New China virus: Officials warn it 'could mutate and spread further'


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Kevin Frayer

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Authorities confirmed that human-to-human transmission of the virus took place

A new virus that has killed nine people could mutate and spread further, Chinese health officials have warned, as they step up containment measures.There are now 440 confirmed cases of the outbreak that originated from a market with illegal wildlife in Wuhan.It has now spread to several Chinese provinces as well as overseas including to the US, Thailand and South Korea.Authorities admitted that the country was now at the “most critical stage” of prevention and control. On Tuesday, it was confirmed that human-to-human transmission of the virus had taken place.’Increased risk’In one of the first public briefings since the beginning of the outbreak, National Health Commission vice-minister Li Bin said there was evidence that the disease was “mainly transmitted through the respiratory tract”. But China has still not been able to confirm the exact source of the virus.”Though the transmission route of the virus is yet to be fully understood, there is a possibility of virus mutation and a risk of further spread of the epidemic,” said Mr Li. The warning comes as millions of people across China are travelling within the country for the Lunar New Year week-long holiday. Thousands are also travelling abroad.Mr Li added that the festival would “increase the risk of the disease spreading and the difficulty of prevention and control”. He said strict measures to control the disease would be put in place. He also called for those in Wuhan to “avoid crowds and minimise public gatherings”. A ban on the trade of live poultry and wild animals has also been implemented in the city.



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Earth's oldest asteroid impact 'may have ended ice age'


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INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION

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An image of the Yarrabubba area taken from the International Space Station

Scientists have identified the world’s oldest asteroid crater in Australia, adding it may explain how the planet was lifted from an ice age.The asteroid hit Yarrabubba in Western Australia about 2.2 billion years ago – making the crater about half the age of Earth, researchers say.Their conclusion was reached by testing minerals found in rocks at the site.The scientists say the find is exciting because it could account for a warming event during that era.The Curtin University research was published in the journal Nature Communications on Wednesday.How did they date it?The crater was discovered in the dry outback in 1979, but geologists had not previously tested how old it was.
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Due to billions of years of erosion, the crater is not visible to the eye. Scientists mapped scars in the area’s magnetic field to determine its 70km (43 miles) diameter.

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CURTIN UNIVERSITY

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Yarrabubba is located about 600km north-east of the city of Perth

“The landscape is actually very flat because it’s so old, but the rocks there are distinctive,” researcher Prof Chris Kirkland told the BBC.To determine when the asteroid hit Earth, the team examined tiny zircon and monazite crystals in the rocks. They were “shocked” in the strike and now can be read like “tree rings”, Prof Kirkland said.These crystals hold tiny amounts of uranium. Because uranium decays into lead at a consistent pace, the researchers were able to calculate how much time had passed.

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CURTIN UNIVERSITY

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A zircon crystal used to date the impact Yarrabubba

It is at least 200 million years older than the next most ancient impact structure – the Vredefort Dome in South Africa. “We were interested in the area because the Western Australian landscape is very old but we didn’t expected [the crater] to be as old as this,” Prof Kirkland said.”It’s absolutely possible that there’s an older crater out there just waiting to be discovered, but the difficulty is in finding the crust before it erodes and you lose that early Earth history”.Could it have ended an ice age?The timing of the impact could also explain why the world warmed around this time, according to the researchers.Scientists believe the planet was previously in one of its “Snowball Earth” periods, when it was largely covered in ice. At some point, the ice sheets melted and the planet began to rapidly warm.The ancient memories trapped in the world’s glaciers”The age of the [crater] corresponds pretty precisely with the end of a potential global glacial period,” Prof Kirkland said. “So the impact may have had significant changes to our planetary climate.”Using computer modelling, the team calculated that the asteroid struck a kilometres-thick ice sheet covering the Earth. The event would have released huge volumes of water vapour, a greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere.This could have helped the planet’s warming during the Proterozoic era – a stage when oxygen had just appeared in the atmosphere and complex life had not yet formed.

