And now for a break from all my cooing about coronavirus:
A couple out for a walk in eastern France have discovered a tiny capsule containing a message despatched by a Prussian soldier over a century ago using a carrier pigeon.
The message from an infantry soldier based at Ingersheim, written in German in a barely legible hand, detailed military manoeuvres apparently during the first world war and was addressed to a superior officer, said Dominique Jardy, curator of the Linge Museum at Orbey in eastern France.
It appears to be dated 16 July 1910, or possibly 1916.
The message reads: “Platoon Potthof receives fire as they reach the western border of the parade ground, platoon Potthof takes up fire and retreats after a while.
“In Fechtwald half a platoon was disabled. Platoon Potthof retreats with heavy losses”:
South Korea’s foreign minister arrived in Washington on Sunday for talks with her American counterpart on a visit now overshadowed by Joe Biden’s projected win in the US presidential election.
Reuters: Kang Kyung-wha’s trip came at the invitation from the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who cancelled his planned visit to Seoul last month after President Donald Trump tested positive for the coronavirus.
Speaking to reporters after visiting the Korean War Veterans Memorial, Kang said it was too soon to predict how the new US administration would handle specific issues, but she didn’t expect Biden to return to former US President Barack Obama’s policy of strategic patience toward North Korea.
“From the public remarks made by several of Biden’s aides, I don’t believe it intends to return to the strategic patience of the past,” Kang said, according to Yonhap news agency.
“It should be made based on various progress and achievements made the past three years.”
Yonhap said Kang would meet Biden’s foreign affairs and security members and discuss cooperation during her unusually long visit to the United States, without elaborating.
Country singer Lee Brice tested positive for Covid-19 and will not perform as scheduled at the Country MusicAwards on Wednesday.
A representative for Brice told The Associated Press on Sunday that he is “in good spirits and not experiencing any symptoms.”
Brice was tested ahead of the awards show, which will be broadcast on ABC from Nashville, Tennessee, where he had been scheduled to perform with Carly Pearce. Pearce and Brice are both nominated for their duet “I Hope You’re Happy Now,” in the categories musical event of the year and music video of the year.
Brice, who is known for hit songs like “I Drive Your Truck” and “I Don’t Dance,” will be isolating at home until he’s cleared by a doctor, according to a statement from his representative.
A CMA spokesperson said Brice was tested and received his result before arriving onsite for any of show rehearsals or activities. Although the show doesn’t have a normal audience of fans because of the pandemic, CMA CEO Sarah Trahern had promised to bring country stars together in one room for the awards show, while still physically distanced.
“Lee would like to thank the CMAs and all of his incredible fans for his nominations and is wishing his fellow nominees an incredible evening celebrating the best of country music,” the statement said.
Podcast: US election 2020 – can Joe Biden unite America?
The Guardian’s Washington DC bureau chief, David Smith, tells Anushka Asthana that when Biden formally takes charge in January he will be beset by some of the biggest crises the country has faced in recent history. A pandemic that has killed more than 100,000 Americans, an economy devastated, a climate rapidly overheating and a population divided. It’s a task that would be difficult at the best of times, but he must face the prospect of having to navigate it without a majority in the Senate.
His victory speech was laced with the intention to take on these challenges and reunite the country. As good wishes flooded in from around the world, it’s clear he will have no shortage of allies for the task ahead:
Pandemics expert says half of positive cases in UK not being identified
Around half of the positive coronavirus cases in the UK are not being identified, according to a pandemics expert.
From PA: Mark Woolhouse, professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh, said these cases mean attempts to control the virus are being done “with one hand behind our back”.
Mr Woolhouse sits on a sub-group of SAGE and is a member of the Scottish Government’s Covid-19 advisory group.
He said the mass testing scheme which began in Liverpool is an attempt combat the problem.
From Friday anyone in the city can be tested – repeatedly – for coronavirus regardless of whether they have symptoms.
Speaking on the BBC Scotland’s Seven Days programme, Prof Woolhouse said: “The problem that testing pilot scheme in Liverpool is trying to solve is that we’re still not finding about half of the Covid cases in Scotland or in the UK more generally.
“That’s a very high proportion.”
He added: “It’s probably partly because many of them are asymptomatic or so mildly infected they don’t recognise the symptoms, partly because people do have symptoms but actually genuinely aren’t recognising them as Covid – I’ve heard a few cases of that in the last week – and also the possibility that some people are having symptoms and actually ignoring them, perhaps because they don’t want to go into self-isolation.
“Whatever the reason, those missed 50% of cases – it’s like trying to control the epidemic with one hand tied behind our back. We can’t do it effectively if those cases are not also being self isolated and their contacts traced. It’s going to make it much more difficult.
