Could the ‘liberal’ Dutch have learned from Taiwan’s approach to coronavirus? |

Taiwan’s Covid-19 measures could be seen as intrusive. But seven people have died there, compared with 5,000 in the Netherlands Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage The whole world has been struggling to contain the coronavirus and “flatten the curve”, but Taiwan has had no curve. Out of a population of 24 million, only 440 people have tested positive for Covid-19, and there have been just seven deaths. Compare that with the Netherlands: while it is similar in size to Taiwan with a population of 17 million, well over 5,000 lives have been lost to the virus. What has made the difference? Clearly, the Netherlands is not an island that could cut itself off from the rest of …

China facing pressure over Covid-19 and Taiwan at World Health Assembly

More than 120 countries back call for inquiry into origins of virus while US-led coalition is lobbying for Taiwan to attend as an observer Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage Beijing is expected to face new levels of pressure at the World Health Assembly this week as dozens of nations push for an independent investigation into the coronavirus outbreak and the United States mounts a campaign over Taiwan’s status. More than 120 countries have backed a draft resolution pushed by the European Union and Australia calling for an investigation into the origins of Covid-19, while a US-led coalition has been aggressively lobbying countries to support Taiwan’s bid to attend as an observer. Continue reading… Original Article : HERE

South Korea ready to kick off football season – with the world watching on

The K-League starts on Friday with players having labelled water bottles and told that excessive spitting is prohibited In a pre-season friendly in the penultimate week of April in South Korea, two Incheon United players picked up water bottles, went to drink, stopped, laughed and then swapped. Name labels on bottles will be easy to adapt to but it remains to be seen if other measures will be widely accepted. There are sure to be plenty watching to see what happens when the K-League starts on 8 May. South Korea has been a global inspiration in battling coronavirus and now has the chance to provide a similar example in the field of football. Continue reading… Original Article : HERE

Coronavirus live news: WHO and Five Eyes reject Chinese lab theory as global deaths pass 250,000

New Zealand records no new cases for second straight day; Italy’s death toll higher than reported; leaders pledge $8bn to fight virus. Follow the latest updates Five Eyes network contradicts theory Covid-19 leaked from labGerman cases ‘may be 10 times higher than official figures’Australia coronavirus updates – liveSee all our coronavirus coverage 4.02am BST Get in touch on Twitter @helenrsullivan. 3.53am BST At least 300 people held in two centers set up by the Salvadoran government to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus protested on Monday, demanding to be released and given the results of their tests, Reuters reports. Continue reading… Original Article : HERE

Boom time for New Zealand’s rats as lockdown gives them free rein in cities

With pest controllers in lockdown and a population surge last year, the vermin are free to wreak havoc in populated areas, and on native wildlife Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage Surrounded by ancient rimu trees and the sound of chirping pīwakawaka, Tame Malcolm brings in his second rat of the day from the dense undergrowth of his Auckland backyard. That’s four pests for his tally today – with only a few hundred thousand or so to go. “It’s the first time my whānau [family] have got to see me doing pest control. I’ve been teaching the whānau that we do this to protect the birds,” says Malcolm, director of Māori-oriented biosecurity business Puna Consultants. Continue reading… Original …

Coronavirus spreads further as WHO expert warns world ‘not ready’ for pandemic

More cases in South Korea while first suspected infection is recorded in Latin America Latest developments Coronavirus has spread further around the world as a World Health Organisation expert warned that countries outside China are “simply not ready” for a pandemic. The virus has proliferated in parts of Asia, Europe and the Middle East in recent days, with the death toll rising in Iran, infections in South Korea passing 1,000 and the first suspected case recorded in Latin America – even as the number of deaths and fresh cases decline at the disease epicentre in China. Covid-19 has now reached dozens of countries with Austria, Croatia and Switzerland the latest to declare cases. Continue reading… Original Article : HERE

Patricia Grace’s literary legacy: giving Māori characters their ‘natural’ voice

As Grace’s 1986 novel Potiki is republished in Britain, the writer talks about culture, politics and activism “We live by the sea, which hems and stitches the scalloped edges of the land,” writes New Zealand author Patricia Grace of the beachside town that is the setting for her novel, Potiki. The land in the book bears a striking resemblance to the settlement where Grace lives, and walking up the coastal road to her home in Hongoeka Bay, north of Wellington, you can see things the way her characters do: the dark morning sea, “strident bands” of gulls, and the capital’s notoriously “edged wind”. In 1975, Grace, now 82, was the first Māori woman to publish a book of short stories …

