Air conditioning units that recirculate the same air in a room should be switched off or only used with open windows, experts have urged, amid mounting concern around the role of airborne transmission to spread Covid-19. Experts told the Telegraph that air conditioning units that only used recirculated air could exacerbate the spread of virus particles if someone was infected with Covid-19. Dr Shaun Fitzgerald, a fellow at the Royal Academy of Engineering, said there were two types of air conditioning units - ones that take air in from outside and expel it out again, or those that recirculate the same air. This second type, known as a “split” unit, draws air in, passes it over cooling coils and sends it back into the room. Guidance from the Chartered Institution of Building Service Engineers, which Dr Fitzgerald helped draw up, warns that split air conditioning units that do not have a “dedicated source of outside air supply into a room… could be responsible for recirculating and spreading airborne viral particles into the path of socially distanced users”. Dr Fitzgerald said that it may go against conventional wisdom and be more expensive, but opening a window while operating the unit was the best way to mitigate risk. “The recommended strategy now, if you have one of these split units, is to throw the window open and sacrifice your desire for a cold or cooler environment. If there is a modicum of wind it will move the air around. If you can’t open a window turn the unit off.”
A newly discovered comet is streaking past Earth, providing a stunning nighttime show after buzzing the sun and expanding its tail. Comet Neowise — the brightest comet visible from the Northern Hemisphere in a quarter-century — swept within Mercury’s orbit a week ago. NASA's Neowise infrared space telescope discovered the comet in March.
The American dentist who killed Cecil the lion is reported to have hunted another endangered wild animal.Walter Palmer is said to have slaughtered a protected ram in Mongolia, paying up to £80,000 for the kill.
The protests were held as the Balkan nation announced a record daily death toll from COVID-19. Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said earlier Friday the Balkan state recorded 18 fatalities and 386 new cases over 24 hours in what she described as a "dramatic increase". At the same time, Brnabic condemned as "irresponsible" protests held in Belgrade and other cities on Thursday, after demonstrations in the capital on the previous two days had spilled over into violence.
The Lincoln Project, which was created by a group of anti-Trump Republican political operatives last December, believes there is a logic to being a metaphorical fly buzzing around the president’s head.
The U.S. State Department warned American citizens on Saturday to "exercise increased caution" in China due to heightened risk of arbitrary law enforcement including detention and a ban from exiting the country. "U.S. citizens may be detained without access to U.S. consular services or information about their alleged crime," the State Department said in a security alert issued to its citizens in China, adding that U.S. citizens may face "prolonged interrogations and extended detention" for reasons related to state security. "Security personnel may detain and/or deport U.S. citizens for sending private electronic messages critical of the Chinese government," it added, without citing specific examples.
Russia's intelligence services have 'stepped up' their war on free media, carrying out a series of operations designed to intimidate journalists in the wake of Vladimir Putin's controversial referendum victory last week. In an unprecedented case for post-Soviet Russia, prominent defence reporter Ivan Safronov was seized outside his home on Tuesday morning by secret service agents and arrested on suspicion of treason. Citing the secret nature of the case, the investigators have not published any evidence to back up their claims but the reporter faces 20 years in prison. Last week’s overwhelming approval of constitutional amendments allowing Vladimir Putin to stay in office at least until 2036 was hailed by the Kremlin as a “triumph.” But results at the polling stations that were monitored by independent observers indicated something resembling a split vote. That was an apparent cue for Russia’s FSB secret service to take action.
Hospitals in Syria's overcrowded opposition-held enclave are suspending non-emergency procedures and outpatient services following the detection of the first case of coronavirus, a leading doctor in the area said Friday. The first case of COVID-19, a doctor in the area, was reported on Thursday in Idlib province, the last opposition-held part of Syria in a sliver of land bordering Turkey. There have been major concerns of an outbreak in northwestern Syria, an area packed with more than 3 million people, many of them living in tents and encampments, and where health facilities have been devastated by Syria's long civil war.
Mexico is to seek the arrest and extradition from Canada of the former chief investigator in the murky disappearance of 43 students in 2014, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said Friday. Tomas Zeron, who was head of the Criminal Investigation Agency, is in Canada and work is underway to extradite him, the minister said. "There is going to be no impunity, part of our function at the ministry of foreign affairs is to guarantee that, when there are cases of this nature, extradition occurs," Ebrard said.
