LONDON -- The novel coronavirus has existed worldwide and broke out whenever and wherever favorable conditions occurred rather than starting in China, an Oxford University expert has told The Telegraph.
"I think the virus was already here -- here meaning everywhere. We may be seeing a dormant virus that has been activated by environmental conditions," Dr Tom Jefferson, senior associate tutor at the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBM) at Oxford and a visiting professor at Newcastle University, said on Sunday.
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SANTIAGO -- Latin American countries must turn to effective fiscal policy to cushion the social and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and reactivate local economies, the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) said on Monday.
"Fiscal policy must play a central role in mitigating the social and economic impact arising from the COVID-19 pandemic while at the same time providing the needed impetus to achieve a reactivation of economic activity that would help steer the region towards sustainable and inclusive development in a post-COVID-19 world," the UN agency said in its latest report.
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UNITED NATIONS -- The week-long UN Virtual Counter-Terrorism Week kicked off Monday to discuss the strategic and practical challenges of countering terrorism in a global pandemic environment.
Speaking at the high-level opening session, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, "Like the virus, terrorism does not respect national borders. It affects all nations and can only be defeated collectively. So, we must harness the power of multilateralism to find practical solutions."
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GAZA -- The two Palestinian rival groups, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party and Islamic Hamas movement, agreed on Monday to resume meetings to end the internal division.
Ahmad Helles, a member of Fatah's Central Committee, and Husam Badran, a member of Hamas politburo, made this announcement in a joint interview aired on the state-run Palestine television.
"The resumption of meetings between Fatah and Hamas has given our people a new hope for ending the internal division that has been going on for 13 years, so as to face the current political and economic challenges," said Helles.
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PYONGYANG -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is unwilling to talk face to face with the United States and urged South Korea to stay away from meddling in Pyongyang's affairs, a senior DPRK diplomat reaffirmed on Tuesday.
"Explicitly speaking once again, we have no intention to sit face to face with the U.S.," Kwon Jong Gun, director general of the Department of U.S. Affairs of the Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.
Kwon also asked the South Korean leader not to become a "meddlesome man who had again indicated his intention to arbitrate between the DPRK and the U.S. regardless of time."
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LONDON -- Chinese Ambassador to Britain Liu Xiaoming on Monday criticized Britain's "gross interference in China's internal affairs" after London's recent citizenship offer to Hong Kong residents.
Liu told a virtual press conference that the British government keeps making irresponsible remarks on Hong Kong affairs and unwarranted accusations against the national security law for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), and even talks about changing the arrangements for British National (Overseas) passport holders in Hong Kong.
"These moves constitute a gross interference in China's internal affairs and openly trample on the basic norms governing international relations," Liu said.