While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, July 8

US formally starts withdrawal from WHO

President Donald Trump on Tuesday formally started the withdrawal of the United States from the World Health Organisation (WHO), making good on threats to deprive the UN body of its top funding source over its response to the coronavirus.

Public health advocates and Trump’s political opponents voiced outrage at the departure from the Geneva-based body, which leads the global fight on maladies from polio to measles to mental health – as well as Covid-19, at a time when cases have again been rising around the world.

After threatening to suspend the US$400 million (S$550 million) in annual US contributions and then announcing a withdrawal, the Trump administration has formally sent a notice to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, a State Department spokesman said.

The withdrawal is effective in one year – July 6, 2021 – and Joe Biden, Trump’s presumptive Democratic opponent, is virtually certain to stop it and stay in the WHO if he wins the November election.

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Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro tests positive for coronavirus

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro – an outspoken skeptic about the seriousness of the coronavirus – announced on Tuesday he had tested positive but said he was feeling “perfectly well” and had only mild symptoms.

The far-right leader has caused huge controversy in Brazil for repeatedly flouting lockdown measures in place to curb the spread of the virus, which has killed 65,000 people and infected 1.6 million more in the South American giant.

The test “has come out and it’s positive,” Bolsonaro said in a television interview from his residence in the capital Brasilia, adding that he was taking hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin to treat the illness.

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WHO acknowledges ‘evidence emerging’ of airborne spread of Covid-19

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Tuesday acknowledged “evidence emerging” of the airborne spread of the novel coronavirus, after a group of scientists urged the global body to update its guidance on how the respiratory disease passes between people.

“We have been talking about the possibility of airborne transmission and aerosol transmission as one of the modes of transmission of Covid-19,” Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead on the Covid-19 pandemic at the WHO, told a news briefing.

The WHO has previously said the virus that causes the Covid-19 respiratory disease spreads primarily through small droplets expelled from the nose and mouth of an infected person that quickly sink to the ground.

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Trump a narcissist shaped by bullying father, says niece in memoir

Donald Trump’s niece describes the US president as a lying narcissist who was shaped by his domineering father, according to excerpts of her eagerly anticipated memoir carried in US media on Tuesday.

Mary Trump’s Too Much And Never Enough: How My Family Created The World’s Most Dangerous Man is due out next week amid a legal battle to stop its publication, and is already a best-seller on Amazon.

In it, she accuses Trump of “hubris and wilful ignorance” stretching back to his younger days, according to CNN, which has seen a copy.

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Football: Chelsea close in on Champions League spot with 3-2 win at Palace

Chelsea kept up their push for a top-four finish in the Premier League and Champions League football next season with a 3-2 victory at London rivals Crystal Palace on Tuesday thanks to goals from Olivier Giroud, Christian Pulisic and Tammy Abraham.

Chelsea moved into third, leapfrogging Leicester City who were visiting Arsenal later on Tuesday, to stand five points clear of fifth-placed Manchester United, who visit Aston Villa on Thursday.

Palace stay 15 points clear of the relegation zone.

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