Coronavirus: first death in Beijing as US issues new China travel warning – live updates

Death toll rises to 82 as mayor of Wuhan admits authorities were too slow in releasing information about virus. Follow the latest developments Wuhan mayor admits mistakesWhat is the coronavirus and how worried should we be about it?Coronavirus: how to protect yourself from infection 12.46am GMT China’s largest steelmaking city of Tangshan – about 200km east of Beijing – has announced it is suspending all public transit in an effort to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. The city has a population of around 7.5 million people. The statement was posted on the city government’s official Weibo account, the Reuters news agency reported. 12.40am GMT In New Zealand there are as yet no reported cases of coronavirus, but experts …

Coronavirus: world stock markets in freefall as Nigeria records first case – latest updates

New Zealand and Lithuania also report first cases as WHO says epidemic could get ‘out of control’. Follow live news Coronavirus fears trigger biggest one-day fall on US stock marketMike Pence ‘not up to task’ of leading US coronavirus response, say expertsWhat are super-spreaders and how are they transmitting coronavirus?UK schools and offices could close for up to two monthsCoronavirus map: how Covid-19 is spreading across the worldShare your experiences 6.54am GMT I’ll be handing over to my colleagues in London shortly, but here’s a quick look at the latest developments. 6.44am GMT The bloodletting has ended – for now – in some key Asia Pacific markets. They’re still going in China and getting ready for heavy losses in Europe …

Mass monkey brawl highlights coronavirus effect on Thailand tourism

Fewer visitors mean less food for troops of wild monkeys at Prang Sam Yod The coronavirus outbreak has left Thailands hotels empty, its tour guides without work and its markets unusually quiet. The countrys wildlife may also now be noticing the lack of visitors. A video filmed this week in Lopburi, north-east of Bangkok, showed large crowds of monkeys brawling in the streets, apparently fighting over a yoghurt pot. Residents in the city, which is famed for its monkey population, say the fall in tourist numbers means there are far fewer people offering food. Its the summer, so usually we see a lot of tourists, but now because of the outbreak theres so few that the markets are very quiet. …

Its like being in a science fiction film my daily life in a locked-down Chinese city | Mark Bishop

Local government cars with loudspeakers pass by regularly now, issuing warnings and orders to obey the new restrictions, says university lecturer Mark Bishop It all starts so quickly. On 24 January I am on my way to one of the big local state schools to run my regular football coaching session. Halfway there, I get a message on my phone telling me not to come. All the schools and nurseries have been ordered to close immediately in response to the Covid-19 outbreak in Wuhan. advising all UK nationals to leave China not just those in Wuhan. I am shocked. I have lived in the Guangxi province of China for the last five years and have mainly spent that time teaching, …

Trump’s Oscars rant? He just wants Hollywood to see he’s a star

The US presidents tirade against Parasites best picture Oscar, preferring Sunset Boulevard and Gone With the Wind, masks his own frustration at being cold-shouldered by Tinseltown The only real surprise was what took him so long. Nearly two weeks after Parasite became the first foreign-language film to win the Oscar for best picture, hadnt actually seen Parasite: Was it good? I dont know. Clearly he is less concerned about the movies quality than its provenance. Here he is, trying to make America great again, and a foreign movie takes Hollywoods top prize, on his watch. We got enough problems with South Korea with trade and on top of it, they give them the best movie of the year, he complained. …

Parasite makes Oscars history as first foreign language winner of best picture

Bong Joon-hos South Korean satire wins the top prize after sweeping up best director, international film and original screenplay After an awards season marked by its predictability, the Oscars delivered a spectacular final-reel twist on Sunday evening, naming capitalist satire Parasite best picture. Bong Joon-hos comedy-drama about an impoverished family who infiltrate the household of a wealthier one is the first film not in the English language to take the top prize. It also took best best original screenplay and Sam Mendess 1917 had been tipped to rule triumphant at this years Academy Awards, following its key victories at the Baftas, Golden Globes and crucial bellwethers such as the Producers Guild Awards. In the event, the harrowing first world war …

