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[BBC] BBC 2021-08-01

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Heavy fighting is raging in the southern Afghan city of Lashkar, the capital of Helmand province. At one point, Taliban militants were just 300 meters from the governor’s office but later reports say they have now been pushed back. Taliban fighters are reported to be taking up positions inside residents’ homes, using them as human shields.

Trucks carrying emergency assistance to Tigray in northern Ethiopia are finally reaching the regional capital Tigray. The United Nations food agency said more than a dozen vehicles had arrived and more are on the way. 170 trucks were stuck for weeks in the neighboring region of A due to insecurity.

The French authorities say more than 200,000 demonstrators opposed to mandatory COVID passes have rallied in dozens of towns and cities for the third weekend in a row. Riot police in Paris used tear gas during clashes with demonstrators. Reports say at least three police officers were injured. The protesters claimed the passes are curbing personal freedoms.

Police in Beijing say they’ve detained one of China’s biggest stars Chris Wu on suspicion of rape. Earlier this month, a student accused the Chinese Canadian actor and singer of raping her two years ago when she was 17. Since then, at least two dozen more women have come forward, alleging inappropriate behavior.

At the Tokyo Olympics, Elaine Thompson-Herah Jamaican has won gold in the women’s 100 meters. Her teammates took silver and bronze to make it a clean sweep for Jamaica. In Tennis, 24-year old Belinda Bencic of Switzerland won the women’s single title in a three-set match against the Czech.

And the authorities in Niger say heavy rains in the usually arid country have killed at least 35 people and made more than 26,000 homeless. Most died when their houses collapsed, others drowned in floods.
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