While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Aug 3

White House experts say coronavirus ‘extraordinarily widespread’ in the US
 

The United States is in a new phase of the novel coronavirus outbreak with infections “extraordinarily widespread” in rural areas as well as cities, White House coronavirus experts said on Sunday.

Coronavirus cases continue to surge in some parts of the country and the public health officials are trying to work with governors to tailor responses for each state.

“We are in a new phase,” said Dr Deborah Birx. “What we are seeing today is different from March and April. It is extraordinarily widespread” in rural as well as urban areas.

“To everybody who lives in a rural area: You are not immune or protected from this virus,” Birx said on CNN’s State of the Union.

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Nasa astronauts splash down after journey home aboard SpaceX capsule

US astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, who flew to the International Space Station in SpaceX’s new Crew Dragon, splashed down in the capsule in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday after a two-month voyage that was Nasa’s first crewed mission from home soil in nine years.

Behnken and Hurley undocked from the station on Saturday and returned home to land in the waves off Florida’s Pensacola coast on schedule at 2.48pm ET following a 21-hour overnight journey aboard Crew Dragon “Endeavor.”

The successful splashdown was a final key test of whether Elon Musk’s spacecraft can transport astronauts to and from orbit – a feat no private company has accomplished before.

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British city of Manchester declares ‘major incident’ to tackle rising Covid-19 cases

A major incident has been declared in the Manchester area of Britain, allowing the creation of a “central command structure” to help tackle the rising number of coronavirus cases, a local official was quoted as saying on Sunday. 

Health minister Matt Hancock said on Thursday the Covid-19 lockdown in parts of northern England – including Greater Manchester, parts of West Yorkshire and East Lancashire – would be tightened because of an increasing rate of transmission. 

“Although the council and partner organisations have been working closely to tackle the impacts of the pandemic since early this year, declaring a major incident means we can ramp this up further,” the Leader of Manchester City Council Richard Leese said in the Manchester Evening News. 

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White House Chief of Staff Meadows says US will hold election on Nov 3

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said on Sunday that the United States will hold an election on Nov 3 and that President Donald Trump was raising concerns about mail-in ballots when he floated the idea of delaying the US vote.

“We’re going to hold an election on Nov 3 and the President is going to win,” Mr Meadows said on CBS’ Face the Nation.

Mr Trump on Thursday raised the idea of delaying the Nov 3 US elections, a proposal that was immediately rejected by both Democrats and his fellow Republicans in Congress – the sole branch of government with the authority to make such a change.

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Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton limps to record 7th British GP win after late puncture

A lucky Lewis Hamilton limped home to a record seventh British Grand Prix victory with his heart in his mouth, a prayer on his lips and three wheels on his car after a last-lap puncture on Sunday.

In an astonishing end to a race he had dominated from pole position, the Mercedes driver nursed his stricken car across the finish line to stretch his Formula One world championship lead to 30 points.

“I have definitely never experienced anything like that on the last lap,” said Hamilton after inspecting his barely-attached front left tyre.

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