News in 90 seconds (audio: english)
26 April 2016 13:00
April 26 marks 30 years of Chernobyl accident
Today the world recalls the Chernobyl tragedy. The history's largest man-made disaster, which occurred 30 years ago, affected the lives of millions of people. Large territories across Belarus, Ukraine and Russia were contaminated. Among those hit the hardest were residents of Brest, Gomel and Mogilev oblasts of Belarus. Today two thousand Belarusian settlements are found within the radioactive contamination area, whose total population is over one million people. This means that every eighth Belarusian citizen lives there. Out of 900 hundred thousand hectares of contaminated arable lands only 17 thousand have been re-cultivated. Belarus has spent over 22 billion USD on rehabilitation efforts in the affected territories.
These days President of Belarus pays visit to Chernobyl-hit regions of the country. Today Alexander Lukashenko leaves on a working trip to the Gomel region to look into spring farming work, social infrastructure and health care issues. Another important point on the schedule is communication with residents of the towns of Dobryn and Yelsk.
Chernobyl clean-up workers awarded with commemorative medals
The day before commemorative medals were presented to the people who took part in Chernobyl disaster control effort. Had it not been for their self-sacrifice and devotion the disaster's consequences could have been much worse. The ceremony was attended by first vice-president of Russia's RosAtom corporation Alexander Lokshin, who personally handed over the medals to 39 liquidators from Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine. Today residing in Belarus are about 75 thousand Chernobyl clean-up workers.
Eurovision 2016 to offer international sign language for all songs
Eurovision songs will be accessible even to people with hearing impediments. This year EBU will build upon the previous contest's experience to offer international sign language performances. A special casting has been arranged among sign artists to select the best for the actual contest.
42 countries will be taking part in this year's contest in Sweden as Romania was recently disqualified for failure to pay its fees. The first semifinal is scheduled for May 10, while the second, on May 12, will feature Belarus' entry IVAN with his song Help You Fly. The Belarusian delegation will start off for Stockholm on May 2.