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TIMMONS ERICKSON

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The crater as seen from Barlangi Rock, with an outcrop in its centre

“Obviously we were very excited just with the age itself,” Prof Kirkland said. “But placing that right with the context of Earth’s other events makes it become really very interesting.”There is not enough modelling from the time to comprehensively test the theory, but “the rocks tell a story about the massive impact into the planet”.Another theory for the warming event is that volcanic eruptions may have pushed carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.



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Watson fights back to reach Australian Open second round




Heather Watson reached the third round of the Australian Open in 20132020 Australian OpenVenue: Melbourne Park Dates: 20 January to 2 FebruaryCoverage: Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra and online; Live text on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app.Britain’s Heather Watson showed tremendous fight in blustery conditions to win her Australian Open first-round match against Czech Kristyna Pliskova.Watson, ranked 75th, won 4-6 6-3 6-1 at Melbourne Park.The conditions made for a scrappy match which the 27-year-old battled back to win in one hour and 58 minutes.Watson, who is one of three Britons to reach the second round in the singles, could face Belgian 16th seed Elise Mertens next.Mertens faces Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic later on Wednesday as, like Watson, she had to come back a day later as a consequence of the backlog of matches caused by Monday’s rain washout.Watson joins compatriots Harriet Dart and Dan Evans in winning their openers.Evans, seeded 30th, plays his second-round match against Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka later on Wednesday.The British number one knows there is a strong possibility that Serbia’s defending champion Novak Djokovic awaits him in the third round if he beats world number 71 Nishioka.Watson has not enjoyed many victories in the Grand Slams recently, showing her pleasure at digging in and beating 65th-ranked Pliskova with a wide smile and tight clenched fist towards her box.The Guernsey player had won only one match in her last six appearances in the main draw in Melbourne but had come here in good form after reaching the semi-finals of the Hobart International earlier this month. In difficult conditions in which both players struggled at times with their ball toss, Watson eventually dealt with them better as Pliskova – twin sister of second seed Karolina – began to show her frustration.Watson’s service game improved as the match wore on and she continued to hit a steady stream of winners to clinch only her third win at a Grand Slam in the past two years.



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Trump impeachment trial opens as senators clash over rules


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EPA

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Mitch McConnell (C) wants to block subpoenaing key witnesses or documents

The US Senate has rejected repeated Democratic attempts to secure new evidence in President Donald Trump’s impeachment as his trial began.Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell meanwhile backed off on a plan to fast-track the hearings after coming under pressure from fellow Republicans.Democrats said this would have been no less than a cover-up.Mr Trump is charged with abuse of power and obstructing the congressional inquiry. He denies wrongdoing.At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday, Mr Trump dismissed the accusations against him as “just a hoax”.Senators have taken oaths to act as impartial jurors, hearing arguments for six hours a day, six days a week in a trial presided over by the US Chief Justice, John Roberts.
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It is only the third time in US history that a president is facing an impeachment trial and it is unclear how long it will last.Mr Trump was impeached last month by the Democratic-led House of Representatives. But the Senate, which is controlled by his fellow Republicans, is not expected to convict the president and remove him from office.How were Democrats blocked?By party-line votes of 53-47, the Senate rejected three Democratic bids on Tuesday to obtain documents and evidence in the impeachment trial.Senators blocked a motion from Democratic leader Chuck Schumer to subpoena White House files related to Mr Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.They also rejected follow-up motions demanding a subpoena of records and documents from the state department and White House budget office. In his opening statement, Adam Schiff, the House Democrat leading the impeachment case, said most Americans “do not believe there will be a fair trial”. “They don’t believe the Senate will be impartial,” he added. “They believe the result is pre-cooked.”The president’s legal team had earlier demanded he be immediately acquitted, calling the trial “a dangerous perversion of the constitution”.

