While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, June 25

A Covid-19 patient undergoes treatment at a hospital in Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro on June 22, 2020. PHOTO: AFP

Coronavirus yet to peak in Americas as global cases near 10 million: WHO

The coronavirus pandemic has yet to peak in the Americas, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned on Wednesday, as it said global infections were likely to hit 10 million within a week.

The WHO said the length and height of peaks would be determined by government actions, without which a lurch back towards lockdowns was unavoidable.

The UN health agency also warned that at the current rate of new cases, a shortage of concentrators - devices that purify oxygen - to help critically-ill patients was looming.

"In the first month of this outbreak, less than 10,000 cases were reported to WHO. In the last month, almost four million cases have been reported," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual press conference. "We expect to reach a total of 10 million cases within the next week.


Newborn Mexican triplets have coronavirus, but parents do not

Mexican health authorities are trying to understand how a set of newborn triplets became infected with the novel coronavirus even though neither one of their parents tested positive for the virus.

Health authorities called the case "unheard of."

The triplets, a girl and two boys, were tested four hours after being born at seven and a half months last week in the central state San Luis Potosi, health authorities said.


Plastic 'has entered' Antarctic terrestrial food chain

Scientists have found bits of polystyrene in the guts of tiny, soil-dwelling organisms in the Antarctic, raising concern that microplastics pollution has already "deeply" entered the world's most remote land-based food systems.

While the infiltration of microplastics throughout the oceans is well-known, researchers said their findings provided the first evidence of contamination in the Antarctic terrestrial food chain.

"Plastics have therefore entered even some of the most remote soil food webs on the planet, with potential risks for the whole biota and ecosystems," said authors of the study, published on Wednesday (June 24) in the journal Biology Letters.


Harry and Meghan sign with A-list agency to hit the speaking circuit

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Prince Harry and wife Meghan are ready to hit the speakers' circuit after signing with an agency that works with former US president Obama and other high-profile clients, according to a person familiar with their plans.

The pair are being represented by the New York-based Harry Walker Agency, whose roster of speakers includes Barack and Michelle Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton and Oprah Winfrey, the person said on Wednesday .

The move is one of the first major steps by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to engage in paid work beyond the British royal family after they announced plans in January to lead a more independent life and to finance it themselves. They now live in Los Angeles with their one-year-old son Archie, according to media reports.


Football: Liverpool thrash Palace to close in on Premier League title

Liverpool moved to the brink of celebrating a first league title in 30 years with a 4-0 win over Crystal Palace on their return to Anfield behind closed doors on Wednesday.

Jurgen Klopp's men will be champions on Thursday should Manchester City fail to win at Chelsea or with a point when they face City in their next outing on July 2.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mohamed Salah, Fabinho and Sadio Mane scored the goals as Liverpool opened up a 23-point lead at the top of the table.


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