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Is reaching zero COVID-19 even possible?

With a vaccine, yes, elimination is possible. But we need to be realistic about how long this might take, writes Kingston Mills.

Source: ABC News | 22 Oct 2020 | 7:00 am(NZT)

Charge for emergency housing is 'taking money from the poor', charity says

A new charge for emergency housing is "taking money from the poor" who have nowhere else to go, a charity which works with the homeless says. The Ministry of Social Development began charging people in motels and other emergency...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 22 Oct 2020 | 6:00 am(NZT)

Election results 2020: Audrey Young - Labour holds all the cards as Ardern's talks with Greens get underway

OPINION: The Greens are being forced to get realistic about what they might achieve in Jacinda Ardern's Government of 2020 after holding a second set of talks with Labour yesterday.The Greens went into the election campaign earlier...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 22 Oct 2020 | 6:00 am(NZT)

Netsafe Global Kids Online report: Quarter of New Zealand kids upset by online experiences

A quarter of New Zealand children were upset by an online experience in the last year while 36 per cent were exposed to violent or gory images and a fifth to self-harm methods, a survey has found.Netsafe's third Global Kids Online...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 22 Oct 2020 | 6:00 am(NZT)

New cost to reinstate quake-damaged Christ Church Cathedral expected this morning

The new cost of reinstating the Christ Church Cathedral is expected to be revealed this morning.The cathedral was damaged in the September 2010 earthquake and reopened soon after. However, the February 2011 earthquake devastated...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 22 Oct 2020 | 6:00 am(NZT)



Wellington's Labour MPs most popular in the country

Chris Hipkins won Remutaka with the biggest margin of any MP in the country.He got 17,237 more votes than his opponent, National's Mark Crofskey.It's a lead even bigger than Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's margin in Mt Albert,...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 22 Oct 2020 | 6:00 am(NZT)

Wellington's historic Farmers department store redeveloped

Wellington's historic Farmers department store on Cuba St has been given a new lease on life, after languishing at less than 5 per cent of the New Building Standard (NBS).Willis Bond has spent $60 million redeveloping the building...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 22 Oct 2020 | 6:00 am(NZT)

Herald morning quiz: October 22

Test your brains with the Herald's morning quiz. Be sure to check back on nzherald.co.nz at 3pm for the afternoon quiz. To challenge yourself with more quizzes, CLICK HERE.

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 22 Oct 2020 | 6:00 am(NZT)

Nigerian protesters say security forces fired on them, fueling global outrage

The weeks-long demonstration against police brutality took a violent turn Tuesday night.

Source: World | 22 Oct 2020 | 5:19 am(NZT)

How Trump’s Sudan gambit could backfire

Bullying Khartoum into quickly normalizing ties with Israel could undermine the country's delicate transition toward democracy.

Source: World | 22 Oct 2020 | 5:00 am(NZT)



Pope Francis calls for civil union laws for same-sex couples

The pontiff’s remarks came in a new documentary and were quoted by the Catholic News Agency. They represent his clearest stance to date on a contentious issue inside the Roman Catholic Church.

Source: World | 22 Oct 2020 | 4:26 am(NZT)

UN says shipwreck off Libya left 15 migrants dead

The U.N. migration agency says least 15 migrants trying to reach Europe drowned in the Mediterranean Sea when their boat capsized off the coast of Libya

Source: World | 22 Oct 2020 | 4:01 am(NZT)

Cyprus, Greece, Egypt to Turkey: drop the rancor, join us

The leaders of Cyprus, Egypt and Greece have renewed an invitation to Turkey to become a partner in reaping the potential benefits of offshore gas deposits, while urging Ankara to end its “aggressive” actions that undermine stability in the eastern Mediterranean

Source: World | 22 Oct 2020 | 3:57 am(NZT)

Stampede in eastern Afghanistan kills at least 11 elderly women seeking visas to leave the country

Visas to Pakistan have been unavailable for months, so thousands turned up to obtain one.

Source: World | 22 Oct 2020 | 3:50 am(NZT)

'Avalanche of hate' was directed at Magda Szubanski by right wing extremists, says eSafety Commissioner

The eSafety commissioner says extremists and conspiracy theorists launched a coordinated attack with the aim of sending an "avalanche of hate" at Kath and Kim star Magda Szubanski.

Source: ABC News | 22 Oct 2020 | 3:33 am(NZT)

Dozens of artifacts vandalized in three Berlin museums

Police said they are investigating attacks that took place earlier this month.

