Technology

WHO halts hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 trials: Live updates

The WHO said that it was discontinuing its trials of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and combination HIV drug lopinavir/ritonavir in hospitalised patients with COVID-19 after they failed to reduce mortality.  Spain’s Catalonia region has placed restrictions on 200,000 people amid surge in new coronavirus cases. People in Englad will be allowed to visit pubs, restaurants or get a haircut for the first time in more than three months as restrictions ease. Brazil passes 1.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases, as cities reopen bars, restaurants and gyms sparking fears infections will keep rising. Here are the latest updates. Saturday, July 4 23:15 GMT – Brazil registers 37,923 new cases of coronavirus, 1,091 deaths Brazil has recorded 37,923 new confirmed cases of the...

US marks subdued Fourth of July as coronavirus cases surge

The United States marked a subdued Fourth of July holiday with social distancing and restrictions on crowds preventing the typical gatherings and firework displays amid a surge in coronavirus infections in southern and western states.  Racial justice protests were also planned in the US capital on Saturday, where President Donald Trump is set to deliver a speech on the National Mall. Trump promised a “special evening” that could bring tens of thousands of spectators, despite warnings of the dangers of spreading the virus from Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, who is powerless over the event on federal land.  Saturday’s commemoration of the declaration of US independence from Britain began on a grim note, with both Florida and Texas recording their highest dail...

Dominican Republic vote to go ahead despite coronavirus threat

Voters in the Dominican Republic are set to defy rising coronavirus infections to choose a new president in an election that could end 16 years of unbroken rule by the centre-left Dominican Liberation Party (PLD).   Opposition candidate Luis Abinader is favourite in Sunday’s election, having taken a commanding lead in opinion polls despite being forced to abandon his campaign after he tested positive for COVID-19. Abinader, a 52-year-old businessman, recovered sufficiently to close out his campaign at a rally on Wednesday. “Change is coming and the PLD is going,” he promised a crowd of hundreds of his supporters, allowed to gather after the government eased a lockdown.   A Gallup poll gives Abinader, from the opposition Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) more than...

WHO urges countries to ‘wake up’ and halt coronavirus: Live

The World Health Organization urged countries hit by serious coronavirus outbreaks to “wake up” to the realities on the ground instead of bickering, and to “take control”. Brazil was set to pass 1.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases, as cities reopen bars, restaurants and gyms sparking fears infections will keep rising. Saudi Arabia passed milestone of 200,000 confirmed novel coronavirus cases, the health ministry said, weeks ahead of an annual hajj pilgrimage drastically cut back because of the pandemic. Here are the latest updates. Friday, July 3 20:24 GMT – Bolsonaro dilutes law requiring face masks be worn in Brazil Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro watered down a law requiring the wearing of face masks in public places to prevent the spread of the coronav...

US sees larger share of private fireworks sales ahead of holiday

As the United States gears up for the Fourth of July weekend, people across the country are facing concerns over wildfires, pandemics and the meaning behind impromptu firework firings in an unprecedented celebration of the national holiday.  Saturday will be unlike any other Independence Day in recent memory. From Atlanta to San Diego, hundreds of firework shows have been cancelled as officials restrict large gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic, especially as infections surge across the US. With fewer professional celebrations, many Americans are bound to shoot off fireworks in their back yards and at block parties. And they already are: Sales have been booming. Some public safety officials say consumer fireworks in more hands means greater danger of injuries and...

US: White couple charged after gun pulled on Black family

A white couple in the US has been criminally charged after one of them was captured on video pulling a gun on a Black woman and her daughters in a restaurant car park in Michigan. Authorities said Jillian Wuestenberg, 32, and Eric Wuestenberg, 42, were arrested after the Wednesday night confrontation. They were charged with felonious assault, Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper said in a release. They were later arraigned and are free on a $50,000 personal bond, according to the Oakland County sheriff’s office. As a condition of the bond they must turn over all firearms, not engage in “assaultive behavior” and not leave Michigan, Sheriff Michael Bouchard said in a statement.  Jillian Wuestenberg was arrested after she pulled a handgun on a Black woman and her da...

