myriad concerns surrounding the Games, including political controversy, Zika virus, and doping scandals, will finally be laid to rest. Competition will take place under tight security, as the U.S. reportedly has sent more than 1,000 security personnel to work with the Brazilian police and military.
There have already been early setbacks for the Games, however: The International Olympic Committee banned a third of Russia’s athletes due to a widespread doping scandal; Moroccan boxer Hassan Saada was arrested and jailed Friday over allegations of sexual assault just one day before he was set to fight; Rio officials literally cut a gate open Wednesday at the Maracana Stadium after losing the keys; and American interest in this year’s Games is at a record low. Baltimore Sun, The Independent
Moroccan boxer arrested before Olympic fight
Police have confirmed that Saada will be jailed for 15 days while they conduct a rape investigation, although suspects can be held for longer under Brazilian law while a case is investigated. The lightweight boxer was due to compete on Saturday against Mehmet Nadir Unal of Turkey in the preliminary rounds, although he was not expected to challenge for medals. Saada will no longer compete at the Rio Olympic Games.
Moroccan newspaper Le Matin reports that Saada was involved in a boycott threat along with two other Moroccan competitors to get a bigger pay reward for competing at the Rio Olympics. Independent
South Africa elections
Nelson Mandela‘s African National Congress party has won every election in South Africa — with over 60 percent of the vote, no less — since 1994, when Mandela led South Africa out of apartheid and into real democracy. That all changed in local elections Thursday, when the ANC got a mere 55 percent of the vote with nearly all votes counted, and suffered huge declines in some urban areas.
For the first time, the ANC lost control of a majority-black city in Nelson Mandela Bay, and the party may yet lose in Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest city, and Pretoria, its capital. The ANC has struggled with corruption and incompetence since the end of Mandela’s single term as president in 1999, while the opposition Democratic Alliance has worked hard to shed its image as a whites and mixed-race only party. The Democratic Alliance pulled in 26 percent of the vote in these elections. News24, The Week
Scientists discover new species of whale
The whale, informally named Karasu, has been the Bigfoot of the sea since a crew of Japanese whalers in the Nemuro Strait 70 years ago reported a fleet of whales that resembled smaller, darker versions of Baird’s whale — hence the name Karasu, which translates to “raven” in Japanese. The whale resurfaced (literally) last June on a beach on the Pribilof Islands in Alaska’s Bering Sea; a local biologist spotted the remains and called in a team of experts who handed it over to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations Southwest Fisheries’ Science Center. National Geographic, Time
71st anniversary of Hiroshima Bombing
Japan on Saturday marked the 71st anniversary of the U.S. nuclear bombing of Hiroshima that led to the end of World War Two. About 50,000 people attended a ceremony at Hiroshima’s Peace Park near the bomb’s epicenter.
Mayor Kazumi Matsui called on world leaders to visit the site, like U.S. President Barack Obama did in May. Like Obama, Matsui said that such visits “will surely etch the reality of the atomic bombings in each heart.” The Hiroshima bombing killed around 140,000 people either instantly or from radiation burns in the immediate aftermath. VOA
US Presidential election
Trump Admits He Was Wrong on US Cash to Iran: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has admitted that he was wrong in claiming to have seen video of a U.S. cash payment being delivered to Iran on the same day that Iran released four Americans it had detained. Trump, who extensively uses social media, has been expressing outrage about the money, which some Republicans called a ransom following media reports this week. VOA
Hillary Clinton is leading Donald Trump across all four regions of the US: A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released Thursday shows Hillary Clinton’s lead over Donald Trump widening after the Republican nominee’s tumultuous week, which saw him attack a Gold Star family and refuse to endorse key Republicans facing primary races, like House Speaker Paul Ryan. Clinton’s national lead over Trump swelled to nine points, with her earning 47 percent to his 38 percent in a head-to-head match-up. More ominous for Trump, however, was Clinton’s domination across the map: She led across all four major regions of the country in the poll, including a notable 3 percent lead in the South. The Wall Street Journal
Trump Says US Must Close Its Doors to Somali Refugees: Donald Trump has stirred up controversy this year with comments about Muslims and Mexicans. On Thursday, it was the Somali community’s turn to be in Trump’s line of fire. Speaking at a campaign rally in Portland, Maine, the Republican Party nominee said the United States needed to stop admitting refugees from Somalia. He said that the U.S. was opening its doors to people from unstable countries and that the practice could be “the great Trojan horse of all time.” VOA
- 'God's Not White': Alabama Pastors Aim to End Racial Segregation in the Pews With New Sermon Series
- 12 Foods That Lower Cholesterol Naturally
- 16 Early Warning Cancer Symptoms