Source: World | 22 Oct 2020 | 3:22 am(NZT)

CIA agents suspect being attacked with microwave weapon while in Australia

The two agents, one of whom is believed to be a top-ranking CIA official, felt sick and dizzy after the suspected attack that an expert says would signal "Cold War-style conflict" reaching new highs.

Source: ABC News | 22 Oct 2020 | 12:50 am(NZT)

Ukraine seeks U.N. cultural status for beloved borscht. A culinary spat with Russia could be brewing.

Who holds the origins of beet soup? Depends on who you ask. And where you ask it.

Source: World | 22 Oct 2020 | 12:00 am(NZT)

Jackpot: Two Lotto players split $800,000 Strike prize

Two lucky Lotto winners are seeing in their long weekend with a extra $400,000 to spend.The players, from Auckland and Waihi, split the $800,000 Strike prize in last night's draw.The Waihi winner bought their lucky ticket at New...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 21 Oct 2020 | 10:25 pm(NZT)

Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup – National's catastrophic collapse and fraught rebuild

OPINION: The National Party's defeat has been so comprehensive that few in the party seem optimistic they will recover anytime soon. Falling from 47 per cent in 2017 to just 27 per cent (which might drop as low as 25 per cent once...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 21 Oct 2020 | 10:00 pm(NZT)

The pandemic nearly broke this Kenyan mom of five. Then she found ‘Blessing.’

Hyrine Mita found a new light in her life where she least expected it: a garbage dump.

Source: World | 21 Oct 2020 | 9:00 pm(NZT)

Covid 19 coronavirus: The Malt, Greenhithe, Auckland bar patrons told to get tested after confirmed case

Patrons of an Auckland pub have been asked to self-isolate and get swabbed for Covid-19 after being exposed to someone infectious with the virus.But a pub patron who did the right thing and lined up to be tested at a North Shore...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 21 Oct 2020 | 8:21 pm(NZT)

Main road to Auckland Airport closed overnight next week for roadworks

The main road into Auckland Airport will be closed over five nights next week to replace an overhead gantry known as the Pirate Mast. George Bolt Memorial Drive will be closed in both directions from Tuesday through to Sunday morning...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 21 Oct 2020 | 8:21 pm(NZT)

Labour kicks off Government forming talks with the Greens in Jacinda Ardern's Beehive office

The Greens and Labour are both talking up how well their post-election talks are going, but neither will reveal any details about what is being discussed. In a Facebook Live video tonight, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she'd...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 21 Oct 2020 | 8:18 pm(NZT)

US urges countries to withdraw from UN nuke ban treaty

The United States is urging countries that have ratified a U.N. treaty to ban nuclear weapons to withdraw their support as the pact nears the 50 ratifications needed to trigger its entry into force, which supporters say could happen this week

Source: World | 21 Oct 2020 | 7:49 pm(NZT)

Volunteer in Oxford coronavirus vaccine trial dies

It’s unclear whether the volunteer in Brazil received the vaccine candidate or a placebo.

Source: World | 21 Oct 2020 | 7:48 pm(NZT)

France mourns teacher Samuel Paty, as government mobilizes against Muslim groups

The teacher, attacked and beheaded last week, is to posthumously receive the Légion d’Honneur.

Source: World | 21 Oct 2020 | 7:36 pm(NZT)

Ireland is first European country to reimpose a lockdown amid a coronavirus resurgence

The six-week lockdown could result in 150,000 people losing their jobs, the deputy prime minister said.

Source: World | 21 Oct 2020 | 7:01 pm(NZT)

Canadian opposition leader says he won’t vote for election

The leader of one of Canada’s opposition parties said Wednesday he will not give Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “the election he is looking for.”

Source: World | 21 Oct 2020 | 6:49 pm(NZT)

Maketū murder: Family tried to take slain toddler from Aaron Izett, High Court hears

The day before the body of Maketū toddler Nevaeh Ager was found her great-grandparents had planned to take her from her "erratic" father and alleged murderer, a court has heard.John Sturgess and his wife Nicky Sturgess gave...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 21 Oct 2020 | 6:41 pm(NZT)

Scientists around the world are turning to feces to track coronavirus outbreaks

In Hong Kong, Ottawa and beyond, researchers are unlocking knowledge about the coronavirus by studying wastewater and fecal matter.