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Media captionA beginner’s guide to impeachment and Trump
How did Mitch McConnell come under pressure?Backed by the president’s lawyers, Mr McConnell had initially planned to condense the opening arguments from three days to two.But after a meeting with senators, including some Republicans, Mr McConnell agreed on Tuesday to three days for opening arguments.The senators had expressed concern about how middle-of-the-night sessions would look to US voters.White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, the president’s lead lawyer, said: “It’s a fair process. There is absolutely no case.”Several more days of procedural tangles are expected.Democrats want current and former Trump administration officials such as ex-National Security Adviser John Bolton to testify.But Republicans are postponing debate over witnesses and documents until later in the trial.
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Trump impeachment – your questions answered
What are the charges?First, the president is accused of seeking help from Ukraine’s government to help himself get re-elected in November. It is claimed that, during a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, he held back military aid as he sought an anti-corruption investigation into Democratic White House candidate Joe Biden, whose son, Hunter, held a board position with a Ukrainian energy firm, Burisma.The second allegation is that, by refusing to allow White House staff to testify at the impeachment hearings last year, Mr Trump obstructed Congress.The Senate is hearing the case as the Democratic-led House voted to impeach Mr Trump on 18 December.



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New 'transformational' code to protect children's privacy online


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Social media sites, online games and streaming services used by children will have to abide by a new privacy code set by the UK’s data watchdog.Elizabeth Denham, the information commissioner, said future generations will be “astonished to think that we ever didn’t protect kids online”.She said the new Age Appropriate Design Code will be “transformational”.The father of Molly Russell, 14, who killed herself after viewing graphic content online, welcomed the standards.The Information Commissioner’s Office – the UK’s data privacy regulator – published the new code of conduct on Wednesday, after a draft which was first revealed last April.It hopes the changes will come into force by autumn 2021, once Parliament approves it, with large fines for breaches.

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Russell Family

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The dad of Molly Russell, who took her own life aged 14, welcomed the code

The code includes a list of 15 standards that companies behind online services are expected to comply with to protect children’s privacy.Examples of online services which are included are toys which are connected to the internet, apps, social media platforms, online games, educational websites and streaming service.Firms who design, develop or run such products must provide a “baseline” of data protection for children, the code says.The standards also include:
Location settings that would allow a child’s location to be shared should be switched off by default
Privacy settings to be set to high by default and nudge techniques to encourage children to weaken their settings should not be used
“I believe that it will be transformational,” Ms Denham told the Press Association.”I think in a generation from now when my grandchildren have children they will be astonished to think that we ever didn’t protect kids online. I think it will be as ordinary as keeping children safe by putting on a seat belt.”

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Children “are using an internet that was not designed for them,” says Ms Denham

Ms Denham said the move was widely supported by firms, although added that the gaming industry and some other tech companies expressed concern about their business model.She added: “We have an existing law, GDPR, that requires special treatment of children and I think these 15 standards will bring about greater consistency and a base level of protection in the design and implementation of games and apps and websites and social media.”The new standards follow concerns over young people suffering from grooming by predators, data misuse, problem gambling and access to damaging content which could affect their mental health.Ian Russell believes his daughter Molly’s use of Instagram was a factor in her suicide aged 14 in 2017.After she died, her family found graphic posts about suicide and self-harm on her account.

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Media captionMolly Russell’s father Ian travels to the United States and meets other parents bereaved by suicide
The response following her death led to Instagram pledging to remove images, drawings and even cartoons showing methods of self-harm or suicide.Welcoming the code, Mr Russell said: “Although small steps have been taken by some social media platforms, there seems little significant investment and a lack of commitment to a meaningful change, both essential steps required to create a safer world wide web.”The Age Appropriate Design Code demonstrates how the technology companies might have responded effectively and immediately.”Andy Burrows, the NSPCC’s head of child safety online policy, said the code would force social networks to “finally take online harm seriously and they will suffer tough consequences if they fail to do so”.He said: “For the first time, tech firms will be legally required to assess their sites for sexual abuse risks, and can no longer serve up harmful self-harm and pro-suicide content.”It is now key that these measures are enforced in a proportionate and targeted way.”Facebook said it welcomed “the considerations raised”, adding: “The safety of young people is central to our decision-making, and we’ve spent over a decade introducing new features and tools to help everyone have a positive and safe experience on our platforms, including recent updates such as increased Direct Message privacy settings on Instagram.”We are actively working on developing more features in this space and are committed to working with governments and the tech industry on appropriate solutions around topics such as preventing underage use of our platforms.”



