A view of Beirut's port is shown, flattened from an explosion and smoke rising from the rubble

A drone picture shows smoke from the scene of an explosion at the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020.

Credit:

Hussein Malla/AP

Top of The World — our morning news round up written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

Rescue workers remain on the scene of a massive explosion at Beirut’s port yesterday that killed at least 100 people and wounded as many as 4,000. Scores of people are still missing, and Beirut is in a state of emergency. The explosion rippled across the Lebanese capital, leaving entire city blocks flooded with glass and rubble along with a scene of utter devastation.

It's unclear what caused the blast. Reports say there was a pair of explosions: The first started with a fireworks warehouse, and the second came from a stockpile of the explosive chemical ammonium nitrate. Many Lebanese blamed the tragedy on decades of corruption and poor governance.

Follow the BBC’s live page for the latest on Beirut.

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Coming up on The World today, host Marco Werman interviews former National Security Adviser John Bolton. In his new book, “The Room Where It Happened,” Bolton portrays President Donald Trump as ignorant of basic geopolitics and driven by a desire for reelection — including asking for help from China.

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French Chilean rapper's new track criticizes politicians' apathy over coronavirus

Ana Tijoux worked on the new song “Pa Qué?” with the Puerto Rican rapper PJ Sin Suela. They were inspired by the grim developments that have dominated the news for most of 2020.  The single — out last month — is from her forthcoming "Antifa Dance," her fifth album.

The track's title can be loosely translated into English as “So why?” It’s a nod to a phrase popularized by a viral video from Mexico in which two men carry an apparently intoxicated friend out of a party. The friend complains, “You already know how I get, so why do you invite me?”

Tijoux says she felt similarly as an artist who likes to sing about a topic that not everyone is receptive to: politics.

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In case you missed it

Listen: Explosion rocks Beirut’s port

The dark plume of an explosion rises in the distance with a khaki-colored building in the nearground.

Smoke rises after an explosion in Beirut, Aug. 4, 2020, in this picture obtained from a social media video.

Credit:

Karim Sokhn/Instagram/Ksokhn/Thebikekitchenbeirut/via Reuters

A massive explosion rocked downtown Beirut on Tuesday, flattening much of the port, damaging buildings and blowing out windows and doors as a giant mushroom cloud rose above the capital. And UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned Tuesday that school closures as a result of COVID-19 “could waste untold human potential, undermine decades of progress, and exacerbate entrenched inequalities." Plus, the French Chilean singer Ana Tijoux has managed to draw inspiration from at least one aspect of these trying times and has just released a new single, “Pa Qué?”

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