News you might have missed: Perseverance leaves for Mars and Trump gets jealous

  • Actor Ryan Reynolds helps a woman in Vancouver get her stolen teddy bear back
  • Scaled-down version of Hajj, holy pilgrimage for Muslims, takes place with Covid-19 restrictions
Dannie Higginbotham |

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Hong Kong's Covid-19 social distancing measures extended

See ya later, little Mars Rover! Photo: Reuters

A LOT of stuff happened this week, and it's not possible to keep up with everything. Here's a few things you might not have read about:

It's (not) my party and I'll cry if I want to

Infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci, the voice of reason during the Covid-19 outbreak in the US, threw out the first pitch at the season opener for New York’s famous baseball team, the Yankees. An hour earlier, President Donald Trump announced he was invited to do the same on August 15.

There’s one issue: no one actually asked Trump.

His announcement was a surprise both to people who work in the White House and Yankees officials.

Apparently annoyed by the attention on Fauci, Trump had directed his people to call the Yankees and make good on a longstanding offer to throw out the first pitch at a game, but no date was ever finalised.

Following Trump’s announcement, his team quickly informed the Yankees that he was booked on the day in question, and Trump tweeted “Because of my strong focus on the China Virus (note: his words, not ours), including scheduled meetings on Vaccines, our economy and much else, I won’t be able to be in New York to throw out the opening pitch for the Yankees on August 15.”

There’s nothing like saying you won’t go to a party you weren’t invited to.

Trump suggests delaying US election

Scaled-down version of Hajj takes place

Hajj – the holy Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca – began as usual this year, with a huge restriction in place: only about 1,000 people were allowed to take part because of crowd control measures due to the coronavirus. Usually around 2 million people participate in the pilgrimage each year. 

Making the journey at least once in life is one of the Five Pillars of Islam; one of the obligations that every Muslim, who is in good health and can afford it, must do in order to live a good and responsible life.

International travellers were banned from the Hajj this year, but around 70 per cent of worshippers were foreign residents of Saudi Arabia and the rest were Saudi nationals. They were chosen through a rigorous selection process and required to self-isolate for two weeks before the journey. They also had to quarantine themselves for two weeks after the trip and wear masks during their entire time at the holy sites.

Saudi Arabia has recorded almost 270,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 2,700 deaths.

Some people were still able to attend a socially-distance Hajj. Photo: AFP

Detective Pikachu to the rescuechu! 

A Vancouver woman has been reunited with her teddy bear thanks to the help of actor Ryan Reynolds.

Mara Soriano’s mother died in June 2019 after a battle with cancer. Before she passed, she gave her daughter a teddy bear, which included a voice recorded message.

While Soriano was moving, the bear, which was packed in a bag with other belongings, was stolen. The story made waves on social media, and Ryan Reynolds – aka Deadpool and Detective Pikachu – offered a reward of US $5,000 for the return of the bear. A Canadian TV personality and Kraft Peanut Butter also pitched in US $5,000. On Wednesday morning, Soriano announced that the bear had been returned without a scratch and with its voice box intact.

"Now that I've got her (the bear), I just feel a little bit more hopeful and a little bit more bright," she said. "Every time I look at that bear now it's just a reminder that my mom really is with me always, that she'll always come back to me."

Australian pub bans emus for bad behaviour

Still could be aliens though?

England’s Stonehenge has long puzzled archaeologists and historians. How and why was it built? Where did the giant stones come from?

The last question might finally have an answer after a study discovered that the stones, known as sarsens, may have come from an area about 25km away in West Woods, an area full of prehistoric activity.

According to the findings, the stones were brought to the area around the same time in 2500 BCE, signalling its constructors came from a highly organised society.

We at Young Post are personally excited that “highly organised society” doesn’t rule out the possibility of aliens or sophisticated crab people.

 Ancient Wi-Fi hotspot?

Perseverance leaves for Mars; good for you!

Speaking of aliens, Nasa has launched a new Mars Rover called Perseverance.

The one-tonne, six wheeled robot was launched out of Florida and should land on the Red Planet in February. Not only will it gather rocks and soil samples, but it will also look for any signs of life on Mars. It is set to return home later this decade.

The rover is targeted at an area called the Jezero Crater, which satellite images suggest held a lake billions of years ago.

Considering the way 2020 has gone so far, we can’t blame Perseverance for heading to Mars.