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News Making International Headlines: 3 August 2021

International Fire Fight Underway in Southern Turkey

A joint-international effort has been brought together to fight the fires in Southern Turkey. Sixteen planes and 51 helicopters are tackling the blazes across a swathe of southwest Turkey. The European Union says it has mobilised three additional fire-fighting planes. One from Croatia and two from Spain join teams from Russia, Iran, Ukraine and Azerbaijan. Seven fires are still burning, fanned by temperatures above 40 degrees. Strong winds and low humidity are only making things worse. Worst hit are the resort towns of Manavgat and Bodrum, where flames lit up the night sky on Monday. The Turkish government says the fires follow months of exceptionally dry weather.

Florida Hit by Surge in Delta Cases

The southeast state of Florida is now on the frontline of a fourth wave of Covid-19 infections in the United States. Lines at some of its testing sites are longer than they have been in weeks, with officials saying the state faces one of the worst outbreaks in the nation. About 25% of America’s hospitalized Covid patients are in its hospitals. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has resisted imposing a mask mandate. Florida's hospital association says that’s partly to blame for the current surge in cases, most of which are due to the Delta variant. Hospitalisations have skyrocketed to 10,000 a day. The Broward County school board wants students and staff to wear masks, despite the lack of an official mandate. The superintendent of Miami-Dade schools says the district will reconsider whether to require masks in light of the surge.

Greece Swelters Amid Worst Heatwave in Almost 40 Years

And, it’s so hot in Greece, you can literally fry an egg in the sun. Temperatures in the central town of Larissa hit 46 degrees on Monday – the hottest day since records began. Across Greece, the mercury climbed to around 44 degrees and is expected to stay there for the remainder of the week. In the capital, Athens, the Acropolis has been closed as it’s just too hot in the sun for people to visit. As demand for air-conditioning peaks, authorities are advising people to limit power usage at peak times in the afternoon and evening to prevent the country’s electricity system from collapsing. Greece’s Prime Minister says it’s the nation’s worst heatwave since 1987. Beaches near Athens are packed with people seeking an escape from the heat, but most agree it’s almost impossible to deal with.

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