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U.N. chief pans countries that ignored COVID-19 facts.

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DECEMBER 4, 2020

Reuters News Now

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS TODAY

U.N. chief pans countries who ignored facts
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres decried countries - without naming any - who rejected facts about the pandemic and ignored guidance from the World Health Organization.

Guterres addressed a special session of the 193-member U.N. General Assembly on COVID-19. Dozens of world leaders have submitted pre-recorded video statements for the two-day meeting.

“From the start, the World Health Organization provided factual information and scientific guidance that should have been the basis for a coordinated global response,” Guterres said.

Biden says he’ll publicly get a vaccine
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden said he would publicly take a vaccine to demonstrate its safety to the public and pledged to retain the nation’s top adviser on the pandemic, Anthony Fauci, when he takes office next month.

“People have lost faith in the ability of the vaccine to work,” Biden told CNN in an interview that aired on Thursday.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force, met with Biden’s advisers on the pandemic earlier in the day.

The United States set single-day records for new infections and deaths on Thursday as California’s governor said he would impose some of the nation’s strictest stay-at-home orders in the coming days, when intensive care units are expected to reach capacity.

‘Seoul stops at 9 p.m’
South Korea’s capital, Seoul, announced unprecedented restrictions shuttering most establishments and shops at 9 p.m. and cutting back public transportation operations by 30% in the evenings, as daily cases hit a nine-month high.

Calling the surge in cases “a dire crisis,” health authorities urged South Koreans to cancel Christmas and New Year parties, while President Moon Jae-in tapped an experienced pandemic fighter as his next health minister.

“Seoul stops at 9 p.m. starting tomorrow,” acting Seoul mayor Seo Jeong-hyup told a news conference.

Clover says its vaccines trigger strong immune responses
Two vaccine candidates developed by China’s Clover Biopharmaceuticals triggered strong immune responses in an early-stage human trial and appeared to be safe, the company said.

“Based on the positive Phase 1 results reported and the unprecedented need for COVID-19 vaccines, Clover and its partners are confident to enter late-stage clinical development for both adjuvanted vaccines,” the company said.

Preliminary results showed that both candidates could be stored at temperatures of 2C to 8C (35.6F to 46.4F) for at least six months.

Moscow launches online registration for vaccination
Moscow launched an online service for people to book appointments to be vaccinated, two days after President Vladimir Putin called for large-scale vaccinations.

Sputnik V, one of two Russian-made vaccines to have received regulatory approval in Russia despite clinical trials being incomplete, requires two injections. Interim trials showed it is 92% effective at protecting people from COVID-19.

Track the global spread with our live interactive graphic here.

Breakingviews - Corona Capital: Facelifts, Fashion, Green energy. The Zoom boom is a godsend for plastic surgeons and Primark’s old-fashioned bricks-and-mortar strategy appears to be working. . Catch up on the latest pandemic-related financial insights here.

Reuters reporters and editors around the world are investigating the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

We need your help to tell these stories. Our news organization wants to capture the full scope of what’s happening and how we got here by drawing on a wide variety of sources.

Are you a government employee or contractor involved in coronavirus testing or the wider public health response? Are you a doctor, nurse or health worker caring for patients? Have you worked on similar outbreaks in the past? Has the disease known as COVID-19 personally affected you or your family? Are you aware of new problems that are about to emerge, such as critical supply shortages?

We need your tips, firsthand accounts, relevant documents or expert knowledge. Please contact us at coronavirus@reuters.com.

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U.S.

Firefighters battled to tame a wildfire on hillsides southeast of Los Angeles, some 24 hours after it broke out in a wooded canyon, apparently triggered by a faulty domestic generator. The fire, which forced the evacuation of some 25,000 people, was 10% contained but still burning across 6,400 acres.

A former Trump fundraiser and a prominent lawyer were among the people scrutinized by the Justice Department for their roles in what a judge described as a possible bribery scheme to win a presidential pardon for a convicted felon, lawyers for the men said. Lawyer Abbe Lowell’s attorney and friend Reid Weingarten said his client was never a target or subject in the Justice Department’s inquiry,

U.S. lawmakers unveiled the final version of a massive annual defense policy bill that defies President Trump’s plans to withdraw troops from Germany and keep the names of Confederate generals on military bases, setting the stage for a veto fight in the last weeks before he leaves office.

President Donald Trump’s administration is pushing to finalize new immigration restrictions before his term ends in January, according to three senior homeland security officials, a last-gasp effort in a policy area that was a central focus during his four years in office. The moves come even as Democratic President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to rescind many of Trump’s immigration policies.

BUSINESS

U.S. in talks with Huawei CFO Meng on resolving criminal charges

U.S. prosecutors are discussing a deal with lawyers for Huawei finance chief Meng Wanzhou to resolve criminal charges against her, a person familiar with the matter said, signaling a potential end to a case that has strained ties between the United States, China and Canada.

5 MIN READ

Top AI ethics researcher says Google fired her; company denies it

A top Google scientist on ethical artificial intelligence says she was fired after criticizing the company’s diversity efforts, a claim the Alphabet unit disputed on Thursday, in the latest brush-up between the internet giant and worker activists.

4 MIN READ

More than 400 lawmakers from 34 countries back 'Make Amazon Pay' campaign

More than 400 lawmakers from 34 countries have signed a letter to Amazon boss Jeff Bezos backing a campaign that claims the tech giant has “dodged and dismissed … debts to workers, societies, and the planet,” organizers said.

3 MIN READ

Shares reaching peaks, dollar in trough

World shares held at record highs, buoyed by growing prospects of a U.S. economic stimulus package, while desire for riskier assets kept the safe-haven dollar at a two-and-a-half-year low.

4 MIN READ

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