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Japanese Grand Prix cancelled for second year over virus.

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The decision follows Grand Prix cancellations this season in Australia, China, Canada and Singapore
The decision follows Grand Prix cancellations this season in Australia, China, Canada and Singapore Behrouz MEHRI AFP/File

The Japanese Grand Prix has been cancelled for a second year over “ongoing complexities” with Covid-19, Formula 1 said Wednesday.

The race was due to take place at Suzuka on October 10, but F1 said the Japanese government had pulled the plug due to the country’s pandemic situation.

Japan is currently battling record coronavirus infections, with Tokyo, which successfully held the recent Olympics behind closed doors, and other regions under a state of emergency.

“The decision has been taken by the Japanese government to cancel the race this season due to ongoing complexities of the pandemic in the country,” F1 said in a statement.

The move follows Grand Prix cancellations this season in Australia, China, Canada and Singapore.

F1 said it had yet to decide how to fill the gap but one option may be to hold a second US race in Austin, Texas.

“Formula 1 is now working on the details of the revised calendar and will announce the final details in the coming weeks,” the statement said.

“Formula 1 has proven this year, and in 2020, that we can adapt and find solutions to the ongoing uncertainties and is excited by the level of interest in locations to host Formula 1 events this year and beyond.”

Japan’s MotoGP, which was also scheduled to take place in October, was scrapped in June.

The cancellation of the Japanese GP is especially disappointing to Honda who will be deprived of a last farewell in front of their home fans before withdrawing from the sport at the end of the season.

Honda engines currently power Red Bull and its sister team Alpha Tauri.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen is currently second in the world drivers’ championship, engaged in a thrilling tussle with Lewis Hamilton whose Mercedes team are also edging the constructors’ championship.

Honda is also, via a subsidiary, owner of the Suzuka circuit which has hosted the Japanese GP since 2009.

“It is unfortunate that, for a second consecutive year, it has not been possible to hold the Japanese Formula 1 Grand Prix at Suzuka,” the team said in a statement.

Honda, which builds the engines for Red Bull's Max Verstappen and owns the Suzuka circuit, said the cancellation of the Japanese GP was 'unfortunate'
Honda, which builds the engines for Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and owns the Suzuka circuit, said the cancellation of the Japanese GP was ‘unfortunate’ Adrian DENNIS AFP/File

“As Honda, we are particularly disappointed, because this is the final year of our Formula 1 project and we know that so many fans were looking forward to attending the event.”

The figure-of-eight Suzuka circuit, which will celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2022, has hosted 31 GPs since 1987, with the drivers’ world title being decided there on 11 occasions.

In April, Japanese GP promoters and F1 chiefs announced that the race would remain at Suzuka until 2024.

Japan has just hosted the Olympic Games, with no spectators allowed in the stadiums, and is preparing to do the same, under similar conditions, for the Paralympic Games, which begin next week.

Since the end of June, the country has been experiencing its worst wave of coronavirus to date, due in particular to the Delta variant.

A state of emergency has been re-established since mid-July in part of the country, including the capital Tokyo, for the fourth time since the beginning of the pandemic.

But the system, which was extended on Tuesday, seems to be losing its effectiveness. Daily cases of Covid-19 continue to increase and exceeded the 20,000 mark across the country for the first time on Friday and Saturday.

Source:(RFI)


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Oregon dog’s 12-inch ears earn Guinness World Record

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Lou, a 3-year-old canine belonging to Paige Olsen, officially has the longest ears on a dog (living).
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An Oregon woman’s black and tan coonhound earned a Guinness World Record when each of her ears was measured at 12.38 inches long.

Guinness said Lou, a 3-year-old canine belonging to Paige Olsen, officially has the longest ears on a dog (living).

Olsen said she always knew Lou’s ears were “extravagantly long,” but she only decided to measure them while sheltering in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“All black and tan coonhounds have beautiful long ears, some are just longer than others,” Olsen, a veterinary technician, told Guinness.

Olsen said Lou’s especially long ears have not led to any medical complications for the canine.

“Of course everyone wants to touch the ears, they’re very easy to fall in love with with just one sighting,” she said.

Olsen said Lou is also a competitor at dog shows and has earned titles from the American Kennel Club and Rally Obedience.

Source: (UPI)


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Breaking: Ganduje appoints new Emir of Gaya

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Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State has in the early hours of Sunday appointed Alhaji Aliyu Ibrahim-Gaya as the new emir of Gaya.

Ibrahim-Gaya succeeded his late father, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdulkadir who died at the age of 91 years after protracted illness.

The Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Usman Alhaji announced the appointment on behalf of the Governor.

More to come…


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Tanks head for Kosovo-Serb border as Balkans tensions grow

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A Kosovo security unit trooper guards the border with Serbia as the Balkan nations trade accusations.
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Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti has accused neighbouring Serbia of “provoking a serious international conflict”, with tensions between the two countries at their highest for years.

In the latest flashpoint, two interior ministry offices in northern Kosovo were on Saturday attacked near border crossings blocked by local Serbs angered by a ban on cars with Serbian licence plates entering the country.

The car registration office in the town of Zubin Potok was set ablaze, and two hand grenades were thrown at the civil registration office in the nearby town of Zvecan, though they did not go off, police said.

There was no mention of any casualties.

Serbs from Kosovo’s north have blocked two main roads near the border since the government ban went into force on Monday.

Drivers from Serbia must now use temporary printed registration details that are valid for 60 days.

The Kosovo government says its move mirrors measures in force in Serbia against drivers from Kosovo since 2008, when Kosovo declared independence from their neighbour.

Serb fighter planes flew close to the border crossing of Jarinje where protesters cheered them. A day before, three helicopters also flew in the vicinity.

Media in Belgrade reported that tanks and other military equipment were heading towards the border, but the Serb army did not give any details.

NATO’s mission in Kosovo, where peacekeepers maintain a fragile peace, called for restraint.

Source: (NewDaily)


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