>Digital driver's license rollout
China will roll out digital driver's licenses across the country by 2022, a public security official said on Wednesday. Li Guozhong, spokesperson for the Ministry of Public Security, said at a press conference that over 1.95 million people have obtained digital driver's licenses since a pilot program was launched in the cities of Tianjin, Chengdu and Suzhou on June 1.
The ministry planned to expand the pilot program to more regions in the second half of this year, with more efforts put into improving the information system and supporting institutions, said Li.
Drivers can apply for a digital license through an official mobile app, he said. Digital licenses can be used on various occasions, including handling traffic violations and road accidents, filing insurance claims and renting vehicles, and have the same legal effect as paper licenses, Li added.
>Illegal use of athletes' names
The Chinese Olympic Committee has called for a halt to improper trademark registrations that use the names of Olympic athletes. The committee said in a statement on Wednesday that all sectors of society should respect the legitimate rights and interests of athletes and comply with Chinese laws, such as the Civil Code, the Trademark Law and the Anti-Unfair Competition Law, when conducting commercial activities.
"Without getting permission from the Olympic athletes or guardians of minor players, no one should register their names as trademarks or take other actions that infringe on the rights of their names or other rights," it said. "If such acts occur, the application for trademark registration should be suspended or withdrawn in a timely manner."
It added that the athletes or guardians of young players have the right to sue violators.
According to a Southern Metropolis Daily report on Tuesday, some 20 applications for trademark registration have been made involving the name of 14-year-old Olympic diving champion Quan Hongchan, mainly covering food, clothing, shoes and daily necessities.
>Biden's approval rating tumbles
US President Joe Biden's average approval rating tumbled below 50% for the first time since he took office, multiple polls have shown.
As of Wednesday, Biden's approval rating fell to 49.3% in the FiveThirtyEight average of polls, with those disapproving of his job performance hitting a new high of 44.2%.
Meanwhile, RealClearPolitics gave him a 49.6% approval rating on average during the 10-day period from Aug 7 to 17, while the disapproval rating stood at 47.2%.
Data from a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed that Biden's approval rating dropped from 53% on Friday to 46% on Tuesday, a dip that seemed directly tied to the chaos happening in Afghanistan, for which the president, while defending the drawdown of US troops, admitted he would be criticized.
On the pandemic front, the end of presidential honeymoon for Biden was also backed by numbers.
New coronavirus cases are up 52% nationally compared to two weeks ago, according to The New York Times.
Deaths and hospitalizations increased 87% and 60%, respectively, during that same period, the data showed.
>Fast fashion spurs pollution
Global fast fashion brands are helping drive pollution that has dyed African rivers blue or turned their waters as alkaline as bleach, according to a report published on Tuesday.
Water Witness International's (WWI) report featured the polluted rivers in Lesotho in southern Africa and Tanzania to highlight the risks posed as global brands increasingly source garments from contractors in Africa, attracted by cheap labor and tax incentives.
In Lesotho, researchers found a river visibly polluted with blue dye for denim jeans.
Samples taken from Tanzania's Msimbazi river, meanwhile, tested a pH level of 12 - the same as bleach - near a textiles factory, the report said, adding that local communities use the Msimbazi for washing, irrigation and more.
It identified some 50 international brands that source or have sourced their clothes from African nations, including Zara, ASOS and H&M.
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