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Here are today’s picks from our editors.
US hotspots grow as virus cases surpass 640,000 globally
Worldwide infections surpassed 640,000 with nearly 30,000 deaths as new cases also stacked up quickly in Europe, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
As the United States led the world with confirmed coronavirus cases, cities such as Detroit, Chicago and New Orleans grew as hotspots Saturday.
New York remained the worst-hit US city. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said defeating the virus will take “weeks and weeks and weeks.”
Cases also have been rising rapidly in cities such as Detroit, where poverty and poor health have been problems for years. The number of infections surged to 1,381, with 31 deaths recorded, as of noon Saturday. (AP)
Russia to close borders starting on March 30 due to COVID-19
Russia will temporarily close its borders starting March 30 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, said a document published on the website of the Russian government on Saturday.
According to the document, the measure will come into force at all vehicle, rail and pedestrian checkpoints, and also apply to Russia's maritime borders.
The ban does not apply to diplomats and their families, couriers and couriers of diplomatic relations, as well as members of official delegations leaving the country. (CGTN)
Tokyo 2020 chief says new dates for Olympics could be set next week
Tokyo 2020 chief Yoshiro Mori said on Saturday that the new dates for the postponed Olympic Games could be decided by the end of next week.
The Olympic Games, which will be held in the summer of 2021 at the latest, are most likely to be held between June and September, Mori said. (Xinhua)
500 trekkers stranded on mountain trails after Nepal's lockdown
Hundreds of trekkers are stranded on high-altitude trekking trails across Nepal due to a nationwide lockdown designed to contain the coronavirus spread.
The Nepal government imposed its one-week lockdown from 6am March 24 to 6am March 31. That means except for food transport vehicles and ambulances, all public and private vehicles are not allowed on the streets. All domestic flights were also suspended.
"All the stranded tourists will be rescued, kept safely for self-isolation and facilitated for their safe journey back home," Yogesh Bhattarai, minister of culture, tourism and civil aviation, said in a statement. (CGTN)
Eiffel Tower says ‘Merci’ to health workers fighting virus
Health workers racing to save lives as France contends with one of the world’s worst coronavirus outbreaks have received a huge show of gratitude with the help of the Eiffel Tower.
Lights of the Paris landmark spelled out “Merci,” French for “Thank you,” and “Stay at home” in English on Friday night along with the tower’s famous sparkling illuminations.
The display of solidarity that started at 8pm local time coincided with the moment when citizens in lockdown across France have been cheering and applauding from their windows and balconies in support of doctors and nurses. (AP)
Chinese resort city Sanya joins WWF's 'No Plastic in Nature' initiative
The resort city of Sanya in south China's island province of Hainan has become the first Chinese city to join its global peers in the "No Plastic in Nature" initiative of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the municipal government said Saturday.
WWF will support the research of new technologies and methods, improve waste management measures, further publicity, education and international exchanges, as well as introduce more global projects and resources to Sanya, said Lo Sze Ping, the chief representative of WWF's Beijing Office.
Launched in 2019, the initiative aims at helping governments, enterprises, the public, research institutions and other parties to find solutions to plastic pollution. (Xinhua)
Whales face more fatal ship collisions as waters warm
Climate change is imperiling the world’s largest animals by increasing the likelihood of fatal collisions between whales and big ships that ply the same waters.
Warming ocean temperatures are causing some species of whales in pursuit of food to stray more frequently into shipping lanes, scientists say. (AP)
Thanks for listening and be sure to catch us tomorrow.
And now for the Question of the Day:
What was the first artificial satellite launched into space?
(Answer: The Soviet Union rocketed Sputnik, the first artificial satellite, into space on Oct. 4, 1957.)
Today’s quote is from Greek philosopher Thales (624 BC - 546 BC).
"Intellect is the swiftest of things, for it runs through everything."
(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Ryan Yaoran Yu, Brian Lowe, and Da Hang. Music by Eugene Loner.)