International

Foreign students must leave if classes go fully online: US

IN A move that will adversely impact hundreds of thousands of Indian students, the US immigration authority has announced that foreign students will have to leave the country or risk deportation if their universities switch to online-only classes in this fall semester due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said in a press release on Monday that for the fall 2020 semester students attending schools operating entirely online may not take a full online course load ..

Japan floods toll mounts to 40 as more areas warned of heavy rain

THE death toll from three days of heavy rain and flooding in southern Japan rose to 40 on Monday, including 14 who drowned at a riverside nursing home, as rescuers searched for 10 missing people and rain threatened wider areas of the main island of Kyushu, officials said...

‘Nations uniting against China’s bully tactics’

CHINESE President Xi Jinping has apparently decided that this is the right time to assert dominance and territorial expansionism when the global economies are reeling with the side-effects of a deadly pandemic outbreak, but instead of just rolling over, a growing number of nations are fighting back, the ‘New York Post’ reported. New Delhi raising of tariffs on Chinese goods, restricting Chinese investments and banning TikTok as well as 58 other Chinese apps from Indian phones is one of the latest ..

13 UK universities on brink of collapse without COVID-19 bailout: Report

AN estimated 13 UK universities, educating around 5 per cent of students in the country, would not be able to survive the coronavirus pandemic lockdown without a Government bailout support, a new report claimed. The Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) estimates that long-term losses for the UK’s higher education sector could come in anywhere between 3 billion pounds and 19 billion pounds, with the biggest losses stemming from a fall in international student enrolments – including those from India who ..

Chinese city sounds alert for case of bubonic plague

BEIJING, A CITY in northern China on Sunday sounded an alert after a suspected case of bubonic plague was reported, according to official media here. Bayannur, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, announced a level III warning of plague prevention and control, state-run ‘People’s Daily Online’ reported. The suspected bubonic plague case was reported on Saturday by a hospital in Bayannur. The local health authority announced that the warning period will continue until the end of 2020. “At present, there ..

WHO team to visit China next week to investigate origins of coronavirus

AMID global concerns that China delayed giving information regarding the novel coronavirus outbreak, a team of WHO (World Health Organisation) will visit the country next week to investigate the origins of the virus and its spread to human beings. The visit will take place more than six months after the WHO’s Country Office in China picked up a statement from the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission on cases of ‘viral pneumonia’. ..

Japan extends strong show of support for India, hits out at China

IN A strong show of support for India, Japan on Friday hit out at China, saying that it opposes any unilateral attempts to change the status quo along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh where the Chinese aggression led to the killing of 20 Indian soldiers and 43 Chinese soldiers last month...

If elected, bolstering ties with India will be high priority: Biden

DEMOCRATIC presidential candidate and former US Vice-President Joe Biden has said that if he wins the November elections, strengthening America’s strategic relationship with its natural partner India will be a “high priority” for his administration. Biden is challenging incumbent President Donald Trump, a Republican, in the November 3 US presidential election. “India needs to be a partner in the region for our safety’s sake and quite..

Flu virus with pandemic potential identified in China; no threat yet

A FLU virus strain, identified among pigs in China, is jumping species to infect swine industry workers, according to a study which says the pathogen has “all the essential hallmarks of a candidate pandemic virus,” however experts say there is no imminent threat of another global outbreak. The study, published in the journal PNAS, is based on a surveillance of pigs in China from 2011 to 2018, and found that the influenza virus strain, with genetic material termed as G4 genotype, has become predominant ..

World fears COVID-19 worse yet to come

THE world surpassed two sobering coronavirus milestones on Sunday -- 5,00,000 confirmed deaths, 10 million confirmed cases -- and hit another high mark for daily new infections as Governments that attempted reopenings continued to backtrack and warn that worse news could be yet to come. Worldwide, there are 10.1 million confirmed cases and over 5,01,000 reported deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University of government reports. About 1 in 4 of those deaths – more than 1,25,000 – have ..