Coronavirus: death toll passes Sars virus as dozens more die in Wuhan

Wuhan hospitals need more staff and supplies as death toll passes that of Sars virus Dozens more people have died in the city at the centre of Chinas coronavirus outbreak, where hospitals are severely undersupplied and understaffed and residents have described increasingly desperate conditions. Chinese state media reported 57 new deaths on Monday, all but one in Wuhan, the capital of the central province of Hubei which has been under lockdown for almost two weeks as authorities try to contain the outbreak. The foreign ministry issued an urgent appeal for protective medical equipment as the total number of casualties reached 361, surpassing deaths in mainland China caused by the 2002-03 Sars virus. The number of infections also jumped, passing 17,200. …

Zaha Hadids massive starfish airport opens in Beijing

Daxing international, said to be worlds largest single-building terminal, to handle 72m passengers China has opened a vast, multibillion-dollar airport in the countrys capital, in the run-up to a major political anniversary. Less than five years after construction began, the 450bn yuan (50bn) Daxing international airport was officially opened on Wednesday in a ceremony attended by the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping. China is preparing to celebrate its National Day on 1 October, marking 70 years since the founding of the Peoples Republic of China, against the backdrop of unrest in Hong Kong and a flagging economy. People attending the launch ceremony for the new Beijing Daxing international airport in Beijing. Photograph: STR/AFP/Getty Images The new mega-airport, the second in Beijing, …

Recalling the horror of Long Tan: ‘I was too bloody busy to be frightened’

The defining battle of the Vietnam war is now the subject of the film Danger Close. Harry Smith recalls the afternoon that changed his life If he dwells on it, Lt Col Harry Smith can still see, vividly, the blood on the trees on the enemys escape path. There was so much blood. In the days after the three savage hours that was the battle of Long Tan, his soldiers were finding body parts, carnage and corpses spread across the battlefield. But it was that blood, the blood of all the others that were dragged away, wounded, suffering, that affects him the most. That worries me more than a dead body. In the eerie silence, in the pervasive gloom, among …

1MDB: Wolf of Wall Street producer charged with embezzling millions

Riza Aziz, stepson of former Malaysian PM Najib Razak, accused of receiving $248m into Swiss bank accounts The Wolf of Wall Street producer Riza Aziz, who is the stepson of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, has been charged with embezzling millions of dollars from the Malaysian government. Riza, who ran a Hollywood production company 1MDB, which was controlled by Najib. Each charge carries a five-year jail sentence. Riza is now the third member of the former first family of Malaysia to face multiple charges linked to misappropriated 1MDB funds. Najib, who was toppled from power in May 2018, is facing 42 corruption charges and his first trial of at least three is ongoing. Najibs wife and Rizas mother, Rosmah …

Schoolgirls for sale: why Tokyo struggles to stop the ‘JK business’

The persistent practice of paying underage girls for sex-related services, known in Japan as the JK business, has seen charities step in where police have come up short On a humid Wednesday night the streets of Kabukicho, Tokyos most famous red light district, hum with people. Some are tourists, here to gawp and take selfies, but others are customers. Adverts for clubs flash and sing and girls dressed as maids hold signs offering deals for local bars. In a grubby shopfront a perky cartoon featuring a cute Mr Men-style creature offers part-time work. The ad, which has an alarmingly catchy jingle, doesnt specify what the work is, but it doesnt need to: the answer is all around us on the …

Western powers using Christianity to ‘subvert’ China, says religious official

Head of state-sanctioned Protestant churches in China says anti-China forces in the west are trying to interfere with social stability The head of Chinas state-sanctioned Protestant church has claimed that western forces are trying to use Christianity to influence society and subvert the government, saying that Chinese Christians needed to follow a Chinese model of the religion. Chinas constitution guarantees religious freedom, but since President Xi Jinping took office six years ago, the government has tightened restrictions on religions seen as a challenge to the authority of the ruling Communist party. The government has deradicalisation programme in its restive far western region of Xinjiang has also caused widespread opprobrium in western capitals and amongst rights groups, who say authorities have …