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Showing posts from January 2, 2021

The world must investigate all the mounting evidence Covid leaked from a Wuhan lab, writes IAN BIRRELL

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It is a year since the world learned of a deadly new respiratory disease stalking the central Chinese city of Wuhan.  Yet we still know little about how and why the virus spread with such devastating consequences. It can almost certainly be traced to bats. But we do not know how this pathogen – having evolved an extraordinary ability to infect, causing such damage to different bodily organs – made the jump into human beings. At last, a World Health Organisation investigation is under way into the origins of the coronavirus, but it is accused of meekly pandering to China's agenda by recruiting patsy scientists and relying on Beijing's dubious data. Now there is growing clamour from experts around the world that no stone should be left unturned during this inquiry – and that it must include one key element of a hunt which has all the hallmarks of a thriller novel. It is a year since the world learned of a deadly new respiratory disease stalking the central Chinese city of Wuhan,

Lab leak is the 'most credible' source of the coronavirus outbreak, says top US government official, amid bombshell claims Wuhan scientist has turned whistleblower

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One of America's most senior government officials says the most 'credible' theory about the origin of coronavirus is that it escaped from a laboratory in China. Matthew Pottinger, who is President Donald Trump's respected Deputy National Security Adviser, told politicians from around the world that even China's leaders now openly admit their previous claims that the virus originated in a Wuhan market are false. Mr Pottinger said that the latest intelligence points to the virus leaking from the top-secret Wuhan Institute of Virology, 11 miles from the market, saying: 'There is a growing body of evidence that the lab is likely the most credible source of the virus.' Matthew Pottinger, who is President Donald Trump's respected Deputy National Security Adviser, says the most 'credible' theory about the origin of coronavirus is that it escaped from from the top-secret Wuhan Institute of Virology in China He claimed the pathogen may have escaped throug

Charles Tyrwhitt is scaling back shirt-making in China after customers complained about the government in Beijing

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British shirt-maker Charles Tyrwhitt is scaling back manufacturing in China after customers said they no longer wanted to buy products from the country. Founder Nick Wheeler told The Mail on Sunday: 'We are reacting to what the customer wants.  'A lot of customers are telling us they don't want us to make shirts in China. They don't like the Chinese government.' As well as reducing the number of garments made in China, the company is ending contracts with cotton suppliers in Xinjiang province from July.  Mr Wheeler also cited wider human rights issues for the move, saying: 'There are areas of Chinese manufacturing using forced labour… it's so far removed from anything we would ever do.' British shirt-maker Charles Tyrwhitt is scaling back manufacturing in China after customers said they no longer wanted to buy products from the country. Founder Nick Wheeler told The Mail on Sunday: 'We are reacting to what the customer wants' Charles Tyrwhitt is

Pandemic is set to kill another 115,000 Americans in January but universal mask wearing and faster vaccine roll-out could save thousands of lives, University of Washington model shows

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The coronavirus pandemic is on track to kill another 115,000 Americans by the end of January, according to one statistical model, which claims that universal wearing of masks and a rapid vaccine rollout could save about 13,000 lives in the next four weeks.   As of Saturday, the total number of U.S. deaths in the pandemic was approaching 348,000, and since March more than 20 million Americans have been infected by the virus.  The sluggish and at times chaotic initial rollout of vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna has drawn sharp criticism from a range of political leaders, including President-elect Joe Biden and Republican Senator Mitt Romney. Following current trends, the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation projects that the death toll will hit 456,238 by January 31. Following current trends, the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation projects that the death toll will hit 456,238 by January 31 Rapid vaccine rollout

What Brexit chaos? Just three lorries turned away at the Kent border on New Year's Day