“The idea of Liverpool is to try and find these cases and hopefully … persuade them to self-isolate.”
Mexico’s health ministry reported on Sunday 5,887 additional coronavirus cases and 219 more deaths, bringing the official number of cases to 967,825 and the death toll to 95,027, Reuters reports.
Health officials have said the real number of infections and deaths is likely significantly higher.
A woman and her dog are pictured in front a mural in honor to health workers as the coronavirus outbreak continues, in Mexico City, Mexico 7 November 2020. Photograph: Gustavo Graf/Reuters
Taiwan is yet to receive an invite to a key World Health Organisation (WHO) meeting this week expected to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic due to “obstruction” from China, the island’s foreign ministry said, expressing its disquiet over being again isolated.
The US mission in Geneva last week urged WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to invite Chinese-claimed but democratically ruled Taiwan to the WHO’s decision-making body, the World Health Assembly (WHA).
Late on Sunday, Taiwan’s foreign ministry said the island had yet to get an invite to the virtual meeting of 194 member states.
“The foreign ministry expresses strong regret and dissatisfaction at China’s obstruction of Taiwan participating in the WHO and the WHO’s continuing to neglect the health and human rights of Taiwan’s 23.5 million people,” it said.
The WHO’s refusal to invite Taiwan based on political considerations makes a mockery of the body’s “health for all” claim, the ministry said.
Taiwan is locked out of most global organisations such as the WHO due to the objections of China, which considers the island one of its provinces with no right to the trappings of a sovereign state.
Commuters wear protective masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease while waiting for a bus in Taipei. Photograph: Ann Wang/Reuters
The WHO says it is up to member states whether to invite Taiwan, which has been praised internationally for quickly containing the coronavirus, to observe the WHA meeting.
Backed by the United States, Taiwan has stepped up lobbying this year to take part, angering China.
China’s mission to the United Nations in Geneva on Friday denounced the “distorted” US remarks on Taiwan, saying the island can only take part if it admits to being part of China, something Taipei’s government has refused to do.
The WHO says it cooperates with Taiwan on various health matters including on aspects of the pandemic and that the island has been provided with the help it needs.
Australian food delivery riders say their hourly rates of pay are being cut during the pandemic, even as demand rises, meaning that food delivery companies like UberEats and Deliveroo are profiting off “both sides” of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Three food delivery riders were killed in the space of a month in October, in three separate road collisions in Sydney and Melbourne.
On Monday, four current delivery riders and rideshare drivers testified before a New South Wales parliamentary inquiry about their experiences of being injured or financially stressed on the job:
For a quick break from bad US news, here – for those who have déjà vu and those who have not – is the sheer delight that is the man Forbes has identified as Meka Anyanetu, celebrating following the announcement that Joe Biden had won the 2020 elections:
Pierre Le Texier
J’en chialle pic.twitter.com/e35nw2BQaa
November 7, 2020
at 1.10am GMT
China reports 33 new cases
China reported 33 new Covid-19 cases on 8 November, up from 28 cases a day earlier, the national health authority reported on Monday.
The National Health Commission said 32 of the cases were imported in people returning from overseas.
One of the cases was a local infection reported in Tianjin – a cold storage worker who had handled frozen pork from Germany. The city government is carrying out tests on some cold storage facilities and their staff.
The number of new asymptomatic cases fell to nine from 36 a day earlier, the commission said.
The total number of confirmed Covid-19 infections in mainland China now stands at 86,245, while the death toll remains unchanged at 4,634.
Algeria’s government has extended a night-time curfew already in place in 20 of the country’s 48 regions to a further nine areas, AFP reports.
The curfew will start at 8 pm (1900 GMT), three hours earlier than previous restrictions, but will still end each morning at 5 am (0400 GMT).
The new measures will come into effect from Tuesday for 15 days.
Algerian Muslims gather at al-Falah Mosque to hold the first Friday prayer after eight months of break due to coronavirus in Algiers, Algeria on 6 November 2020. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Rising stress levels have taken a toll on the mental and emotional health of young people since the first coronavirus lockdown was imposed in March, children’s charity the NSPCC has warned.
Calls to the charity’s ChildLine service reached nearly 43,000 between March and October, with mental health worries making up more than a third of all its counselling sessions, new figures showed.
The NSPCC said its counsellors had heard from children who were feeling isolated, anxious and insecure after being cut off from their usual social support networks.
Some children had developed eating disorders such as binge eating and bulimia for the first time, while others with existing eating disorders had reported worse symptoms or had relapsed, the charity found:
Britain’s economy is set for a pre-Christmas slump with further job losses and shop closures, despite government measures to protect businesses during the latest Covid-19 restrictions.