Source: World | 21 Oct 2020 | 6:37 pm(NZT)

Winston Peters speaks to Newstalk ZB for first time since election

Four days after the election, NZ First leader Winston Peters has finally picked up his phone.Peters only addressed his supporters for a few minutes on Saturday night, as polls showed his party only had received 2.7 per cent in the...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 21 Oct 2020 | 6:37 pm(NZT)

Lake Taupō death mystery: One of two people found dead on lake shore was former jockey

One of two people found dead on the shore of Lake Taupō last week was a former jockey whose life had spiralled out of control. Trevor Malcolm Wiringi, 50, and Helen Dorothy Smith, 49, were from Rotorua, a police spokesperson...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 21 Oct 2020 | 6:35 pm(NZT)

Teenage driver to appear in Kaitaia Court after pedestrian dies

A teenager has been charged with common assault in relation to an earlier alleged incident involving a man killed after being struck by a vehicle in Kaitaia on Tuesday evening.Police said the vehicle involved was located at the...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 21 Oct 2020 | 6:15 pm(NZT)

New Act MP Simon Court was deported from Fiji in 2017

New Act Party MP Simon Court says he was deported from Fiji in 2017 for raising issues about work done by Chinese Communist party contractors.Court, a civil and environmental engineer, was working for global engineering consultancy...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 21 Oct 2020 | 6:05 pm(NZT)

A decade after deadly cholera epidemic, Haiti awaits help

Ten years after a cholera epidemic swept through Haiti and killed nearly 10,000 people, families of victims still struggle financially and await compensation from the United Nations as many continue to drink from and bathe in a river that became ground zero for the waterborne disease

Source: World | 21 Oct 2020 | 6:01 pm(NZT)

Seven gang members arrested in relation to reported Porirua stabbing, police believe more people involved

Seven gang members have been arrested in relation to a reported stabbing at a Porirua service station earlier this month.But police still want to speak to a man they say will be able to assist officers in their ongoing inquiries...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 21 Oct 2020 | 5:59 pm(NZT)

Watch: Rare glimpse inside a Black Power senior gang member Whenu Sarge McKinnon's tangi

The Black Power have released a rare glimpse of what happens at a senior gang member's funeral.National Black Power president Whenu 'Sarge' McKinnon died nearly two weeks ago, with members of Black Power and rival gangs paying tribute...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 21 Oct 2020 | 5:25 pm(NZT)

Election result 2020: Greens reveal 'constructive' and 'fruitful' talks with Jacinda Ardern's Labour

The Greens co-leaders are staying mum on what role they're likely to play in the formation of the Government, after a "fruitful" meeting with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern this afternoon. Co-leaders James Shaw and Marama Davidson,...

Source: nzherald.co.nz - National | 21 Oct 2020 | 4:05 pm(NZT)

E.U. considering ban on veggie ‘burger’ and other meaty terms for plant-based food

The measure, pushed by Europe’s meat industry, has drawn an outcry from environmentalists.

Source: World | 21 Oct 2020 | 5:42 am(NZT)

Cotton turns Xinjiang winter white

As the weather turns cold in October, swathes in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region gradually turn white, but not because of snow. It’s the harvesting season for cotton, a crop that matters a lot in Xinjiang and beyond.Ample sunshine, arid weather and large temperature differences between day and night make Xinjiang an ideal place to grow the natural fiber.Xinjiang is the largest cotton growing region in China, ranking first nationally in total output, per unit production and planting area for 25 consecutive years.In 2020, the total cotton planting area in Xinjiang reached 2.51 million hectares, nearly the same as in 2019. Xinjiang is expected to see another bumper harvest this year.Growing cotton means a lot for the far west region of China. It’s the main source of income for many farmers, especially in the poorer regions of south Xinjiang.Data by the China Cotton Association shows that more than half of Xinjiang’s farmers grow cotton. Cotton farming is the major source of local agricultural income in south Xinjiang.Xinjiang’s cotton fields not only bring income to growers, but also to many migrant workers, who would travel across places to help pick cotton in patches hard to be harvested with machinery.Nearly 4,000 people in the Aral township in Aksu Prefecture joined the migrant cotton-picking army last year, earning an average of nearly 6,000 yuan (US$895) per capita in two months, with the champion cotton picker pocketing some 23,000 yuan.Over 90 percent of north Xinjiang’s cotton fields are now harvested using machinery. The practice is also becoming popular in south Xinjiang.The increasingly modernized cotton industry also creates jobs. Zulyar Nijat, a 27-year-old college graduate in south Xinjiang’s cotton hub Yuli, made a foray into the cotton fields in early September by working with his elder brother to spray defoliants using drones for easier harvesting.“We could spray defoliants on some 13.3 hectares for an entire morning, making about 1,200 yuan. It’s quite a handsome payment,” Zulyar said.The downstream cotton textile sector is another major employment provider, offering some 600,000 local jobs.The importance of the raw material used in textiles has gained prominence this year amid the COVID-19 epidemic due to rising cotton demand for the production of protective gear and other medical supplies.Railways in Xinjiang transported 2.7 million tons of cotton between January and July, an increase of over 83 percent year on year, according to the China Railway Urumqi Group.Xinjiang accounts for about a fifth of the world’s cotton, while China’s textile and apparel exports make up about one third of global value.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 21 Oct 2020 | 5:38 am(NZT)