Utah governor Gary Herbert declared a state of emergency in Salt Lake City late Thursday, citing clashes between police and protesters who flooded the streets after the city district attorney announced that the May police killing of Bernardo Palacios Carbajal was justified. “In the case of the Salt Lake City Officer Involved Critical Incident that resulted in the death of Bernardo Palacios Carbajal, District Attorney Sim Gill’s findings provide significant evidence of the justifiable actions of Salt Lake City police officers,” Mayor Erin Mendenhall said in a statement. “This evidence shows that our officers acted according to their training and the state law regarding use of lethal force.”Protesters broke windows to the district attorney’s office, leading police to deem the demonstration an unlawful gathering, the Salt Lake City Police Department said. Demonstrators then disrupted traffic in the city’s downtown area and allegedly used pepper spray on officers. One officer was taken to a nearby hospital. Police arrested two protesters, the department said. The state of emergency order, which closes the Utah State Capitol grounds to the public, will stay in effect until at least July 14. Herbert also offered Utah's Department of Public Safety to Salt Lake City.In May police fired 34 shots at Palacios, leaving him with more than a dozen wounds, after a report of someone making “threats with a weapon,” CNN reported. “I know that for some, today’s decision does not feel like justice,” Mendenhall said. “It has become increasingly apparent in our city and across the nation that there is a difference between what so many feel is morally correct, and what is considered appropriate and justified under the law.”
* Surge in rat activity as city starts to open outdoor restaurants * ‘Last night, a customer had a baby rat running on his shoe’New York City is starting to tentatively emerge from the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic but a revival in outdoor restaurant dining is facing a new hazard – a plague of rats.Diners are facing a surge in rat activity following a lockdown period where the rodents were cut off from key food sources as businesses including restaurants and grocery stores shut down, forcing rats to battle for snacks and even eat each other.Since 22 June, New York City restaurants have been allowed to serve people again in outdoor settings, prompting sidewalks and car parking spaces to be dotted with tables and chairs. But the resumption of alfresco dining has led to people having unexpected rodent companions for their meals.Giacomo Romano, who owns Ciccio, an Italian restaurant in Manhattan’s Soho, said rats from a nearby park have been harassing diners since the outdoor meals were permitted. “Last night, a customer had a baby rat running on his shoe, and I let you just imagine his reaction,” Romano told NBC.Romano and other business owners have called on the city to do more to reduce rat populations, as the city hauls itself out of a pandemic crisis that has claimed more than 20,000 lives. New infections and deaths have dropped sharply since April but New York City has postponed plans to allow indoor dining due to concerns over surging Covid-19 cases in other states, such as Florida, Texas and Arizona.New York City has waged a long and often fruitless war against rats, with the rodents adapting adroitly to the city’s haphazard waste collection and disposal practices. Rats are a common sight in streets and in the subway, where the rodents have proven themselves adept at spiriting away slices of pizza.The resumption of dining activity is likely to stir a wave of activity among rats following a period of relative famine, meaning interactions with people are set to continue.“Rats are designed to smell molecules of anything that’s food-related,” Bobby Corrigan, an urban rodentologist, told NBC. “They follow those food molecules like heat-seeking missiles – and eventually you know they end up where those molecules are originating.”
President Donald Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, was transferred to the same federal lockup in Otisville where he was serving time for tax evasion, lying to Congress and campaign finance crimes before the coronavirus pandemic prompted his early release, his attorney said Friday. The move late Thursday came hours after federal authorities said Cohen refused to accept the conditions of his home confinement, specifically that he submit to wearing an ankle monitor. Cohen attorney Jeffrey Levine said Cohen never refused to wear an ankle monitor but raised concerns about conditions of his home confinement that forbade him from using social media, speaking with the press and publishing a tell-all book he wrote in federal prison.
BALTIMORE - After Baltimore police officers shot a man who pulled a firearm while undergoing a behavioral health crisis last week, the organization that oversees the city's behavioral health services called the current system "a total failure" that needs better integration of mental health professionals with the police. There is no indication that police dispatchers attempted to connect ...
