While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, May 20

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WHO member states agree to independent probe of its coronavirus response

World Health Organisation (WHO) member states agreed on Tuesday to an independent probe into the UN agency's coronavirus response as US criticism mounted over its handling of the pandemic.

They also agreed to push for equitable access for any treatments or vaccines developed against Covid-19, and urged an international probe into the origins of the new virus.

Countries taking part in the WHO's annual assembly, being held virtually for the first time, adopted a resolution by consensus urging a joint response to the crisis.

The resolution, tabled by the European Union, called for an "impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation" of the international response to the pandemic, which has so far infected more than 4.8 million people and killed more than 318,000.


Children with Covid-19 may be less contagious than adults

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There are tentative signs that children may not spread the novel coronavirus as much as adults, two top epidemiologists said on Tuesday, though they cautioned that the bad news was that human immunity may not last that long.

As Europe and the United States start to return to work after lockdowns imposed to slow the spread of Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, world leaders are trying to work out when it is safe for children and students to get back to their studies.

Dr Rosalind Eggo, an infectious disease modeller at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said she had seen some indications from research that children may not spread the novel coronavirus as much as adults.


Nasa human spaceflight chief resigns ahead of launch

Nasa's human spaceflight chief Doug Loverro resigned on Tuesday, according to an internal memo seen by agency employees, capping his brief role at the agency overseeing future astronaut launches and landing humans on the moon by 2024.

"Associate administrator for human exploration and operations Doug Loverro has resigned from his position effective Monday, May 18," said the memo sent to employees on Tuesday, adding that Ken Bowersox, Nasa's deputy associate administrator, will take Loverro's place until a permanent replacement is found.

The resignation comes just a week before the agency is scheduled to launch two astronauts into space from US soil for the first time since 2011.


Football: Premier League confirms six positive cases of Covid-19 after testing

The Premier League said on Tuesday that six people from three different clubs had tested positive for Covid-19 out of a sample of 748 individuals.

The novel coronavirus tests were taken on Sunday and Monday ahead of the return to small group training.

"Players or club staff who have tested positive will now self-isolate for a period of seven days," the league said in a statement.


Facebook to launch new shopping feature across apps

Facebook is launching Shops, a service that will allow businesses to display and sell products on the world's largest social network's platforms, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said on Tuesday.

The move to build up e-commerce offerings follows Facebook's launch last year of limited shopping options on photo-sharing app Instagram and messaging app WhatsApp.

Company leaders wager making the platforms more business-friendly will generate fresh ad revenue, even as user growth slows.


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