The latest horror of 2020: 'Murder hornets'
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IN THE PAPERS - Monday, May 4: Italian papers mark the country's easing of its nearly two-month lockdown, while French papers continue to wonder if schools will be ready to open in a week's time. Across the Atlantic, papers have been abuzz with another threat that's temporarily distracting readers: the presence of Asian giant "murder" hornets in Washington State and British Columbia. And if you need a distraction from that distraction, Tokyo's Sumida aquarium wants you to video chat with their shy eels!
"It’s the moment of responsibility." Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte spoke these words when he announced the nation's lockdown measures back in early March. Nearly two months later, he’s making the same plea to Italians as the lockdown ends. His words are on the front page of today’s Corriere della Sera. The paper says that everything now hinges on the choices of individual Italians and how they react to regaining some of their freedom.
France is set to follow in Italy’s footsteps in just a week’s time, but as we read on the front page of Le Parisien, for many teachers and transport workers it’s still a no-go. Over 300 mayors from the Paris region have written to the Élysée expressing their concerns about reopening schools. The main public transportation union has also written to the government. They want strict regulations on the number of people allowed into the metro.
Taking a break from the coronavirus, the story making all the buzz in the United States this weekend was about the arrival of so-called "murder hornets" to the US Pacific Northwest. The invasive species is native to Japan and South Korea. They are known for decapitating bees and taking their bodies to feed their young. Their presence is bad news for already declining bee populations, and for many people it was the last straw in what’s already been a doomsday news cycle. There have been a couple cartoons like this one from Ed Hall - just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse, we get murder hornets.
Finally, for a story about some less threatening creatures, we can turn to Japan, where one aquarium is proposing video chats with its eels! In the absence of visitors, the eels have one again started hiding around humans, but that makes it hard for the aquarium staff to check up on their health. To help them get over their shyness, Tokyo’s Sumida aquarium is holding a so-called “Face Showing festival." It goes through Tuesday so you still have two more days if you’d like to take a break from work calls and have a virtual hangout with some eels.
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