The Top Stories on the Internet Today (Thursday April 16)

April 16, 2020

Here are today’s top stories.

Prominent scientists have bad news for the White House about coronavirus antibody tests

In a phone call last week, some of the nation’s top scientists briefed White House officials about antibody testing, according to two doctors who were on the call.

US may have to endure social distancing until 2022 if no vaccine is quickly found, scientists predict

Social distancing may be the new normal for quite a while.

Trump is halting funding to the WHO. What does this actually mean?

US President Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he is halting funding to the World Health Organization. But what is the WHO, how is it funded, and what does this mean?

China’s wet markets are not what some people think they are

If you have ever been to a shopping area where butchers and grocers sell fresh produce straight from the farm, then you have been to something that would, in some parts of the world, be called a wet market.

A Chinese troll campaign is inadvertently showing how censorship limits political thought

What at first appeared to be a straightforward Chinese internet controversy, has instead revealed the dangers of groupthink — and its potential real world consequences.

Bill Gates says Trump’s decision to halt WHO funding is ‘as dangerous as it sounds’

The President’s decision to withhold funding to the World Health Organization pending a review of its handling of the coronavirus pandemic is “as dangerous as it sounds,” Bill Gates said Wednesday.

War veteran, 99, raises $6 million by walking laps of his garden

A 99-year-old British war veteran has raised more than £4.8 million ($6 million) for the country’s National Health Service (NHS) as he aims to complete 100 laps of his garden, aided by a walking frame.

Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Chanel put their fashion muscle behind face masks

Ever at the forefront of haute couture, Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Chanel are celebrated by fashion connoisseurs for defining style in handbags, dresses and shoes.

The secret weapon hidden in Obama’s endorsement of Biden

The obvious bonus is that the endorsement of Michelle Obama comes with the former president’s nod, writes Joe Lockhart. She is the single strongest weapon in the Democratic arsenal.

US to halt funding to WHO over coronavirus

US President Donald Trump has said he has instructed his administration to halt funding to the World Health Organization (WHO). He said the WHO had “failed in its basic duty” in its response to the coronavirus outbreak. He accused the UN body of not telling the truth about what was happening at the centre of the Chinese outbreak in the city of Wuhan.

Africa Live: A million face masks distributed across Africa – BBC News

A first delivery of medical supplies from the World Health Organization (WHO) has left a new regional distribution hub in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa to be distributed to countries around the continent. The cargo includes one million masks, goggles, gloves, gowns and other protective gear for health workers, as well as ventilators for patients, says WFP.

Newcastle United takeover deal worth £300m close

A Newcastle United takeover has taken a step closer after new documents show that owner Mike Ashley has entered into a charge agreement with potential buyer Amanda Staveley. Financier Staveley is leading a bid which involves Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund and the Reuben Brothers. It is understood to be worth £300m.

‘We can’t survive a five-month closure’

As the lockdown in Italy enters its sixth week, some restaurants and bars are already going out of business.

Coronavirus updates: Trump criticised for defunding WHO – BBC News

A woman whose mother-in-law, 94, died with coronavirus last week has expressed fears that people in British care homes “are being neglected”. “People are coming to the end of their lives and being put at risk,” said Sylvia Summerfield, following Edna Summerfield’s death.

Amazon boss Jeff Bezos adds $24bn to fortune

The founder and boss of Amazon has seen his wealth swell by $24bn (£19bn) after soaring demand for online shopping sent the firm’s share price to a new high. Jeff Bezos now has a fortune of $138bn, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, cementing his position as the world’s richest man.

US airlines to receive $25bn rescue package

The US has agreed a roughly $25bn (£19.8bn) rescue package for 10 of the country’s biggest airlines as travel plunges due to the coronavirus. American Airlines, United, Delta and Southwest are among the recipients. The money is to be used for payroll and will be provided through a combination of low-cost loans and direct grants.

Stanford, Fitbit join forces to predict viral infections with wearables

As the world searches for a way to bring society back online after coronavirus social isolation, researchers are springing into action to find novel ways to detect diseases early. One method involves strapping on a common, everyday wearable.

Sony is giving away ‘Journey’ and ‘Uncharted’ for free on PlayStation 4

Sony announced on Tuesday it will offer all PlayStation 4 users a few free games to help them through our coronavirus social distancing – part of the company’s new Play at Home initiative. Being stuck indoors sucks, but it sucks a bit less when you have video games. Starting 8 p.m.

Sexting and nudes are on the rise during quarantine

“Tomorrow isn’t promised, send nudes today.” This fake Bible verse – Coronavirus 3:17, naturally – has been making the rounds on Twitter for several weeks, and the reason isn’t surprising. The coronavirus pandemic has led to widespread stay-at-home orders, which means that many people are alone for an extended period of time.

What it means to be immune to the coronavirus

The coronavirus is a vexing parasite. Around one in four infected people may have no symptoms, as far as experts currently know (the disease is new, so these numbers aren’t yet fully certain). So it leaves many of us with a burning question: Is it possible you were infected, but didn’t get sick?

‘Dune’ confirmed to be split into two beautiful-looking movies

The film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 sci-fi epic Dune is well under way with new photos popping up in Vanity Fair Tuesday along with a confirmation from director Denis Villeneuve that the first novel will be split into two movies.

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