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Newspaper headlines: Ozzy Osbourne's diagnosis and Trump climate row



Newspaper headlines: Ozzy Osbourne’s diagnosis and Trump climate row

By BBC News
Staff

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Wednesday’s Daily Mirror is one of several papers to feature Ozzy Osbourne on its front page, after the Black Sabbath singer revealed he has Parkinson’s disease. The paper calls it a “shock revelation” and describes the 71-year-old’s interview announcing his diagnosis as “emotional”.

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The Sun also leads with Osbourne’s diagnosis, which it calls a “secret” that he had kept private for a year. In his interview with a US TV show, Osbourne said he had “run out of excuses” to hide the condition, the paper says.

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The Daily Star focuses on Osbourne’s plan to take a trip to Switzerland for treatment for his condition. Its front page features two inset pictures of the rock star and his wife, Sharon, in tears.

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The Times’ top story focuses on comments made by US President Donald Trump amid a “climate row” at the World Economic Forum. At the summit, Mr Trump called those who speak out about climate change as “prophets of doom”, while environmental activist Greta Thunberg responded with her own speech, criticising inaction. The Times describes the pair as “exchanging thinly veiled insults”.

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The i newspaper calls Mr Trump the planet’s “no 1 climate change denier” over his comments. The paper says that in his keynote speech on the summit’s opening day, Mr Trump extolled the benefits of oil and gas. Meanwhile, 17-year-old Ms Thunberg “rebuked” the president in her own speech, the paper adds, saying: “Our house is still on fire. Your inaction is fuelling the flames.”

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The Metro’s front page is overshadowed by a dramatic splash image depicting President Trump and Ms Thunberg going head-to-head in what the Metro calls a “war of words” at the Davos summit. The paper leads on a new code aimed at protecting children’s privacy and safety online. It says tech firms could be fined millions of pounds if they breach “radical rules” laid down by information commissioner Elizabeth Dunham.

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The Daily Telegraph also leads on the new rules requiring social media firms to protect children from harmful content. The Telegraph calls it the “first ever code to police the internet”. It quotes the father of Molly Russell – the teenager who killed herself after viewing graphic content on Instagram – who said the rules will prevent tech firms from “monetising misery”.

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The Guardian’s front page alleges Amazon boss Jeff Bezos may have had his phone hacked after the crown prince of Saudi Arabia apparently sent him a malicious file. A digital forensic analysis found it “highly probable” an intrusion into Mr Bezos’s phone was triggered by an infected video file sent to him from the Saudi heir’s WhatsApp account, the paper says. Saudi Arabia has previously denied it targeted Bezos’s phone

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Justice Secretary Robert Buckland has written in the Daily Express about government plans to force serious violent and sexual offenders to spend longer in prison. Legislation – which will be debated in Parliament on Wednesday – would see violent criminals serve at least two thirds of their prison sentence before being allowed out on licence.

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The Daily Mail carries another royal story on its front page for another day in a row. It claims Princess Diana’s niece, Lady Kitty Spencer, endorsed a Chinese dairy brand in a press release which quoted her speaking about the Royal Family’s relationship with Jersey milk. The paper says neither Lady Kitty’s agent nor Buckingham Palace have commented.

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Ten-man Arsenal hit back to earn point against Chelsea




