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Support for Japan’s PM Suga slides as Covid shadows Tokyo Games

Support for Japan’s PM Suga slides as Covid shadows Tokyo Games

World
Tokyo, July 26 Millions of Japanese watched the Olympics opening ceremony and many are cheering on their athletes, but the shadow of Covid-19 is so far preventing Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga from getting a boost in his soggy support ahead of an election this year. Voter support for Suga slid nine points to 34%, its lowest since he took office last September, a July 23-25 Nikkei business daily survey showed on Monday. The Games, postponed last year by the pandemic, opened on Friday. Nearly two-thirds of respondents said the country's rollout of coronavirus vaccinations was not going well. The programme has been hampered by a slow start and supply snarls, and less than a quarter are fully vaccinated. Suga's dream scenario had been to contain the virus outbreak, preside over a successf...
Australia sees Covid-19 cases climb, police warn against protest repeat

Australia sees Covid-19 cases climb, police warn against protest repeat

World
Sydney, July 26 Australia's most populous state reported a rise in new Covid-19 cases on Monday despite a weeks-long stay-at-home order, while police vowed to crack down on any repeat of a wild anti-lockdown protest at the weekend. New South Wales, which has had more than 5 million people in Sydney city under lockdown for a month, reported 145 new cases of the virus, from 141 a day earlier, as it struggles to contain an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant. Of particular concern, 51 of those newly diagnosed were active in the community before testing positive, raising the risk of transmission. The authorities have said they want that number near zero before lifting the city's most restrictive lockdown of the pandemic at a July 30 target date. "Some settings might change. We ...
China reports most Covid-19 cases since Jan-end; Nanjing starts 2nd mass testing

China reports most Covid-19 cases since Jan-end; Nanjing starts 2nd mass testing

World
Beijing, July 26 China reported 76 new Covid-19 cases on July 25, the highest since the end of January amid a surge of local infections in the eastern city of Nanjing, as it starts a second round of mass testing to contain the outbreak. China has taken a zero-tolerance approach to Covid cases, quickly tracing and testing wide swathes of its population to prevent the spread of the virus. Local infections accounted for 40 of the new cases, compared with only five a day earlier, the National Health Commission said in a statement on Monday. Thirty-nine of the local cases were reported in the eastern province of Jiangsu, of which Nanjing is the capital, and one in the northeastern province of Liaoning, it said. The number of new asymptomatic cases - which China does not classify as confirm...
US offers further air support to Afghan troops amid Taliban offensive

US offers further air support to Afghan troops amid Taliban offensive

World
Kabul, July 26 The United States will to continue to carry out air strikes to support Afghan forces facing attack from the insurgent Taliban, a regional US commander said on Sunday as US and other international forces have drawn down troops in Afghanistan. The Taliban have escalated its offensive in recent weeks, taking rural districts and surrounding provincial capitals, after US President Joe Biden said in April US troops would be withdrawn by September, ending a 20-year foreign military presence. "The United States has increased air strikes in support of Afghan forces over the last several days and we're prepared to continue this heightened level of support in the coming weeks if the Taliban continue their attacks," US Marine General Kenneth "Frank" McKenzie told a news conference in...
Southeast Asia Covid-19 cases hit new highs, Malaysian doctors protest

Southeast Asia Covid-19 cases hit new highs, Malaysian doctors protest

World
Kuala Lumpur, July 26 Thailand reported a record number of coronavirus cases on Monday, while Malaysia has notched up more than 1 million infections, as the virulent Delta variant carves a deadly path through Southeast Asia — now a global epicentre for the virus. Thailand had 15,376 new coronavirus cases, a daily record for a second consecutive day in the nation of more than 66 million. Malaysia, which has one of Southeast Asia's highest per capita infection rates, reported on Sunday 17,045 new cases, bringing the total to 1,013,438 and nearly 8,000 deaths, despite a being under lockdown since June. Like many parts of the region of more than 650 million people, Malaysian hospitals and medical staff have borne the brunt of the outbreak amid shortages of beds, ventilators and oxygen. Th...
China blames US for ‘stalemate’ in ties, making ‘imaginary enemy’

