Reconstruction of the Notre-Dame cathedral is now underway following the cathedral’s fire in April. Prior to this, authorities shut down the site due to fear of lead contamination linked to the fire. Over 400 tons of lead in the roof burned in the fire, which released lead particles into the air. Officials faced criticism because they did not close the area immediately or disclose the risks of lead contamination for people who lived or worked in the area. Workers are cleaning up an area of more than 100,00 square feet around the cathedral – which is closed to the public – and protective measures have been placed to preserve workers’ health.
Original story by Aurelien Breeden, Aug. 19, 2019. The New York Times.
Despite being barred from the Palestinian Authority police from holding events, a Palestinian gay and transgender rights group promised to continue their activities, even if participants may be arrested. Police banned the group from holding activities because they are “a blow to, and violation of, the ideals and values of Palestinian society.” The group, Al Qaws, was founded in 2001 and advocates for sexual and gender diversity in their society, which is conservative and often repressive for people in the LGBTQ+ community. The ban prompted many to post on social media about how they support Al Qaws.
Original story by Isabel Kershner and Moham- med Najib, Aug. 19, 2019. The New York Times.
A wedding in Afghanistan turned deadly after an explosion killed 63 people and wounded 182 others. The explosion was likely caused by a suicide bomber. Although Kabul has high security, the area has seen many suicide bombings within the past few years in areas with low security, such as education centers and mosques. The attack occurred near the 100th anniversary of repelling an invasion by the British.
Original story by Mujib Mashal, Aug. 17, 2019. The New York Times.