Terrorists attack Pak Stock Exchange; eleven killed, hostage situation foiled

FOUR heavily armed militants attacked the busy Pakistan Stock Exchange building here with guns and grenades on Monday morning, killing four security guards and a police officer before being shot dead in an exchange of fire, authorities said. The militants, who arrived in a car, opened indiscriminate fire and lobbed grenades at the main gate of the multi-storey building situated in the city’s high-security commercial hub as they tried to storm it...

ASEAN leaders take position against China’s vast historical sea claims

SOUTH-EAST Asian leaders said a 1982 UN oceans treaty should be the basis of sovereign rights and entitlements in the South China Sea, in one of their strongest remarks opposing China’s claim to virtually the entire disputed waters on historical grounds...

India joins UN’s ‘Alliance for Poverty Eradication’ as founding member

UNITED NATIONS, INDIA has become a founding member of an Alliance for Poverty Eradication at the UN, launched by the President of the General Assembly, aimed at focussing on efforts to boost global economy in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. President of 74th Session of the UN General Assembly Tijjani Muhammad-Bande will formally launch the ‘Alliance for Poverty Eradication’ on June 30, which he said will serve as a forum for Member States to raise awareness about danger that poverty poses ..

Tanzanian miner finds two gems, turns millionare

A SMALL-SCALE miner in Tanzania has become an overnight millionaire after unearthing two of the biggest rough tanzanite gemstones ever found. Tanzania’s Government bought the book-sized stones weighing 20 pounds (9 kg) and 11 pounds (5 kg) from miner Saniniu Laizer for USD 3.4 million. Minerals Minister Doto Biteko said on television Wed..

Trump issues proclamation to suspend H-1B, other visas till year end

US PRESIDENT Donald Trump has issued a proclamation to suspend issuing of H-1B visas, which is popular among Indian IT professionals, along with other foreign work visas for rest of the year. Trump said the step was essential to help millions of Americans who have lost their jobs due to the current economic crisis. Issuing the proclamation ahead of the Nove..

China loses WTO dispute over market economy status

IN A landmark development, China has lost a dispute to the European Union at the World Trade Organization (WTO) for a market economy status, as the former allowed the dispute to lapse. The development comes after four years of battle for the market-economy status by China. The designation would have put the country in a stronger position in respect of its commercial and trade partners. A note by the WTO Secretariat said China allowed the dispute to lapse...

Malala celebrates her Oxford degree

MALALA Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner who once took a bullet for campaigning for girls’ education in Pakistan, was over the moon on Friday after completing her degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Britain’s prestigious Oxford University. Malala, 22, who attended Oxford’s Lady Margaret Hall college, took to Twitter to share two pictures that show h..

‘Closely monitoring’ Indo-China border row: US

THE US is “closely monitoring” the situation following a fierce clash between Indian and Chinese forces in eastern Ladakh, and hopes that the differences will be resolved peacefully, a senior State Department official has said. Twenty Indian Army personnel, including a Colonel, were killed in the clash with Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley on Monday night, the biggest military confrontation in over five decades that has significantly escalated the already volatile border stand-off between the two ..

North Korea will pay if it takes actual military action: South

SOUTH Korea’s military on Wednesday warned it will make sure that North Korea “pays the price” if it actually takes military action against the South. The Joint Chiefs of Staff statement came hours after North Korea said it will redeploy troops to an inter-Korean industrial park in the western border town of Kaesong and the Mount Kumgang joint tourism ..

US man survives COVID-19, gets a whopping Rs8cr hospital bill

 SEATTLE  ANelderlymanwhobattledcoronavirus for 62 days at a hospital in the US has been handed over a staggering 181-page bill of $1.1 million (nearly Rs 8 crore). Michael Flor, 70, who became the longest-hospitalised COVID19 patient at Swedish Medical Centerin Issaquah, a city inKing County, Washington State, and survived, knew the bill would be a hefty one but looking at 181- page long bill left him in shock. He came so close to death in the spring that a nurse held a phone ..

Saudi Arabia mulls cancelling Haj for first time: Report

SAUDI Arabian authorities were considering cancelling the annual Haj pilgrimage season for the first time since the establishment of the Kingdom in 1932, after the number of coronavirus infections exceeded 100,000, a senior official said. “The case has been carefully studied and various scenarios are being considered. A formal decision will be taken within a week,” ‘Gulf News’ quoted the official in the Saudi Ministry of Haj and Umrah as saying to the UK’s ‘Financial Time..

