While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, April 30

Coronavirus: Mike Pompeo says China responsible for outbreak, must detail origin

China poses a threat to the world by hiding information about the origin of the coronavirus that it allowed to spread to other countries, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

President Donald Trump’s top diplomat, speaking in a television interview on Wednesday, ratcheted up the accusations between the US and China over the virus.

White House adviser Jared Kushner, who is Trump’s son-in-law, also said on Wednesday that the president has ordered an investigation into the origins of the virus and will hold those responsible accountable for its spread.

“The Chinese Communist Party now has a responsibility to tell the world how this pandemic got out of China and all across the world, causing such global economic devastation,” Pompeo told Fox News on Wednesday morning, during an interview where he repeatedly criticised China’s government. “America needs to hold them accountable.”


Coronavirus: Britain has Europe’s second-highest death toll, new figures show

Britain now has Europe’s second highest official Covid-19 death toll with more than 26,000, according to figures published on Wednesday that raised questions about Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s response to the outbreak.

Some 26,097 people died across the United Kingdom after testing positive for Covid-19 as of April 28 at 1600 GMT (midnight on Wednesday, Singapore time), Public Health England said, citing daily figures that included deaths outside of hospital settings for the first time.

That means the United Kingdom has suffered more Covid-19 deaths than France or Spain have reported, though less than Italy, which has Europe’s highest death toll and the second worst in the world after the United States.


A scarf a day turns Dr Deborah Birx into pop culture star at daily briefings

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04.09.20 | A gift from a colleague in Africa.

A post shared by Scarves of Dr. Deborah Birx (@deborahbirxscarves) on

04.09.20 | A gift from a colleague in Africa.

A post shared by Scarves of Dr. Deborah Birx (@deborahbirxscarves) on

US coronavirus task force coordinator Deborah Birx is best-known for her calm, authoritative briefings at the daily White House press conferences. But she has also become a pop culture phenomenon for her scarves.

Knotted around her neck or wrapped around her shoulders, the brightly coloured scarves seem to change almost daily.

Texas resident Victoria Strout was one of millions who noticed, and created the Instagram account @deborahbirxscarves a few weeks after the briefings began. The account now has over 30,000 followers.


A piece of the moon for sale: Valued at $3.5 million

One of the world’s largest lunar meteorites goes on private sale at Christie’s on Thursday, valued at £2 million (S$3.5 million).

The moon rock, weighing over 13.5kg, was probably struck off the surface of the moon by a collision with an asteroid or comet and then showered down on the Sahara desert.

Known as NWA 12691, it is thought to be the fifth largest piece of the moon ever found on earth. There is just 650kg of moon rock known to be on earth.


Formula One: Austrian GP ‘must be behind closed doors’, insists minister

The Austrian Grand Prix, now set to be the first race of the coronavirus-hit Formula One world championship, will only be given the green light on condition it is raced behind closed doors.

Organisers of the July 5 grand prix at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg were told by the country’s health minister on Wednesday that certain guarantees have to be met.

“Authorisation to stage the event depends entirely on the security plan that the organisers present,” Rudolf Anschober told Radio O1. “We will only allow such events under very strict conditions and of course, I think it goes without saying, without a crowd.”


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