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Here are today’s picks from our editors.
China announces concrete measures to boost global fight against COVID-19 as Xi addresses WHA session
Chinese President Xi Jinping, on Monday, announced concrete measures to boost global fight against COVID-19, including providing international aid and making the country's COVID-19 vaccine a global public good when available.
Xi made the announcement as he addressed the opening of the 73rd session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) via video link.
"China will provide $2 billion over two years to help with COVID-19 response and with economic and social development in affected countries, especially developing countries," Xi said.
China will work with the United Nations to set up a global humanitarian response depot and hub in China, ensure the operation of anti-epidemic supply chains and foster "green corridors" for fast-track transportation and customs clearance, he said.
Besides, China will establish a cooperation mechanism for its hospitals to pair up with 30 African hospitals and accelerate the building of the Africa CDC headquarters to help the continent ramp up its disease preparedness and control capacity said Xi.
Moreover, China will work with other G20 members to implement the Debt Service Suspension Initiative for the poorest countries, Xi said, adding that China is also ready to work with the international community to bolster support for the hardest-hit countries under the greatest strain of debt service so that they could tide over the current difficulties. (Xinhua)
70 cases of COVID-19 at French schools days after re-opening
Just one week after a third of French schoolchildren went back to school in an easing of the coronavirus lockdown, there has been a worrying flareup of about 70 COVID-19 cases linked to schools, the government said Monday.
French Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer sounded the alarm Monday, telling French radio RTL that the return has put some children in new danger of infection. He said the affected schools are being closed immediately.
Blanquer did not specify if the 70 cases of COVID-19 were among students or teachers. (AP)
Moderna: Early coronavirus vaccine results are encouraging
An experimental vaccine against COVID-19 showed encouraging results in very early testing, triggering hoped-for immune responses in eight healthy, middle-aged volunteers, its maker announced Monday.
Study volunteers given either a low or medium dose of the vaccine by Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Moderna Inc. had antibodies similar to those seen in people who have recovered from COVID-19.
In the next phase of the study, led by the US National Institutes of Health, researchers will try to determine which dose is best for a definitive experiment that they aim to start in July. (AP)
FBI: Shooter at Pensacola military base linked to al-Qaida
The gunman who killed three US sailors at Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida last year repeatedly communicated with al-Qaida operatives about planning in the months leading up to the attack, US officials said Monday.
Law enforcement officials discovered contacts between Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani and operatives of al-Qaida after FBI technicians succeeded in breaking into two cellphones that the shooter, a Saudi Air Force officer, had tried to destroy before he was killed by law enforcement.
The new details showed that Alshamrani had been radicalized in Saudi Arabia years before he arrived in the US. (AP)
Canadian aerobatic jet crashes amid pandemic show; 1 dead
A Canadian aerobatic jet crashed into a British Columbia neighborhood during a flyover intended to boost morale during the pandemic, killing one crew member, seriously injuring another and setting a house on fire.
The Snowbirds are Canada’s equivalent of the US Air Force Thunderbirds.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was “deeply saddened” by the death of Capt. Jennifer Casey, who served as a spokesperson for the Snowbirds, and the injuring of Capt. Richard MacDougall, one of the team’s coordinators and pilot of the aircraft that survived by landing on the roof of a house. (AP)
S. Korean soccer team accused of putting sex dolls in seats
A South Korean soccer club has apologized after being accused of putting sex dolls in empty seats during a match.
FC Seoul expressed “sincere remorse” over the controversy but insisted in a statement that it used mannequins — not sex dolls — to mimic a home crowd during Sunday’s 1-0 win over Gwangju FC at the Seoul World Cup Stadium.
FC Seoul said it was attempting to add “an element of fun” with the mannequins. (AP)
Thanks for listening and be sure to catch us tomorrow.
And now for the Question of the Day:
What mythical creature’s name is derived from the Latin for ‘one-horned’?
(Answer: The unicorn.)
Today's quote is from English writer John Ruskin (1819-1900).
"Art is not a study of positive reality, it is the seeking for ideal truth."
(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Ryan Yaoran Yu, Lance Crayon, and Elaine Yue Lin. Music by Eugene Loner.)