Flying high offers a new view of life for tourists

A FREQUENT visitor to south China’s Hainan Province, Huang Zuolin recently went paragliding for the first time.“It felt terrific,” said the 23-year-old from central China’s Hunan Province.“I felt like I was a bird flying up high, and photos taken in the air were great,” said the young woman. “During the eight minutes I spent paragliding, I had a bird’s-eye view of the sea, forests and farmland, and I was very relaxed there,” she said. “I also tried spinning in the air with the help of the coach. It was thrilling.”The Hongjiaoling aviation camp, located in the coastal county of Lingshui, was among the fifth group of aviation camps named by the Aero Sports Federation of China.Co-owner Cui Shengda, 38, is a native of northwest China’s Shaanxi Province. Enthusiastic about the potential of low-altitude flying tours, he moved to Lingshui in April of last year.“The take-off site at Hongjiaoling is 360 meters above sea level. Here you can have a panoramic view of the 12-kilometer coastline. The magnificent scenery of the sunset and sea view is breathtaking,” said Cui.After more than a year of operations, the Hongjiaoling aviation camp has gained popularity. “The number of visitors has been climbing over the last two months,” said Cui. “The price for a paragliding experience is 880 yuan (US$129) per person and we can facilitate about 2,000 to 3,000 visitors every month.”Although still novel in China, low-altitude flight tourism has been popular in the United States, Australia and other countries for decades.“Low-altitude airspace has been gradually developed in China in recent years, alongside the development of the economy, society and the demand for customized tourism products,” said Chai Yong, executive director of the International Hospitality Management School of Sanya University.Hainan is building a national sports tourism demonstration zone, developing international sports tourism products and exploring new growth points for sports tourism consumption.Chen Shihong, director of Lingshui’s bureau of tourism, culture, radio, television and sports, said Hainan’s unique climate and natural conditions, together with supportive policies, have provided sound growth potential for outdoor sports.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 21 Oct 2020 | 5:38 am(NZT)

Typhoon to hit Hainan

A TROPICAL depression escalated to a typhoon yesterday morning over the sea to the east of the Philippines and is approaching the South China Sea, according to the meteorological service in south China’s Hainan Province.Saudel, the 17th typhoon to affect China this year, is expected to hit the South China Sea today and bring torrential downpours and strong winds to the island province of Hainan from Friday to Sunday. The provincial meteorological department has ordered ships to port immediately and warned of flooding and landslides in mountainous areas.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 21 Oct 2020 | 5:38 am(NZT)

‘Ro-Ro’ giant launched

The largest multipurpose “roll-on/roll-off” ship in Asia was launched at a ceremony in east China’s Shandong Province on Monday. The 25,000-ton Bohai Hengda, the ship is 189.9 meters long and 26.4 meters, and has lanes around 2,700 meters long to stow more than 300 vehicles. It can sail up to 5,000 nautical miles. The ship has been designed for multiple roles such as transporting vehicles and containers.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 21 Oct 2020 | 5:38 am(NZT)

