Daily Archives: July 30, 2021


Storytelling Celebrated at Virtual Summer Literary Festival

This year’s 1455 Summer Literary Festival — an annual free 3-day virtual program sponsored by a group of universities in Virginia — featured over 200 authors, poets, and creative artists sharing their insights into the art of storytelling. Maxim Moskalkov has the story. Camera: Mike Maisuradze      …


Russia Blames Its Software for Repositioning Space Station

Russian space officials said Friday that a software malfunction had caused the unexpected firing of thrusters on a newly arrived module, moving the International Space Station out of its intended attitude.The incident occurred Thursday, hours after the long-delayed Russian laboratory module, known as Nauka, docked with the ISS.  It took mission controllers nearly an hour to reposition the ISS, which had been bumped 45 degrees out of alignment.  Ground controllers fired Russian thrusters on other Russian elements at the station to fix the positioning.In a statement Friday, ISS Russian segment flight …


WHO: Japan Doing its Best to Control COVID During Games

The WHO said Friday that Japan was doing its best to minimize the risk of Covid-19 spreading during the Tokyo Olympics but stressed there was no such thing as zero risk.The World Health Organization’s warning came as Japan extended a virus state of emergency in Tokyo and expanded the measure to four more regions as it battles a record surge in infections a week into the pandemic-postponed Games.”There is no zero risk. There could be less or more risk. And then, for things to happen with low risk, you try …


Amazon Hit With Record EU Data Privacy Fine

Amazon.com Inc has been hit with a record $886.6 million (746 million euros) European Union fine for processing personal data in violation of the bloc’s GDPR rules, as privacy regulators take a more aggressive position on enforcement.The Luxembourg National Commission for Data Protection (CNPD) imposed the fine on Amazon in a July 16 decision, the company disclosed in a regulatory filing on Friday.Amazon will appeal the fine, according to a company spokesperson. The e-commerce giant said in the filing it believed CNPD’s decision was without merit.CNPD did not immediately respond …


Lebanon’s Health Crisis Worsens

Lebanon is running desperately short of life-saving medicines to treat cancer, heart ailments, or even of basic vitamins needed by expectant mothers. It is all a direct result of Lebanon’s deepening political and economic crisis which has led to severe shortages hard currency and fuel. Anchal Vohra has this report for VOA from northern Lebanon.Videographer and producer: Tilo Gummel …


‘Wow! Wow!’ Women Get Olympic Track Off to Sizzling Start

Usain Bolt might be long gone from the sprint scene. It doesn’t mean Jamaica has slowed down one bit.Nobody has, at least not on the women’s side of the sport.An opening day at the Olympics that’s supposed to produce little more than a brisk jog for the world’s best at 100 meters turned into something very different Friday.Reigning world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ran her heat in the nearly empty Olympic Stadium in 10.84 seconds. Her Jamaican rival, defending Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah, finished in 10.82. And Marie-Josee Ta Lou, the …


CDC Report: COVID Delta Variant Can Spread ‘As Easily As Chickenpox’ 

According to reports in The Washington Post and The New York Times, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to make public Friday an internal federal health document about the delta variant of the coronavirus that can be spread “as easily as chickenpox” by vaccinated and unvaccinated people.The newspapers reported the document is a slide presentation distributed to CDC officials. The presentation details the difficulties the agency has experienced in convincing some populations to get vaccinated and wear masks.The presentation urges CDC officials to develop public service …


New Russian Module Knocks Space Station Out of Position

A long-delayed Russian laboratory module docked with the International Space Station on Thursday, but hours later the Russian lab knocked the orbiting station out of position when the lab’s thrusters accidentally fired.It took mission controllers nearly an hour to reposition the ISS, which had been bumped 45 degrees out of alignment.  Ground controllers fired Russian thrusters on other Russian elements at the station to fix the positioning.During the repositioning, communications between the ground and the crew went out twice for several minutes.It was “a pretty exciting hour,” according to Kathy …


Israel’s NSO Under Fire for Spyware Targeting Journalists, Dissidents

There is growing international criticism of Israel following allegations that software from the private security company NSO was used to spy on journalists, dissidents, and even political leaders around the world. A group of American lawmakers is urging the U.S. government to take punitive action against the company, which denies any wrongdoing. In Israel, some experts are calling for better regulation of cyber exports. Linda Gradstein reports for VOA from Jerusalem. …