Jorginho (right) is the first Chelsea player to score home and away against Arsenal in the same Premier League season since Juan Mata in 2012-13Arsenal overcame David Luiz’s dismissal against his old club to twice come from behind against Chelsea in an eventful London derby.The Gunners looked beaten when Jorginho fired Chelsea ahead from the penalty spot after Luiz was shown a straight red card for bundling over Tammy Abraham.The Chelsea forward had pounced on a terrible backpass by Shkodran Mustafi and rounded keeper Bernd Leno when he was shoved over by Brazil defender Luiz.Chelsea were dominant for long periods but failed to kill the game off and were punished when N’Golo Kante slipped inside the centre circle allowing 18-year-old Martinelli to gallop free and produce an excellent finish, the Brazilian’s 10th league and cup goal of the season.It was Arsenal’s first shot on target and came after a Chelsea corner which was cleared by Mustafi, the German atoning for his earlier error.Chelsea thought they had won it when skipper Cesar Azpilicueta scored from six yards six minutes from time but spirited Arsenal earned a point through captain Hector Bellerin – making his first appearance since 5 December.Resolute Gunners show fightArsenal have won just one of their last eight Premier League games and face the prospect of finishing outside the top six for the first time since 1994-95.Mikel Arteta remains without an away win since taking charge in December yet they played better with 10 men and their gutsy second-half performance was sprinkled with positives. Luiz, who has given away three penalties in the Premier League this season – more than any other player – was left with little choice after Mustafi’s under-hit pass let in Abraham who looked certain to score after going around Leno.
David Luiz is the first player to be sent off against Chelsea in the Premier League, having previously played for the Blues in the competition, since Vinnie Jones in 1995Yet Mustafi made up for his error with the clearance which allowed Martinelli to burst forward, after Kante’s slip, and produce a clinical finish under Kepa Arrizabalaga.Chelsea looked like they had secured a first top-flight double over their London neighbours in four years when Azpilicueta restored their lead in the closing minutes but Arteta’s side were not done.Having dropped 13 points from winning positions in the Premier League this season, they showed a determination that has been missing too often as Bellerin rifled in an equaliser to seal Arsenal’s fourth successive away league draw.Wasteful Chelsea pay the priceThis result will feel like a defeat for Frank Lampard and his Chelsea players.Even before Luiz’s dismissal and Jorginho’s goal from the spot, the Blues dominated and should have been ahead after a hesitant start by the Gunners.Having lost to a 93rd-minute goal at Newcastle on Saturday, Chelsea came flying out of the blocks.Andreas Christensen headed wide from a corner when the Denmark defender should have done better while Abraham was six yards out when he headed another chance straight at Leno.Callum Hudson-Odoi hit the top of the bar with a looping cross before Chelsea – who forced 17 corners and peppered Arsenal’s goal with 19 shots – eventually took the lead.Yet Chelsea have managed just three clean sheets in the last 15 league and cup games and their defensive problems resurfaced as they failed to win for the seventh time in the league at Stamford Bridge this season.On a disappointing night for the hosts, Abraham had to be helped off the pitch at full-time after colliding with an advertising board.What’s next?Both teams are in FA Cup fourth round action with Chelsea travelling to Championship Hull City on Saturday (17:30 GMT), while Arsenal are at Bournemouth on Monday (20:00).More to follow.



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Sub Aguero earns Man City win at Sheff Utd