China blames US for ‘stalemate’ in ties, making ‘imaginary enemy’

World
Beijing, July 26 China accused the United States of creating an "imaginary enemy", adding that it was unqualified to level criticism on human rights at a meeting on Monday with the second-ranking US diplomat. The United States "wants to reignite the sense of national purpose by establishing China as an 'imaginary enemy'," Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng said at the meeting with Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, state television reported. Sherman arrived in the eastern city of Tianjin for talks with Xie and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Sunday, a day after Wang had warned that China would not accept the United States taking a "superior" position in the relationship. On Saturday, senior US officials had outlined Sherman's expected position during the talks, saying the United ...
French prosecutor opens probe after Pegasus spyware complaint

French prosecutor opens probe after Pegasus spyware complaint

World
Paris, July 20 The Paris prosecutor's office opened a probe on Tuesday into allegations by investigative news website Mediapart and two of its journalists that they had been spied on by Morocco using the Pegasus spyware at the heart of a global scandal. An investigation published on Sunday by 17 media organisations, led by the Paris-based non-profit journalism group Forbidden Stories, said the spyware, made and licensed by the Israeli company NSO, had been used in attempted and successful hacks of 37 smartphones belonging to journalists, government officials and human rights activists. Mediapart said in a series of tweets on Monday that Morocco's secret services had used Pegasus to spy on the mobile phones of two of its reporters. "The only way to get to the bottom of this is for judic...
Artificial intelligence than can monitor snoring levels and identify sleep disorders developed

Artificial intelligence than can monitor snoring levels and identify sleep disorders developed

World
London, July 20 Researchers from the UK's prestigious University of Sheffield have developed artificial intelligence (AI) which they say can effectively monitor a person's snoring levels and identify sleep disorders. The AI, developed by Professor Guy Brown and Dr Ning Ma from the University's Speech and Hearing Research Group, can monitor a person's snoring levels and identify sleep disorders such as sleep apnoea, the university said in a press release. The technology is being commercialised through a new app - SoundSleep - available on iOS devices and soon to be available on Android, it said. Currently, the app uses the Sheffield AI to enable people to monitor the sounds they make while sleeping through their smartphone. The app records and tracks snoring levels and provides nightly...
No sign of Pfizer, Moderna Covid vaccines in breast milk: Study

No sign of Pfizer, Moderna Covid vaccines in breast milk: Study

World
Los Angeles, July 20 Researchers have found no evidence for the presence of Pfizer or Moderna Covid-19 vaccines in human breast milk in a small study, suggesting that the mRNA preventives are safe during lactation. The study, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, offers the first direct data of vaccine safety during breastfeeding and could allay concerns among those who have declined vaccination or discontinued breastfeeding due to concern that vaccination might alter human milk. The researchers at University of California, San Francisco (USCF) in the US analysed the breast milk of seven women after they received the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines, and found no trace of the preventives. Previous research has demonstrated that vaccines with mRNA inhibit transmission of the virus t...
Twitter temporarily blocks US Republican Greene for Covid posts

Twitter temporarily blocks US Republican Greene for Covid posts

World
July 20 Twitter Inc on Monday said it temporarily suspended Republican U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene's account for tweets which violated the social media's misinformation policy on Covid-19. Greene posted that the coronavirus is not dangerous for non-obese people and those under 65, and that organisations should not force "non-FDA" approved vaccines or masks. These tweets have been labeled as "misleading" by the platform. The United States is using vaccines made by Pfizer Inc , Moderna Inc and Johnson amp; Johnson under Food and Drug Administration's emergency use authorization. None of these vaccines are fully approved but numerous studies have proven their efficacy. U.S. President Joe Biden has called on the social media companies to take action on vaccine misinformation...