China Grants First COVID-19 Vaccine Patent to Domestic Candidate

Chinese authorities have granted the first invention patent to a domestically developed COVID-19 vaccine candidate, which experts said enhances the international market’s trust in Chinese-developed coronavirus vaccines and demonstrates the vaccine’s originality and creativity. The vaccine is co-developed by Chinese biopharmaceutical firm CanSino Biologics and a team led by Chinese military infectious disease expert Chen Wei. According to a document …

France Plans Masks at Work Due to Rebound in COVID-19 Cases

France is proposing masks be worn in shared work spaces as it grapples with a rebound in COVID-19 cases. The health ministry reported 3,310 new infections, marking a post-lockdown high for the fourth day in a row. The number of clusters being investigated increased by 17 to 252. The resurgence prompted Britain to impose a 14-day quarantine for arrivals from …

Obama Criticizes Trump for Discouraging People From Voting

Former US President Barack Obama last Friday criticized President Donald Trump for “trying to discourage people from voting” in the presidential election in November, as Trump attempts to “kneecap” the U.S. Postal Service. Obama commented on Trump’s opposition to providing extra funding for the Postal Service to facilitate extensive mail-in voting amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He said, “What we’ve seen, …

Italy Lays Out School Reopening Plan

Italy’s Education Ministry has laid out a multi-pronged reopening plan, including provisions to limit the number of students in classrooms, to ensure at least one meter distance, as well as pupils in some districts having staggered start times and school on alternative days. Teachers will wear masks and face shields, while students will also wear face coverings. Classrooms will be …

COVID-19: WHO Exec Discourages Over-reliance On Vaccines

The World Health Organization on Tuesday said the fight against the coronavirus pandemic should not only rely on the development and availability of vaccines. The WHO’s regional director for Western Pacific, Dr. Takeshi Kasai, expressed optimism about the speed in the development of anti-COVID-19 vaccines. Kasai said, “But I am also cautious because even [if] they can really manage, develop …

UK Launches ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ Campaign

“Eat Out to Help Out” is the UK government’s latest campaign to kick-start the country’s hospitality industry devastated by COVID-19. In recent weeks, restaurants, cafes and pubs have been allowed to reopen following an easing of lockdown restrictions, but public confidence is yet to return, as many business are still struggling to generate their previous levels of income as people …

Girl’s Death Ignites Debate Over Gang Violence

The death of a 12-year-old girl by a stray bullet in Sweden has sparked outrage and reignited debates over its handling of gang-related violence. The girl was killed in a drive-by shooting next to a gas station on August 2. Police launched an investigation but are yet to make any arrests. Officials vowed to further crack down on violent crime. …

Other Mammals Lose Out in Panda Conservation Drive

Saving the giant panda is one of the big success stories of conservation. Decades of efforts to create protected habitat for the iconic mammal has pulled it back from the brink of extinction.  But, according to a new study, while many other animals in the same landscape have benefited from this conservation work, some have lost out. Leopards, wolves, and …

US to Withdraw Nearly 12,000 Troops From Germany

The United States is moving forward with President Donald Trump’s plan to withdraw nearly 12,000 troops from Germany, a decision that has attracted bipartisan congressional opposition and roiled key allies who see the move as a blow to NATO. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper acknowledged the plan will cost billions to execute when he formally announced the decision on July …