Sergio Aguero has now scored six goals in his last three Premier League gamesSergio Aguero scored his sixth goal in his last three games as Manchester City edged a gutsy Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.The Blades had looked on course to claim a hugely credible draw against the reigning Premier League champions, with Dean Henderson saving a Gabriel Jesus penalty in the first half as well as making a string of excellent saves.But Aguero came off the bench to score the decisive goal, tapping in a cross from Kevin de Bruyne towards the end of the second half.That strike came just moments after Sheffield United came close to taking the lead themselves – Oli McBurnie stretching to meet a cross but just failing to turn the ball into an empty net.Victory for Manchester City means they strengthen their place in second. They have 51 points – 13 behind leaders Liverpool but six ahead of Leicester, who play West Ham on Wednesday.Sheffield United, meanwhile, remain seventh on 33 points.Aguero helps City come through tough testIt is hard to imagine that a manager who has won trophies wherever he has worked is claiming he can still learn from others, but that’s exactly what Pep Guardiola said prior to this game.The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss spoke highly of Sheffield United under Chris Wilder, saying they are a team he can learn from.For large periods of this game the Blades certainly gave Guardiola plenty to think about, with their disciplined and organised defence frustrating City for well over an hour.In the end, Guardiola had to turn to the ever-reliable Aguero to get the job done.At 31, the Argentina international is in the twilight years of his football career but is arguably enjoying some of his best form.It took him just six minutes to get on the scoresheet after coming on for Jesus, who had struggled to get the better of the Blades’ defence.Aguero has now scored 21 goals in just 23 appearances in all competitions this season, including eight in his last five appearances. The league title may be increasingly out of reach for City but Aguero’s form could be vital for their aspirations in other competitions.Blades beaten but impress once againIt is difficult to find different superlatives to describe Sheffield United in the Premier League this season. Match after match they produce impressive performances, frustrating supposed bigger sides and, rather than being sussed out in the second half of the season, they are seemingly finding new ways to keep their opponents on the toes.That was the case once again on Tuesday night. At the start of the season, Sheffield United fans could have been forgiven for spotting this game on the fixture list and fearing a cricket score, but instead their side showed no fear and went toe to toe with their opponents from the outset.They were strong in the tackle and organised in defence. On the few occasions Manchester City did get through they found Henderson in inspired form. The goalkeeper made a superb stop to deny Raheem Sterling from close range in the first half before then guessing the right way to keep out Jesus’ spot kick.That save prompted chants of “England’s number one” from the home fans and this performance will have only increased his chances of being included in Gareth Southgate’s squad for Euro 2020 this summer.Man of the match – Dean Henderson (Sheffield United)
Dean Henderson has saved four of his last eight penalties faced in English league football’An incredibly good victory’ – what the managers saidManchester City manager Pep Guardiola, talking to Match of the Day: “We knew it would be a difficult place to come. We concede one or two clear chances, nothing more than that. In the first half, the keeper was excellent with the penalty and two incredible saves, it was an incredibly good victory for us to take a step towards securing Champions League football next season. “In the first half we were a little bit shy to play, but in the second half we were a little bit more like we are. But we controlled it really well, the chance to score goals. “What Sheffield United do, they do it perfectly. They’ve been together for five years so their spirit is so good. They are so good at the second balls and arrive with a lot of people in the final third.” What next?Sheffield United travel to Championship side Millwall on Saturday, 25 January (15:00 GMT), while Manchester City host Fulham on Sunday, 26 January (13:00 GMT).More to follow.



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New China virus: US announces first case


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North Korea has banned foreign tourists temporarily

The United States has confirmed the first case of the new coronavirus on its territory. The Centers for Disease Control said the virus, which originated in China, had been diagnosed in a traveller who arrived in Seattle from China. The virus, which spread from the Chinese city of Wuhan, has infected almost 300 people, and six have died.North Korea has temporarily closed its borders to foreign tourists in response to the threat, a tour operator says.The patient diagnosed in the US returned from Wuhan on 15 January, the CDC said.”The patient sought care at a medical facility in the state of Washington, where the patient was treated for the illness,” it added in a statement.”Based on the patient’s travel history and symptoms, healthcare professionals suspected this new coronavirus.”Laboratory testing of a clinical specimen confirmed the diagnosis on 20 January, the CDC statement continued. The announcement that North Korea was barring entry to foreign tourists came from Young Pioneer Tours, which is based in China and specialises in travel to North Korea. The company said in a statement that North Korea was implementing a temporary ban as a precaution.”Further details are yet to be confirmed by our travel partners in North Korea and we will continue to make all future announcements on our website,” Young Pioneer Tours said.Another tour group that travels to North Korea, Koryo Tours, also tweeted about “possible limits to tourist entry”.

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Chinese state media reported that the virus had killed six people

Some experts have previously warned that international sanctions on North Korea had hit the country’s healthcare system, by restricting the delivery of aid and medical equipment.Last November, US doctor Kee B Park wrote in USA Today: “I have seen how the North Korean doctors have adapted to scarcity. For example, they reuse intravenous catheters, scalpels, gauze and gloves by meticulously cleaning and re-sterilising them – until they become unusable.”Where has the virus spread?Earlier on Monday, Chinese officials confirmed for the first time that the virus could pass from person to person.At the same time Chinese state media said six people had died from the infection, which causes a type of pneumonia.A total of 291 cases have now been reported across major cities in China, including Beijing and Shanghai. However, most are in Wuhan, the central city of 11 million people at the heart of the outbreak.The disease was first identified there late last year, and the outbreak is believed to be linked to a seafood market that also sells live animals.Aside from the United States, two cases have been identified in Thailand, one in Japan, one in South Korea and one in Taiwan. All those infected had recently returned from Wuhan.

