While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Jan 22

Biden unveils virus plan but says 100,000 may die in next month

President Joe Biden unveiled a national strategy to combat the coronavirus while issuing a sobering warning: The pandemic is likely to claim another 100,000 lives over roughly the next month and will worsen before it improves.

“We’ll move Heaven and Earth to get more people vaccinated for free,” Biden said on Thursday at the White House.

But he warned: “The brutal truth is it’s going to take months before we can get the majority of Americans vaccinated.”

Biden announced a series of executive actions aimed at overhauling the federal response to the coronavirus outbreak, which has already claimed more than 400,000 lives in the US.


France tells citizens: Fabric masks not enough against Covid-19

The French government is now recommending that people wear surgical masks in public because they offer better protection from Covid-19 transmission than fabric face coverings, Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Thursday.

France already requires masks to be worn in public places, but until now has not made recommendations about the type of masks.

French authorities are worried they could be hit by new, more contagious variants of the virus.


Bernie Sanders, bundled up at inauguration, goes viral in a meme

US Senator Bernie Sanders, wrapped up in a winter coat and mittens at the presidential inauguration, is now a fashion icon for looking like he was running an errand at the historic event.

Amid a sea of designer coats, the 79-year-old senator made a sartorial statement on Wednesday by showing up in a jacket by snowboarding equipment company Burton and home-made wool mittens, carrying a large brown envelope.

His practical Vermont dad look became an instant meme.


German scientists make paralysed mice walk again

German researchers have enabled mice paralysed after spinal cord injuries to walk again, re-establishing a neural link hitherto considered irreparable in mammals by using a designer protein injected into the brain.

Spinal cord injuries in humans, often caused by sports or traffic accidents, leave them paralysed because not all of the nerve fibres that carry information between muscles and the brain are able to grow back.

But the researchers from Ruhr University Bochum managed to stimulate the paralysed mice’s nerve cells to regenerate using a designer protein.


Football: Goalkeeper Tom King sets world record for long-range goal

Goalkeeper Tom King’s midweek goal for fourth-tier Newport County has been confirmed as the longest in football history.

King’s wind-assisted effort against Cheltenham on Tuesday travelled 96.01m, erasing Asmir Begovic’s 2013 goal from 91.9m for Stoke City from the record books.

The 25-year-old’s goal was the opener in a 1-1 draw for Newport, who are based in Wales but play in the England’s League Two.


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