Baby infected with COVID-19 in the womb: study

by Marlowe HOOD PARIS, France (AFP) — Doctors in France have described what they said was the first confirmed case of a newborn infected in the womb with COVID-19 by the mother. The baby boy, born in March, suffered brain swelling and neurological symptoms linked to COVID-19 in adults, but has since recovered, they reported Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications. Earlier research had pointed to the likely transmission of the virus from mother to […]

Tiger, pangolin farming in Myanmar risks ‘boosting demand’

YANGON, Myanmar (AFP) — Conservationists have warned a sudden change in Myanmar’s law allowing the commercial farming of tigers, pangolins and other endangered species risks further fuelling demand in China for rare wildlife products. The Southeast Asian nation is already a hub for the illegal trafficking of wildlife, a trade driven by demand from neighbouring China and worth an estimated $20 billion worldwide. In June, Myanmar’s Forest Department quietly gave the green light to private […]

‘Strong evidence’ mothers can transmit virus to newborns

  by Patrick GALEY Agence France Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — There is “strong evidence” that COVID-19- positive mothers can pass the virus on to their unborn infants, scientists said Thursday, in findings that could affect how pregnant women are shielded during the pandemic. While there have been isolated cases of babies infected with the virus, the findings show the strongest link yet between mother and infant transmission. Researchers in Italy studied 31 pregnant women […]

Colombia lost forest area the size of Sao Paulo in 2019: report

BOGOTA, Colombia (AFP) — Colombia lost 159,000 hectares of forest — an area the size of Brazilian megacity Sao Paulo — to deforestation in 2019, according to an official report presented on Thursday. Although considerable, it represents a 19 percent reduction in deforestation compared to the 197,000 hectares destroyed in 2018. In 2017, that figure was 219,000. “We’ve managed to control a growing trend of deforestation,” said Maria Claudia Garcia, the deputy minister for the […]

Israeli scientists use waste in battle against virus

by Alexandra Vardi TEL AVIV, Israel (AFP) — Israeli scientists have come up with a “simple” and low-cost method to turn waste into ethanol for use as sanitisers in the battle against the novel coronavirus. Professor Hadas Mamane of Tel Aviv University (TAU) and her team have been working for the past five years on recycling waste and transforming it into alcohol. Now, in response to the global demand for hand sanitisers, they have focused […]

State officials respond to Hawaii’s largest single-day count of new COVID-19 cases

By Alfred Acenas EBC Hawaii Bureau HONOLULU (Eagle News) – The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) announced on Tuesday, July 7, that there were 41 new cases of COVID-19, the highest case count since the pandemic began in early March. Thirty-eight (38) were in Honolulu/Oahu, one (1) in Big Island, and two (2) in Kauai. Governor David Ige has assured that the new COVID-19 cases are still manageable. “It is the highest we’ve had, […]

UK royal residences reopen after virus shutdown

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Some of Queen Elizabeth II’s royal residences will reopen to the public later this month after closing during the coronavirus shutdown, the Royal Collection Trust announced Wednesday. Windsor Castle, west of London, where the 94-year-old monarch has been staying since the start of the pandemic, will be open for pre-booked, timed visits from July 23. The Royal Mews and the Queen’s Gallery at her London home of Buckingham Palace will […]

Malnutrition in poorer nations costs firms up to $850 billon: study

by Kelly MACNAMARA PARIS, France (AFP) — Hunger, poor nutrition and obesity not only present a health burden in developing countries but carry a hidden economic penalty that costs businesses up to $850 billion a year, according to a new report published Wednesday. Researchers said malnutrition reduces the resilience of populations to risks such as infectious disease outbreaks and extreme climate events, as well as causing a reduction in productivity and earnings. With the coronavirus […]

Climate change turning US mountain lakes green with algae

by Phineas RUECKERT PARIS, France (AFP) — Global warming is turning clear mountain lakes green in the western United States because of an increase in algae blooms “without historical precedent”, researchers reported on Tuesday. The concentration of algae in two remote mountain lakes more than doubled in the past 70 years, researchers at Colorado State University found. Their results, published in the British Royal Society journal Proceedings B, highlight the potentially harmful effects of climate […]

Tie for warmest June globally, Siberia sizzles: EU

by Marlowe HOOD PARIS, France (AFP) — Temperatures soared 10 degrees Celsius above average in June across much of permafrost-laden Siberia, with last month in a dead heat for the warmest June on record globally, the European Union’s climate monitoring network said Tuesday. An Arctic hourly temperature record for the month — 37 degrees Celsius — was set on June 21 near Verkhoyansk in northeastern Russia, where a weather station logged a blistering 38C on […]

Global experts warn of COVID-19 airborne threat

  by Issam AHMED Agence France Presse WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — As countries ease their lockdowns, authorities need to recognize the coronavirus can spread through the air far beyond the two meters (six feet) urged in social distancing guidelines, an international group of 239 scientists said Monday. In a comment piece that takes direct aim at the World Health Organization for its reluctance to update its advice, researchers recommended new measures including increasing indoor […]

Virus won’t stop Eiffel Tower high life, says top French chef

by Olga NEDBAEVA PARIS, France (AFP) — The ebullient French chef Frederic Anton is having none of the talk that the world will not be the same again after the coronavirus. From the kitchen of his Jules Verne restaurant perched high on the Eiffel Tower 125 metres (410 feet) above Paris, the combative cook is determined that it will make not one iota of difference to the glories of French gastronomy. “Nothing is going to […]