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Spain sets temperature records

MADRID (AP) — As parts of Spain set record temperatures during a heatwave, people in Britain sweltered and flocked to beaches Friday on the country’s hottest day so far this year.

San Sebastian on Spain’s northern coast witnessed 107 degrees on Thursday — the hottest temperature there since records began in 1955, the national weather agency said.

The city of Palma, on Spain’s Mediterranean island of Mallorca, set a local record of 105 degrees on Tuesday.

The Spanish weather agency, Aemet, said tropical nights — when temperatures do not fall below 68 degrees — were also frequent in many parts of Spain in July.

“Climate change is increasing the frequency of heatwaves,” it said, adding that the annual number of days in heatwave conditions has doubled since the 1980s.

To the north, U.K. residents sought shade as temperatures rose above 100 degrees. National weather agency the Met Office said a reading of 100 was recorded at Heathrow Airport west of London. That made Friday the hottest day of 2020 and the third-hottest on record.

Forecasters say the blast of heat will end later in the day and there was a chance of violent thunderstorms across eastern England as cooler air moves in.

Vietnam reports first virus death

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Vietnam on Friday reported its first-ever death of a person with the coronavirus as it struggles with a renewed outbreak after 99 days with no local cases.

The Health Ministry said a 70-year-old man died after contracting the disease while being treated for a kidney illness at a hospital in Da Nang. More than 100 new cases have been confirmed in the past week, more than half of them patients at the hospital.

Da Nang is Vietnam’s most popular beach destination, and thousands of visitors were in the city for summer vacation. Across the country, authorities are rushing to test people who have returned home from the coastal city.

Dr. Luong Ngoc Khue, head of the country’s Administration of Medical Examination and Treatment, said there are at least six other elderly patients with COVID-19 currently in critical condition. All have other underlying illnesses, he said.

Vietnam had been seen as a global success story in combating the coronavirus with zero deaths and no confirmed cases of local transmission for 99 days. But a week ago an outbreak began at Da Nang Hospital.

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