Virus testing for frozen imports

The eastern Chinese city of Qingdao in Shandong Province will conduct nucleic acid testing on all imported cold-chain products to combat COVID-19, local authorities said yesterday.The city will also conduct COVID-19 tests every three to five days on workers engaged in loading, unloading, handling, and transporting of imported cold-chain food.For other workers who have direct contact with imported cold-chain food, nucleic acid tests will be carried out every seven days, said Chen Wansheng, an official with the city’s government, adding that tests will also be conducted in ports, cold storages, and other places.The novel coronavirus recently re-emerged in the coastal city, and 13 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases had been detected so far.Inappropriate disinfection in the CT room at the Qingdao Chest Hospital was believed to be responsible for the infections.The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday confirmed the detection and isolation of living novel coronavirus on the outer packaging of imported frozen cod in Qingdao during an investigation to trace the source of the recent infections.It is the first time in the world that living novel coronavirus has been isolated from the outer packaging of cold-chain food, the China CDC said, adding that contact with packaging contaminated by living novel coronavirus could lead to infection.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 21 Oct 2020 | 5:38 am(NZT)

Gas blast kills 4

Four people have been killed and another injured in a gas explosion in a coal mine in north China’s Shanxi Province, local authorities said yesterday. The blast happened in the mine owned by Lu’an Group about 2am. An investigation is underway. The mine has an annual production capacity of 1.2 million tons.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 21 Oct 2020 | 5:38 am(NZT)

US targets 6 Chinese entities

THE United States on Monday said it blacklisted two Chinese men and six Chinese entities for having dealt with Iranian shipping company Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines and, in some cases, helping it to evade US sanctions. The US State Department named the entities as Reach Holding Group (Shanghai) Company Ltd, Reach Shipping Lines, Delight Shipping, Gracious Shipping, Noble Shipping, and Supreme Shipping. It also said it had targeted Eric Chen, also known as Chen Guoping, chief executive of Reach Holding Group (Shanghai) Company Ltd, and Daniel Y He, also known as He Yi, the company’s president. As a result of being put on the US Treasury Department’s Specially Designated Nationals list, the assets of the entities and individuals falling under US jurisdiction are frozen.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 21 Oct 2020 | 5:38 am(NZT)

60,000 receive COVID-19 shots

A TOTAL of about 60,000 volunteers have been given Chinese COVID-19 vaccines as part of phase-3 clinical trials, with no severe side-effects reported, a Chinese official said yesterday. Four Chinese vaccine candidates have entered international phase-3 clinical trials so far, said Tian Baoguo with the Ministry of Science and Technology. All trials are progressing well, he said, with initial indications that the vaccines are safe. According to Tian, the most common adverse reactions in phase-3 clinical trials are pain and swelling at the injection site, followed by fever, both of which are mild. The two inactivated vaccines developed by China National Biotec Group, which is affiliated to Sinopharm, and the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, have started phase-3 clinical trials in 10 countries, with more than 50,000 volunteers taking part, said Liu Jingzhen, chairman of Sinopharm. “The testing is in the last kilometer of a long march.” The drugmaker is setting up production lines in Beijing and Wuhan to supply 1 billion doses of the two possible coronavirus vaccines. Sinovac Biotech, another vaccine developer, said that the company’s partners in Brazil, Indonesia and Turkey have established monitoring systems for adverse reactions in accordance with internationally accepted standards. So far, no severe adverse reactions related to COVID-19 vaccines have been reported. Sao Paulo’s Butantan Institute, one of Brazil’s leading biomedical research centers, which is carrying out the phase-3 tests, said on Monday the two-dose vaccine, called CoronaVac, proved to be safe in a trial so far involving 9,000 volunteers. Butantan director Dimas Covas said there were no severe adverse reactions to the vaccine, with 20 percent of the volunteers reporting mild pain from the injection while 15 percent reported headaches after the first dose, dropping to 10 percent for the second. Less than 5 percent reported nausea or tiredness, and even less had muscle aches, he said. Sao Paulo state health secretary Jean Gorinchteyn said the vaccine appeared to produce protective anti-bodies. The state hopes to obtain regulatory approval for CoronaVac by the end of the year to start inoculating its population early in 2021, in what could the first vaccination programs in the Americas. Sao Paulo signed a deal with Sinovac to buy 60 million doses by the end of February. China is expected to produce up to 610 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of this year, Zheng Zhongwei, head of China’s coronavirus vaccine development task force said.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 21 Oct 2020 | 5:38 am(NZT)

Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancee and pro-democracy group he founded sue Saudi crown prince in his slaying

Suit filed in U.S. alleges that Mohammed bin Salman directed conspiracy to ‘permanently silence’ advocate for democratic rights in Arab world.

Source: World | 21 Oct 2020 | 5:31 am(NZT)

Bolivia’s Socialists may revive Latin America’s ‘pink tide’

Luis Arce’s victory adds to the sense of momentum behind left-leaning politics elsewhere in the region.

