Beirut blast kills at least 100, injures thousands; Security restrictions in Kashmir; Can artificial crowd noise match up?

Beirut blast kills at least 100, injures thousands; Security restrictions in Kashmir; Can artificial crowd noise match up?

The World staff

A drone picture shows smoke from the scene of an explosion at the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020.


Hussein Malla/AP


Top of The World — our morning news round up written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

Rescue workers remain on the scene of a massive explosion at Beirut’s port yesterday that killed at least 100 people and wounded as many as 4,000. Scores of people are still missing, and Beirut is in a state of emergency. The explosion rippled across the Lebanese capital, leaving entire city blocks flooded with glass and rubble along with a scene of utter devastation.

It’s unclear what caused the blast. Reports say there was a pair of explosions: The first started with a fireworks warehouse, and the second came from a stockpile of the explosive chemical ammonium nitrate. Many Lebanese blamed the tragedy on decades of corruption and poor governance.

Follow the BBC’s live page for the latest on Beirut.

What The World is following

Security authorities are enforcing restrictions in much of Kashmir today, a year after India revoked the disputed region’s semi-autonomy in a controversial move. The anniversary comes as Reuters reports militants attacked Indian security forces with a grenade and gunfire. There were no immediate reports of casualties, police said.

Coming up on The World today, host Marco Werman interviews former National Security Adviser John Bolton. In his new book, “The Room Where It Happened,” Bolton portrays President Donald Trump as ignorant of basic geopolitics and driven by a desire for reelection — including asking for help from China.

From The WorldCan artificial crowd noise match the thrill of packed stadiums?

Oakland Athletics’ Stephen Piscotty watches a foul ball go into stands filled with photos of fans during a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Friday, July 31, 2020, in Seattle, Washington. 


Ted S. Warren/AP

With spectators unable to watch live sports in person due to the coronavirus, the cheers and jeers must come from somewhere. Teams, leagues and broadcasters around the world are taking different approaches to provide artificial crowd noise for games.

French Chilean rapper’s new track criticizes politicians’ apathy over coronavirus

Ana Tijoux performs during a concert by female artists on the eve of International Women’s Day in the Zocalo in Mexico City, March 7, 2020.


Rebecca Blackwell/AP

Ana Tijoux worked on the new song “Pa Qué?” with the Puerto Rican rapper PJ Sin Suela. They were inspired by the grim developments that have dominated the news for most of 2020.  The single — out last month — is from her forthcoming “Antifa Dance,” her fifth album.

The track’s title can be loosely translated into English as “So why?” It’s a nod to a phrase popularized by a viral video from Mexico in which two men carry an apparently intoxicated friend out of a party. The friend complains, “You already know how I get, so why do you invite me?”

Tijoux says she felt similarly as an artist who likes to sing about a topic that not everyone is receptive to: politics.

Bright spot

A new study suggests there are nearly 20% more emperor penguin colonies in Antarctica than scientists previously thought. Researchers examined high-resolution satellite images of Antarctica and found large patches of poop — yes, guano — confirming 11 more colonies.

Scientists discover new penguin colonies from space! New study using @ESA satellite mapping technology reveals there are nearly 20% more emperor #penguin colonies in #Antarctica than was previously thought. Exciting research @PeterTFretwell & Phil Trathan:

— Antarctic Survey (@BAS_News) August 5, 2020In case you missed itListen: Explosion rocks Beirut’s port

Smoke rises after an explosion in Beirut, Aug. 4, 2020, in this picture obtained from a social media video.


Karim Sokhn/Instagram/Ksokhn/Thebikekitchenbeirut/via Reuters

A massive explosion rocked downtown Beirut on Tuesday, flattening much of the port, damaging buildings and blowing out windows and doors as a giant mushroom cloud rose above the capital. And UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned Tuesday that school closures as a result of COVID-19 “could waste untold human potential, undermine decades of progress, and exacerbate entrenched inequalities.” Plus, the French Chilean singer Ana Tijoux has managed to draw inspiration from at least one aspect of these trying times and has just released a new single, “Pa Qué?”

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