Surveys of business activity reveal a sharp decline as tough new restrictions were launched across the UK amid the second coronavirus wave, setting the stage for a difficult winter ahead as the economy plunges into reverse.
While the damage to many industries will be less severe than during the first lockdown, the accountancy firm BDO said measures of business confidence and output fell in October for the first time since April:
October was worst month for pandemic so far
A Reuters tally has calculated that October was the worst month of the coronavirus pandemic so far, with its second wave in the past 30 days accounting for a quarter of all cases.
The last month saw the spread of the virus accelerate at a rapid pace: while it took 32 days for cases to rise from 30 million to 40 million, it only took 21 days to add another 10 million.
The bleak milestone followed the US reporting more than 100,000 new cases on four consecutive days. The country broke its own record for daily cases nearly every day last week.
Europe has also greatly contributed to the global surge in cases. The region has reported around 12 million infections, making it the worst-affected region, overtaking Latin America. It also makes up almost a quarter (24%) of coronavirus deaths.
A Reuters analysis has shown the number of new coronavirus cases in Europe is growing by around one million every three days:
Economic fallout from Covid-19 makes prospect of third world war ‘a risk’
Here is more on a third world war being a ‘risk’ in the wake of the pandemic.
The economic fallout during the coronavirus pandemic has made the prospect of a third world war “a risk”, the UK’s most senior military commander has said.
PA Media reports that General Sir Nick Carter, the chief of the defence staff made the comments when asked by Sky News in the run-up to Remembrance Sunday whether he feared the global economic crisis brought on by coronavirus could lead to war. He told the Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme there was a worry that the increase in regional conflicts playing out across the world could ramp up into “a full-blown war”, mirroring the run-up to the two world wars in the 20th century when a series of alliances between countries led to years of bloodshed.
BBC handout photo of Chief of Defence Staff General Sir Nick Carter. Photograph: Jeff Overs/BBC/PA
The senior official argued that, with the world being “a very uncertain and anxious place” during the pandemic, there was the possibility “you could see escalation lead to miscalculation”.
“We have to remember that history might not repeat itself but it has a rhythm and if you look back at the last century, before both world wars, I think it was unarguable that there was escalation which led to the miscalculation which ultimately led to war at a scale we would hopefully never see again,” said Carter.
Asked whether he was saying there was a “real threat” of a third world war, he replied: “I’m saying it’s a risk and we need to be conscious of those risks
Hello and welcome to today’s live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.
My name is Helen Sullivan and I’ll be bringing you the latest coronavirus news from around the world. I’ll also include updates from the US elections where relevant.
As always, you can find me on Twitter @helenrsullivan.
Speaking of the US, the world’s worst-affected country in terms of the number of confirmed Covid-19 infections is about to pass 10m cases, as the global total tops 50m, according to Johns Hopkins. According to Reuters calculations, the latest seven-day average shows global daily infections are rising by more than 540,000, and October was the worst month of the pandemic so far.
The US currently has just under a fifth of the global total – 9,949,530 cases – and in recent days has often registered over 100,000 cases a day. America has lost at least 237,542 people to the pandemic this year.
The global death total is 1,254,453.
The number of coronavirus cases worldwide has passed 50 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, which shows that the US, India and Brazil have the highest figures.
The economic fallout during the coronavirus pandemic has made the prospect of a third world war “a risk”, the UK’s most senior military commander has said. General Sir Nick Carter, the chief of the defence staff made the comments when asked by Sky News in the run-up to Remembrance Sunday whether he feared the global economic crisis brought on by coronavirus could lead to war.
France reported a further 38,619 coronavirus cases on Sunday, bringing the country’s total to 1,787,324. It follows a record daily increase on Saturday, when a staggering 86,852 cases were logged.
Algeria’s president, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, has responded well to coronavirus treatment after being hospitalised 13 days ago.
Greece has reported a record daily rise of 35 coronavirus deaths, and 1,914 new cases of the virus. The authorities announced 34 deaths on Saturday.
Hundreds of protesters gathered in central Manchester on Sunday to object against the national lockdown in England, resulting in four arrests and several fines.
Italy has registered 32,616 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Sunday, down from 39,811 on Saturday.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported a further 93,811 coronavirus cases on Sunday, bringing the total to 9,808,411. It follows a string of record figures, with the country tallying more than 100,000 new cases for four consecutive days.
The UK has reported 20,572 new infections and 156 deaths, taking the country’s caseload to 1,192,013 and its official toll to 49,044.
at 11.43pm GMT