Thousands mourn Floyd in Texas amid protests across US

OVER 5,000 mourners from across the US, wearing face masks and gloves, lined up outside a church here to pay their final respects to African-American George Floyd, whose custodial killing stoked widespread protests in America and other countries over racial injustice. Floyd died in Minneapolis on May 25 after white police officer Derek Chauvin handcuffed and pinned him to the ground, and knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes while the 46-year-old from Houston gasped for breath. The footage, ..

Global death toll from COVID-19 crosses 4,00,000

THE worldwide death toll from COVID-19 has surpassed 400,000, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University that health experts say is still an undercount because many who died were not tested for the virus...

Facebook removes nearly 200 accounts tied to hate groups

FACEBOOK has removed nearly 200 social media accounts linked to white supremacy groups that planned to encourage members to attend protests over police killings of black people — in some cases with weapons, company officials said Friday. The accounts on Facebook and Instagram were tied to the Proud Boys and the American Guard, t..

Trump threatens military action to quell protests

AS THE anti-police brutality protests exploded into orgies of anarchy and crime coast-to-coast, US President Donald Trump has threatened to deploy the military if local officials did not act decisively against the looting and arson. From Washington and New York to Chicago in the nation’s centre to Los Angeles and the Silicon Valley, over a dozen cities came under curfew on Monday night after being hammered by a night of looting that stretched into the day. But hundreds defied the 11 pm curfew in New ..

‘China delayed releasing COVID-19 information; frustrating WHO’

THROUGHOUT January, the World Health Organisation publicly praised China for what it called a speedy response to the new coronavirus and thanked the Chinese Government for sharing the genetic map of the virus “immediately,.” But in fact, Chinese officials sat on releasing the genetic map, or genome, of the deadly virus for over a week after multiple Government labs had fully decoded it, not sharing details key to designing tests, drugs and vaccines. Strict controls on information and competition within ..

Mosques reopen in Saudi Arabia, Jerusalem

TENS of thousands of mosques across Saudi Arabia reopened on Sunday for the first time in more than two months, but worshipers have been ordered to follow strict guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus as Islam’s holiest site in Mecca remained closed to the public. The Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, the third holiest site for Muslims after Saudi Arabia’s Mecca and Medina, also reopened for prayers for the first time since it was ..

Trump terminates US relationship with WHO

US PRESIDENT Donald Trump on Friday said that America is terminating its relationship with the World Health Organisation as he blamed it and China for the deaths and destruction caused by the COVID-19 pandemic across the globe. Stating that the funding of the WHO would now be diverted to other global public health organisations, Trump announced a series of decisions against China including issuing proclamation to deny entry to certain Chinese..

India committed to maintaining peace, tranquility along LAC: MEA

“INDIA is committed to the objective of maintenance of peace and tranquility in the border areas,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said on stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops in Ladakh. He said that Chinese and Indian Armed Forces scrupulously follow the consensus reached by leaders of the two countries on the situation in Eastern Ladakh. “At the same time, we remain firm in our resolve to ensure India’s sovereignty,” he said...

Ninth century Shiv Linga found in Vietnam

A MONOLITHIC sandstone Shiv Linga from the ninth-century was discovered during an on-going conservation project in the Cham Temple Complex in Vietnam -- over 5,000 kilometers from here. The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) has undertaken several major conservation works across various countries of Asia, including the My Son Temple in Vietnam...

China takes another U-turn, says coronavirus had ‘multiple origins’

IN WHAT seems to be anabsolutely new theory, Chinese scientists have said that the nov-el coronavirus may not have itsorigin in theWuhan seafood mar-ket, which allegedly caused the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic.‘People’s Daily’, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, revealed onWednesday that new evidencesuggests ‘multiple origins of thetransmission of the virus’...

