A British drug company at the forefront of the race to develop a coronavirus vaccine announced a series of deals on Thursday that will double its manufacturing capacity to 2 billion doses. AstraZeneca’s partnership with Oxford University has already received more than $1 billion in funding for vaccine development from the U.S. after becoming one of a handful of developers to be backed by U.S. President Donald Trump’s COVID task force.
The Lancet paper that halted global trials of hydroxychloroquine for Covid-19 because of fears of increased deaths has been retracted after a Guardian investigation found inconsistencies in the data. The lead author, Prof Mandeep Mehra, from the Brigham and Women’s hospital in Boston, Massachusetts decided to ask the Lancet for the retraction because he could no longer vouch for the data’s accuracy.
Tens of thousands of demonstrators in Hong Kong have defied a ban to stage a mass vigil for the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown in Beijing. Officers erected barricades around the city’s Victoria Park, but some pro-democracy protesters knocked them down and held candlelit gatherings. Police banned the vigil this year, citing coronavirus measures.
Australian authorities moved on Friday to scupper protests inspired by the death of black American man George Floyd, saying large gatherings risk new coronavirus infections and banning the biggest rally planned for Sydney. Around 50,000 Australians had been expected at nationwide events on Saturday as anger over Floyd’s death in Minneapolis – where a white policeman knelt on his neck – also focuses attention on mistreatment of indigenous Australians.
Two US police officers have been suspended without pay after a video showed them shoving a 75-year-old man to the ground. The footage emerged as protests over the killing of George Floyd continued into their tenth night. The elderly man can be seen approaching a line of officers wearing riot gear in Buffalo, New York, on Thursday.