Ten stories you may have missed with virus updates

The coronavirus outbreak is a global pandemic, leading to border closures and extraordinary measures to restrict movement.

It has also brought the world economy to the brink of recession.

The pandemic has dominated headlines and newsfeeds as people prepare for the dramatic impact the virus is expected to have on their lives.

But there are other stories you may have missed while the world is focused on the coronavirus.

Here are 10 stories you might have missed over the past few days.

JOURNALISTS EXPELLED

China has announced it will expel from Beijing American newspaper journalists from The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.

The move is in retaliation to Washington's decision to cut the number of Chinese nationals working for state-run media on American soil.

Three American journalists from newspapers The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal have been expelled by China.
Three American journalists from newspapers The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal have been expelled by China.

It also comes a month after three other Wall Street Journal reporters - two Americans and an Australian - were expelled over what China deemed a racist headline by the US newspaper.

The expelled newspaper journalists, whose press cards were due to expire this month, must hand back their credentials to the foreign ministry within 10 days.

It has been noted the journalists are also now not allowed to work in the semi-autonomous cities of Hong Kong and Macau.

DEAD SEA SCROLL FAKE

A valuable collection of Dead Sea Scroll fragments, housed at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC, have been found to be fake.

A team of researchers, who issued a 200-page report detailing how the fragments had been forged, said while they were possibly made of ancient leather, the ink was from modern times and altered to imitate the real Dead Sea Scrolls.

 

"After an exhaustive review of all the imaging and scientific analysis results, it is evident that none of the textual fragments in Museum of the Bible's Dead Sea Scroll collection are authentic," Art Fraud Insights founder and director Colette Loll said.

"Moreover, each exhibits characteristics that suggest they are deliberate forgeries created in the 20th century with the intent to mimic authentic Dead Sea Scroll fragments."

 

The scrolls are a set of ancient manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible.

Most of the 100,000 real Dead Sea Scroll fragments - dating back more than 1800 years - are held by the Israeli government.

The first of the scrolls were found in the Qumran caves near the Dead Sea in 1947.

BOMBER'S BROTHER JAILED

The brother of Manchester Arena suicide bomber Salman Abedi has been found guilty of murdering 22 people.

Hashem Abedi had denied helping to plan the blast at the Ariana Grande concert in 2017.

 

He was convicted of one count of attempted murder and conspiring with his brother to cause the explosions as well.

It was one of the deadliest terror attacks ever carried out in the UK, injuring 264 people.

Families of some of the victims cried when the verdict was read out at the Old Bailey in London, although Hashem did not attend.

 

The Old Bailey heard the brothers worked together to source materials used in the suicide blast after the show.

Prosecutors said Hashem was "jointly responsible" with his brother for the attack on 22 May 2017.

A public inquiry into the bombing is due to begin in June.

MAN GUILTY OF SLAVERY, HUMAN TRAFFICKING

A New Zealand court has found a 65-year-old Samoan-born chief guilty of more than 20 charges of dealing in slaves and human trafficking, the BBC has reported.

Joesph Auga Matamata faces up to 20 years in jail or a fine of almost $500,000 for the human trafficking convictions.

He was convicted of offences over a 25-year period, where his Samoan victims were too scared to alert authorities due to Matamata's status as a matai or chief, the court heard.

Matamata was convicted of 10 counts of trafficking and 13 counts of slavery, which took place between 1994 and 2019.

The BBC reported he had promised 13 victims, the youngest of whom was 12 years of age, a better life.

The victims - with some on three-month holiday visas and others staying a few years - worked long hours for free and were often beaten.

The court heard Matamata ended up taking the pay check of victims, which they had earned at orchards and other work sites.

ARGENTINA'S FIRST TRANSGENDER NEWSCASTER

Argentina has unveiled its first transgender newscaster - 40-year-old Diana Zurco.

She began her job as co-anchor of Argentine Public Television's prime time evening news program on Monday.

Argentina’s first transgender newscaster Diana Zurco. Picture: Victor R. Caivano
Argentina’s first transgender newscaster Diana Zurco. Picture: Victor R. Caivano

Zurco is one of 12,000 to 13,000 transgender adults in Argentina, the government estimates.

The estimate is out of a population of more than 44 million.

APPLE'S MOVE TO IMPROVE SCREEN PRIVACY

Apple has filed a patent for technology to obscure iPhone screens from the people around the user.

The company would use "gaze dependent display encryption", which uses facial recognition and eye-tracking to pinpoint what part of the screen the user is looking at and make the rest indecipherable to onlookers.

 

Apple announced it could improve its technology by blurring or jumbling words, or warping images, and changing colours for more user privacy.

It could also create bogus text which looks similar to the rest so the unwanted observer does not know they are not seeing the real content.

US MILITARY BASES ATTACKED - AGAIN

Baghdad's fortified Green Zone near the American Embassy has been hit by rockets - the fourth attack in a week.

The attack comes a day after an attack on a training base south of Baghdad, where US-led coalition troops and NATO trainers were present.

Iraqi security officials said at least three rockets struck the Green Zone, the seat of Iraq's government and home to several foreign embassies.

 

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

The previous evening, rockets hit the Basmaya base near the Iraqi capital, an Iraqi army statement said.

The projectiles landed in an area which includes agricultural land and a factory, according to the statement.

BELOW SEA LEVEL ADVENTURE OPEN TO PUBLIC

A travel company is offering a less-visited destination for adventurous tourists who yearn for something different.

For $750,000, the opportunity to check out the Mariana Trench - 35,000 feet below sea level - is up for grabs.

The adventure is known as Challenger Deep and is open to the public for the first time.

Only three places are available for the next adventure to the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

MOVIE CATS SCORES AT WORST FILM AWARDS

The movie Cats took home six Razzie Awards, including Worst Picture of the Year, at the 2020 Golden Raspberry Awards.

James Corden won Worst Supporting Actor for his role in the movie and Rebel Wilson took home Worst Supporting Actress.

Movie Cats has taken home six awards at the 2020 Golden Raspberry Awards, known as Razzie Awards. Picture: Universal Pictures
Movie Cats has taken home six awards at the 2020 Golden Raspberry Awards, known as Razzie Awards. Picture: Universal Pictures

Cats won Worst Screen Combo for Any Two Half-Feline/Half-Human Hairballs.

The film's director Tom Hooper also walked away with the title of Worst Director and shared the Worst Screenplay award with Lee Hall.

The movie had a total of nine nominations.

FASHION MODEL DIES ON CATWALK

A model has died after falling on the catwalk at Brazil's Sao Paulo Fashion Week.

Tales Soares, 26, was reported to have fallen ill while in a parade for fashion brand Ocksa.

He was attended to by a medical team on the catwalk during the event, and later taken to hospital, where he died.

According to daily Folha de S. Paulo, the audience thought his fall was part of a performance.

An autopsy will determine what killed Soares.

It is reported his mother, Heloisa Cotta, has been denying rumours on social media about her son suffering from health problems, such as epilepsy or anorexia.



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