China refuses WHO request for second Covid origins audit with closer inspection of lab
China’s government has refused to cooperate with the second stage of an international investigation into the origins of Covid-19, labelling a proposal to audit Chinese labs as “arrogance towards science”.
The lab theory – which posited the virus leaked from, or was manufactured in, a Wuhan lab – was amplified by the former US president Donald Trump and his allies, and largely dismissed as a rightwing conspiracy theory. However, calls for closer investigation of the possibility have recently gained ground, and last week Ghebreyesus said the push to discount the theory had been “premature”.
Indian authorities raid prominent newspaper after critical Covid coverage
Some light relief on a sanitised Olympics.
Surely, Tokyo 2020 organisers must have thought they were doing Mother Earth a solid by commissioning 18,000 beds made of cardboard and polyethylene and other sustainable materials. But you know what would really be doing the world a favour? Not having the Olympics in the middle of a global pandemic.
Eric Clapton has said he will not perform at any venues that require attendees to show proof of vaccination.
In response to the UK government’s announcement that vaccination passports will be required to access nightclubs and venues by the end of September, the musician has issued a statement saying he would not play “any stage where there is a discriminated audience present. Unless there is provision made for all people to attend, I reserve the right to cancel the show.”
Clapton shared the statement via the Telegram account of the Italian architect and Covid sceptic Robin Monotti. It was accompanied by a link to Clapton’s anti-lockdown collaboration with Van Morrison, Stand and Deliver, in which they sing: “Do you wanna be a free man, or do you wanna be a slave?”
Clapton also shared his negative experiences of receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine through Monotti’s Telegram account in May, claiming to have experienced severe reactions that left him questioning whether he would be able to play the guitar again.
Summary of today’s developments
Merkel urges Germans to get Covid vaccine as cases rise
Czech Olympic athlete tests positive for Covid-19
Netherlands Olympic team reports two new Covid cases
Tokyo Covid cases at six-month high on eve of Olympics
‘Very narrow’ list of UK sectors to be exempt from self-isolation rules
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