Twitter labels Trump tweets with afact check for the first time

FOR the first time,Twitter put a warning labelunder two posts by Donald Trump , prompting the US President to accusethepop-ular social media platform of“ interfering”in the presidential election scheduled in November.Twitter highlighted two ofTrump’s tweets on Tuesday that falsely claimed mail-in ballots would lead to widespread voter fraud in the elections, append-ing amessagethe social mediagiant has introducedrecently tofight mis information or unveri-fied claims.“There is NOWAY (ZERO!) that Main-in ..

Indian-American IBM scientist bags inventor of year award

PROLIFIC Indian-American inventor Rajiv Joshi has bagged the prestigious Inventor of the Year award in recognition of his pioneering work in advancing the electronic industry and improving Artificial Intelligence capabilities. Dr Joshi, who is a master inventor with more than 250 patented inventions in the US, works at the IBM Thomson Watson Research Center in New York...

WHO suspends Hydroxycholoroquine clinical trial on COVID-19 patients

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Director-General, said that a clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) on COVID-19 patients has come to “a temporary pause”, while the safety data of the the anti-malaria drug was being reviewed. According to the WHO chief, ‘The Lancet’ medical journal on May 22 had published an observational study on HCQ and chloroquine and its effects on COVID-19 patients that have been hospitalised, reports Xinhua news agency. The authors of the ..

US Navy tests weapon that can destroy aircraft mid-flight successfully

A US Navy warship has successfully tested a new high-energy laser weapon that can destroy aircraft mid-flight, the Navy’s Pacific Fleet has announced. Images and videos provided by the Navy show the amphibious transport dock ship USS Portland executing “the first system-level implementation of a high-energy class solid-state laser” to disable an aerial drone aircraft, the Navy said in a statement on Friday...

COVID-19 cases drop to zero in China, but surge in Latin America

NEW coronavirus cases dropped to zero in China for the first time on Saturday but overwhelmed hospitals across Latin America – both in countries lax about lockdowns and those lauded for firm, early confinement. The virus hit a reopened church in Germany and possibly a restaurant, too. The pandemic’s persistence stymied authorities struggling to keep people safe and revive their economies at the same time, disrupting the Memorial Day weekend in the United States and collective celebrations around the ..

Researchers record world’s fastest Internet data speed

SCIENTISTS have achieved the world’s fastest Internet data speed, which is enough to download 1000 HD movies in a split second, using a single optical chip, an advance that can help scale up the capacity of network connections across the world. According to the study, published in the journal Nature Communications, the new innovation could fast-track telecommunications capacity of countries struggling with demand on Internet infrastructure...

Hindujas share 2nd spot in UK rich list

TWO sets of Indian-origin siblings dominate the annual tally of Britain’s wealthiest as the Hinduja and Reuben brothers share the second spot with a fortune of 16 billion pounds each, while British inventor-entrepreneur James Dyson tops ‘The Sunday Times Rich List 2020’ with 16.2 billion pounds. Srichand and Gopichand Hinduja, who run the Hinduja Group of companies, lost 6 billion pounds to slip from the top slot in last year’s list. Mumbai-born David and Simon Reuben lost 2.66 billion pounds over ..

Spraying disinfectants can be ‘harmful’, says WHO

SPRAYING disinfectant on the streets, as practised in some countries, does not eliminate the new coronavirus and even poses a health risk, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned on Saturday. In a document on cleaning and disinfecting surfaces as part of the response to the virus, the WHO says spraying can be ineffective. “Spraying..

World Bank approves $1 bn loan to India

THE World Bank on Friday approved a USD 1 billion loan to support India’s efforts for providing social assistance to the poor and vulnerable households, severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The “Accelerating India’s COVID-19 Social Protection Response Programme” will support the Government’s efforts towards a more consolidated delivery platform – accessible to both rural and urban populations across state boundaries. This takes the total commitment from the World Bank towards emergency COVID-19 ..

Jeff Bezos could be world’s first trillionaire by 2026

AMAZON founder and CEO Jeff Bezos could potentially become the worlds first trillionaire as early as 2026, at which point he will be aged 62, says a study. Despite losing an estimated $38 billion as part of his recent divorce, Bezos is still by far the world’s richest person and his net worth has grown by 34 per cent on average over the last five years, said the study by Comparisun, a company which helps organisationscompare different business products. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg could gain ..

