While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Feb 11

A British man tested positive for coronavirus in Brighton on Feb 6, 2020, after travelling to Singapore. He has since been taken to St Thomas' Hospital in London.
A British man tested positive for coronavirus in Brighton on Feb 6, 2020, after travelling to Singapore. He has since been taken to St Thomas' Hospital in London.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Britain says two of its new coronavirus cases are healthcare workers

Britain said on Monday the number of confirmed coronavirus cases had doubled to eight as the government declared the virus a serious and imminent threat, giving it additional powers to isolate those suspected of being infected.

The new cases in England were all known contacts of a previously confirmed British patient in France, and were identified by public health officials working to trace possible cases.

The BBC reported a doctors’ practice in the southern English city of Brighton had been temporarily closed after a staff member tested positive for coronavirus.

Meanwhile British Airways said on Monday all its flights to mainland China had been cancelled until the end of March as the government continues to advise against all but essential travel to the country.


Hong Kong to evacuate residential building after suspected coronavirus environmental transmission

Hong Kong is evacuating people from a residential building in the New Territories district of Tsing Yi, where two people confirmed with coronavirus live though on different floors, authorities said early on Tuesday.

The director of the Centre for Health Protection, Dr Wong Ka Hing, said the government was investigating the suspected environmental transmission of two cases in the building.

Hong Kong has confirmed 42 cases of coronavirus, which has killed more than 900 people, all but two in mainland China.


North Korea enhanced nuclear, missile programmes in 2019 in breach of sanctions: UN report

North Korea continued to enhance its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes last year in breach of United Nations sanctions, according to a confidential UN report seen by Reuters on Monday.

The country also illicitly imported refined petroleum and exported some US$370 million worth of coal with the help of Chinese barges, the report added.

The 67-page report to the UN Security Council North Korea sanctions committee, which is due to be made public next month, comes as the United States tries to revive stalled denuclearisation talks with North Korea.


US charges four Chinese military hackers in 2017 Equifax breach

The US Justice Department announced charges Monday against four members of China's military on suspicion of hacking into Equifax, the credit reporting agency, in 2017 and stealing trade secrets and the personal data of about 145 million Americans.

Though not as large as other major breaches, the attack on Equifax was far more severe.

Hackers stole names, birth dates and Social Security numbers of millions of Americans - data that can be used to access information like medical histories and bank accounts.


Historic Oscars draws smallest-ever audience

This year's historic Oscars were watched by the award show's smallest ever audience, with just 23.6 million viewers tuning in to ABC's domestic television broadcast.

The glitzy show in Hollywood Sunday night saw "Parasite" become the first ever non-English-language film to scoop best picture, the movie industry's biggest prize.

But numbers watching the stunning achievement from home were well down from last year's impressive 29.6 million viewers.