China's military has approved a coronavirus vaccine developed by its own research staff and a Chinese biotech firm, it was announced on Monday. The vaccine was given the green light for use by troops after trials proved it was both safe and effective, said CanSino Biologics, the biotech firm involved. However, its use for the time being will be restricted to military personnel, who offer a tighter medical control group than the general public. The vaccine candidate, named Ad5-nCoV, was developed jointly by CanSino and the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology in the Academy of Military Medical Sciences. It has been in development since March. CanSino said the results showed the vaccine candidate has potential to prevent diseases caused by the coronavirus, which has killed half a million people globally. The company added that it was not yet possible to say if it could be a commercial success, which would depend on being able to produce the vaccine cheaply as well as safely.How to become a Concert Promoter - Step by Step!
Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in violent hand-to-hand clashes with Chinese troops on the disputed border in the Himalayas late on Monday as the threat of a full-blown war flared. The soldiers died after intense fighting in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh where there has been a tense stand-off for more than a month, and were the first at the disputed border in 45 years. The Indian army confirmed the higher total late last night after initially saying only three had died, including a colonel, and India blamed China for starting the fighting. One tweet from a senior reporter at the pro-Beijing Global Times in China suggested five of its troops had been killed, and eleven injured, but that remained unconfirmed. His editor, Hu Xijin, posted on Twitter: "Based on what I know, Chinese side also suffered casualties in the Galwan Valley physical clash. I want to tell the Indian side, don’t be arrogant and misread China’s restraint as being weak. China doesn’t want to have a clash with India, but we don’t fear it." They are the first casualties to be suffered by either Asian superpower along their 3,488km border since 1975. Chinese and Indian troops typically do not carry weapons on the Line of Actual Control, in an attempt to avoid fatalities or diplomatic escalation of tensions, and it is understood these clashes were with stones and batons. India and China have been facing-off for over a month in Ladakh in Kashmir after Chinese troops crossed the so-called Line of Actual Control on May 5 and 6 to occupy over 60 kilometres of Indian territory at four locations – Pangong Tso, Galwan River, Demchok and Hot Springs.
Washington on Wednesday ordered the suspension of all flights by Chinese airlines into and out of the United States after Beijing failed to allow American carriers to resume services to China. The US action, which takes effect June 16 but could be implemented sooner if President Donald Trump orders it, applied to seven Chinese civilian carriers, although only four currently are running service to US cities including Air China and China Eastern Airlines, the Department of Transportation (DOT) said. US air carriers sharply reduced or suspended service to China amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
New Zealand’s foreign minister on Tuesday said the country has to stand up for itself after China warned its backing of Taiwan’s participation at the World Health Organization (WHO) could damage bilateral ties. Taiwan, with the strong support of the United States, has stepped up its lobbying to be allowed to take part as an observer at next week’s World Health Assembly (WHA), the WHO’s decision-making body – a move which has angered China. Taiwan is excluded from the WHO due to the objections of China, which views the island as one of its provinces.
China has enforced a lockdown on a city bordering North Korea, raising suspicions about a coronavirus outbreak in the isolated country. Residential compounds have been closed and transportation shut down in Shulan, a city of 700,000 in the north-eastern province of Jilin, state broadcaster China Central Television reported on Sunday. Students who already had returned to school, were sent back home again to study, and the city’s threat level has been raised from medium to high risk. As of Saturday, Jilin province had reported a total of 105 locally transmitted Covid-19 cases and 19 imported ones. There were 11 new coronavirus cases in Shulan on Saturday, local health authorities said. North Korea closed its borders in January when Covid-19 first began to take hold in China, and has consistently stated that nobody inside the country has been infected.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates called allegations that China cost the world valuable time by covering up the origins of the Wuhan coronavirus a “distraction” in an interview Sunday, adding that “China did a lot of things right at the beginning.”Speaking to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on Sunday, Gates pushed back on criticism of Beijing’s initial response, saying “I don’t think that’s a timely thing, because it doesn’t affect how we act today.”“It’s not time to talk about that, this is the time to take the great science we have, the fact that we’re in this together, fix testing, treatments, and get that vaccine, and minimize the trillions of dollars and many things that you can’t even dimensionalize in economic terms that are awful, about the situation that we’re in,” Gates stated. “So that’s a distraction, I think there’s a lot of incorrect and unfair things said, but it’s not even time for that discussion.”> The challenges of fighting Covid-19 in developing countries, how China and the WHO have handled this crisis, and what to make of wild coronavirus conspiracy theories. Pt. 3 of my GPS interview w/ @BillGates: pic.twitter.com/QJJuAR52SM> > — Fareed Zakaria (@FareedZakaria) April 26, 2020A detailed timeline of Beijing’s response to the virus’s origins in Wuhan shows that the government gagged the spread of information about the virus for weeks after it had first been noticed, with health officials being warned privately of “a major public health event” nearly a week before the public was alerted to the threat.U.S. intelligence believes that China purposefully misled the global community on the extent of its coronavirus outbreak, with one study finding that the government could have prevented 95 percent of coronavirus infections if it had acted sooner to stem the initial outbreak. Last week, the head of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention admitted to state media that the government “knew there must be human-to-human transmission” of the novel virus, despite his organization saying January 15 that “the risk of sustained human-to-human transmission is low.”When asked about the World Health Organization’s culpability on Sunday, Gates said “basically no,” pushing back on President Trump’s claim that the organization is “very China-centric.”“In the retrospective, we’ll see things the WHO could have done better, just like every actor in this whole picture, but the WHO has a strong connection with one country. That country is the United States,” Gates stated. He went on to call the WHO a “phenomenal organization that we’re more dependent on today, to drive things, than we ever have been.”
Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne has cautioned China against attempts at “economic coercion” as Australia pushes for an investigation into the coronavirus pandemic that China opposes. Chinese ambassador to Australia, Cheng Jingye, said in a newspaper interview on Monday the “Chinese public” could avoid Australian products and universities. Australia last week called for all members of the World Health Organization (WHO) to support an independent review into the origins and spread of the coronavirus, and is lobbying world leaders.
A Chinese government survey ship is tagging an exploration vessel operated by Malaysia’s state oil company, Petronas, in disputed waters in the South China Sea, three regional security sources said on Friday.
Though the the U.S. intelligence community has long since dismissed the notion that the coronavirus is a synthesized bioweapon, it is still weighing the possibility that the pandemic might have been touched off by an accident at a research facility rather than an infection from a live-animal market.
The Chinese city where the new coronavirus emerged ended its more-than two-month lockdown on Wednesday, even as a small northern city ordered restrictions on residents amid concern about a second wave of infections.
Representative Liz Cheney (R., Wyo.) slammed the World Health Organization’s director general Tedros Adhanom for being “a puppet of the Chinese Communist Party” over the organization’s response to the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.Cheney, speaking to radio host Hugh Hewitt, cited Tedros’s kowtowing to Chinese authority in the wake of the outbreak, despite multiple reports detailing how Chinese government officials failed in their response.“The fact that the head of the WHO was unwilling to say, for example, yes, it’s right to cut off travel from China, was unwilling to acknowledge that there was, you know, community transmission, has been touting the Chinese Communist Party line from the beginning of this, tells you that he absolutely should go,” Cheney stated. “And again, you know, we’re in a situation where having somebody who is a puppet of the Chinese Communist Party running the WHO is costing lives around the world. And in order for that organization to play anywhere near the role we need it to play, it needs a new director, certainly."Beijing silenced Wuhan laboratories which had realized in December that the coronavirus was related to the deadly SARS virus from 2002-2003, and continued to claim that coronavirus could not be transmitted from human-to-human for weeks after evidence of that fact emerged.The WHO parroted Beijing's line on January 14, tweeting that there was “no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus." The WHO also defended China’s multiple drastic alterations to its coronavirus case count, and has not criticized Beijing for refusing to count asymptomatic cases until April 1. Multiple reports have detailed how China backed Tedros’s bid for WHO director general in 2017, after he had worked closely with Beijing as Ethiopia's health minister.On Wednesday, Tedros defended his leadership and the response to the virus, warning that U.S. lawmakers were “politicizing” the pandemic.“Please, unity at national level. No using COVID for political points,” he said. “And then second, honest solidarity at global level and honest leadership from the U.S. and China . . . We shouldn't waste time pointing fingers. We need time to unite."Tedros also added that he was being personally attacked with “racist comments.”“I can tell you personal attacks that have been going on for more than two, three months. Abuses, or racist comments, giving me names, black or Negro. I’m proud of being black, proud of being Negro,” he stated. “I don’t care, to be honest . . . even death threats. I don’t give a damn.”President Trump hammered the WHO on Tuesday, tweeting that the organization “really blew it.”> The W.H.O. really blew it. For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China centric. We will be giving that a good look. Fortunately I rejected their advice on keeping our borders open to China early on. Why did they give us such a faulty recommendation?> > — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 7, 2020Cheney is not the only lawmaker to single out Tedros for criticism. Last week, Senator Martha McSally (R., Ariz.) called him “a communist” and said Tedros “needs to step down.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at Detroit Metro Airport stopped a Chinese scientist carrying vials believed to contain the MERS and SARS viruses in November 2018 — just over a year before the first reported Wuhan coronavirus case, according to an FBI tactical intelligence report obtained by Yahoo News.