While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Nov 16

Trump backtracks on acknowledging Biden won election, concedes ‘nothing’

US President Donald Trump backtracked after appearing on Sunday to acknowledge for the first time that Joe Biden won the Nov 3 election, saying he conceded “nothing” and repeating his unfounded claims of widespread voting fraud.

Biden defeated Trump by winning a series of battleground states that the Republican incumbent had won in 2016. The Democratic former vice president also won the national popular vote by more than 5.5 million votes, or 3.6 percentage points.

Trump made his conflicting statements in a series of Twitter posts.

Speaking on NBC’s Meet the Press, Biden’s pick for White House chief of staff, Ron Klain, said, “Donald Trump’s Twitter feed doesn’t make Joe Biden president or not president. The American people did that.”


Austria plans ‘mass tests’ to help exit coronavirus lockdown

Austria is planning “mass testing” for coronavirus to help a chart a way out of the second lockdown coming into force next week, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Sunday.

Referring to a controversial mass testing programme in neighbouring Slovakia, Kurz told public broadcaster ORF that “we have decided here in Austria… to take a similar step”.

In Slovakia, two-thirds of the population were tested two weeks ago, with just over one percent testing positive.


India to fly in medical staff, ramp up testing amid rising Covid-19 cases in Delhi

India will fly doctors in from other regions, double the quantity of tests carried out and ensure people wear masks in efforts to contain the coronavirus spread in the capital New Delhi, Home Minister Amit Shah said on Sunday.

“Amit Shah also directed that the hospital capacity and availability of other medical infrastructure should be ramped up considerably,” the Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement on Sunday.

While India’s daily increase in cases has been under the 50,000 mark for eight straight days, around half its record peak, the city state of Delhi has recorded over 7,000 cases a day over the last five days – a record level.


Coronavirus emerged in Italy earlier than thought: Study

The new coronavirus was circulating in Italy since September 2019, a study by the National Cancer Institute of the Italian city of Milan shows, signalling that Covid-19 might have spread beyond China earlier than previously thought.

The World Health Organisation has said the new coronavirus and Covid-19, the respiratory disease it causes, were unknown before the outbreak was first reported in Wuhan, in central China, in December.

Italy’s first Covid-19 patient was detected on Feb 21 in a little town near Milan, in the northern region of Lombardy.


Peru President Manuel Merino resigns after five days in power

Peru’s President Manuel Merino resigned Sunday (Nov 15), just five days after taking office, sparking celebrations in the capital Lima following street protests against him and the ousting of his popular predecessor.

“I want to let the whole country know that I’m resigning,” Merino said in a televised address, a day after a police crackdown on protesters left at least two people dead.

Merino, 59, resigned shortly after a crisis session of Congress called on him to quit power before 6pm (2300 GMT) or face censure.


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