Brazil coronavirus death toll passes 60,000: Live updates

Brazil surpassed 60,000 deaths from the coronavirus after recording more than 1,000 fatalities over the last 24 hours, the country’s health ministry said. The United Nations Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution demanding an “immediate cessation of hostilities” for at least 90 days in key conflicts including Syria, Yemen, Libya, South Sudan and Congo to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. Italy’s hard-hit northern region of Lombardy accounted for considerably more than half of the nation’s latest confirmed 187 coronavirus cases – raising the total to 240,760 nationwide. The Ministry of Health also reported 21 new deaths, raising to 34,788 the total of known deaths. Close to 10.7 million people around the world have been diagnosed with the co...

Top US spies brief Congress on Russia-Taliban intelligence

CIA Director Gina Haspel and National Security Agency Director Paul Nakasone met with congressional leaders at the United States Capitol on Thursday to share US intelligence suggesting Russia offered the Taliban bounties to kill US troops in Afghanistan. Amid rising calls for new sanctions on Russia, US intelligence officials are under pressure from members of both parties in Congress to provide explanations. US media outlets have reported that intelligence agencies concluded the Russian military offered bounties to Taliban affiliates in Afghanistan to kill American troops and coalition forces. President Donald Trump has played down the reports and called the allegations a hoax.  Members of Congress who were briefed behind closed doors on Thursday included top Republican and Demo...

US: Coronavirus infections rising in 40 of 50 states

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States climbed to an all-time high of more than 50,000 per day on Thursday, with the infection curve rising in 40 out of 50 states in a reversal that has largely spared only the Northeast. In yet another alarming indicator, 36 states are seeing a rise in the percentage of tests that are coming back positive for the virus. The surge has been blamed in part on Americans not wearing face masks or following other social-distancing rules as states lifted their lockdowns over the past few weeks. The US recorded 50,700 new cases, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University. That represents a doubling of the daily total over the past month and is higher even than what the country witnessed during the deadliest phase of the crisis in...

Brazil deliverymen for Uber, other apps protest amid pandemic

More than a thousand food deliverymen on motorcycles gathered in Sao Paulo, Brazil on Wednesday to protest against working conditions set by Uber and other apps, with their services in high demand due to coronavirus lockdowns. The drivers sought better pay and improved health measures, as Brazil is now a coronavirus epicentre and delivery workers face exposure to the virus. Drivers paraded through Sao Paulo’s Paulista Avenue, the city’s main thoroughfare, blocking traffic, and also protested in other Brazilian cities. The government said this week that half of working-age Brazilians are out of work due to the coronavirus crisis, a record level, pushing more and more citizens into precarious employment options. Brazilian delivery workers for Uber Eats and other delivery apps pro...

Sunbelt’s COVID-19 cases spike; some states back off on reopening

Arizona recorded more coronavirus deaths, infections, hospitalisations and emergency-room (ER) visits in a single day than ever before in a crisis Wednesday across the United States Sunbelt that sent a shudder through other parts of the country and led distant states to put their own reopening plans on hold. In Florida, hospitals braced for an influx of patients, with the biggest medical centre in Florida’s hardest-hit county, Miami’s Jackson Health System, scaling back elective surgeries and other procedures to make room for victims of the resurgence underway across the South and West. Cases in Texas rose by 8,076 on Wednesday, the highest daily increase since the pandemic started.  On Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence travelled to Arizona, where cases have spiked sinc...

Cases spike in US, states back off on reopening: Live updates

Turkey has reported more than 200,000 coronavirus cases, with 1,192 new cases diagnosed in the past day, health ministry data shows. The European Union has reopened its borders to visitors from 15 countries but excluded the United States, where deaths are spiking once again. More than 10.5 million people around the world have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, nearly 5.4 million have recovered, and at least 512,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. Here are the latest updates. Wednesday, July 1 21:45 GMT – Brazil delivery workers for Uber, other apps protest  Over a thousand food-delivery workers on motorcycles gathered in Sao Paulo to protest their work conditions, set by Uber and other apps, with their services in high demand due to coronavirus lockdowns. The...