Global corona death toll crosses 3,00,000 mark

THE global death toll from the novel coronavirus has reached 3,00,000, mark with over 4.42 million cases of infections, according to the Johns Hopkins University. Some 1.58 million people have also been cured of the illness, as per US-based tracker. As of 4 am Friday, the number of people infected globally stands at 4,426,937 with at least 301,370 deaths reported. The United States has the highest case count in the world, 1,413,012, including 85,581 fatalities...

5 plagues from China in last 20 yrs, at some point it has to stop: US NSA

AS MANY as five plagues have come out of China in the last 20 years and at some point it has to stop, US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien has said, holding the country responsible for the origin of the coronavirus pandemic which has killed over 2,50,000 people globally. People across the globe are going to rise up and tell the Chinese Government that “we can no longer have these plagues coming out of China”, whether it is from labs ..

COVID-19 vaccine may never be found, warns UK PM

BRITISH Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a COVID-19 survivor, has warned that a mass vaccine for the highly contagious disease may be over a year away and may in fact never be found. In his foreword to the Government’s new 50-page guidance on a step by step easing of the lockdown measures in place to control the spread of the deadly virus, the UK Prime Minister lays out plans for businesses to gradually start reopening with“COVID-19 Secure” measures of social distancing and for the public to use“good ..

Pompeo holds video conference with his counterparts from India, 5 other nations

US SECRETARY of State Mike Pompeo has discussed with his counterparts from India, Australia, Brazil, Israel, Japan and South Korea the importance of international co-operation, transparency, and accountability in combating the COVID-19 pandemic and in addressing its causes. Pompeo spoke to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Henrique Fraga Araujo, Isr..

Triple antiviral drug combo shows promise for treating COVID-19

A TWO-WEEK course of antiviral therapy that combines the power of three drugs has shown promise in treating hospitalised patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 in a carefully undertaken phase 2 clinical trial. The results of the trial, published in the journal The Lancet, involved 127 adults from six public hospitals in Hong Kong. The drug combination tested in the trial included -- interferon beta-1b which was developed to treat multiple sclerosis (MS), lopinavir-ritonavir which is normally used ..

Average 80,000 coronavirus cases reported daily in April: WHO

AN AVERAGE of 80,000 COVID-19 cases were reported each day in April to the World Health Organisation, the top UN health agency has said, noting that South Asian nations like India and Bangladesh are seeing a spike in the infections while the numbers are declining in regions such as Western Europe. WHO Director-Gene..

Coronavirus structure offers clue to high infection rate, says study

RESEARCHERS studying the structure of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 have found a unique feature in the virus that could explain its high transmissibility between people, an advance that may help develop new drugs against the disease. The study, published in the Journal of Molecular Biology, identifies a structural loop in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, an area of the virus that facilitates its entry into cells. In this loop, the researchers, including those from Cornell University in the ..

Riveting coverage of Alaska policing wins Pulitzer Prize

The Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica won the Pulitzer Prize in public service on Monday for illuminating public safety gaps in Alaska, revealing that a third of villages had no police protection. The “riveting” series spurred legislative changes and an influx of spending, the judges noted in an announcement postponed several weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic. ‘The New York Times’ won the investigative reporting prize for an expose of predatory lending in the New York City taxi industry ..

Israel claims breakthrough in developing antibody against coronavirus

ISRAELI Defence Minister Naftali Bennett has said that scientists at the country’s main biological research institute has made a “significant breakthrough” in developing an antibody to the novel coronavirus, as the researchers wrapped up the development phase and moved to patent and mass produce the potential treatment. Bennett visited the labs of the Israel’s Institute for Biological Research (IIBR), supervised by the Prime Minister’s Office and mandated to develop a..

Kim reappears in public, ending absence amid health rumours

NORTH Korean leader Kim Jong-un made his first public appearance in 20 days as he celebrated the completion of a fertilizer factory near Pyongyang, State media said on Saturday, ending an absence that had triggered global rumours that he may be seriously ill. The North’s official Korean Central News Agency reported that Kim attended the ceremony on Friday in Sunchon with other senior officials, including his sister Kim Yo Jong, who many analysts predict would take over if her brother is suddenly unable ..