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Only three lorries were turned away at the Kent border on New Year’s Day, making a mockery of dire predictions of chaos at the ports. Ministers were given the figure at a Cobra meeting chaired by Cabinet Minister Michael Gove on Friday evening. The three trucks arrived at Dover without the correct paperwork to leave for Europe, but the problem was ‘quickly resolved’. All three were fined. Last night, a Government source told The Mail on Sunday: ‘People thought there would be disruption, but that has not come to pass. It is good that things are flowing smoothly.’ The briefing is understood to have been delivered by Emma Churchill, director-general of the Border Delivery Group. The three trucks arrived at Dover without the correct paperwork to leave for Europe and were fined ‘The report was very good,’ added the source. ‘You probably find three lorries get turned away every day.  'There is nothing new about that at all.’  Hauliers require new paperwork as part of Britain’s revised tr

Sex abuse Aid workers who fathered children abroad are tracked down with DNA - including World Bank worker who has TWO children in their twenties in Haiti

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Researchers are uncovering British foreign aid workers who fathered children abroad by using publicly available DNA databases. Six test cases have already been completed in the Philippines by researchers from King's College London, finding men in Australia, Canada, the United States and Britain to have fathered children in the country. They did so either through sex tourism or in relation to foreign aid work, The Telegraph reported. The research - that uses genealogy technology - comes in the wake of the 2011 Oxfam scandal that rocked the aid sector after allegations said that staff had engaged in sexual misconduct with victims of the 2010 Haitian earthquake. Researchers at King's College London are tracking down men who fathered children while in the Philippines as aid workers.  The research - that uses genealogy technology - comes in the wake of the 2011 Oxfam scandal that rocked the aid sector after allegations said that staff had engaged in sexual misconduct with victims of

MAIL ON SUNDAY COMMENT: Why all this palaver over a sensible idea to save more lives?

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This newspaper has been highly critical of much of the Government’s handling of the Covid pandemic. We have attacked its failure to provide adequate personal protection equipment at the start of the outbreak. We strongly criticised its inability to protect lives in care homes.  We were among the first to point out that lockdowns can do more harm than good. And we have repeatedly called for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to listen to a wider selection of expert voices than those on the official Sage committee. But we have never been negative for the sake of it. Our interventions have been intended to ensure that the effort to preserve public health was as successful as possible. And this is very much reflected in our view of the vaccine. If this immunisation can be given as soon as possible to the most vulnerable in our society, then the whole apparatus of lockdown, curfew and closure can be dismantled and we can seize back our normal lives. (File image) In the midst of a desert of disapp

We’re so vain! Britons are the most likely to want to edit selfies to boost their online profiles on social media and dating sites

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We may not think it suits us, but Britons have been revealed as the vainest people in Europe. A study into how often folk searched the web to learn how to use selfie-editing software such as Photoshop to enhance pictures they put online found Brits were the biggest culprits. In fact, there were 108,600 monthly searches for 'how to edit selfies'. We may not think it suits us, but Britons have been revealed as the vainest people in Europe (file photo) The most popular enhancements were sparklier eyes, a new hair colour, trimmed waists, a bigger or smaller cleavage and bigger muscles. It means that over a year, more than 1.3 million of us want to learn how to boost our image on social media and dating sites. The UK was followed by Spain (75,000 searches) and Germany (63,700). The least self-obsessed folk were in Belarus, with 3,100. A spokesman for the online marketplace OnBuy.com, which carried out the survey, said: 'Social media has become the place for everyone to show off

Our favourite song is from when we were 14, study finds, as scientists reveal 'reminiscence bump' peaks in early adolescence

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Your favourite pop songs are most likely to be the ones in the charts when you were 14, a study has found. Researchers discovered this is the age we make the strongest musical connection because the records playing on the radio get entwined with major life events in our formative teenage years. The songs bring vivid memories flooding back in what is known as a 'reminiscence bump' – which scientists suggest could play a key role in caring for dementia patients. Academics from Durham University assembled 470 people aged between 18 and 82 and asked them to rate 111 songs in the charts between 1950 and 2015. Your favourite pop songs are most likely to be the ones in the charts when you were 14, a study has found They were then asked whether they were familiar with each song, whether they liked it and whether it brought back any memories from their past. The study, published in the Music & Science journal, found 'a reminiscence bump in adolescence (peaking around age 14) for