The White House has undertaken behind-the-scenes efforts in recent months to undercut and sideline Dr. Anthony Fauci—even going so far as to compile a list of all the times he “has been wrong on things,” according to The Washington Post. After canceling some of his planned TV appearances and keeping him away from the Oval Office, White House officials and President Trump have taken to publicly expressing a loss of confidence in the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and face of the administration's coronavirus task force. The apparent attempts to undermine Fauci come as he continues to counter the president's overly optimistic narrative on the state of the pandemic. Against this backdrop, an unnamed White House official told the Post: “Several White House officials are concerned about the number of times Dr. Fauci has been wrong on things.” The official attached a list of incorrect predictions Fauci had made, including his doubts early on that asymptomatic spread would play a large role in transmission and a February assurance that Americans did not need to change their behavior. Like many other public health officials, Fauci said at first that masks were not necessary but recently recommended that they be mandated nationwide. “Dr. Fauci has a good bedside manner with the public but he has been wrong about everything I have ever interacted with him on,” Peter Navarro, the president’s trade adviser, told the Post in a separate statement. “Now Fauci is saying that a falling mortality rate doesn’t matter when it is the single most important statistic to help guide the pace of our economic reopening. So when you ask me if I listen to Dr. Fauci’s advice, my answer is only with caution.”In recent days, the 79-year-old doctor has offered unsparing assessments of the United States’ current situation. In an interview with 538 published Thursday, he was perhaps at his most blunt: “As a country, when you compare us to other countries, I don’t think you can say we’re doing great. I mean, we’re just not.” The same day, the commander-in-chief told Fox News host Sean Hannity in an interview that Fauci was “a nice man, but he’s made a lot of mistakes.” The two haven’t spoken in months, but Fauci has reportedly not complained about that. David Barr, an AIDS activist who knows Fauci, told the Post the doctor has become exasperated that state and local officials aren’t listening to experts.“Our bigger issue with Fauci is stop critiquing the task force...and try to fix it,” another White House official told the Post. The official said Fauci’s high approval and trustworthiness ratings have upset the president as his own deteriorate. The White House has also reportedly sought to keep Fauci out of the the public eye. A CBS anchor said last week that the White House has ignored requests to interview Fauci on air since early April, though he has spoken to print and podcast outlets. The White House maintains the authority to approve or deny interview requests for high-profile public officials and granted requests from PBS, CNN, and NBC to speak with the doctor only to cancel them after Fauci disagreed with Trump in a conversation with Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL), according to the Post. The epidemiologist said that Trump’s contention of a lower death rate indicating success in tamping down the virus was “a false narrative.” He warned against “false complacency.” Fauci has also said he’d like to go on Rachel Maddow’s show, which routinely critiques the president, a request that was rejected.Trump himself has been wrong on the coronavirus in a laundry list of ways as he’s pushed to reopen the country, and going after Fauci is not the only time he has attempted to contravene public health guidelines. He famously told Dr. Deborah Birx, the chief medical adviser on the White House Coronavirus Task Force, to “look into” the injection of bleach and the ingestion of sunlight as possible COVID-19 curatives. He’s also pressured the Food and Drug Administration to reinstate its emergency authorization for the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment, as has his former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who said doctors “don’t know what they’re talking about.” Trump himself has said he took the drug despite FDA advisories warning it is unsafe to do so and unlikely to prevent or treat the coronavirus.The president donned a face mask for a Saturday visit to Walter Reed Hospital, one of the first and only times he has done so in public after repeatedly shrugging off their importance in recent weeks and even mocking Joe Biden for wearing one. In Dr. Fauci We TrustRead more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
Seattle’s mayor and police chief have been told to remedy the “unacceptable” treatment of journalists, including an Independent reporter who was arrested covering Black Lives Matter protests.Andrew Buncombe was shackled, assaulted and detained for more than six hours after being accused of “failing to disperse” from a demonstration he had the legal right to report on.
Jeepneys are a national symbol of the Philippines, a form of public transport known affectionately as 'kings of the road'. But almost all of them have been forced off the roads by possibly the world's longest and strictest coronavirus lockdown.
The southern Chinese province of Jiangxi issued its highest flood warning on Saturday, predicting a big overflow from a lake that joins the Yangtze River as torrential rain continued to batter much of the country, state media said. The provincial government raised its flood-control response level to I from II, the People's Daily said, the top of China's four-tier scale, signalling disasters such as dam collapses or extraordinary simultaneous floods in several rivers. With downpours continuing to wreak havoc across swathes of China, several other cities along the Yangtze have issued their highest-level flood warnings, with parts of the river threatening to burst its banks because of the incessant rain.