Indian-origin girl gets honour of naming NASA’s 1st Mars helicopter

NASA’s first Mars helicopter has a name now and the credit goes to 17-year-old Indian-origin girl Vaneeza Rupani. Rupani, a high school junior from Northport, Alabama, earned the honour of naming the helicopter after she submitted her essay into NASA’s “Name the Rover” contest. Destined to become the first aircraft to attempt powered flight on another planet, NASA’s Mars Helicopter officially named: Ingenuity, as suggested by Rupani. While NASA announced in March that its next rover would be named ..

COVID-19 still extremely dangerous, says WHO chief

THE World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that COVID-19 was still “extremely dangerous,” though countries were seeking to return to normal as social isolation measures have helped slow the spread of the deadly disease. “The pandemic is far from over,” Xinhua new agency quoted Tedros as saying at a virtual press conference on Monday...

China says, all coronavirus patients in Wuhan have now been discharged

AFTER more than three months of an arduous fight, Wuhan, the city located at the heart of China and epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, has cleared all remaining cases related to the deadly infection in its hospitals, health authorities told Xinhua news agency on Sunday. This came as a 77-year-old man surnamed Ding tested negative for the second time for coronavirus in the capital city of Hubei province. He no longer had clinical symptoms and was able to be discharged, an official with Wuhan Municipal ..

Kim Jong-un ‘alive and well’ or dead? Confusion persists

THE condition of secretive North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, after a long spell of non-appearance, remained unclear on Sunday, with a set of reports saying that he had passed away after heart trouble or was in an irreversible coma, while another said he was staying at his holiday resort. Kim has not appeared in public for over two weeks and was absent from a key event on Friday, amid rumours that he had heart trouble...

Stephen Hawking left 16.3 million pounds in thumbprint-signed will

STEPHEN Hawking, one of the world’s best-known physicists, has left behind 16.3 million pounds in a will which he signed with a thumbprint due to his motor neuron disease. Hawking, who died in Cambridge aged 76 in 2018, put the large fortune in a trust fund for his three children and three grandchildren and also bequeathed 10,000 pounds to his loyal personal assistant Judith Croasdell, 71, according to a report in ‘The Sun’ newspaper. A legal note to go with the will notes: “Signed with his ‘mark’ ..

WHO launches ‘landmark’ collaboration to develop COVID-19 drug, vaccine

THE World Health Organisation (WHO) on Friday launched a ‘landmark’ international collaboration to accelerate the development of a vaccine for COVID-19, said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. The new collaboration was launched at a virtual event co-hosted by WHO Director-General Ghebreyesus, French President Emmanuel Macron, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Xinhua reported. Ghebreyesus said the UN agency is partnering with groups to accelerate work on drugs and a vaccine for COVID-19 ..

COVID-19 to be with us for long time: WHO

THE World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday said that the COVID-19 crisis will not end any time soon, with several countries only in the initial stages of the fight against the virus. “Make no mistake, we have a long way to go. Coronavirus will be with us for a long time. There is no question that stay at home orders and other physical distancing measures have successfully suppressed transmission in many countries,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a press conference. “Most countries ..

Modi most popular leader on FB, Trump leads interactions

WITH around 45 million likes on his personal page, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi continues to be the most popular world leader on Facebook, while US President Donald Trump dominates the rankings for the most interactions even as leaders across the world grow their audience on the social networking platform amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a study said...

Bill Gates lauds Modi’s leadership in fighting COVID-19 in India

PHILANTHROPIST and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has commended Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership and his Government’s “proactive measures” such as lockdown and expansion of focused testing in combating the COVID-19 pandemic in India...

‘World on the brink of hunger pandemic, could face multiple famines’

THE UN food relief agency has warned that the world is on the brink of a “hunger pandemic” and could face multiple famines of biblical proportions within few months if nations don’t act now to avoid funding shortfalls and disruptions to trade due to COVID-19, which continues to spread unabated. The novel coronavirus, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December last, has so far infected over 25,65,290 people and claimed more than 1,77,770 lives. “While dealing with a COVID-19 pandemic, ..

