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The Loop: The ABC enters the Chernobyl meltdown zone, Eurovision heats up, and the US surpasses 1 million COVID-19 deaths

By Tom Williams

Hi there. It's Friday, May 13 and you're reading The Loop, a quick wrap-up of today's news.

Let's start here: Russian soldiers endangered themselves by occupying Chernobyl meltdown site in Ukraine

  • The ABC's Europe correspondent Nick Dole and cameraman Lincoln Rothall have made it inside the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown site, which Russian forces had previously occupied during the ongoing invasion of Ukraine
  • The ABC team found that while Russian troops caused widespread damage when they took the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster, they may have also received high doses of radiation, which could shorten their life spans
  • Ukrainian officials say some of the Russian soldiers who patrolled the Chernobyl nuclear facility handled highly radioactive materials and some even stole contaminated objects
A truck vandalised by Russian soldiers at Chernobyl. (ABC News: Lincoln Rothall)

What you'll be hearing about today: Eurovision and heavy rain in Queensland

News while you snoozed

  • Overnight we got some stunning images of glowing gas swirling around the monster black hole that lurks at the heart of our galaxy, the Milky Way. It's the first time scientists have managed to capture the event horizon of the black hole known as Sagittarius A* or Sgr A*, which is 27,000 light-years away from our Sun
  • Mr Gurruwiwi, a renowned and celebrated master of the yidaki, more commonly known as the didgeridoo, has died in Arnhem Land after a long illness
  • Australia has been confirmed as the host of the men's 2027 and women's 2029 Rugby World Cups. What's more, Rugby Australia estimates that hosting back-to-back World Cups in 2027 and 2029 will inject $1.8 billion into the local economy
  • The United States has recorded more than 1 million COVID-19 deaths, according to the White House. That's one death for every 327 Americans

What Australia has been searching for online

  • Greg Norman: The Australian golfing great's comments about the Saudi regime — in which he said "we've all made mistakes" when asked about the regime's alleged killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi — have been condemned by the fiancée of the late Washington Post columnist. Did anyone have that on their 2022 bingo card?

One more thing

  • There's been a proud moment at Australian Fashion Week, with 24-year-old Nazdana Bakhtiari, who fled from Afghanistan as it was being taken over by the Taliban eight months ago, taking to the runway to model for Afghan-Australian designer Mariam Seddiq. The pair first met when Ms Seddiq was looking for women skilled in traditional Afghan beadwork, known as mora doozi, to use in her garments.
Afghan refugee Nazdana Bakhtiari steps onto the runway at Australian Fashion Week in Sydney. (Supplied: Lucy Alcorn)

You're up to date!

We'll be back later on to keep you in The Loop.

ABC/wires

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Dive Deeper:
Vladimir Putin's troops have left Chernobyl after an erratic, 'illogical' occupation of the nuclear disaster site
When Russian troops took Chernobyl, they drove their tanks through the highly contaminated Red Forest and dug trenches in the…
Australia's Sheldon Riley may be Not The Same but his Eurovision dreams are finally coming true in Turin
Sheldon Riley's Eurovision adventure has been a wild ride — from winning Australia Decides on the Gold Coast to losing…
Eurovision 2022 has kicked off with Ukraine tipped to win. Here's who is competing and how to watch in Australia
It's one of the most watched events in the world, seen by 183 million viewers last year. Here's everything you…
Ukraine-born doctor prepares to part with Port Macquarie family to provide aid during Russian conflict
Australian doctor Andriy Boyko felt compelled to help when he first saw horrific images pour in from his war-torn homeland.…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
The Loop: Debate audience backs Albanese, Sydney wins NBL title, and some supermassive space news
Get up to speed on today's headlines with The Loop.
Morning mail: Coalition’s $3bn marginal seat spend, Ukraine grain export crisis, plan to ‘electrify everything’
Friday: Coalition promises $3bn for 10 marginal seats. Plus: the search for the perfect picture book of death
Get all your news in one place