Source: World | 21 Oct 2020 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Britain to infect healthy volunteers with coronavirus in vaccine challenge trials

The research is risky, given that there’s no surefire treatment for covid-19.

Source: World | 21 Oct 2020 | 4:05 am(NZT)

China envoy hurt in Fiji after tussle

A CHINESE diplomat in Fiji was injured earlier this month after a Taipei Trade Office employee provoked embassy staff at a local hotel, the Chinese Embassy in Fiji said yesterday. The Taipei Trade Office in Fiji held a so-called “national day” event at the Grand Pacific Hotel in the Fijian capital Suva on October 8, the embassy said in a statement. The staff from the trade office “acted provocatively against the Chinese Embassy staff who were carrying out their official duties in the public area outside the function venue, causing damage and injuries to one Chinese diplomat,” it said. “We have expressed our serious concerns to the Fijian side about the above incidents, requesting the Police Force of Fiji to carry out thorough investigation into the incidents and hold the perpetrators accountable according to law.” China also criticized the “national day” celebration, saying it “violates the one-China principle and the relevant rules and regulations of the Fijian government, with an attempt to create ‘two Chinas’ or ‘one China, one Taiwan’ internationally,” it added. China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Zhao Lijian yesterday criticized the flags and cake that the Taiwanese side displayed. “Taipei’s Trade office in Fiji on October 8 flagrantly held a so-called ‘national celebration’ event. The self-styled flag was publicly displayed on the scene, and the cake was also marked with the self-styled flag pattern,” he said. Taiwan authorities said two Chinese diplomats tried to force their way in to take pictures. Violence ensued after Taiwanese staff tried to prevent them from entering, and a Taiwanese staffer was sent to hospital with a head injury. But Zhao said Taiwan’s account was “inconsistent with the facts” and it is playing the trick of a thief crying “stop thief.”

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 20 Oct 2020 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Guangzhou case traced

GENETIC sequencing shows a new asymptomatic case in Guangzhou, capital of south China’s Guangdong Province, is connected to an imported COVID-19 case, Guangzhou health authorities said on Sunday. The viral sequence of the 40-year-old man surnamed Wang, who works in a hotel in Huadu District, where overseas arrivals undergo concentrated quarantine, is highly homologous to that of an imported case, who stayed in the hotel earlier this month, according to Guangzhou Municipal Health Commission. Wang tested positive for COVID-19 Thursday in a routine nucleic acid testing. He was sent to Huadu District People’s Hospital, where he tested positive again. On Friday, he was transferred to Guangzhou Eighth People’s Hospital. By 7am on Sunday, more than 148,000 people in Guangzhou had received nucleic acid testing, with no new infections

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 20 Oct 2020 | 5:00 am(NZT)

No threat to foreigners

CHINA denied yesterday that foreign nationals are under threat of arbitrary detention, following a newspaper report that Beijing had warned Washington it might arrest Americans in China. The Chinese foreign ministry said it was Washington that was mistreating foreign citizens, accusing the United States of “outright political repression” of Chinese academics. “The US claim that foreign nationals in China are under threat of arbitrary detention is playing the victim and confusing black and white,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said. China protects the safety and legitimate rights of foreigners, he said. The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday that Chinese officials had issued repeated warnings to US government officials that China may detain Americans in response to the Justice Department’s prosecution of Chinese scholars affiliated to the military.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 20 Oct 2020 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Straying soldier to return

THE Indian army said yesterday that it would return a Chinese soldier who had strayed across the border in the western Himalayan region where the two countries are engaged in a months-long standoff after a series of clashes. The People’s Liberation Army soldier Corporal Wang Ya Long was found in the Demchok area of eastern Ladakh, and would be returned to Chinese officials at the Chushul-Moldo meeting point after completion of formalities as per established protocols, the Indian army said in a statement. “The PLA soldier has been provided medical assistance including oxygen, food and warm clothes to protect him from the vagaries of extreme altitude and harsh climatic conditions,” the statement said. There was no immediate comment from China on the capture of its soldier. The Indian army said the Indian side had received an inquiry from China’s military “about the whereabouts of the missing soldier.” The editor-in-chief of Chinese state-backed Global Times said in a tweet that the matter was being resolved. “Based on what I know, one Chinese soldier was detained by Indian side, very likely because of getting lost,” said Hu Xijin. “Indian side has a positive attitude. The soldier will be returned to China. The issue should not cause new tensions in the border area.”