“Inspection of the writing on the vials and the stated recipient led inspection personnel to believe the materials contained within the vials may be viable Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) materials,” the report reads. The vials were labeled “Antibodies”, and the unnamed scientist said he was asked to deliver them to a researcher at a U.S. institute.The report also lays out a pattern of Chinese interference, detailing two other cases from May 2018 and September 2019, in which different Chinese nationals tried to enter the U.S. with undeclared flu strains and suspected E. coli, respectively.“The Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate assesses foreign scientific researchers who transport undeclared and undocumented biological materials into the United States in their personal carry-on and/or checked luggage almost certainly present a US biosecurity risk,” the report states. “The WMDD makes this assessment with high confidence based on liaison reporting with direct access.”The FBI has stepped up its efforts to combat Chinese espionage operations in recent months after admitting failures in preventing the recruitment of U.S. researchers by Beijing’s “Thousand Talents Plan.”“With our present-day knowledge of the threat from Chinese plans, we wish we had taken more rapid and comprehensive action in the past,” John Brown, assistant director of the counterintelligence division at the FBI, told a Senate subcommittee in November. “The time to make up for that is now.”In January, the head of Harvard University’s chemistry department was federally charged with failing to disclose funding from the Chinese government, after he hid his involvement in the talents program, which encourages the stealing of U.S. intellectual property.China has come under fire for its handling of the coronavirus, despite pushing propaganda, which has been parroted by Western media, in an attempt to shift criticism to the U.S. A study released earlier this month detailed how the Chinese Communist Party could have prevented 95 percent of total infections if it had acted sooner to limit the spread and warn others.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to the Trump administration's coronavirus task force, said Thursday that Italy has been impacted particularly badly by the coronavirus pandemic because the country hosted a high number of Chinese tourists in recent months."When you look at the different patterns of what happened in different countries, China versus South Korea versus what we're seeing in northern Italy, it really gives you some interesting insight into certain things, not only in the explosive nature in certain places versus others, but as you get to your peak, how do you know when you're turning the corner," Fauci said on CNN.“It’s when the new infections each day start to level off to be the same and then start going down, then you see the curve go down,” Fauci said, adding that Italy is "not there yet."Italy has reported declining numbers of new infections but still added more than 3,400 new cases on Tuesday. More than 57,500 people are currently infected with the coronavirus in Italy, and the country's death toll passed 7,500 on Wednesday."Italy got hit very badly because they had a large number of importations from China by Chinese tourists," Fauci said."Before they even knew what was going on, there was enough baseline people spreading that it essentially got out of hand, and it became difficult for them, as good as they are, and they're very good, to be able to contain it in a way that is contact-tracing. It was more mitigation," the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases continued.Fauci also noted that the outbreak of the virus in Washington state differs from the outbreak in New York City, which is "getting hit terribly hard.""We're a big country, and there are different patterns," he explained.Washington state's outbreak involved the coronavirus spreading in several elder care homes, while New York City is a travel hub that experiences an "influx of travelers," Fauci said.New York City reported 100 new deaths from the coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the death toll to 385 as the number of infections topped 37,200.
Police in China’s virus epicentre Wuhan acted “inappropriately” by punishing a doctor who blew the whistle on the outbreak that has now killed more than 9,000 worldwide, a Chinese government investigation found Thursday. Li Wenliang, one of a group of doctors in Wuhan who shared posts on social media warning of a SARS-like virus spreading in the city in December, was reprimanded by police for sharing the information and made to sign a statement agreeing not to commit any more “law-breaking actions.” Li’s death from the virus in February prompted a national outpouring of grief as well as anger at the government’s handling of the crisis, and bold demands for freedom of speech.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver wants to make it clear he did NOT apologize to the Chinese government for Daryl Morey’s pro-Hong Kong tweet … but he still wants to save the NBA’s relationship with the foreign power. “I’d hate to see this…