Worst yet ahead of us: WHO chief on COVID-19

TEDROS Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), warned that “the worst is yet ahead of us” in the coronavirus pandemic that has infected millions and killed thousands across the globe. Addressing the media here on Monday, the WHO chief said: “Trust us. The worst is yet ahead of us... Let’s prevent this tragedy. It’s a virus that many people still don’t understand,” the ‘Evening Standard’ newspaper reported. “There is no secret in WHO because keeping things confidential ..

US oil bounces after crash but stocks suffer big losses

US CRUDE prices bounced back into positive territory on Tuesday, a day after crashing below USD 0.00 for the first time owing to crippled demand and a storage glut, while the commodity rout sent equities sharply lower. Investors were also tracking developments in North Korea following US reports that Kim Jong Un had undergone cardiovascular surgery earlier this month and was in “grave danger.” West Texas Intermediate for May delivery rose to USD 1.10 a barrel after diving to an unprecedented low of ..

US wants to send team of experts to China for COVID-19 probe: Trump

THE US wants to send a team of experts to China to investigate the coronavirus, President Donald Trump has said, a day after he warned Beijing of “consequences” if it was knowingly responsible for the spread of COVID-19 which has killed more than 165,000 people globally, including over 41,000 in America. Describing the coronavirus as a plague, Trump, during his White House news conference on Sunday, said that he is not happy with China where the pandemic emerged in December last year in the central ..

Corona originated in lab: Nobel winning scientist

FRENCH Nobel prize winning scientist Luc Montagnier has sparked a fresh controversy by claiming that the SARS-CoV-2 virus came from a lab, and is the result of an attempt to manufacture a vaccine against the AIDS virus. In an interview given to French CNews channel and during a podcast by Pourquoi Docteur, professor Montagnier who co-discovered HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) claimed the presence of elements of HIV in the genome of the coronavirus and even elements of the “germ of malaria” are ..

Matterhorn mountain in Swiss Alps lights up with Indian flag in show of solidarity

SWITZERLAND has expressed solidarity with India in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic by projecting the tricolour on the famous Matterhorn mountain in the SwissAlps to give“hope and strength” to all Indians. Swiss light artist Gerry Hofstetter has been lighting up the 4,478-meter pyramidal peak straddling between Switzerland and Italy with spectacular displays of flags of different countries and messages of hope as part of a nightly series supporting the nations combating the deadly COVID-19 ..

Wuhan lab intern accidentally leaked Covid-19 virus: US media

UNITED States President Donald Trump on Wednesday acknowledged ‘Fox News’ report that the novel coronavirus (nCoV) may have been accidentally leaked by an intern working at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. The ‘Fox News’ in an exclusive report based on unnamed sources has claimed that though the virus is a naturally occurring strain among bats and not a bioweapon, but it was being studied in Wuhan laboratory. The initial transmission of the virus was bat-to-human, the news channel said, adding ..

US scientists warn social distancing may have to remain till 2022 sans vaccine

SOCIAL distancing measures such as restrictions on public gatherings may have to remain in place intermittently for at least a couple of more years to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the absence of vaccine against the virus or dramatic increase in critical care capacities, researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health have warned. These tough measures which have already pushed the world economy into recession may be necessary because the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes ..

Trump orders halt to funding WHO over COVID-19 spread

US PRESIDENT Donald Trump has announced halting America’s funding of up to USD 500 million annually to the World Health Organisation while a review is being done to assess its role in “severely mismanaging and covering up” the spread of the deadly coronavirus when it first emerged in China. The novel coronavirus, which originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei province in November, has so far killed at least..

Scientists discover six new coronaviruses in bats

SCIENTISTS have discovered six new coronaviruses in bats in Myanmar -- the first time these viruses have been found anywhere in the world. The findings, published in the journal PLOS ONE, will help understand the diversity of coronaviruses in bats and inform global efforts to detect, prevent and respond to infectious diseases that may threaten public health, particularly in light of ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. According to the researchers from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology ..