Independent French fashion labels use coronavirus lockdown to rethink their offerings and prepare for a new world of conscious shopping

The writing had been on the wall since Paris Fashion Week in late February. As the coronavirus outbreak became a pandemic and cases in Italy rose, it seemed likely that France would take drastic action in a bid to stem the spread of Covid-19. Still, between the closure of non-essential businesses on the evening of March 14 and French President Emmanuel Macron’s announcement of a lockdown starting on March 17 at noon, there wasn’t much time for Paris-based designers to make plans. “Our stores…

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How Wuhan and the coronavirus are shaping China’s medical reforms

Wuhan was already a cause for concern among doctors long before it became synonymous with the novel coronavirus pandemic. The central Chinese city of 11 million people was foremost on the minds of the 3,600 family doctors attending a conference in Zhengzhou, the capital of neighbouring Henan province to the north.It was still only March 2019 and the gathering, a meet organised by the Cross Straits Medical Association and backed by the World Organisation of Family Doctors, came to the conclusion…

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Bat virus? Bioweapon? What the science says about Covid-19 origins

As the Covid-19 pandemic has infected its way through human populations around the globe, it has been followed by a web of speculation about where the new coronavirus actually came from.Some possibilities are scientific hypotheses based on genetic data while others borrow from dark conspiracy theories with little or no basis in fact.Laboratory researchers have established solid genetic links between the new coronavirus, known as Sars-CoV-2, and one found in a horseshoe bat in southeastern China…

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How long will a coronavirus vaccine take? A Q&A with Jerome Kim, head of the International Vaccine Institute

As the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to sicken thousands, universities and companies around the world are working on a vaccine for the Covid-19 disease.Given the gravity of the crisis, the mission comes with obvious challenges – not least the lack of information on Covid-19, including whether an infected person can build a natural immunity to a second infection.Dr Jerome Kim, the director general of the International Vaccine Institute and an expert on the evaluation and development of…

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Coronavirus: a battle in three stages. Will the world survive the third?

The world is in the midst of a global pandemic. We are all doing what we can to protect ourselves and our families. Our governments are stepping up to address the needs of their citizens. But we have to understand that this pandemic has three basic stages.The first stage is related to the health response. We are now knee-deep in this struggle, and this will be the focus for the coming weeks and months. The second stage will be the impact on economies – global, regional, national and community;…

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Coronavirus: Unemployed Chinese graduates in US face hard decision to stay or leave

As Covid-19 gathered pace in the US last month, Amy Zhao lost her accounting job and then her visa status when she learned that she did not get picked in the work visa lottery.Resigned to what she saw as a streak of bad luck, Zhao planned to return home to China, but could not find any direct flights. Travel restrictions left her stuck in the US at the start of unprecedented uncertainty brought on by the pandemic.“What surprised me was that I couldn’t find a flight back to China,” Zhao said,…

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White House accuses US broadcaster Voice of America of promoting ‘Beijing’s propaganda’

The White House has lashed out at broadcaster Voice of America (VOA), accusing it of amplifying “Beijing’s propaganda” by quoting China’s official coronavirus statistics in its reporting and publishing footage of celebrations marking the end of Wuhan’s lockdown.The extraordinary attack on a government-funded news outlet came as the Trump administration and some lawmakers have intensified their criticism of how the Chinese government handled the outbreak.“VOA too often speaks for America’s…

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Coronavirus: as the pandemic spreads in the US, so do racist attacks, and not just against Asians

As the Covid-19 pandemic spreads across the United States, reports of racist attacks and abuse have spiked. While many accounts involve the targeting of Asians and Asian-Americans, the phenomenon is not limited to them.In the past two weeks alone, two separate medical webinars on the coronavirus featuring minority health care workers were disrupted by hackers spewing profanity and racial slurs.On Wednesday, a coronavirus webinar hosted by the Washington-based Association of Black Cardiologists …

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Amid the threat of coronavirus, new swarm of billions of locusts threatens millions in Africa

Weeks before the coronavirus spread through much of the world, parts of Africa were already threatened by another kind of plague, the biggest locust outbreak some countries had seen in 70 years.Now the second wave of the voracious insects, some 20 times the size of the first, is arriving. Billions of the young desert locusts are winging in from breeding grounds in Somalia in search of fresh vegetation springing up with seasonal rains.Millions of already vulnerable people are at risk. And as…

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Coronavirus: why there’s no quick fix for a Covid-19 vaccine

For months, vaccinologist Sarah Gilbert has been in a race against time, working seven days a week to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus that causes the potentially lethal disease Covid-19.Gilbert and her fellow researchers at Oxford University face a myriad of technical challenges and potential complications in their quest to defeat the virus that has claimed 100,000 lives and crippled economies worldwide.Yet, one far more mundane obstacle overshadows them all: money.Gilbert, a professor at…

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