Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Coronavirus News (234)

China invites EU leaders to ‘see real situation in Xinjiang’ amid claims of Uygur detention and abuse ‘We have always welcomed friends … to go to Xinjiang for a walk,’ says Chinese foreign ministry Previous foreign delegations to the home of Uygur minorities have been carefully controlled, limited in scope and labelled Chinese propaganda tools ........  the invitation had been extended during a virtual summit on Monday between Chinese President Xi Jinping and three EU leaders: European Council president Charles Michel, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. ...........  Reuters reported in November that the EU had rejected the offer because China had set unreasonable conditions – such as saying the delegation could not discuss human rights issues – and refused to allow a meeting with Xinjiang’s top official, Communist Party boss Chen Quanguo. ......... Beijing has been the subject of international condemnation for the detention camps it operates tin Xinjiang. ........  According to Beijing, the centres are “pre-emptive measures against extremism” that offer “trainees” jobs and other life skills. Late last year, Xinjiang officials claimed most of the Uygurs in the centres had “graduated” and returned to society. 

China must deliver on opening up promises ahead of Xi Jinping’s ‘last chance’ EU virtual summit next week President Xi Jinping is expected to take part in a virtual summit with European leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, on Monday The talks are seen as key as Beijing tries to convince Europe it is sincere about opening its markets and free trade ahead of the US presidential election   

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Coronavirus News (233)

There won’t be enough coronavirus vaccines for a return to normal life until 2022, WHO scientist says The need for social distancing and mask wearing will continue next year, leading World Health Organisation scientist predicts Negotiations ongoing for US and China to participate in the WHO’s global alliance of equitable vaccine distribution ...........  “The way that people are picturing it is that in January you have vaccines for the whole world and things will start going back to normal – it is not how it works” ..........  people in China would have access to locally developed vaccines as early as November or December. ..........  hundreds of thousands of Chinese had already been vaccinated .............  There were 92 low-income countries eligible for free vaccines subsidised by wealthy countries and donors

Trump: Americans will develop ‘herd mentality’, coronavirus vaccine weeks away Trump denies playing down virus, floats ‘herd mentality’ strategy instead of ‘herd immunity’ US president said a US vaccine could be three or four weeks away, before the election on November 3  ......... US President Donald Trump said that a coronavirus vaccine may be available within a month – an acceleration of even his own optimistic predictions – but added that the pandemic could go away by itself. ........... Experts including top US government infectious diseases doctor Anthony Fauci say vaccine approval is more likely toward the end of the year. ..........  Returning to one of his most controversial views on the virus, that has ravaged the economy and which government scientists say will remain a danger for some time, Trump insisted “it is going to disappear”. ........... Challenged about how the virus would go away by itself, he said “you’ll develop like a herd mentality”. .............. said “a lot of people don’t want to wear masks and people don’t think masks are good”. .........  Asked what people he meant, Trump answered: “Waiters”. “They come over and they serve you and they have a mask,” he said. “I saw it the other day when they were serving me and they’re playing with the mask. I’m not blaming them. I’m just saying what happens: They’re playing with the mask. So the mask is over, and they’re touching it, and then they’re touching the plate, and that can’t be good.” .............. 52 per cent of adults do not trust Trump’s statements about an upcoming coronavirus vaccine, compared to 26 per cent who do.   

Scientific American magazine backs Joe Biden in its first-ever White House endorsement Editors say they feel ‘compelled’ to back Democratic candidate’s effort to unseat Trump in coming election Move prompted by US president’s scepticism of scientific experts and handling of pandemic ........... The magazine's editors wrote that they felt “compelled” to back Biden in his effort to unseat President Donald Trump. Scientific American cited Trump’s handling of Covid-19 and his scepticism of expert opinion and mainstream science on issues such as climate change as the impetus for its decision. ........... “The evidence and the science show that Donald Trump has badly damaged the US and its people – because he rejects evidence and science” .........  “Joe Biden, in contrast, comes prepared with plans to control Covid-19, improve health care, reduce carbon emissions and restore the role of legitimate science in policymaking. He solicits expertise and has turned that knowledge into solid policy proposals.”  

What the World Can Learn From Life Under Tokyo’s Rail Tracks