Each Wednesday, All the Pretty Birds recaps the most important headlines from our global community to keep you up to speed on world news. This week we’ve included coverage of Simone Biles withdrawal from a Tokyo Olympics competition to prioritize mental health, along with updates about the Covid-19 vaccines and the Atlanta spa shootings.
Simone Biles has withdrawn from the individual all-around competition to focus on her mental health, USA Gymnastics announced.
Her withdrawal comes after the 24-year-old, one of the greatest gymnasts of all time, stepped away from a dramatic team competition, citing mental health concerns as she attempts to protect “her body and mind.”
USA Gymnastics said it supported her decision “wholeheartedly,” adding in its statement that Biles would be assessed every day.
Biles had been one of the favorites to win gold, having won every individual all-around competition that she has entered since 2013. After Sunday’s qualifying in Tokyo, Biles had finished first with a score of 57.731.
She still has the opportunity to compete in other individual events during the remainder of the Games, having qualified for individual finals in each apparatus: vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise.
Biles said tennis star Naomi Osaka, who cited her mental health when withdrawing from the French Open earlier this year, had inspired her to speak out about her own issues.
Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are expanding the size of their clinical trials for children ages 5 to 11 — a precautionary measure designed to detect rare side effects including heart inflammation problems that turned up in vaccinated people younger than 30.
Questions about vaccinating children — including those under 12 — are of huge interest to parents and teachers. Regulators will be required to balance potential side effects of coronavirus vaccination against the risks of Covid-19.
Many public health experts argue that, with so much attention focused on hospitalizations and deaths among the older population infected with the coronavirus, the risk for children has been overlooked.
Democratic Party donor Ed Buck was convicted of multiple crimes in connection with the deaths of two Black men who overdosed in his apartment in West Hollywood, California, more than a year apart.
Buck, 66, who was accused of plying men with drugs during sexual encounters, was found guilty of all nine felony counts in U.S. District Court in downtown Los Angeles, including two counts of distribution of controlled substances resulting in death. The two charges each carry mandatory minimums of 20 years in prison.
Buck, a notable political donor, had given more than $53,000 to Democratic candidates and to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee since 2008, according to federal records. Several Democrats returned Buck’s campaign donations after he was charged.
The Georgia man accused of killing eight people at a string of Atlanta-area spas pleaded guilty to four counts of murder in suburban Cherokee County and will serve four consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole plus 35 years in prison. But the man,
Robert Aaron Long, faces an additional 19 charges in nearby Fulton County, where prosecutors will be pursuing the death penalty for hate crimes targeting the sex and race of the victims.
Thousands of people joined the annual Budapest Pride march in a show of support for the LGBT community and to protest a Hungarian law banning the “promotion” of homosexuality or gender reassignment to minors.
The new law has become a target of Europe’s LGBT community and their allies, putting Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s conservative government again at odds with Brussels.
The European Commission launched legal action against Budapest over the new law, saying it is discriminatory and contravenes European values of tolerance and individual freedom.
Mary Simon was installed Monday as governor general of Canada – the first Indigenous person to hold the position – where she will serve as the representative of the country’s head of state, Queen Elizabeth II.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau named Simon – a former journalist, ambassador, and Inuit community advocate – to the role, created more than 400 years ago to represent the colonial power.
The governor general performs functions such as swearing in governments and formally signing legislation, but is also the commander in chief of the military and can summon or dissolve Parliament.
Image via @tribryan