Science and Technology

  • Coronavirus live news: Italian senate suspended as lawmakers test positive; Covid travel slump could cost 46m jobs
    by Amy Walker (now); Caroline Davies, Haroon Siddique, Ben Doherty and Helen Sullivan (earlier) on September 30, 2020 at 3:42 pm

    Vaccine trial shows ‘robust’ immune response; warning over global impact of travel collapse; Belgium death toll exceeds 10,000World Bank announces $12bn plan for vaccines for poor countries‘Only time will tell’: Russia places huge bet on Covid vaccineGermans embrace fresh air to tackle coronavirusIsrael bans mass protests as Covid lockdown tightensUK coronavirus updates – live 4.30pm BSTThe Italian senate has suspended all parliamentary activity after two members from the ruling 5-star Movement fell ill with Covid-19. Marco Croatti and Francesco Mollame wrote on Facebook that they had gone into quarantine. 4.17pm BSTA malaria drug taken by US president Donald Trump to prevent Covid-19 did not show any benefit in reducing coronavirus infection among healthcare workers, according to clinical trial results published on Wednesday.The study largely confirms results from a clinical trial in June that showed hydroxychloroquine was ineffective in preventing infection among people exposed to the new coronavirus. Continue reading...

  • Germans embrace fresh air to ward off coronavirus
    by Kate Connolly in Berlin on September 30, 2020 at 2:18 pm

    Angela Merkel says ventilation may be one of cheapest and most effective ways of containing virusCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageVentilating rooms has been added to the German government’s formula for tackling coronavirus, in refreshing news for the country’s air hygiene experts who have been calling for it to become official for months.The custom is something of a national obsession, with many Germans habitually opening windows twice a day, even in winter. Often the requirement is included as a legally binding clause in rental agreements, mainly to protect against mould and bad smells. Continue reading...

  • UK doing more than most to help poor get Covid vaccine, study finds
    by Sarah Boseley Health editor on September 30, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    Campaign scoring countries for global access efforts calls for more British transparency Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe UK is doing more than most countries to support access to Covid vaccines for the poorest populations in the world, but it is not transparent enough about the deals it is doing at home, according to an international aid organisation launching a tracker.The One campaign has given countries and pharmaceutical companies scores for the efforts they have made to ensure the poorest get vaccines. In the vaccine access test no country or company scores green, the top rating, classed as aiding global access to vaccines. Continue reading...

  • Newcastle council chief hits out at 'contradictory' Covid rules
    by Helen Pidd North of England editor on September 30, 2020 at 1:55 pm

    Nick Forbes says even council enforcement officers do not know how to interpret rulesCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe UK government’s “confusing and contradictory” Covid restrictions for the north-east of England have left space for “dangerous” conspiracy theories to fill the void, the leader of Newcastle city council has warned.Nick Forbes, the city’s Labour leader since 2011, said confusion over the latest restrictions – which even Boris Johnson got wrong – were “deeply unhelpful”, admitting even his own enforcement officers were not immediately clear how to interpret them. Continue reading...

  • Covid-hit Merseyside economy 'may collapse without funding'
    by Josh Halliday North of England correspondent on September 30, 2020 at 1:29 pm

    Local leaders say financial support needed when new restrictions are imposedCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe Merseyside economy may collapse and leave a legacy of poverty “for generations to come” without urgent financial support tied to new coronavirus restrictions, according to the region’s political leaders.Steve Rotheram, the metro mayor of the Liverpool city region, and six civic leaders, said Merseyside’s public finances were “at breaking point” and needed a “comprehensive package of financial support” from the Treasury when new lockdown measures are imposed.Additional restrictions are expected to be announced for Merseyside in the next 24 hours after Liverpool and Knowsley recorded the highest infection rates in England. Cases are averaging more than 200 per 100,000 people across Merseyside – four times the England average. Continue reading...

  • Covid: UK spent £569m on 20,900 ventilators but most remain unused
    by Denis Campbell Health policy editor on September 30, 2020 at 8:19 am

    Government was right to prioritise speed over cost, says National Audit OfficeCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe government spent £569m buying 20,900 ventilators to keep people alive during the Covid-19 pandemic but lack of demand means NHS hospitals have used just a few of them.All but 2,150 of the machines it bought are still being held in a Ministry of Defence warehouse in case they are needed in the coming second wave of the disease. Continue reading...

  • Apple iPad 2020 review: all the iPad you need, none of the tablet you don’t
    by Samuel Gibbs Consumer technology editor on September 30, 2020 at 6:00 am

    Cheapest iPad gets faster, offering most of what makes Apple’s top tablets great for half the costApple’s cheapest iPad just got faster with revamped chips to keep it ahead of the competition.The eighth-generation iPad costs from £329, slotting in under the iPad Mini, iPad Air and iPad Pro lines, yet offering much of the same experience. Continue reading...

  • Google to lease extra 70,000 sq ft in UK offices despite remote working
    by Rupert Neate and Joanna Partridge on September 29, 2020 at 6:48 pm

    New offices will reportedly be near to the under-construction ‘landscraper’ HQ in London’s King’s CrossGoogle is to lease an additional 70,000 sq ft in office buildings close to its £1bn new UK headquarters in London, despite telling all of its 4,500 UK staff that they will be working from home until at least July 2021.The US tech giant, which is in the process of building a 330 metre-long office building nicknamed the “landscraper” next to King’s Cross railway station, is reportedly in advanced talks to lease more space in nearby offices. Continue reading...

  • Airbnb pays £1.8m extra UK tax after investigation
    by Patrick Collinson on September 29, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    Holiday rental giant says it is also cooperating with HMRC over details of hosts’ incomesAirbnb has paid an additional £1.8m in tax following an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs into its UK tax arrangements.It also said it was cooperating with HMRC to share data on the money made by Airbnb hosts – who are believed to number around 225,000 in the UK alone – in the tax years 2017-18 and 2018-19 Continue reading...

  • Trump's bid to ban TikTok and WeChat: where are we now?
    by Kari Paul on September 29, 2020 at 12:54 pm

    It’s been a confusing few weeks for the Chinese social media apps targeted by Trump – so where do things currently stand?It’s been a dizzying few weeks for TikTok and WeChat, the Chinese social media apps caught up in a trade war between the US and China. Related: Trump and Biden head to Ohio for first presidential TV debate – US politics live Continue reading...