Daniel Gold, who led the team that invented Israel's Iron Dome missile defence system, has a history of safeguarding the country against what he identifies as existential threats. With the nation facing surging coronavirus cases amid a pandemic that has triggered unprecedented economic hardship, Gold is trying to replicate his Iron Dome breakthrough in protecting Israel against the virus. Gold, who heads Israel's Defence Research and Development Directorate and holds PhDs in electronic engineering and business management, has become a celebrated figure in the Jewish state.
A U.K. judge has sentenced a man to four years for attempting to steal one of the original copies of the the Magna Carta from Salisbury Cathedral in England. Mark Royden, from Canterbury, Kent, was convicted Friday of using a hammer to try to smash the security case holding the document at Salisbury Cathedral on October 25, 2018. Royden failed to break the protective glass, and was tackled moments later by tourists and cathedral staff.
Senior Brexiteers have warned Boris Johnson that key parts of his Withdrawal Agreement with the EU amount to a "poison pill" that should be replaced as part of post-Brexit trade negotiations. A 120-page report compiled by pro-Leave MPs and lawyers states that exiting the transition period with the current provisions of the agreement in place would have "crippling" consequences for the UK and prevent the country from becoming a "fully sovereign state". The document, which is published as the UK and EU carry out intensive trade negotiations, has been endorsed by a series of senior backbenchers, suggesting Mr Johnson could face resistance in the Commons if he fails to tackle some of their concerns. On Saturday, Mark Francois, the chairman of the influential European Research Group (ERG) of Eurosceptic Tory MPs, said: "The report argues that the remaining elements of the Withdrawal Agreement after we leave the transition period cannot be allowed to stand as they are, and particularly that there must be no remaining role for the European Court of Justice over any aspect of our national life. That is something that I and my colleagues in the ERG would very much support." The report, published by the new Centre for Brexit Policy, includes contributions from Lord Trimble, the former first minister of Northern Ireland, Martin Howe, the Brexiteer QC, and Owen Paterson, the former cabinet minister who chairs the think tank. The key elements it says make up the "poison pill" include the UK having to remain bound to some state aid laws, the creation of "burdensome EU customs mechanisms" at a border in the Irish Sea, a role for the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for another eight years, and the vast divorce payments, for amounts the report states are "not owing under international law" and are "subject to the determination of the ECJ". The report states: "Although the Government sees the revised Withdrawal Agreement (WA) as only transitional until the end of the transition period in December, there remain serious threats to UK sovereignty that will have crippling economic and strategic consequences for years to come if they are not dealt with now. "Exiting the TP with these threats still in place will not return the UK to a fully sovereign state and is unacceptable." The report urges Mr Johnson to replace the Withdrawal Agreement with a "sovereignty compliant" agreement. A chapter by Lord Trimble states that the current deal "rips the Good Friday Agreement apart” by handing law-making power over Northern Ireland to the EU.
The Dutch government on Friday said it would file a suit against Russia at the European Court of Human Rights over the downing of Malaysia Airlines passenger flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine six years ago. "The submission is a new step in our efforts to establish truth, justice and accountability", Dutch Foreign minister Stef Blok said in a letter to parliament. Blok said his government would give the court all its information on MH17, thereby supporting the individual applications already submitted by the victims' next of kin.
Egyptian police have seized kites from people flying them after a ban by a northern governorate for "safety" reasons and a lawmaker's warning they posed a "national security threat". Police seized 369 kites in Cairo on Friday, Al-Ahram reported, while Akhbar Al-Youm, another state newspaper, said police confiscated 99 kites and fined five people in the northern region of Alexandria. Fines imposed for kite-flying in the Mediterranean city can reach up to 1,000 pounds (about $60).
Counterprotesters said a passing driver pointed a gun at them Friday and said “All Lives Matter,” as competing groups gathered in front of South Carolina’s capitol building to mark the five-year anniversary of the state's removal of the Confederate battle flag from Statehouse grounds. The driver stopped in the middle of the road and stuck his middle finger out at several demonstrators who were on a road median shortly before noon, protester Kamison Burgess told The State newspaper.
Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, has not briefed President Donald Trump in the past two months about the coronavirus pandemic, as cases surge in parts of the US.Early on in the pandemic, the president would meet with Dr Fauci and the White House Coronavirus Task Force multiple times per week.