While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, April 23

US believes China failed to disclose outbreak to WHO in timely manner: Pompeo

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hit out at Beijing again on Wednesday over the coronavirus outbreak and accused it of taking advantage of the pandemic to bully neighbours, even as he welcomed China’s provision of essential medical supplies.

Speaking at a State Department news conference, Pompeo said Beijing had failed to report the outbreak in a timely manner and failed to report human-to-human transmission of the virus “for a month until it was in every province inside of China”.

The Trump administration has repeatedly criticised China’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak, which began late last year in the Chinese city of Wuhan and has grown into a global pandemic.

The outbreak has killed nearly 180,000 people, including more than 45,000 in the United States, according to a Reuters tally.


Coronavirus: Stephen Hawking’s family give his ventilator to British hospital

The family of acclaimed physicist Stephen Hawking has donated his ventilator to a hospital that had treated him in Cambridge, the English university city where he lived and worked, to help care for Covid-19 patients.

The scientist died in March 2018 at age 76 after a lifetime spent probing the origins of the universe. He was diagnosed with a rare early-onset form of motor neurone disease at the age of 21.

“Professor Stephen Hawking’s family has donated his ventilator to Royal Papworth Hospital as we care for increasing numbers of Covid-19 patients,” the hospital said on Wednesday (April 22).


WHO chief urges US to reconsider funding, says ‘virus will be with us for a long time’

The head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Wednesday that he hoped the Trump administration would reconsider its suspension of funding, but that his main focus was on ending the pandemic and saving lives.

There were “worrying upward trends” in early epidemics in parts of Africa and central and South America, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

“Most countries are still in the early stages of their epidemics and some that were affected early in the pandemic are starting to see a resurgence in cases,” Tedros told Geneva journalists in a virtual briefing.


EU says air travel will need social distancing, US airlines taking own steps

The European Commission will next month present a set of rules for the safe reopening of air travel when coronavirus lockdowns end, including social distancing in airports and planes, while some US airlines are taking their own protective measures.

EU Transport Commissioner Adina Valean said on Wednesday that measures under consideration would include the wearing of masks and disinfection of planes and airports.

The move came as debate heats up in the United States, the world’s busiest domestic market, on how to apply rules on social distancing or protective gear to air travel.


Flaw in iPhone, iPads may have allowed hackers to steal data for years

Apple is planning to fix a flaw that a security firm said may have left more than half a billion iPhones vulnerable to hackers.

The bug, which also exists on iPads, was discovered by Zuk Avraham, chief executive of San Francisco-based mobile security forensics company ZecOps, while investigating a sophisticated cyberattack against a client in late 2019.

Avraham said he found evidence the vulnerability was exploited in at least six cybersecurity break-ins.


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