While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, May 25

Americans soak up sun on beaches as coronavirus death toll nears 100,000

Americans sunbathed on beaches, fished from boats and strolled on boardwalks this holiday weekend, but the occasional person wearing a mask was a constant reminder that the world is still battling the coronavirus pandemic.

The Memorial Day weekend that signals the start of the US summer is normally a time when cemeteries across the nation fill with American flags and ceremonies to remember those who died in US wars.

This year the holiday week is when the US death toll from Covid-19 is expected to exceed 100,000.

Total US cases are over 1.6 million, the highest in the world.


Johnson risks party wrath to back aide who flouted coronavirus lockdown rules

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson backed his senior adviser Dominic Cummings on Sunday, despite calls from within his own Conservative Party for the aide to resign for driving 400km during the coronavirus lockdown.

Cummings, architect of the 2016 campaign to leave the EU, came under pressure when newspapers reported he had travelled from London to northern England in March when his wife was ill with Covid-19 symptoms during a nationwide lockdown.

With Johnson’s words that he had acted with integrity, Cummings was safe, at least for now. But the row in the governing Conservatives looks set to rumble on.


Tourism reels as Australian leaders bicker over closed borders

With Australia closed to international visitors, domestic tourism is the only lifeline for an industry that’s been crippled by the virus.

But Queensland and other states such as Western Australia, which have largely contained the virus, maintain it’s too early to allow in visitors from New South Wales and Victoria, the two-most populous states that have been responsible for about 90% of Australia’s new infections in the past two weeks.

The engine room of the economy, the two states have kept their borders open, but are still trying to contain isolated outbreaks, such as recent clusters detected in a Sydney age-care home and a Melbourne meatworks.


White House limits travel to US from Brazil due to coronavirus

The White House announced Sunday that it is prohibiting foreigners from traveling to the United States if they had been in Brazil in the last two weeks, two days after the South American nation became the world No. 2 hot spot for coronavirus cases.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the new restrictions would help ensure foreign nationals do not bring additional infections to the US, but would not apply to the flow of commerce between the new countries.

Brazil became the world No. 2 hot spot for coronavirus cases on Friday, second only to the United States, and now has over 347,000 people infected by the virus, the Health Ministry said.


Liverpool-Atletico football match linked to ’41 additional’ coronavirus deaths: Report

The decision to let Liverpool’s Champions League match against Atletico Madrid go ahead may have “led to 41 additional deaths” due to the coronavirus, the Sunday Times reported.

Jurgen Klopp’s side faced the Spanish club in a second-leg last 16 tie at Anfield on March 11 in front of a crowd of some 52,000, with 3,000 visiting supporters in attendance.

The match was the last major football fixture played in England before the coronavirus lockdown.


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