Daily News Roundup

July 3, 2019

WEDNESDAY,  JULY 3

Channel 7 has defended its decision to stick with Nick Kyrgios’s match against Jordan Thompson rather than show the start of world number one Ash Barty’s Wimbledon opener.

The battle between the Australian men had been going for two hours when Barty’s match against Zheng Saisai began on another court, and the broadcaster opted to show the final stages of Kyrgios’s win rather than switch over.

A furious reaction from fans and pundits on social media prompted an explanation and apology from Channel 7 on the Sunrise program.

Both Kyrgios and Barty expressed bemusement at the decision, but said it had nothing to do with them.

“If people can watch my matches, great. If they can’t, they can’t. That’s up to the broadcasters, not me,” Barty said.

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As battle tanks and other war machines gathered in Washington DC for Donald Trump’s Fourth of July parade the city fathers have warned the heavy vehicles could damage city roads.

Critics of the parade, which will include an Air Force B-2 stealth bomber and other warplanes conducting flyovers, have accused Mr Trump of copying France’s vaunted Bastille Day parade and using America’s military as a political prop.

The military hardware will be led by 54.5-tonne Army Abrams battle tanks sent to Washington by rail to be positioned on or near the National Mall for the celebration.

Local officials are concerned infrastructure could be affected.

The District of Columbia Government tweeted a memorandum from the Pentagon that warned tanks’ steel tracks could damage city roadways.

“Tanks, but no tanks,” the DC legislature’s Twitter account tweeted.

Mr Trump, casting the extravaganza as a Salute to America, tweeted on Tuesday that military leaders were “thrilled” to participate.

The celebration will include Navy F-35 and F-18 fighter jets, the Navy Blue Angels aerobatics team, Army and Coast Guard helicopters and Marine V-22 Ospreys, as well as the presidential Air Force One and Marine One aircraft.

Pentagon officials have referred questions about the parade to the White House, and military officials would not say on the record whether General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, planned to attend.

Loren Dejonge Schulman, a senior fellow at the Centre for a New American Security and a Pentagon and White House official under former president Barack Obama, described the event as “raw politicisation.”

She said Mr Trump’s use of the military appeared to be less about honouring the men and women serving in uniform than about trying to “brag to and humour” his political allies.

Democratic congresswoman Betty McCollum said the Interior Department and the Pentagon had not answered multiple requests for details on how much the event would cost.

“Mr Trump is hijacking the celebration and twisting it into a taxpayer-funded, partisan political rally that’s more about promoting a Trumpian cult of personality than the spirit of American independence and freedom,” she said.

White House officials sought to counter the criticism by stressing that Mr Trump would deliver a patriotic speech at the Lincoln Memorial during an event that he has billed as honouring the US armed forces.

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The Dalai Lama is “deeply sorry” for comments he made in a recent interview about his successor being a woman, according to a statement from his office.

The Tibetan spiritual leader told the BBC last month that beauty mattered as much as brains, and that “if a female Dalai Lama comes, she should be attractive”.

In a statement posted on the Dalai Lama’s website, his office said he “genuinely meant no offence” by the remark, and it was only meant as a joke.

“He is deeply sorry that people have been hurt by what he said and offers his sincere apologies,” the statement said.

The statement described the comment as an “off the cuff” remark “which might be amusing in one cultural context” but lost its humour in translation to another context.

It said the Dalai Lama first made the joke about a female successor needing to be attractive in an interview with Vogue magazine in 1992 — a context, the statement said, he was “unfamiliar” with.

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A young female Arctic fox walked more than 4000 kilometres from northern Norway to Canada’s far north, via Greenland, in four months, Norwegian researchers say.

The Norwegian Polar Institute reports the young female fox left her birthplace on Norway’s Svalbard archipelago on March 1, 2018 and reached Canada’s Ellesmere Island by way of Greenland on July 1, 2018.

The ground the small fox cumulatively covered over those four months was among the most ever recorded for an Arctic fox seeking a place to settle down and breed, the institute said in a research article subtitled “One female’s long run across sea ice”.

Institute scientists monitored the fox’s movements with a satellite tracking device they fitted her with in July 2017 near her native habitat by a glacier on Norway’s Spitsbergen island.

She stayed close to home then gradually ventured out until she left the island on March 26, 2018.

During the walk to Canada, the roughly two-year-old fox moved at an average rate of 46.3 kilometres per day, the Norwegian scientists said.

“The short span of time spent covering such a distance highlights the exceptional movement capacity of this small-sized carnivore species,” they said.

The distance between the fox’s natal den and where she settled on Ellesmere Island was 1789 kilometres if travelled in a straight line, according to the institute.

The sea ice allows Norway’s Arctic foxes to reach Greenland and then North America, though it’s not known why they leave their birthplaces in search of places to breed, the researchers said.

The animals, which have thick fur to survive cold environments and live to about age four, subsist on fish, marine birds and lemmings.

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