While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, April 12

US now has the world’s deadliest coronavirus outbreak

American deaths from the coronavirus passed Italy’s, affirming the US’ spot as the epicentre of the global pandemic.

Deaths from the virus reached more than 19,880 in the US, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Italy had almost 19,500 fatalities.

The US figure will rise throughout the day as more states report data.

The heavy toll in the US – and much of Europe – is linked to the failure to enact widespread measures like mass testing and social distancing early enough to prevent the virus from taking hold.


Coronavirus: US accuses China of ‘xenophobia’ in treatment of Africans

The United States on Saturday accused Chinese authorities of “xenophobia” towards Africans, after coronavirus cases among Nigerians unleashed a wave of evictions in the city of Guangzhou.

Africans in southern China’s largest metropolis told AFP they had been kicked out of lodgings and then turned away from hotels over suspicions aroused by the Nigerian cases.

“The abuse and mistreatment of Africans living and working in China is a sad reminder of how hollow the PRC-Africa partnership really is,” a State Department spokesman said, using the acronym for the People’s Republic of China.


Trump likes coronavirus briefings, some advisers worry he likes them too much

Cooped up in the White House, President Donald Trump sees the coronavirus briefings as his main outlet of the day, a reminder for Americans that he is in charge of managing the greatest crisis of a lifetime. Plus, the ratings are good.

Some advisers, however, would prefer a less-is-more approach. They have quietly recommended he not spend so much time at the briefings to avoid being distracted from the challenge at hand and bickering with reporters.

“It’s been suggested a few times, but he thinks it’s just great, and all these ratings,” said a source familiar with the situation.


Quebec police investigate seniors’ home after 31 deaths

Quebec authorities are investigating a seniors’ home where 31 people have died since March 13, Quebec Premier Francois Legault announced on Saturday, calling the situation “appalling”.

“I find it unacceptable the way we treat our seniors in Quebec,” said a visibly moved Legault during a press conference, saying he feared “gross negligence” at the private residence.

Of the 31 deaths, at least five are due to coronavirus but the cause for the 26 others is still unknown, Legault said.


Cycling: Tour de France organisers focusing on postponement, not cancellation

Tour de France organisers are focusing on a postponement of this year’s race rather than a cancellation due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to an email seen by Reuters on Saturday which was sent to the publishers of the official Tour programme.

The Tour’s main publisher said in the email it was “freezing the administrative aspects of our collaboration” ahead of the sport’s most prestigious race which is due to run from June 27-July 19.

The Tokyo Olympics, soccer’s European Championship, Wimbledon and French Open tennis, and golf’s British Open are among the major sporting events this year which have been postponed or cancelled.


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