While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Feb 21

WHO says no time for complacency as China coronavirus cases fall

A continued decline in the number of new cases of coronavirus infections in China is encouraging, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Thursday, while warning that infections outside the country could still spread.

“We are encouraged by this trend but this is no time for complacency,” the WHO’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, told a briefing in Geneva.

To date, 25 other countries have reported 1,076 cases to WHO, including five in the latest affected, Iran, he said.

Tedros noted that the total was very low compared with nearly 75,000 inside China, but added: “That may not stay the same for long.”


‘We’re not the walking dead’, say Americans facing coronavirus quarantine stigma

When Esther Tebeka, one of more than 1,000 Americans evacuated from China due to the coronavirus outbreak, ended her 14-day quarantine with no signs of the disease, she thought she could get on with her life.

Instead, she has had people refuse to come near her or cover their faces with surgical masks due to unfounded fears that she is a coronavirus carrier – making her one of a growing number of Americans who report being shunned or shamed after quarantine.

“How many times can I tell people I’m not sick?” said Tebeka, who runs a Chinese medicine clinic in Palo Alto, California, and has seen patients suddenly cancel appointments. “We’re not the walking dead.”


Man arrested after prayer leader stabbed inside London mosque

A prayer leader in his 70s was stabbed in a London mosque on Thursday and the assailant was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, police and mosque officials said.

“The attacker was apprehended by the worshippers until the police arrived and arrested him,” the London Central Mosque Trust said in a statement.

“The muezzin did not sustain any life-threatening injuries but was seriously injured and is being treated at the hospital.”


Trump says he won’t pardon ally Roger Stone now, but complains about trial

President Donald Trump said he wouldn’t immediately pardon his former associate Roger Stone but complained that he was treated unfairly and is likely to be exonerated, after Stone was sentenced on Thursday to more than three years in prison for lying to Congress and tampering with a witness.

“I’m not going to do anything in terms of the great powers bestowed upon the president of the United States,” Trump said in Las Vegas at an event hosted by a charity that helps former prisoners transition back into society, Hope for Prisoners.

“I want the process to be played out. I personally think he was treated very unfairly.”


Disney finally unveils Baby Yoda toys, months after his TV debut

Walt Disney unveiled dozens of new products tied to its hit show The Mandalorian and the breakout character popularly known as Baby Yoda, ahead of New York’s big Toy Fair trade show this weekend.

The products run the gamut from Hasbro’s US$30 (S$42) black-bladed lightsaber to Funko bobbleheads based on the show’s bounty hunters. The big draw, however, is expected to be Baby Yoda, a cuddly green character who may or may not be related to the wise Jedi from the Star Wars films.

The eight-episode Mandalorian programme was the runaway hit for the company’s new Disney+ streaming service, which launched in November.


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