Authorities in several countries, including Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan have stepped up screening of air passengers from Wuhan. US authorities last week announced similar measures at airports in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York.In Australia, a man who had travelled to Wuhan has been placed in isolation and is undergoing tests. China is the largest source of tourists to Australia, with more than a million Chinese citizens visiting last year.But the measures being put in place by North Korea are the strictest so far.A report by the Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College, London, suggested there could be more than 1,700 infections. However, Gabriel Leung, the dean of medicine at the University of Hong Kong, put the figure closer to 1,300.What else do we know about the virus?The virus, known also as 2019-nCoV, is understood to be a new strain of coronavirus that has not previously been identified in humans.Coronaviruses are a broad family of viruses, but only six (the new one would make it seven) are known to infect people.

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Media captionThe BBC spoke to people in Beijing who seemed largely unconcerned about the virus
The World Health Organization has advised people to avoid “unprotected” contact with live animals, thoroughly cook meat and eggs, and avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.Signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.



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Duke and Duchess of Sussex issue legal warning over photos


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EPA

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The couple unveiled Meghan’s legal action against the Mail on Sunday during their tour of southern Africa.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have issued a legal warning to the media after photographs of Meghan in Canada were published in newspapers and on websites.Lawyers say the photos of the duchess walking her dogs and carrying her son were taken by photographers hiding in bushes and spying on her.They say she did not consent and accuse the photographers of harassment.The couple say that they are prepared to take legal action.They are believed to be alarmed by paparazzi activity near their current base on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.Lawyers say there have also been attempts to photograph inside their home using long-range lenses and they accuse the paparazzi of being camped outside the property.Under laws in British Columbia, the duchess may have grounds for a legal case if she can prove her privacy has been violated, although freedom of the press and expression is guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.This comes after the Queen agreed to the couple’s wish to step back from being full-time royals, to become financially independent and to split their time between the UK and Canada.On Monday, Meghan was pictured carrying the couple’s eight-month-old son Archie in a baby sling, while walking her two dogs, Guy and Oz, in North Hill Regional Park on Vancouver Island.The Duke of Sussex arrived back in Canada on Tuesday morning after attending the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London on Monday.He had been apart from Meghan and Archie for more than 10 days, after she flew back to Canada earlier this month.It was announced on Saturday that from the spring, the Sussexes will no longer be full-time working royals.They will stop using their HRH titles, no longer carry out royal duties or military appointments and no longer formally represent the Queen.One day after that announcement, Prince Harry said he was “taking a leap of faith” in stepping back from being a senior royal, adding: “There really was no other option.”Prince Harry has long had an uneasy relationship with the media, having grown up aware of the impact the intense media interest had on the life of his late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, who died in a car crash in Paris while being pursued by paparazzi on motorbikes.The driver of Princess Diana’s car – Henri Paul – had been drink-driving at the time of the crash on 31 August 1997.

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AFP/Getty

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Meghan, pictured at a Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey, is one of the most photographed women in the world

The prince has often compared his wife’s experiences of the press with those of his late mother.In a statement announcing Meghan’s legal action against the Mail on Sunday last October, the prince said he and Meghan were forced to take action against “relentless propaganda”.The duchess is suing the newspaper over publishing one of her private letters to her father, Thomas Markle.Meghan accuses the paper of misusing her private information, breaching copyright and selective editing.The Mail on Sunday rejects the claims and says there was “huge and legitimate” public interest in publishing the note.Days after confirming his wife’s legal case, the duke announced he would take legal action against the owners of the Sun, the defunct News of the World, and the Daily Mirror, in relation to alleged phone-hacking.Back in 2016, Prince Harry attacked the media for subjecting Meghan – then his girlfriend – to a “wave of abuse and harassment”.In 2017, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were awarded £92,000 (100,000 euros) in damages after French magazine Closer printed topless pictures of the duchess in 2012.



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