Chinese company targets global sales with quick Covid-19 tests

  by Ludovic EHRET Agence France Presse BEIJING, China (AFP) — A Chinese company is entering the global race to help defeat the coronavirus, promising its testing machine will return results faster than a lab and more reliably than at-home screening kits. The Flash 20 “is currently the fastest machine in the world for PCR tests for the new coronavirus”, says Sabrina Li, founder of the company Coyote. PCR tests are the industry standard and […]

New start date for virus-delayed Olympic torch relay

  TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — The Tokyo 2020 torch relay, which was put on hold when the Olympics were delayed over the coronavirus, will start next March from Japan’s Fukushima region, organizers said Monday. The Olympic flame had already arrived in Japan from Greece and the relay was days from beginning earlier this year when organizers and Olympic officials took the historic decision to postpone the Games by 12 months. The flame is currently on […]

Global coronavirus death toll passes one million

  by Simon MALFATTO Agence France Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — The global death toll from the new coronavirus, which emerged less than a year ago in China and has swept across the world, passed one million on Sunday. The pandemic has ravaged the global economy, inflamed geopolitical tensions and upended lives, from Indian slums and Brazil’s jungles to America’s biggest city New York. World sports, live entertainment and international travel ground to a halt […]

EBC-NET 25 launches first-ever musical sitcom, “Kesayasaya!” as tribute to OFWs, Filipino families

(Eagle News) – Just when you thought the COVID-19 pandemic has stagnated TV programming, Eagle Broadcasting Corporation’s NET 25 comes up with yet again a new offering, the musical sitcom, “Kesayasaya!” which pays tribute to Filipino families and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), and which promises to complete your Sunday evening viewing habit. This weekly musical sitcom which will have its pilot episode on Sunday, Sept. 27, at 6:30 p.m., features the return of the Robin […]

ISS moves to avoid space debris

  WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Astronauts on the International Space Station carried out an “avoidance maneuver” Tuesday to ensure they would not be hit by a piece of debris, said US space agency NASA, urging better management of objects in Earth’s orbit. Russian and US flight controllers worked together during a two-and-a-half-minute operation to adjust the station’s orbit and move further away, avoiding collision. The debris passed within about 1.4 kilometers (nearly one mile) […]

Avigan maker to seek virus treatment approval after trials

TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — The maker of anti-influenza drug Avigan said Wednesday it will apply for the medication to be approved for treating coronavirus patients after trials showed it can shorten recovery time. In a statement, manufacturer Fujifilm Toyama Chemical said its phase III trial in Japan, which began in March, was now complete. Of 156 individuals described as “analysis targets”, the median recovery time was 11.9 days in those receiving Avigan compared with 14.7 […]

Hundreds of whales stranded in southern Australia

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — At least twenty-five whales have died and scientists are trying to rescue 250 more that are stranded in a remote bay on the Australian island of Tasmania, officials said Monday. Tasmania’s environment department said the whales had become stuck on a sandbar in Macquarie Harbour, on the island’s rugged and sparsely populated west coast. Nic Deka, who is managing the incident response, said two large pods were stranded on sandbars a […]

Arctic summer sea ice second lowest on record: US researchers

by Ivan Couronne with Pia Ohlin in Stockholm WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Arctic summer sea ice melted in 2020 to the second smallest size since records began 42 years ago, US scientists announced Monday, offering further stark evidence of the impact of global warming. Arctic sea ice melts in summer and reforms in winter, but precise satellite imagery taken regularly since 1979 documented how the cycle has been shrinking significantly. The year’s minimum was […]

Two endangered Javan rhino calves spotted in Indonesian park

Jakarta, Indonesia (AFP) — Two extremely rare Javan rhinoceros calves have been spotted in an Indonesian national park, boosting hopes for the future of one of the world’s most endangered mammals. The rhino calves — a female named Helen and male called Luther — were seen with their mothers in footage taken from nearly 100 camera traps installed in Ujung Kulon national park between March and August, authorities said in a statement on Sunday. On […]

Could PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X be swan song for consoles?

by Jules BONNARD Agence France Presse Paris, France (AFP) — The upcoming release of a ninth generation of games consoles by Sony and Microsoft is set to be a sales slam dunk with consumers seeking entertainment during pandemic confinement, but could it also be their swan song as the habits of gamers change? Both companies have been dripping out information for months about the PlayStation 5 (PS5) and the Xbox Series X to build excitement, […]

US TikTok users prepare for a possible exit from platform

  by Thomas URBAIN Agence France Presse NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — American TikTok users reacted with a collective shrug Friday to the US move to ban new downloads of the video-sharing app — but many are already planning an exit to other platforms should the clampdown lead to an outright ban. “Oh my God! Ok! It’s happening! Everybody stay calm!” TikToker Nick Foster told his 577,000 followers, dubbing a video of himself with […]

Half of Covid patients suffer ongoing fatigue: study

by Kelly MACNAMARA LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — More than half of patients and staff who had Covid-19 at an Irish hospital suffered persistent fatigue in the aftermath of the initial disease, according to a new study Friday highlighting the “significant burden” of lingering symptoms. It comes as patient groups and doctors call for more research into the medium- and long-term effects of the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which has sickened more than 29 million people […]