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 20 Oct 2020 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Beijing: Disinfect parcels

THE Beijing Health Commission urged citizens to disinfect the outer packaging of goods ordered from overseas via e-commerce platforms or purchasing agents. People are advised to promptly wash their hands after contacting the outer packaging and fresh food products ordered from overseas and not to bring such products indoors unless the outer packaging is disinfected. When purchasing and processing fresh food such as seafood, livestock and poultry, especially chilled and frozen food, consumers should pay attention to hand hygiene and avoid touching their mouth, nose and eyes with their hands, according to the municipal authority. The advice was given in the Beijing Municipal Health Commission’s daily information update on COVID-19 for Sunday when the Chinese capital reported no new infections. Across the Chinese mainland, no new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases were reported Sunday, according to the National Health Commission. A total of 13 confirmed cases from outside the mainland were reported on Sunday, including five in Shanghai, three in Guangdong, two each in Tianjin and Shaanxi, and one in Shanxi.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 20 Oct 2020 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Qingdao ups virus control

QINGDAO has ordered hospitals to strengthen management and monitoring of key departments, including fever clinics, emergency units, and CT rooms, after 13 confirmed COVID-19 cases emerged in the city. The coastal city in east China’s Shandong Province has also asked hospitals to intensify training of medical personnel, and strictly implement infection prevention and control measures for medical personnel, patients, and people accompanying sick persons. Qingdao has tested all its 11 million residents, with no new positive cases. Inadequate disinfection in the CT room of the Qingdao Chest Hospital led to the new cluster of COVID-19 infections in the city. The hospital is undergoing thorough disinfection and testing, according to Luan Xin, deputy mayor of the city. On Saturday, an asymptomatic coronavirus carrier was discharged after treatment. The carrier is one of two stevedores who handled imported frozen seafood at the Qingdao port and were found to have asymptomatic COVID-19 on Sept. 24. One of these two carriers was diagnosed with full COVID-19 on October 14. Patients discharged will be transferred to a designated location for a 14-day quarantine.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 20 Oct 2020 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Shenzhen reforms measures unveiled

CHINA yesterday unveiled a list of 40 measures to grant more autonomy to Shenzhen, letting the southern financial and technology hub pilot reforms in market development and economic integration. The changes announced by the National Development and Reform Commission include more flexibility to pursue reforms in areas such as land use and cross-border arbitration. Shenzhen will launch stock index-futures products and will be allowed to issue offshore yuan-denominated local government bonds. Some companies will be allowed, via pilot projects, to issue shares or Chinese Depositary Receipts, which allow Chinese tech companies listed overseas to also list at home. The commission lists steps to further integrate the Greater Bay Area: Shenzhen and eight other cities in Guangdong Province, as well as Hong Kong and Macau. These measures include establishing a big-data center, experimenting with approved drug use, and establishing a cross-border arbitration center. The list followed the release of a plan for the same purpose earlier this month and focused on its implementation, featuring entries regarding the market-oriented allocation of production factors, the business environment, science and technology innovation, opening up, public services, as well as environmental and urban space governance. Over half of the measures would require adjustments to existing laws and regulations.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 19 Oct 2020 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Doctors turning to AI for help in the long war against COVID-19

Chinese researchers published a paper in the journal Nature Communications proposing an artificial intelligence model that can help doctors quickly differentiate between COVID-19, influenza, and pneumonia with high accuracy.Since the COVID-19 outbreak, numerous AI systems have been developed and used for front-line detection and diagnoses, such as analyzing chest X-rays and CT scans. However, with the flu season approaching, if COVID-19 and influenza were to break out together, causing the CT diagnosis workload to skyrocket, differentiating between the two respiratory illnesses would prove challenging for doctors.A new AI model may provide the answer. Researchers from Tsinghua University and Wuhan-based Union Hospital, affiliated with the Huazhong University of Science and Technology, have developed and evaluated an AI system using a large dataset with more than 11,000 CT volumes from COVID-19, influenza, non-viral community-acquired pneumonia, and non-pneumonia.CT volumes of COVID-19 patients were collected mainly from February to March at three hospitals in Wuhan, once the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.The AI model, known as a deep convolutional neural network-based system, turned detection experiences accumulated by experts into algorithms. Test results showed that it can differentiate four respiratory diseases, including COVID-19, influenza, and non-pneumonia, with an AUC of 97.8 percent, indicating high accuracy.In further studies, the research team compared the diagnostic performance of this CT-based AI system with that of five radiologists, and results show that the performance of the system is greater than that of its human counterparts.The AI model will help lessen the workload of doctors. The study shows that the average reading time of radiologists was 6.5 minutes, while that of the AI system was 2.73 seconds. The paper says that the AI system was only slightly worse at distinguishing pneumonia from non-pneumonia than radiologists. Using CT lung screening to differentiate COVID-19 from other pneumonia is difficult due to the high similarities of pneumonia of different types, especially in the early stage, and large variations in different stages of the same type. Therefore, developing an AI diagnosis algorithm specific to COVID-19 is necessary, said co-author Feng Jianjiang at Tsinghua University.Feng is also an expert in fingerprint recognition and computer vision.Although there is still doubt about using CT scans to detect COVID-19 remains, Feng believes that CT can play a vital role in severity assessment and patient management.Related applications of the AI system have been used by doctors in Wuhan hospitals.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 19 Oct 2020 | 5:00 am(NZT)

