While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Jan 29

Members of the WHO team leave the Jade Boutique hotel after their mandatory 14-day quarantine, Jan 28, 2021. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

WHO team to visit Wuhan hospitals, labs, market as quarantine ends

A World Health Organisation-led team investigating the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic will meet Chinese scientists on Friday and plans to visit labs, markets and hospitals in Wuhan, the WHO said.

The team left its quarantine hotel in Wuhan on Thursday to begin field work, two weeks after arriving in the Chinese city where the virus emerged in late 2019.

The mission has been plagued by delays, concern over access and bickering between China and the United States, which has accused China of hiding the extent of the initial outbreak and criticised the terms of the visit, under which Chinese experts conducted the first phase of research.

"The team plans to visit hospitals, laboratories and markets. Field visits will include the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Huanan market, Wuhan CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) laboratory," WHO said in a tweet.

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First cases of South Africa coronavirus variant detected in US

A more transmissible variant of the coronavirus that was identified in South Africa has been detected for the first time on US soil, officials said on Thursday.

The cases were found in the state of South Carolina in two adults with no travel history and no connection to each other, according to a statement.

The B.1.351 variant has been identified in more than 30 countries and scientists had anticipated it could already be in the US.

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Botticelli masterpiece sells for US$92m at US auction

A portrait by Italian renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli sold for US$92 million (S$122 million) at an online Sotheby's auction on Thursday, smashing the record price for the artist.

Young Man Holding A Roundel, believed to have been painted in the 1470s or 1480s, is considered one of Botticelli's finest portraits and is the highlight of Sotheby's Masters Week sale in New York.

The 58cm by 39cm painting shows a man in his late teenage years with long golden hair sitting holding a disc featuring a bearded saint.

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'Greenwashing' is rampant in online stores, consumer authorities find

Many of the "green" claims on companies' websites are exaggerated, false and potentially illegal, according to a study of online shops and traders by the European Union and national consumer protection authorities.

As consumers demand more sustainable goods, the number of environmental claims made by companies is rising - and with it,"greenwashing", where companies exaggerate their environmental credentials to win over shoppers.

Looking into "green" claims, mostly by online stores and also some traders' websites in November 2020, the European Commission and national authorities found the problem was rife.

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Football: Liverpool back on track with win at Tottenham

Liverpool's spluttering attack burst back to life to help the champions return to winning ways with a commanding 3-1 victory at Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Thursday.

Goals from Roberto Firmino, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Sadio Mane capped a dominant display by Juergen Klopp's side whose first league win since Dec 19 sent them back into the top four.

Firmino's effort in first-half stoppage time ended Liverpool's barren run of 482 minutes without a league goal.

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