At least 631 people have now died from coronavirus in Italy – an increase of 168 in a single day. The 36% rise is the biggest since the COVID-19 contagion first came to light there on 21 February. Almost a thousand extra cases of coronavirus were recorded in 24 hours – reaching 10,149. The head of the country’s civil protection agency said 877 people were in intensive care – up from 733 on Monday.
Joe Biden has cemented his position as front-runner in the Democratic race to take on President Donald Trump in November’s White House election. The former vice-president won Michigan, the biggest prize of primary voting on Tuesday, extending his lead over main rival Senator Bernie Sanders. Five other states – Washington, Missouri, Mississippi, Idaho and North Dakota – voted on Tuesday.
Kenya’s only female white giraffe and her calf have been killed by poachers, conservationists have said, in a major blow to conservation of the rare animals found nowhere else in the world. The bodies of the two giraffes were found “in a skeletal state after being killed by armed poachers” in Garissa in eastern Kenya,
Vladimir Putin has moved to cement his hold on power in Russia beyond the middle of the decade, backing a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow him to seek another two terms in the Kremlin. The Russian president is required by the constitution to step down in 2024, and there have been months of conjecture about how he could stay in power beyond then, or at least ensure a safe transition for himself.
Lawyers for George Pell began a final bid on Wednesday to overturn the former Vatican treasurer’s conviction for sexually abusing two choirboys, arguing in Australia’s highest court that he could not have committed the offenses. Cardinal Pell, 78, began serving a six-year prison sentence a year ago, becoming the highest ranking Catholic clergyman worldwide to be jailed for child sex offenses.