HK well-placed to build on strengths

In face of the severe international environment, Hong Kong should capitalize on its advantages under the “one country, two systems” to contribute to the “dual circulation” development pattern of the country, Matthew Cheung, Chief Secretary for Administration of China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, said yesterday.Facing the challenges ahead and the changes in the global economic structure, Hong Kong will continue to play its unique role under the “one country, two systems” and leverage on its own advantages so as to continue contributing to the country’s economic development, Cheung said. Hong Kong will strengthen its role as an international finance, trade and commerce center to support the country’s international economic cycle, while on the other hand, it needs to speed up integration with the mainland and actively participate in the domestic economic cycle based on the platform of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, the chief secretary said in his blog. Hong Kong has an open and convenient business environment and quality professional services, and can combine these advantages with those of the other cities in the Greater Bay Area to advance the area’s development, Cheung said.Hong Kong can also make use of its advantages in technological research and development to help the Greater Bay Area emerge as an international innovation center. The HKSAR government supports Hong Kong universities in establishing multilateral and cross-disciplinary partnerships with mainland cities in the Bay Area to promote high-level academic research activities, he said. Paul Chan, the Financial Secretary of the HKSAR government, said in his blog yesterday that the huge market of the mainland provides enormous opportunities for the economic recovery and development of Hong Kong. Hong Kong and other cities in the Bay Area should focus on the correct path to promote the vigorous and all-round development of the area, Chan said. Although the international climate is changing continuously, the country’s adherence to reform and opening up has been very stable.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 19 Oct 2020 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Documentary honors heroes of Korean War

A SIX-EPISODE documentary “For Peace” premiered in prime time last night on China’s major TV broadcaster CCTV.The documentary, with each episode lasting around 50 minutes, is dedicated to commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Chinese People’s Volunteers army entering the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in the Korean War.The documentary reflects the nature of justice and great victory of the war, and recounts CPV soldiers’ heroic deeds and revolutionary spirit during the from 1950 to 1953.Two episodes will be aired every day on CCTV and will be available later on other channels and major digital news outlets.On October 19, 1950, as requested by the DPRK, CPV forces crossed the Yalu River to aid the DPRK’s fight there until a truce was signed in 1953.A total of 2.9 million CPV soldiers entered the battlefield and 197,653 of sacrificed their lives in the war.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 19 Oct 2020 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Landslide kills 5

Five people were killed when a landslide hit a county in southwest China’s Sichuan Province on Saturday morning. The landslide toppled several residential houses in Qishu Township in Xuanhan County, according to the county’s publicity department. Search and rescue efforts are still being carried out in the area.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 19 Oct 2020 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Number killed by disasters falls by a third

Casualties due to natural disasters in China fell by a third over the past nine months, despite serious flooding during the period, the Ministry of Emergency Management said.A total of 578 people were killed or went missing due to natural disasters in the past three quarters, down 33.5 percent year on year.About 130 million people were affected in the first nine months, up 12.8 percent from the same period last year.About 83,000 buildings were destroyed, down 33 percent year on year.The country experienced serious flooding in the first three quarters, with 45 heavy rainfall events across the country and 622 millimeters of rain, up 13 percent year on year, the second worst period since 1961.Flooding above warning levels hit 836 rivers in 26 provinces and seven major river basins, 80 percent more than the average in previous years, and the highest figure since 1998, according to the ministry.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 19 Oct 2020 | 5:00 am(NZT)
















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