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While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, June 2

Trump urges crackdown on violent protests as US cities fear more destruction

US President Donald Trump on Monday urged state governors to crack down on protests over racial inequality that have engulfed the nation’s major cities, as officials extended curfews in hopes of preventing a seventh night of looting and vandalism.

The protests, largely peaceful during the day before turning violent at night, erupted over the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American who died in Minneapolis police custody after being pinned beneath a white officer’s knee for nearly nine minutes.

An independent autopsy ordered by Floyd’s family and released on Monday found that his death was a homicide and he died of “mechanical asphyxiation,” meaning from some physical force that interfered with oxygen supply.

Those results contradicted preliminary findings by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office that Floyd, 46, died from a combination of factors, including possible substances in his system and underlying medical conditions.

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WHO experts, scientists say no evidence of Covid-19 losing potency despite top Italian doctor’s claim

World Health Organisation experts and a range of other scientists said on Monday there was no evidence to support an assertion by a high profile Italian doctor that the coronavirus causing the Covid-19 pandemic has been losing potency.

Professor Alberto Zangrillo, head of intensive care at Italy’s San Raffaele Hospital in Lombardy, which bore the brunt of Italy’s Covid-19 epidemic, on Sunday told state television that the new coronavirus “clinically no longer exists”.

But WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove, as well as several other experts on viruses and infectious diseases, said Zangrillo’s comments were not supported by scientific evidence.

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UN agency ICAO recommends health guidelines for airlines

Mask-wearing, temperature controls, disinfection of aircraft: the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) on Monday published a series of health recommendations for a pandemic-hit airline industry as it relaunches air travel.

The changes being suggested are the most important for air travel since the massive security measures put in place after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

The recommendations are intended to serve as a “framework” for assuring the safety of passengers and workers on planes and at airports.

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Chinese envoy to Britain Liu Xiaoming says Beijing is not suppressing Hong Kong activists

Any responsible government has to take measures against violence, the Chinese ambassador to London said on Monday, when asked about Beijing’s response to protests in Hong Kong against it imposing national security laws on the city.

Asked on Sky News whether China was suppressing the activists, Liu Xiaoming said: “It is not Chinese suppression, what is going on in Hong Kong is violence.

“It is a risk to the national security … any responsible government has to take measures.”

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Pakistan’s PM Khan says country to reopen even as coronavirus surges

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan announced Monday his government would end several months of coronavirus restrictions, even as it emerged cases of the disease are likely many times higher than previously thought.

In a televised address, Khan said impoverished Pakistan cannot afford to keep businesses closed and said almost all sectors – including domestic tourism – would re-open.

His announcement came shortly after an alarming government report was leaked to the media that showed cases of novel coronavirus in the eastern city of Lahore are estimated to be at about 670,800.

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